Selecting the right worktop for your kitchen and bathroom surfaces is crucial, which fulfils your daily requirements and adds style to your home. Since the last decade, the popularity of quartz worktops for homeowners has increased more than ever based on their particular characteristics, which include:
- Easy to clean
- Impact resistance
- Pattern consistency
- UV resistant
- Scratch resistance
- Stain resistance
- Wear and tear resistance
This guide will help you understand what quartz is and what its uses are. Moreover, this article thoroughly explores quartz worktops, including their history, manufacturing process, key features, and types. In the end, a detailed comparison of quartz worktops with other types is given to help you better comprehend the differences and make the right decision.
What is Quartz?
Quartz, a naturally occurring mineral, is present primarily in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. It is one of the most rigid natural materials resistant to erosion and weathering.
Hardness of Quartz
Based on Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness, quartz is rated 7 compared to granite and marble, rated 3 and 5, respectively.
Uses of Quartz
Quartz is a highly reliable mineral which can be used for wide-ranging purposes, such as:
- Backsplashes: Quartz backsplash can complement the quartz worktops in the kitchen to add a stunning and modern look to the entire space. It allows easy cleaning of the backsplash surfaces, and you can quickly wipe away all the spills and splatters to give your kitchen a neat look.
- Bathrooms: Quartz countertops can be installed in bathrooms, giving the space a contemporary and unique look. They also make the maintenance and cleaning of bathrooms easy for you.
- Kitchen Worktops: Quartz makes the kitchen worktops’ look excellent and makes the surfaces hard-wearing, which do not get damaged easily, lasting for several years.
Understanding Quartz Worktops
The premium quality quartz worktops are made from 93% natural quartz and 7% polymers and resins. However, the percentage of quartz in worktops can range between 90% and 95%. All these components are mixed in different proportions to provide several sleek finishes and beautiful varieties.
These worktops are non-porous and do not absorb liquids commonly used in kitchens, such as juices, oils, water, wine, etc. Moreover, they can also be cleaned quickly with a cloth damped with warm water containing a mild detergent. In this way, it is easier to maintain these worktop surfaces’ overall look and quality.
History of Quartz Worktops
Breton is a company located in Northeast Italy which developed engineered stone. The company issued a license to more than 50 manufacturing organisations around the globe in 1963 to manufacture quartz worktops. The basic manufacturing process has been the same for years, with added flairs and twists in the worktops.
Quartz worktops are artificially synthesised and engineered by manufacturers using advanced and modern-day technology. The manufacturing process of quartz worktops involves the following steps:
- All the materials are critically inspected according to quality control standards.
- Quartz is ground and bonded with resin or binders to make the worktops durable and resistant towards damage.
- Different types of pigments and mixers are added to make the worktops colourful.
- The mixture is thoroughly mixed and poured into the worktop’s mould.
- The air is removed from the mixture by vacuuming.
- The mixture is compacted with 100 tonnes of pressure to form the slabs.
- The slabs are polished to ensure a perfect glossy finish.
- The quality of all the slabs is inspected before packing and shipping them.
Mixing the quartz and resins in the correct proportion is crucial to ensure easy and optimal installation, providing an unrivalled experience to the customers. It is because if there is more resin, it will make the worktop porous, causing its expansion due to water absorption. It will also compromise the scratch-resistant properties of the worktops. On the other hand, if the content of quartz is high, it will make the worktops brittle and less stable.
Significant Features of Quartz Worktops
The following key features and characteristics of quartz worktops make them suitable to install in various homes and other properties:
Quartz worktops are highly durable and superior to all other natural stone worktops. Their scratch and stain-resistant properties make them less prone towards impact. They also require less maintenance because they are hard-wearing.
Finishes & Textures
Quartz worktops are available in various finishes and textures with consistent, high-quality colours and appearance. They also come with concrete or marble textures, thus enhancing the number of options you can select. In this way, they not only enhance your home’s functionality but also the overall design.
The quartz worktops are non-porous, which makes them water and bacterial-resistant. They do not allow moisture to penetrate them and harbour the entry of bacteria or germs, preventing mould growth. These characteristics enhance the longevity of worktops.
Quartz worktops are highly customisable surfaces, as their colours, designs, and styles can be modified based on your preferences and choices. These worktops are perfect for installing in kitchens and bathrooms as they offer improved hygienic characteristics due to stain resistance and easy cleaning. They also enhance your property’s value, making them a significant investment.
A Detailed Comparison Among Worktops
Quartz VS. Concrete
Although concrete worktops add aesthetic quality to your home, they require great care and high maintenance. They also get stained easily and require regular maintenance to prevent wear and tear.
Quartz worktops have fewer maintenance requirements and add a minimalistic yet modern look to your home. They resist spills and stains and do not fade away quickly.
Quartz VS. Glass
Glass worktops are becoming popular for homeowners due to a wide range of available colour options and finishes as per your preferences. They are dense and non-porous with added strength and require lesser maintenance. But they have a limited number of style options.
On the other hand, quartz worktops are dense, strong, non-porous, and easy to maintain, but they also offer more sleek and modern styles for different homes.
Quartz VS Granite
Granite has been a famous preference for worktops as they add aesthetics to the conventional interior designs of homes. But it is available only in limited amounts of colours and variations for kitchen worktops. Granite worktops also require more maintenance and application of the sealant annually.
On the other hand, quartz worktops come in a great variety to enhance the kitchen’s aesthetic quality with added colours and modern designs. They require relatively lesser maintenance and do not need regular application of sealant to keep the surfaces intact.
Quartz VS. Laminate
Laminate worktops are usually made of wood wrapped with a decorative layer to create its external surface. They are becoming popular among homeowners as they fit different styles. They also offer durability and hygiene. But they can get damaged due to water ingress, leading to their swelling up and peeling of their layers with wear and tear damages.
Quartz worktops, on the other hand, are not only durable, hygienic, and stain and scratch-resistant but are also non-porous, so they are not prone to water absorption in the surfaces.
Quartz VS Marble
Marble is a natural stone, and its worktops have various colour options. It is a softer material prone to scratches and stains and requires sealant to ensure its protection. These worktops can only add a conventional touch to your home, but their appearance gets dull over time.
However, quartz worktops are hard, offering excellent resistance towards scratching and staining, due to which their appearance is long-lasting. Moreover, they provide a luxurious look to your kitchen and home without applying sealant often.
Quartz VS. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel worktops are not popular among residential owners and are commonly found in commercial kitchens, such as hotels and restaurants. They are durable and bacterial-resistant but susceptible towards dents and scratches.
But the quartz worktops are resistant towards dents and scratches with added durability. They come in an extensive collection of colours.
Quartz VS Wood
Wood worktops have been used for years to add a warm and welcoming feel to homes. However, these are not a good option regarding their functionality because they are highly porous and prone to bacterial entry. They also get easily damaged due to stains and scratches if improperly maintained.
However, quartz worktops improve your home’s functionality as they are not porous and do not allow bacteria to enter these surfaces. Their scratch and stain-resistant qualities make them easy to maintain with hassle-free cleanliness.
Table of Contents
Quartz worktops offer more resistance towards damage or wear and tear than other natural stone worktops, including granite and marble. Quartz worktops are manufactured by combining hard quartz minerals with premium quality resins, polymers, and pigments, improving their overall strength. They are also resistant to impact, scratches, and stains and do not require regular sealing.
However, granite and marble are directly extracted from the ground and are naturally weak minerals. They are also not resistant towards stains, scratches, and impact. Moreover, they require high maintenance to ensure their better performance and preserve their appearance.
Quartz worktops are non-porous and easy to clean as they resist stains. To keep the worktops in ideal condition, you should regularly clean dirt and other residues. To remove a stubborn or difficult stain, you should use a small blade to scrape it away gently. Then, clean the surface with a non-abrasive cleaning pad dipped in warm soapy water.