With every new construction or remodeling project, there is an almost endless number of decisions and choices to make. For residential kitchens and bathrooms and many commercial projects, the choice of countertops and surfaces is perhaps the most important choice you’ll have to make. It probably seems overwhelming. If you’ve narrowed your countertop surface choices down to natural stone or engineered quartz, there are some important considerations before making your final decision. Let’s weigh some pros and cons to help you make the right decision for your project.
- Durability: This is often one of the most important factors in choosing a countertop surface. Lucciare proprietary surfaces are objectively more durable than natural stone and require minimal maintenance. Once it is installed, you’re basically done. Arguably the biggest benefit of quartz is that it doesn’t need to be sealed and it won’t stain. Quartz countertops can handle oil, tomato, wine, coffee, juice and many other stainable products. Plus, quartz doesn’t hold viruses or bacteria, so you know that your countertops will be clean and safe when you wipe them down. The one slight advantage granite and natural stone have over quartz surfacing is their ability to withstand higher temperatures. However, it is very important to remain aware that it is not recommended to place very hot pots and pans on either surface. Hot pots and pans off the stove or out of the oven, for example, should be placed on a hot plate, trivet or cutting board – not directly on the quartz countertop surface.
- Maintenance: It’s pretty simple actually; quartz countertops require virtually NO maintenance. Simply clean the Lucciare surface with approved non-bleach and non-abrasive cleaners. Lucciare Surfaces is much more resistant to viruses and bacteria than natural stone since Lucciare is non-porous. Natural Stone requires regular vigilance to maintain and keep sealed; its daily cleaning and use tend to make it vulnerable overtime and substances such as wine, tomato sauce greases, oils and hard water can leave stains and rings if not cleaned up immediately. If the natural stone surface becomes vulnerable, these staining agents may become extremely difficult if not impossible to remove. This is why it is recommended to reseal and re-protect your natural stone surface at least twice per year, if not more, depending on wear and tear. This requires time, money and risk for the life of the product, which is absolutely no concern at all with Lucciare Surfaces.
Although Lucciare Surfaces are non-porous, we do recommend that all food, oils, and spills etc., are thoroughly cleaned within a couple hours or less when occasioned on the Lucciare countertop surface.
Please refer to our Care and Maintenance section for instructions.
- Cost: Yes, quartz countertops can be more expensive than natural stone on a cost-per-square-foot basis because of the quality controls and unique design elements—from $50-$120 on average vs. $35-$75 for granite and up to $100 for marble. But this initial, slightly premium cost of quartz countertops is quickly offset by savings realized from maintenance costs that are almost $0. Natural stone must be maintained with a minimum of twice-annual application of sealants to protect the porous surface from staining and discoloration. Plus, the peace of mind from knowing your quartz countertops will never stain is priceless.
- Environmental concerns: Lucciare countertops are made primarily of natural, recycled crushed quartz. Our surfaces are fabricated from 90% recycled materials, which means there is virtually NO waste. Not only can you feel good about the quartz countertop’s performance, you can also feel good about its environmentally friendly and sustainable fabrication process. It’s a win-win.
- Aesthetics: Lucciare proprietary surfaces look like they were quarried directly from the exquisite mountains of Italy – as natural as Mother Nature’s creations; and that’s the whole point. Over the last decade, there has been a vast increase in the breadth of quartz aesthetics available; and arguably now, almost as many as natural stone options. However, Lucciare has become the global leader in authentic recreation of the finest marbles and natural stones from around the world. From highly-veined, brilliant white Calacatta and Statuario marbles to the more ruggedly elegant custom look of poured concrete, die hard natural stone fans will begrudgingly admit that it’s almost impossible to tell Lucciare Surfaces apart from the finest stones quarried in Carrara, Italy.
There really are no wrong choices between engineered surfaces and natural stone like granite or marble. All are beautiful, natural products that are sure to enhance any environment or application. The choice really depends on personal preference and what surface works best for your unique application. All things being more or less equal like aesthetics, cost, and environmental concerns, quartz countertops have a slight advantage over natural stone countertops due to their super-easy maintenance and durability. If a natural, easy-to-care-for surface is what you are looking for, then Lucciare proprietary surfaces are the right choice for you.