When you’re getting ready to renovate your kitchen and you’re trying to decide on which type of material for the counter tops is the best, you have a lot of kinds to choose from. A popular choice is quartz among those who prefer natural materials. There are pros and cons associated with putting quartz counter tops in your kitchen, so before you make your final decision, it’s best to learn everything that you can to make sure that you’re making the best choice for your lifestyle and your home. Here, we explore the facts and the myths along with everything else that you need to know about quartz counter tops.
Quartz counter tops are the most durable material
If one of your goals is to install counter tops that are made of the hardest minerals found on earth, then quartz definitely falls into this category. When compared with granite counter tops, which is another popular choice, quartz holds up far better and it doesn’t require the annual coat of protective finish. Quartz requires far less maintenance to stay looking brand new for longer, according to Amy R. Hughes, of This Old House magazine. Quartz is generally made of ground quarts with around 6 percent of the other ingredients consisting of polyester resis for binding, pigmentations for color and in some cases, metallic flecks or recycled glass for more dramatic aesthetic effects. The mixture of these ingredients together helps to make the quartz counter tops highly resistant to staining and scratches. Unlike granite, quartz counter tops are non-porous so there is no need for re-sealing the surface. Quartz comes in as the second most popular choice of materials, but it’s superior in durability and more low maintenance than Granite.
Quartz is the environmentally friendly approach
If you’re concerned about protecting the environment, then you’ll be thrilled to know that quartz counter tops are made with mostly natural ingredients which includes quartz what has been ground and they are made from left over materials that would otherwise be considered as waste, so they are a good example of how the industry is reducing waste by recycling leftover quartz materials and re-purposing the waste into beautiful eco-friendly and natural counter tops for the home. The Breton company makes resins for quartz counter tops that are made from vegetable oil. The majority of compounds used in the manufacturing of quartz counter tops come from natural sources. There is something special about a material that is known to be less damaging to the environment than some others. These facts truly make quartz a better choice when trying to do your part to help protect the delicate environment of the planet.
There are pros and cons associated with quartz counter tops
According to the Counter Top Guides website, quartz counter tops have a few advantages over granite and concrete. First of all, they’re an engineered stone which means that they’re man made of natural stone materials with a few other ingredients added to strengthen and make the quartz more attractive. We already discussed its superiority in resistance to stain and scratch damages, but quartz is also more resistant to chipping and cracking, however, it’s important to remember that under extreme conditions, it is possible to damage quartz, just not as easily as the other natural stone materials. The non-porous surface is easier to clean and it doesn’t harbor bacteria like more porous materials, making it a more hygienic choice for kitchens as well as bathrooms. The major disadvantage of quartz counter tops is that they are expensive and can reach prices between $115 up to $200 per square foot. Another drawback is that quartz is not as heat resistant as the other materials so care must be taken not to place very hot things on the surface or it may cause damage.
Quartz counter tops may contain other natural stone
Some quartz counter top makers use different formulas in making their products, and although you can count on approximately 90 percent of the ingredients being quartz, there are almost always other materials added into the mixture during the creation process. In addition to the ground quartz, resin, pigment and occasionally glass and metal fleck, some quartz counter tops also contain some amounts of recycled silica, ceramic, marble and other natural stone. It’s important to know that they are not one hundred percent quartz and some brands are more so than others, according to The Spruce.
Another interesting fact about quartz counter tops is that the Breton company is the manufacturer who first developed the technology in 1963. The product is marketed under the name bretonstone and after fifty years in the business Breton is still in business and t has licensed the technology for making quartz counter tops to dozens of companies throughout the world, each with the creative license to add ingredients of their choice to the mixture that is heated and shaped into the slabs which will be made into counter tops, and in some cases, floors, according to The Spruce.
Quartz counter tops can last for half a century and it’s more versatile
According to Great Lakes Granite and Marble, quartz is one of those very special materials that if properly cared for, can last for up to fifty years or more. It’s a low maintenance material and it may be the last counter top that you’ll ever need to install in your home. Although granite can last just as long, more maintenance is required and it’s more difficult to keep germ free. Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of quartz counter tops which have been engineered is that they are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. This is not an option for granite counter tops which are limited to the natural colors that of the material which are found in nature. The artificial coloring of quartz makes it more versatile with regard to the colors and patterns which you can find.
Myths associated with quartz counter tops
According to Rumford Stone, there are a great many myths circulating about quartz counter tops and it’s important to know the real facts before making the decision about whether to go with quartz or another type of counter top. The first myth is that quartz doesn’t stain. The truth of the matter is that quartz is quite resistant to staining, but there are some chemical compounds which can cause staining on the surface, such as paints or solvents. Another myth is that quartz is UV resistant, but this isn’t true either. if quartz is exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time it could be damaged. A third myth is that it is impossible to scratch quartz. While it is resistant to scratching, dragging heavy items across the surface of a quartz counter top can lead to scratching and so can abrasive scratch pads or cleaners. The last two myths are that all manufacturers of quartz are the same and this has been posted on a few different websites, but the real truth is that there are dozens of companies who manufacture quartz counter tops and most of them use different formulations, although the machinery is the same. Finally the last myth to address is that quartz is the most expensive type of counter top you can buy. It’s not the most expensive nor is it the least. The cost of quartz counter tops lands somewhere in the middle range.
The real price of quartz counter tops
The Countertop Investigator is a great resource for learning more about quartz counter tops. They share some important facts about the cost of quartz counter tops. Although Breton quartz counter tops range on average between $115 and $200 per square foot, there are plenty of other manufacturers who offer this product for less, in some cases. The cost of the material really depends upon its quality as well as the brand. Some manufacturers offer it for as low as $30 per square foot, but these are the lower quality quartz products. In comparing the cost of quartz with other natural stone materials, granite counter tops generally cost a little more than quartz, but not always. and marble is far more expensive.
The appeal of quartz counter tops
Quartz counter tops, according to the Mr. Stone blog, are a big draw for remodelers, designers and builders because of the fact that it really looks a lot like marble, which is another popular option, yet it’s a lot less expensive. So, in essence, by using marble, homeowners can get the appearance of more high end marble without breaking the bank, plus quartz is the more durable material to have in a kitchen or bathroom that gets a lot of heavy use. in addition, it’s not completely natural because of the additives that help to hold it together and make it more resistant to damage, but it’s really close for a man made version of natural stone that contains roughly 90 percent quartz. It’s close enough to call if you’re looking for a more natural approach for your home or office.
Quartz is used in a lot of other things found in the home and offices
Many people are not aware of the fact that this kind of quartz is so versatile and strong that it is used in a variety of other products that you might not even suspect.it’s also used in the creation of televisions, watches, computers, clocks and other electronic devices because it has a unique propensity for regulating electricity flow.
Quartz is a sustainable product
Another inherent value in quartz counter tops and anything else made of engineered quartz products is that it’s a sustainable product. This type of quartz product is made from recycled materials which would otherwise go to waste, and there is plenty of the material available for use. The quartz used in quartz counter tops does not require digging it out of quarries because it’s what’s left over from the quartz that has already been mined. According to Kitchen Magic, it’s the next runner up for the most abundant mineral on the planet. Even the quartz minerals that are yet to be quarried is in good supply, so we’re in no danger of running out of the raw materials any time in the near future and it is more abundant than other natural stone materials such as granite and marble.
Quartz counter tops are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to fit in with nearly any decorating scheme for bathrooms, kitchens and more. It is a very durable material that is resistant to damage from scratching, abrasion, chipping or cracking, but it’s a bit sensitive when it comes to excessive heat or exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Unlike many of the natural stone counter tops, this engineered stone is non-porous and does not need the annual maintenance of re-coating the surface as the others do. It’s a durable product that is intended to remain beautiful and functional for up to fifty years or maybe even longer when used properly and not subjected to abuse. Quartz counter tops are an excellent choice for anyone who is interested in using materials that are from sustainable sources, eco-friendly in their manufacture and low maintenance. While quartz counter tops are not a cheap or inexpensive solution, they’re not the most expensive either, but in many cases, they look like high end counter tops with their marble appearance. There are pros and cons associated with quartz just as with any other counter top product on the market today, but for most who are willing to pay the price, it’s an investment in materials that will last for nearly a life time.