Not only are engineered quartz countertops a long-lasting, low-maintenance alternative to natural stone countertops, but they can also be found in multiple color choices.
What Are Quartz Countertops Made Of
What is a Quartz Countertop?
Kitchen countertops all around the U.S. have been covered in laminates since Formica was created in the 1920s. However, some natural stone surfaces as marble, soapstone, granite, and concrete have started being used in more and more kitchens for the last 10 years. Nevertheless, engineered quartz has cracked into the design world.
A couple of years after getting popularity in Europe during the last decade, quartz started being part of many kitchens in America, showing off its own remarkable qualities along with the best features of laminate and stone as well. With a 60% increase in sales in 2004, quartz countertops are incredibly popular all around the U.S. today.
Engineered Quartz Countertops
What are Quartz Countertops Made of?
How are quartz countertops made? Why are they so resistant? These are common questions when it comes to talking about quartz countertops assets. Well, even when some quartz countertops are made of quarried slabs of the natural stone, new engineered quartz countertops are a combination of ground natural quartz (95%) with polymer resins (5%). As a result, we obtain an outstanding countertop that not only is low-maintenance and noticeably hard, but also has a natural stone look that can be found in a wide variety of ravishing colors. These nearly infinite and stunning quartz color options were actually what caught the eye of many homeowners.
Gay Lyons, a college professor in Knoxville, Tennessee, changed her white laminate countertops in her 1970s rancher’s kitchen, replacing it with blue quartz. “Color was definitely a very important factor,” she said. “Our kitchen countertops had to match other areas besides the rest of the kitchen because it is part of an extensive room that includes a dining and seating area as well as an adjacent room. The color I chose was a perfect match for everything.”
Joe Everitt, an independent contractor who has been remodeling lofts and brownstones in New York City for the last 10 years, mentions that even though homeowners adore the fact that quartz can be found in color choices that were never available in stone, the best qualities of this material are not visible.
“It is almost impossible to destroy these countertops. Unlike granite manufacturers, most quartz manufacturers offer a warranty. Quartz countertop material is not porous as other stone surfaces, you can even keep it 99.9% free of bacteria,” Joe stated. “Hence, it is much more hygienic than other materials.”
Periodic resealing of quartz countertops surface is not needed, as it resists corrosion or staining from most household cleaning products, cooking oils and liquids, unlike other types of stone countertops. Nevertheless, excessive heat can damage quartz, so heating pads or trivets must be used with quartz countertops.
How to Choose a Countertop?
To help you choose the right material for your kitchen, you will see here the pros and cons of the top kitchen countertop materials:
How Are Quartz Countertops Made
Both natural stone and quartz countertops offer a variety of edging choices; nevertheless, engineered quartz offers design possibilities that cannot be provided by stone. Quartz can be used on larger vertical surfaces like backsplashes or shower panels due to its flexibility and the fact that glue and epoxy are used to hold it in place. On the other hand, screws are required to keep the natural stone in place, not to mention that fissures and seams are often too noticeable.
Even though quartz includes remarkable assets, installing engineered quartz countertops is not a piece of cake, so quartz countertop material manufacturers certify their own installation experts.
“Installation could be a little overwhelming because you must get it from a certified distributor. You have to wait a little bit along the way,” Gay mentioned. “First, some people are sent to take measurements, and then others are sent to do the installation.”
Since quartz is considerably heavier than other materials, there are some special things to consider for its installation.
“Before installing quartz countertops, especially on upper floors, it is essential that any structural issues be identified, as well as the installer be sure the cabinets are in a good condition,” Joe said.
As engineered quartz countertops become more popular and are provided by more manufacturers, their price seems to be decreasing. Nevertheless, it is generally more expensive than laminate and similar to granite, with a price between $100-$200 per square foot.
Engineered quartz countertops can be found at the main home and garden centers, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as through the majority of kitchen design firms. Zodiaq, Cambria, and Silestone are some common brands.
Gay Lyons and her husband are delighted with quartz. “We love our quartz countertops. We know many people who have granite in their kitchens, but we do not know anyone who has quartz. Our quartz countertops are stunning and they resist everything.”