A Guide to Quartz Countertops

Kitchen in luxury home

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Quartz Countertops are popular among homeowners who want to change their kitchens for the better. Replacing old laminate countertops with those made of quartz can turn a boring kitchen into a great-looking one, but quartz isn’t right for every home. Below are several things to know about installing Quartz Countertops.

The Cost

The first thing many homeowners want to know is how the cost of Quartz Counter Tops compares to that of other materials. The cost of materials varies depending on the brand and the quality of the stone, but it typically ranges from $30-$150 per square foot. Quartz is usually less costly than granite and much less than marble. The cost of the job depends on the slab thickness, the amount of materials needed, the complexity of the design and the quality of the quartz itself.

Where to Get Quartz Counters

Many homeowners are tempted to buy quartz materials from the nearest home improvement store, but those who do so find a smaller selection from which to choose. Look for places that handle sales, design, building, and installation in-house. By choosing such a company, customers are more likely to find technicians who know the materials they’re installing. In most cases, it’s possible to see samples of the company’s work before hiring them.

Avoid Pushy Salespeople

Customers should avoid any vendor that pushes one style or brand over another. No one should feel pressured to choose a stone other than the one they really want, and they should see a sample of the actual stone before purchasing. Local companies can show customers where the stone originates from, and they can offer lower installation costs because they don’t have to travel a significant distance to do the job.

How Quartz Counters are Made

Those looking for new countertops may be confused by descriptions of quartz as a ‘manmade’ material. To create the stone seen in showrooms, a manufacturer combines about 93% finely ground quartz with 7% colors, polymers and resins. The mixture allows for a wide range of colors, and the look is much like that of natural stone.

The Differences Between Quartz and Granite

Like granite, quartz is a hard stone, but that’s where the similarities end. While both are stones, granite is the one that’s 100% natural. The polymers and resins used to make quartz counters make them nonporous, which means they’re highly resistant to stains. Granite is porous because it’s natural, and it can develop stains quickly if it’s not properly sealed. As far as being eco-friendly is concerned, both granite and quartz have low emissions during the manufacturing process.

Maintaining Quartz Counters

Most quartz counters are relatively low-maintenance, but they still need occasional cleaning. Avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasives, and be sure to use a trivet under crock pots, deep fryers, and hot dishes. If stains develop, use cleansers that are marked safe for application on quartz.

Color Choices

Because pigments can be added to the polymer and resin blend during manufacturing, there are numerous color choices for those who want quartz counters. While slabs from the past didn’t look very realistic, today’s quartz counters look much like slate, limestone, or even granite, depending on the manufacturing process. Consult a local stoneyard or countertop installer for more advice on choosing the right countertops.

Some Quartz Looks Like Marble

Many homeowners want white quartz that looks like marble without the detailed maintenance. Several suppliers have styles that closely resemble marble, and they also have the durability of manufactured stone. These are practical choices for those who want the look of marble in a more durable form.

Quartz Counters in the Bathroom

While quartz is commonly used in kitchens, it can be used in other parts of the home as well. Not only are there quite a few styles from which to choose, quartz is naturally water resistant and easy to care for. For some, the cost of a quartz countertop may seem high compared to marble or granite, especially in a small bathroom. However, it’s not likely to be substantial enough to make a big difference in the job’s overall cost.

Quartzite and Quartz: They’re Similar, But Different

When comparing prices among countertop options, homeowners may hear about Quartzile Countertops. While the two names may sound similar, quartzite countertops are quite different from the quartz variety. Quartzite is naturally taken from the earth, cut into pieces, and polished to create countertops. This natural stone isn’t engineered in the same way as quartz, but the two types can look similar. Quartzite isn’t naturally waterproof; it must be regularly sealed to prevent staining. However, Quartz Countertops don’t need this type of maintenance. Because it’s a natural stone, quartzite has one big advantage over quartz; it’s extremely heat-resistant. It’s also much harder, but it’s more likely to chip than its manufactured counterpart. Both options are very durable, but cutting boards should still be used.

Pricing Differences Between Quartzite and Quartz

Quartzite and quartz are similarly priced, and if a homeowner is trying to choose between these two options, they’ll need to decide whether having a natural stone is really important. Both choices have their advantages, but the customer’s lifestyle, budget, and tastes will determine which one will work best. Quartz and quartzite countertops can add style and elegance to any kitchen or bathroom. If a local homeowner is looking for new counters, quartz and quartzite should be on the short list of options for the bathroom or kitchen.

Bayram Gulsen

Bayram Gulsen is the owner of Cabinets City. He always had this passion to redefine cabinetry to be at its best along with his dedicated team and the author of Cabinets City blog: You can find Bayram on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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