Quartz Surfaces is the name given to a number of man-made granite-like slab products whose primary use is in the fabrication of kitchen countertops. In many ways you can think of quartz surfaces as being similar to granite in that they are hard, polished, and extremely scratch resistant. Engineered stone is another name for these products. Quartz surfaces are the fastest growing segment of the countertop business. Year after year, Consumer Reports gives quartz countertops its highest rating .
Quartz surfaces are made by taking quartz, the hardest component of granite, and mixing it with polymers and pigments. The mix is then compressed under intense pressure to form slabs. The slabs are 93% quartz. All quartz slabs are manufactured using essentially the same technology. Quartz brand differences are mainly aesthetic differences of color, texture, and pattern. The best known brands are CaesarStone®, Cambria®, Silestone® and Zodiaq®. We fabricate and install all of these brands. We have installed displays of quartz countertops in our showroom as well as samples of all four brands for you to view and take with you.
Engineered Stone countertops have some distinct advantages over natural stone. Because they are made with polymers, they are non-porous. This makes them highly stain resistant. Quartz countertops never need to be sealed or resealed. They are approved for food preparation by NSF International. They are in many ways stronger than granite especially at sink areas where dimensions can be narrow. All the quartz manufacturers we use offer various material warranties of from ten to fifteen years. Go to their individual web sites for more details or we can supply a copy upon request.
In only one way quartz countertops can be thought of as inferior to granite. Because they contain polymers that make them nonporous, they can be damaged if exposed to excessive heat. Excessive heat is defined by the various manufacturers as repeated exposure to a heat over 400 degrees. It is recommended that one never put hot pans directly from a cooking surface on to a quartz countertop surface. Use of a trivet will eliminate this concern.
I invite you to take the opportunity to view color samples of the various brands and read what the manufacturers say about themselves.