Owning solid surfaces in your home is key. You need reliability and assurance that the kitchen worktops will survive the daily perils of cooking & potential wear and tear.
Now, there are cheap worktops you can purchase such as laminate worktops or wood worktops. The problem is – will they survive the ordeals?
On average, an oak worktop or laminate worktop in a good condition lasts between 4-6 years. Unfortunately after that, they either stain, warp or crack, rendering them unhygienic and generally unsightly.
The ideal choice for kitchen worktops is of course engineered stone, like quartz worktops. It’s immensely durable, resistant to scratching, staining, splitting or chipping. But beyond everything, its longevity surpasses any other worktop material.
Unfortunately not as many people opt for quartz worktops, under the assumption that these quartz surfaces are very expensive. This really isn’t the case, and in this article we will show that by spending a little more, you can guarantee yourself timeless, ultra resistant worktops.
Why quartz worktops direct can be purchased at a great price:
An average kitchen quartz worktop project will set you back around £2-2.5k with installation. Now, this may seem a lot, however oak, laminate or general wood worktops aren’t much cheaper. For any of those, you’re looking at around £1.5-2k, but once again, you’re purchasing an inferior product.
Cheap quartz worktops can be purchased, if you select the right manufacturer (we’ll provide links below). As we show above, for merely £500 more, you guarantee yourself a stunning piece of stone, that can be selected in any colour possible, for any kitchen environment. But above all, the longevity and quality are the two aspects that really matter here.
What is quartz and what can it be used for?
Quartzite or quartzogranite, or quartzite conglomerate, is a processed natural stone, formed by combining sand with pigment and resin. This material gives the possibility of arranging any shape, which, with the gloss of the material, gives the created surface a characteristic and interesting final effect. The objects are very resistant to any mechanical damage, which makes quartzite particularly suitable as a material for kitchen, bathroom or laboratory worktops, window sills or large-format surfaces.
What distinguishes quartz worktops from granite worktops?
Quartz worktops are also made from stone i.e. from natural quartz that is ground to a powder and then blended with a mixture of resins, anti-porous agents, pigments etc. It’s a formula that creates almost indestructible material. As with granite, it really takes a lot of force to bring a quartz worktop any harm.
So why bother with quartz? What makes it stand out above granite?
First of all, the choice is much wider. Granite and marble are natural, quarried stones. Whatever is found in the nature, is what you get. Take Blue Pearl, Absolute Black or Shivakashi, for example. Quartz is man made, therefore its properties and colours can be fully manipulated. It’s no surprise that there are currently only 50-60 granite colours availabel on the market (and that number is dwindling), whereas there are 500+ different quartz products. All different, all containing their own nuances. Best of all, each year a stone brand like CRL quartz, Silestone, Fugen Stone, Compac, Nile Stone or Cimstone produce brand-new products.
No water absorption
A characteristic feature of quartz is also that it’s a non-porous and smooth surface. Thus, in addition to high resistance to damage and moisture, it is easy to maintain and clean, as we will thoroughly highlight below. Granite is quite porous – not as much as wood, but at the end of the day, it is stone, therefore it does absorb all liquids. That’s why it’s always recommended to have your granite sealed with a special water-repellent agent.
As for the similarities between the two stones . . .
Not everyone knows that quartz conglomerate and granite are characterised by high flexibility, which allows them to be used even for very large projects. Contrary to common belief, stone can be tailored to virtually any surface. And it’s elegant: a seamless connection with other elements of equipment, such as sinks or windowsills can be made.
At the same time, the material is universal – it suits many interiors, from modern to traditional and any background colours. Which additionally translates into its versatility. It’s no surprise that this stone is utilised across numerous applications (worktops, stairs cladding, bathroom cladding, windowsills etc) and embedded into vast room arrangements.
A worktop in the kitchen has many practical functions, so it is important to choose the right type of worktop to fit not only aesthetically with the rest of the furniture, but also to be durable and functional while performing daily kitchen activities.
One of the best choices in this case are quartz kitchen worktops, which are very resistant to high temperature, mechanical damage, discoloration and scratches. Additionally, quartz kitchen worktops are characterized by low porosity, so they do not absorb water and do not need frequent maintenance or impregnation.
Why a quartz worktop is better than laminate worktops?
We have done some research regarding kitchen worktop types prior to undertaking this subject. We want to ensure that we provide you reliable, kitchen worktop data.
10 members of our friends and family (5 of which have quartz kitchen worktops UK, and the other 5 own laminate tops) were asked what they think of their current solid surface worktops.
The perceptions of Laminate Worktops:
It’s no surprise that those who had laminate worktops were a little unimpressed, to say the least. One couple claimed to have had new worktops installed merely weeks ago, yet they have already noticed them develop blotches were some staining occurred.
There was one person who instantly said they were meaning to purchase a quartz worktop, as their current, wooden counterpart was splitting in places and even rotting near the sink.
The rest were more ambivalent, however they said that these tops can scratch easily, and if they knew that for £500 more they could have purchased the hard wearing quartz or granite worktops, they would have done that to begin with.
And this is the purpose of this article: to provide insight and educate new-home buyers and decorators about the possibilities, key benefits and downsides of many kitchen design solutions.
The perceptions of quartz and granite worktops:
On the other hand, the owners of quartz surfaces were overwhelmingly impressed with their natural stone or man made stone.
They especially praised how low maintenance these new kitchen tops are. Since the surface of the stone is polished and shiny, all it takes is a mild soap, a bit of warm water, damp cloth and a wipe to get any grime away. No unnecessary scrubbing, as with the case of laminate or wood.
Two people have had their quartz countertops for over 8 years and they said their condition has stayed immaculate over the years. No discolouration, staining and unmatched scratch resistant quality. Of course, the topic of easy maintenance of these work surfaces was discussed.
Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t do to well with the heat. So the four quartz owners could not boast about their heat resistant properties. Meanwhile, the one granite marble worktops owner did say he constantly cooks with building pans and uses his highly resistant worktop without chopping boards. He’s discovered no damage since. Imagine trying that on a wooden worktop…
So, are quartz worktops worth it?
Of course. Our little survey above conveyed that for not much more investment, people prefer to have a reliable, long-lasting product. And unlike the wooden, plastic (Corian), or processed (Laminated) worktops, quartz worktops actually guarantee that reliability. Once again, compared to the inferior ‘cheaper’ types, quartz worktops are:
- heat resistant,
- hard wearing,
- scratch resistant,
- non porous,
- low maintenance
- high variety of choice
Let’s delve into Quartz Worktops Benefits a bit more . . .
Advantages of quartz kitchen worktops
A we already mentioned above, thanks to their elegant appearance, comparable quality and durability, quartz conglomerate tops are a very good alternative to wood-based worktops.
Heat & scratch resistant qualities
Quartz kitchen worktops aren’t heat proof, but can handle hot temperatures of plates, pans and over tray far better than wood. All stone worktops, whether it be quartz kitchen worktops, granite or ceramic are essentially scratch-proof and not susceptible to mechanical damage. It would take a hefty slam of a hammer to chip quartz. But even if something happens of that kind – a natural quartz worktop is easy to grind, fill in and repair. This cannot be said for wood or laminate.
Zero porosity and low maintenance
Cleaning up after making a roast dinner can be tiring, right? If you despise the job, then quartz kitchen worktops are the perfect choice! We assure you that thanks to their smooth texture, their cleaning will not take too long. A conglomerate worktop does not discolour either and because of the rigid strength and structure, it does not split or crack, unlike wood, therefore it remains a hygienic surface that cannot be penetrated by grime, foor particles or bacteria.
The immense amount of colour options
Do you love unusual solutions? Do you want to bring more colour into your kitchen? You can bet on quartz kitchen worktops to turn your kitchen into a vibrant, radiant space.
Conglomerate tops are available in a wide range of colours. You are free to opt for something pure white, marble effect, plain black or in mirror chip style.
Advanced processing and material flexibility
Thanks to its fairly ductile structure, which allows for easy processing, the manufacturers can easily form a quartz slab into the shape of your choice. Thanks to the fact that the joins are almost seamless, it makes quartz an excellent material for cladding larger surfaces, e.g. worktops, kitchen islands, flooring, or even cladding in the bathroom.
Take advantage of the offcuts
It’s also worth mentioning that when a quartz slab or any other natural stone will be ordered for your worktop project, you’ll be able to utilise that leftover material for a windowsill, chopping board, splashback or some other mini-project.
This is important as the material is essentially yours – you might only need to cover some manufacturing and fitting costs. You don’t get this with wood or laminate, as these products don’t always fit on a windowsill, dining table or coffee table. Quartz does, and since it isn’t porous, it can be utilised for outside projects, such as your garden table or BBQ top.
Where can you purchase the best Quartz Worktops for sale in UK?
As with everything, we did some research regarding UK companies that can deliver & install stone worktops, as well as provide a high quality service, with a high percentage of satisfaction. We found one candidate, a family-based manufacturer in the north west of England, in Manchester.
Dealing with the manufacturing, delivery and installation of granite & quartz worktops are Polish Granite LTD. Their quartz kitchen worktops can be ordered by anyone across the UK and they can fit in a turnaround of 7 days from the date of templating.
We know they are reliable as we have thoroughly researched their reviews. On Google alone they have over 50 5-star reviews, which is a very impressive amount. Most reviews speak of the high range of samples, unparalleled when it comes to any other showrooms. Anything from CRL quartz, White Storm, Negro Tebas or Eternal Marfil, or of course the classic Calacatta or Carrara quartz colours. Their shelves are neatly displayed and the showroom is very spacious and modern.
Why else would we recommend this granite supplier?
They source and order their quartz slabs only from trusted, certified companies like Levantina, Fugen Stone, CRL, Cimstone, Silestone and many others. Therefore the knowledge that you’ll be getting a trustworthy, long-lasting product is guaranteed. None of the cheap knock-off products.
A lot of the reviews speak of the professional craftsmanship, the friendly service (in and out of the showroom) but above all an absolute pristine installation, with immaculate precision that leaves no questions or concerns.
Last but not least, they are still a family-based company, therefore they hold that customer-comes-first ethos very highly. You are free to contact them at any time of the day, regarding any enquiry. Their prices are also very reasonable. The £2k estimate for kitchen worktops can be only feasible with honest companies like Polish Granite, who do not exaggerate their prices, and want to provide an transparent, affordable service, from start to finish.
‘Do they sell quartz worktops near me?’
Just to clarify, their showroom is located only in Manchester and Preston. These are areas available to all from Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire or Derbyshire in an under 1hr distance.
However, please remember that they provide a worktop service to all across the UK – regardless if you’re located in Wales, Scotland or London. You might not be able to explore their showroom if you’re located that far away, however you can always browse via their colour collection on their website, which we linked above. Their website is also filled with many articles, a gallery of past and present projects, and even further testimonials.