If you’re in the market for a new kitchen countertop, you likely have one burning question: What are the most popular countertops? And then also these: Are they durable? Are they expensive? What are the pros and cons of them?... So many questions!
Luckily,today we will mainly discuss two kinds of popular countertop -sintered stone countertop and quartz countertop.Now let’s get into it!
Sintered stone is a super large new porcelain material made of natural raw materials through special process, pressed with a press of more than 10000 tons (more than 15000 tons), combined with advanced production technology and fired at a high temperature of more than 1200 ℃, which can withstand the processing processes of cutting, drilling, grinding and so on.
Sintered stone can be used for almost anything natural stone can be. It is commonly used for the following:
· Bathroom vanities
· Furniture（shelf,kitchen dining table,cabinet/wardrobe door panel）
· Wall cladding（featured wall）
· Fireplace surrounds
· Patios and outdoor flooring
· Exterior wall cladding
· Spas and wet rooms
· Swimming pool tiling
To discuss more applications of sintered stone and whether it is the best choice for your project, contact an expert at WIFi Ceramics.
Browse sintered stone products from WIFi Ceramics.
What is sintering?
Sintering is the process of using extreme heat and pressure to combine various materials into one solid piece. This process actually imitates the natural process of creating granite.
Basically, the sintering process is an artificial version of the high temperature and high pressure produced by the earth on the material to form a specific surface.
What is a sintered surface?
The sintered surface is made of natural materials through the engineering sintering process, simulating the natural compression and heat of the environment.
The sintered surface gives people the illusion of natural defects and unique quality. Sintered stones can look like natural stones, wood, or even smooth surfaces.
This kind of stone can be made into various colors, shapes, sizes and textures, while still using natural materials. This stone is a relatively light material that requires less surface structural elements.
What is the thickness of a sintered slab?
In general, the common thickness of sintered slabs is 12 mm. Of course, 20 mm or thinner 6mm and 3mm sintered slabs are also available.
Looking for another thickness? Or want to know which thickness is suitable for your project? Order a free consultation.
Related article：Home Sintered Stone - A Must Read Guide
1.it is the most ever-lasting surface you can get
The Mohs hardness of a sintered stone countertop is grade 6-7, which can resist scratching and trying to scratch. The higher the Mohs hardness, the less likely it is to leave scratches on the surface.The hardness of quartz is between 5-6.
with A1 grade fire resistance , a sintered stone countertop will not deform in direct contact with high-temperature objects. It will not produce any physical changes (shrinkage, rupture, discoloration) or emit any gas or smell when encountering an open fire of 2000 ℃.
A sintered stone countertop is also corrosion-resistant.It is resistant to various chemicals, including solutions, disinfectants, etc.
2.it is very easy to clean
A smooth texture, making a sintered stone countertop easy to clean and maintain. The surface is not porous which means that spills will be easily wiped away while dirt or dust won't stick to the surface, so you don't need to worry about time consuming cleaning routine.
With the water absorption less than 0.05%, water is not easy to penetrate.It can keep the dry surface all the time and is not easy to be polluted.
3.it is really healthy
The surface of a sintered stone countertop can be in direct contact with food. It is made of pure natural material. It is 100% recyclable, non-toxic and radiation-free.
At the same time,a sintered stone countertop also fully meets the needs of human sustainable development, health and environmental protection.
4.it is resistant to ice and freezing
Sintered stone is a material that is resistant to both ice and freezing. This makes sintered stone countertop suitable for outdoor applications in cold climates, as it will not crack or break due to exposure to the elements.
5.it is resistant to UV rays
Resistance to UV rays means that sintered stone countertop will not fade or discolor over time when exposed to sunlight. Thus, you can set the position of your countertop as you like, even if it is near the window and exposed to sunlight all year round.
6.it is light in weight
The 3mm sintered slab is only 7kg/㎡ and the 12 mm sintered slab ,30 kg/㎡.
7.it has endless styles
A sintered stone countertop can provide innovative elements to kitchen architectural decoration design. Variety of thicknesses,formats,details,colors,textured surfaces can inspire creativity making your kitchen decoration more unqiue.
Do you know any other benefits of a sintered stone countertop? Write it down in the message box at the bottom of the article!
it has a relatively high production cost
The surface of the sintered stone is very hard, not easy to cut, and has high requirements for processing equipment and technology. Because of the complexity of the production techniques, the production cost of a sintered stone countertop is also relatively high.
See here, you may have a question：how much does sintered stone cost?
Sintered stone is typically measured and priced by square footage. The price range is around $60-$100 installed per sq. ft.But this may vary by design, color, shape. The price may also change a little according to the required area, installation personnel and installation materials.
Worried that the price of sintered stone products going exceed your budget?
Here at WIFi Ceramics,we not only offer premium sintered stone products but also 10% off for our VIP’s first purchase.So, join our VIP list now!
Related article：Sintered Stone Tiles VS Other Material Tiles
Can I install a sintered stone countertop myself ?
We do not recommend you to install sintered stone countertop by yourself.It needs professional tools and professional personnel to do it.
On the one hand, because of the thin and light nature of the sintered stone, it needs special support and protection so that it will not break during the handling process.
On the other hand, before installing a sintered stone countertop, the floor needs to be professionally leveled so that it does not cause the floor tiles to crack when it is placed on the floor.
Quartz stone, is a new type of stone synthesized by more than 90% quartz crystal plus resin and other trace elements. It is a large-size plate pressed by a special machine under certain physical and chemical conditions. Its main material is quartz.
1.it is relatively stain-resistant
All kinds of oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar or fruit juice encountered in daily life will not cause any corrosion to the quartz countertop. In addition, as a decoration material which has been treated by complex synthetic process, its structural compactness is very high.
Therefore, even if soy sauce and vinegar stay on the countertop for a long time, they will not penetrate into the interior of the countertop. It has stain resistance and is not easy to penetrate stains.
2.it requires low maintainance
A quartz countertop is a low-maintenance option because it doesn't require sealing or waxing . It also doesn't have to be resealed every few years, so you can save money on your renovation costs by choosing a quartz countertop over other materials that need to be treated more often.
3.it has various colors and patterns
There is a variety of colors and patterns that are available for quartz countertops. This means that you can find a color and pattern that perfectly matches your style and personality.
1.it is not heat tolerant
When using a quartz countertop, the buyer's daily life shall be carefully managed. Hot pots or other utensils with too high temperature directly removed from the stove, oven and microwave oven will cause damage to the countertop.
Over time, this so-called "indestructible" surface may slowly become a color and texture that was not originally bought as.
2.veins look more engineered rather than natural
As an engineered product, artificial veins can become overwhelming in a large area, especially the chance that multiple slabs could make the quartz countertop look artificial.
The size limitations of quartz can restrict the amount that the veins go along the surface, making it look more engineered, rather than natural.Seams are inevitable for large quartz countertop designs.
3.it is scratch-resistant but not scratch-proof
Although scratch resistance is a major advantage for a quartz countertop, it can scratch. Natural stone has natural pores and flaws that make it scratchable. The same goes for man made material such as quartz which uses stone dust from crushed rocks to create homogenous mixture of minerals called resin.
To achieve a granite countertop look, it is mixed with stone dust, pigments and infused with resin. The mixture gives a quartz countertop scratch resistance but not scratch proof.
4.it is not suitable for very small kitchens
Since a quartz countertop can be quite heavy, so it may not be the best option for very small kitchens and requires professional installation.
If you have a relatively high budget, you can choose the sintered stone countertop, because as you can see above, it has only one disadvantage - the price is relatively expensive, but it is completely worth it, because it contains all the advantages of other kinds of countertop, and it can definitely bring you a very wonderful experience.
Related article：Everything You Want to Know about Sintered Stone
So there you have some aspects of sintered stone countertop and quartz countertop.
Both sintered stone countertop and quartz countertop are extremely hard,stain-resistant as well as require low maintainance.In addition, both materials can be selected and made into various colors. This is because the color can change during the manufacturing process.
The biggest difference of the sintered stone countertop and quartz countertop, is that the sintered stone countertop is made from natural materials, while quartz countertop includes man-made products like resin and binders.
But for countertops, what needs to be remembered is that if quartz is exposed to extreme heat, it has the possibility of getting burnt, while sintered stone can withstand the high temperatures.
Also, if your countertop will be set up outdoors, then you must consider a sintered stone countertop because it is weatherproof, water resistant, and UV resistant. Whereas quartz countertop may have burn marks or discoloration when exposed to sunlight and moisture for a long time.
After going through this related introduction, I hope you can pick out the perfect kind of countertop based on your needs and preference.