Granite or Quartz?
Your choice can be based on appearance as both have strong inherent characteristics ideal for kitchen or bathroom surfaces. Granite is a natural stone with unique characteristics. Quartz is manufactured and mostly uniform in appearance, however advances in quartz composite manufacturing technology allows for the imitation of marble (with the added benefits of higher scratch and stain resistance compared to real marble).

Granite is the hardest stone we offer however both have fantastic durability and allow for a high, long lasting polish. Both are suitable for direct contact with food and offer stain, impact and scratch resistance, however compared to granite, manufactured composite quartz materials with a high resin content can scratch easier. Granite offers better heat resistance than quartz, which can be scorched by hot saucepans so trivets should be used. Granite is also resistant to UV rays. As with all natural stone, granite is porous until sealed, unlike quartz which is non-porous and so does not require protection from staining.

As for cost, prices from both groups can differ greatly depending on your requirements and personal preferences so no one type can be truly considered the more expensive or cheaper option.
Do I need to seal my natural surface?
Did you know that kitchens are dirtier than most bathrooms? In fact a kitchen worktop has about 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Near the drain there are about 3000 bacteria per square metre, but without nutrients and water, bacteria cannot grow. An impregnating sealer will make your worktop highly water and oil repellent. This doesn’t mean the surface won’t get dirty, but it will impede water and oil based liquids from penetrating into the pores and causing permanent stains, the ones germs cling to, making your worktop easier to clean and more hygienic. We recommend the use of STAIN-PROOF™ Plus. Once sealed, stone still needs to be correctly cared for and spills should be wiped up as soon as possible.

Composite quartz is non-porous but during the manufacturing process when the quartz is being polished, pores are formed on the surface which can fill with particles of dirt. Sometimes that dirt can stick to the pores and may require a good scrub to remove the grime. If these pores are protected with STAIN-PROOF™ Plus, liquids are repelled instead of being drawn into the material, meaning cleaning and maintenance becomes far easier. Tea (with white based quartz in particular) can appear to stain, sticking to the surface if it’s not wiped clean soon after a spill. It can be difficult to remove and if this occurs we recommend the use of Oxy-Klenza™ to form a special sort of poultice. View a video demonstration. QUICK SEAL TESTTo check if your surface is adequately sealed you can carry out the following water test. Place a tablespoon of water on the treated surface for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, soak up the water with a tissue, pressing hard to pick up any liquid within the texture of the surface. If a dark mark remains it means the water has been absorbed into the surface and so more sealer should be applied. DAMP PATCHESDamp patches or moisture build up are sometimes talked about with the granite work surface. The granite should be sealed and then the damp patches will be prevented. If the surface is sealed sufficiently, water will sit on the surface like it would when you apply polish to a car. This way if oil or anything is spilled on the surface the sealant acts as a barrier to protect the surface long enough to allow the spill to be mopped up. The reason why we don't find many issues with granite is that a lot of commonly sold granite has a very dense structure and doesn't allow liquids to penetrate the surface very easily. But not one block of stone has the same absorption as another one therefore we recommend all granite be sealed. SURFACE ETCHINGMaterials that are acid sensitive include marble, limestone, travertine, quartzite and onyx. Dolomite for example, also known as a quartzite Centuras Grey, can easily etch due to its composition. Impregnating sealers will not prevent surface etching. When an acid liquid such as lemon, coffee or cola comes into contact with an acid sensitive material it dissolves the calcium carbonate in the material, leaving physical damage (a rough, dull etch mark) called etching. You should never leave wet trays, cutting boards, bowls, vases or similar on the surface. For example, the water underneath a wet plastic tray or glass will evaporate very slowly, and if left overnight, for days, or weeks might stain the surface.
How should I clean my surface?
For regular cleaning we recommend the use of Rejuvenata™ Spray, at least once a week. Rejuvenata™ Spray is a pH neutral cleaner specially designed for stone worktops. It is food safe, provides a mild, natural citrus scent, and contains a tiny amount of invisible sealer to increase protection.

For cleaning in the simplest form use water and lightly polish with a cloth. Always remove excess water. Granite and quartz friendly cleaners sold in supermarkets are also good for everyday cleaning. Specifically for composite quartz, 'Cif Actifizz' and 'Bar Keepers Friend Power Cream' are effective products to remove stubborn grime. Simply spray on and leave for a minute. Gently scrub with a non-abrasive scourer and then rinse with clean water. Repeat if necessary. Do not use abrasive pads in application of any products.

Surfaces protected with STAIN-PROOF™ Plus repel liquids preventing them from being drawn into the material, meaning cleaning and maintenance becomes far easier.

Quartz is only stain-resistant, not stain-proof. Tea, red wine, pollen in flowers and turmeric can stick to the surface if it’s not wiped clean soon after a spill or contact, especially with white based quartz colours and some very porous granite. It can be difficult to remove and if this occurs we recommend the use of Oxy-Klenza™ to form a special sort of poultice. View a video demonstration. CHEMICAL PRECAUTIONS FOR COMPOSITE QUARTZDo not use under any circumstances Hydrofluoric acid, Dichloromethane or NaOH (caustic soda, paint strippers). For maintenance, do not use bleach or alkaline cleaning products with a greater pH level of 12 as surfaces may lose their sheen if the product remains on the surface for more than 12 hours. Trichloroethylene or Acetone may be used to remove surface stains. After scrubbing, remove the product with clean water.
Do I need a warranty for Quartz?
We pride ourselves in our honesty so the following is something we’d like you to be aware of. Before composite stones became a popular choice for use as worktops in the home, natural stone was the only premium choice for luxury work surfaces. All natural stone is porous and so applying sealer with a warranty is commonplace. In recent years however warranties have been heavily marketed as a selling point for composite stones, but in reality as it is already non-porous, if the stone is cared for correctly and installed professionally, having a warranty in place isn’t essential. Although not essential there are some acknowledged benefits from using a sealer on composite quartz such as easier cleaning and greater hygiene.
What is STAIN-PROOF™ Plus?
STAIN-PROOF™ Plus is an impregnating, invisible and breathable sealer that provides lasting protection to natural stone worktops from damage caused by water, salts and oil based stains. We use it with our STAIN-PROOF™ Protection Warranty making treated worktop surfaces easier to clean, maintain, and look good for longer.STAIN PROOF Plus
Dry-Treat's sealing molecules are 400x smaller than its competitors' and permanently bonds with the material by chemical reaction, providing deep, long lasting protection. Unlike most sealers, STAIN-PROOF™ Plus repels liquids rather than blocking the pores of the stone, allowing air to still move through the pores and the material to breathe naturally, preventing harmful build-up of moisture within the material.Dry-Treat's sealing molecules are 400x smaller than its competitors' and permanently bonds with the material by chemical reaction, providing deep, long lasting protection
This is the best technology available to protect against staining while preserving the look and natural integrity of your surface. Because the pores of your stone remain open, the surface is not immune from staining, but the sealer will give you plenty of time to clean up liquids before they absorb into the pores and stain.
What is a block?
Block is the term used for the large mass of natural stone that slabs are cut from. The largest blocks produce up to fifty 3 cm slabs. The flow of character and movement within a block can be minimal or large dependant on the material. For example, Star Galaxy granite is uniform throughout the block but Cosmic Black granite often changes.Natural Stone Blocks
What is a slab?
Slabs of natural stone (granite, quartzite, limestone, travertine and slate) are cut from the block and often processed on one face to give the desired finish. Slabs vary in size.

Our slabs range between 250 to 350 cm long and between 120 to 205 cm wide (all dimensions are listed with stock). Most slabs are stocked in 3 cm thicknesses, with a smaller amount in 2 cm and a limited amount in 4 cm and 5 cm. The majority have one face polished but we also have some satin / leather and caress finishes available.

Book matching is also possible. This is when opposite faces of slabs from the same block are polished to create a matched appearance. This allows the flow or veins in the material to continue through to the next section of a work surface when larger sizes are needed.Book Matched Viscount White Granite
What is rock?
A typical rock is a mixture of solid chemicals, known as minerals, which are pressed tightly together. If you look closely you can see the separate minerals as grains or small crystals in a rock. Each different mineral is a naturally formed inorganic substance with a particular chemical composition. There are over 4,500 different minerals but only a small number of these are major constituents of rocks. TYPES OF ROCKGeologists can classify almost all rocks into one of three main types, depending on how the rocks form. The types are known as Igneous Rock, Sedimentary Rock and Metamorphic Rock. Over millions of years, each type can slowly change into one of the others in an endless process called the rock cycle. The rock in the Earth’s crust is continually being destroyed and recycled. Rock on the surface is worn down to fragments and eventually settles to become sedimentary rock. Rock underground is melted to form igneous rock, or compressed and cooked, by the heat of molten rock, to form metamorphic rock. Movements in the Earth’s crust force underground rock back to the surface. IGNEOUS ROCKAbout 90 per cent of the rock in the Earth’s crust is igneous. Igneous rocks form when molten rock cools and solidifies. When this happens underground, the molten rock (magma) solidifies slowly giving crystals time to form. The magma becomes a hard, crystalline rock with large grains such as granite. Igneous rock can also form on the Earth’s surface when lava escapes from a volcano. The lava solidifies quickly, especially if it flows into water. It forms with no or very small, visible crystals such as basalt.Sardo Grey Granite SEDIMENTARY ROCKSand, mud, and even the remains of living organisms can all turn into rock. These sediments settle on the sea floor, building up in layers. Over time, deep layers are compressed by the weight of the sediment on top and water seeping through the layers depositing minerals that glue the sediment particles together. As a result the sediment becomes sedimentary rock. Travertine, limestone and sandstone all form this way. The layers are sometimes visible as horizontal bands called strata.Bateig Beige Limestone METAMORPHIC ROCKDeep underground, rock can be subjected to intense heat and pressure. These forces, while not melting the rock outright, can cause minerals to recrystallize in new forms. The result is a hard, crystalline type of rock called metamorphic rock, which frequently has wavy or stripy patterns. Metamorphic rock often forms in mountainous regions, where Earth’s crust is buckling and folding under tremendous pressure. Quartzite, marble and slate are examples of Metamorphic rock.Marron Imperial Marble ROCKS & THE STONE TRADEAs previous explained geologists name a rock according to its mineral composition and the environment in which it formed. The size of the grain is often important too. The stone trade uses just a few of the same names, granite, marble, slate, quartzite, travertine, sandstone and quartzite, but they have very different meanings. GRANITE & THE STONE TRADEGeologists use the term ‘granite’ for igneous rocks that formed within the earth’s crust, which are mainly made up of the minerals quartz, feldspars and mica. But the stone trade defines most hard rocks composed mainly of these silicon minerals as ‘granite’ irrespective of whether the rock is igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary. This means that ‘granites’ in the trade can include metaconglomerates (metamorphosed sedimentary rocks), gneisses (metamorphosed igneous or sedimentary rocks) and basalts (volcanic igneous rocks) as well as true granites. MARBLE & THE STONE TRADEIf a rock is composed mainly of calcite (carbonate mineral) geologists call it a limestone if it is unmetamorphosed and marble if it has been metamorphosed. The stone trade says a rock of this composition is ‘marble’ or ‘limestone’ depending on whether it will take a good polish or not.
What is hardness?
Hardness is one of the most important properties of a mineral. It influences how durable a rock can be and dictates how high a polish it will take. Hardness is measured by comparing minerals with the Mohs scale, which consists of ten standard minerals each harder than the next. The softest is talc and the hardest is diamond. For perspective, a finger nail measures 2.5 on the scale, a copper coin is 3 and a steel knife is 5.5.
1. Talc
2. Gypsum
3. Calcite
4. Fluorite
5. Apatite
6. Orthoclase
7. Quartz
8. Topaz
9. Corundum
10. Diamond
The hardness of the quartz mineral explains why the granite and quartz composites we offer are ideal for use as durable kitchen work surfaces. Harder materials will take and keep more easily, a higher polish. Manufactured composite quartz materials with a high resin content will scratch easier when compared with granite although both offer scratch resistant properties.