What Are Quartz Countertops?
If you’re looking to add a contemporary touch to your home, quartz countertops can bring the modern and authentic vibe you may be looking for. In the last ten years or so, quartz has become a popular choice for many homeowners looking to do some remodeling in their kitchen or bathroom.
Quartz countertops are durable, easier to clean, and can be highly personalized to fit any home. Although the quartz is manufactured, it is still made to look as realistic as natural stone. Unlike granite and marble, however, quartz can be a more expensive countertop option, and there are both pros and cons to choosing quartz.
What Is Quartz Made of?
Quartz countertops are made from engineered stone that is manufactured in a factory. The stone is a mixture of about 90 percent ground quartz and ten percent resins and polymers. After the pulverized stone aggregate is mixed with the polymers, the air is removed, and the stone is shaped into slabs under very intense heat.
The process of making quartz countertops creates a stone material that is durable, non-porous, and has the appearance of natural stone. Some varieties may also include fragments of other materials like granite, marble, glass, and metal to create a mixture that produces a unique look.
The appearance of quartz countertops can vary depending on how the quartz was ground. The countertop has a more flecked appearance if it is grounded coarsely, whereas if the quartz is finely grounded, it produces a smoother look.
Pigments are added for color, allowing for quartz countertops to be as diverse as you want. Quartz has become a favorable option for countertops because they can be manufactured in any color or pattern. If you’re looking for a chance to add a pop of color to your kitchen or bathroom—even if it’s bright pink or a cobalt blue—quartz countertops give you the flexibility to do so.
Why Have Quartz Countertops Become Popular?
There are many reasons why quartz countertops have become so trendy and appealing. The price of quartz is comparable to that of its competitors, like granite and concrete, and even cheaper than others, like marble.
Quartz countertops give a nice upscale look to any kitchen or bathroom, and many people enjoy its appearance and easy upkeep. Quartz countertops require less maintenance because of their durability. Unlike other countertop options that need sealant treatment at least once a year, quartz has no yearly maintenance to maintain the quality and smooth finish. This can save the homeowner the expense of long-term upkeep.
Quartz countertops are also great options for custom homes because they are design-friendly. Quartz is more flexible than other stones, so it’s easier to bend and shape the material for curved countertop edges or sinks. And even with a unique manufactured design, quartz countertops can still look very natural and beautiful.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Quartz?
Just like any other countertop option, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing quartz.
Advantages of Quartz Countertops
- Cost: Compared to other stone countertop options like granite and marble, quartz pricing is about the same or even cheaper. The cost can depend on many factors, including how personalized the quartz is, what treatment it receives in manufacturing, and size and thickness.
- Higher supply: Quartz countertops are more plentiful than other types of countertops because they don’t require perfect pieces of stone coming out of the ground in one piece. Manufacturers can make them more available to meet any demand or request.
- Durability: Because of how the quartz is manufactured, it has an extremely hard surface that is less likely to break or chip under impact. The resins in quartz countertops also help make the countertop scratch-resistant.
- Clean and stain-resistant: The non-porous texture of quartz allows it to resist staining better than other natural stones. The smooth surface prevents any odors or stain-causing bacteria, mildew, and mold from forming. This is especially useful for kitchens and bathrooms where there can be a lot of messes.
You can clean quartz countertops very easily with soap and water or use a specialized natural quartz cleaner. Overall, quartz offers easy upkeep and can help maintain a healthy environment for your family by efficiently eliminating any surface bacteria.
- Easy to personalize: Since quartz countertops are manufactured, it’s easier to alter the look and color. If you want a specific color scheme or prefer a flecked appearance over smooth—or vice versa—anything is possible.
Disadvantages of Quartz Countertops
- Cost: Quartz countertops can be more expensive than other competing countertop stones. The cost can depend on many factors, including how personalized the quartz is, what treatment it receives in manufacturing, and size and thickness.
Fortunately, the cost of quartz countertops has slightly dropped recently due to higher supply. Manufacturers have made them more available to catch up with the demand, but you should expect to pay more if you want something that’s of higher quality.
- Heat resistance: Quartz has a lower heat tolerance than other stone countertops, so placing hot pans and heated hair stylers on it may lead to surface damage. You should use hot pads or towels whenever possible to lower the risk of damage.
- Installation: Quartz is significantly heavier than other stones, so you should consider any special installation considerations as well as the cost associated with those. You will have to prepare your kitchen for any new stone countertop installation, and your kitchen may be unavailable to use for at least a few days until the installation is complete.
Rock Doctor offers a complete line of natural stone care products. With the right cleaner and polish, you can keep your quartz countertops looking as good as new. Browse our full line of products at rockdoctor.com.