Using Quartz on Your Countertops
Courtesy of Cambria
The superman of stone, quartz surfacing provides a nearly indestructible material, ideal for homeowners who want a beautiful countertop that they might occasionally spill wine on. Providing the look of natural stone with a mettle that laughs in the face of coffee, lemon juice, and high-maintenance care, its non-porous nature protects against more than just stains—it's also extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.
Though quartz surfacing is sometimes referred to as “engineered” quartz, don't be fooled into thinking that you'll end up with a synthetic countertop. Expect pure natural quartz (generally upwards of 90 percent) mixed with epoxy resin binders. The care-free surface doesn't require sealants. Boasting the look of natural stone, quartz surfacing has a consistent color; its color should be very close to what you saw in the showroom.
Quick tip: Quartz surfacing is available in colors not found in nature, as the crushed stone is generally mixed with pigment. Take advantage, and choose a color that dazzles while still looking like stone.
- Does not require sealants.
- Scratch-resistant with diamond-like hardness, you can cut on quartz (excessive force can damage it, however).
- Consistent color.
- Its non-porous nature makes it virtually stain-free.
- Can be worked into a decorative edge.
- Though it can briefly tolerate moderate temperatures for a brief time, you'll want to use a hot pad or trivet when placing a hot pan on it.
- Integrated sinks are not available, as with solid surfacing.
Though it's important to always follow your manufacturer's specific instructions, quartz surfacing producer Cambria recommends washing with warm water and a pH neutral, non-abrasive cleaner.
Similar to natural stone, depending on distribution in your area. Expect to pay $45-$125 per square foot.