Everything You Need to Know About Quartz Countertops

November 15, 2022

Various qualities make quartz kitchen countertops stand out, even among other stone countertop materials like granite. You can find quartz kitchen countertops in many colors—from bright whites to cool grays, warm creams, and rich browns and blacks. Some quartz has veining that makes it look like marble. Additionally, some options contain mirror chips which reflect light and cause the material to appear as if it’s sparkling.

Considering quartz kitchen countertops for your home? Here are some facts to know about this material, as well as some quartz kitchen countertops pros and cons.

Quartz Countertops Aren’t Solid Quartz  

The overwhelming majority of quartz countertops are made up of waste granite, marble, and other natural stone products that are crushed up and recycled. A small amount (about 10 percent) of the volume is a binder such as polymeric or cement-based materials. The remainder is composed of recycled industrial wastes such as ceramic, silica, glass, and mirrors.

While quartz countertops do contain some actual quartz, what gives it the look and feel of stone is binders mixed into all of the rock material. In fact, a more accurate name for this type of countertop would be engineered stone or compound stone—terms that describe how these products are created. The industry is slowly catching onto this verbiage as well.

Essentially, quartz countertops can have a small amount of natural quartz in them, but no full slab of extracted crystal. Most importantly, they likely contain other materials too.

Quartz Countertops Are Eco-Friendly  

Although fiberboard gets a lot of criticism, it’s important to remember that no trees are ever cut down purely for this building material. The same is true for engineered stone countertops; the base quartz countertops are made up of 90 percent waste byproducts from other quarrying or manufacturing processes. In other words, no natural stone is solely quarried to be used in these types of countertops.

The resins that make up the other 10% of a quartz countertop have become more natural and less synthetic. Breton’s trademarked term for this ingredient is “Biolenic Resins,” which refers to a combination of artificial and organic resins. The organic resins are derived from non-food vegetable oils.

Quartz No Longer Competes With Granite  

For many years, people could only decide between quartz or granite for their kitchen countertops. Quartz worked to establish itself as a more reliable and easier-to-fabricate version of natural stone slab granite.

Caesarstone is an up-and-coming company that offers quartz materials that look like nothing else on the market. With offerings such as Apple Martini, Blizzard, and Crocodile, Caesarstone is quickly becoming a favorite among consumers who are looking for something unique and modern. Caesarstone’s unique, modern offerings such as Apple Martini, Blizzard, and Crocodile are quickly gaining favor among consumers who desire something different. 

More Quartz Means Lower Granite Prices  

A report from the Freedonia Group shows that quartz countertops are slowly but surely taking over granite’s market share. In years past, homeowners would have chosen slab granite, but now more and more people are choosing quartz, because they are beautiful and durable.

The good news for people considering granite countertops is that prices have decreased due to lowered demand. You’ll be able to take advantage of this trend and get a great deal on granite counters!

Quartz Has Excellent Durability  

Quartz kitchen countertops are nonporous, so they don’t need sealing like granite or marble. This also means that quartz is less likely to get water stains.

Quartz is also resistant to scratches, while granite is prone to scratching. However, both materials can crack under pressure if it is extreme.

Luckily, you can fix light scratches with a little bit of polish and elbow grease. However, if the scratch is deeper, you might need to use an epoxy filler. The best way to avoid future scratches is by using cutting boards whenever possible.

Are There Any Cons To A Quartz Countertop?  

Though quartz countertops are quite beautiful, they have a lower heat resistance than other materials. If you place a hot pan or baking dish on the surface, it can leave behind cloudy white discoloration. Not to mention, if these countertops need repairs, it can be costly. Quartz is generally cheaper than granite. However, it’s not a cheap countertop overall when compared to other options like laminate or butcher block. 

On average, quartz countertops cost $15-$70 per square foot while granite costs around $15-$140, and marble will run you approximately $15-$190. On the cheaper end, laminate typically costs between $8-27/square foot and wood or butcher block averages at about  10-38 dollars / sf. Meanwhile, porcelain or ceramic tiles are also fairly inexpensive options for a countertop coming in at 3-28 and 1-5 dollars respectively.

As the premier countertop experts in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and the DC area, we have decades of expertise pairing families with the best countertop solutions for their projects. Contact us HERE for help deciding which natural stone countertop is right for your needs!

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