An In-Depth Look At Quartz Countertops
Granite countertops have always been a big draw for homebuyers thanks to their upscale looks and unparalleled durability. However, newer materials like quartz are quickly becoming a popular alternative to natural stone for a variety of reasons. The following takes a look at what the quartz countertop has to offer the savvy new homeowner.
The Engineered Stone of Choice
There’s a good reason why quartz countertops are often called “engineered stone” – it’s a unique blend consisting mostly of ground quartz with small quantities of pebbles and semi-precious stones thrown in. The mixture is topped off with epoxy and polymers and fused under intense heat, forming a countertop surface with the same hardness as granite.
Manufacturers can subtly change the quartz’s appearance based on the way it’s ground. For instance, finely-ground quartz offers a smooth appearance, whereas coarse ground quartz yields unique speckling. Since quartz’s color is easily influenced by the soil it’s found in, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to source the mineral from all over the world.
Quartz Countertop Benefits
There are plenty of reasons why quartz countertops make an impressive alternative to the typical granite countertop found in most homes:
- Unlike granite, the quartz countertop is non-porous, giving it natural stain-resistance properties. Surface stains are easy to remove as long as non-abrasive cleaners are used.
- Since bacteria and mildew can’t penetrate through the surface, the quartz countertop offers naturally antimicrobial properties.
- Quartz countertops won’t chip or crack as easily as their granite or concrete counterparts, thanks in large part to the hardened resin. This also gives the material scratch-resistant properties.
- Quartz countertops are available in a broader range of colors than their granite counterparts.
Many people enjoy the look and feel of a quartz countertop, as it lacks the aesthetic harshness commonly found in most styles of granite countertop. As an added bonus, quartz countertops don’t require the annual resealing that’s expected of granite and other natural stone material.
Things to Look Out For
While there’s plenty to love about quartz, you should also be aware of its downsides:
- Most quartz countertops lack granite’s heat resistance. For instance, extreme heat differentials caused by placing a hot pot directly on top of the countertop can cause it to crack.
- Use of abrasive cleaning pads and chemicals to clean can cause the countertop to wear out faster.
The spectacular look of the quartz countertop has made it a welcome addition in a wide variety of homes. It also offers a pleasant surprise for the prospective homeowner in search of a place to call their own.