FAQ’S ABOUT QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you are considering new countertops, quartz is one of the many options you have to choose from.
These frequently asked questions will give you the information you need to make a decision about using quartz in your home. For your information, here are FAQ’s about quartz:
WHAT IS QUARTZ?
Quartz is a crystalline form of silicone dioxide (SiO2) and the second most common mineral found on this planet. It is found typically in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, colored by impurities found within it, such as in amethyst, citrine, and cairngorm. Quartz is both plentiful and durable, and used in many applications from electronics to building materials.
WHERE IS QUARTZ FOUND?
Quartz is found all over the world, but Arkansas and Brazil are the two places with the largest natural quartz mines. The largest natural quartz crystal was found in Brazil and weighed 44 tons. Mountain tops, beaches, riverbeds and deserts contain high quantities of quartz on their surfaces. Even though quartz is a widely occurring mineral, pure, high quality quartz crystals are rarely found. The Spruce Pine Gem Mine in North Carolina is one of the few locations where highly pure quartz can be mined. India also has huge quantities of clear quartz deposits.
WHAT ARE THE USES FOR QUARTZ?
Quartz is extensively used in glassmaking, and is also an essential ingredient in fiberglass. Due to its hardness, quartz makes an excellent option as an abrasive, and is used in sandblasting and sandpaper production. It is widely used as a filler in paint and rubber substances as well as for traction purposes in the railroad industry. Many electronics such as watches, televisions and cellphones contain quartz. This mineral is the most varied of all minerals as it comes in a variety of colors and forms, making it one of the most useful natural substances.
WHY ARE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS SO POPULAR?
Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” is one of the hardest minerals on earth, thus when used as a countertop option in homes, it is arguably the most durable choice. Unlike other mined natural stone slabs, quartz for countertops is produced in a factory. Here are some other reasons people love quartz countertops:
- They can be made in a variety of colors from bright red to lime green, as well as popular brown, black and cream neutral colors. Consider how your countertops will coordinate with other surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom or office to create a harmonious décor.
- Quartz is less likely to crack or chip compared to granite or marble, since it is stronger.
- It is a non-porous material so it cannot harbor bacteria in tiny cracks like other countertop materials.
- It is resistant to stains, so oil, juice, wine, blood,tomato, coffee and other staining liquids have no effect on the color.
- Takes on ambient temperature better than natural stone.
HOW ARE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS PRODUCED?
The primary ingredient in this type of countertops is 93% ground quartz, which is combined with polyester resins to bind it together. Pigments are added to give it color. Quartz provides an attractive look in kitchens; some designs even incorporate small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks for added character.
DO QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS STAIN EASILY?
Due to the durability and special type of resins added during production, quartz countertops are resistant to stains. They are a nonporous surface, which means staining substances do not settle in small pores to cause discoloration.
DO QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS SCRATCH EASILY?
Quartz is among the most durable counter surfaces you can purchase, and it is scratch resistant under normal usage. It is not indestructible, as any surface can be damaged with extreme abuse, however quartz is durable and holds up very well in normal usage. Quartz countertops should not be scraped with metal tools. To keep its shine and luster, always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
ARE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS POROUS?
No. Quartz countertops are nonporous, and anti-microbial thus bacteria and other substances cannot penetrate the surface.
ARE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS EASY TO MAINTAIN?
Quartz is a low maintenance countertop, unlike granite which typically requires a new protective sealing at least once a year. Quartz surfaces never need to be sealed, unlike some natural stone options. For the best protection of your investment, choose quartz countertops covered by a manufacturer’s warranty covering repair or replacement for any section showing evidence of a manufacturer’s defect.
IS QUARTZ RESISTANT TO HEAT?
Quartz is better at resisting heat in comparison to laminate surfaces like Formica and Corian, but when compared to granite or other stone countertops, some quartz is not as heat resistant and care should be used. The resin component of the Quartz surfaces makes it vulnerable to direct heat such as when placing hot pans directly from the oven etc. Trivets and hot pads should be used for hot pans or hot hair dryers and other tools in the bathroom to keep quartz looking its best.
IS QUARTZ EXPENSIVE?
In comparison to other high end countertop materials such as granite, slate and marble, quartz is very competitively priced.
ARE THERE ANY CHEMICALS OR CLEANERS TO AVOID ON QUARTZ?
We recommend using cleaning products with a pH between 5-8, as products outside this range may damage the surface. Harsh cleaning products such as oven grill cleaners, floor strippers, toilet bowl cleaners, oil soaps, tarnish removers, furniture cleaners, drain products, etc. could be damaging to your countertop. If your surface accidentally is exposed to any of these potentially damaging products, rinse with water immediately.
IN WHAT AREAS OF THE HOME SHOULD QUARTZ BE USED?
Quartz is perfect for kitchen counters, bathroom vanity tops, fireplaces, shower edges, window sills and coffee tables. Using quartz in businesses for food service counters, conference tables and reception tops is also a popular choice.
ARE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS SEAMLESS?
Similar to granite, quartz slabs also come in certain maximum sizes. The jumbo sized slabs are usually 125” x 65”. If countertops are longer than these sizes, they will be made of multiple slabs joined with seams. The seams are joined with epoxy that is mixed with color to match the countertop. Then the joined area is smoothed, leaving only a very thin line visible.
WILL ANY TYPE OF SINK FIT WITH A QUARTZ COUNTERTOP?
Yes, all types of sinks fit and will be measured and sized prior. Sink sizes are determined by the size of the sink cabinet. The sink needs to be on-site during installation to ensure proper fitting and sealing.
Contact Airport Design Center if you have further questions about quartz countertops and installation. We look forward to hearing from you!
WHAT IS GRANITE?
In the dimension stone trade, the word “granite” is used for any feldspar-bearing rock with interlocking crystals that are large enough to be seen with the unaided eye. By this classification, rocks such as anorthosite, gneiss, granite, granodiorite, monzonite, syenite, gabbro and others are all sold under the trade name of “granite”.
WHAT ARE SOME POPULAR USES OF GRANITE?
Granite tile, being a very versatile material, can be installed in a great many locations in a residential or commercial project. Some of the more popular uses of granite are halls and foyers, where it lends a decorative appearance to the space. Granite tile helps to create an ambience of professionalism, strength, and permanence when placed in the foyers and halls of an office building.
In the home, a granite tile floor can make all the difference in creating a space that is characterized by a singular, refined beauty that complements the surrounding decor.
I AM CONSIDERING PURCHASING A GRANITE COUNTERTOP FOR MY KITCHEN. IS IT EXPENSIVE?
Excellent choice! The cost of granite counters is comparable to quartz, or even less, sometimes while offering more benefits. Counters in granite start at $60 per square foot, installed.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
Granite is a very durable stone. It is also much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry. Some of the obvious applications have been panels on the outside of buildings, walls, and floors of “high-traffic” areas. Granite will withstand almost any element it comes up against including heat and cold. Granite itself is approximately 95-98% stain resistant but, we provide extra protection using a special impregnation sealer on all of our natural stone products. To insure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, preferably using specially formulated AGM daily granite cleaner, or using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, soap flakes or powder which contains no aromatics. Application of the cleaner should be followed by a thorough rinsing and drying with cotton-flannel or chamois. If you are going to go with just plain soap and water, keep in mind that this can lead to soap build up which will dull your countertop’s finish significantly. Also, plain soap and water will not bring your countertop to a beautiful shine like our ST daily granite cleaner will. When using a granite cleaner, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and then wipe it off well using a soft cloth for best results.
DOES GRANITE STAIN OR BURN?
No. You can’t burn it with ordinary use. Lighter color granite does stain, and a few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. Usually, no evidence remains when the liquid is removed and the granite dries, but dark pigmented liquids could cause a problem. Our installers seal your countertops with a specially formulated stone sealer that is recommended for all granite after installation. Also regular maintenance of the countertops with ST daily granite cleaner containing sealer will give great results. Every time the countertop is cleaned with ST daily granite cleaner, it will be sealed as well.
DOES GRANITE HAVE ANY PITS OR FISSURES?
Yes, granite has natural pits and fissures that are part of the stone’s natural structure. Some types of granite have more of such characteristics than other types, and pits can be minimized by applying sealer to the surface of the counter.
HOW ARE SEAMS MADE?
The seams where two pieces of stone are put together are joined with epoxy that is mixed with color to match the stone. Then the joined area is smoothed, leaving only a very thin line visible.
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO COME TO AIRPORT DESIGN CENTER?
No appointment is necessary; Airport Design Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
DO I HAVE TO BUY THE WHOLE SHEET/SLAB?
No. In most cases we will determine how much material is needed for your countertops. We do not charge you the price of full slabs. You pay for what is required to fabricate your counters. Some quartzite and exotic slabs are only sold full slabs.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF ORDERING WITH YOUR COMPANY?
The whole process is designed for quality and speed. First, the client picks a stone, we then give the client an estimate based on their specific project. After that an order can be placed with us for a template. From the time the template is made, our clients can expect a turnaround time of 7-14 business days.
CAN MY GRANITE TOP BE DAMAGED?
Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
CAN I SET HOT POT ON MY GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks…
WILL MY GRANITE LOOK LIKE THE ONLINE SAMPLE?
The samples you see on the computer have been scanned and saved as digital images. The color tones may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty. The appearance of the granite once installed may also vary slightly due to the lighting conditions in your home. To get the best idea of the final appearance of your material, we recommend looking at the samples in our showroom and full slabs at our vendor locations before ordering if you are not sure about your choice.
CAN GRANITE CANTILEVER SO THAT MY COUNTERTOPS HAVE OVERHANGS?
You can cantilever most granite up to a length of 12 inches with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations, otherwise the overhanging piece could crack and break off.
CAN GRANITE CHIP?
Only in cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. If a chip occurs on your countertop, do not throw out the chipped pieces. We can use them to fix the countertop, so that no one will be able to tell it was ever chipped.
CAN GRANITE CRACK?
No, not with regular use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not over-stress this durable material.
CAN I CUT ON MY GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
Only if you want to ruin your good knives! Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
IS MARBLE SUITABLE FOR A KITCHEN COUNTERTOP?
No, marble is not a good choice for a kitchen counter top. Although it can be sealed, it is not as dense as granite and therefore it is more porous and susceptible to being stained in a highly used area like a kitchen. It is much softer and it will chip and crack under frequent use.
IS MARBLE REALLY APPROPRIATE TO USE IN LIVING AREAS?
Yes. Since ancient times, marble has been used in all areas of temples and later in many churches, from furnishings to floors. These Italian, Greek and Turkish marbles have proven as durable as materials traditionally considered to be sturdier with the added benefit of creating a warm welcoming atmosphere.
WHICH CABINET MANUFACTURERS DOES ADC OFFER?
We carry several lines of high quality all wood cabinets that are custom made in America. Each manufacturer produces a large array of quality cabinet products and options that allows us to create any design to fit your needs and your budget.
- Aristokraft Cabinetry
- Executive Cabinetry
- Access to virtually any line through our buyers group.
WHAT TYPE OF WARRANTY IS AVAILABLE FROM THE MANUFACTURERS?
Most manufacturers provide a Limited Five Year Warranty and a Limited Lifetime Warranty for their products that we carry in our showroom. Please inquire with your sales member about specific warranties.
DO ALL CABINETS COME PRE-FINISHED, OR ARE THERE UNFINISHED CABINETS AVAILABLE?
Unfinished or raw cabinetry is available. This is a good option for custom paint colors applied on site.
CAN I GET A COLOR SAMPLE?
Standard paint, glaze and stain color chips are available to view in showroom. Custom colors can be made and samples will be provided for customer approval/sign off.
WHAT ARE “ALL PLYWOOD, NO PARTICLE BOARD” CABINETS?
APC: All plywood construction of cabinet boxes.
This construction method is superior in moisture resistance and is all we sell. The traverse lamination of plywood insures the structure of cabinet boxes will greatly reduce expantion and contraction issues you would have with other construction methods.
WHAT ARE “SOFT CLOSE” DOORS AND DRAWERS?
High quality hardware makes a difference! ‘Soft close” refers to a system of hinges drawer tracks that assist in closing gently and avoid slammer of doors & drawers.
DO YOU OFFER GLASS INSERTS FOR CABINET DOORS?
Yes! Some lines sell with glass, others sell ready for custom glass to be cut and installed by your local glass company.
ARE CROWN MOLDINGS AND TOE KICKS INCLUDED IN THE CABINET PACKAGE?
Your designer will calculate and include these pieces as needed.
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR HELP DESIGNING MY KITCHEN OR BATHROOM?
Reach out to us! You can send us email, call us or stop in.
ARE THERE ANY FEES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR DESIGN SERVICE?
Depending on the scope a basic design deposit is required. This amount is applied to any order placed and even if you don’t order with us you own your design for future use.
HOW LONG BEFORE MY CABINETS ARRIVE AFTER I PLACE AN ORDER?
Depending on several factors a standard lead time is 4-6 weeks from date of order.
CAN I INSTALL MY CABINETS MYSELF, OR WILL YOU RECOMMEND AN INSTALLER WHO CAN DO THE JOB?
We highly recommend using a qualified, insured carpenter. Referrals available upon request.
ARE WOOD FLOORS EXPENSIVE?
The cost of hardwood flooring depends upon a number of things:
- The species of wood that you choose for your flooring
- Grade of wood used to make flooring
- The structure of wood flooring you choose (engineered or solid)
- The finish of the hardwood floor (unfinished or pre-finished)
- The size of the flooring planks
ARE SOLID WOOD OR ENGINEERED FLOORS BETTER FOR MY PROJECT?
Engineered wood, in most cases is a better option than solid hardwood when dealing with moisture. Its plywood base is dimensionally stable, meaning that it warps and flexes less easily upon contact with moisture than solid wood.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE TYPE OF WOOD FOR MY FLOOR?
On site evaluation by a professional and moisture meter readings along with other factors will be required to determine the best product for your project.
DO YOUR WOOD FLOOR SUPPLIERS SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY PRACTICES?
Yes, every one of them!
As the industry’s leading North American hardwood flooring manufacturer, Armstrong (Bruce is an Armstrong brand) has a vested interest in protecting the forests where our raw materials come from.
Over 90% of our volume is manufactured here in the U.S. using local raw materials, enhancing the sustainability of our national hardwoods. Our strategy requires that we protect the communities where we extract, process, and manufacture our wood products. Our goal is to support sustainable forest management practices globally, including planting trees to replenish what we harvest.
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification available for selected solid and engineered hardwood products.
- Our engineered wood flooring is certified as a low-emitting (low VOC) wood product.
Being Responsible, is in our roots!
At Mirage, everything we do is with one eye on sustainable development because we firmly believe there is no better way to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Mirage has adopted a progressive approach to sustainable development rather than a green program, because the concept it employs is rooted in our values and vision and always have been. At Mirage, we are committed to more than just better quality of life. We are taking concrete steps to care for the environment, our society, and the economy.
Our Commitment to Healthy Planet
Sustainable Wood Sources
Our mission is to add beauty to the world, without compromising its health. That’s why we take great care to ensure that all of our hardwood comes from certified green, self-renewing sources, where trees are farmed and replanted just like the vegetables you eat. There’s no net woodland loss or negative impact on the environment.
WHY DO I NEED TO ORDER MORE SQUARE FEET OF FLOORING THAN THE SIZE OF MY ROOM?
You should never buy just the amount of hardwood you need, since you also need a bit extra for cuts, waste, and mistakes. Multiply the square footage of the room by 10%, then add this amount to the total square of the room.
DO YOU RECOMMEND AN INSTALLER?
In house installation services available for many of our projects, also long term relationships with reputable and qualified professionals for all aspects of your project always available. Matching the right professional with products they are familiar with is a service our clients love.
HOW DO I PREVENT MY FLOORS FROM FADING IF THEY ARE EXPOSED TO BRIGHT SUNLIGHT?
5 Ways to Prevent Hardwood Floors from Fading
- “Switch things up” with your room’s furniture.
- Protect your floors with plants, drapes, or shades.
- Refinish your flood floors regularly.
- Redesign the lighting scheme of your room.
- Discuss other solutions with battle-tested hardwood floor experts.
WHAT TYPES OF CLEANING PRODUCTS ARE OK TO USE ON MY WOOD FLOOR?
Each finish has product guidelines. Please consult manufacturer.
Use proper tools to clean your floor – a mop paired with a machine washable, microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning. Electrostatic action attracts dirt, micro particles and common household allergens. Avoid using soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners on your hardwood floors.
CAN A WOOD FLOOR BE STEAM CLEANED?
Steam Cleaners Can Damage Wood Floors. Steam mops have become quite popular, and for good reason. … However, we CANNOT recommend steam mops for any type of wood floors, even though many steam mops say they are safe for sealed floors
Always avoid ‘wet” mopping and any standing water on wood flooring.