When it comes to high-end countertops, one material that has been gaining popularity in recent years is quartz. Quartz countertops are a great option for homeowners looking for a durable, low maintenance, and stylish surface for their kitchen or bathroom. But what exactly are quartz countertops and what are some of their key characteristics?
What is Quartz?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the composition of quartz. Quartz countertops are made up of around 93 percent mineral content, which gives it a unique look and feel. By comparison, solid surface countertops are made up of around 66 percent mineral and 33 percent polymer content, giving them a silky, or soapy feeling.
One of the biggest benefits of quartz countertops is their durability. During the manufacturing process softer minerals and impurities are removed, leaving only the hardest mineral, quartz. This makes quartz among the hardest and most durable countertop materials available.
Low Water Absorption
Another advantage of quartz is its low water absorption rate of 0.5 percent. This is similar to other low porosity materials such as porcelain tile, and means that the material will not absorb water into its surface.
Quartz is a non-porous, non-absorbent material, which makes it resistant to staining and contamination from bacteria, mold and mildew. This makes it a great choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops.
While the minerals in quartz are highly impervious to heat, the synthetic binders used in the manufacturing process are not. It is not recommended to place hot items directly on a quartz countertop as it may cause damage to the binding materials.
Plentiful Design Options
Another advantage when choosing quartz countertops is the variety of designs and features available among different brands and product lines. From colors and patterns to unique edge profiles, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from.
Increases Home Value
Home buyers are attracted to all the benefits described above, and are willing to pay a premium for homes with high-end quartz surfaces. In addition, quartz brands come with a warranty, which are transferable in many cases.