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 all 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, tomato, coffee and other staining liquids have no effect on the color.
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, 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, but when compared to granite or other stone countertops, 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. It is not recommended to use quartz for exterior purposes as too much exposure to ultraviolet light can discolor it.
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!