The 7 benefits of quartz countertops that set them apart
Quartz countertops are made of natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals on earth – they are non-porous and resist staining, making them a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Thank you Mother Nature!
Quartz is engineered stone
With all the benefits of quartz, It seems like an excellent choice when choosing new countertops. When we were on the hunt for solid white countertops for our new home, we were having a hard time finding pure white in other materials.
Because quartz is engineered stone, you have more control over your color choice. There’s a wide range of colors and styles to choose from.
Plus, they are heat, chip, and scratch resistant, so you’ll likely love how a quartz countertop hold up. They’re a great countertop option if you want to install countertops that will last.
Are quartz countertops right for me?
But with so many types of countertops to choose from, how do you know if it quartz is right for you? Yes, they offer a contemporary look, but does the price tag outweighs the benefits? Are there better options for countertops?
If you need clear-cut answers to these questions, I hear you. Today, we’ll discuss the top benefits of installing a quartz countertop in your kitchen and how it is better than other materials, in my opinion. So stick around a little longer while I dig deeper into the benefits of quartz!
How expensive are quartz countertops?
The price of quartz countertops have significantly increased over the past two years. The average cost for quartz in 2020 was around $50 – $70 per square foot.
Today in 2022, quartz countertop range between $90-$160 per square foot depending upon the quality of the quartz you choose.
Years ago quartz was over $200 per square foot, but because of There has been a significant increase in price but it’s because we are realizing that quartz countertops are a one time investment that will save years ago, it’s still a bit more than it was a few years ago.
Is granite or quartz more expensive?
Quartz is sightly more expensive than granite. Granite ranges from $75 – $150 per square foot while quartz is $90 to $160. The price difference, while not very different, is due to variables.
With grabite, whether you choose tiles or slabs. When going with a full-sized granite slab, its thickness, size (length and width), color pattern and degree of flawlessness or lack of imperfections will affect the overall price on a per sq. ft. basis.
engineered stone, is narrower than costs for granite. This is because there are fewer variables in quartz. It is a manufactured material, so quality tends to be consistent, and there are no rare colors or types.
Quartz is made only in slabs. Granite tile costs are 40% to 70% less than slabs.
Of course the thickness, color and where it was manufactored will play a role in the price as well.
7 Benefits Of Quartz Countertops In Your Kitchen
Granite and marble have long been the top choices for kitchen countertops, but in recent years, quartz has been gaining popularity. Here are some reasons why quartz might be a great choice to consider for your home.
Quartz countertops pros:
1: Quartz is stronger than other stone countertops
Quartz countertops have the appearance of solid stone, but they are a blend of 90% natural quartz ground with 10% resins, polymers and pigments.
The blend of natural materials makes the surface more resilient and tough. The durability of quartz countertops puts them in a league all by themself.
This is because quartz is one of Earth’s hardest minerals, making it an ideal material for countertops. Quartz countertops are up to five times stronger than Granite, making them less likely to scratch, chip or stain. In addition, Quartz is non-porous, so it resists bacteria and is easy to keep clean.
2: Quartz has a beautiful appearance
There is something about the sparkle of quartz that puts it on another level. It’s as if it’s been pulled from the very heart of the earth and polished to perfection.
And yet, despite its ethereal appearance, quartz is one of the most durable materials on the market, making it an ideal choice for kitchen countertops.
Unlike Granite or marble, quartz has a nonporous surface, meaning it will not absorb liquids or stains.
In addition, quartz is resistant to scratches and heat, making it a practical choice for busy kitchens. But beyond its function, quartz also has a unique beauty that can elevate any space.
3: Quartz slabs are already permanently polished from the factory
The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where memories are made and shared. A space where we prepare our meals and gather to enjoy them.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a countertop that not only looks beautiful but is also easy to care for.
Quartz countertops is the perfect choice for those who want low maintenance option with the look of natural stone.
These slabs come in various colors and styles to fit any aesthetic. But perhaps the best part about quartz countertops is that they’re already polished from the factory- so you don’t have to do it again each year.
This is because quartz counters are man made and created into “slabs” unlike marble or granite countertops which are natural stone countertops.
Instead, During the manufacturing process, a natural mineral is mixed with resin creating a non-porous material. Ultimately, This means less time spent resealing your countertops year after year and more time enjoying your kitchen.
4: Quartz is SOMETIMES more cost effective compared to its granite equivalent.
Quartz can be less expensive per square foot than its equivalent Granite product. Of course there are rules to this exception.
Solid color quartz slabs like white, off-white etc, will come in higher than granite; and for good reason.
This is due to not having any other competition. Because quartz is man made, the pigment can be altered. This is not the case for solid surface countertops like granite or marble. This is one of the main reasons we went with quartz.
Pure white quartz countertops, without any variation are hard to come by when you are using natural stone. So even though it was a bit pricier than granite, we could get the customized look we were going for.
Plus, there are so many more pros than cons to quartz. The thickness of the countertop is also a determining factor in price.
Industry standard for countertop thickness is about 3 cm. But a lot of times quartz manufacturers will quote their price at 2 cm, making it appear less expensive. It’s important to clarify this before making your decision.
5: Quartz Is antibacterial
Quartz isn’t porous like Granite, making it easy to keep your countertops bacteria-free. Solid stone countertops have tiny crevices and if you don’t regularly reseal them, you are allowing germs to be able to seep in and cause havoc.
They can weaken the stone and cause discoloration. the benefit to quartz surfaces is that you don’t have to re-seal your countertops yearly like Granite.
Sure, a kitchen is where family and friends gather to share meals and laughter, but it’s also where bacteria can thrive.
A non-porous surface like quartz countertops can help us keep bacterial threads at bay, making your kitchen a safer place for everyone.
Quartz is also easy to clean, so you can spend less time worrying about germs and enjoy moments that matter.
6. Quartz countertops won’t fade In color
One of the great benefits of quartz countertops is that they won’t fade overtime. Quartz countertops are made from real stone but ground up, making them manufactured.
Although, beware! Using highly acid-cleaning products on the surface may break down the factory seal over time.
And after splurging on a sleek countertop, the last thing you want to worry about is its fading and chipping.
Luckily, with a good-quality quartz countertop, you can take the concern off your list. Quartz is one of the most durable materials on the market, and it’s also resistant to staining and color fading.
That means you can enjoy your beautiful kitchen for years without worrying about the upkeep.
7: You Can’t Scratch Your Quartz Countertops
The surface of quartz is so tough that it scratch resistant. You can even use your knives right on the surface, although it’s not recommended.
Not only will you will dull your knives, but you could potential scratch your countertops if the knife is very sharp.
Even though quartz countertop material is harder than your steel knife, It’s best to use a cutting board.
What are the downsides of quartz countertop?
Quartz is a manufactured stone consisting of 90% ground quartz and 10% resin binders and pigments.
It is one of the most popular countertop materials today because it is beautiful, durable, and easy to care for.
However, like any material, it has pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision. Now that we’re done with the pros of a quartz countertop, let’s talk about the downsides to quartz.
Cons of quartz countertops
Heat resistant, but damaged by high heat?
Quartz countertops are heat resistant to a certain temp. The quartz them selves can withstand extremely high temperatures, but the resin cannot.
Anything over 150 degrees Fahrenheit can permanently damage your counter. If the resin is heated too high, it can discolor and turn white.
Exposure to direct sunlight could cause fading
Sure, quartz is heat resistant, but it can be damaged by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light for extended periods.
This means that if you have quartz countertops in your kitchen near a window where the sun shines in regularly, or have used quartz countertops outside for an outdoor kitchen, they could start to fade over time.
Potential for Cracking
While quartz is made from high-end countertop materials, it is not always indestructible -While fine for everyday use, if something falls on your countertop or if it sustains some other type of impact, there is a chance that it could crack or chip.
This really depends on the thickness of the quartz product that you purchased and if you are putting extreme heat directly on your countertop.
Standard thickness is 3 cm. Some suppliers will sell under standard thickness because it’s more cost effective and because the buyer thinks they are getting a better deal.
So be careful when getting a deal that sounds too good ti be true! It’s always best to opt for the thicker option. 3cm is the best choice when choosing quartz thickness.
Keep in mind that while quartz does offer an element of heat resistance, it can still be damaged if you place something extremely hot on the surface.
This isn’t due to the quartz materials within the countertop, but the resin that is added. The resin is what give that beautiful shiny finish and what helps create and hold together the the quartz stone.
So, it’s best to just use a hot pad before putting a pan on the natural stone surface.
Harsh chemicals wearing down the finish
One of my favorite quartz countertops’ pros is that they are easy to clean and don’t require any yearly maintenance like granite or a natural marble would.
The factory finish on quartz finish is so strong and non-porous that it never has to be resealed! But like anything else, there is a catch. You can wear down the factory finish by using harsh chemicals.
To care your your quartz countertops, just use a mild soap and a warm wet cloth to disinfect and make shine!
Overall, quartz countertops are a great option for those looking for durability and ease of maintenance.
But you should be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as cost, dangers from UV, using harsh chemicals when cleaning, and putting extreme heat directly on the surface.
So, if opting for quartz kitchen countertops or bathroom counters for that matter, choose 3cm in thickness, use soap and water to clean, and use hot pads before placing something hot on the surface.
Why would you choose quartz over granite?
There is a reason the popularity of quartz countertops are on the rise. While granite and Quartz both have unique benefits, Qquartz may be the better choice for some homeowners.
Quartz offers stain resistance that granite can not. This is because it is less porous than Granite, making it less susceptible to stains. The engineered stone is made from ground quartz crystals and resin, making it a solid surface.
So simply put, It’s harder for stains and bacteria to reck havoc when they don’t have a place to settle into.
It’s also more durable and scratch-resistant, making it ideal for busy families. In addition, quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so you’ll easily find an option that fits your other kitchen fixtures.
Quartz offers the same look of granite we all love, but without the maintenance!
Are marble countertops better than quartz?
Generally speaking, quartz countertops’ pros outweigh marbles. quartz is the more durable of the two types of materials.
It’s less susceptible to scratches, stains and bacteria. It also requires less maintenance than marble. Nevertheless, the natural stone of marble is more heat resistance than quartz. This is due to the resin that quartz is made with.
Can You Put Hot Pots On Quartz?
If you’ve got a quartz countertop, you might wonder if it’s safe to use a hot pot. After all, quartz is heat resistant, but can it withstand the intense heat of a hot pot?
The short answer is yes; but it depends how hot it is. With any material, there are always some risks involved. The heat from the pot could cause the quartz to crack or chip, so it’s important to use a trivet or hot pad to protect your countertop.
Anything over 150 degrees Fahrenheit can permanently damage your counter. Additionally, the boiling water could cause discoloration, so it’s best to avoid letting the pot sit in one spot for too long.
So overall, just use a hot pad to be safe. It’s too expensive of a mistake if it goes wrong.
Can I use Clorox wipes on quartz?
Quartz countertops are an investment. Just like when you invest in appliances. You want to do your homework and figure out the best way to care for them. That way they can have the longest life possible!
You better believe when my cafe appliances came in that I read every bit about how to properly clean and care for them. The same concept applies to really any investment. When my quartz countertops were installed I applied the same concept for cleaning.
One cleaning product that kept popping up in my search was Clorox wipes. But can you use Clorox wipes on a quartz countertop? The answer is yes, but it isn’t recommended. Clorox wipes contain bleach, and with persistent use can discolor or damage the surface.
If you do use them, be sure to use sparingly and avoid letting them sit on the surface for a long time. Using harsh cleaners, including bleach, isn’t necessary to clean your quartz.
Just warm water and a mild soap will do the trick. Harsh chemicals can break down the shiny finish, giving them a matte finish over time.
If you want to clean your quartz countertop with bleach wipes, here are some points to remember:
- Read the label on the wipes to ensure they are safe for use on quartz.
- Avoid using too much pressure when scrubbing, as this can damage the finish.
- Wipe any excess cleaner with a damp cloth to avoid streaks or residue.
Can water damage quartz countertops?
Yes, water can damage quartz countertops, just like every other countertop. But only if it’s hard water. The minerals in the water are what is actually damaging the countertop.
To prevent this you could use distilled water for cleaning. In any case, it’s best to just wipe up spills right away or use a dry cloth on the bottom of glasses before placing them down to stop those pesky water rings from forming.
You could also use placements if you wanted to. The bottom line is yes, they can be damaged by water.
But they are stain resistant due to the resin the quartz countertops are made with. So the good news is that quartz will offer more protection from water damage than solid surface materials like granite or marble.
Just remember they aren’t bullet proof. It’s best to be cautious and care for your quartz countertops appropriately.
Does vinegar damage quartz?
If you’re worried about damaging your countertop in an attempt to clean it, rest assured, knowing that vinegar does not damage quartz. Since quartz is one of the most resistant materials to acidic substances like vinegar, it won’t chip or fade during this process.
But remember to clean up any spills quickly, as prolonged exposure to an acidic substance can damage the finish of quartz countertops. If you spill vinegar on your quartz countertop, wipe it up with a damp cloth and soapy water.
Extra Tips When Caring For Quartz Countertops
Here are some smart tips you can implement to keep your Quartz countertop looking its best:
- Be careful with hot pans etc. Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so be sure to use pot holders or towels on the surface.
- Although quartz isn’t pores, meaning it won’t stain, it doesn’t mean that if you mistreat it that it won’t stain. When liquids like cleaners and chemicals are used on the surface, it can react with the resin or wear it down making it more susceptible to stains. Resin makes quartz non-pores, and harsh cleaners, chemicals, or heat can damage resin. So be sure to use gentle cleaners. Soap and water is all you need.
- Always wipe down your countertops after cooking or preparing food to avoid any messes.
- Use a soft cloth when cleaning your quartz countertops, and avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners.
- Be especially careful when using knives or other sharp objects on quartz countertops, as they can scratch the surface.
- To prevent future staining, consider using a sealant on your quartz countertops every few months.
- Remember that, like all countertops, quartz countertops require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.
Will knives scratch the surface of quartz?
Quartz is ranked 7th on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Which means it’s pretty hard to scratch. Only something stronger then quartz will scratch it.
If you aren’t familiar with this scale, it’s a way to measure how hard a mineral is based on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the hardest.
A diamond is ranked at number 10 and talc is ranked number one. Since quartz is ranked at number 7, it’s highly resistant to scratching. This makes it one of the best materials for counterops.
The natural quartz stone within the countertop is fortified with man-made polymers (natural or synthetic substances composed of very large molecules), making it even stronger. Although this does not mean that it is entiely scratch proof.
Everyday use of knives are fine to use directly on the countertop. Although, it’s best to use a cutting board and not only becuase it will dull your knives.
Even though quartz is stronger than steel, a sharp knife can scratch your countertop. Remember, quartz is scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof!
Can quartz scratches be repaired?
Quartz scratches can be repaired if need be. It really depends on how deep the scratch is. If the scratch is more surface level, you can buff out the scratch by using a fine grit material like Ajax or even drywall mud.
If the scratch is deeper you will most likely have to use a specially formulated epoxy resin to fill it in. There are a lot of tutorials out there to help you repair your quartz if by chance they get damaged if you find your self in that position.
How long do quartz countertops last?
Really your quartz countertop could potential last a lifetime. Suppliers generally will say quartz countertops will last between 10 years and the life of your home.
Of course this depends on the quality of their production and how well they are cared for I your home. There really is no end to their life.
Because quartz is made from man made products, it won’t break down over time like other natural stone products will.
Not to mention the natural materials in quartz are pretty indestructible. Quartz contertops are certainly an investment, but hopefully one you’ll only have to make once.
Consider the cost of alternatives? Granite or marble may be a little less in price, but the cost of yearly maintenance makes them more expensive.
These natural stones will break down faster than quartz. Due to being man-made, quartz countertops will last longer.
Plus, with the generous warranties available, you can rest assured your investment will be protected.
Given all of the benefits, it’s no wonder that quartz has become one of the most popular countertop materials on the market.
If you’re looking to update those laminate countertops for something more durable, long-lasting, and that requires little to no maintenance, consider investing in quartz.
With a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from, you can easily get a quartz counter customized to suit your aesthetic sense.
So if you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, consider splurging on quartz! It’s a one and done investment that you won’t regret! We certainly don’t!
Ps – Here’s is a same of the countertop we went with!
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Thanks for reading!
It’s nice that you pointed out how quartz countertops are the perfect choice for those who want a low-maintenance option with the look of natural stone. Our current countertop just cracked so we are planning on having it replaced with a new one. We haven’t tried quartz countertops before, so I think we should have one installed in our kitchen this time.
Thanks for the information! I’ve been trying to decide between quartz and granite countertops for a kitchen remodel.