When it comes to durability and beauty it is hard to beat manufactured quartz stone countertops. Whether you are looking for a kitchen countertop, bathroom vanity or feature wall, quartz is a choice you will want to consider carefully, especially for your Clearwater kitchen counter or bathroom vanity. But it is very difficult to find anything bad to say about quartz. The list of pros is long and the cons are few and not necessarily a drawback in everyone’s book. That said, here is a quick guide just to make sure you’re keeping track.
All The Good Stuff About Quartz Stone Countertop
Pro #1: Quartz is just as strong as granite and more flexible. This makes it easier to install but still incredibly scratch and chip resistant. While no stone should be considered indestructible, quartz is able to stand up to a lifetime of daily use.
Pro #2: Quartz is non-porous and does not require sealing. Quartz contains 93% crushed stone and 7% resin. The resin not only reinforces the crushed stone, it also creates an impervious surface that resists stains and will not harbor bacteria.
Pro #3: Seams are easy to hide. While you may still be able to see the seam, it is much more difficult to detect than with a natural stone countertop. Color is consistent and separate pieces of quartz are easy to match while a natural stone like granite will show the seams much more readily.
Pro #4: Quartz can be fabricated more easily to accommodate custom features like integrated sinks and recessed draining areas.
Go to this page to learn more of the benefits of having quartz countertops in your kitchen.
The Not So Good Stuff
Quartz will fade if subject to regular intense sunlight. Dark colors in particular will lighten over time if exposed to direct sunlight. This may or may not be a concern depending on the windows in your kitchen and the color you choose. In Clearwater, our 360 plus days of sunshine a year make this something you will need to consider when choosing a surface for your kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity.
Quartz is heavy. Installing quartz is not a do-it-yourself job. Quartz needs to be installed by a professional and you need to make sure your supporting cabinets are designed for stone countertops. If you are having quartz installed on existing base cabinets or islands you may need to reinforce them to handle the weight.
Placing an extremely hot pan directly on a quartz countertop will discolor the resin and leave a mark. It’s not easy to do but still possible.
Quartz Countertops V.S. Granite Countertops
Many consumers compare quartz with granite. As the very definition of luxury kitchens and bathrooms for the past decade, granite has dominated the market in new kitchens. Quartz is rapidly gaining ground and may be poised to overtake granite as the #1 stone surface for kitchen and bathrooms in the near future. Comparing quartz and granite side by side shows why.
Stain resistance is one area where quartz outshines granite. While a properly sealed granite countertop will resist stains the surface needs to be resealed every 3 years and some kitchen and bath professionals recommend every year to maintain stain resistance.
Quartz never needs to be sealed and is naturally stain resistant because it is an impermeable material. If your kitchen is a work space and not just a show piece then quartz offers a major advantage over granite for both long lasting beauty and less maintenance.
Quartz is a uniform color and pattern that can be easily matched. While some critics say this is a fault of quartz, many more see it as a plus. Different colors and patterns that incorporate sparkling flecks and grains of contrasting minerals are adding new design choices almost daily.
Finding a unique color or design to express your individual style does not necessarily make a quartz countertop more costly. In contrast, exotic natural colors and patterns of granite are rare and the cost rises steeply when you want something unique or out of the ordinary.
Your Design Possibilities Are Limited With Quartz Stone
An integrated sink is a popular design features that is possible with manufactured quartz. A seamless sink or sinks, in the case of a double kitchen sink or bathroom vanity can be made as an integral part of the quartz slab. Several manufacturers offer these designs. An integrated sink can also be fabricated with virtually undetectable seams. Not only does an integrated sink offer a sleek modern look but it also eliminates joint spaces where dirt can collect, hard water deposits tend to concentrate and corrosion begins.
Quartz’s flexibility also allows a wide variety of other custom fabricating possibilities. As the popularity of quartz grows, designers and fabricators have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible. A chic ramp bottom sink housed in a floating quartz shelf provides a modern clean look for a small bathroom vanity. It also allows access from a wheelchair or simply more flexibility in a small bathroom.
Integrated drain boards are a popular quartz kitchen countertop option, as are built-up edge profiles that give your countertop the look of a massive four or five inch thick stone slab. Quartz can also be fabricated into bars, fireplaces, or even have built-in elements located right in the countertop.
Check out our Selection of colors and design of quartz countertops here.
Let’s Check What People are Saying
The popular consumer product testing organization, Consumers Reports, rated quartz as the #1 countertop material for overall performance. They tested countertops across materials and brands. While they found that different brands were nearly indistinguishable, compared to other materials, quartz was clearly superior. The tests included seeing how each material resisted staining, heat, scratches and chips.
Designers are finding that quartz offers a medium for individual expression and are developing many new and exciting uses for quartz slabs. At the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas many new colors, designs and textures such as faux leather were unveiled.
One manufacturer displayed wall dividers made from laser cut quartz slabs that resembled coral and several quartz feature walls were on display with waterjet etched filigree patterns filled with contrasting liquid acrylic. To show just how amazing the possibilities were, designer and TV personality Ramsin Khachi created a stunning bar using a mix of quartz, brass and walnut wood.
Environmentalists are applauding the inclusion of recycled materials in certain brands and colors of manufactured quartz countertops. The recycled material can include crushed glass, mirrors and the waste quartz leftover from the fabricating process. Since manufactured quartz is not permeable, all of these exotic mixtures of materials and surface treatments remain stain resistant and easy to clean for a beautiful low maintenance surface.
Our 2 Cents…
The bottom line is that no one can tell you what you like. No amount of durability will make you fall in love with a quartz kitchen countertop if you think it looks unnatural or lacks the personality of a 100% natural stone countertop or vanity. However, if you want your kitchen countertop to stand up to years of busy family life and keep looking great then you need to give quartz your serious consideration.
When you are searching for a great looking and long wearing quartz countertop for your Clearwater kitchen, consider one of our lighter colored quartz like cultured pearl, Caribbean cream. Light colors are less likely to fade, even in bright sun, and you can enjoy the timeless beauty and classic look of a light and bright Clearwater cottage style kitchen.
If Clearwater cottage isn’t your style, there are options available in every color and pattern you can imagine. You’ll never run out of design possibilities with the selection of quartz countertops at our Clearwater showroom.