Quartz stone is currently the leading top choice of homeowners and designers in the US for kitchen remodeling, edging out granite by a narrow but persistent margin. If you are on the fence about the best stone for your kitchen countertops, here are some quick quartz stone facts to help you decide one way or the other.
Quartz stone used for kitchen countertops is an engineered stone. The quartz takes the form of dust, chips, and pebbles, bound together with resin and coloring agents to form a solid surface.
Quartz stone is not the same as quartzite, which is almost pure quartz that formed naturally. It has about the same amount of quartz materials as quartzite, but they are not inherently solid.
Quartz stone is one kind of engineered stone. Top brands are distinct from other engineered stones because it uses at least 90% quartz. Some engineered stones might use other minerals in its mix in varying proportions, in which case they are not quartz stones.
Quartz is a natural mineral with a Mohs scratch resistance rating of seven. This makes it a very durable stone, on par or even more so than granite.
Quartz stones tend to be more scratch-resistant than granite because they typically have twice the quartz content. However, some granite types may be more durable than quartz stone, depending on its specific mix and density.
All manufacturers of quartz stones use a patented technology called Bretonstone, including Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone, and Zodiaq. These companies are just some of the 50-odd ones granted a license to use the process by the Italian company Breton S.p.a.
- Quartz stone manufacturers can produce slabs or tiles in any color and design, and many look enough like granite or marble to fool any but an expert. Aside from mimicking natural stones, quartz countertops also have unusual and attractive designs that will never come out in nature.
- Quartz stone is non-absorbent, which means quartz countertops are technically stain-resistant. Since it is also scratch-resistant, it needs very little maintenance.
- There is no need to seal quartz countertops like granite and marble countertops. Sealers permeate into the stone through the pores, and since quartz stones have no pores, it will just sit on the surface. It is not just a waste of money; it will also dull the surface.
- Quartz stones are susceptible to heat damage. The quartz minerals are heat resistant, but not the resins and coloring agents in the mix, resulting in unsightly marks on the surface. This will not make the quartz countertops any less durable, but it will not be as pretty.
- Quartz stone manufacturers specifically state that using the material outdoors will void the warranty. This is because the pigments in the stone tend to fade under direct sunlight, changing the way your quartz countertops look. If you still want to use it outdoors and do not care about the warranty, at least choose a light colored design to make any fading look less obvious.
- Just like any branded product, manufacturers will not produce anything identical to that of a competitor.
- Quartz stone tends to be denser than granite or marble, so it is also heavier. This makes it more difficult to fabricate and install. You need to engage the services of an authorized installer for this.
- The concept of an engineered stone has been around since 1963. It first became popular in Italy, the country of its invention, and some areas of Europe. It only really came into the mainstream in the US in the late 1990s, and gained serious traction in early 2000s.
- Quartz countertops cost about the same as granite, slightly more than marble.
- Quartz stone is food safe, as is granite and marble, so it is safe for use in the kitchen. Some brands add bacteriostatic materials to the mix to make it even safer for food preparation.
It is not easy to cause damage to quartz countertops, provide you engage an authorized professional to cut and install it. If you do succeed in chipping or cracking it, the damage the manufacturer’s warranty might cover it if it is a defect in the manufacture or installation. If it is not, you can usually find a way to repair it.
You cannot buy quartz stone for kitchen countertops from big box stores. You can only purchase them from authorized remodeling companies or distributor, or through an approved interior designer.
These quick facts might very well convince you that quartz countertops are the perfect choice for your kitchen or bathroom. However, f you are still uncertain, you can consult with a reliable remodeler in your area. Keystone Granite & Tile can help you if you are in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware, so we can walk you through the granite or marble slabs we have available and explain how each quartz stone brand can benefit you in your kitchen or bathroom remodel.
We carry the top brands in the quartz stones, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and Zodiaq, all with manufacturer warranties. Once you have chosen your slabs, we provide free professional design consultation and quotes so you know exactly where you are before committing.
We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen countertops, so you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality. We also have a quick turnaround, so you will get your products on time and on budget.
Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to get the ball rolling!