Silestone is a proprietary brand of compound boards widely used for countertops as well as floors and wall cladding. It is made of 94% quartz, a mineral that is present in many naturally occurring compounds, including granite.
Pure quartz is a colorless mineral made up of crystallized silicon dioxide, although impurities may lend it some color. It is what gives granite its durability, resilience, and resistance to acids. However, granite usually contains only about 20% quartz, with about 65% feldspar and the remaining 15% horneblend and mica, so it is much less durable than Silestone.
In addition, the technology behind Silestone manufacturing augments the natural properties of quartz. This includes the addition of polyester resin to enhance elasticity, and the vibrocompression system used in production.
Because it is an engineered product, it can be made in a variety of colors and textures. Silestone has more than 60 color variations and 3 textures from which to choose. The available textures are polished, matte, and extra rugged, and the choice will depend on where it will be used and for what. A kitchen countertop, for example, can be a highly polished white while the splash guards may be a more colorful matte. For wall cladding, an extra-rugged texture in dark colors may be more appropriate. This makes it very versatile and responsive to different needs and purposes.
A major concern for many homeowners with natural stones is the possibility that it may be a breeding ground for bacteria. While careful sealing and regular cleaning makes this unlikely for granite and marble countertops, Silestone guarantees it with their use of silver ions. It has incorporated bacteriostatic protection in all their boards using a formula that prevents bacteria from propagating. This is a distinct advantage when it comes to kitchen worktops and bathroom surfaces.
As mentioned earlier, Silestone is made up of 94% quartz, which makes it much more impact and scratch resistant than any natural stone. For the homeowner, this means less maintenance, fewer repairs, and more freedom in moving around the kitchen when handling pots and pans, as well as placing ceramic and other silica-containing objects on surfaces around the home. You will never have to worry that guests will spill their wine and leave an indelible mark on your countertop.
Homeowners no longer have to worry about spilling lemon juice or coffee on their precious marble or granite countertops, because Silestone is resistant to both acids, oils, and other stains. It is completely non-porous, so it appropriate for use in any part of the house. It does not react to chemical cleaners, and does not require special products to keep it clean. There is also no need to seal Silestone countertops, so that is a big plus.
Silestone guarantees the quality of all their products for 25 years. They offer a certified transferable warranty in writing, which means that even if you sell your home, the warranty is applicable to the new owners, affording them the same protection you got. This is a major selling point, increasing the value of your home.
Even if you do not intend to sell your home, you have the comfort of knowing that your investment is covered for 25 years. No other company offers such warranties for their countertops.
The choice in materials for your countertop depends on what you want. Many homeowners prefer natural stone despite its drawbacks. Silestone costs about the same or even less than granite and marble per square foot, so cost is not the deciding factor. The only thing working against Silestone (which also happens to be the reason it is such an excellent product functionally) is that it is manufactured, so it does not have that look and feel of natural stone. For some homeowners, that is not acceptable.
However, for the more practical homeowner who wants low maintenance countertops but is not willing to sacrifice quality, Silestone is the best option. Its durability, resilience and hygienic properties put it on the top drawer for kitchen and bathroom countertops. The savings alone on maintenance, repairs, and resealing is enough to justify the investment.
The choice is really up to you. After all, you are the one who will be using it on a regular basis, so you have to love it. Keep an open mind and weigh the pros and cons of the available materials. Remember that just because Silestone countertops are manufactured does not mean they are not esthetically pleasing. Before you rush into judgment, take the time to look over the choices that Silestone has to offer. You might be surprised.