Qualities of quartz

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In
September 15, 2013

I’ve been an avid fan of home renovation since I was young, and I’ve been writing about it for many years. My friends, family and neighbors often come to me when they’re working on projects at home, either to share stories or to ask for advice. Recently, my friend Sarah asked for advice on local contractors and cabinetry suppliers she could use for her kitchen remodel. I gave her some recommendations, and she began her interviews.

During the process, Sarah discovered engineered quartz countertops, which I’ll refer to from here on out as quartz. She never had heard of the material before, but her reaction was similar to mine when I first learned about quartz. She was in love.

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To make the material, manufacturers mix ground-up quartz with polymer resins, usually in about a 93 percent to 7 percent ratio, respectively. This creates a wonderful material for countertops that can be suitable for many homes, for many reasons. Here are my top five:

1. It resists stains. Quartz surfaces are non-porous, so if you spill juice, coffee or wine, you don’t have to panic. The liquid will sit on top of the surface (for a reasonable amount of time) until you wipe it away.

2. It’s clean. The non-porous quality that makes these countertops stain-resistant also helps it to resist bacteria. Not only will quartz not absorb bacteria-laden liquids, but it will also provide an unsuitable environment for mold and mildew to grow.

3. It’s easy to maintain. Unlike many other countertop materials, quartz countertops need no sealing or polishing. Simply clean it regularly with a soft cloth, mild soap and water.

4. It’s freakishly strong. Quartz, being one of the hardest materials in the world, is naturally scratch- and impact-resistant. Because of this, many manufacturers offer warranties that last 10 to 15 years.

5. It matches. Quartz comes in a seemingly endless variety of colors and textures, and the look is uniform throughout the material. This makes it extremely easy to find a color, pattern and texture that go with your d├ęcor.

There are some things to consider when purchasing quartz. Remember, being stain-resistant doesn’t mean it’s stain-proof. The same goes for quartz’s other resistant qualities. Common sense and care go a long way. And, of course, not all quartz materials are created equal. Talk to your trusted countertop supplier for advice on which brands are most reliable.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.