What Are Dekton And Neolith Worktops? – A Handy Guide
In the ever-changing world of kitchen design, the quest for durable, aesthetically pleasing, and innovative countertop materials is never-ending. Two contenders that have emerged as leaders in this domain are Dekton and Neolith.
These ultra-compact surfaces are renowned for their versatility, resilience, and state-of-the-art features, offering a sophisticated blend of technological advancement and style. But what exactly are they and are they right for you and your kitchen?
In this post, I’ll explain what Dekton and Neolith are, explore their features, benefits, and the pros and cons of incorporating them into your kitchen design.
Let’s get into it!
What Are Dekton And Neolith?
Dekton and Neolith worktops are brands of ultra-compact surfaces (also called sintered stone or porcelain composite). They are fabricated by putting the raw materials found in porcelain, glass, and quartz under extreme pressure and heat to create an extremely durable material.
A pattern is then printed onto the top layer of the slab to create the different colour and texture options. These surfaces are extremely heat, scratch and stain-resistant.
Relatively new to the kitchen worktop market, Dekton and Neolith are worksurfaces that often get advertised as being pretty much indestructible. These worktops are currently the most durable and hardwearing choice on the market, having extremely good heat, scratch and stain resistance.
This means that you can chop, spill red wine and put a hot pan directly onto the work surface without the worry of it scratching, staining long term and causing any burn marks or even cracking the slab from thermal shock.
Having such hardwearing and tough properties is the biggest selling point for Dekton and Neolith, as people’s demands and needs for a more robust kitchen worktop are ever-increasing.
- Incredibly tough and durable
- Heat, stain and scratch-resistant
- Solid worktop (can have drainer grooves and undermount sinks)
- Colour matched – What you see in the sample is what you get.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Non-porous. So no sealing is required.
- The higher end of the price scale
- Slightly limited choice of colours currently
- Most only have the pattern on the surface, which doesn’t run through the slab. (Some finishes do, more are being developed)
- Can crack. Especially susceptible during transportation and installation.
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What Finishes Does Dekton And Neolith Come In?
Dekton and Neolith have their own unique selection of colours and textures ranging from marble look-alike to dark, rusted and industrial-looking worktops.
While there isn’t quite the same range of finish options as quartz, new colours and patterns are being launched all the time as the material becomes more popular and moves more into the mainstream kitchen worktop market.
As well as different colours and patterns to the worktop, Dekton and Neolith both have different textures available. These range from a high gloss polished finish to a rough matt feel and various textures in between like silk and satin.
They are available in a range of thicknesses depending on their application; for flooring and wall cladding they can be as thin as 3mm. The most common thicknesses for kitchen worktops, however, are 12mm, 20mm and 30mm. (Neolith don’t do 30mm)
- Dekton currently has 60+ different finish options.
- Neolith currently has 50+ different finish options.
Both Dekton and Neolith are available in large format slabs for kitchen worktops. The max sizes are:
- Dekton 3200 x 1440 mm
- Neolith 3200 x 1600 mm
Design and Color Variation
Both Dekton and Neolith use high-definition digital printing techniques to create realistic designs and color variations on their slabs, allowing them to mimic the appearance of natural stone, wood, metal, or other materials.
This technology enables the production of slabs with a wide range of aesthetic options, from monochromatic to highly detailed patterns.
Can You Have Draining Grooves In Dekton And Neolith Worktops?
Yes, you can!
As it’s a solid surface (where the same material runs throughout the worktop) you can cut out holes for under-mounted sinks or cut in any draining grooves you may wish for.
As it’s the same material all the way through, there is no risk of water getting in and causing damage, as it could with a laminate worktop. This is why it’s not possible to have draining grooves or undermount sinks in a standard laminate worktop.
How Do Dekton & Neolith Get Installed?
Like granite, quartz or acrylic worktops, Dekton and Neolith will need to be installed by a specialist stone fabricator.
This is usually included in any quote you receive and will most likely be ordered from a kitchen design showroom when you order your cabinets. However, if you want to try and save a bit of money, you can look up and go directly to a stone fabricator for this service.
How it usually works is like this:
1. Measurement and Template Creation:
- Site Visit: Installers visit the site to take precise measurements of the kitchen cabinets and create a template. These days it is usually drawn up using a laser plotter to make sure everything is as accurate as possible.
- Planning: The template and measurements are used to plan the layout, including the positioning of cutouts for sinks, hobs, and other fixtures.
2. Cutting and Fabrication:
- Slab Selection: The appropriate slab is selected based on colour, texture, and finish.
- Cutting and Shaping: Using the template as a guide, the slab is cut and shaped to the required dimensions using specialized tools like bridge saws or CNC machines.
- Edge Profiling: The edges of the slab are profiled and polished to the desired finish.
- Cutouts: Holes for sinks, faucets, and other fixtures are precisely cut out.
- Approx Time: This process can take 1-3 weeks depending on the material and the company you use.
- Surface Preparation: The tops of the cabinets are cleaned and levelled to ensure a proper fit.
- Setting and Securing: The cut and fabricated slab is carefully set in place and secured using adhesives, ensuring it is level and properly aligned.
- Seaming: If the countertop consists of multiple pieces, seams are carefully joined and sealed.
- Final Adjustments: Any final adjustments, such as tightening the fixtures and cleaning excess adhesive, are made.
- Approx Time: The installation process usually takes 2 – 4 hours, more or less depending on how much worktop there is.
4. Finishing Touches:
- Sealing Joints: Joints around sinks and other fixtures are sealed with silicone to prevent water ingress.
- Cleaning: The countertop is cleaned to remove any residues or fingerprints.
- Inspection: A final inspection is conducted to ensure the countertop is correctly installed, and all fixtures are properly secured.
Can Dekton Or Neolith Crack?
Yes. One of the few downsides to Dekton and Neolith is that they can be quite fragile during transportation and installation and may crack if struck by a heavy object.
I’ve had a few projects where the cut slabs have cracked in the back of the van while transporting them to the building site. This was not fun!
However, once the slabs are installed and set in place on your kitchen cabinets they become much more structurally secure and less prone to cracking.
However, because of the way these slabs are manufactured, they don’t suffer from cracking due to thermal shock like other stone worksurfaces.
Yes, worktops such as granite, marble and quartz can crack in the wrong conditions. If you have a cold room and the worktop gets very cold throughout, then you suddenly place a very hot item on it, the rapid temperature change can cause thermal shock, which can crack your worktop.
You may not see the crack on the surface, as often it will be within the material itself, but this will compromise the structural stability of the worktop, and one day out of nowhere that crack could move to the surface or completely split the worktop.
Now don’t let that put you off granite or quartz as it’s quite rare for that to happen and is more of a perfect storm scenario. People put hot things down directly on them all the time and nothing happens, but I think just being aware can help; you don’t want to be that person.
How Much Does Dekton or Neolith Cost?
As with all things kitchen-related, it will depend. W
As a rough guide, I would allow £4k – £10k for a typical kitchen project.
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What Is the warranty for Dekton and Neolith?
Warranty details may vary, and it is always recommended to verify the current warranty terms and conditions directly with the manufacturer or the authorized dealer at the time of purchase.
Reading the warranty documentation carefully will help buyers understand what is covered and what is not, and adhering to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance guidelines is crucial to maintaining the warranty’s validity.
Dekton, by Cosentino, offers a 25-year limited warranty for its countertops in residential applications. This warranty generally covers manufacturing defects. It is crucial for buyers to register the warranty after installation to ensure coverage.
The warranty typically does not cover damages due to improper use or installation. Buyers should refer to the warranty documentation for specific terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions.
Neolith Group provides a 25-year warranty on its Neolith slabs with a 12 and 20 mm thickness used to manufacture countertops. Additionally, Neolith Group offers warranty coverage on its Neolith slabs with a 6 and 12 mm thickness used for the backsplash.
This warranty is likely to cover manufacturing defects, and buyers should refer to the specific warranty documentation provided by Neolith Group for detailed terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions.
What is Dekton?
Part of the Cosentino family, the company behind Silestone, which you may have heard of when looking at quartz worktops. Dekton is their ultra-compact work surface option.
Dekton is extremely resistant to ultraviolet light so will not decolour over time, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor installations. It is an extremely scratch-resistant surface and is entirely stain-proof. Common household chemicals like bleach and cleaning spray as well as even stronger substances like paint, won’t harm the surface.
Probably its most sought-after property is its ability to withstand very high temperatures without scorching, burning or cracking. Hot pans can be placed directly on the surface with no concern for damage.
While natural stone surfaces such as granite can show wear over time and may require some care and maintenance such as resealing, Dekton’s finish will last a lifetime and never needs to be resurfaced or refinished.
- Resistant to stains
- Highly scratch-resistant
- Maximum resistance to fire and heat
- Colour stability – slabs will match
- Highly UV resistant
- Resistance to freezing and thawing
- Virtually zero water absorption
- Fireproof material
- Resistant to abrasion
For a fun demo video of how tough Dekton really is, watch below:
What is Neolith?
Neolith consists of subjecting 100% natural raw materials to very high pressures and temperatures. The combination of raw materials goes through a press where extreme force is applied, then the slabs are heated in an oven at temperatures of over 1,200ºC. It’s this process that gives Neolith the physical and mechanical properties that make it so hardwearing and durable.
Neolith is resistant to extremely high and low temperatures, as well as scratching and abrasions due to the hardness of the surface. It is very easy to clean with great waterproof and liquid-resistant and an absorption level of near zero.
Unlike quartz, Neolith is 100% natural and resin-free. It is made up in part of recycled raw materials and, being completely recyclable itself, is an environmentally friendly choice.
- Resistant to scratching
- Easy to clean – resistant to chemical cleaning agents.
- Resistant to ice and freezing
- 100% recyclable
- Resistant to UV rays
- Resistant to bending
- Waterproof – with an absorption level near zero.
- Resistant to high temperatures
- Hygienic – does not release harmful substances, suitable for food prep.
- 100% natural – resin-free, does not release any harmful substance
To see how Neolith handles some tough tests watch this video below:
Should You Buy Dekton or Neolith For Your Kitchen Worktop?
Maybe, maybe not.
Yes, it sounds fantastic and is currently the latest thing on the market for kitchen worktops, but do you really need it?
If you are looking for a more unique worktop that you can just use and abuse and not have to worry about any major care and maintenance, then yes, this is what you’ve been looking for.
However, if you’re more caring and careful with your worktops, then I would argue that you just don’t need something this indestructible and you could probably have more choice and save a little money if you went for a quartz worktop. Still incredibly tough and gives a fantastic look to a kitchen, but it can be a little more budget-friendly.
Speaking of budget, that’s the other major factor when considering these worktops as typically they are at the top end of the scale. There’s always a little overlap between the lower ranges of Dekton/Neolith and the upper ranges of a quartz worktop, but as a general rule, they tend to be a little bit more money.
Think about the pros and cons and what you really need from your kitchen worktop.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about Dekton and Neolith.
With lots of different options these days for kitchen worktops it can be a bit of a minefield trying to figure out which one you should go for.
Take a bit of time to really assess what you need out of your kitchen and worktop before making this decision – then the next task is picking the right colour!
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.