While marble and granite are the best choices for kitchen countertops, quartz is slowly gaining popularity as well. An increasing number of people consider quartz a great alternative to natural stone and are installing it in kitchens world-wide.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a stone that’s naturally and abundantly available in the Earth’s crust. Crushed quartz is combined with resins, pigments and polymers to make countertops that are hard, durable and attractive to the eye. The material consists of 90% quartz and 8 to 10% of other materials so it is still mostly, natural.
Moreover, manufacturing quartz has a lower environmental impact than the mining of granite or marble. The resins used are generally petroleum based, however, the stone used is available readily. Some of the more popular brands are certified to prove they’re low-emitting.
Quartz can be very visually appealing, depending on how they’re made. The design relies on how finely the quartz stone is crushed. Finely crushed quartz gives the countertops a smooth, even appearance while coarsely crushed ones have a flecked, dotted appearance. Both options can be appealing so it depends largely on your personal preference.
They’re also available in a wide-variety of colors. Since they are man-made and specifically engineered, you get many different design options to choose from. Some companies add recycled glass into the mixture or even flakes of metal to give the countertops a different look.
Manufacturers are increasingly coming up with new designs and patterns for this material. They sometimes try to emulate the pattern of natural stones like marble and granite. Quartz countertops are also available in different finishes. Depending on your preference, you can choose honed, embossed, polished or sandblasted finishes.
Quartz countertops can be a little more expensive than granite in some cases, but not as expensive as marble. They can cost anything between $60 and $90 per square foot. These countertops tend to be heavy so it is best that you hire professionals to install them in your kitchen. If they’re not installed properly, they’re liable to crack or chip, despite their resilience. Moreover, this material doesn’t require a sealant, so it can prove more cost effective in the long run.
Quartz countertops are generally low maintenance. Daily cleaning requires nothing more than a wipe with water and some soap. The surface isn’t very susceptible to stains so they can be easily removed by brushing gently. However, it might be a better idea to avoid harsh cleaners and chemicals. Some of them can break the bond between the quartz particles and the resins.
Since the material is non-porous, the stain doesn’t sink into the stone and become permanent. The non-porous nature also ensures that bacteria, mold and the like don’t penetrate the surface. These countertops are also generally scratch resistant as long as your observe standard care and don’t cut food on the surface and bang sharp utensils on it.
If you have more questions, call Five Star Stone Inc. at 727 265 1100 or just contact us and we’ll get back to you.