The pros and cons of engineered quartz
Quartz is a manufactured product and can be very attractive. The manufacturing process allows a much wider range of colors than you’ll find in natural stones such as marble or granite. The appearance of the finished engineered stone is rich, even luxurious. The finish has a depth that can’t be produced with solid surface materials like Corian.
Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant.
Like other hard surface countertop materials, quartz is non-porous so it resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbor bacteria or viruses. You can always be confident that you are getting your quartz countertop absolutely clean, and that’s a great benefit in both the kitchen and the bathroom.
Pros of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops have many advantages, including durability, appearance, and stain-resistance. If you’re thinking about picking quartz but need an extra nudge, here’s a comprehensive list of the reasons you should consider quartz for your countertops.
One of the main reasons people buy quartz countertops is because they are ultra-durable. If you’re looking for a material that won’t crack, scratch, or get chipped easily, quartz is the way to go.
When the Italian company Breton invented the process of creating engineered quartz stone in 1963, their goal was to take advantage of the natural abundance of quartz to create a material more durable than stone. Also, they could offer an unlimited variety of designs by adding pigments and other materials during the manufacturing process. Fortunately, Breton’s vision came to fruition, and today, quartz countertops are one of the most durable surfaces you can have in your home.
On Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which geologists use to measure the hardness and scratch-resistance of minerals from 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest/most scratch resistant), quartz is rated 7 out of 10. For contrast, diamond is rated 10, and marble is typically between 3 and 5.
Just because quartz is durable doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. It’s possible to scratch or chip quartz but, due to its hard composition, the chances of damage occurring from regular, everyday use are minimal.
Cons of Quartz Countertops
Here are the reasons you might want to pass on quartz countertops.
If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider other materials besides quartz. All the great aspects of quartz—durability, non-porous, ability to custom design—come with a cost.
The price of quartz countertops ranges per square foot, including installation, but the actual cost depends on the quality of quartz, manufacturer, style, design, and type of edging. The number of slabs and finishes will also impact the cost. The more cutouts you need for sinks, soap dispensers, and fixtures, the higher it will cost.
Quartz can be customized into almost any design imaginable. The versatility of its appearance is a distinct advantage; however, if you’re looking for the truly unique look of natural stone, you might be better off with granite or marble.