Many different options exist when choosing a material for your new countertop, creating endless possibilities to fit your design and budget. Laminate, wood, tile, concrete, and natural stone, such as granite, are common options. However, a material that has been gaining popularity is quartz. Quartz offers many advantages over other types of materials in a countertop application.
Natural quartz is one of the hardest minerals found on Earth making it an excellent choice for countertops. The process of creating a quartz slab is much different than that of granite. Granite is mined from quarries, cut to size, and polished. Quartz slabs are man-made, engineered stone, fabricated by mixing a ratio of approximately 90-95% ground quartz with 5-10% resin to bind the quartz together. Pigments are used for color. Depending on the design, materials such glass or metallic flakes are added to create sparkle. With more and more companies producing quartz slabs, it is important to understand that not all processes are the same. Some companies stay within the 90-95% ratio for quartz and other companies are much less. It is important to do your research on the quartz manufacturer and not base your decision solely on price.
Quartz countertops provide many benefits versus other materials, including granite. Quartz’s natural hardness combined with the resins used in fabrication create a non-porous surface that is stronger than natural stone and stain and scratch resistant. While granite generally requires yearly sealing and polishing, quartz countertops are non-porous; they never require sealing or polishing. From a maintenance perspective, quartz countertops are virtually maintenance free with only soap and water required for cleaning. In addition, the non-porous characteristic of quartz means it is resistant to bacteria growth making it one of the safest countertops for food preparation.
Granite and other natural stone countertops are popular, in part, because of their natural beauty and unique pattern and color variations. No two slabs of granite are alike. As quartz becomes more popular and with more manufacturers producing, the number of designs available for quartz countertops are virtually endless. Advancements in the manufacturing process have resulting in the ability mimic the patterns and variations of granite and other natural stones. This allows you to achieve the look of natural stone, but have all the durability characteristics of quartz.
The number of designs available for quartz countertops means that it is an excellent choice for any style of home. The ability to mimic natural stone is great for more traditional looks, bold colors like red or blue can be used to make a statement, and plenty of designs are available for a contemporary or modern look. Due to its hardness and durability, quartz can be used in other design elements than just countertops. Backsplashes, showers and tubs, walls, furniture, and even flooring.
Although quartz is an excellent choice, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of. Quartz does not withstand heat as well as granite and can be susceptible to fading from long-term exposure to sun, making it a poor choice for outdoor applications. Depending on the pattern and color chosen, seams can be more visible on a quartz countertop compared to other surfaces.
Whether you are remodeling or designing a new custom home, quartz is an excellent choice for your new countertops. Here at AFT Construction, we have the experience, resources, and relationships to assist you in choosing the right quartz countertops for your project.