A Q&A on Quartz Countertops

by Kelsey Flores
?You?re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom and you?ve decided on quartz countertops.? Suddenly you find yourself wandering through the world of quartz without a map. Naturally, you?re bound to have several questions, such as what it is and how much it costs. To help you navigate the world of quartz, here?s a roadmap with answers to the top questions we receive about this popular countertop material.?
What is quartz??
?According to Home Style Choices, quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet. But quartz countertops aren?t made of solid quartz. They?re an engineered product made from quartz mineral and other additives.
Quartz Crystal
Photo courtesy of This Old House.
?So, how exactly is it made? According to The Kitchn, quartz countertops are manmade by combining around 90-93% of natural quartz crystals that have been ground into dust with about 8-10% of resins, polymers, and pigments under intense heat and pressure. The result is a solid slab of quartz (and perhaps the highlight of your kitchen).?
How is quartz different from granite??
Caesarstone quartz countertops that look like granite
Photo courtesy of Caesarstone.
?Quartz is an engineered stone and granite isn?t. Remember, quartz is made by mixing various grades and sizes of quartz crystals with other resins and polymers. That said, quartz is still referred to as a natural stone - it?s just not as natural as granite. Granite, on the other hand, is a 100-percent natural stone that?s extracted directly from the earth in large blocks and then sliced into slabs and polished before being sent to the broker (granite dealer). ?
Is quartz as strong as granite??
Stronger, actually. Quartz is one of the strongest materials on the planet. In fact, it?s twice as strong as granite and is more flexible, which makes it easier to install. However, even though quartz is durable, doesn?t require sealing, and is stain resistant, don?t think it?s indestructible ? no countertop can last forever.
According to Caesarstone, furniture cleaners, floor strippers, paint removers, battery acid, and oil soaps can damage your quartz countertops.? Quartz also can?t handle extreme heat, sudden changes in temperature, or sustained heat from leaving a pan on the counter.?
Is there a difference between quartz brands??
Silestone quartz countertops in Corpus Christi
Photo courtesy of Silestone.
Not really. As you start researching quartz, one of the first things you?ll notice is that there are several different brands, such as Cambria, Silestone, Hanstone, Prestige, and Dekton. With so many brands of quartz out there, it?s normal to wonder if it matters which one you choose.?

According to Home Style Choices, the short answer is, it doesn?t. The process to make quartz surfacing and the materials and machinery that manufacturers use are the same across the board. What sets each quartz manufacturer apart is the quantity and selection of colors and patterns.
How much does quartz cost??
Cambria quartz countertops in Corpus Christi
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
The price of quartz will vary depending on the manufacturer, color, and pattern you choose, but expect to pay anywhere between $60 to $100 per square foot, including installation, according to This Old House. In our experience, this price range rings true, though more exotic styles will easily surpass $100 per square foot.
In comparison, granite can cost anywhere from $40 per square foot and can exceed $100 per square foot with exotic styles, according to Countertop Guides.?
Is quartz high maintenance??
Hardly. Quartz is actually low maintenance, and unlike natural stone or wood, you never have to seal it. For daily upkeep of your quartz countertops, just wipe them down with soapy water. Surface stains can be removed with a gentle cleansing scrub.
You should avoid using scouring pads or harsh chemicals because they can dull the surface or break down the bonds between the quartz and the resins. The resin binders make it so that stains, odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew can?t penetrate the surface.??
Can I install quartz in an outdoor space??
Dekton quartz countertops in an outdoor kitchen installation.
Photo courtesy of Dekton.
Sure, but you really shouldn?t. Quartz can?t withstand extreme heat and will discolor, warp or split over time.
If you?re set on quartz outdoors, Dekton is one exception. It?s produced with a blend of glass, porcelain, and quartz, so it?s highly resistant to ultra violet (UV) light and will not fade or degrade over time. In other words, it?s a good choice for both indoor and outdoor applications.?
What does quartz look like??
Cambria Torquay countertops
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
Quartz, no matter which color or pattern you choose, will normally have a glossy sheen to it. Some brands such as Caesarstone offer honed, ?duller? finishes. When it comes to what quartz looks like, it varies depending on the brand you choose. Generally speaking, quartz offers multihued slabs with flecks, swirls, and random patterning, some of which is almost indistinguishable from natural stone, according to This Old House. ?
Quartz can range in colors and patterns. One advantage it has over granite is solid coloring. It can also have a mixture of whites with black elegant veins, an earthy brown color with darker veins, or even a dark chocolate brown color that is entwined with darker tones and hints of gold, according to Caesarstone.
Is quartz good for resale value??
Definitely. According to Consumer Reports, the kitchen is still king when you?re selling your home. Adding a stone countertop, whether it?s granite, quartz, or soapstone, will definitely increase the value of your home. At the end of the day, buyers want durable and solid countertops because they associate them with a high-quality home that?s worth investing in, which in turn adds resale value to any home.
If you?re buying quartz with resale in mind, stick with a neutral color palette that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Color is acceptable in small doses if it complements the rest of your kitchen. Consider your neighborhood and home value when it comes to cost.
Quartz countertops in Corpus Christi
Photo courtesy of This Old House.
?Hopefully you don?t feel as lost when it comes to the world of quartz countertops now that some of the top questions have been answered. If you need more information or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or tweet us at @tukasacreations.

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