Aesthetic choices - Quartz countertops are man-made engineered (hence 'engineered stone') and formed by combining 90% ground quartz with 10% resin, polymers and pigments to achieve that stone look. This forms a natural looking surface, which is as hard as granite. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth solid color look. Quartz surfaces work well in all kitchen designs from classic to modern.
You may be tempted to get your quartz countertop honed or leathered to achieve a slightly different look. Be aware that your warrantly is no longer valid if you go down this route.
Seams - You can expect to see seams in a quartz countertop but they will be less visible if you choose a slab that’s darker in color. It is much easier to hide the seam to a certain extent if you choose a solid color countertop.
Stain resistance - The fact that these countertops contain the resin and polymenrs makes them non-porous and they do not require any sealing – ever. These stones offer a virtually no-maintenance material solution for countertops.
Heat resistance - The countertops are designed to withstand temperatures as high as 150 ̊ C / 300 ̊ F. This may not be as high as you expected as quartz is a stone, but remember that 10% of man made materials - that lowers the heat resistance slightly so it's best to use heat maps for anything really hot, but you'll be fine with a cup coffee placed directly onto the surface.
Scratch resitance - The quartz countertops are the most damage restant from sharp knives, abrasive pads and hot pots.
Cleanliness - Looking after your quartz countertop is fast and simple. To clean your countertop, rinse it with warm water and a mild detergent, and it will be as good as new.
Cost - Price ranges between $40 to $90 per square foot, installed. It does depend on the complexity of texture of the countertop.
Quartz countertop pros and cons
Quartz countertop pros
Loads of options for color, pattern, texture - sparklies anyone?
Durable to the max.
No sealing required.
Quartz countertops are non-porus so they resist stains and don't harbour gems and bacteria.
Easy to clean.
Resistant to scratches (but will damage your knives if you cut directly onto the surface)
Low thermal conductivity so good for making pastry.
Quartz countertops won't chip or break as easily as stone or marble because of the 10% resin / polymer component.
Quartz countertops can be manufactured to your custom measurements.
Seams are easy to disguise.
Quartz countertop cons
Due to the 10% component of resin / polymer quartz is not as resitant to heat as some other materials.
The best quality quartz countertops are expensive.
Exposure to direct sunlight can cuase warping, cracking and fading over a long period of time.
Quartz countertop review - My experiences with a quartz countertop
I myself haven't had a quartz countertop but I have three friends who have remodeled their kitchen over the last few years and all of them went for a quartz countertop. I think the main appeal is that you can get the look of marble without the maintenance challenges.
One friend makes pastry and the fact that quartz is a stone (and it would be the same for granite as well) means that provided the air temperature isn't too hot, the temperature of the quartz is nice and cool for rolling out pastry.
Is a quartz countertop right for your home?
We'll finish off this quartz countertop review by going over some
questions you can ask yourself before deciding whether or not this
countertop is right for your home.
If you've got your eye on a quartz countertop that you like and you can afford it I wouldn't hesitate to go for it. It's durable (stain, scratch and reasonable heat resistance) and with minimal maintenance.
Apart from budget the other financial consideration is recouping your investment. You'll need to be living in your home for 10 years or more to get your investment back.
So that concludes my quartz countertop review. I hope you've found it useful. See below for more countertop material reviews.