What are Dekton & Neolith Worktops?

Dekton and Neolith

Dekton and Neolith worktops are brands of compact surfaces (also called porcelain or ceramic surfaces). 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 on to the top layer of the slab to create the different colour and texture options. These surfaces are extremely heat, scratch and stain resistant.

What are Dekton and Neolith?

Relatively new to the kitchen worktop market, Dekton and Neolith are brands of compact work surfaces 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.

Yes, worktops such as granite 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 change in temperature can cause thermal shock, which can crack your worktop.

You may not see the crack on the surface, as often times 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 to them all the time and nothing happens, but I think just being aware can help; you don’t want to be that person.

Having such hardwearing and tough properties are the biggest selling point for Dekton and Neolith, as people’s demands and needs for a more robust kitchen worktop are ever increasing.

What finishes do they 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 and 20mm.

  • Dekton currently has 52 different finish options.
  • Neolith currently has 30 different finish options.

(At the time of writing Feb 2019)

Kitchen worktop with draining grooves
Kitchen worktop with draining grooves

Can I have draining grooves cut into Dekton and Neolith?

Yes, you can, as it’s a solid surface (where the same material runs throughout the worktop) you are able to 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 does it 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. Although if you want to try and save a bit of money, you can look up and go direct to a stone fabricator for this service.

How it usually works is like this: once your cabinets are installed a template will be taken by someone from the worktop company. These days it is usually drawn up using a laser plotter to make sure everything is as accurate as possible.

Once this template has been created, your worktop will then be fabricated back at the factory. This process can take between 1-3 weeks depending on the material and the company you use. Once the worktops have been made to your exact specification, the company will return to install them. The installation process usually takes 2 – 4 hours, more or less depending on how much worktop there is.

How much does it cost?

How long is a piece of string?

As with all things kitchen related it will depend. Worktop costs will vary depending on the finish you choose and what price group it lives in, how much worktop you actually need, how many cutouts for sinks, hobs, sockets etc… you need and finally how specialist the fabricating and installation service is.

As a rough guide, I would allow £3k – £10k for a typical kitchen project.

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 of 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.

Top qualities:

  • 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: https://youtu.be/uFH0jNkxH2g

https://youtu.be/uFH0jNkxH2g

What is Neolith?

Neolith consists of subjecting the 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.

Top qualities:

  • RESISTANT TO SCRATCHING
  • EASY TO CLEAN – resistant to chemical cleaning agents.
  • RESISTANT TO ICE AND FREEZING
  • 100% RECYCLABLE
  • RESISTANT 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:https://youtu.be/5d_myR4WM70

Should you buy Dekton or Neolith for your kitchen worktop?

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.

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 still 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 need from your kitchen worktop.

Pros: 

  • Incredibly tough and durable
  • Heat, stain and scratch resistant
  • Solid worktop (can have drainer grooves and undermount sinks)
  • Colour matched

Cons: 

  • The higher end of the price scale
  • Slightly limited choice of colours currently
  • Most only have the pattern on the surface, doesn’t run through the slab. (Some finishes do, more are being developed)

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!

If you’re not sure what worktop is right for you, have a read of my post What is the Best Kitchen Worktop for your Budget?