Quartz, commonly known as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, Radianz, Zodiaq, Hanstone and Viatera is one of the newer technologies in countertop materials. These materials are comprised of a blend of approximately 93% quartz and 7% polyester resin that are pressed into slabs using a “vibrocompression vacuum process”. After the blocks cure, they are then cut into 2cm and 3cm thick sheets. One of the main suppliers of equipment for making engineered stone is the Breton Company in Italy.
There are several benefits to choosing a quartz material for your countertops. First of all, they are non porous, which means the material will not harbor bacteria and is stain resistant. It is a very dense material which makes it impact and scratch resistant. Quartz materials come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, some of which look like natural granite, marble, limestone and concrete. Most manufacturers carry a ten year warranty on the material.
Quartz countertops are not without their drawbacks. If your countertops are larger than manufactured slabs, you may have one or more seams. This is a very difficult material to repair if damaged, particularly if the finish is affected. Quartz materials are heat resistant, however high heat appliances can burn the material. Quartz products are available in honed and leather finishes. These finishes are higher maintenance in that they tend to show fingerprints, hard water spotting and some staining.
Quartz countertops are an excellent choice for both residential and commercial applications. They offer a wide range of colors and patterns and are non-porous, which means they are safe for the food service and health care industries. They are also resistant to a wide variety of chemicals, which make them ideal for laboratory areas.
Generally speaking, quartz is very difficult, if not impossible to repair. In particular, if the shine on the surface of the material is dulled from heat or chemical burns, the original shine can not be restored. If cracks do occur from abuse or high heat exposure, it can be very difficult to repair the damage so as not to be noticeable.
- Sage Surfaces
- LG Viatera
PROS – Non-Porous, heat and scratch resistant. Many colors look like natural stone but many manufacturers offer colors not found with natural stone products.
CONS – Expensive, seams are visible and not as heat resistant as granite. Patterns mimic granite but are much more consistent.
CARE & CLEANING – Daily cleaning with a Glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner or just soap and water.
WARRANTY – 10 to 15 year manufacturer warranty. Be sure to read the warranty before your purchase.
COST – Quartz countertops are considered premium products and therefore are on the higher end of the price scale. The cost for quartz surfaces can range from $70 – $100 square foot installed.