Counter tops are one of the most important parts of any kitchen. There are many materials that can be used in the manufacture of counter tops, like granite, marble and silestone. One of the most environmentally sensitive materials used for kitchen counter tops today is silestone.
Silestone is manufactured in Spain and is used mainly in European countries and the USA. Silestone is made of 94% quartz and the remaining six percent comes from natural, disposable, maintenance free materials. Silestone is a product that is a special combination of polymer resin, quartz, color pigments and glass. It is the only quartz surface that uses Microban active antibacterial protection.
Silestone Counter Tops are popular for use in hospitals, aged care, hotel receptions, retail fit outs and in kitchen and bathroom use. It can be used for walls, floors, splash backs or work tops and is a Green guard certified product.
The benefit of the Microban antibacterial protection that is built into silestone during its manufacturing process is that the surface does not wear or wash off even after prolonged and continuous usage. You get life long protection with a silestone surface. The Microban in the silestone counter top inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria like e-coli and listeria, which can cause food poisoning. You get a much cleaner, healthier, environment with silestone counter tops.
The structure of silestone gives it the hardness and strength of granite with the natural, textured, good looks found in marble and limestone. Silestone is scratch resistant, heat resistant and stain resistant. This makes it relatively maintenance free for use in the kitchen as it can withstand all the stains and scratches that may be caused by using the surface directly when cooking. To get an even longer life from your silestone counter tops, however, it is recommended you do not place very hot containers directly on the silestone work top. Place a stand in between the container and the silestone counter top and use a chopping board for cutting.
Silestone is a product that is produced under extreme heat and pressure to make the end product similar to volcanic rock and diamonds. This is why silestone is a very tough material. If you need a tough, durable surface, silestone is the right choice for your home or business. It comes in three thicknesses; 12 mm (½ inch), 20 mm (¾ inch), and 30 mm (1 ¼ inch) and in different slab sizes like 3080mm (10 feet) x 1380mm (4 ½ feet) or half slabs of dimensions 3080 mm (10 feet) x 690 mm (2 ¼ feet). Silestone can be used for multiple purposes with minimum wastage.
Silestone slabs come in multiple colors, over 40, from the white of Blanco Zeus to the cosmopolitan style of Azul Electra. You need not worry about color consistency of the slabs as the color and patterns are consistent in all silestone slabs.
You can cook without worrying with a silestone counter top because, besides being heat and scratch resistant, it is 100% acid resistant. This means you can use acid based cooking ingredients on it like cola, lemon and vinegar. Silestone counter tops are basically maintenance free with no sealers or special cleaners being needed to clean it. A little soapy water and your silestone counter top will look as clean as it was when you bought it. Do not, however, use a steel scourer to clean silestone counter tops. Use neutral soap diluted in water and a damp cloth or plastic scourer.
You need not worry about any damage that, though unlikely, may occur with your silestone counter top as it has a ten year warranty.
When using silestone counter tops, there is no need to seal it before using it because silestone is non porous and needs no sealing. This makes it a maintenance free surface for your kitchen. If you are particular about edge profiles for your counter tops you can use any profile as the manufacturing methods of all silestone counter tops are basically the same.
Silestone counter tops are available in two finishes; polished slabs and leather slabs. It is up to you to choose the right finish to suit your needs. You could use the polished slabs for walls or counter tops but it would probably not be good for floors as it is very slippery when polished. There is a higher risk of accidents occurring at home with slippery floors; especially in the kitchen where there is a higher incidence of spillages.