Highly durable and requires minimal upkeep, Quartz (Engineered Stone) is a tempting alternative to natural stones as a kitchen countertop material.
A relative newcomer to the industry, it is primarily composed of (93%) stone aggregates and (7%) polyester resin which are pressed into slabs using highly advanced machinery. Under intense vibration, vacuum, and pressure, these two components make up an extremely dense, non-porous surface. Hence, unlike natural stones in general, it does not require any type of sealing- ever.
Quartz surfaces come in a broad spectrum of different color and pattern combinations, some of which emulate the appearance of natural stones. Whether you are designing a kitchen in warm earth tones or remodeling an office space with deep red and crisp white surfaces, you will always find a shade that complements your decor.
The material offers a consistent appearance throughout its entire surface. It is crafted to achieve a controlled blend of color, pattern, and texture, which is impossible to find in any granite or marble slab. Thus, you can expect that the sample you will receive from the slabyard will be the same as the one which will be delivered for your project.
Quartz addresses the limitations of natural stone countertops (e.g. the softness of marble, the porosity of granite, etc.). This does not mean, however, that it is a better product compared to any other materials available in the market. Despite its many advantages, it has some drawbacks as well.
Much like natural stone slabs, seams on quartz countertops are evident. Although it is not as much visible than the seams in granite or marble applications; it is not as inconspicuous as the seams in solid surfaces either.
Moreover, prolonged exposure to heat OR any direct contact with acidic or alkaline solutions can damage its surface. Direct sunlight may also cause quartz to “yellow.”
Given these pros and cons, if you have set your mind on quartz, it is important to know that it should be properly installed only by an experienced professional. After all, who would want to pay for an expensive material only to be ruined by poor craft?