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We had a new kitchen installed, supposedly by experts, but the "granite" worktop that was installed is really really fragile. I had expected a granite worktop to be hard and durable, but this is almost not fit for purpose as a kitchen worktop. You only need to put a mug or plate down slightly too hard and it leaves a clear white scratch. I have an off cut and I can easily cut into the surface with a Stanley knife.

As for being marked by liquids, again it is a nightmare. If you don't clean up any spillage straight away, then it is highly likely to leave a mark. I did a test again on the off cut and blackcurrent cordial left on for just 5 minutes was enough to mark it.

I've had dark granite worktops in rented accommodation before and never given it a second thought, and they never marked at all.

This one is apparently called "Bianco perfecto" (it is a light grey, with lots of darker grey veins) and when I spoke to the installers they said it was actually a "quartzite" not a granite. Is this the reason it is so rubbish? We'd have never have gone for a stone worktop if we had known it was so fragile. Would proper granite have been better? Since this is the first time I've been told it was only quartzite and not granite can I get them to replace it?

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What some manufactures call quartz is actually ground granite and epoxy or Silestone. In most cases they are great and don't require sealing like solid granite does. I suspect you may have purchased a bargain brand that is inferior to Silestone or solid granite or good grade Quartzite type. Also, do not confuse Stilestone or similar to real solid quartz which is a granite rich in pure clear or milky quartz.

If you feel you were mislead in your purchase, you could go raise a stink at the retailer. Insist they inspect your counters and make it clear you are not satisfied.

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So it really shouldn't mark this easily then? It wasn't cheap by any measure, so I'm definitely starting to feel ripped off! I don't think it can be man-made though, the veining makes it look like it is real stone (and it as definitely cut from a single large slab). –  Corone Mar 26 '13 at 23:06
    
just for reference, Quartz here goes for $80/square foot, Granite starts around $60/sq foot. maybe they put some lousy sealer on it.? –  shirlock homes Mar 26 '13 at 23:15
    
The way to tell it it comes from a slab is to look very closely at the aggregate. the stone bits will be varied in size with larger patches of feldspar, mica and quartz regardless of color. If there appears to be a lot of sandy, smaller fillers, it is probably a composite. Check your invoice and revisit the specs of the product at the store or online. –  shirlock homes Mar 26 '13 at 23:20
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Almost forgot to mention, look at the bottom of the counter. Real granite will be rough cut with saw marks, dull, not polished, a composite will be quite smooth from the molding process with possible mold marks. –  shirlock homes Mar 26 '13 at 23:30
    
Definitely real stone - has long glass-like veins (some are 10+ mm wide) running right across it and varied pattern of light and darker greys. Also rough on the underneath and I saw a photo of it as a slab before it was cut. Also we were given all the spiel about each piece being unique because it is natural. But given how soft it is - it can't be granite? Is quartzite usually softer? What stone could it be? –  Corone Mar 26 '13 at 23:54
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