There was a time not too long ago when homeowners would only talk about granite when discussing their dream kitchens.
With their classic style and great resale value, granite countertops have led the way for some time when it comes to kitchen designs. That’s until now.
It turns out that more and more kitchen designers are going for another kitchen counter material: quartz.
The popularity of quartz as a kitchen counter material is on the rise, especially within the last few years, while granite has become less and less popular in the same period.
So, what makes quartz so appealing? Well, that’s a story for another day. That aside, here are 8 facts you probably didn’t know about quartz countertops.
What’s Their Cost?
The first thing you probably want to know is their cost and how it compares to other popular options.
The price of quartz varies based on the stone quality and brand you purchase, but you should expect to pay between $30 per square feet for low-grade options and at least $150 per square feet for high-end options.
Quartz is normally, but not always, cheaper than granite, based on the stone quality. It’s far cheaper than marble but costlier than solid surface or laminates.
The total cost depends on various factors, including the slab thickness, amount of material needed, stone quality, and complexity of the design.
Quartz is Waterproof
You probably know that quartz hardly chips or cracks–but are you aware that it’s waterproof as well?
Unlike countertops made of natural stone, which are often porous and need sealing, quartz counters are totally waterproof. This makes for a mildew-free and clean surface that requires minimal maintenance.
Quartz Countertops are Available in Countless Colors
Quartz counters are made by combining around 97% ground quartz and 3% colors, polymers, and resign by weight.
As these countertops are made of a blend of resin and stone, the manufacturer can make almost any color, texture, and pattern you want.
A quartz countertop can look like marble or granite or nothing else. Many manufacturers offer great contemporary color schemes with such names as Apple Martini.
During manufacturing, recycled materials may even be added to expand the choice of colors available. You can find a countertop that resembles natural stone but with hues you won’t find in nature.
Quartz is Environmentally-Friendly
Many homeowners want an eco-friendly option when considering their renovation options. Thankfully, if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly option for your kitchen countertops, look no further than quartz.
How is quartz ‘green’? The major reason is that it’s made of waste products from other countertop materials. If this was not the case, these materials would be lying in the landfill.
Quartz Requires Minimal Maintenance
Quartz is an engineered product, not natural stone. Since it’s made of resin, it’s absolutely nonporous and doesn’t need sealing. You only need to wipe it down daily.
You can easily remove most surface stains with a cleaning agent. However, remember to not use scouring pads and harsh cleaning products because they can damage the bond between quartz and resin.
The Difference between Quartz and Granite
Quartz is as tough as granite–but there are a few differences between these materials as well.
While both materials are stone, quartz is not 100% percent natural like granite.
The polymers and resins used to make quartz countertops make them absolutely nonporous, which means they’re stain-resistant.
Granite is totally natural and tends to be extremely porous, which means you can notice stains even from the smallest of spills if you don’t seal it well and regularly.
Quartz is also resistant to chips and cracks since its resins and polymers make it a bit more flexible than natural stone. Unlike granite, however, the resin in quartz counters isn’t heat-resistant, so you cannot place hot pans on quartz like you would on granite.
Both materials are quite tough, but granite chips more easily if a heavy objects lands on it.
When it comes to the environment, both materials are considered ‘green’ and produce low carbon emissions when being manufactured. However, since granite is 100% percent natural, it’s the more eco-friendly option.
Quartz Can Be Used in the Bathroom
Quartz is unquestionably amazing in kitchens, but it can also be used in other areas of your home.
If you’ve fancied using quartz in your outdoor kitchen, you should probably reconsider. Quartz is susceptible to damage caused by UV rays. The colors can change dramatically over time after quartz is exposed to the sun, so much so that even direct sunlight from the window can make it fade.
What about bathrooms though? Quartz is a great choice for your bathroom if you want it there.
There are not only numerous styles available, but it’s fully water-resistant and never needs sealing. It’s also resistant to mold and easy to look after. You just need to wipe it down whenever it’s wet or it looks smudged.
Some finishes do show smudges and fingerprints quite easily, so you might find yourself wiping the bathroom surfaces a bit more often than you’d like. However, this is a much easier solution to a quite minor issue.
All Brands of Quartz Are Almost the Same
If you’ve begun shopping for quartz, you’ll find that there are many brands available out there, including Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone. However, these brands share the same basic plan, and go under the same patent, even though each brand has its own flair.
This patent goes as far back as 1963 with the creation of Bretonstone, the technology that helps make engineered stone. Italian company Breton developed and patented this technology, and all other brands still use this patent for their own quartz countertop brands.
If you’re looking for new countertops for your kitchen, quartz should certainly be one of your options for your kitchen and even bathroom.
If you feel that your kitchen will be better off with quartz countertops, contact the designers at International Granite and Stone today. We can help you design, select, and install your countertops from the beginning to the end.