When it comes to renovating your home, navigating the pros and cons—not to mention sorting out the facts and myths—about materials can seem daunting. Sometimes online research just leads to more questions. Take kitchen countertops for example, your budget, lifestyle, and overall design aesthetic are important, but equally as important is accurately understanding the benefits of a surface. Quartz is one of those materials where people think they know a lot, but often they are misinformed. To help set the record straight, here are a few common myths and perceptions about quartz countertops that we want to help clear up.
FACT: Quartz is an extremely cost-effective option for your kitchen (or bath) countertops. While it’s true, there are more inexpensive options on the market, when you factor in the durability, the lengthy warranty, the amount of maintenance or upkeep required (Hint: it’s none!), and the wide selection of choices in colors and patterns, selecting quartz as your countertop surface gets you the most bang for your buck. It’s an investment in quality and longevity, not to mention style.
FACT: Although it varies by aesthetic, sometimes, more than 90 percent of what makes up a quartz countertop is natural quartz – the 2nd most abundant natural mineral on earth! There’s actually MORE quartz rock in Quartz Surfacing than there is in most natural stones. The mined quartz is crushed and mixed with a small amount of polyresin and sometimes a hint of pigment to create an ultra-durable and nonporous material that has all the benefits of a natural stone while being stronger, easy to clean and antimicrobial.
FACT: Yes, a quartz countertop is an extremely hard surface making it popular in kitchens. It is nearly impossible to stain (thanks largely to its nonporous design), scratch and chip resistant, but there are a few ways you could damage your quartz countertops. It’s not common but exposure to extreme heat (or chronic direct sunlight) could affect the color. An exceptionally hot pan, for example, set directly on the surface could melt the resin and leave a discoloration.
FACT: Of all the durable countertop options, quartz offers the widest variety of designs and colors. Some do contain crystal-like flecks, but not all. Many quartz options are designed to look just like granite or marble but come without the maintenance required to keep up those natural stone options. The hottest trends now are the smoother, more powder-like/farinaceous backgrounds like you would see on the finest of exotic Italian marble.
FACT: Quartz countertops are man-made, and quartzite is a type of natural stone. Like most natural stones, quartzite is only available in the colors and patterns it was naturally created. Quartz, on the other hand, can be engineered in a wide array of color options. Another difference is texture. A slab of quartz will have a smooth finish and a quartzite slab may retain a slight granular feel.
FACT: To care for your quartz countertops, all you have to do is clean them with mild soap and a soft cloth. There is no need to manually seal them like is required with many natural stone options, because they are manufactured to be nonporous— meaning stains and germs cannot penetrate the surface.