Quartz CountertopsIf you aren’t really that up on countertop surfaces, when it comes to redecorating your kitchen, it’s easy to get confused; of course, when you get confused, it’s also very easy to make a mistake.

For this reason, checking out all your options ahead of time is vitally important, because that way you can make an informed decision, which won’t turn out to be a glaring error in the future.

One option you have in front of you is quartz.

Now, you will have seen a lot of quartz when shopping around and perhaps looking on redecoration forums, and that is because this is a very positive stone to go for, with many advantages. Quartz is of course a natural stone, i.e. it is mined from the earth’s surface, and that means it is strong and long-lasting. When you purchase a quartz countertop, you are receiving a stone slab that is around 93% natural, i.e. the percentage of stone included, and the remaining amount is simply resin, to give you the colour you want.

If you’re a little undecided, here are ten reasons why you should be going down the quartz countertop route.

  1. Quartz is strong and durable – We mentioned that quartz is a natural stone and because of that fact, it is very strong and hard-wearing.
  1. Quartz is non-porous – This means that the stone won’t absorb liquid, and it also won’t harbour germs or bacteria. You don’t need to regularly seal your countertop for this reason.
  1. Quartz doesn’t require any maintenance – Other than the cleaning you would normally do in your kitchen, quartz doesn’t require anything else doing to it after it has been installed.
  1. Quartz is heat resistant to a large degree – If you place a hot pan down onto the surface from time to time, this is not going to cause a huge issue.
  1. Quartz is scratch resistant to a large degree – Obviously, no stone on earth is 100% scratch resistant, but quartz doesn’t scratch easily.
  1. Quartz is available in a huge number of different colours, patterns, and finishes – The biggest decision will be which one to go for!
  1. Quartz is cost-effective – If you shop around, you can find fantastic deals on your countertop, including the cost of installation.
  1. Quartz is a flexible option to go for – Because of the large number of shades available, you can easily fit this type of countertop into your space, and you can re-decorate around it.
  1. Quartz countertops have great warranties if you buy from a big named brand – Check out which supplier to go for, but you will generally receive a long warranty, which gives you peace of mind.
  1. Quartz basically looks fantastic! – Yes, granite and marble are all great in their own right, but the fact remains that quartz looks the part, and it is serviceable too.

Have these ten reasons converted you towards quartz for your new kitchen countertop? Remember to shop around for the best deals, and always check out colours in person, to see how they react to natural and artificial lights. Stick to neutral or flexible colours, and that way you will be able to decorate around your countertop in the future, without having to replace it early because the colour doesn’t go with your new décor.

8 Benefits of Quartz Stone Countertops

quartz-stone-countertopsWhen redecorating your kitchen, you need to put serious thought and consideration into how it is all going to fall into place. You don’t want to make a costly decision at this stage, and have to replace anything far too soon, because a) you are wasting time, and b) you are wasting money.

One of the most expensive and most important purchases for your new kitchen is your worktop. What colour will you go for? What style will you go for? What material will you go for?

Decisions, decisions!

One of the most popular choices in terms of quartz stone countertop material is without a doubt quartz.

Quartz is a naturally occurring stone, mined from the earth, and for that reason it is widely available at great prices. Of course, you have two other main choices to check out too, namely marble or granite, but if you are thinking down the route of quartz, here are eight benefits that could come your way.

  1. Quartz is a non-porous stone

Basically this means that your countertop is not going to absorb liquids or dirty germs. This means that it won’t be prone to cracking or lifting, and also that it is a much more hygienic choice as a result. If you have children, the elderly, or anyone with a lower immune system in the house, this is a major plus point.

  1. It is heat resistant to a large degree

Whilst nothing is 100% heat resistant, quartz offers quite a large amount of protection. Hot pans can be placed down on the quartz surface without major worry, however just to be sure, if you are leaving them there for a while or doing this regularly, you could invest in some attractive heat resistant mats to go with your surface, simply to prolong its life a little more.

  1. Quartz is stain resistant

There are many substances within the kitchen which can stain and damage your new countertop, and when you have paid hard-earned cash for it, this is not something you want to happen. Quartz is extremely stain resistant, so if you accidentally spill red wine, vinegar, or lemon juice, for example, you don’t have to panic about it marking your surface. Obviously, wipe it up as soon as it happens, but overall, you don’t have any concerns here.

  1. No maintenance required

Following the initial installation, you don’t have to worry about needing to regularly maintain or seal your countertop. Obviously you will need to clean it as you would normally, but compared to other stones, such as granite or marble, you won’t have to seal it annually.

  1. Quartz is easy to clean

Avoid anything abrasive or too harsh, but overall you can clean marble very easily, without having to worry about any damage at the end of it.

  1. A large range of different colours and patterns are available

Quartz is available in countless different colours and patterns, which means you can choose something to go with your current or new décor quite easily. It’s always a good idea to choose something quite neutral, so you can be sure it is going to fit in with any changes you make in the future.

  1. Cost effective

The widely available nature of quartz means that costs are often lower than some other stones, such as marble, for example.

  1. Warranties available from large manufacturers

You can purchase quality quartz stone countertops from several large brand named manufacturers, and these will come with a warranty. Obviously, this gives you peace of mind.

Quartz Countertops – 10 Pros & Cons

quartz-countertopsDecorating a kitchen is not the easiest task in the world, because you simply have so many choices to make in terms of what to put in it, what colour to go for, and what materials to use. By the end of the process you should have created your perfect space, but the process whilst it’s happening can be stressful to say the least!

If you are looking at choosing a quartz stone countertop then you have made a very smart and long lasting choice. Quartz is cost effective and looks fantastic in your kitchen, but you may be torn between this material and the other stone options on the market too.

Of course, they are all fantastic in their own right, but quartz has many advantages, and of course disadvantages, that you need to know about.

Let’s check them out.

Advantages of Quartz Countertops

  • Cost effective – Quartz is cheaper than granite generally, and that means you get high quality for less cost;
  • Doesn’t need regular maintenance in the form of sealing – Granite and marble all need to be sealed on an annual basis, and this adds cost to your choice. Quartz is a plus point choice here because once it is installed, you don’t need to do anything else to it for its lifespan, other than clean it regularly as you would do anyway;
  • Stain resistant – You don’t have to worry about staining your new quartz countertop, as quartz is highly stain resistant;
  • Heat resistant – Of course, you should be careful with hot pans, but quartz is heat resistant to a high degree;
  • Non-porous – Quartz does not absorb liquid into its interior, and that means it doesn’t harbour germs or bacteria. For this reason, quartz is a very hygienic choice;
  • Large range of colours on offer – You will find any colour or pattern you like!

Disadvantages of Quartz Countertops

  • You need to shop around to find the best deal – Because quartz is so widely available, you do need to put plentiful time into shopping around and finding the best deal. This can add quartztime to your search, and that may be something you don’t want or need;
  • Needs to be professionally installed – You can’t install a quartz countertop yourself, you need to have a professional come and do it for you, ensuring it is sealed correctly;
  • The shine can dull over time – Nothing lasts forever, and that means that as time goes on, you may notice that the shine fades a little. Of course, looking after your quartz well will elongate its lifespan;
  • Strong, but not indestructible – We mentioned that quartz is strong, and that is true, but it is not indestructible, so you are still going to need to be careful, especially with anything sharp, such as knives – always use a protective pad when cutting anything.

As you can see, our 10 pros and cons are top heavy in favour of the advantages, and that means that quartz is certainly a great choice for your new kitchen worktop. Because of the natural strength of this stone, you are looking at a very hard-wearing option, and in terms of saving money, because it won’t need to be replaced any time soon after installation, perhaps this is the biggest indication that quartz is the way you should go.

When it comes to manufacturing a countertop, there are no many materials to put aside granite and quartz. Let’s have a brief rundown of how quartz and granite worktops become the most important element in the house-owners kitchens.

Brief rundown over Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

kitchen-granite-countertopsQuartz countertops composition is the most complicated one, as it is an engineered stone. Containing 93% crushed quartz and 7% pigments and binding resin, the worktops resulted can be shaped in almost every forms, and may have every color the customer requires. These things, however, cannot be said about granite.

The countertops from this natural stone are quarried naturally from the earth as huge chunks of stone. Their shape is given after they leave the quarry and end up in a fabric. Here, they are cut in the popular countertop shape.

Regarding the resistance and durability of a countertop, both quartz and granite ones are very similar, with a slightly advantage for quartz for being more flexible, allowing the installation process to be executed more easily.

Different Types of Surface

One big difference between these two materials is the type of surface they poses. Quartz has a non-porous surface, fact that brings him a lot of advantages. From stain resistance to virtually no-maintenance time required, all of these are granted due to the strong texture and fortified atom bound inside the material. Talking about granite in this context requires us to look on the opposite direction. Granite is a porous material, thing that for some clients is a pro, and for some is a con.

Due to its natural behavior, granite countertops are not heat resistant, and can easily be chopped or broke. The only benefit can result from sealing properly the worktop, thus conferring a stain resistant property. If not cleaned and sealed at a regular basis, nasty stains from oil, wine or juice may penetrate into the texture, making them impossible to be removed.

Looking at the various colors of modern kitchens makes us wonder what material is best to be considered in producing a worktop. Well, both granite and quartz have their drawback when it comes to shades. For the natural stone aspect of the granite, there are not many things that can be done in order to change its color, so here we have a more fixed milestone.

Style, Color and Installation Process for Granite vs. Quartz Worktops

quartz-countertopsOn the other hand, quartz products can come in almost every color required, but they also have some specifications. If exposed to direct sunlight, the color may disappear overtime, so you may notice a difference if a part of the worktop is exposed to UV rays, and the other part no.

The installation process for Granite and Quartz Countertops needs to be done by a professional employee. Don’t even think of hiring your neighbor to save a few dollars. Due to the fact that these countertops are extremely heavy, they need to be carried with a high precision. Hitting even the corner of your table may chip the worktop, making him inappropriate to be used anymore.

Considering the related statements about the granite and quartz tops, it remains up to you to choose the best one that suits your house. If you are a more natural guy and love to make a quick daily cleaning on your house, then granite would be your first choice. But if you are a busy man, and travel a lot, try to opt for the quartz countertop, as it requires less maintenance and it also empowers your house with a modern look.

During the last years it has been an incredible battle for which material is best to be used when manufacturing a countertop. Initially, granite took the lead for being very cheap and in abundance in the nature.

Slowly, marble worktops cut their way to the top thanks to the extreme beauty and natural outfit of the stabs, but also due to the beautiful colors available to be purchased. Finally, the man put its mind at work and came with engineered stone, called quartz, available in almost endless number of colors and shapes, taking the lead in the kitchen worktops market.

Engineered Stone vs. Solid Stone

All three types of materials have different properties that make them unique. While granite and marble countertops are produced exclusively from natural stone, that can chip, and its color can slightly be modified, the quartz countertops are man-made, resulting in a 92% – 94% quartz composition and a 7% pigments for coloration and resin binders.

Talking about the issue of durability, being natural and beauty doesn’t guarantee you strong properties. While natural stone top can be sealed at installation, the quartz ones do not require this level of care. Compared to granite and marble, quartz worktops are easy to be maintained clean due to their strong texture and non-porous surface. All you need to do is to take a clean towel, some simple cleaning solutions, and weekly wipe out the eventual stains on the surface of the top.

Durability: Granite vs. Marble vs. Quartz Countertops

When it comes to granite, the things are a little bit different. Even if it has a non-porous surface, its texture is not that strong. Extreme heat from pots or pans can easily break or chip the stab, making it impossible to be used. Compared to marble, granite has a lower maintenance time. Being a porous material confers marble a very natural and beautiful look, but this comes with some huge disadvantages. Liquid spills like oil, juice, vinegar or wine can easily penetrate into its texture, leaving nasty stains that need to be cleaned right away. From this point of view, the maintenance time required to be reserved for cleaning and sterilizing the marble countertop kitchen is quite high.

It’s all about price! Considering the properties of each material, here are the sums you may need to take out from your pocket if you want to purchase a worktop:

  1. Granite : £75 – £175 / installed m2
  2. Marble : £100 – £200 / installed m2
  3. Quartz  : £80 – £140 / installed m2

Available Designs for Granite, Marble and Quartz Worktops

colonial-cream-granite-with-a-standard-eased-edgeThe styles, colors and patterns available for each material have also been changed during the years. Granite worktops have the most fixed designs from all three of them. The grains contained in the composition might be slightly improved with hues of green, blue, orange, pink or red, typically in shades of medium to dark. The marble countertops have a wider area or colors than granite. The veins that run into their texture confer them a very beautiful and natural look, allowing the customers to associate the stabs with a wide range of environmental elements in their kitchen.

Resuming the quartz, as it is a man-made, engineered stone, the countertops created from this material can have almost every color the client requires. By just adding the right pigments into the composition, it can be obtained gorgeous models and designs and every taste can be satisfied.

How Are Quartz Countertops Made?

As you probably know, quartz countertops are some of the most lovely, durable, and easy-to-maintain kitchen countertops on the market today. Unlike their natural stone counterparts, they are not cut directly from the earth. Quartz countertops are man-made and it being such a fascinating process, we thought we would share it with you.

Where Do Quartz Countertops Come From?

Quartz is the second most common mineral on earth and it has a crystalline structure, usually hexagonal (six sided). The naquartz countertopstural molecular structure of this stone makes it one of the most durable substances on earth. And because it is so plentiful, it is found on almost every continent in deep veins within the earth. This means heavy equipment and explosives are usually needed in order to access them.

In the USA, quartz mines are located within the Ouachita Mountains which is part of our nation’s “Quartz Belt”. The mountain range extends from Arkansas into Oklahoma. Once quartz is exposed it can be easily shoveled, pickaxed, or bulldozed right of the ground in all of its vast different shapes and sizes.

What Happens After The Quartz Is Mined?

Once pieces are mined, they get distributed according to quality and applicable uses. For quartz countertops, they are purchased by the ton and, for the most part, Quartz countertop manufacturers use white and clear quartz. Large pieces are ground into much smaller ones. They do this to create attractive patterns. They are ground so fine the quartz begins to resemble fine sand or perhaps just large pebbles.

These very small pieces of quartz are combined with resin and poured into a slab. Then, depending upon the color the manufacturer wants, during this stage, other minerals and pigments are added. Unique and special crystal flecks may be saved for this point for extra pizazz. Even recycled mirrors, glass, and other hard surfaces can be used for added eco-friendliness. In the end, each slab of quartz remains 97 percent quartz. The other three percent is a poly-resin used to bind all the materials together.Engineered-Quartz-Kitchen-Countertops

Once the slabs are poured into molds to fit their desired shapes and contours, they are “cured” in an oven and then cooled. The finished product requires no polishing. Quartz countertops come out as the glossy, smooth, durable and beautiful kitchen countertops you know and love.

Shipping

Once those beautiful countertops are formed they are shipped to stores, contractors and other customers. And because the quartz used for countertops in the UK is mined, fabricated and shipped to vendors in the UK it saves fossil fuel resources, overhead shipping costs, and helps keep your dollar hard at work in the UK, not to mention the price of the actual quartz countertop is then reflected in those savings.

We hope we have shed some light on the process of how quartz is made. And perhaps this will help you do some research of your own into buying some quartz countertops for your new kitchen or bath areas.