Dekton worktops are comprised of man-made materials, composed of materials used in the manufacture of porcelain, glass and quartz. All of these materials have previously been used to create worktops and surfaces, but the combination of all three, produces a new material that is extremely durable and resistant to staining and damage.
The composite Dekton is strong enough to allow large pieces to be manufactured in thicknesses that are less than other materials, but at the same time retaining the strength to withstand the wear and tear kitchen worktops and splash backs must endure.
Dekton – A solid worktop
The strength in Dekton worktops is derived from the extreme compaction of its composite materials. Because it is so strong, it does not have to be as thick as other materials to produce a durable worktop and this results in Dekton making itself available for manufacture in sheets of sizes up to 320 x 144cm.
Apart from the flexibility of uses this provides, larger sheets mean less need for cuts and joints. Dekton is manufactured in three thicknesses: an amazingly thin 8mm, as well as 2cm and 3cm thicknesses. Your selection of thickness will of course be dictated by the purpose the material must serve.
Dekton is highly resistant to extremes of temperature, scratching, staining and other damage, and as such it is an ideal choice for use in kitchens. Dekton can be used to produce worktops and splash backs, as well as other surfaces, such as side panels and upstands.
Because of its high strength, Dekton worktops can be made in longer lengths, cutting out the need for joining several pieces together to make a large span, and this strength also allows up to a 12 inch overhang without support.
How are Dekton worktops made?
Materials used in the manufacture of glass and porcelain are mixed with quartz. This composite material is then subjected to extreme heat and compacted by a 25,000 kg press. The process replicates the conditions that produce rock over thousands of years. This results in a material – Dekton – that is incredibly compact in structure. It is this extreme level of compaction that gives Dekton its strength. Because of this, Dekton can be made in larger sheets and does not have to be as thick as some of its contemporaries to ensure solidity.
Who makes Dekton worktops?
Dekton worktops are created by the company Cosentino and originally fabricated in their North American plant. Cosentino are a Spanish, family owned company who have led in the manufacture of recycled quartz and stone surfaces for a number of years. Dekton is only created by approved, trained fabricators.
Dekton worktops compared with quartz and granite
Dekton worktops, like quartz worktops, are composed of a man-made material. Granite is entirely natural. This is the moist fundamental difference between granitem Dekton and quartz. There are other differences, however.
In terms of durability granite, as a natural stone, is very tough. However, it is prone to scratching and needs to be treated with some care. Damage can be caused by cutting directly onto the granite surface or from harsh treatment by utensils. Granite needs to be treated regularly with a sealant to ensure that it remains in best condition.
Because it is a natural stone, granite comes in different colours and patterns, which change depending upon the area from which it is mined. There are two types of granite, Consistent and Variegated, and each has a distinct type of pattern. Consistent granite bears the same pattern throughout the area of stone, whereas Variegated has a different type of pattern, usually characterised by swirls and lines of colour that have been created as the stone moved during its formation. These patterns will be different colours to the rest of the stone. Matching pieces to create a larger area will consequently be very difficult.
Granite can prove porous, and in some circumstances can be susceptible to mildew and mould if not properly maintained.
Quartz, or engineered stone as it is sometimes referred to, is made from crushed quartz and various polymers and resins. It is treated with UV filtering agents to prevent fading of the colouring that is added.
Because it is artificial, quartz is not porous in the way that granite is, and this means that it is less susceptible to staining. Unlike granite, quartz does not have to be sealed on a regular basis. The quartz material can prove harder than some natural stone and is therefore very hard wearing.
Dekton is a man-made composite and therefore is not porous as is natural stone. It is claimed that Dekton is not just stain-resistant, but is stain proof. Because it contains no resins, it is resistant to damage from chemicals such as bleach and oven cleaners. It is incredibly dense due to the method of manufacture and is therefore extremely strong, and the manufacturers claim it is the most scratch-resistant surface on the market. The manufacturers do recommend, however, that cutting boards should still be used, but the odd slip of a knife should not damage Dekton.
Unlike granite, Dekton does not need to be sealed or regularly treated in any way. Its high density and strength mean that it is resistant to extremes of heat and cold, and manufacturers of Dekton state that it is thermal shock proof and that hot pots can be placed directly onto a Dekton surface.
Dekton, unlike quartz, is resistant to colour deterioration from ultra violet light, and the same properties ensure that its composition is not affected by exposure to UV sources.
How are Dekton worktops fitted?
Fitting Dekton surfaces follows the same method as is used for any other, but the larger format and reduced thickness of Dekton will result in less work because there is less need for several pieces to be joined to cover a large surface. Cutting is executed using appropriate blades, usually at slow speeds. Depending upon the type of finish required – matte or polished – Dekton is finished using either appropriate brushes or polishing tools.
Where Dekton slabs are to be joined, mastic is usually used to glue the pieces together. Dekton’s high density means that irregularities in dimensions and surface are virtually eliminated, making the process of joining easier and giving a less noticeable finish.
Key advantages of Dekton worktops
The advantages of Dekton are immediately obvious. Its extreme strength and resistance to discolouration, deterioration, stains, scratches and extremes of temperature mean that it should retain its ‘as new’ appearance for many years after installation.
Due to the nature of its composition and manufacture, Dekton is less likely to require trimming or adjustment when being fitted in the home and once installed it does not require any regular maintenance
One of the most useful advantages of Dekton is that it is available in larger sheets than any other similar material, and this means that longer surfaces and larger areas can be covered without the need to join individual pieces. This gives unprecedented freedom to design concepts.
Dekton is available in a wide variety of colours and in polished, matte and textured finishes.
Hygiene is a key feature of any kitchen, and it is clear that Dekton offers a potentially high level of hygiene as it is resistant to staining and scratching and is not porous. This allows the surface to be kept clean and reduces the potential for bacteria to harbour in the worktop. Cleaning is simply with a non abrasive sponge and warm water and soap, or a pH balanced household cleaner.
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