Quartz Worktops Vs Sintered Stone Worktops
A kitchen worktop is one of the main focal points of most kitchens and in some cases most homes. It is where you chop, mix, and prepare food, it acts as a place to keep your appliances like toasters, air fryers, and coffee makers, and finally, for many, it is where they socialise with friends and family. Two popular stone materials are sintered stone & quartz. That said, which is best, Sintered Stone or Quartz Worktops?
In many aspects, Quartz and Sintered Stone are similar. Both offer great resistance to scratches and stains and are easy to maintain. Both materials are in the same price range, yet sintered stone is generally a little more expensive. Unlike quartz, sintered stone is UV resistant and can be used outdoors. Quartz generally offers greater colour versatility giving more design flexibility than sintered stone.
Purchasing a new, or replacing your current worktop is a significant thing to do and you should make a few considerations before doing so. If you are trying to choose between Quartz or Sintered Stone, keep reading, as we are going to discuss everything that you need to know.
What is a Sintered Stone Worktop?
Sintered Stone is made from natural stones such as quartz, porcelain, glass, and other materials. The use of all-natural materials is what sets Sintered Stone apart from most other worktops. That said, non-natural chemicals may be used when finishing the product.
Once a manufacturer has established which materials they will use, they are granulated into fine pieces and mixed together precisely.
Compacting the minerals is done under extremely high pressure removing any air gaps. This process typically results in a dense slab ready for sintering.
Sintering is a process where the slab is subject to extremely high temperatures for a set time. The slab should be fuzed together, leaving one solid and non-porous material. Apart from the quality of the stones used, the sintering process is often what defines how good the final quality of the product is.
What is a Quartz Worktop?
While Quartz is one of the main minerals used in Sintered Stone, there is still a significant difference between the two worktops, and after reading this section, it will all make sense.
See, a Quartz worktop is made from quartz stones, resin, and pigments. The resin used can be natural but in most cases they are synthetic. The pigments are used to alter the colour aesthetic of the worktop, and they are optional.
Again the materials need to be granulated into fine particles before being mixed, and the end result should be a blend that is at least 90% quartz. The mixture plays a massive role in the end quality of the product. Before being placed in the hydraulic press, the materials are compacted using a process known as vacuum and vibration.
Quartz worktops are cured, which is similar to sintering, except that curing the materials relies on chemical reactions under extreme heat.
Sintered Stone Vs Quartz Worktops: Comparisons
Before jumping into which of these two worktops is best for you and your home, we need to look at the key differences.
It is important to note that prices can vary based on brand, quality, and other factors, such as the worktop thickness. That said, sintered stone worktops tend to be slightly pricier than Quartz ones per square foot. However, they do land in the same price bracket. Feel free to contact us for a quote!
Both worktops are typically durable. Sintered Stone typically wins in this department because they have a higher resistance to heat than Quartz Worktops. That said, both are resistant to scratches, stains, and impact.
This is where decisions can be tough, when two products are so similar, it is often the aesthetic appeal that can be the decision maker. So, let’s break down the main differences.
- Sintered Stone: These worktops tend to have a more natural look of real stone, as they are made from more natural materials. The range is expanding as the popularity of material increases and the range includes some truly stunning sintered stone colours and designs.
- Quartz: Because these worktops are made from a combination of stone, resins, and most notably pigments, the colour can be customised and controlled. Quartz is also the most popular type of stone material which has resulted in a large number of manufacturers creating the material. This in turn has led to a seemingly endless array of colour options on offer to the customer.
If you are looking for an exact colour aesthetic, or would like more control over the pattern consistency, quartz may be the best choice because of the wide range of colours on offer.
The area that you want to install your worktop may impact whether you should choose quartz or sintered stone worktops.
Inside Use: If you plan to install the worktops in an indoor kitchen, both materials are great options. Both materials are hygienic and non-porous with no need for sealing.
Outside Use: If you are instead looking to install an outdoor kitchen, sintered stone countertops are the better choice, due to their UV resistant nature. Sintered stone will not fade or damage from sunlight exposure. Quartz on the other hand should not be installed in areas that will be under direct sunlight. If you want to use quartz worktops outside, make sure there is cover protecting it.
Sintered Stone typically has a longer lifespan than Quartz worktops. However, this does depend on various factors but most importantly, brand and quality.
- Quartz Worktops: These typically have a lifespan of up to 15 years, but it is not uncommon for good-quality worktops to last longer than 20 years.
- Sintered Stone Worktops: If you take care of your worktop, it should last approximately 25 years.
It is essential to note that these are rough estimates and it is important to take good care of your worktop.
Even though both Sintered Stone and Quartz worktops are relatively low maintenance, you can increase their longevity and aesthetic appeal with routine care. Here are 5 easy-to-follow tips:
- Avoid harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals like Oven Cleaner, and instead opt for something made specially for cleaning worktops.
- Clean regularly: In most cases, routinely cleaning your worktop is fine, however, it is advised to immediately wipe any acidic materials, chlorides, and salts.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge: Never clean your worktop with steel wool or even hard bristles.
- Use Cutting Boards: While both worktops are scratch-resistant, it is best not to use a knife directly on the worktop. Instead, try to use a cutting board when you can.
- Call a professional: If you do manage to damage the worktop, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and/or call a professional to repair any damage.
Sintered Stone Vs Quartz Worktops: Which is Better?
Determining which of these two worktops is best can be tricky. See, they both offer so much versatility. If price is not a consideration, Sintered Stone might be your best choice. However, if you want more control over the aesthetic look of your worktop, Quartz is the winner. If you want to install an outdoor kitchen, sintered stone is the better choice, however if your kitchen will be inside, both options work just as well. Overall both materials are great choices and you should weigh up the pros and cons of each material as well as your individual needs.
Here are some frequently asked questions about sintered stone and quartz.
Does Sintered Stone Crack Easily?
No, a good quality Sintered Stone worktop will not easily crack. If the product does crack it will typically be during the manufacturing process due to improper handling. However, if not installed properly, the countertop could be left without adequate support and this could cause cracking.
What Countertop is Better Than Quartz?
Quartz worktops are durable and have a long lifespan, however, Sintered Stone and Granite are two materials that tend to outperform Quartz.
As you can see, although quite similar, sintered stone and quartz have some important differences that make them unique.
At Paramount Stone Specialists, we specialise in fabricating both quartz and sintered stone worktops. Don’t worry if you are still confused between the two materials. We offer complimentary consultations where we explain everything you need to know and give our recommendation based on your individual needs.