Your Guide to Quartz Countertops
Quartz is a popular choice for countertops due to its durability, stain-resistance and wide range of colors. This guide gives you all you need to know before upgrading, including care needs and cost.
Despite being a naturally occurring mineral, the material used in quartz countertops is considered to be man-made. It is made from crushed quartz crystals, pigments and resin, and effectively mimics real stone. The difference, however, is that quartz countertops feature a non-porous surface that is both stain and scratch resistant.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Since quartz is polished during manufacturing, it doesn’t require sealing — including any resealing in the future. All that is necessary to keep it in top shape is to wash it regularly with a mild soap or all-purpose cleaner and a cloth or pad that is non-abrasive. A simple glass cleaner will remove most stains on quartz countertops, while a fifty-fifty solution of water and rubbing alcohol will boost shine and kill germs. Despite being scorch-resistant, extreme heat can inflict damage on quartz so be sure to always use a trivet or pad under hot pots and pans.
When fabricated, quartz countertop material is mixed with pigment, making them available in a wide range of colors. They are homogeneous in appearance, unlike natural stone, so feature a more uniform color and pattern. This makes it easier to match slabs and tiles during installation. The surface of a quartz countertop will have a different appearance depending on the size of the quartz granules it is made from. Generally, styles with larger granules can give countertops a busy look.
As far as stain resistance goes, all colors of quartz hold up well — even the lightest shades. That being said, not all quartz is created equal. Quality can vary by brand and color. Before moving forward on a particular selection, make sure the sample withstands some reality-based stain and scratch tests. For example, place red wine, oil and coffee on the sample and allow it to sit overnight.
Ultimately, quartz countertop pricing depends on your chosen style and how it will be installed. An intricate countertop that features a lot of seams, cut-outs and edging details, for example, will cost you more than a basic single slab. Professional installation is almost always recommended due to the weight and handling difficulties involved with quartz slabs. Quartz material costs generally run between $50 and $100 per square foot. However, high-end countertops can cost as much as $200 per square foot or more.
One last thing to think about is that quartz countertops will sometimes chip around the edges and can prove hard to repair. Hiring a professional to fix these areas can increase the overall cost.