Frequently asked questions answered

Answers to frequently asked questions about MGD, our materials and services. Is quartz natural stone? Find out! We hope you’ll find these frequently asked questions answers useful and if you still have questions, please feel free to contact us for a timely response to any questions you might have on our contact page.

Frequently asked questions

What are the main differences between marble and granite?

Marble is similar to granite in that both are natural stone products, formed over thousands of years by different natural processes to create the beautiful stone surfaces you see in such things as high end granite kitchen worktops, marble tiles, marble flooring and marble fireplaces.

The main differences between the two are the appearance and that marble is a much softer material than granite.

Granite has a much more granular appearance than marble, although both can contain veins.

The veining in marble is considered a much more significant feature due to the overall neutrality of the marble background, so stones such as carrara marble, black marble, white marble, blue marble and pink marble are synonymous with solid background colours and more pronounced veining. Each type producing desirable patterns that buyers crave for both their beauty and their scarcity.

Since both granite and marble are natural products, they have become harder to find over the years and many of the surfaces you see today in the classic marble and granite style are produced using man-made materials such as quartz, porcelain and Dekton.

Marble and granite kitchen worktops

Both marble worktops and granite kitchen worktops are very popular products, thanks to their durability and beauty.

The key difference between a marble kitchen worktop and one made from granite is that marble worktops are more porous than granite ones, so are slightly more susceptible to staining and generally require a little more maintenance to keep them in perfect condition.

Granite kitchen worktops tend to be fairly low maintenance by comparison, requiring sealing only once per year and provided spills are dealt with quickly, don’t tend to stain.

Are quartz worktops natural stone?

Quartz worktops are actually man-made kitchen worktop surfaces produced using a mix of resin and natural quartz minerals.

The quartz content varies but in Silestone quartz for example, the mineral content is 90%+, resulting in a very strong, hard-wearing surface that you could refer to as engineered stone, rather than natural stone, such as granite worktops and marble worktops.

Quartz worktops are produced by lots of different manufacturers, each with their own unique blend of materials and way of doing things.

Diresco quartz is notable for its UV protection, Unistone quartz is noteworthy for its Breton technology: the original quartz manufacturing process for producing large-format engineered stone slabs for use as quartz kitchen worktops.

Other manufacturers such as Caesarstone produce unique patterns and colours that are very popular with quartz worktops buyers and others including Technistone, BQS, Radianz, Cimstone and Silkstone quartz produce their own variations on the above themes to create beautiful and unique quartz countertops at different thicknesses and price points, to ensure that there’s something for everyone in the world of quartz worktops.

What is quartz?

Quartz itself isn’t a stone as such but instead is a mineral compound that occurs in lots of different types of rock found throughout the world, including igneous rock, metamorphic rock and sedimentary rock. The compound is known as silicon dioxide or silica/ SiO 2. It is noted for its hexagonally crystalline form.

There are many different varieties of quartz and they are different colours and shapes, depending on the way they were formed. The most famous is probably Amethyst – a purple/violet gemstone quartz. Others include citrine, rock crystal and herkimer diamond. You can read more about the different types of quartz in this article.

Which is best: Quartz, marble or granite?

Your choice of surface for your kitchen worktop really depends on how you want it to look and perhaps more importantly what type of use it is going to get…

If your home is a busy one and cooking is at the heart of what you do, the answer will probably be different than if you have a quieter home where cooking occurs more occasionally, or like to keep things neat, clean and well looked after.

All our materials are up to the task but they will excel in different areas.

Marble worktops

Marble worktops are considered the highest status and most aesthetically desirable. In part this is because of their undeniably beautiful appearance but also because of the scarcity of the material, making it more expensive than other options in some cases.

Beyond that, marble is a softer, less heat and stain resistant material than some others, so if it’s for the centre of a busy family home it might make less sense from a maintenance standpoint than other materials.

If you aren’t worried about those things, then marble worktops are for you. There is no denying that they make a real statement and if looked after provide beauty for a lifetime.

Granite worktops

Granite worktops are both practical and prestigious. They look fantastic and are more durable than marble worktops, so for a busy home where maintenance is less desirable beyond cleaning up spills and cooking leftovers, granite wears the crown for lovers of authentic natural stone, with all its beauty and undeniably natural feel.

Quartz worktops

Quartz worktops came along a lot more recently than their natural stone counterparts and over the past decade demand has grown and grown to meet and eventually exceed the demand from buyers over marble and granite. The main reason for this is practicality.

Since we’re all a lot busier than ever before, people are tending to opt for materials that look amazing but aren’t going to give them any nasty surprises.

Quartz worktops offer a beauty that’s oh-so-close to natural stone worktops but they also give you much better resistance to stains because they are non-porous surfaces.

In the past, the porosity of natural stone has resulted in some people becoming disillusioned with the maintenance aspect of keeping stone looking great. The benefit quartz gives is a comparable beauty and an enhanced durability.

Why choose Dekton or Porcelain worktops?

Dekton and porcelain worktops offer a new dimension when it comes to thinking about purchasing stone kitchen worktops.

Both of these materials are very similar in their make-up, although their manufacturing processes differ. They share a couple of key advantages for kitchen worktops and other uses over rival materials, though: Heat, Frost and UV Resistance.

Both porcelain and Dekton worktops are manufactured without the use of resins, which means they can closely mirror the strength and durability of quartz, granite and marble worktops but they offer increased resistance to heat and UV light, making them more attractive to homeowners who want a surface that does it all: Looks great, requires zero maintenance to stay looking great and won’t get ruined if they come into contact with heat or staining liquids.

The added benefit of using Dekton or porcelain worktops is they are not susceptible to frost or UV damage, so they can also be used in outdoor surfaces and even flooring. Since many new homes are being designed with the idea of bringing the outside in and combining outdoor and indoor spaces with a seamless look, both Dekton and porcelain have really taken off as materials of preference because they offer a one-stop solution, no matter where the material is to be placed.

Additionally, both Dekton and porcelain have more uniformity in their colours, since they are printed rather than formed, so if you’re looking for a bookmatched (pattern that mirrors in the middle) or pattern that follows lines across a wide area, they are very adaptable to covering larger areas using multiple slabs, without much degradation in the overall finish.

Dekton and porcelain price/popularity

Price-wise, there’s really not much difference between these or any other materials, aside from specific budget quartz worktops, so the choice between Dekton, porcelain, natural stone or quartz is one of personal preference nowadays.

Neither Dekton or porcelain has outpaced quartz for use in homes as yet but that’s more to do with the fact that they are newer and less well known. Given their benefits over and above other kitchen worktop materials extends beyond purely price or purely aesthetic, it’s highly likely that as people start to learn more about the added benefits of choosing Dekton or porcelain worktops, they will become more and more common as time goes on.

Are you trade-only?

Not at all! Whilst we deal with many trade and commercial clients, including kitchen showrooms, builders merchants, hotel developers and house builders, we aren’t trade only.

Our commercial arm, MGD Group, deals with our commercial projects and our showroom and offices in Hereford are home to our trade customers as well as our residential customers.

If you’re a home-owner you are more than welcome to contact us with your enquiries and we will happily look after you for your project, offering the same high level of care and attention as we would to anyone else.

If you’re looking for kitchen worktops and want to get a price for supplying, templating and fitting your materials, send us drawings and measurements and/or get answers to specific questions, please do, we’re happy to help.

Getting prices and info for residential customers

To get a quote, simply locate your favourite material(s) in our online store and add to quote where you will have the ability to send us drawings, add notes to the order and save your details for later.

Build a quote

Alternatively, please visit our contact page where you can find an online form and our phone number to get in touch with any project enquiries you may have.

Contact us

I don't know what material I want yet, can I still get a price?

Yes. If you’re not set on the exact materials yet but you want an idea of price, we’re happy to help.

To get an estimate for your project, please tap the button below to visit our Project Estimator page, where you can submit drawings and details directly to our project estimators who will get back to you promptly with a reply and some suggestions on what might be the ideal material(s) to use.

Get an estimate

I'm in the trade, how can I open an account with you?

If you are in the trade, are a kitchen or bathroom retailer or want to use us for residential projects you are developing with your company, opening a trade account is your best option.

To open a trade account with us, please tap the button below and fill out the very quick form so we know where to send everything to get you going and who to contact to set you up as a customer:

Open trade account

What services do you offer?

We offer a range of services to give you the best value from your investment in a practical and prestigious solid surface:

Advice and supply

We can provide sound, impartial advice on what materials will be best suited to your project based on a number of criteria including design, budget and use.

We’re authorised stockists of many of the world’s leading brands of natural and engineered stone, so we’re well placed to find the perfect product for your requirements at competitive prices.

Templating

Every project receives precision templating to ensure your surfaces are cut correctly and fit perfectly.

Fabrication

Our in-house fabrication services provide you with the perfect finish to your materials and all our work is done by experienced stonemasons who are some of the best in the field.

Fitting

Our fitting service is carried out by our in-house teams to ensure that your new surfaces are installed with th e tightest fit and cleanest joins possible, to give you maximum enjoyment and years of trouble-free use.

Do you offer free samples?

Yes. Many of our product pages give you the facility to order samples directly by giving us just a few quick details.

If you know what you’re looking for, simply do a search our site or visit one of the categories above to see which products are available and when you’ve found the one you want, simply tap the ‘Request a sample’ button to request a sample and we’ll get it sent out to you at the nearest possible opportunity.

Do you have a company brochure I can read?

Yes. If you’d like us to send you our latest brochure pack, please tap the button below to visit our Request a Brochure page where you can fill out a few details and we’ll send it to you at the nearest possible opportunity.

Request a brochure

Get more answers

We hope this answers some of the questions you have. Of course, these are answers to frequently asked questions and whilst they may help in most scenarios, frequently asked questions aren’t necessarily the only questions you have. Fear not, you can contact us to find out more about any of our products and services for swift answers to any questions you might have.