What is Quartz?
Quartz is one of the hardest minerals found in nature. It is highly abundant and makes up 12% of the earth’s crust. Quartz is extremely durable and resistant to scratches, heat and stains. These properties make it ideal for use in countertops.
Silestone uses ground quartz crystals combined with polyester resins and pigments to create an engineered stone that has the look and feel of natural stone but with enhanced performance. The quartz content gives Silestone surfaces hardness and strength while the resins ensure they are non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains and heat up to 650°F.
Benefits of Silestone Quartz Countertops
Here are some of the key benefits of Silestone quartz countertops:
- Durability: Silestone is highly resistant to scratches, chips, cracks and heat. It can withstand heavy usage in kitchens.
- Low Maintenance: Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to natural stone. No sealing or polishing needed. Just clean with soap and water.
- Stain Resistance: The non-porous surface makes Silestone highly resistant to stains from wine, oil, juice and other liquids.
- Hygienic: The seamless surface inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold. NSF has certified Silestone as safe for food contact.
- Range of colors and finishes: Silestone is available in over 90 colors and 3 finishes – polished, suede and volcanic. Great for matching any decor.
- Integrated sinks: Silestone can be fabricated with integrated sinks for a beautiful, seamless look.
- 15-year commercial warranty: Cosentino offers an industry-leading 15-year warranty for commercial use of Silestone.
How is Silestone Quartz Countertops Made?
Silestone quartz surfaces are made using the popular Bretonstone® technology. Here is a quick overview of the manufacturing process:
- Natural quartz is mined, crushed and ground down into a fine powder.
- The quartz powder is combined with polyester resins, pigments and other proprietary compounds.
- The mixture is compacted under vacuum conditions and vibration to remove air pockets.
- It is then baked at high temperatures to cause the resins to harden into a uniform slab.
- The slab is polished on both sides to achieve the desired finish.
- Slabs are cut to standard countertop sizes or can be custom fabricated.
Popular Silestone Collections
Silestone offers a wide variety of colors and style options. Here are some of their most popular collections:
Silestone Eternal Collection
This collection offers timeless white and neutral tones inspired by natural marble. Popular colors are Blanco Zeus, Calacatta Gold and Classic Calacatta.
Silestone Ocean Collection
Brings the colors and textures of ocean waters into your home. Some bestsellers are Helix, Marengo and Kairos.
Silestone Exclusive Collection
These unique exotic patterns are exclusive to Silestone. Includes award-winning Calacatta Luxe and Calacatta Gold.
Silestone Loft Collection
Industrial style concrete greys and whites for urban loft living. Lyra, Kensho and Brooklyn are top choices.
How to Clean and Care for Silestone Quartz
- For regular cleaning, use a soft cloth or sponge with mild soap and water. Avoid harsh chemicals.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and wipe completely dry to prevent water spots.
- For stubborn stains, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad with mild non-bleach cleaner.
- Avoid exposing the surface to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners etc.
- Heat resistance is excellent but always use hot pads when placing hot pots/pans on the counter.
- Re-sealing is not required but periodic re-application of sealer can help enhance stain resistance.
- Avoid sitting or standing on your Silestone counters to prevent cracks or impact damage.
Proper care as per the manufacturer’s guidelines will help preserve your Silestone countertops for many years. Be sure to clean spills promptly to prevent stubborn staining. With a small amount of maintenance, your quartz counters will continue looking beautiful.
FAQs about Silestone Quartz Countertops
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Silestone quartz:
Q: Is Silestone more expensive than granite?
A: Silestone is competitively priced with natural granite but provides greater durability and lower maintenance. Long-term cost is comparable.
Q: Can you cut directly on Silestone quartz?
A: Yes, Silestone is highly scratch resistant and can withstand cutting and prepping foods on its surface with proper care. Use a cutting board for heavy chopping.
Q: Does Silestone need to be re-sealed periodically?
A: No, Silestone does not require sealing like natural stone. But re-application of sealer can help enhance resistance to oils and stains.
Q: Is Silestone heat resistant?
A: Silestone can withstand heat up to 650°F. However, prolonged direct heat exposure can cause damage. Always use trivets for hot pots and pans.
Q: How thick is a Silestone quartz countertop?
A: Standard thickness is 1 1⁄4 inches but 2 cm and 3 cm options are also available for heavy duty applications.
Q: What are the best uses for Silestone?
A: Kitchen countertops, bathrooms, flooring, fireplace surrounds, walls, outdoor kitchens etc. Its durability makes it suitable for heavy-use residential and commercial projects.
Q: What kind of warranty does Silestone offer?
A: Silestone comes with a 15 year commercial warranty. There is a limited lifetime residential warranty in North America.
Silestone offers the best qualities of natural quartz in an engineered stone that is designed for beauty, longevity and hassle-free maintenance. The range of colors and patterns gives homeowners plenty of design options for creating their dream kitchen or bathroom. With competitive pricing, excellent durability and reliable performance, Silestone has become one of the most popular high-end countertop choices.