Rising in popularity in recent years, quartz surfacing just might be giving the ever-popular granite a run for its money when it comes to countertop materials. As architects and builders have moved from using laminate to utilizing more luxurious options, granite has become one of the top selections in projects ranging from home remodels to hospitals, universities, hotels, and even restaurants.
Lately, though, quartz surfacing has started to rise as a preferred option for new building or remodeling projects. Let’s look at everything you need to know about quartz countertops.
Although made of natural stone, quartz countertops are often referred to as engineered stone because the material is made in a manufacturing process that is comprised of 90-95% pure natural quartz, with the remaining portions comprised of polymer resins and pigments. The resulting material, though not exactly 100 percent, is still quite natural.
Quartz surfacing can be utilized and installed in larger slabs, allowing expanded applications beyond countertops, such as backsplashes and shower enclosures. Additionally, because quartz countertops are manufactured, custom countertops and other customizable solutions are always available.
An amazingly positive feature of quartz surfacing is that the material is highly durable. Virtually indestructible, quartz countertops resist stains from cooking and cleaning products and stands strong against scratches and cracks. Quartz surfacing is so resilient it is considered even more durable and longer lasting than granite. The only downside here is that quartz surfacing cannot withstand heat over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so a hot pad or trivet is recommended. Quartz countertops can be priced higher than other options, but considering the long life of the product, the expense is often justified.
Making the decision to install quartz countertops is a very practical option because once the installation occurs, the architect or builder can walk away knowing the use and life of the material will be essentially worry-free for the end-user. Quartz surfacing does not require sealing or resealing, and the material is incredibly easy to clean. Only warm, soapy water and a cloth are required. And due to the product’s non-porousness, quartz countertops are and will remain 99.9% free of bacteria and mold.
In addition to the powerful physical qualities that quartz has to offer, the material is also beautiful in appearance. Quartz is available in a seemingly endless array of color and pattern options not always available in granite. Colors can vary from bright shades to earthy tones; finishes range from glossy sheen to matte, and the surface can offer a natural stone appearance to resemble granite or even marble.
Depending on the manufacturing of the quartz, the material might have a glassy or metallic flecked appearance if produced using coarsely ground quartz, while a smoother appearance will emerge when the quartz is finely ground. Also, the colors and patterns are uniform throughout the slabs and remain intact for many years. Quartz countertops can sometimes display seams, so you’ll want to work with your manufacturer to get the right slab for your project. One last thing to consider is that the material can lose color if exposed to sunlight for an extended amount of time. Installing quartz countertops indoors is the recommended option.
So, let’s recap.
A product that is low-maintenance and tough, but still offers beauty and plenty of color options? While seemingly impossible, quartz surfacing does provide all of these crucial aspects to a commercial or residential project. As a result, utilizing quartz countertops is increasingly becoming a popular option for architects and builders.