When it comes to quartz and Silestone, the resemblance in characteristics is just too striking, making it hard to differentiate between the two. They deserve a closer look.
Quartz is one of the top surfaces, as is Silestone. Both are human-made engineered stones, representing a rock-solid surface that looks good, lasts long, and performs well. Both can endure weather, moisture, germs, and impact. Both are versatile, lending themselves very well to countertops, floors, walls, staircases, shower trays, sinks, and other indoor and outdoor applications. Plus, both are available in a stunning variety of colours, hues and patterns.
Two sides of the same coin:
What explains it all is the fact that Silestone is a form of quartz. Like Cambria Quartz, Okite, Zodiaq, Concetto, Santa Margherita and Ice Stone, Silestone is also a brand name for surfaces made out of quartz. So, if you buy Silestone kitchen worktops, you are essentially buying quartz worktops. Let’s dive deep into the surface materials for a better understanding.
What is quartz?
Quartz is a mineral, the second most abundantly found one on the planet after feldspar. Quartz features an uninterrupted framework of silicon and oxygen atoms in tetrahedral construction. The mineral is formed either in igneous rocks or in areas exposed to geothermal waters.
In igneous rocks, the formation takes place as magma cools down, leading to crystallisation of the silicon dioxide. Gradual cooling ensures larger crystals. Likewise, silicon dioxide dissolves in silica-rich geothermal waters when exposed to high temperature and pressure. When there’s a considerable drop in temperature and pressure, quartz crystals form.
Manufacturing and composition:
The unique composition and formation process speak for the hardy and handsome attributes associated with quartz, the mineral. This mineral is mined and manufactured into surfaces by brands the world over for various applications across various industries. The manufacturing process and the composition depend on the brand manufacturing these surfaces.
Specifications may vary, but quartz surfaces usually contain 90% ground quartz. The rest is resins and other adhesives, along with pigments to achieve particular colours and hues. The mineral is finely grounded and pressed into slabs that are bound together with resins. As quartz is abundantly found, the environmental impact is restricted, unlike some natural stones.
What is Silestone?
Silestone is a variant of quartz, manufactured by Cosentino. The Spain based company proffers a wide array of cutting edge engineered stones, including Silestone Lyra. Add to it over 60 colours available, every taste, design requirement and budget is well catered with Silestone.
Manufacturing and composition:
Cosentino uses different compositions and manufacturing processes for different Silestone variants. Most Silestone surfaces contain a high percentage of quartz, up to 94%. A variety of resins and adhesives are used to bond the slabs, ensuring an incredible surface. The manufacturing happens through proven processes in line with established industry standards. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with Silestone Lagoon or any other Silestone variant.
A brief comparison:
Let’s have a look at how quartz and Silestone fare against each other on critical parameters.
Quartz is perhaps one of the hardest minerals known to man. On the Mohs scale, it ranks 7th in hardness. As the mineral comprises quartz and Silestone Marengo, both are tough.
Quartz is a high-end surface with a hefty price tag. You’ll be paying anywhere between £50 and £100 per square foot for quartz, installation charges included. On the other hand, Silestone is a top-notch branded version of quartz, meaning it’ll cost higher. The prices are subject to factors like size of the slab, the Silestone variant you buy, when you buy, and where you buy from.
All quartz brands come with varying warranties. Specifically, Silestone offers limited 15-Year warranty from the date of installation. So, expect peace of mind with Silestone worktops.
Different quartz variants offer other design options with varying colours, hues, streaks, the shape of minerals, striations, and more. Silestone, in particular, provides a vast array of designs.
The only drawback associated with quartz is its vulnerability to heat. Relatively, Silestone is slightly more resistant to heat but not immune. So, it would help if you were avoiding placing hot pans and pots directly on Silestone quartz worktops. Use trivets instead.