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  • Writer's pictureYour Kitchen Designer

It's cast in stone

I am often asked which of the main stone worktops is best to choose. It is a difficult question to answer since both granite and quartz make excellent worktops. The ideal kitchen worktop should have a high durability and be low on maintenance and both granite and quartz meet this criteria.

Quartz worktops will provide you with maintenance advantages that nature itself is not able to, while granite requires marginally higher maintenance. However, neither quartz nor granite will disappoint in terms of overall look and style.


Quartz worktops are created from natural quartz, one of the hardest and most commonly found minerals found in the Earth. Small amounts of glass or metallic flecks are added to the mix to create variety, resulting in quite remarkable and attractive worktops. Quartz is is a non-porous material. Its texture and make-up is such that it does not allow bacteria to grow, giving superb hygiene protection in the kitchen. And it's highly resistant against staining and scratching.

Unlike granite, quartz worktops do not need to be sealed.

Apart from its durability quartz comes in a wide variety of colour options which are sure to appeal. The choice is almost endless it seems as new variations are brought to the market with tremendous regularity by the leading manufacturers such as Silestone (Cozentino). Quartz ranges from natural colours such as whites, blacks and browns right through to golds and blues. A quartz worktop will bring character to your kitchen, it offers great hygiene advantages, is highly stain and scratch resistant and looks stunning too. Quartz comes in a polished finish, a matt or satin finish and a suede finish. There are colours and styles to suit just about every kitchen.

In Portugal, Silestone (from Spain) is very popular. Caesarstone and Forest Stone (Portuguese) are also high in the rankings.


Granite is one of the most commonly used materials for worktops. A lot of stone is quarried in Portugal and local products are favoured because they support the local economy and are less costly than imported alternatives. Like quartz, granite is also very resilient. Granite is a natural igneous (volcanic) rock that is cut in its natural state and is then polished for use in kitchens and elsewhere.

Maintenance after use is easy and to prevent staining simply clean granite with warm water and soap to help keep its shine. Avoid spilling (and leaving) red wine, citrus juices, vinegar, curry and similar types of food and drink. If you do, then simply wipe it up and don't leave it to allow the tannin or acid in the spills to eat into through the seal and get into the base rock. Like all rock, granite is porous and will take a stain if the seal is broken. It doesn't happen often and I have seen very, very few incidences of staining on granite worktops. One real stain threat though is the pollen from lilies. Watch out!

Such a strong material is very difficult to scratch and stain and it has a high resistance to temperature changes. Because it is natural stone, granite doesn’t provide as wide of a range of colour options and each slab will be different.

For more information and styl choices contact Kitchens in Portugal.

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