Silestone experience

ntruroApril 14, 2010

I rarely post negative comments about products, but in this case, I feel obligated to share our poor Silestone experience with Gardenweb.

After reading and hearing how Silestone is both durable and stain-resistant, over a year ago we had $3,500 of Silestone countertops installed as part of our kitchen remodel. The sales guy talked extensively about how the only thing that would scratch it was diamond, saphire and other pieces of Silestone and that it was extremely hard and chip and stain resistant. Unfortunately, it has not lived up to its marketing hype.

Our Silestone countertops have chipped in several places - both on edges and in the middle of the surface. And there are a couple of scratches and a stain to the surface too. The first chip occured when the bottom of a glass bottle lightly tapped the leading edge of the countertop while unpacking groceries. The impact was very light - no concern about the bottle breaking - but a dime-size chip of Silestone broke off. The installer said this was not covered under warranty and charged us $75 per hour for the repair. While the repair guy was waiting for the epoxy patch to cure, he commented that they do not recommend Silestone for people who use their kitchen regularly and expecially not for households with children. He also recommended we use 600 grit sandpaper to sand out scratches, adding that the quartz material used in Silestone is very hard, but that the bonding material will scratch.

The stain was caused by blueberry juice which leaked from a bag of frozen blueberries. It has faded over time and we're fortunate that our countertops are a dark brown color.

We now have a few new chips and scratches and are living with them.

We previously had granite countertops and did not have any chipping or scratching problems. Our Silestone countertops look nice, but we now lay down dishcloths or Silpat (silicone) mats before setting anything glass or metal on them.

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Sorry to hear about your negative experiences with the silestone especially when you spent so much $$. I don't know anything about this product so, unfortunately, I have no advice/words of wisdom. I was glad to hear that you had a positive experience with granite as that is what we had installed after years of laminate.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 2:06PM
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Glad to know about this.

Are your edges rounded like bullnosing, or almost square like "eased" edge, pencil edge, etc?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 2:09PM
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I'm also considering silestone so this is good to know. you said your repair guy wouldn't recommend silestone. Is he referring to just the silestone brand or any man-mand quartz in general?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Sorry about your experience. However, I have had Silestone in my kitchen for almost 10 years. I am not reckless by any means, but I'm not overly carefull either and I am an exuberant, not fastidous cook. I have no stains, no chips, no cracks etc. I've spilled wine, set down hot pots and pans, dropped groceries and other things on the surface. I have no idea how the other made made "quartz " materials hold up, but my experience is that true "Silestone" is indistructible.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 4:00PM
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I recently stayed with a friend who has Silestone counters in her kitchen. They are dark brown with large "flecks," the counter is really attractive.

During the stay I set my small plastic cooler on the counter and it shifted position while in contact with the counter. When I removed the cooler she told me I had scratched her counter. What?! It's not like I scraped the cooler on the surface. I couldn't see the scratch, but it's my friend's counter and she could see it. I put this cooler on my own laminate counter all the time and absolutely have never seen any scratching.

This experience reinforced my decision to use Corian in my new kitchen. I'm sure all surfaces will scratch if assaulted enough, but for the bottom of a plastic cooler to cause a big scratch is bad news. I have also read, on this forum, about nicks and chips in Silestone. Caveat emptor.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:06PM
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Like pamies, I have my Silestone counter for almost 9 years and have no scratches, no chips and no stains, although there've been plenty of opportunities.

Can't even imagine that Silestone would have such a problem.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:37PM
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I'm really sorry to hear about your experience. No matter what product you get, if it doesn't live up to your expectations, it's a disappointment.

I will say, though, that every product has its limitations and at some point I think you have to just accept that a well-used kitchen is going to look like a well-used kitchen. I'm not suggesting that what the OP experienced should have happened (and frankly it sounds like a situation of a defective product since so many others have had good experiences with the same product and it sounds like their customer service was lacking), but scratches are to be expected in most counter surfaces.

I worked on a yacht for a time that had Corian counters throughout (including in the shower bases), and those were incredibly scratched up after just a few months of use. The galley was by far the worst as far as scratching went (even worse than the outdoor counters), but I think that's to be expected because it was the most used space (and there was nothing more than plates or general food-prep materials on it -- the chef was very picky about people staying out of her galley).

What would be nice is if manufacturers would be more upfront about what a buyer can realistically expect from a counter surface so that people can make educated decisions and not be crushed when they find scratches in their counters.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:45PM
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How did the exprience at your friend's drive you to Corian? doesn't it scratch even more than quartz?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:55PM
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In response to the questions in the follow-up posts.

We have relatively square "eased" edges.

It is genuine Silestone.

The repair guy was talking specifically about Silestone and did not mention other similar materials.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 6:15PM
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Ntruro, you are spot on with what you reported here!

DH was the one who was all crazy about Silestone because he didn't want to mess with sealing granite. I gave in because I was choosing everything else, BUT...

It does chip at the edges, and I found a few pits the other day like in the centre of the dang counter, UGH

The other thing that freaked me out was a huge stain from a wet mug. Now really? It reminds me of some of the lighter granites one sees at hotels where the water is able to seep through the stone. I called Silestone dealer and they have not responded. Called the kitchen store we bought it from and they say that it is impossible that this would stain. Really? You haven't come out to look idiot! So, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't waste time on Silestone.

Maybe it's the newer material? Ours is about 2 years old.

The granite in my kid's bath stood up a lot better.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 8:24PM
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I have 2 chips on the edge of my silestone.
I put a corning ware dish down on the counter and felt a chip drop down on my bare foot. I didn't drop the dish, I just placed it down. I don't know how the other one happened but in my experience, it can happen without abuse.
I was disappointed when I called and was told chips weren't covered under the warranty.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:07PM
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Hi padola - I had already chosen Corian when I visited my friend. I guess I would say what happened reinforced my decision against Silestone. One thing I had read about on this forum was scratching and chipping with Silestone vs. Corian. See the above posts about chips. My recollection is that Corian is less likely to result in breakage (like a glass falling over), and less likely to chip.

I'm sure any surface will scratch in time, especially the darker colors, but I'm really careful with my countertops. I've had laminate only for the past 40 years. I've chosen Corian in Maui (a dark brown) for my perimeter and Pepper Ivory (a light color that coordinates well with Maui with a similar "pattern") for the island. My new home is in the remote mountains of New Mexico, it's very informal and I never could find a granite I liked for my fairly rustic kitchen (knotty alder cabinets, stainless mid-range appliances, polished concrete floors).

I looked at Silestone, but finally decided Corian would be more durable for my situation. It's also affordable, less than 1/2 the cost of the Caesarstone that I liked.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 3:02AM
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" do not recommend Silestone for people who use their kitchen regularly and expecially not for households with children"

well gee, ain't that great! I know I've read that tho - maybe here. there was a silestone I really liked but in real it was too yellow. after reading about the chips etc I couldn't make myself like any of the others enough to spend the money on. for me it's fine tho - I decided it's probably just as likely to break things as granite when I drop them on it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 3:30AM
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The thing is though that it is not cheaper than some granite, and the ads and sales people give you a hundred reasons why it's BETTER.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 10:30AM
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This is about quartz in general, but I was just told by a supplier of quartz and granite (I'm looking for my bathroom now) if I had a south window or lots of natural light not to choose quartz. They showed me a piece with a faded section that had to be cut off a slab because it was in the sun. They said this could happen over time. I had never heard of this before. I was thinking of quartz for the bathroom before that.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Very interesting... up until last week I was totally sold on Silestone. Then I went to a granite warehouse, and after looking at those slabs, I was converted. Had two slabs tagged a couple of days later :). I was also under the impression quartz was the be all end all for surfaces, so I'm actually glad to find out this isn't true!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:34PM
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I actually prefer granite to quartz but I can't find one that wouldn't compete with my show piece the backsplash. I needed a stone that had very little movement and couldn't find one so I am still going to go with quartz. may be not silestone, I was already worried about their microban feature. I've read its not good for your health. At the same time I do understand that if you look into anything enough you'd probably find out air may not be good for your health.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 2:59PM
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I had a light-colored Zodiaq in my last kitchen and never had any problems with stains or chips. My new counters will be Cambria as I was also a little weirded out by the Microban in Silestone.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Silestone installed six weeks ago. Already there are 4-5 chips in the edge of the sink cut-out. And I live by myself and am very careful. Would I buy again? Not a chance.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I had Silestone countertops, installed a little over a year ago, and have had the same issues with chipping. Even on installation I had problems with flawed surfaces that were so bad the company replaced the entire countertop---with equally flawed ones. They then cut the price in half after I decided to just live with it, but now I have significant chipping issues. I had Avonite in my last home and after 14 years, had not one crack/chip. I'm careful to a fault with my home, as I can't afford to replace things very often. The largest chip happened when I put a water glass down and it bumped the edge of the countertop. It didn't make a mark on the relatively light weight glass, but cracked the Silestone. Based on my personal experience, it's not a durable product and should not be sold for installation in kitchens.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Thank you everyone for the warnings!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:37AM
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I've noted in another thread that we're planning on using silestone lyra in our upcoming remodel and now I'm concerned. Can anyone comment on whether this is a problem with all quartz or it's specific to silestone? Based on what I've been told about how quartz is made, it seems like it would be all quartz.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:13AM
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This is the problem with these boards. Lots of talk and even fewer pictures. I'm betting many of these issues could have been resolved/avoided with better edge profiling choices.

Silestone hasn't grown to the giant in the surface industry it is by selling crap that chips.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:31AM
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I bought my Silestone slab for $20 so I'm okay with the chipping. If I bought it for $3500 I would be livid. That why I will go with something I can easily refinish or DIY laminate.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:48AM
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i had laminate for 15 years with some minor scratches, mostly fading was the issue. we put in new cabinets and my husband insisted we not do laminate (and i will admit i lusted after granite for years)
we have had the counters about 3 months and had a chunk fall out the bottom. luckily the granite place i used does fix chips for free and the guy that came out insisted that someone had to have hit it but it was the underneath edge and the cabinet behind it has no damage so i am very skeptical. my granite has black splotches in it which are apparently mica and a weak point.(per gw not my granite place) i did not know that! so not all granites are bulletproof either! laminate is looking not so bad right now!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 11:57AM
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so then whats the best edge choices for quartz - especially if you want a more modern look? thank you

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:24PM
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I try to stay away from aesthetic questions and stick with the technical. If a fabricator drops the cutter on an ogee edge, it makes a fragile 90* between the deck and the top round of the ogee. I have yet to see this edge, in any countertop, without chips. And they're not nice big fat easily repaired chips, they're so-teeny-I've-got-to-enlarge-them-to -fix-them chips. The more round the edge, the less chipping.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:30PM
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