Over the past several years, granite has always taken the lead in kitchen countertop materials. However, there is a newer, more popular, contender: quartz countertops. According to Kitchen and Bath Design News, “quartz is the most popular kitchen countertop material, and trending up. Granite, the second most popular countertop material, is trending down.”
Unlike granite countertops, which consist of slabs of natural stone, quartz countertops are not entirely made up of quartz. Quartz countertops are manufactured from 95% ground natural quartz with approximately 5% polymer resins; however, these numbers can vary between manufacturers. This is why they are sometimes referred to as “engineered stone countertops.”
The appearance of the countertops depends on how finely milled the quartz is. Coarser quartz produces a flecked surface, while finer quartz yields a smooth surface. Until recently, quartz would often try to mimic the sought-after look of granite. These days, many homeowners are choosing the smooth, clean looking quartz countertops. This is particularly true in contemporary kitchens.
The main advantage of quartz over granite is that it is non-porous, which means that it does not require sealing. It is also more durable against scratches and stains, and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. Since it is easy to work with, quartz has even been showing up in bathroom showers and kitchen backsplashes. A great factor about quartz is that it is available in endless color options, with many that wouldn’t be naturally available in stone.
As an added bonus, quartz is becoming more affordable than it has been in the past. This may be due to its rise in popularity and the rising number of manufacturers that offer it. As for price, quartz countertops will run you about the same as granite.
While quartz countertops have many advantages, there are a couple of disadvantages to this material. One minor drawback of quartz countertops to keep in mind is that it is not very heat resistant. Hot pads and trivets are a must for those who have quartz in their kitchens. Additionally, it is highly recommended to hire a professional when installing quartz countertops. After all, quartz countertops are extremely heavy.
It is easy to see why quartz countertops are becoming more and more popular in kitchen renovations. With its non-porous surface, competitive pricing, and lifelong durability; it is clear why quartz is a main contender for countertops.