One significant aspect of any kitchen remodel is what is the countertop going to be? Two popular choices are Granite and CaesarStone. So what are the differences? What are the pros and cons? We’ve done countless jobs with both materials and would like to give you a little insight into the two products.
Granite is obviously a solid slab of stone. There are countless varieties of granite. Granite differs mostly on where it comes from, chemical makeup, colors, density, porosity, amount of pitting, etc.
CaesarStone is a manufactured product using 93% quartz aggregates and 7% pigments and resin (which bonds the stone together).
Granite comes in countless colors and variations (check out http://www.tropicalstone.com/ for a glimpse of the many choices). Since it is a natural stone, no two are alike. Each slab of granite, even if it is the same kind/name, can look completely different than the next slab.
CaesarStone currently offers 40 variations (http://caesarstoneus.com). The quartz is completely natural, but because it is smaller pieces, with pigments added, and the final product manufactured in a factory, the same color/variation is going to look the same everywhere you see it.
Granite- Although many people don’t realize it, granite is porous and susceptible to staining. Lighter variations are more vulnerable to staining than darker colors because it is more porous. Granite needs to be resealed once a year minimum to help reduce the likelihood of getting stained and prevent it from getting a dull appearance. You also have to watch what cleaner you use on granite because some can counteract the sealer and damage the stone.
CaesarStone is approximately 17 times less porous than Granite and thus virtually stain resistant. There is no need to ever seal CaesarStone and there is no annual maintenance. You can also use any product to wipe the surface.
This category is going to be a direct comparison. CaesarStone is much more crack and break resistant than granite, as it performs over two times better in sudden impact tests and almost four times better in flexural (slow, constant pressure) tests. Both materials are highly scratch resistant.
WarrantyGranite- Warranties for granite are really going to depend on the supplier of the stone and the fabricator of the stone. The majority of the places will offer no warranty on the actual piece of granite itself because it is a natural stone and they cannot guarantee it will be free of defects. Most fabricators will offer a one year warranty on the installation though.
CaesarStone offers a lifetime warranty on its product and installation. The warranty is for residences only and indoor use; they have a different warranty for commercial properties. It also must be installed by a CaesarStone Certified Fabricator, which there is an abundance of.
PriceGranite can range as low as $50 per square foot installed to $150+ easily depending on the variation. Not all granite is equal. As mentioned before there are many variations affecting the quality of granite. Low end often has pits in the surface. Some granite is priced low because that type is so readily available and often the lower end can be more porous and susceptible to stains. The biggest thing is ensuring you have a quality fabricator and installer. Last thing you want is to spend several thousand dollars for a good stone and have the installer permanently mess it up.
CaesarStone typically ranges from $60-98 per square foot installed. The cost difference solely depends on the color/variation you pick. All of CaesarStone is of the same quality with lifetime warranty. With a CaesarStone Certified Fabricator, you are sure to have a good installation since it will be under the company’s warranty.
Of course the final decision is always up to the homeowner. I hope this entry helped shine a little light on the subject and will help you make your decision. Both are good choices and it ultimately comes down to your preferences and what works best for you and your lifestyle. We consistently use both in our kitchen renovations (as well as bath vanities and custom built-ins). Thinking about remodeling? Rissay can always help with both the design and construction of your project. Feel free to e-mail us at [email protected] or call 215-713-0750.