It ranks a 7.0 on Moh's Hardness Scale, which is used to
measure the scratch-resistance of a material. Only diamonds,
ranking 10, topaz, and sapphire are harder than quartz.
Granite is ranked 6.
Quartz counters are manufactured with nearly 100 percent
quartz. In contrast, granite may contain only 50 percent quartz.
The other minerals found in granite leave it soft, porous, and
vulnerable to scratches and stains.
Industry-wide, all quartz countertops are made with 93
percent quartz or they cannot claim the hardness, durability, or
impermeability of a true quartz surface. The prescribed mixture
results in a product that is non-porous, exceedingly durable, and
more than twice as strong as granite.
Unlike granite, which can be permanently stained by cooking
oils and grease, or which can be etched by the acids in such
common household products as hairspray and other toiletries,
engineered stone is impervious to these hazards.
While granite is subject to unpredictable variations in color
or pattern between slabs, making matching of sections of a
countertop difficult, engineered stone is uniform in color,
pattern, and texture. It provides nearly all of the benefits of
natural stone but with few of the drawbacks.
Quartz countertops are tough enough for the wear and tear on
just about any interior surface.
Engineered stone won't develop fissures or cracks and remains
impervious to water, moisture, or bacteria and is twice as strong
There is no safer food preparation surface on the market
today. This product resists stains, and is non-porous so
typically, bacteria cannot grow on this surface.
Product Information - Quartz
Integrated sinks are not available in quartz countertops. However there are many options of under-mounted or flush mounted sinks.
Engineered stone can be used in virtually any indoor surfacing application, including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tub and shower surrounds, backsplashes, floors, walls, wet bars, tabletops, desktops, fireplace surrounds, and more.
Different manufacturers offer different warranties and colors. When shopping, be sure to see what each different manufacturer has to offer.
Because engineered stone is a natural stone product, seams are required for any application that is longer /or wider than the slab size
These seams are visible, but are often less noticeable than a typical granite seam - where the seams may show changes in pattern and shade.
Natural rock is variable by nature ... colors and patterns may shift and change on a large slab. Surface pits are a mark of granite. Engineered stone on the otherhand, displays a consistent variability of color and texture throughout a quartz countertop. Each slab looks the same, which helps minimize the visible seams in the countertop.
The actual appearance of the quartz surface varies depending on the size and mix of the granules. Smaller, finer crystals give a more uniform appearance, while larger ones provide a more mottled look.
Quartz surfacing is available in many colors not found in nature, as the crushed stone is generally mixed with pigment. Colors differ between manufacturers, but range from conservative neutral hues, to daring bright colors.
There are colors to match virtually any décor. Since they are solid, the color and natural mottling from the quartz crystals runs throughout the material.
In addition to granite, some manufacturers produce engineered stone that looks like marble, travertine, concrete, and other natural stone.
Slabs are fabricated into countertops with edge profiles that range from simple bevels to bullnose and ogee.
Maintenance - Quartz
Quartz surfaces are virtually maintenance free. There’s no sealing, buffing, polishing or reconditioning required.
Routine cleaning involves little more than soapy water or a mild household cleaner.
Because it is non-porous, quartz polished surfaces do not need to be sealed as do other stones to prevent staining. Unlike granite, quartz surfacing is a nearly indestructible material. It is resistant to stains caused by wine, fruit juices, liquid food coloring, tea, nail polish and remover, and felt-tip markers.
Its non-porous nature is also extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.
Though the quartz surface can briefly tolerate moderate temperatures for a brief time, it can be damaged by high heat and prolonged exposure to heat. Use a hot pad or trivet when placing a hot pan on it.
To prolong the life of your knives, always use a cutting board. Natural quartz is one of the hardest minerals found in nature. That same hardness may dull the sharpness of most knives.
Continuous long-term exposure to direct sunlight may result in slight discoloration of natural quartz surfaces.
No surface is indestructible, though. As with any other stone or surface material, strong chemicals and solvents, oven cleaners and floor strippers will damage the surface.