Because quartz is almost as hard as diamonds, it can be used to make very strong and durable countertops. The mineral is mixed with color additives and a resin binder to form a final product that’s approximately 93 percent quartz. Taking a few things into consideration will help you determine if this type of countertop is right for your kitchen.
One advantage of Quartz Countertops over solid stone countertops like granite or marble is that the resin binder makes them non-porous. This means they don’t need to be constantly sealed and are less likely to get stained. Bacteria won’t be able to get down into the countertop and spread to the foods you’re cooking either. All you need to do is clean off the surface of the countertop with an appropriate cleaner and the bacteria will be gone. They are among the most durable options for countertops.
There’s a wider variety of color and pattern options available in countertops made of quartz than those made of solid stone, making it easier to find one to match any given kitchen. The color pattern will also be consistent throughout the countertop, which isn’t always the case with natural stone. However, if your countertop is larger than about 4.5 feet wide by 10 feet long, more than one piece of quartz will be needed and there will be seams in the countertop. This is the typical size of the slab manufacturers make for quartz countertops.
Potential for Damage
While quartz is very strong, it can sometimes be scratched or chipped if hit hard enough. Heat can damage the surface, so don’t plan on setting items right out of the oven or off the stove directly on the countertop. Finally, quartz is sensitive to cleaning products that are very acidic or very alkaline, including bleach and many heavy duty cleaners. Check the manufacturer’s care instructions to make sure you know what products to avoid.
The main difference between the various brands of countertops made from quartz is the patterns available since the product itself is all manufactured the same way. Most of these countertops are made outside of the United States, but there is at least one manufacturer in the U.S. for those who prefer buying American-made products.