With quartz fast becoming one of the top selections for countertop use, discerning homeowners and others often wonder how the engineering process for quartz works and what companies are producing it as well as what kind of surface appearance it presents, the advantages of the material itself and how quartz should be maintained.
Quartz is a man-made, engineered stone that is a naturally hard mineral, and it is formed by combining ground quartz at a 90 percent level with added resins at an 8-10 percent level as well as polymers (plastic-like materials), or cement-based materials along with pigments (colors), which are combined to produce a countertop slab/surface. Most companies that produce quartz today utilize the Breton (Italian) patent technology to fashion their own type of quartz countertop selections.
Major Quartz Producers
As previously mentioned, major producers of quartz countertops utilize the Breton patent to manufacture their own brands of quartz countertops. The Italian company Breton owns the patent rights to manufacture solid slabs from quartz and resins. More well known quartz countertop brands include Silestone (Consentino), Dupont (Zodiaq-pure quartz crystal use), Caesarstone, Cambria, Dekton and Hanstone.
Quartz Surface Appearance
The appearance of quartz is determined by how it is ground. More coarsely ground quartz will produce a flecked or speckled look, while more finely ground quartz will produce a smoother appearing surface. A quartz surface is hard, like granite and is available in a wide variety of color choices as well as in more traditional neutral and white selections.
The advantages of quartz countertops are easy maintenance as its nonporous nature makes it almost impervious to damage. Its hard surface makes it durable and it repels stains, plus it is resistant to cracking and does not require sealing or resealing, like other natural stone surfaces.
As far as any environmental issues are concerned, the impact of quartz usage is light to moderate. It is an abundant resource, which does not face depletion, but when processed in other parts of the world there are acrylic resins that are considered by-products of petroleum. These products can sometimes contain fillers made from bauxite ore that are mined under questionable conditions; however, there are many major quartz brands that are certified green with low emitting elements and are mined in the United States.
Quartz can be easily cleaned with a mild detergent and water and dried and buffed with a soft cloth. It can streak and smudge when just wiping across it with soap and a wet cloth so dry wiping is important. Steer away from abrasive sponges and cleaners as they could dull the surface.
An easier method of cleaning is to simply wipe down the countertop surface with a kitchen wash cloth and warm water to remove food residue and any crumbs. Finish the process with a spurt or spray of window cleaner and wipe it away with a microfiber cloth or paper towels. Window cleaner will penetrate grease or smudges left on quartz countertops and leave a smooth and clean appearance, minus any smudges.
It is always wise to check with the manufacturer of your quartz countertops for their recommendations on cleaning to assure that damage won’t occur during everyday cleaning routines.
Quartz is an appealing and attractive alternative to countertops made entirely of natural stone, and consumers are quickly realizing its allure. If you have the feeling that quartz is part of your kitchen countertop future, complete the online contact form and a countertop specialist will get back to you with the answers you need to determine what the best countertop choice is for you and your kitchen design.