Quartz countertops have surfaces that are hard and resist wear and tear. Quartz is one of the most valued and preferred materials in the market as it exudes quality and richness.
Natural quartz is the fourth hardest material available in nature, but the quartz surface that is used in quartz countertops is actually manufactured by combining approximately 93% quartz crystals with a tar bond -resin and color pigments under high pressure. It is also known as quartz composite or engineered stone.
Quartz countertops look like natural stone and add a luxurious element to your kitchen. Their beauty lasts for a long time despite the rugged work of the kitchen.
Quartz countertops resist stains, scratches and high temperatures. They cannot be etched with chemical cleaning agents so they remain smooth and hygienic.
Quartz countertops do not require resealing as is necessary in countertops made of natural stone, and remain smooth and easy to maintain.
Engineered quartz stone does not show veining. Unlike natural stones such as granite, its pattern is consistent and uniform and is therefore ideal for large countertops.
Due to its uniform appearance the seams do not become obvious as in natural stone countertops.
The edges also look neat and can be carved into various shapes such as bevel, ogee or bullnose.
One disadvantage of quartz countertops is that even though they cost almost as much as natural stone, buyers prefer natural stones like granite. Buyers always place a higher value on natural stone countertops, so you need to understand that investing in quartz countertops may not increase the resale value of your home.
Although quartz composite is manufactured to replicate the appearance of natural stone, it can fall under the naturally formed patterns of natural stone. This limitation can be made good when you consider the many options, the wide range of colors and the consistent pattern seen on quartz countertops.
Before choosing quartz countertops you may want to compare engineered stone with natural stone samples. This will help you arrive at the right choice.
Cost of quartz countertops
Quartz countertops are made of engineered material, but their prices work to be similar to natural stone countertops; therefore they are considered to be on the more expensive side. Quartz costs about $50 or more per square foot, which may or may not include the cost of installation.
This cost is determined by various factors such as manufacturer, location, size, color and finish. Popular names for quartz countertops are Cambria, Silestone, CaesarStone, HanStone and Zodiaq.
Tips for buying quartz countertops
1. Keep your kitchen decor in mind while choosing the color, design and edge style of the quartz countertops.
2. Contrasting colors will always look great. For example, if your cabinetry is a lighter color, dark quartz countertops will look good. On the other hand if your cabinets are of a darker shade, a lighter quartz countertop will add some brightness and warmth to your kitchen.
3. A good way to understand color complementing is to browse some home decor magazines. For creating an attractive color scheme you can also consult an interior designer.
4. If you are looking at a smaller budget, you can of course combine the quartz with a uniform colored laminate, but be careful to use the hard and durable quartz near areas of rugged use and also around the sink area, as that the laminate can be damaged. This combination is very cheap and elegant if done right.
Installation of quartz countertops
You will have to hire an experienced contractor to install quartz countertops. They are heavy and require careful handling. This is not a DIY job and can result in broken slabs if not installed carefully.
Before you hire an installer, check some of his work and see that he is certified to do the job. Moreover, he should be ready to coordinate with you and get the job done according to your preferences and customization.
Maintenance of quartz countertops
A good contractor will always advise you on how to use and maintain your newly installed countertop.
Quartz countertops are the hardest countertops to find on the market and can last a lifetime. They have a smooth, scratch-proof, non-porous and glossy finish. Therefore they are easy to clean; they do not get stained and do not require resealing.
Although quartz is hard, you do not need to use abrasive cleaning materials. Just warm soapy water will suffice.
If you avoid dragging and hitting heavy objects on the surface of the quartz countertops, their luster can be maintained for a very long time.