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Quartz countertops - what to choose?

(14 Posts)
NotCitrus Fri 19-Feb-16 19:14:51

Hello kitchen experts. We've built our own kitchen and finally need to get the stretches of countertop ordered and installed - getting it to look good is beyond our expertise!

We want probably some sort of dark grey, possibly glittery, and as low-maintenance as possible - other than a cleaner once a fortnight it will get knocked, bashed,spills left, hot pans on it, etc. Budget is flexible and wants better than cheap laminate-on-chipboard, but sadly wouldn't run to recycled glass or similar.

MN wisdom seems split as to whether granite is low-maintenance or not. The obvious solution would be quartz of some sort but having been to the local quartz countertop shop, I'm not confident they have a clue as when I asked what the difference was between quartz, Silestone, Ambistone, and a dozen others, I was told only the price and the colour - what is the point of more expensive ones then? And what questions do I need to ask of a fitter? It will go round a sink and a couple corners.

Many thanks for any advice - I'm in south London if anyone can recommend a good small firm to use.

Chapsie Fri 19-Feb-16 22:12:03

I went round in circles on this exact matter re Quartz. In the end I settled for black shiny granite and it is great. Hard wearing and cleans up beautifully. I have a water softener so no marks really.

NotCitrus Fri 19-Feb-16 23:51:32

I heard you shouldn't put hot pans on granite? And crockery smashes really easily on it? Otherwise I'd be up for granite - there's lots of local installers. Our water is hard as nails, too.

Any idea if there is difference between all the quartzy surfaces like Corian, silestone, etc?

NotCitrus Fri 19-Feb-16 23:53:32

Also Chapsie how did cost of granite compare to quartz? We'll need about 12 metres with a hob and sink inserted...

zgaze Sat 20-Feb-16 00:07:23

The MD of one of the big 'names' of quartz told me at a trade show that there was no discernible difference in the quality of all the available quartzes when they're being used in a household setting, the only difference is how much the companies spend on marketing. I expect he was speaking off the record grin

I went for Samsung Radianz just because I got an unbelievably good price for what I wanted, v pleased with it.

NotCitrus Sat 20-Feb-16 10:35:52

Heh zgaze! I can believe it, though some come thicker than others.

Trying to decide if we want some countertop going 4 inches up the wall, or if that will look terribly 90s suburbs...

Chapsie Sat 20-Feb-16 11:48:04

Re prices - I found the quartz very complicated as each colour seemed in a different price bracket and then the different makes too. Perhaps choose colour and then see if it is affordable?
Re hot pans - I'd never put them on any worktop. I tend to put the pan on the hob or a metal trivet thing which cost me £5 from ikea.
I have granite upstands too and it looks v. Smart smile

MiaowTheCat Sat 20-Feb-16 11:53:53

Just on the glittery thing - I've got quartz look laminate (we're poor) and I love love love the glittery flecks through it - you just get random sparkles of different coloured light as you move around the kitchen.

DD1 picked it based on the fact it looked like it had been dusted with pixie dust (3 year old interior design logic)!

inmyheadimthequeen Sat 20-Feb-16 11:56:17

We have black granite with large flecks in it, can't remember what it cost but it was a lot (big kitchen AND backstands up the wall grin) I seem to recall a lot of the price was in the thickness. You can put hot pans or trays straight out of the oven on it, it doesn't need trivets etc. However, I don't find that it looks very clean a lot of the time, it shows every drop of water so needs polished on top of cleaning. Having said that, Lakeland do a spray called Worktop Wonder, it only needs a tiny bit and makes it gleam like new so if you can be bothered with that, it's gorgeous.

NotCitrus Sun 21-Feb-16 10:44:07

Hmmm - I wonder if some shades of granite might not show up water so much?What does water on granite look like anyway - discoloration or does the hardness show up white?

I physically can't do rubbing, but can and do do some cooking, though it gets a bit messy, and I need to be able to put pots down suddenly and hard. So need to ensure the surface is at least as tough as Ikea laminated chipboard!

limesoda Sun 21-Feb-16 11:19:27

We have had mirrored Quartz in for a sum total of two days so I can't comment on the long term durability, but we have been doing building work alllll weekend around it, setting down coffee cups etc. and marking isn't a problem.

I drove myself mental with research then when I went to a stone merchant ended up choosing what they could do the best deal on. It's lush, and totally perfect for our room.

inmyheadimthequeen Sun 21-Feb-16 11:30:56

Hi the water marks look like white patches if you have hard water but with softer water the surface can look 'smeary' where you have wiped it even though you know it's clean, the marks can catch your eye and take away from the shine of the surface. It's a bit of a first world problem though and you are probably right about different shades of granite, ours is very 'black' with large green/white/clear 'crystals' in; something with a smaller pattern or a greyer surface may not show it so much.

langlandgirl Sun 21-Feb-16 11:33:31

keeping a close eye - i want quartz or probably something with a fine marble look to it. Not quite ready to make a decision!

Jane054848 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:17:22

Probably too late but I just got the exact thing you want from a called northern granite specialists/ granite offers. It's really nice. Lovely sparkly grey silestone. got about 15 quotes and they were the cheapest. Haven't started to use it yet but it looks good!

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