Quartz Slabs became quite popular lately due to their durability, and stain resistance. You can find a variety of different colors and designs which are mostly not available in natural stone countertops. There are some disadvantages too. Before diving into the details, we have to understand what quartz is.
What is quartz?
Quartz is a relatively new manmade artificial surface covering material. Harder stones like granite consist of quartz. Quartz raw material is found in nature. While quartz is very abundant in nature, there are some famous quartz crystals such as Indian quartz, Brazilian quartz, and American quartz.
Story of Quartz Countertops
Due to the popularity of quartz countertops, some American and European producers came up with taking this abundant raw material, mixing it with resin, and pouring slabs out of it. Breton machinery company in Italy was one of the pioneers of this technology and eventually, it evolved into one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials in the world.
Moulin Rouge Polished Quartzite Slab
Green Fire Leather Quartzite Slab
How Quartz Kitchen Countertops are Made?
Quartz is a cheaper alternative to natural stone such as marble countertops and granite countertops. There are good and bad manufacturers of quartz slabs and it is difficult to distinguish which is a good quartz and which is not. In addition to quartz chips, quartz countertops consist of resin, an artificial form of plastic. Some manufacturers put as much as 15% resin in quartz countertops. Contrary to popular belief bad quality quartz eventually scratches and can burn.
Main Quartz Manufacturers
Oki quartz from Italy, Stone Italiana quartz, and Silestone are some of the earlier players with a variety of colors and textures. Eventually, Ceaserstone and Cambria became some of the mass manufacturers.
Quartz slabs come polished or honed. In addition chip size and color can also vary as well as veins. Basic colors such as white quartz are very popular in apartment building kitchen countertops.
Some of the veined quartz countertops are made to look like popular Italian marbles such as White Carrara and Calacatta marble. These veins are mostly handmade in China and can look artificial. Technology is still limited and veins are repetitive.
When creating your home, you want a stone that accents your color scheme and lifestyle. Quartz is one of the only countertop materials that has the flexibility to be personalized to your style. Marble Systems Quartz Slabs has a wide variety of quartz colors while remaining low maintenance, making the creation of the space of your choosing unique and timeless.
As quartz is an engineered material, there are many different quartz variations of color, pattern, and shade, while remaining less costly and more long-lasting than other surface-covering materials. Most quartz manufacturers have a large assortment of different colors of quartz from black and bronze to white and cream leaving plenty of room for the buyer’s preferences.
The most common areas of use for quartz countertops are budget apartment buildings, budget hotels, and senior housing. Most developers want an inexpensive alternative to relative material stones, such as marble or granite for countertops. Primarily, the quartz product is used on countertops but has other uses as well.
Quartz can be featured on walls, and custom tabletops, and used for backsplashes, leaving the applications of quartz within the realm of interior design to be endless. When looking for an accent wall or unique addition to a home, apartment, or hotel, quartz remains a solid choice if the focus is on affordability, upkeep, and customization. These various applications have the ability to be altered to complement the color scheme and chosen look for the space.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There have been reports of health concerns in quartz countertop manufacturing. A recent NPR report referred to the health hazards of making quartz tops. Now let’s check the advantages and disadvantages of quartz countertops. Quartz countertops are relatively stain-free and easier to maintain those are the principal advantages.
However, they can become quite boring and also scratch and stain after a long period of time. Veins in quartz countertops can look quite artificial and repetitive after several slabs. Also if you’re doing a kitchen island, it is quite difficult to have the veins match in a natural-looking way. One of the biggest problems of quartz countertops is it is difficult to make edges look natural and veins go all the way through.
Advantages of Quartz Countertops
As a result of quartz being man-made, this covering material offers many more stylistic options than other natural stones. The varieties of quartz options span from colors to designs differing from compared to countertop materials. High-quality quartz not only provides an array of options for each and every style but can also look just like the more expensive stones.
When shopping for a key feature in a new home, seeing what you get is imperative for us all. Since quartz is an engineered material, there is an everlasting consistency. Just like snowflakes, natural stones are never exactly alike. Therefore, when ordering multiple slabs of natural stone, the purchaser could be surprised by the differences when focusing on the details, but this is not the case with quartz. What you see, will always be what you get.
Quartz countertops are non-porous and easy to maintain. Cleaning quartz surfaces is as easy as can be as the material can stand everyday staining sources without leaving a mark. Quartz countertops are also much more sanitary with their non-porous composition, making them a healthy, yet trendy, addition to everyday kitchens and bathrooms.
For everyday buyers, maintaining a budget is necessary. Quartz can maintain just as high quality and looks of natural stone options while staying more cost-effective. Unlike granite or marble, quartz does not need to be resealed annually, overall saving money in the future as well.
Disadvantages of Quartz
Finding the perfect quartz countertop match can become very timely. As a result of quartz availability, it takes a lot of shopping in order to find the right cost, style, and quality to fit the buyer’s needs.
Although quartz countertops are primarily stain-resistant, they are susceptible to damage from sunlight leading to dulling and staining. When using quartz, the buyer’s everyday life is managed with caution as to the placement of hot pans or heated hair stylers. Over time, this so-called ‘indestructible’ surface can scratch and slowly change to a color and texture it was not originally bought as.
As an engineered product, quartz also has cons to this factor. Man-made veins can become overwhelming in a large area, especially the chance that multiple slabs could make the countertops look artificial. The size limitations of quartz, compared to the lack of size limitations in granite and natural stones, can restrict the amount that the veins go along the surface, making it look all the more engineered, rather than natural.
Difference Between Quartz vs Quartzite
In this article, we mostly focused on Quartz which is a man-made stone. You may have heard of Quartzite as well and may be wondering about the differences between the two. At Marble Systems, we have also Quartzite slabs that are suitable for kitchen countertops. The main difference is as we said before; quartz is a man-made, engineered stone that was reinforced with chips, resin, and pigments. Read our Quartz vs. Quartzite Countertops: Which is Best for Your Home? blog post to see all differences.
Brown Fantasy Polished Soft Quartzite# Slab
Corteccia Polished Soft Quartzite# Slab
On the other hand, Quartzite is originally a sandstone, a metamorphic rock, it is completely natural. It is extracted from quarries and then cut into slabs to be used as mostly kitchen countertops. It is somewhat similar to natural stones like marble and granite. Because it is porous and must be sealed periodically, while quartz is non-porous and it doesn’t require any sealing.
Finally, we can say that both quartz and quartzite countertops are very beautiful. Their price points are very close to each other. They are good alternatives to marble or granite countertops in terms of pricing.