An all-white kitchen looks airy, clean, and modern – but is it possible to get white stone countertops?
The answer is yes and no. All natural stone is formed over millions of years and the multitude of patterns and types is really amazing to behold. There are several types that are considered “white granite” with some of our favorites being White Spring, Ashen White, Super White, Andino White, Persian Pearl and River White.
Each of these granites, as you can see, are largely white with black, grey, or brown flecks in a unique and striking pattern. Many homeowners are thrilled to make these beautiful white granites a focal point in their sleek contemporary kitchens – but for some folks, nothing but pure white will do. Since pure white granite simply doesn’t exist in nature, they’re often frustrated when it comes to designing their contemporary kitchens.
There’s good news for design-savvy homeowners who love all-white decor but don’t want to compromise on quality countertops: numerous stone types are engineered, rather than formed in nature, and several of these can create the pure white countertop you’re seeking. Engineered surfaces even have some advantages over granite, particularly in terms of maintenance.
In St. Louis, we offer several different brands of man-made quartz countertops including Silestone, Caesarstone and Zodiaq. Each of these brands uses a process developed by an Italian company named Breton. This means that all brands of quartz countertops are of similar high quality, but each company has its own patterns and designs and a few unique features.
Quartz countertops are made of 93 to 94% crushed natural quartz mixed with 7% polyester resins – with a few other agents mixed in. They’re equally as hard as granite, resistant to chipping and staining, and they’re non-porous when they’re made which allows you to skip the sealant step.
Silestone is one of the most popular brands of engineered quartz surfaces manufactured in Spain by Cosentino Corporation but it is distinct from other brands of quartz countertops due to what it calls “bacteriostatic” technology. Essentially, Silestone incorporates a silver-based compound into its engineering process. The compound becomes a part of the quartz surface and according to Silestone; the process actively kills any bacteria that comes into contact with your countertops.
It won’t evaporate spills or anything like that but it will keep liquids from seeping into the surface and it is supposed to dissolve bacteria over time. If you have children in the house, that bacteria-resistant property may make Silestone your best choice for quartz countertops.
Silestone is available in 65 unique colors, many of which are various shades and textures of white. For pure whites, check out White Zeus Extreme, Lagoon, and White North – though Lyra and Helix have subtle gray patterns that may appeal. These quartz countertops offer all the non-porous, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant properties that Caesarstone does.
Silestone comes with a certified warranty that lasts for 15 years, which makes it an excellent option if you’re likely to subject your quartz countertops to a lot of wear and tear.
Caesarstone is manufactured in Israel and is one of the first quartz countertop manufacturers to use the patented Breton technology. A wide range of contemporary colors are the specialty of Caesarstone.
They make beautiful quartz surfaces, many of which are varying shades of white with no patterns whatsoever: Blizzard, Organic White, Pure White and Frosty Carina are all good options for the contemporary look. Engineered quartz surfaces like these offer pure white countertop options unlike naturally quarried stones like granite and marble.
Caesarstone also comes with a 15 year residential warranty.
Advantages of Quartz countertops
Quartz countertops are not less expensive when compared with entry to medium level granite colors but they certainly are more affordable than white marbles like Calcutta Premium or whitish natural quartz slabs like Super White, Madreperla or White Macaubus.
Since all quartz countertops like Silestone and Caesarstone are manufactured it becomes easy to procure the exact color and design you prefer. You can procure as much quantity as you need without a change in color or pattern.
Since it is manufactured, each piece looks exactly like the other, which can make it easier to design an all-white kitchen.
Quartz countertops need much less maintenance than natural stones. They come with a 15 year warranty and they do not need sealing at all.
Downsides of Quartz
Though we highly recommend quartz countertops for that sleek modern look, there are a few downsides worth mentioning before you invest in quartz over granite.
Quartz will become discolored if it is consistently exposed to UV light. This isn’t a problem if your kitchen windows are normally closed or if you don’t get a great deal of direct sunlight but if you have large windows that let lots of sunshine into your kitchen, or if you have doors or windows that you frequently leave open to the sun, you may see discoloration over time.
For the same reason, quartz countertops are not recommended for outdoor kitchens or any outdoor application.
If you’re selling a home, you may wish to consider granite countertops simply because they raise the value of a property in a way that quartz countertops do not. While quartz is just as durable and very attractive to look at, it simply isn’t recognized by your average home buyer as readily as the coveted “granite countertops” are and may not be your best choice if you’re hoping to give your home every advantage on the market.
If you are a lover of natural beauty and you love to see the elegance of natural stone with all its natural imperfections, then quartz may not be your choice material.
Otherwise, though, we can recommend quartz wholeheartedly. Arch City Granite & Marble is an approved fabricator and installer of Silestone, Caesarstone and DuPont Zodiaq countertops in St. Louis, Missouri.
If you’re debating the virtues of granite countertops vs. quartz countertops in St. Louis, please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’d be delighted to help you figure out which is the right choice for you.