Quartz countertops have been manufactured for many years. However, they were not a widely used countertop material until 2005 when a major manufacturer of quartz countertops spent millions of dollars to produce a Super Bowl ad. This ad, like so many before it, brought a large amount of attention and interest to quartz countertops across the nation. The countertops are made of more than 90% quartz held together by a composite resin. Quartz is a plentiful gemstone that is extremely hard. In fact, only three minerals on earth are harder than quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamonds. Quartz is manufactured by multiple companies and must be cut and finished by a qualified fabricator in a fashion similar to granite.
Quartz countertop in a contemporary kitchenQuartz countertops have many positives. First, as was previously stated, quartz is an extremely hard material and therefore is extremely scratch resistant. Quartz is also a heat resistant material and is non-porous. Being non-porous means that quartz will not stain and will not allow bacteria to grow. Additionally, several manufacturers use an anti-microbial additive in their resin adding even more protection to the countertop. Quartz comes in a variety of colors and has more natural variation than solid surface countertops. Quartz is a green product that does not harm the environment and does not contain the radon that can possibly be found in solid stone countertops. Finally, quartz a low maintenance countertop that does not need to be sealed and can be cleaned with soap and water.
Quartz can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, offices, closets, and many other placesAs with any product there are also downsides to quartz countertops. First, quartz cost more than many other countertop options, although it is approximately the same cost as solid surface countertops. Quartz countertops come in a variety of colors, but are limited in the color range and while it is a natural element it comes crushed and therefore does not have the variation and natural beauty of solid stone. Quartz comes in a slab, similar to granite, and therefore must be fabricated. This is an extra step in the process as well as an extra cost as it must be handled by a qualified fabricator.
Quartz countertops come in a variety of colorsQuartz countertops are a vast subject area with many details and intricacies. This has been a basic overview of the style of countertop and will hopefully help you in deciding whether or not you should consider solid surface countertops for your home. As with any project make sure to consult a professional for specific advice about your situation before undertaking any significant renovation. *All photos courtesy of SileStone USA