Are you thinking about installing a quartz countertop for your new kitchen or renovation? Quartz countertops have become very popular as an alternative to natural stone.
These countertops are the most durable available on the market today and will easily last a lifetime. Quartz counters are mostly non-porous. Therefore, they won’t easily stain like natural stone can.
How Are Quartz Countertops Made?
Unlike natural stone countertops, quartz ones are actually manufactured. Using around 90% crushed quartz, polymer resins and pigments are added and then molded into slabs.
The slabs are then put under tremendous pressure of 100 tons. This is done with a vacuum and vibration process. Next, the slabs are cured and polished.
This process makes quartz countertops extremely hard and durable. It also allows for more flexibility for color and design.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Quartz Countertops?
There are many advantages to installing quartz countertops and not too many disadvantages.
Advantages Of Quartz Countertops
- Tough and durable. Because quartz countertops are largely non-porous, they won’t easily stain. This makes them much easier to maintain than natural stone. The manufacturing process also ensures a very hard finish that does not easily chip or crack, if at all.
- Easy to maintain. To maintain your quartz countertops, you just need to wipe them down with soapy water. The fact that they’re non-porous also means that no bacteria will get trapped below the surface. Just avoid using abrasive cleaners and cloths.
- Extremely versatile. Because pigments are added to the countertops when they’re made, there’s almost an unlimited range of colors and patterns that can be achieved. Quartz countertops can be made to resemble granite, marble, porcelain or even concrete.
- More uniform in design. Quartz countertops are manufactured so they can be made more uniformly. Therefore, these countertops will add a coherent design element throughout your home.
- Increase the value of your home. For those home owners who are thinking long-term when doing renovations, quartz countertops are a great choice. Due to their durability, they will last a lifetime and never need to be sealed. Therefore, they’ll look as good ten years from now as the day you had them installed.
- Quartz countertops are “warmer” than stone ones. Countertops made from granite and other natural stone tend to absorb the heat from the room. Quartz countertops don’t do this so they generally feel warmer.
- Quartz countertops are largely an environmentally friendly alternative. The stone component used in manufacturing these countertops is a waste by-product of quarrying and manufacturing processes. Plus, the resins now used are a combination of artificially created products mixed with resins derived from vegetable oils.
Disadvantages Of Quartz Countertops
- Quartz countertops can be a costly investment. Due to their durability, quartz countertops can come at a hefty price. But remember, installing these will increase the value of your home. Plus, they’ll never require sealing and will last a lifetime.
- Not heat resistant. Although quartz countertops can withstand some heat, they are not completely heat resistant. Therefore, you should not place hot pots and pans directly on the countertop. Also, always remember to use a cutting board when working on your countertop because even though its tough, it can be scratched.
- Slight discoloration can occur in direct sunlight. The resin used to bond the crushed quartz can become slightly discolored if the countertops are exposed to long period of direct sunlight.
Colors And Patterns
Quartz countertops are manufactured. This means that you can have an almost unlimited choice of colors, patterns and finishes.
The many colors available include the following:
Some popular pattern styles available include:
- Pure Quantra
- Vena Statuario Bianco
- Calacatta Quartz
- Red Shimmer Caesarstone
- Atlantic Salt Caesarstone
- Concrete Caesarstone
- Chocolate Truffle
- Bianco Drift Caesarstone
- Copper Mountain 287 Quantra
- Lunar Night 1525 Quantra
- Cloudburst Concrete Caesarstone
- Arabescato Pental
- Artic Pental
- White Fusion Pental
- Volcano Pental
Quartz Countertops Are Available In A Variety Of Finishes
In addition to the many colors and patterns you can choose from, quartz countertops also come in a variety of finishes.
The one you’re probably most familiar with is the gloss finish. These countertops have a lovely gloss shine to add a touch of sparkle to your home.
Another popular finish for these countertops is matte. This is a soft, non-reflective finish that can be a little easier on the eye. This finish is perfect if you have stainless steel appliances and a glossy splashback.
In addition, you can get quartz countertops in a concrete finish. This finish is also non-reflective. Plus, it has a velvety textures that is soft to the touch. This type of finish can add a modern look to your interiors. And, like all quartz countertops, it’s easy to maintain and never needs sealing.
As you can see, quartz countertops are an interior decorator’s dream. You can basically get any color, pattern and finish combination that you want.
Average Cost Of Installing Quartz Countertops
One of the only drawbacks with quartz countertops is their price. They can easily cost from $100 to $200 per square foot. And, of course, you want to buy the best quality that you can afford if you want them to last a lifetime.
Plus, if you want a unique color and pattern, you may find that you have to pay a little more. On the other hand, the more readily available and popular colors may cost a little less.
You also have to factor in the cost of installation when working on your budget. These countertops are heavy and cut to exact measurements to fit your requirements. So, if a mistake is made when installing one, it may mean that a whole new slab needs to be cut.
When hiring a professional installer, make sure that they have insurance and provide a warranty for just this reason.
Quartz vs Granite: What’s The Difference?
There are a number of significant differences between quartz and granite, even though they may look similar.
- Granite is a natural stone that is mined and cut into slabs to fit countertop sizes. Quartz is manufactured from crushed quartz stone and formed into slabs with the addition of a resin. This resin bonds the crushed quartz making it non-porous and highly durable.
- Whereas granite is slightly porous and therefore can stain, quartz does not. So there’s no fear of water stains or other liquids spoiling the surface of the countertops.
- Most granite countertops need to have a sealer applied periodically because of their porous nature. Quartz never needs to be sealed because it is non-porous. This can save you a fair amount of money in the long run.
- Because granite is a natural stone, each slab is unique. Therefore, if you have more than one countertop in your kitchen requiring 2 slabs, they will differ in color and pattern. Quartz, on the other hand, will give you total uniformity in your countertop designs.
- With quartz countertops, the colors you have to choose from are almost limitless because these are added in the manufacturing process as pigments. Plus, you can also select the pattern that you want. So, you can have a quartz countertop that resembles granite or even marble.
With granite however, you’re limited to what is naturally available. Plus, if 2 slab pieces need to be joined for one counter, you will have a noticeable seam line.
- Granite is more earthy in its appearance and feel. Quartz, however, has a much smoother texture with none of the minute fissures that you might find in granite.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What should you look for when buying quartz countertops?
The most important things to look for when choosing your quartz countertop is color consistency, aggregate settling, high quality resin, a consistent polish and the warranty.
Does lemon juice damage quartz?
As quartz is non-porous, lemon juice will not stain your countertop.
Is Magic Eraser safe on quartz?
Yes, a magic eraser is safe to use on quartz because it’s gentle and won’t scratch.
Can you put hot pans on quartz?
Quartz is heat resistant but only up to 150 degrees. Therefore, you should not put hot pots and pans directly on the countertop.
Adding quartz countertops to your home is a great investment for any smart homeowner. They’re both attractive and highly durable. In fact, your quartz countertops will still look great long after your cabinetry has become outdated.
Quartz countertops are also very easy to maintain. Due to their non-porous nature, they won’t stain like natural stone can.
Add to that the almost limitless selection of colors and patterns to choose from, quartz countertops are an investment definitely worth considering.
Have you installed quartz countertops in your home? Please feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below.