Quartz is an attractive option as a countertop material, the demand of which has grown all through the years. With advancements in technology, quartz continues to show improvements, both in terms of quality and appearance. Not only that, but quartz slabs are also more durable than before and need minimal maintenance compared to natural stones.
What is Quartz?
What are Quartz Countertops Made of?
Quartz is an attractive and durable countertop material that is engineered using a combination of 10% polymeric or cement-based binder and around 90% ground granite, marble, and natural stone or recycled industrial wastes like ceramic, silica, glass, mirrors, etc. Quartz countertops have some actual quartz in them but the numbers differ from one brand to the other.
How Are Quartz Countertops Made?
With the use of advanced machinery, all of these components are pressed into slabs and under incredible amounts of vibration, vacuum and pressure, they emerge as an exceptionally dense, non-porous surface that works well when used as a kitchen or bathroom countertop.
What Do Quartz Slabs Look Like?
There are plenty of quartz surfaces to choose from as these come in a wide array of color and pattern combinations that mimic the appearance of natural stone. And so, whether you prefer warm earth tones or a pristine, white surface for your countertop, you will almost always find one available.
Another reason why lots of homeowners prefer quartz as the material for their countertops is the consistency in appearance all through its surface. It has a precise combination of color, pattern and texture that you won’t find in any granite or marble slab.
Also, the edges of quartz can emulate that of natural stone and you can choose from a bevy of designs, which we will discuss later on in this article.
How Durable is a Quartz Countertop?
Quartz, when used as the material for your countertop, manages to address the limitations that many natural stone countertops have like marble’s softness and granite’s porosity, just to mention a few. Also, maintenance is minimal, if at all, when it comes to quartz countertops. And because the quartz chips or dust are suspended in resin, this means it never needs to be resealed.
Quartz, though, is not without its wrinkles. Despite its benefits, it still has its fair share of drawbacks. Similar to slabs made of natural stones, seams can be seen on quartz countertops as well. Lengthy exposure to heat or direct contact with acidic solutions may also bring damage to a quartz surface. Consistent exposure to sunlight may also cause a quartz surface to develop a yellow hue.
Quartz Countertop Seams
Seams come to be when two different stones are fashioned together to form one countertop piece. Manufacturers would then just try to make the seam as discreet as possible. Now the more pressing question is: do seams compromise the durability or quality of your quartz countertop? The answer is no. This is because stringent industry guidelines are being practiced to make sure that your countertop is as tight and solid as possible.
Quartz Countertops Thickness
Manufacturers typically use three kinds of thickness for quartz countertops. The standard thicknesses are 1 centimeter, two centimeter and three centimeters. This differs from granite fabrication thickness, which is usually available at 2 or 3 centimeters since granite would be too brittle to use at just 1 centimeter.
Quartz Countertops Edges
There are many different quartz countertop edges that you can choose from. Some are fairly simple with not a whole lot of details while some are gaudier. These edges are categorized into standard and premium edges and you can read on below to learn more about these and find out which one would suit your home best.
Standard Quartz Countertop Edges
Standard edges are fairly simple and are usually found on most countertops. Here are a few examples:
1) Straight Edge
The irony of the straight edge is that it doesn’t have a straight edge. Rather, they are somewhat rounded to lessen the risk of damage to both the surface and to people. This is a great way to go if you prefer a subtle design that would work well with any décor.
2) Half Bevel
If you want your countertop to have a little flair but nothing over the top, a beveled edge would do you just fine. The half bevel has an angular edge at the top corner that exudes the right amount of elegance. Apart from the form factor, the half bevel also has some functionality to it as it lets liquids just flow off the edges, thereby reducing the damage to the cabinets below.
3) Half Bullnose
The half bullnose has a rounded right corner that is linked to a straight bottom corner. The seamless transition from a rounded to a straight edge gives the impression that it is thicker.
4) Full Bullnose
The full bullnose is arguably one of the most popular edges when it comes to quartz countertops. It has a full curve that gives it a smooth corner all around, making it a beloved classic that will suit your kitchen or bathroom countertop.
5) Quarter Round
The quarter round edge also has a rounded corner found at the top portion but unlike the half bullnose, the round portion is smaller in scale, giving this kind of edge a sophisticated look.
Premium Quartz Countertop Edges
Premium edges, on the other hand, feature complex designs that will make your countertop stand out in the room. Here are a few examples:
1) Double Quarter Round
A double quarter-round edge has pencil round edges located at the corners of the countertop that provide the surface with a thin look, making this ideal for those who want a more understated version of the full bullnose.
2) Double Bevel
The double bevel has angled edges found on both the top and lower edges of the countertop that produces a reflective surface that can catch some light and create a wonderful effect for your countertop.
3) Ogee Edge
When it comes to premium edges, no other edge is more popular than the ogee edge. Ogee edges have this S-shaped curve that has this elegant appearance, which will complement kitchens with more traditional designs.
Other examples of premium edges include the double ogee, the Dupont, double bullnose, chiseled and the triple pencil.