If you are looking for an alternative to natural stone countertops, then consider engineered quartz countertops, which are very durable and require low maintenance.
Quartz surfaces are a great alternative to natural stone because they tend to be more durable. In matter of fact, it is worth pointing out that quartz is one of the hardest materials you can use as a countertop which makes it a good choice to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom.
Styles and Colors
Colors and patterns available are literally limitless because it is a manufactured product. You can even get patterns that mimic marble or granite.
In the past, one of the biggest drawbacks of quartz was that there weren’t many patterns or color choices. However those days are gone and now manufacturers offer many choices. Flecks, swirls and plenty of random patterning allows the creation of counter tops that look amazing and almost identical to the real thing.
Years ago they were only sold with a polished finish, but now you can get a variety of finishes. This includes sandblasted, honed or embossed treatment. If you want a countertop that has a glossy finish or the look of textured slate or matte limestone, just ask.
Quartz was extremely popular in Europe before gaining popularity in North America, because quartz boasts similar qualities of stone and laminate, as well as other special features.
Take a look at this beautiful installation
Sanitary & Easy to Clean
Another benefit that quartz surfaces offer is that they are easy to maintain, because they are stain resistant. Not only that, mold and bacteria have extreme difficulty growing in this environment.
Since they are very durable, it means that quartz resists staining, as well as corrosion from cooking oils and many household cleaning products. This is good news because you won’t have to reseal the surface. Excessive heat can cause a bit of damage to quartz, so it is a good idea to use heating pads or trivets.
The Manufacturing Process
As for the process involved, they are made by mixing 95% ground natural quartz and polymer resins. As a result, the finish product produces a low maintenance countertop that has the look of natural stone, with the added benefit of custom patterns.
One of the hottest markets in North America for this product is in the big cities. Vancouver British Columbia is one of those cities with hundreds of these being installed ever month. It is a city of only 3,000,000 but a hot market for home renovation projects. One of the best selling points of this product is the many color options that Vancouver quartz countertops are available in.
These types of countertops also feature various edging options, and there are other design possibilities you can look into. In other words, quartz is flexible and can be used for surfaces such as back-splashes or shower enclosures. Unlike natural stone, fissures and seams are not an issue. There are over 200 companies doing installations in Vancouver and dozens of fabrication shops.
You should not install engineered quartz countertops on your own because it is not really a DIY type of task. They can be heavy and awkward, and there are other considerations regarding installation which can vary from project to project.
The Good News is…
Demand for quartz countertops has increased over the years and as a result prices are gradually improving. They are still on the expensive side when compared to the laminate, but easily comparable to the cost of granite. It is easy to see why they are growing popularity because of the wide variety of styles, durability and fabrication options.
For more information on why you might want to have this kind of material installed in your kitchen or bathroom, then click on this link. There you will find a good article on the reasons why other people have opted for quartz over granite or marble.