6 Facts About Quartz Countertops You Should Know

white quartz countertop shown in kitchen

Quartz countertops are great options for homeowners who are looking to bring a certain level of elegance and aestheticism to their home. They have excellent functionality and durability, are relatively low-maintenance, and come at a reasonable price.

One of the reasons quartz countertops are so appealing is because they are incredibly unique and offer a number of great features. However, while quartz countertops have become a popular commodity in recent years, there are many things that people may still not know about these beautiful countertop surfaces.

1. Quartz Countertops Are Made of Engineered Stone

    Most natural stone countertops, such as granite or marble, are 100 percent made of their respective natural rock. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are considered engineered. This is because, while the quartz itself is a natural stone, it is mixed with a composition of other stones and minerals. This is why quartz countertops are considered engineered.

    Marble, granite, and slate are all quarried stone that come in large slabs. Quartz countertops are made up of a mix of crushed quartz, granite, marble, stone, and more. Sometimes recycled industrial waste like ceramic, silica, glass, and mirrors are also added.

    Quartz countertops are between 88 and 93 percent aggregate materials, with a binder or resin making up the remaining seven to 12 percent. This resin is polymeric or cement-based and binds all the materials together. 

    Pressure and heat are then applied to the mixture to create the engineered stone product. 

    2. Quartz Countertops Can Come in Nearly Any Color and Pattern

    Since quartz countertops are engineered stone, they allow for a wide range of colors and patterns. Changing the stone aggregate and adding dyes to the resin can result in many different variations. Dark, light, gray, green, and nearly any other color you can think of can be used when manufacturing quartz countertops. 

    Quartz countertops can be engineered to look like a natural stone, such as granite, limestone, slate, or marble. They can even be made to look like fine, finished concrete.

    Increasingly popular, though, are results that can only be achieved with the quartz-making process. With different patterns, flakes, mirrors, and other pieces added to the quartz, each quartz countertop can be unique. 

    3. Quartz Is Very Stain-Resistant

    The very nature of the quartz countertop means that the resin and binders used to create it make it completely waterproof. This means that quartz countertops are completely sealed and do not require annual maintenance and or stone-sealing products. 

    The non-porous nature of quartz countertops makes them resistant to bacteria and stains from acidic ingredients. They are less likely to get any sort of water stain, as water wipes off easily. 

    While fairly resistant to harm, avoid using scouring pads and harsh chemicals when cleaning quartz countertops. The best way to clean quartz countertops is with Rock Doctor’s Granite & Quartz Cleaner for safe and easy cleaning that is tough on grime and safe on quartz. 

    kitchen featuring white quartz countertops

    4. Quartz Is Highly Durable with a Forgiving Nature

    Quartz countertops do not easily scratch. They have a very hard, durable nature, even more so than granite. 

    While quartz countertops do possess some of the durable features of natural stone, they also come with the forgiving characteristics of synthetic materials. While quartz has greater strength than granite, it also has enough give in the resins and polymers to give it just a little flexibility. 

    This flexibility makes quartz countertops tougher and more forgiving than more brittle natural stones. Quartz countertops are not prone to chipping, cracking, or scratching.

    However, that is not to say they are invulnerable. Enough force, pressure, or something hard enough (diamond, hardened steel, or hardened glass) can cause quartz to scratch or break. Additionally, the binders in quartz countertops are susceptible to heat damage, so make sure to use a hot pad when putting down pots and pans. 

    Light scratches in quartz countertops can be buffed out with a polish. Deeper scratches can be repaired with an epoxy filler. Always use a wooden or plastic cutting board to avoid scratches and protect your countertops. 

    5. Quartz Countertops Are Eco-Friendly

    Around 90 percent of the stone-like materials that form the bulk of quartz countertops are waste byproducts from other quarrying or manufacturing processes, which makes quartz a very eco-friendly countertop material. The manufacturing process does not create much in the way of carbon emissions, nor does it release harsh chemicals into the air when the stone is being sealed.

    6. Quartz Patenting Process Originated in Italy

    The Breton company, located in northeast Italy, first created and patented the process for Bretonstone Technology. This technology is the process of blending pulverized natural stone aggregate with polymers, binders, and resin mixtures. The air is then removed, and the material is heated and shaped into slabs with the hardness and appearance of natural stone. 

    The Bretonstone Technology has been licensed to over 50 different companies located around the world. The Breton company remains involved in the process, providing much of the highest quality quartz aggregate. 

    The three most famous brands for quartz countertops are Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone. Each of these brands adds twists to the process with their own nuances, flair, and aesthetics.

    Bonus Fact: The Cambria Company Owners Also Make Cheese

    Cambria is located in Le Sueur, Minnesota, and is one of the top producers of engineered quartz countertops in the United States. It has additional facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Cambria is privately owned by the Davis family, who are also well-known for their cheese. 

    Stan Davis started in the dairy business in the 1930s. He sold butter to the U.S. government during World War II. Eventually, the family business grew and turned into Davisco Foods International, which has grown into one of the largest dairy producers in the country. 

    In the year 2000, the Davis family decided it was time to expand beyond the dairy industry. It cost them $36 million to get their first quartz countertop production line running in 2001. Today, Cambria is one of the top three brands in the world for quartz production. 

    Rock Doctor offers high-quality and safe Quartz cleaning and polishing products throughout the United States. Our products are 100 percent safe to use on quartz countertops. You can find our products online or in retail stores near you.