Engineered Stone / Quartz / Porcelain
We’ve focused thus far on natural stone countertops, however, no list would be complete without giving an honourable mention to Engineered Stone surfaces. Unlike natural stone, these surfaces are specifically designed to be used as countertops, which makes them far superior to stone in many ways. There are also several different types of engineered stone one can consider.
Engineered Quartz, is a very popular choice for countertops, it is made of loose quartz particles bound together with resin. It is harder and more flexible than quartzite, which makes it nearly indestructible, resisting scratching, cracking, and chipping better than any natural stone. Although it is usually white, quartz countertops are available in a variety of colours, and some brands are even made to look like marble.
Quartz countertops cost about the same as quartzite, despite being more durable overall. The one area where quartz countertops are outperformed by quartzite is in heat resistance. The resin in quartz countertops may melt at higher temperatures, so care needs to be taken with hot pots and pans.
Porcelain is probably the oldest of the engineered stone surfaces, and today porcelain is available in nearly every style, colour, and texture that you can imagine. Porcelain is perdurable, and since it is manufactured with extreme heat, it is very heat-resistant as well.
Of course, there are many other surfaces to explore and consider before designing or undergoing a kitchen or bathroom renovation. Soapstone, limestone, travertine, and other types of stone are all viable choices for quality countertops.