The top favorite for kitchen countertops today is quartz countertops, edging out granite by a narrow margin, and lording it over marble countertops and other types of materials. It has been a long time in coming, but the excellence of engineered quartz has finally made itself felt in many circles. Today, quartz stone brands are found in many homes in the US and around the world.
However, some people still believe some things about quartz countertops that are not precisely true, or downright myths. While this has not hurt its popularity all that much, it is good to get your facts right if you are still hesitating over choosing one for your own kitchen countertops. Here are some of the most popular myths about quartz countertops busted.
1. Quartz countertops are all synthetic
Quartz countertops use engineered or manmade stones, so it is not technically a natural stone. In terms of formation, it is a synthetic stone. However, the top brands of quartz stones comprise a minimum of 90% quartz materials in various forms such as pebbles, crystals, and dust. Quartz is a natural mineral, and it occurs in many types of natural stones such as granite and shale.
While it does undergo a manufacturing process, engineered quartz is perhaps “purer” in composition than naturally formed stone, because the composition of granite and marble is much more varied. In that sense, it may as well be a natural stone.
2. Quartz is the same as quartzite
Technical terms can be confusing, so it is understandable that many people confuse quartz stone with quartzite. However, they are not the same thing.
Quartz stone, as explained earlier, is an engineered stone comprised of at least 90% quartz materials, and 10% resins and pigments. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a natural stone often lumped with granite because of its hardness. However, quartzite is a metamorphic rock, which means it formed when the original rock (in this case quartz sandstone) went through a further transformation to produce quartzite. Granite is an igneous rock, which means it formed from magma under the earth’s crust under extreme heat and pressure.
Quartzite is almost pure quartz at 99%, and as such is harder than engineered quartz or granite, which typically contains about 60% quartz. However, quartzite does not have the same variance in color and design as either engineered quartz or granite and tends to be rather dull. It is also more expensive than granite. Finally, quartzite etches, which does not occur in engineered quartz or granite countertops.
3. Quartz is hard to maintain
One of the best things about engineered quartz countertops is that it is virtually maintenance free. You still need to keep it clean, like any surface, but it is non-porous, so it will not stain. It is also very hard, so it will not etch or scratch easily. You do not even need to seal it. In fact, sealing is not a good idea, as it will just sit on the surface.
You can safely use ordinary cleaners on it, although it would be a good idea to avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning implements because it might dull the finish. You will not need any strong cleaners with quartz countertops anyway, and some brands even include antibacterial agents, so you might not even need to disinfect it at all.
4. Quartz countertops all look the same
It is incredible that some people believe quartz countertops have no variety. The truth is there are over 50 brands of quartz stone available, and each brand has unique lines of color and designs. It is highly unlikely you will not find one that meets your set of requirements.
For example, one of the most popular brands of quartz countertops, Silestone, has over 90 colors in three textures from which to choose, and you can further customize it by choosing different edge profiles. Other brands such as Cambria, Caesarstone, and Zodiaq offer more options if Silestone does not offer anything you like.
5. Quartz is heat sensitive
Quartz stone stands up to heat quite well, so you do not have to worry about your quartz countertops in the kitchen. However, some quartz stones may discolor if you place anything very hot directly on the surface, just like granite. To be on the safe side, use a trivet or heat pad for your hot pots and pans. It is always a good idea to protect your kitchen countertops to anything too hot, no matter what material it is.
That said, dark quartz stone is more sensitive to sunlight than heat. Many quartz brands specify indoor use only, because the pigments that give quartz stone its color can fade under direct sunlight. In fact, you can void your warranty if you use quartz stone outdoors. If you are choosing a durable material for your outdoor kitchen, choose marble or granite countertops instead.
6. Quartz is prone to chipping
Some homeowners claim that their quartz countertops chip or crack easily, and that is just not true. The main feature of quartz stone is durability, and it will take quite a bit of doing to do any real damage to quartz countertops after installation.
That said, most stone countertops are vulnerable to damage during fabrication and installation. In fact, quartz companies will not sell directly to homeowners precisely for these reasons. Therefore, it is important to get your quartz countertops from a reliable and experienced countertop specialist.
Quartz countertops are a durable and practical choice for your kitchen and bathroom for many reasons. Busting these myths can help you understand the reasons for this better.
If you are ready to take the plunge, your next step is to choose the right company to help you with getting, fabricating, and installing your new quartz countertops.
KNC Granite can help if you are in the areas of Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville, Alexandria VA, Arlington VA, and Washington DC. We carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Zodiaq, Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
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.
We do not only supply top-quality quartz stones, however. We have a large array of marble and granite slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote for your fabulous new kitchen countertops!