Homeowners and interior designers in the US have cast their vote for quartz stone as the preferred material for kitchen countertops. It is currently more popular than granite, although not by a wide margin. At any rate, quartz countertops are trending, and many homeowners are happy to choose them. However, few people know anything about the material, so below are 16 truths about quartz countertops.
1. Quartz countertops are not of a natural stone. Quartz stone is an amalgamation of natural quartz, resins, and coloring agents, made to look like stone by subjecting the mix to high pressure and temperature.
2. Engineered stone is a concept that has been around since the early 1960s, and these products have been popular in Italy and some parts of Europe since then. Quartz stone made its debut in the US in the late 1980s, but it only really began to be popular in the early 2000s.
3. Quartz stone is just one kind of a family of products called engineered stones. Quartz stone contains a significant amount of quartz dust, chips, and pebbles, but other types of engineered stone may not have any quartz at all. They have other types of materials in their mix, so these are not engineered quartz stone.
4. Quartz stone is typically tougher than most natural stones because it is mostly quartz. The percentages differ from brand to brand, but the top ones have a minimum of 90% quartz. Since granite is 60% quartz at most, and marble has no quartz at all, this makes sense.
5. Natural quartz is one of the toughest minerals in the world, which is why quartz stone has become the top choice for homeowners and interior designers.
6. Engineered stones all use a patented technology called Bretonstone. An Italian company Breton S.p.a., which owns the patent, has licensed over 50 manufacturing companies to use the license. Just a few brands use quartz predominantly, however, including Cambria, Silestone, Caesarstone, and Zodiaq. They use at least 90% quartz in the mix, and quartz countertops come from products from these companies.
7. Engineered quartz comes in an almost unlimited range of colors and designs, some of which are very similar in appearance to marble and granite as well as other natural stones. These companies also come out with new colors and designs all the time, so there is always something fresh from which to choose.
8. Quartz stone is not porous at all, with water absorption rate of 0.5%. This is about the same as porcelain tile, which means it is practically stain-proof. This is a great thing for a material designed for kitchen countertops, especially for busy homeowners with little time for maintaining countertops.
9. Since quartz countertops are not porous, it does not need sealing at all. Applying sealer to quartz stone is a waste of time and money as it does nothing for the stone at all, except maybe dull the surface when it dries.
10. Quartz stone is not resistant to heat. Quartz mineral is, but not the polymer resin in the mix, which is basically plastic. The pigment also reacts quickly to high heat. Together, the heat damage can be bad. It will not actually hurt quartz countertops, but it will ruin the look.
11. Aside from heat, quartz stone also reacts unfavorably to direct sunlight. The pigment tends to fade, which makes the surface look blotchy. This is the reason quartz stone is not appropriate for outdoor use. If you do want quartz countertops for your outdoor kitchen or barbecue, you should probably get light-colored slabs. You can also forget about the warranty, which outdoor use will void.
12. Like natural stone, no two quartz stone designs are identical. All quartz stone manufacturers come up with their own take to make it distinctive from other brands.
13. Quartz stone is denser than most natural stones, so it is also heavier, making it hard to handle for non-professionals. Therefore, manufacturers only sell through authorized distributors and contractors. They also require an authorized professional to fabricate and install quartz countertops, or the warranty is void.
14. Quartz countertops are typically about as expensive overall as granite, and slightly less than marble. It is an alternative to natural stones, but not a budget decision.
15. Quartz countertops are food safe since they are non-porous. Some brands even add bacteriostatic agents into the mix to keep bacteria from growing on the surface. Of course, you still must clean it regularly with soap and water.
16. Quartz countertops are quite hard to damage, but sometimes it happens. If you see chips or breaks that occurred for no apparent reason, you should check with the manufacturer before doing anything. It might be a manufacturing defect and the warranty might cover it. If that is not the case, you can probably repair it yourself.
Quartz stone is a great option for kitchen countertops when you are considering an alternative to natural stones. These truths about quartz countertops can help you decide. If you are still not sure, you might want to ask the advice of professionals.
KNC Granite is a local company with a large collection of natural stones. We are authorized sellers of engineered quartz tone from the top brands in the industry, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties. You can also check actual granite and marble slabs in our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
We deal directly with stone manufacturers and fabricators, so we can give you the best prices possible. In fact, we have a best price guarantee. Additionally, you only pay for what you use, so it does not matter how big or small your project is; you will not be forced to buy a whole slab.
We do not only supply top-quality stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote!