The Beauty and Durability of Quartz Countertops

by Carmen Corbin on October 29, 2011

If you’ve been thinking of remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, you’ve probably been considering your options in countertop materials.  Wood, laminate, granite and even concrete are among the many choices available on the market today.  I’d like to highlight a countertop product that has been around for billions of years, but has only recently made an appearance in the home – quartz.

During the past few years, more and more homeowners have incorporated granite and other stone materials into their kitchens and bathrooms.  Their popularity has recently brought quartz to the forefront as an added choice.  Rated a “7” on the Mohs scale of hardness (with diamond being a “10”), quartz is not only beautiful, but extremely durable and scratch resistant – perfect for well utilized surfaces.

Features of Quartz

As your kitchen remodeler will tell you, quartz is non-porous, which means a more sanitary countertop and no need for sealing or polishing.  Due to its heavy weight, HGTV.com recommends leaving the installation to the professionals to ensure proper placement and fit.  Your home improvement contractor should also verify the structural integrity of your flooring and cabinets to support the extra weight.  Because of its strength, quartz can also be used for vertical surfaces like backsplashes and showers.

Colors: Nature gives us many different varieties of quartz, with colors ranging from light and dark neutral shades to deep amethyst purples.  While many choose natural slabs of quartz for their project, there are also additional color choices available when using composite quartz, which is a mixture of 95% ground quartz and 5% resin.  Have your bathroom remodeler install a vibrant blue bathroom countertop for that perfect punch of color.

Patterns: As in nature, the stone patterns in quartz present an endless variety.  You’ll see showroom samples with large, jagged rock fragments; swirls of contrasting shades; and even some with clusters resembling tiny gemstones.

According to HGTV.com, the cost of a quartz countertop is currently comparable to granite, around $100-$200 per square foot.  The good news is that prices are beginning to drop as more manufacturers come on the market, and more homeowners discover the appeal of the material.  Three notable manufacturers are Cambria, Silestone and Zodiaq.

For more information on quartz countertops or other uses for quartz in your home, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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