The lowdown on Silestone quartz for interiors
Tuesday, 7th May 2013, Lucy Mccoy
Silestone quartz is a unique, beautiful material comprising quartz and binding resins which is used predominantly to create stunning kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities. Its sleek, smooth countenance gives any home a modern, sophisticated and timeless look.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, here's a brief guide to Silestone quartz:
What is it?
Silestone is one of the leading natural quartz surface brands. It is created by combining natural quartz - one of the world's toughest materials - with a highly viscous polyester resin in a process called vibrocompression. The composite material contains 94 per cent quartz, so you can imagine just how hard it must be.
Benefits of Silestone quartz
On the subject of strength, natural quartz is one of the hardest substances on earth. It ranks seven out of ten on the Mohs hardness scale (where diamond ranks ten). Therefore it is a highly resistant and hard-wearing material which will last a long time - so long, in fact, that Silestone offers a ten year warranty on its product.
The polyester resin provides Silestone quartz with a flexibility that is four times that exhibited by granite, thus it is not only durable, but is far less likely to chip, scratch or crack.
Additionally, it is non-porous and features a built-in, non-fade anti-microbial protection. As it is non-porous, Silestone quartz will not stain, absorb odours nor harbour germs. It is extremely easy to clean and maintenance free - one of its biggest selling points.
For those of an environmentally-conscious disposition, Silestone has been certified as a 'low-emitting product', one which does not generate any harmful substances. It has also received accolades in recognition of its hygienic qualities, proving it's a safe material for use in schools and the food industry.
Kitchen - As made clear above, this material is ultra-clean and worktops shouldn't feel the effects of daily culinary tasks: chopping, dropping, cutting or spilling. What's even better is that it is scorch-resistant. While the manufacturers advise that hot pans and plates are not placed directly on the surface, Silestone quartz can withstand a limited exposure to high heats.
Bathroom - The smooth and non-porous qualities of Silestone quartz make it the perfect material for the bathroom, making a practical and beautiful alternative to tiles. It can be formed into any shape, thus is ideal for shower walls, bathtub surrounds, vanity units and sink splash-backs.
Not just countertops - The versatility of Silestone quartz means that it can be used on floors, as stunning table or desk tops and even fireplace surrounds. It's possible to incorporate this tactile and brilliant material into every room in the house, if so desired.
Colours and textures
Unlike many of its lesser rivals, this material is available in over fifty colours, though picking between them might take some time. For example, it's possible to choose from 'steel', 'zirconium' and 'white platinum' for a neutral, stylish finish, or the more jaunty 'verde fun', 'magenta energy' or 'naranja cool' for a bright and modern feel. The range is quite considerable and it's also possible to have handles and drawer knobs made up to match.
That's not all, though. Silestone quartz also comes in two finishes: smooth, which is highly polished, or leather, providing softly textured matt sheen. Both offer a completely different feel but are equally stunning.
This is a tricky question, as it depends on finish, design and quantity. That said, experts says Silestone quartz costs hover in line with granite. However, with the benefit of being long-lasting and timeless, it has the potential to be a wise investment.