Countertops 101: The Pros and Cons of Engineered Quartz
For many years granite has been a preferred countertop material of choice for homeowners looking to remodel. For the last three years, however, quartz has steadily gained popularity over granite and is now the leading countertop material, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
Unlike granite or quartzite which are natural stones mined from the ground, quartz is an engineered material created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately ninety-five percent ground natural quartz with five percent polymer resins.
Is quartz the right choice for your new kitchen? To help you with your decision-making process, we have broken down the pros and cons of this trending countertop material:
The Pros of Quartz
Because quartz is an engineered product, manufacturers can create an endless range of colors and styles that fit almost any design sensibility. Color choices range from the darkest black to the purest of white with every color of the rainbow in between. Whether you like a little sparkle or prefer something more plain and smooth, there is a quartz design that fits virtually any taste. The manufacturing process of quartz has become so sophisticated it even comes in a wide variety of designs and irregular patterns that can mimic the look of natural materials like marble and granite.
The kitchen is the hardest working room in the house for most families. From kid’s backpacks that are thrown on the counter to heavy pans scraping across work surfaces, many families need a virtually indestructible countertop material like quartz. Quartz resists knife cuts and, unless you take a hammer to it, won’t chip or crack. In fact, quartz gets top ranking over materials like granite, tile, laminate or solid surface countertops when it comes to durability. Ready to give your kitchen or bathroom countertop a workout? You can’t go wrong with quartz!
If you want a low-maintenance countertop, then quartz is an excellent option. Unlike granite or quartzite counters that need to be sealed to maintain their beauty and stain resistance, quartz countertops are non-porous, naturally stain- and bacteria-resistant and never need to be sealed. Now that’s my kind of countertop!
Quartz is not the least expensive option on the market but if durability and easy maintenance are high on your priority list, then quartz offers superior value for the money.
The Cons of Quartz
There aren’t many downsides to choosing quartz, but there are a couple things you should keep in mind:
Lower Heat Resistance
While Quartz is virtually indestructible in standard kitchen scenarios, it does have a weak spot—heat. You can set a boiling pot down on granite without any worries, but because quartz contains resin you can run the risk of damaging the surface with a hot pot or pan in the kitchen; or a curling/flat iron in the bathroom.
Cost May Be Prohibitive
Although priced competitively with other high-end countertop materials such as marble or concrete, quartz is 30 to 50% more expensive than granite.
With the wide variety of design materials on the market today, it makes it an exciting time to remodel your kitchen or bathroom from top to bottom. If you’re looking for a contemporary, high-scale look with very low maintenance, quartz countertops are definitely worth considering.
Need some design inspiration? Visit our Design Portfolio or read from our library of helpful design tips:
Kitchen Island Styles to Consider for Your Home
A Lesson in Kitchen Cabinetry Design
Kitchen Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens
2018 Stylish Design Trends for the Bathroom
Bathroom Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Bathrooms
Or sign up for our next free home remodeling seminar to learn how to remodel your kitchen or bathroom and smile while doing it!