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Sorry granite, I’m with quartz October 27, 2014

Quartz is the way to go

Okay. You’re considering a countertop upgrade. The leading contenders by popular demand tend to be granite and quartz. Both options have pluses and minuses and are beautiful in their own right, so it’s often difficult to decide between the two.

Countertops

Let’s first set the record straight and describe them. Granite countertops are made from natural stone that is quarried from the earth and comes in a large slab. Quartz, on the other hand, is engineered. It is made up of mostly quartz (95%), and is crushed and mixed with a resin and pigments. The engineered quartz can be made to mimic just about any granite color, so color selection is a nonissue.

Here we’ll consider the pros and cons of a quartz countertop.

Pros to Engineered Quartz

  • Quartz is strong — While it’s true that granite is more durable than quartz in its natural form, the engineering process takes quartz to a new level of strength.
  • Quartz is scratch resistant and non-porous — This means it doesn’t stain or hold bacteria, making it both low maintenance and sanitary. Don’t worry about that spilled glass of red wine on your light-colored quartz. No problem!
  • Quartz is low maintenance — You never have to seal quartz because it’s already non-porous. Simply clean with mild soap and water.
  • Quartz is uniform in color and patter — Unlike granite or marble, that come from the earth as is and may happen to have a funny streak across them that you weren’t expecting, quartz has no surprises. What you select from the sample is what will be installed in your home.

Cons to Engineered Quartz

  • Cost — The price point may vary, but typically quartz will run you more.
  • Sensitive to heat — Unlike granite, that can withstand a boiling pot of pasta or that cookie sheet straight from the oven, you have to be careful with placing hot items on top of quartz. Yes, they are heat-resistant, but they can be affected by high heat.
  • Unseemly seams — Sadly, yes, the seams on your quartz countertop (particularly the lighter shades) may show. Any countertop will have a seam somewhere, but because quartz is manufactured, the seam can be more of an issue.

Of course at the end of the day the choice is up to you. Often it comes to personal preference. Go with the material that strikes your fancy. Although granite has had a surge of popularity because of its natural state, quartz offers many attractive benefits when it comes to maintenance.