Quartz has become the most popular countertop option for remodels and new kitchen projects. But how do you know if this material is right for your countertops? Here are some of the things you need to know to make this decision.
The name of quartz countertops can be confusing because quartz is a natural mineral, but quartz countertops are engineered stone products. This means that they’re not natural stone. They use natural stone, which includes quartz – the most common mineral on the surface of the Earth. Don’t confuse quartz countertops with quartzite countertops. Quartzite is a natural stone product, made of slabs cut from quarries.
In general, quartz countertops are more than 90% stone, with the remainder made up of a binder resin. The exact proportions in your countertop depends on the one you choose.
Quartz countertops are versatile. You can use them in your kitchen, bathroom, bar, patio, or any other location that calls for countertops. Just make sure your salesman knows the location you’re looking to place the countertop so they can recommend appropriate products. In some cases, you can get a premade bathroom vanity as a single piece, with the sink included.
Not being a natural stone product contributes to the properties of quartz kitchen countertops, giving both advantages and disadvantages.
Quartz countertops are popular because they offer many benefits in comparison to other materials. With quartz countertops, you will enjoy:
As engineered stone products, quartz countertops are designed to be attractive. You can get the countertop appearance you want, and you don’t have to worry about the variability in natural stone or the limitations of naturally occurring deposits. Quartz countertops come in virtually any color you desire and can give the types of patterns you want. Surface finishes can be smooth and glossy or textured. In addition, you can choose designs that appeal to you, including edge profiles that are unique and eye-catching, or simple and trouble-free.
The binder in quartz kitchen countertops ensures that it’s a fully sealed, non-porous surface. Liquids won’t penetrate the surface, which helps reduce the risk of bacterial illness. In addition, a quartz countertop never needs sealing.
Because the countertop is fully sealed, it’s also stain resistant. Liquids won’t seep into the surface and cause discoloration. In addition, the inert stone and binder resist reaction with acids and alkaline materials. Except for extreme materials, the quartz countertop will not be stained.
The combination of natural stone and resin that make up quartz countertops means that they are very durable. They’re highly scratch resistant and fracture resistant. Under normal wear conditions, they will likely last decades. In thicknesses exceeding one inch, quartz countertops can be the most durable countertop option for you.
Although quartz countertops have a lot of benefits, they also come with some drawbacks. The most serious concerns about quartz countertops include:
Perhaps the biggest drawback of quartz kitchen countertops is the price. Expect to pay $100 per square foot and up, not including installation costs. This is not necessarily more expensive than granite or other natural stone countertops, but it’s certainly not the least expensive countertop option available.
The engineered stone appearance of quartz countertops can be a drawback for some people. The countertop styles range from intentionally artificial to mimicking natural stone, but it doesn’t look exactly like natural stone.
One problem with quartz countertops is that many of the binders used to in them are vulnerable to UV radiation. This can make the countertop discolor and turn cloudy if exposed to too much sunlight. If you are looking for countertops for a sunny kitchen or for outdoor use, make sure the salesperson knows this – there are special UV-resistant binders that hold up under sunlight.
Quartz countertops are more heat resistant than many traditional surfaces, but they’re not as heat resistant as natural stone. Depending on the binders used, your quartz countertop might be damaged by contact with temperatures as low as 150° F.
Quartz countertops are easy to care for:
If you encounter a difficult cleaning challenge, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the surface.
Quartz countertops start at around $100 per square foot, not including installation. Some quartz countertops cost double that or more. Installation is necessary: this is not a DIY project. Installation costs depend on your local market.
However, the initial cost is balanced by the long lifetime of your countertop. Properly cared for, quartz countertops can last for decades, potentially approaching 100 years. This helps contribute to a high resale value for your home, which makes them a good investment.
If you are considering a quartz countertop, there is no better place to look than the Stone Collection. You’ll enjoy our unique Get Inspired™ Experience. We have the largest selection of engineered stone, premium natural stone, semi-precious stone, and hard surface products. Our knowledgeable expert Surface Specialists can help you decide between quartz countertops and natural stone products to find the one that’s perfect for you. Whether you’re looking for a particular style, engineering properties, or even a point of origin, our Surface Specialists can direct you to the best choice for you.
Just want to browse our collection? There’s no appointment required to visit our gigantic, gallery-style climate-controlled showroom and Slab Gallery. You can just show up to one of our locations in Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Fort Worth, and Dallas.
Once you decide on a slab, we will hold it 14 days for free for your installer to pick it up.
Have more questions about quartz countertops? Contact us today or visit one of our showrooms to ask your questions in person.
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