Made from the hardest minerals on earth, quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials available today. Quartz countertops are also extremely attractive, available in natural browns, blacks and creams and even colors like fire-engine red and apple green with their sparkles and veining giving them a natural stone-like look and appeal.
What’s more, they don’t need yearly coating with a protective sealant, the way granite and marble do. Just a quick wipe with some soapy water and they’re good as new!
Intrigued? Well, here’s all you need to know about this new entrant in countertops to decide if you want to embrace this hot, new trend in your kitchen!
How Are Quartz Countertops Made?
Naturally occurring quartz crystals are mined and then ground into a fine dust that is then fused with resin binders under extreme heat and pressure to form solid quartz slabs. Pigments are then added to lend color to this countertop material.
How expensive are they?
They are as expensive as natural stones, costing about Rs 200 -Rs 300/sq. ft.
How long do they last?
As long as you don’t expose them to the elements or keep them safe from hot pots and pans, they will last as long as your kitchen does!
Are they easy to Install?
Quartz slabs, just like natural stones, are heavy. And although they’re flexible, they can crack if not handled properly. So, installation needs to be done with care and by experts.
Where are they available?
Quartz countertops need to be ordered through reputed kitchen-design showrooms or home centers that are known to source good quality Quartz.
The Advantages Of Using Quartz Countertops
Quartz is very design-friendly
Quartz is one of the most design-friendly countertop materials with the resins in it making any seams imperceptible. It also doesn’t chip while cutting as natural stones do. It is more flexible than natural stones and can be bent and shaped into sinks and curved kitchen islands. It can also be used on floors and walls as tiles.
Quartz Countertops are easy to maintain
Unlike natural stones or wood, they don’t need to be sealed. Just a quick wipe with soapy water is enough to keep them clean and shiny. Any stains on the surface can be removed with some gentle scrubbing. Scouring pads and harsh chemicals need to be avoided as they can break the bonds between the quartz and resins.
They’re resistant to bacteria and mold
Quartz counters are non-porous because of the resin binders that are used during their manufacturing process. This makes it extremely hard for bacteria and mold to penetrate them.
The Disadvantages Of Using Quartz Countertops
They can’t be used outdoors
Even manufacturers warn users against using this material outdoors as it doesn’t respond very well to being out in the sun constantly. An exposure to the elements can cause the quartz countertops to split and fade over time.
They’re a bit expensive
When compared against wood, laminates or concrete, Quartz countertops can prove to be an expensive option. But they aren’t more expensive than natural stones like granite and range from Rs. 250- Rs 300/ sq. ft. on an average.
They can’t handle too much heat
Although Quartz countertops are known to be heat-resistant, but a sudden change in temperature or a hot pan that you’ve accidentally left on the counter may cause its surface to develop cracks. Err on the side of caution and use pot holders and coasters when dealing with hot utensils.