Made from one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz countertops are arguably the most durable option for kitchens. They’re also some of the most eye-catching. They come in a wide variety of colors, including fire-engine red and apple green, as well as earthy browns, blacks, and creams, with sparkles and veining for the look of granite or marble. But unlike natural-stone slabs, which are mined, these slabs are engineered in a factory. Their primary ingredient is ground quartz, combined with polyester resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. For some designs, small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks are added to the mix.
Natural-quartz crystals are mined, then ground into a dust or an aggregate that’s fused with resin binders under intense heat and pressure to form a solid slab. Pigments added during the process impart color to the countertop. Replacing bland laminate countertops with it can turn a pretty kitchen into a stunning one.
Unlike natural stones that contain microscopic pores over its entire surface, the resin in between the crushed quartz bits evenly fill out the gaps and surface. This makes quartz countertops very resistant to stains as liquids and pigments won’t seep in and cause a mess, unlike natural stone. Composed almost entirely of hard quartz mineral, quartz countertops will blunt knives and other sharp metal objects before it scratches. But while the resin is soft and susceptible, very little of it is exposed on the surface, and is unlikely to scratch except in the most severe cases.
Probably the first thing anyone will notice is the price tag. Costing just a little less than granite, and significantly more expensive than solid surfaces or laminate, quartz countertops are quite expensive. Nevertheless, its durability, ease of maintenance and hygiene benefits makes up for its price. Although great at holding up in a kitchen environment, quartz countertops aren’t the best choice for outdoor use. Prolonged exposure to the elements will quickly fade as the polymer resin and color pigments react to sunlight and chemicals in the rain and air.
Quartz Countertop Fabrications