It seems these days everyone is talking about Granite. It seems just a few years ago granite was only used in super high dollar homes, where as now it is far more common. And there is a good reason. Granite (and quarts products) is a superior product. After all is not stone better than sawdust and paper for a counter top? So lets look at some of the differences.
Granite is a natural stone product. That’s right it’s a rock. Like your diamond, only just a bit cheaper. Granite is found in most parts of the world, but it is quarried in significant quantities, in Brazil, India, Italy, Africa, Norway, Finland, and China. The best quality and best colors come from Brazil, India, and Italy. It is then cut to size, polished, edged, and installed as a beautiful countertop. You can see the natural fault lines in the rock and discoloration that is all part of the natural look.
Quartz products on the other hand are man made, or rather man modified product. It is essentially ground up quartz that is glued back together with epoxy and made into sheets that are then cut and modified to your needs. It is very similar product but tends to be more uniform in color. It will feel the same or very close to the same as granite and you can do all the same things with it.
And then there is laminate. Laminate has been around for many years and has been the go to product for cabinet shops and homeowners who have a smaller budget but still want a nice looking counter top. Currently laminate companies are making some granite “look alike” laminate that looks really good. It is essentially paper. (some of you just said “Whaaaaat?” ) Laminate counter top is highly pressed paper that is hardened and protected by resins. It is then glued down to a slab of sawdust. Otherwise known as particle board. But don’t be fooled by the description. It can look really sharp.
Quality. I bring up this first because it is the most important thing to us at Wood Interiors. Quality is always our first concern. Granite and Quartz are without question a superior product. They don’t chip (well I suppose with enough abuse they would) and they don’t have end caps or decorative edging that will come loose. They are not suspect to moisture/humidity changes. With the temperatures that are being developed by the dishwashers we are seeing some laminate tops swell due to steam from the dishwasher. This will never happen with Granite. Also end caps are known to come off of laminate tops that are next to an oven since the glue is heat sensitive. In defense of Laminate. I did have one customer who said they had Granite and it was to cold and they changed it to laminate.
Simplicity. With Granite/Quartz it is a somewhat complicated process. We put in the cabinets and then we get a template made and the top made from that. So you will have a few weeks between the cabinet install and the top install. With Laminate tops we will bring them when we bring the cabinets and install them at the same time.
Cost. Yes, Granite/Quartz is more expensive. And a Jaguar costs more than a Geo Metro. But you get what you pay for. However, I understand working within your budget. I have laminate at my house at this time for that very reason. But then I had a Geo Metro as well, so what can I say. The advantage of Granite/Quartz is its quality, and the advantage of Laminate is that you can change it a few times before you get up to the price of a stone product top.
Looks. They all look good. We have done some really great-looking laminate tops, but I think we all have to agree the stone product tops are really, really good-looking.
So when considering an upgrade, don’t be afraid to call us and we will give you an estimate on whatever kind of top you are interested in.