If you are in the kitchen or bathroom renovation process, it is essential to be extra careful about your countertops. After all, they cover a large area and will definitely have a massive impact on your décor. When it comes to countertops, there are various materials to choose from. Natural stones like granite or marble are quite popular. However, quartz countertops have qualities that make them quite desirable.
What Is Quartz?
Quartz is a manufactured stone engineered to be durable, strong, and beautiful. Quartz mainly consists of crushed pieces of quartz bound together with resins, polymers, and pigments. Once combined, they form a beautiful countertop material, which is quite hard and looks fantastic.
Since quartz is a manufactured material, it can be customized to look in various ways. The finer the ground pieces of quartz, the smoother the appearance. Quartz countertops can be made to look like marble or granite as well.
Pros & Cons of Quartz Countertops
Quartz is sold in slab format, just like natural stones. Like all natural stones, quartz has its advantages and disadvantages. First, let’s take a look at the pros of quartz countertops.
- Non-Porous: The most crucial feature of quartz countertops is that they are non-porous. All natural stones have porous surfaces, so they need to be sealed and resealed occasionally. With quartz countertops, you don’t need to worry about sealing or resealing. The non-porous nature of quartz countertops makes them highly resistant to stains. As long as liquids are wiped away after a spill, no permanent stains will exist.
- Low Maintenance: The non-porous nature of quartz countertops makes them easier to clean. You don’t need any sort of special cleaning materials, poultices, or scrubbing. Simply using soap and water will be enough to clean your quartz countertops.
- Durable: Quartz is a naturally occurring stone that is quite durable. Your quartz countertops will be able to hold up to anything thanks to the durable nature of this stone. You don’t have to worry about scratches, chips, or cracks. Quartz countertops are heat resistant, so you don’t have to constantly worry about caring for them.
- Beautiful: Quartz countertops come in a wide range of colors and patterns. This is probably one of the most important feature quartz countertops have because you will definitely find the one that fits perfectly into your design choices. Since quartz countertops are made to order, they can look like marble, granite, or concrete with the colors you picked. So, no matter the style of your kitchen or bathroom, you can build a beautiful room with quartz countertops.
- Versatile: Natural stones are quite hard to work with. They can be damaged during manufacturing or installation. On the other hand, quartz countertops are made under high temperatures and pressure, making them extremely durable. Since they are manufactured to order, quartz countertops can be molded into any shape you wish.
- Antibacterial: Liquids can seep into the pores of natural stones, causing permanent stains and bacterial growth. However, quartz countertops are made with a percentage of binder agents, making them non-porous. This makes your quartz countertops extremely resistant to stains and bacterial infestations. You don’t have to worry about bacteria, mold, or mildew in your kitchen and bath.
- Adds Value to Your Home: The popularity of quartz countertops is rising each day, which makes them quite desirable for potential home buyers. Quartz countertops are probably the most durable option out there, and they will last a lifetime with little care. You will never have to worry about replacing them.
Now that we know the pros of quartz countertops, let’s look at the cons.
- Susceptible to Heat: Though the quartz particles are resistant to heat, the resin and polymer fillings in quartz countertops are prone to heat damage. Placing hot pots or pans directly on your quartz countertops is highly discouraged. They can cause discolorations, white spotting, or dull looks, reducing your countertops’ beauty.
- Hard to Install: Installing quartz countertops is not a DIY project. They require professionals who can measure, level, and fix the slabs. It is important to work with professionals while getting your quartz countertops installed.
- Unnatural Looks: While quartz countertops can have a wide range of colors and styles, they lack the unique looks of natural stones such as granite or marble.
- Not for Outdoors: Quartz countertops are suitable for indoor uses. The constant sunlight can cause the colors of your countertops to fade away. Also, the heat changes can cause warping, leading to a split over time.
How Does Quartz Compare to Granite or Marble?
Both granite and marble are natural stones. Quartz, on the other hand, is a manufactured material that is the most durable out of the three. Granite and marble have porous structures, which means they can absorb liquids and have permanent stains on the stone. Quartz countertops are non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about this kind of stain. In terms of heat, a quart isn’t as heat-resistant as granite. Granite surfaces can withstand extremely high temperatures. As mentioned earlier, quartz countertops contain resins that bind the whole structure together. This resin can be damaged with heat, resulting in scorch marks and permanent discolorations.
As you can see, quartz is at a sweet spot between granite and marble. This reflects on the price as well. Price-wise, marble is generally the most expensive option thanks to its beautiful and elegant looks. Granite is the least costly option.
How to Maintain Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops are highly durable, yet proper care is critical to keep them looking beautiful and lasting longer. Lack of proper maintenance or a careless accident can end up damaging your quartz countertops. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you care for your quartz countertops.
- Regular Cleaning: Thanks to their non-porous nature, your quartz countertops are easy to clean. Wiping your quartz countertops with a damp cloth daily will be a fantastic preventative measure to keep them clean and good-looking. Drying your countertops later will make your surfaces shine. Remember to stay away from harsh cleaners, which can destroy the resin bonds.
- Avoid Scratches and Hits: Quartz is a highly durable material that is scratch resistant. However, this does not mean that your quartz countertops are scratch-proof. You should definitely use cutting boards to avoid scratching since knives can damage the finish of your kitchen countertops. It is advised to be careful about dropping heavy objects or hits around the corners of your quartz countertops. They can end up with cracks or chips, resulting in a bad look.
- Use Hot Pads: Quartz can withstand the heat, but the resin and polymer fillings in your quartz countertops can be damaged by heat. The sudden temperature changes can cause cracks or even split a stone slab in half. Using trivets or hot pads when placing hot pots or pans on your quartz countertops is always a great idea. Otherwise, you may end up having burn marks, discolorations, or cracking on your countertops.
- Clean Spills Quickly: Your quartz countertops are highly resistant to spills and stains. However, acidic substances can eat through your quartz countertops, causing permanent stains. We highly recommend cleaning up spills immediately to keep your countertops looking just like on day one.
As you can see, quartz countertops are one of the best choices and an excellent purchase. They may be an engineered product, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look good. They can be manufactured with beautiful colors and patterns, which then will help you build your dream kitchen or bathroom. Thanks to their durability, quartz countertops are definitely an investment for your home. Their non-porous nature makes them require less maintenance than natural stones, saving you time to enjoy life more.