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What Is a Quartz Countertop?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Choosing the best countertop material can be difficult because so many choices exist to suit a variety of needs. One of the best materials for the kitchen or bathroom, however, is a quartz countertop. This type of surface is made from quartz, which is one of the most common stones in the world. The stone is ground up and combined with other resins and composite materials to form an attractive, solid, and durable quartz countertop that is fairly eco-friendly and affordable. This type of surface is easy to clean and maintain, and it will remain in style for years to come.

Unlike other stone countertop offerings, a quartz countertop is made from crushed stone and other manmade materials. By contrast, a granite countertop features granite stone that is taken from the earth, shaped, and then simply installed. The advantage of a quartz countertop over natural stone is the ability to customize the material both for strength and aesthetics: quartz countertops can be pigmented easily during the forming process, meaning several colors of countertop materials exist. It is also easy to color match an existing countertop should the quartz break for any reason.

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The resin hardeners that are combined with the quartz offer unmatched durability and strength. Granite can crack fairly easily, especially when heavy pots or pans are dropped squarely on the surface, which means the countertop can suffer both in terms of aesthetic appeal and strength. Quartz is much more durable as a result of the hardeners combined with the stone to create the quartz countertop. Should the quartz surface break, it can be repaired or replaced fairly inexpensively. Quartz countertops require no special cleaning fluids or maintenance techniques; soap and warm water is usually sufficient, though it is best to avoid abrasive cleansers and bleach.

The abundance of quartz in the earth helps keep the cost of the material down. Buying locally sourced stone can also reduce the price significantly, since the stone will not need to be transported far. Buying locally sourced stone can also be considered fairly eco-friendly, especially when compared to granite that usually has to be shipped from quarries around the world. One drawback to a quartz countertop is the weight of the unit. Quartz tends to be quite heavy, and much like granite, it will require more than one person to safely install the units. It is best to hire professionals to install a quartz countertop whenever possible.

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