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Stronger Than Granite: Phoenix Contractors For Man-Made Stone

Updated on December 28, 2010

There is a time when all good things come to pass. Granite was once the favorite among favorites when it came to home and commercial building. Well known for being highly durable and flaunting beautiful "veins" and "grained" patterns, granite was sought after time and time again by homeowners and building contractors. But today many contractors around the world, including Phoenix contractors, prefer to use man-made engineered stone. And many homeowners are turning their backs on granite as well.

Quartz is the hardest non-precious stone on earth. Engineered stone is composed of more than 90 percent of the stuff, making it one tough cookie.
Quartz is the hardest non-precious stone on earth. Engineered stone is composed of more than 90 percent of the stuff, making it one tough cookie.
Engineered stone comes in many styles, including bright colored varietals. These kitchen counters are not only tough as nails, but give a cool and edgy look to this kitchen.
Engineered stone comes in many styles, including bright colored varietals. These kitchen counters are not only tough as nails, but give a cool and edgy look to this kitchen.
While engineered stone does not totally capture the dynamic veined and grain patterned look of granite, there are many mock-granite varieties.
While engineered stone does not totally capture the dynamic veined and grain patterned look of granite, there are many mock-granite varieties.

Granite Vs. Engineered Stone

There is a new stone in town that is making waves in the Phoenix construction world and abroad. It is, dare I say it, tougher than granite. I know you are asking yourself: how can this be? Well, let me explain. Simply comparing the ratios of each stone's composition clearly shows that engineered stone is the stronger stone. Man-made engineered stone is almost pure muscle, being made up of more than 90 percent quartz--the hardest non-precious stone there is--while granite is only made up of 40-60 percent quartz, the rest is composed of a mixture of soft minerals.

These numbers also show us that man-made engineered stone is far less porous than granite. Being less porous makes it ideal for use in places where homeowners do not want bacteria to foster, like kitchens, bathrooms, and properties where this an abundance of children or elderly citizens. Since engineered stone is less porous it is more heat, scratch, stain, and bacteria resistant. As a matter of fact, cutting against the quartz surface of engineered stone will actually dull your knives so use a cutting board.

Since engineered stone is more durable Phoenix contractors love to work with it. Even though it is quite a bit heavier than granite, it is less likely to crack or scratch during construction. And even though engineered stone is still more expensive than granite, many homeowners are starting to see its long-term benefits. Since it is extremely durable it will last a very long time, it maintains its high-polished luster, and for homeowners with children it is important to them to know that engineered stone is more bacteria resistant.

There are various styles of engineered stone and even more in development. It is made to look like many different forms of natural stone. For example, Arizona granite experts point out that there are versions that are made to resemble marble and granite. However, the mock-granite varieties of engineered stone do not quite capture the look of natural stone, according to Phoenix granite contractors. The patterns in engineered stone do not quite match the distinctive and graceful "beauty marks" that granite is known for. Engineered stone has more consistent patterns and smaller "grains" and typically does not have the dynamic look of granite. There are however many other lovely varieties including those in bright green, red, orange, yellow, or blue colors. There are even matte finishes now available.

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