Quartz countertops are a highly durable and attractive alternative to other kitchen countertop materials. They come in a wide range of colors and have many design features that make them a popular choice for homeowners. They also offer some unique benefits that other materials don’t have, such as stain resistance and sustained heat resistance. However, like other countertop materials, they have their pros and cons.
Unlike natural stones, which are never identical, engineered quartz counters are very consistent. This consistency makes it easy to match pieces for a seamless look. It is a great material for those who want to be sure they will get what they are paying for, especially since this is a significant investment.
The manufacturing process for these counters involves combining ground quartz with polyester resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. In some designs, recycled glass or metallic flecks are added to the mix. The result is a nonporous surface that resists stains better than granite or marble and does not need to be sealed.
It is also resistant to chipping and scratching, making it less likely than granite to crack. The durability of quartz counters makes them ideal for areas that receive a lot of traffic, such as the kitchen and the bathroom.
Another advantage of quartz is its ease of maintenance. It can be cleaned with mild dish soap and water. It is also very stain resistant, which is a major plus for homeowners. It stands up to juice, oil, tea, coffee and other common kitchen stains much better than granite, marble or concrete. It does not harbor bacteria or viruses, which is a big plus for those who have children or pets.
Although quartz counters are a long-term investment, they do increase the value of a home. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, homes with quartz countertops sell for $1,500 more than those without them. This is because potential buyers recognize the value of this durable, low-maintenance material.
Before committing to quartz counters, homeowners should visit the fabricator’s showroom and choose a slab of quartz. This is a good opportunity to see the color in person and to discuss style options, such as edge treatments. It is also a good idea to examine the slabs under direct sunlight for uneven gloss levels, color matching, voids and cracks. If the homeowner notices any issues, they should raise them with the manufacturer before beginning the installation. To install the counters, homeowners will need a variety of tools, including a pry bar and silicone caulk. Before starting, homeowners should shut off the water to the kitchen and disconnect the supply hoses from the sink. They should also loosen and remove the sink clips, as well as pry the old counter away from the cabinets. Then, they can begin the installation.