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I just bought a house, that came with granite counter tops. I was doing some research on it and noticed that Silestone looks exactly like granite.

I don't know for sure if my counter tops are indeed granite. Is there a way i can find out without causing damage to the material?

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post a pic or the top surface and bottom surface –  mohlsen Jan 31 '11 at 16:27
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are some distinct differences between Silestone and natural granite. Granite is cut from slabs and always has some color and patterning differences if you look closely. Also, if you can see the bottom of the slab at some point under the counter top, you will see the machine marks (groves) made during the cutting process. Silestone on the other hand is man made from granite chips and resins. A close look will not show the longer natural strands or runs and irregular shapes of solid colors as in natural solid cut stone. Silestone tends to be a bit more homogeneous in its overall color mix, especially seen on larger pieces.

Practically speaking, natural granite is a bit more porous that Silestone, and needs to be sealed occasionally to keep contaminates out of the tiny pores. Silestone is manufactured to be extremely smooth and non-porous and does not require sealing.

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Silestone is actually quartz chips, not granite. –  Mike Powell Jan 31 '11 at 15:45
    
most granite sold these days has the sealer built into it and never needs to be resealed. This process has been around for a while, but became common in the last 2-3 years. –  mohlsen Jan 31 '11 at 16:27
    
Sorry Mike, granite chips are the most common. Quartz, feldspar and mica. They are all in many styles of Silestone. –  shirlock homes Jan 31 '11 at 23:51
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We just had some Zodiaq countertops installed, which are quartz aggregate just like Silestone. If you look obliquely at a bright reflection in the polished surface, you can just see the edges of each piece of quartz aggregate. I don't know for sure if this is something you wouldn't ever find in granite, but to me it seems like a pretty unique look.

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