Things to Consider Before Getting Quartz Countertops
Unless you are an expert, it’s not easy to differentiate between quartz countertops and natural stone quartz. Quartz countertops are engineered meaning they are man-made and consist of other materials.
Let’s Differentiate Between Pure And Engineered Quartz
Before we launch deeper, it is vital to note the difference between pure and engineered quartz.
Pure quartz is quarried from the earth in the form of slabs. It is classified as a hard mineral and is colorless. On the other hand, engineered quartz has 93% crush quartz powder and 7% binders, cement or polymeric-based. It also consists of epoxy resin.
The binders and resin are added to hold the crushed quartz powder together. The material composition of the mixture above qualifies the end product as engineered quartz.
Quartz has a granite-like surface, which is super hard. It also has some additional pigments that are added by the manufacturer giving the stone different colors. Quartz can be manufactured to resemble natural stones. However, the main difference is that they are harder and last longer than natural stones.
Quartz carries a few qualities that are evident in marble and granite, which are both natural stones. When you take a clear look at quartz countertops, you’ll see the veining and speckling similarities. Quartz appears like that because of how it is ground. Finely ground ones result in a smooth surface. The results are not the same as those that are coarsely ground.
Origin Of Quartz Countertops
Quartz minerals were discovered over fifty years ago. Most manufacturers saw a lot of potential in it. As it is, quartz is hard and shiny. These qualities were deemed to carry the next phase of interior design.
When pure quartz minerals were merged with a few artificial materials, a paradigm shift was witnessed in countertop surfaces, and that’s how it has been to date. Quartz-engineered countertops are the only artificial countertops that match the strength of countertops made of natural stones.
The first quartz was brought to existence by one Marcello Toncelli. He poured the quartz into mini slabs of approximately 12 by 29 inches. Different manufacturers make quartz; as a result, we can expect many different brands. But the patent for the Marcello quartz belongs to an Italian company called Breton. This company started its operations in the early 60s.
Breton was the first to realize how effective quartz powder can be when mixed with polymer resins. To date, Breton is still the topmost supplier of quartz and compound stone making equipment in the ever-growing quartz market.
Due to its qualities, quartz countertops gained popularity in European kitchens, and later reached the United States. Over time, more brands have emerged, and they produce quartz countertops with patterns that are unique to each; hence it is easy to identify from which brand the quartz you have is from.
The Pros Of Quartz Countertops
Quartz oozes such unsurpassed elegance that you might confuse it with natural stone. Most homeowners in Toronto love its appearance and prefer it to granite or marble.
By now, we know how hard quartz is. The resin binders make it stronger. The durability of quartz is undeniable; consequently, it’s one of Toronto’s most trusted countertop surfaces. In terms of performance, quartz and granite are at par. However, in matters of durability, quartz is the right choice.
Resistant to scratching
Quartz countertops are the best because they can withstand sharp objects. It resists surface damages like dents, chips, and cracks. You can comfortably use them as cutting surfaces.
Resistant to heat
Sudden and short contacts with heat cannot damage quartz countertops. The same cannot be said about other countertops. However, prolonged exposure to heat can damage the quartz surfaces.
Not highly porous
Unlike other surfaces, quartz has low absorption rates of 0.5%. The resin binder that makes up their surface makes them impenetrable. The same can’t be said about other natural stone countertops whereby you have to wipe them immediately after a spillage.
Resistant to stains
Since quartz is non-porous, it can resist staining a lot better than natural stone. You don’t have to worry about spilling juice, tea, or alcoholic beverages on quartz surfaces.
Bacterial growth is hardly entertained on quartz surfaces. The main reason is that no liquid penetrates it. Also, with quartz countertops, grout is not a necessity during installation. Without grout lines, no bacteria can find a thriving point; hence the entire surface remains clean.
Maintaining quartz countertops is easy. A damp cloth and mild soap detergents will save the day. Scrubbing is also not tricky because stains hardly hold onto the surfaces.
Resealing is not necessary
With quartz countertops, you don’t have to reseal. The same can’t be said about natural stone counters. They are sealed before use, and after some time, they have to be resealed to enhance protection against spillages that might penetrate the surface. Hence, quartz countertops are economical.
Quartz countertops are engineered. Therefore, the manufacturers have the liberty to make countertops with a uniform pattern. Again, the same cannot be said about natural stones because they are quarried in slabs and used as they are. Consequently, the designs tend to be inconsistent.
As long as you take good care of your quartz countertops, you won’t need to replace them. By the time your countertops are in real bad shape, it will be many decades down the line. Typically, these countertops carry at least 10 years to a lifetime warranty.
Quartz countertops are easy to rhyme with your kitchen design. They come in different forms and shapes that can easily blend with any design whether it be contemporary, traditional, or transitional.
Flexible and easy to customize
Quartz countertops are easy to design and customize because the manufacturer has the liberty to do with the raw materials as he pleases. Fabricators can easily bend the engineered quartz hence manipulating it to fit any purpose.
Quartz countertops can be installed in one piece. Depending on what you want, continuous runs countertops can be availed. The best part is that the seams are minimal and unnoticeable.
The Cons Of Quartz Countertops
If you intend on buying quartz countertops for Vancouver properties, it is prudent to keep in mind the challenges you might encounter.
They are quite expensive
Quartz countertops are a lot more expensive than countertops made from other materials like wood, laminate, and concrete. The price of quartz ranges closely to that of natural stones, granite, to be specific. You might spend around $80 to $ 140 per square foot.
Can’t be used outside
Quartz countertops can’t be used outside. They’re limited to indoor usage only. Installing quartz countertops outdoors can cause the manufacturer to invalidate the warranty. Direct sunlight is not advisable when it comes to quartz countertops. It causes quartz countertops to split over time.
Can’t withstand excess heat
Quartz countertops can’t withstand too much heat. However, placing a hot pan on the countertop for a few minutes won’t cause any harm.
Quartz Countertops Color
The most impressive factor about quartz countertops is the wide variety of colors. Apart from colors, quartz comes in lots of patterns and finishes. The manufacturers avail the many colors as they have the liberty to add all the pigments they can get.
Most of the quartz colors come from the original colors of quartz. However, the colors can be adjusted by adding the various pigments to achieve the shade and tone of choice. The colors in quartz are more consistent, unlike natural stone.
Natural stones are quarried in slabs. Different slabs come in different colors; hence it is hard to establish consistent colors and patterns. The uniformity and consistency of quartz colors are ideal for Vancouver homeowners and designers desirous of trying the different quartz colors and patterns in their homes or properties they are working on.
The scope of quartz colors is wide. Every color has a name, but each name is different depending on the supplier. Quartz color is more of natural shades. You are likely to find them in earth tones like tans, grey, brown, and green. Quartz also comes in neutral colors like creamy beige, bright white, and black. Some brands avail colors such as blue, subtle hues, and rose.
White is among the most preferred countertop colors in Vancouver. You can apply this color to any design you have in mind. White quartz ranges from the brightest ultra-white to the furthest cream off-white tones. You can opt for white quartz with a few patterns or one with metallic specks of minerals.
White counters are the best option for your kitchen. They make the kitchen space appealing and spacious.
You can opt for beige quartz in case white is too bright for your liking. Beige quartz with a yellow tinge gives a perfect balance and is a great way to play around with colors and add more life to your countertops. The best part about beige quartz countertops is that they go well with both modern and traditional home designs.
Black quartz gives a unique appearance, which gives the entire kitchen class and dimension. One pro of black quartz is its ability to conceal stains and dirt.
While picking cabinet colors to pair with black quartz, it’s best to pick white cabinetry because it goes well with black countertops.
Gray is a neutral color and is highly preferred by Vancouver modern homeowners. Both light and dark cabinets work well with gray quartz countertops. Gray countertops are the best way to highlight the undertones of your wood cabinetry.
Brown and Gold quartz
These categories of quartz come in a variety of colors. The shades include tans, gold, honey, yellow, and browns. These colors give your kitchen a warm and receptive look. A shade of brown sits well with wooden cabinetries. That right there is an idea for Vancouver homeowners.
Green, blue and red quartz
Unless these are your favorite colors, it is hard to find blue, green, or red colors in any kitchen. You must exercise care before you settle for any of the above colors. It is vital to settle for cabinet colors that don’t make the countertops seem out of place.
These colors come in handy for modern spaces. However, they can still be applied in traditional kitchens. The most crucial factor to put into consideration is choosing light colors for your walls and cabinetry. Failing to do so will bring a dull look to the entire room.