A lot of homeowners are looking for an alternative to Natural Stone, but have problems deciding which material to go with. With countless options in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know that you are making the right decision. We have taken the time to break down the pros and cons of two popular Stone alternatives, and at the end of this article, will decide which material we find to be superior.
What is QUARTZ?
Quartz is a man-made material that is typically made of 10% binder and 90% silica. Not to be confused with a Quartzite – which is a Natural Stone material. Since Quartz is a not a natural product, it is non-porous. But just because it is non-porous, does not mean that it does not stain, chip, or etch. Quartz come in a variety of colours and is suitable for indoor applications.
Up until recently, people were not aware of the harmful affects of silica when grinding and cutting. When the fine powder of silica is inhaled, it can cause a harmful diese called silicosis. When shopping for the right Quartz benchtop, it is important to make sure you select one with little to no silica.
What is GEOLUXE?
Geoluxe is also a man-made product, but it is made from 100% mineral-based materials without any resin. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications, resistant to stains and chemicals, as well as scorch marks and frost resistance. Available in two different finishes, mirror polished and silky honed, and a variety of colours, Geoluxe has a style to suit everyone’s taste.
Geoluxe is a pyrolithic stone and is created with one-of-a-kind vein-through-body effect. It is the only man-made material that achieves a natural vein-through look. Marble connoisseurs from around the world curate the slabs with precious Marble design in mind.
You can buy a Quartz benchtop from anywhere in Australia; it is available from multiple companies in NSW, Queensland, SA, WA, Northern Territory and Tasmania. Geoluxe is only available in NSW and Queensland for now. This makes a Quartz benchtop more easily accessible than a Geoluxe benchtop. However, if you are going to select a quartz benchtop – it is important to do your resource and make sure there is no silica in the slab that you select.
Which can I put in my outdoor BBQ?
Quartz benchtops can not be placed in an area that is unsheltered. The material can’t handle the constant sun exposure and other weather elements. You can place a Quartz benchtop in a covered area or you can purchase a cover to place on the benchtop when you are not using it. Besides the fact that your material will fade and weather easily outdoors, putting this type of engineered stone in the sun creates the glue to go off.
This all seems to be a lot of work when there are amazing alternatives like Geoluxe that can withstand all of the elements of the outdoors without any shelter or cover. Geoluxe won’t fade from the sun and is resistant to frost and heat.
Ultimately, you can technically put both benchtops outdoors, however the Quartz material requires a bit of work and needs to be covered when not being used. If you are going through the effort of re-doing your outdoor space, why would you choose a material that you won’t see 90% of the time?
Which material is best for commercial application?
If you are looking for a material to elevate the look of a bar, restaurant, or ANY commercial application, Geoluxe is your best option. Geoluxe is so heat and stain resistance, that you can even place an induction cook top underneath and cook directly on top of the benchtop. One of the things that makes Geoluxe so amazing is that it won’t crack from extreme changes in temperature.
You could never place a hot pan on a Quartz material, let alone place an induction cooktop undeath and cook on top of the material. The sudden and extreme changes in temperature can create thermal expansion and crack the material.
Which is best in a high traffic area?
Quartz comes in a wider range of colours and finishes than Geoluxe, which can make it more appealing in some areas (depending on your personal preference). However, Geoluxe outperforms Quartz, Porcelain, and Natural Stone in high traffic areas due to its durability. It won’t stain, scuff or loose its luster. If you are placing these slabs on the floor, they simply require routine cleaning.
Which looks more like natural stone?
At the end of the day, both Quartz and Geoluxe slabs are not Natural Stone. They look man-made to those who have an eye for the various materials. If you are wanting the exact look of natural stone, it is best to go with the material you really want. Although natural stone requires a bit more maintenance than man-made materials (including sealing and re-honing), it is worth it for the natural made, stunning feature piece.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about the look of Natural Stone and you are just looking for something that is sleek and requires no maintenance (besides basic routine cleaning), a man-made material is perfect for your application.
Are you still looking for a breakdown in comparison?
Take a look at this chart to get a complete breakdown on look and performance of varying materials: