Silestone is a man made product. It is made of quartz bonded together with a relatively small amount of resin. Quartz is one of the hardest natural materials on the planet. A few very expensive gemstones are harder, diamond for example, but that just means that quartz is the hardest material for practical use as a building material. After being polished at the factory, silestone has a depth and gleam only achieved in polished stone. And after all is said and done it actually is stone.
One thing silestone has going for it is that it is non-porous. This means that it never needs to be sealed. When it comes to resisting bacteria silestone comes with a one-two punch. Along with a hard non-porous surface silestone comes with “built-in bacteriostatic product protection.” This does not mean you don’t ever have to clean it. But it does mean that routine cleaning can offer up a safe surface to prepare food on. Food and spills come up easily and allows the “bacteriostat” to kick in when you’re done.
Silestone is great at resisting stains and scratches. Because it is non-porous, stains have nothing to “latch on to.” They clean up easily. Because it is quartz, there are very few materials that are capable of scratching it. In fact, you should always use a cutting board with silestone. Not because a knife will hurt the countertop. Just the opposite. The countertop will hurt the knife. Avoid cutting the surface with a knife because it will dull the knife very quickly. One more thing, silestone is scorch resistant. Again, the key word here is “resistant.” Never put hot pots or pans on any countertop. But for limited, inadvertent exposure silestone does a great job of coming through unscathed.
One thing silestone does not offer – yet – is the natural variety in appearance you get from stone made by nature. Some people view this as a plus. What you see in the showroom is what you will get on your countertop. This is not possible in quarried stone. It will come close but no two pieces are absolutely identical. But all this is really a matter of taste. Find a color you like and silestone just might be the countertop for you.