Aside from natural materials and stones, man-made materials like quartz countertops are in-demand. However, there are more engineered stone materials that are used for kitchen countertops like sintered stone countertops. Here is everything you need to know about them.
How Is Sintered Stone Made?
Like other man-made stones and countertop materials, sintered stone is essentially made out of many pulverized materials, stones, surfacing agents, and other materials and they are fused through high heat and extreme pressure. Because the main fusing constituent is heat, there is no need for an external binding agent like resin or other clear adhesive.
This material is extremely strong, hard, and perfect for kitchens, as well as bathrooms and other places where countertops are a must.
A Variety Of Finishes
One of the biggest qualities of sintered stone is that it is available in almost all types of finishes for countertops. This is hard to find in natural as well as man-made materials, aside from quartz, but sintered stone has the upper hand here. It is available in finishes of matte, glossy, shiny, lustrous, reflective, and even semi-matte.
The amount of finishes available in sintered stone is truly remarkable and you, as a buyer, can choose from a large variety. There are a lot of people who prefer a certain finish over the other, so sintered stone is a great material to go for because it has a lot of choices.
Sintered stone countertops are mostly maintenance-free. In other words, there is no need to seal sintered stone, if you’re worried about water damage. Sintered stone, because of the way it’s made, is completely non-porous. It has no open spaces or facets on the top surface and it also doesn’t allow water or moisture to get sucked in.
This quality of sintered stone also makes it stain resistant, because one of the main causes of stains in most countertops is because the stone has pores on the topmost surface of the countertops, that can allow seeping of liquids inside and cause permanent stains.
Expensive Countertop Material
Although sintered stone is a seemingly perfect material, it is still quite expensive. There are other materials out there that are way more reasonable in price than sintered stone countertops and have more or less the same qualities.
Sintered stone can cost you anywhere between $60 to $160, for a 1×1 ft. slab. If you’re getting a slab with a greater thickness, then the price will also go up. This is one of the main reasons why sintered stone is not as popular among people, even though it has some amazing qualities.
Sintered stone countertops are synonymous with durability. This stone is one of the most durable man-made materials, so much so that it even leaves quartz behind. The making of this stone is the reason why it has such great strength and durability against heat and pressure.
Since the binding forces are pressure and temperature, sintered stone has little to no effect when a large amount of force is applied on the surface of the countertop, or if there is an intense rise in temperature. It is truly a showstopper, as far as durability and strength are concerned.
An Eco-Friendly Option
Although sintered stone is a man-made material, it is still quite environmentally friendly. It can be hard to wrap your head around this fact but the main reason is because of the absence of a toxic binding agent, that’s used in a lot of man-made stones, even quartz, and that’s resin.
There is no trace of resin or a polymeric adhesive in sintered stone and that makes this material a great choice, because it is wholly bound by temperature and pressure forces. Even though the manufacturing is quite tedious, it still doesn’t impact the environment and atmosphere as much as the addition of resin in other materials does. So, if your countertop replacement NC decision involves eco-friendliness, sintered stone is a good choice.
Great Heat Resistance
Since temperature isn’t something that sintered stone is unfamiliar with, it is also worth mentioning that this material has heat resistance like no other countertop material. It can withstand high temperatures and still not get a single heat stain or blister.
A lot of the time, countertop materials can be pretty fragile when it comes to heat and even though they don’t get severely damaged, the appearance of blisters and black heat stains isn’t the most appealing either. However, that’s not the case with sintered stone and it can withstand the heat emitted from hot foods, hot pans, and other things.
Sintered stone is a strong material. It is also scratch-resistant. This is a great quality that not a lot of stones have. Even quartz, a very tough competitor to sintered stone, isn’t scratch-resistant even though it has decent durability. Sintered stone is scratch-resistant, primarily because of its compositional makeup and it doesn’t let sharp things like knives or needles penetrate much deeper.
So, if you’re worried about using a sharp knife directly on the countertop, then there’s nothing to be afraid of. However, it’s still a good idea to use a proper cutting board for things that need to be chopped and sliced.
It’s Still New
Sintered stone is a great material and it seems to be perfect, but one thing that you need to come to terms with, is that it’s still a relatively new addition among engineered stone kitchen countertops.
There are not a lot of retailers and manufacturers of sintered stone and this can also be a huge reason for its hiking price. If there were more retailers and manufacturers of sintered stone, then it wouldn’t be as expensive and uncommon in the market.
Can Crack Or Chip
There are a few chinks in the armor of the seemingly perfect sintered stone. It tends to chip and crack from the sides, especially where the edges are because they’re the most fragile part of a countertop and once a chip starts, then it can lead to larger cracks that can ruin the look of the countertops.
This is why it’s a good idea to keep the edges strong and thick and avoid thin-edged designs because those are the most vulnerable ones and they can break pretty easily. If you see a chip or crack, then it’s best if you fill it up right away to avoid further deepening of the chip.
The appearance of sintered stone is pretty similar to quartz. It has a light base color with subtle veining. The material is beautiful to look at and the best part is that, since it is a man-made material, there is a lot of variety to choose from.
There are many patterns and designs that you can get in sintered stone and the colors are also to die for. You will be in for a treat when reviewing the catalog of sintered stone countertops.
Sintered stone is a perfect, all-rounder for kitchen countertops and islands. It’s durable, extremely environmentally friendly and it is a great alternative to quartz. So, the next time you need to freshen up your countertops, then give sintered stone a try. They can even be used as faux granite countertops Raleigh NC that don’t need sealing.