Written by: Lorna Glasser owner of Bevelled Edge a Regina, Saskatchewan countertop business who specializes in laminate, granite, quartz, tile and other home updates.
What is the difference between granite and quartz countertops?
Large blocks of granite are harvested from the earth in many world-wide locations. Slabs are cut from the block and polished one side. These slabs of granite show the natural geologic formation of minerals that is manifest in unique patterns and colours. Quartz is defined as an “engineered” stone. The blocks of stone are ground up. The clear quartz crystals are reformed into a slab with 7% resin. Colour is added to create patterns that are uniform throughout. This product is sealed and sanitary due to the resin. Both granite and quartz have pros and cons, as well as many similarities.
How often should granite be sealed?
Granite countertop sealers can be as varied as cars on a used car lot. Add to that different types, colours, and grain size of granite, and it becomes clear that there is no one rule to fit all. Best advice suggests using a concentrated commercial sealer. High quality granite sealers have a long life span. Some can provide protection for up to ten years. It is best to apply several thin coats in sequence. To be safe, it is suggested not to wait until the old sealer wears off before applying additional coats.
What are other good countertop choices?
A number of materials are used to surface cabinets, raised bars, desks etc.
Hardrock maple butcher block is a great material for work areas. It is easily cleaned and sealed by wiping with mineral oil.
Acrylic solid surface is a rich looking, sanitary counter material. It’s benefits include invisible seams and a softer, warmer feel.
Plastic laminates have some great new finishes and realistic stone patterns. There is no resemblance to grandma’s old laminate tops. See local showrooms for the latest innovations.