Choosing the right material for your countertop can greatly impact both the aesthetic and functionality of your kitchen or bathroom. With a plethora of options available, such as granite, marble, quartz, and concrete, let’s delve into the world of quartz specifically.
Quartz has gained immense popularity as a countertop material in kitchens and bathrooms across the UK. This engineered stone is highly regarded for its attractive appearance and durability. Unlike natural stones, quartz does not possess certain weaknesses, such as porosity, due to its composition of 90% ground mineral quartz mixed with 10% resin and pigments. To help you determine whether quartz is the ideal countertop material for your needs, we have provided a detailed breakdown of its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops boast impressive durability, making them resistant to cracks, scratches, and chips. This characteristic makes them particularly suitable for the hustle and bustle of busy kitchens. Engineered to be stronger than natural stone, quartz scores 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, ensuring its ability to withstand the regular wear and tear of a household.
Attractive and Consistent
Quartz offers a wide range of aesthetics, allowing you to achieve your desired look, whether it’s a natural, rustic appearance or luxurious finish. By choosing different pigment colours, you can customise the appearance of your quartz countertop. Unlike natural stones that are unique in their patterns and colour, quartz provides uniformity in both colour and pattern, ensuring that what you select in the showroom is precisely what you will receive.
One of the significant advantages of quartz countertops lies in their non-porous nature. This means that spills will not seep into the surface, preventing stains, discolouration, or permanent damage. For kitchen countertops, this feature is particularly advantageous as accidental spills, such as red wine, can be easily cleaned up with warm water and mild soap, without causing any lasting harm.
Thanks to their non-porous properties, quartz countertops do not harbour bacteria or other microorganisms, resulting in minimal maintenance requirements. Cleaning them is as simple as wiping the surface with a soft sponge moistened with warm water and mild soap. Unlike natural stone countertops, quartz does not need to be sealed, waxed, or re-polished.
The increasing popularity and aesthetic appeal of quartz countertops make them a valuable asset when selling a home in the UK. Homebuyers highly appreciate stylish additions like hardwood floors, smart home technology, and durable countertops. By investing in a quartz countertop for your kitchen island or bathroom vanity, you can potentially increase the resale value of your home.
Did You Know?
The process of engineering quartz for countertops was developed in northwest Italy in 1963 by the Breton Company, which licensed it under the trademark BretonstoneⓇ.
Cons of Quartz Countertops
If you are on a tight budget, quartz may not be the most economical option. Its exceptional qualities, including durability, attractive appearance, and stain resistance, come at a price. The cost of a quartz countertop on average, can range from £30 to £75 per square foot, depending on factors such as material quality, design, edge profile, and manufacturer. Additionally, installation costs and cut-outs for sinks and fixtures should also be taken into consideration.
Quartz countertops can be susceptible to heat damage as the resins used in their composition can melt when exposed to high temperatures. To protect your countertop, it is important to avoid placing hot pots, pans, or curling irons directly on the surface. Instead, use a hot pad or trivet to prevent any potential damage.
Professional Installation Required
Installing quartz countertops is not a DIY project. It requires the expertise of a skilled professional to accurately measure, level the slab, and secure the countertop. Moreover, quartz is a heavy stone, weighing approximately 20 pounds per square foot, making professional installation essential.
Limited Outdoor Use
If you are considering a countertop material for your outdoor kitchen, quartz may not be the most suitable choice. The resins used in quartz countertops can fade and discolour when exposed to direct sunlight, compromising both the appearance and durability of the surface.
Quartz countertops often exhibit noticeable seams, which can be aesthetically unpleasing and susceptible to damage. Opting for darker-tone quartz can help minimise the visibility of these seams.
In summary, if you desire an upscale look for your kitchen or bathroom and seek a durable surface that requires minimal maintenance, quartz is an excellent choice. However, it is important to consider the drawbacks, such as the higher cost, vulnerability to heat damage, the need for professional installation, limited suitability for outdoor use, and the visibility of seams. By carefully evaluating the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a quartz countertop for your home.