10 Proven Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Quartz Countertops
Engineered Quartz is a tempting alternative to granite and marble as a kitchen countertop material. As a matter of fact, its demand has continued to rise over recent years. Thanks to advancing technology, the product continues to improve in terms of quality and appearance. As such, quartz countertops today are more durable than ever. Furthermore, they require minimal upkeep, unlike natural stones.
If you are curious to know more about this synthetic stone, here’s a list of FAQs about this particular material:
What is an Engineered Quartz?
A relative newcomer to the stone industry, Engineered Quartz consists of ninety-three percent (93%) stone aggregates and seven percent (7%) polyester resin. It’s an environment-friendly alternative to natural stones as it’s composed mainly of crushed leftovers of granites, marbles, and other rocks plus industrial wastes, like ceramic and glass. The rest is a resin that binds everything together.
These components are pressed into slabs using highly advanced machinery. Under intense vibration, vacuum, and pressure, they make up an incredibly dense, non-porous surface.
Hence, unlike natural stones in general, quartz countertops do not require sealing. Their surface is impenetrable by liquids, making them resist molds, mildews, and bacteria.
To clean, you just need to wipe off your quartz surface with a soft, clean cloth after every use. Or better yet, pair it with a specially formulated stone cleaner for even better results.
Curious to know how much will your counter cost?
What Do Quartz Slabs Look Like?
Engineered Quartz surfaces come in a broad spectrum of different color and pattern combinations, some of which emulate natural stones’ appearance. Hence, it is sometimes referred to as “synthetic granite” or “synthetic marble” by some countertop suppliers here in the Philippines. They are available in a wide range of designs, but the most common ones usually are monotones with silver flecks and marble-like designs.
Thus, whether your kitchen requires warm earth tones or deep red and crisp white surfaces, you will always find them available from your supplier.
Also, the material offers a consistent appearance throughout its entire surface. It achieves a controlled blend of color, pattern, and texture. It has a consistency that is impossible to find in any granite tile or marble slab. Therefore, you can expect that the sample you will receive will be the same as the one for your project.
Its consistent appearance also allows stone fabricators to repair your quartz countertop quickly, should any damage occur (although unlikely).
However, even with our advanced technology, engineered quartz still doesn’t compare to the visual details of natural stones. No matter how hard we try to imitate the swirls and veins of natural rock, we still can not achieve the same depth created by nature. A few, especially purists, find quartz countertops fake and cheap. What’s more, some find them boring because every slab will look the same for every design.
Lastly, the edges of engineered quartz can be custom-fabricated similar to natural stone. Choose from a variety of designs, such as “eased,” “bevel,” and “bullnose,” for your quartz countertop to match your kitchen’s interior. Overall, quartz works best in contemporary or modern kitchen styles, thanks to its aesthetic appeal.
How Durable is a Quartz Countertop?
Like natural granite, engineered quartz is a highly-durable countertop material. It doesn’t easily get chipped, cracked, or scratched unless done purposely. Proper care and maintenance can give you a lifetime of service in your kitchen.
Engineered quartz addresses natural stones’ limitations (e.g., marble’s softness, granite’s porosity, etc.). However, this does not mean that it is a better product than other countertop materials. Despite its many advantages, it has some drawbacks as well.
Much like natural stone slabs, seams on quartz countertops are evident. Although it is not as visible as the seams in granite or marble countertops, it is not as inconspicuous as the seams on solid surfaces.
Similarly, your quartz counter will reveal a visible caulk once complete. If you are the type of person who likes to keep things trim and tidy, it’s best to discuss this first with your installer to set your expectations.
Moreover, prolonged exposure to heat or direct contact with acidic or alkaline solutions can damage its surface. Never let hot pots and pans sit directly on your counter. Use trivets or hot pads to avoid warping or scorching your quartz surface.
Direct sunlight may also cause quartz countertops to “yellow.” Thus, quartz applications are limited to indoor use only.
How Much Does a Quartz Countertop Cost?
Quartz slabs cost Php 5,000 per sqm to Php 15,000 per sqm in the Philippines. The price depends on the stone’s brand, quality, dimension, and thickness. On average, solid-colored and speckled slabs cost lower than those which have marble-like patterns. Furthermore, expect to shell out more cash for branded slabs, such as Cambria and Caesarstone.
Compared to natural stones, quartz is typically more expensive than granite in terms of cost. On the other hand, it is equal to or sometimes more affordable than premium marbles, like Carrara or Calacatta (depending on the color and grade). Getting a quartz countertop is a wise investment considering its longevity and how it increases the resale value of homes.
Given these pros and cons, if you have set your mind on quartz, it is essential to know it should be correctly installed only by an experienced professional. You need to be highly skilled and well-equipped to install your quartz countertop properly. After all, who would want to pay for an expensive material just to be ruined by poor craft?
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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Quartz Countertop?
To sum up, here are the pros and cons of having a quartz counter at home:
- Engineered quartz is available in a wide range of designs.
- Slabs of the same design will share a consistent appearance.
- Quartz counters are ideal for contemporary and modern kitchen styles.
- Engineered quartz is highly durable.
- Quartz countertops require minimal upkeep.
- Quartz surfaces don’t require regular sealing.
- Quartz countertops are easy to repair.
- They are more affordable than premium marble.
- Quartz counters increase your home’s resale value.
- Engineered quartz is eco-friendly.
- Engineered quartz doesn’t have the same visual depth as natural stone.
- Quartz slabs can look “fake and cheap,” especially poorly made.
- Its consistent appearance may appear “boring and generic.”
- Quartz countertops may have visible seams.
- They can also have a visible caulk.
- Engineered quartz will “yellow” under prolonged direct sunlight.
- Quartz surfaces are vulnerable to direct heat and harsh chemicals.
- Quartz slabs are more expensive than your typical granites.
- It must be installed by an experienced professional.
- It’s a synthetic material.
We at Stone Depot believe that the benefits of having a quartz countertop outweigh the drawbacks of this material. Nevertheless, before deciding whether it’s a suitable countertop material for you or not, consider first your budget and lifestyle before making any commitment. After all, it’s a lifetime investment that you’ll be seeing and using every day.
Where Can I Buy Quartz in the Philippines?
At Stone Depot, you can choose from our various selections of quartz slabs for your kitchen countertop project. Here, you can find the size you need, whether you need a quartz tile for your vanity top or a large-format slab for your kitchen island.