What You Need to Know About Quartz Countertops -

What You Need to Know About Quartz Countertops

A quartz countertop could be your next kitchen countertop. Take the time to learn about quartz countertops before you make that decision. It'll make a huge difference.

If you didn’t know, we love quartz kitchen countertops. It’s our favourite type of countertop material and there are some good reasons for that. We are going to break down everything we know about our favourite engineered quartz countertop. From the origins of quartz countertops, the pros & cons, proper maintenance practices and the price. We hope this article helps you learn more about quartz and why it’s so special for us.

What is Quartz

Quartz is one of the most abundant materials on earth. In the 1960s, an Italian company, Breton S.p.A, developed the process to engineer quartz countertops. This is done through a process that mixes 95% natural quartz with polymer resin. This creates the quartz slab, incredibly durable and low maintenance engineered stone that can come in a large variety of colours.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Quartz comes in nearly an unlimited array of colour choices and designs. This is possible because of the reinforcement process that allows pigments and varying other materials to be added to it. 

The second pro is that quartz countertops are hydrophobic. This means that the solid quartz surface is essentially waterproof and can repel almost any liquid that hits your counter. To add to that, the hydrophobic properties also make your quartz counter resistant to stains and bacteria. Compared to a marble or granite countertop, both have a porous surface. When a material has a porous surface, this allows for liquids and other germs to grow and multiply in those crevices. When it comes to maintenance of a quartz countertop it’s extremely easy. Cleaning your quartz countertop is simple because of its hydrophobic properties as well. Many people praise the durability and strength of a quartz kitchen countertop. They are scratch, and dent-resistant, making them great for lots of countertop activity. 

Finally, the last pro is you don’t have to seal your quartz countertop like for other natural stone countertops. Granite and marble are both natural stone’s that need to be resealed to maintain their shine and longevity. If you want to learn more about the best stone countertops check out our article: What Are The Best Stone Countertops For Your Kitchen. Since quartz doesn’t need to be resealed it takes one less thing off your plate to think about. There are a lot of great benefits that quartz can provide you as your next kitchen countertop. Unfortunately, there are some cons that come with quartz as well, let’s check them out.

Cons

The first disadvantage to having a quartz countertop is that when exposed to heat like a hot pot or hot pan the resin could melt on the surface causing a permanent burn mark. Other than the fact that it might be unpleasant to look at, you just need to be conscious that high heat can disfigure a quartz countertop. 

Another con is the price of a quartz countertop. Compared to granite and marble, it is a tad more expensive. The price can range drastically but on average a quartz slab is around $75 per square foot. On the other hand, granite ranges anywhere from $40-60 per square foot, and marble is around $60 per square foot on average. This might not even include the installation costs so consider that as well. 

Our final con is that quartz can fade when faced with long periods of exposure to UV rays. UV light can fade the pigments in your quartz leaving it grey and unsightly if exposed for too long.

Maintenance

This is a key step for ensuring your countertop is staying durable and beautiful. Unfortunately, not many people take the proper steps in regard to maintaining their quartz countertop. Here are some tips for cleaning your quartz countertop:

Tip #1: Cleaning Materials

When it comes to kitchen countertops marble countertops are a classic choice. They are a natural stone, meaning they appear naturally and each piece is cut into to be its own stone slab. There is no doubt how beautiful a marble countertop is, with countless designs and colours you are bound to find a marble countertop design you like. Marble is also pretty durable.

A drawback is that you do need to constantly maintain your marble countertop by resealing it. This needs to be done because it is a natural stone, meaning it has tiny pores that allow liquid and debris to fall into it. This will slowly erode the stone if it is not sealed properly. You also have to be careful of the type of cleaners you use on marble, as acidic and harsh cleaners can erode and damage your marble counter. You can get marble countertops starting at $40 up to $100 per square foot. Marble countertops are a staple in many homes and you can’t go wrong with them. Other than the regular maintenance we love marble countertops.

Tip #2: Immediately Remove Debris and Gunk From The Quartz Surface

You should try your best to remove debris as soon as possible. If anything does end up drying and sticking to your counter, we suggest lathering the area with warm or hot water first to loosen up the dried debris then wiping it off with a cloth or sponge. If you are going to use something like a small putty knife, be sure to scrape gently when removing any tough gunk.

Tip #3: Use Proper Degreaser

On the off chance that you spill any grease or oil on your countertop, make sure you are using a degreasing agent that is safe to use on quartz. Anything that contains bleach might damage your countertop so try to avoid any cleaners or wipes that contain bleach. After spraying the degreasing agent you need to rinse off the counter with some warm water. Try asking your quartz countertop installer about which product they would recommend for cleaning your countertops.

Common Maintenance Mistakes

1. Leaving Spills On The Counter

A common misconception is that quartz countertops are completely stain proof. In actuality, they are only stain resistant. This only makes wiping spills on your countertops all the more important. When you leave a spill on a countertop for too long, you run the risk of staining your countertop. Trust us, removing stains can be even more annoying than preventing them in the first place. If you want to avoid staining your countertops, it’s always best practice to wipe any spills immediately to maintain your quartz countertop.

2. Using Unsuitable Cleaning Products.

You really need to make sure the cleaning product you use is safe to use on your quartz countertop. If not, the cleaning product could wear or break down the sealant, making it more susceptible to staining. Avoid any high acidity or bleach cleaning products.

To be honest, using any regular dish soap, diluted with water should be sufficient to clean your countertops. Just try to clean your countertops at least once a day and that’s more than enough to keep your countertops looking spotless and elegant.

3. The Use of Abrasive Brushes

Any rough or abrasive nylon brush can really scratch the surface of your countertops. The scratches might not be noticeable right away but they can cause the shiny surface to lose its lustre over time. We suggest using a soft microfiber cloth that is absorbent and doesn’t leave a watermark when you wipe.

4.Putting High Temp Objects On Your Quartz Countertop

This is another misconception about quartz countertops. Some people believe that quartz is impervious to heat. While quartz countertops are highly resistant to heat, extreme temperatures can damage the resin of your countertop. This can cause discolouration and unfortunately, discolouration can’t be fixed. You would need to replace your entire countertop if you wanted to get rid of the discoloured area. Sudden changes in temperature can also cause thermal expansion that can crack the surface of your countertop. You want to make sure you have thermal mats or cooking pads to put any hot items onto. This ensures your quartz counter is protected against the direct heat of the item.

5. Avoid Any Metallic Objects Scraping the Surface

Metallic objects can easily scratch the surface of your quartz countertop. You want to ensure this doesn’t happen by limiting the amount of metal that contacts your quartz countertop. You are bound to cook eventually, so make sure you always use a cutting board when cutting any food item. Also food and other spills can stick and dry to the surface of your countertop. You want to make sure you never use any sharp metal objects to scrape off the stuck on gunk.

Price of Quartz Countertops

You always have to keep your budget in mind for how much you are willing to spend on a quartz countertop. This is because the price can vary drastically. When it comes to the price, quartz countertops can cost anywhere from $50 to $120 per square foot. The factors that will dictate the exact price are things such as the number of materials, the custom pieces the fabricator has to cut and even the origin of where the materials came from. It would also vary depending on the design, pigments and materials used during its reinforcement stage in the resin. Talk to your local countertop supplier about your budget and what you hope to achieve with your budget.

Price of Quartz Countertops

You always have to keep your budget in mind for how much you are willing to spend on a quartz countertop. This is because the price can vary drastically. When it comes to the price, quartz countertops can cost anywhere from $50 to $120 per square foot. The factors that will dictate the exact price are things such as the number of materials, the custom pieces the fabricator has to cut and even the origin of where the materials came from. It would also vary depending on the design, pigments and materials used during its reinforcement stage in the resin. Talk to your local countertop supplier about your budget and what you hope to achieve with your budget.

Conclusion

We hope this article provides you with a better understanding about everything related to quartz countertops. At Caviar Kitchen we specialize in quartz countertop installations. If you have any questions regarding quartz countertops you can contact us HERE. Check out our other articles at Caviar blog. Let us know what you think of quartz countertops in the comments below! What is your preferred countertop material?