Merry Christmas

I wish all my readers and everyone who has supported me on this project a Merry Christmas. This time of year is slow in the stone business, so lets take a few days to relax and gain strength for the upcoming year. I have new posts planned. Hope you enjoyed this blog so far.
Thank you.


Silestone Microban

Silestone microban as I mentioned in prior a post, rumours are not confirmed. Although Silestone microban publicity has disappeared from the market. The anti-bacteria was used heavily in marketing for the past few years, and if you check their current website .... you'll see that this was wiped out from existence.
Currently, the public doesn't know if they use it or not, truth is that the publicity did disappear. Why is a product called anti-bacteria?
Personally I was involved in a R&D project for anti-bacteria. And it was really simple to obtain, actually it's a chemical additive that is mixed in the proportion to the resin used in the material, so in truth the resin is anti-bacterial. I have put in a picture of a sample testing, basically you see the bacteria is avoiding the contact with the piece.
Now what they don't do in lab testing, is if the counter has dirt on it, therefore the bacteria will not be in direct contact with the material. I guess this is another discussion.
Anyway, the Italians have avoided using these types of additives, they continuously stated that quartz based material didn't contribute for bacterial action. The Spanish Silestone company used this for marketing, generalizing to all it's products, so everything produced by Silestone was anti-bacterial. I had clients discussing this as if it was a plus to buy Silestone, nevertheless today it's out ..

Engineered Granite, Engineered Marble and Engineered Quartz

Engineered granite, engineered marble and engineered quartz some readers have questioned about the differences. Engineered granite, engineered marble and engineered quartz are very similar in the bonding agent, however differ in the filling. So as I mentioned in previous posts, an engineered stone is made up of 5-10% resin (in this case polyester resin), 90-95% filler and coloring pigments.
An engineered quartz is basically made with quartz filler, this means that the product will have a behaviour similar to quartz, as it's basically more than 90% pure quartz. Engineered granite, may sometimes be confused in use, in theory it's a granite grain filler, so you'll have a product which is more than 90% pure granite. The marble is basically the same.
Now the truth is that these terms don't actually help much regarding to the product itself, as this type of solid surface can have other types of products, like glass. Until now no producer has launched a glass engineered stone, however I know that some of the manufacturers are working on it seriously, and the truth is that the main problem is polishing the final product. But I should say that in most cases, almost all engineered stone has other products in the filler, and glass can be found in many products.


Corian Countertops

Corian countertops how do they differ from Silestone countertops or granite countertops? Well Corian countertops are made from a acrylic polymer, this means acrylic resin and alumina trihydrate, and of course the filling which gives it it's hardness and colouring. Corian is sometimes called thermo plastic, as it can be thermoformed at 150ºC, so it is able to make rounded configurations, it is also possible to weld together two seperate pieces of Corian. So Corian as a solid surface can be used in several applications where you join, bend, shape and finish, being a very versitile material.
Corian Countertops are a  Dupont brand (one of the biggest chemical companies in the world), Dupont also owns Zodiaq which is a silestone like material (made with polyester resin).
The main difference between Silestone type materials and Corian, is due to the chemical properties of one and another, so I will list them:
  • Corian can be welded together, the most common quartz based agglomerate stone can't, normally it's glued together with adhesive, the joint will always exist and is very difficult to hide from the professional eye
  • Corian can be bent, true, although I've seen quartz based products also slightly bent on a very open angle. However Corian is more flexible in this matter.
  • Corian is more expensive. Every kitchen is a project when dealing with Corian material, it's all measured and made to fit; When dealing with quartz agglomerate any manufacturer can give you an estimate by phone if you give them the dimensions of the countertops and the cut-outs needed.
  • Corian installation is more complex. While quartz agglomerate countertops can be installed by almost anyone, Corian will have their own technicians to install
  • Corian is a less compact stone and less resistant to scratches. Quartz agglomerate products have are more compact and scratch resistant than Corian materials.
  • Corian used more resin (acrylic) per cm3 than quartz agglomerate.
  • Corian although has similar applications to other solid surfaces, it requires special technical services to install, while quartz agglomerate is manufactured and installed as any common granite