What Is Quartz Made Of — And What Are The Pros and Cons of a Quartz Countertop?
If you’re in the market for a new kitchen countertop, you likely have one burning question: What is quartz made of? And then also these: Is quartz expensive? Is it durable? What are the pros and cons. Etc! So many questions! See, quartz has gotten incredibly popular over the last 10 years or so. Yet, people don’t really know much about it. Let’s take a look!
What is Quartz Made Of?
Artificial quartz stone countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining around 90 percent ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with eight to 10 percent resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look.
What are the Major Brands of Quartz Countertops?
The Italian company Breton owns the patent to manufacture solid surfaces from quartz and resins. All other companies use that patent for their own brand of quartz countertops, including Silestone, Corian, Cambria, CaesarStone, Avanza, and Technistone.
What’s the Environmental Impact of Quartz?
Light to moderate! Quartz is the second most abundant material in the earth’s crust (which is good), but the acrylic resins used in quartz countertops are petroleum by-products, and they often contain alumina trihydrate fillers made from bauxite ore, which is mined primarily under toxic conditions in developing countries. However, the countertops are still extremely durable and non-porous. Additionally, a few major brands including Formica, Wilsonart and Silestone have been certified by GreenGuard as low emitting. Other brands, like Cambria Quartz, are mined and made entirely in the USA.
Calacatta and Carrara quartz are among the most preferable options for countertops today. With their clean white shade and beautiful veining, they blend well with any kitchen design and amplify the look of the interior. Perfect addition for both commercial and residential spaces, these quartz can be installed as kitchen countertops, waterfall islands, or even as bath vanity tops and vanity sinks.
Both Calacatta quartz and Carrara quartz are inspired by the look of natural marble and hold a replicative resemblance. Some mutual characteristics of these quartz countertops are white, light grey, or beige background, with dark shade veining, fine or bold. They feature such a classic and always highly desirable look. However, there are some differences between the two quartz. Let’s see what those are.
Quartz calacatta: It consists of bolder, more dramatic, wider, and darker grey veining over a serene white base. It’s perfect for interior designers and homeowners who are looking for a powerful focal point in the kitchen. Due to its seamless design pattern, this quartz countertop is apt for installation as a waterfall island.