Natural stone countertops have always a been popular choice in kitchen design. The luxurious appearance and durability of granite and marble have a timeless quality that has been hard to beat, but a top competitor is on the scene. Engineered quartz is a man-made product comprised of mostly natural ground quartz mixed with a small amount of resin and pigments, and it is extremely popular with homeowners and designers alike. It’s definitely a top choice to consider for your kitchen remodel and here’s why.
COLOR CHOICE IN KITCHEN DESIGN
Quartz is an engineered stone with added pigments so there is a wide variety of colors available. Such solid (especially dark) color easily hides seams in kitchen countertops, while it can be more difficult (and more expensive) to match up the veins and irregularities in natural stone. With so much choice, it’s easy to find a countertop to complement the color scheme of your kitchen design. Quartz’s solid color is excellent for a minimalist, contemporary or transitional style kitchen design, but manufacturers are starting to produce more organic looking quartz too if you want to achieve a natural appearance in a highly durable surface.
Speaking of durability, natural quartz is one of earth’s hardest materials and when mixed with resin it becomes even stronger. It’s as durable as granite but doesn’t chip or have hidden striations that would emerge as cracks over time. Quartz countertops are flexible, making them easier to fit than more rigid natural stone, requiring just epoxy, not screws. However, quartz is extremely heavy, meaning it must be installed by a certified professional.
Quartz is one of the more environmentally friendly options as it recycles waste materials (crushed quartz) rather than quarrying new stone. Despite being engineered, it’s mostly natural, consisting of 93% natural quartz and 7% color pigments and polymer resin to bind. It’s even better if you use regionally manufactured and locally fabricated quartz for your kitchen remodel, reducing transportation requirements.
Quartz countertops are excellent in busy kitchens as they are stain resistant. Wine, tomato, oil, and coffee don’t stand a chance. The polymer resin makes the quartz non-porous, withstanding both stains and germs. Some quartz countertops are also treated with an anti-bacterial coating, making them even more hygienic. A mild cleanser will wipe away any viruses or dirt on quartz more successfully than on marble, granite or concrete, giving you peace of mind.
The fact that quartz countertops are presealed by resin means they are extremely low maintenance and won’t have to be resealed, like natural stone. They won’t chip or scratch if a heavy pan is dropped on them and they’re easy to clean. Flaws have been engineered out, leaving a luxurious, long-lasting countertop for your kitchen design.
Quartz will never achieve the same appearance as an organic material, but it has become better at mimicking some natural stone surfaces. Newer methods for quartz also allow for different textures, like pitted, concrete or sueded surfaces. Glass or metallic flecks can also be added for variety. These all give added character to a quartz countertop. The only drawback is they are not 100% heat resistant, so they need protection from hot pots and pans. Some finishes show fingerprints and smudges more easily and must be regularly wiped down, but this doesn’t affect their popularity, with their pros far outweighing their cons.
Overall, quartz countertops are as expensive as natural stone but better value, with many performance advantages. It’s easy to see why this relatively new addition to kitchen design has such a loyal fan base. To learn more about countertop options or to start your kitchen remodel contact our experts who can guide you through all your design and product choices today!