All About Quartz: Fun Facts & Helpful Tips
The durability and versatility of quartz surfacing is a great answer to the countertop needs of today’s busy household.
Over the past several years, manufactured stone countertops—like quartz—have grown in popularity. Its extreme durability and low-maintenance qualities make it especially ideal for busy households, while still maintaining the timeless beauty of natural stone. In this guide, we will answer common questions and fun facts about quartz.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is quartz?
- The manufactured quartz process
- Quartz manufacturers
- Quartz pricing
- How to care for quartz countertops
- Quartz fun facts
What is Quartz?
Many brand names offer quartz surfacing. Over the years, quartz color palettes have expanded to include a complete range of unique solid and patterned colors.
Quartz can be manufactured into virtually any design, which means quartzes can fit into any aesthetic. From bold and sophisticated with elements of bling to soft and muted with a sense of translucency, there’s something for everyone. Other quartzes offer textures and shine variances. Some can even offer a true, solid, favorite hue.
So, how do manufacturers actually accomplish this beautiful and versatile material?
The Manufactured Quartz Process
To manufacture the material, it starts out with 93% +/- natural quartz and is then combined with polymers and pigments for color and stability.
Finished quartz slabs can turn out in a number of different ways as a product of its manufacturing process. However, most are developed using similar manufacturing methods and technologies. In the process, there are some proprietary differences that impact the final results.
The quality of the quartz sources for the manufacturing process itself contributes to these proprietary differences. These qualities include:
- The sizes of the pieces used in the mixing
- The overall clarity of the pieces
- The caliber of the colorants and polymers
The unique blend of colorants, polymers and natural elements definitely impact the beauty of the end product. And the level of simplicity or intricacy of the individual color and design and how it is achieved also contributes to how one manufacturer compares to another. So, who are these manufacturers?
There are many brand names of quartz products available, and Eastern Surfaces represents all the leading names in the industry. You can gain specific color and care information from the quartz manufacturers themselves, or schedule to visit the Eastern Surfaces showroom.
Manufacturers include but are not limited to:
- Silestone by Cosentino
- Viatera by LG Hausys
- Corian Quartz by DuPont
Manufacturers offer quartz in similar tiered-price groups as natural stone like granite. Manufacturers of quartz products follow high quality standards, so you are not buying a better or lesser quality from group to group, just a different color.
The difference in quartz pricing compared to natural stone is that the availability of a color in nature doesn’t impact the final price, because quartz is man-made. Although the actual size of the quartz slab you need will influence your final cost, the price per square foot comes down to how easy or difficult it is to achieve certain colors with pigments and design.
How to Care for Quartz Countertops
One of the reasons why quartz is so popular is because of its relatively low maintenance and ease of cleaning.
Due to its non-porous nature, quartz does not require sealing. The way its manufactured makes it highly scratch and stain resistant.
While scratches or chips aren’t common with quartz, they can be easily repaired. You can fill a chip with a clear resin, acrylic adhesive or epoxy and the repair will blend into the surrounding stone.
When it comes to daily cleaning, use mild soap and water, or a non-abrasive, non-ammonia formula. Quartz is highly stain resistant, but make sure you wipe up any spills right away before they dry.
Also, quartz is a hard and durable material, but it is still recommended to use a cutting board. Quartz itself is just as hard as granite, but it is also recommended to use a hot pad or trivet when taking things from the stove top or oven to protect the polymers.
Quartz Fun Facts
Now that we’ve talked about important characteristics of quartz to help inform your purchase decision, let’s look at some fun facts:
Fact #1. Quartz countertops are a man-made wonder (and not the same as quartzite)
Quartz is factory-produced by combining quartz with resins, binding agents and pigments. This is unlike the similarly named material quartzite, which is a naturally occurring stone that forms when quartz-rich sandstone is exposed to high heat and pressure over time.
Fact #2. Quartz is the perfect copycat.
Because quartz countertops are engineered, the final appearance can take on a variety of forms and patterns—mimicking materials like granite, limestone, or even soapstone.
Fact #3: Quartz crystals have a unique electrical property.
Quartz has a unique electrical property called piezoelectric. Because of this property, quartz crystals are used in electronic devices to convert mechanical stress into electricity and vice versa. In fact, modern day watches use the quartz crystal to keep accurate time.
Fact #4. Quartz is everywhere.
Quartz is the most abundant and widely distributed mineral found at Earth’s surface!
Fact #5. Quartz rates high on the mohs scale.
Quartz has a mineral hardness of 7.0 on the mohs scale. Manufactured quartz surfaces are mostly made from natural quartz, meaning they benefit from this same durable quality.
Fact #6. The word “quartz” originates from German.
The word “quartz” comes from the German word “quarz”.
But there’s more to the name! The beauty of quartz has attracted attention since very early times. These water-clear crystals were known to the ancient Greeks as krystallos—hence the name crystal, or more commonly, rock crystal.
Quartz countertops provide the beauty of natural stone with the durability you need as a busy household. Now that you know more about one of our favorite materials, we hope you feel more informed about your next countertop purchase decision!