The word ‘quartz’ comes from the German word ‘quarz’ and in Ancient Greece it means ‘icy cold’ as some philosophers believed the mineral to be a form of super-cooled ice. These days the term ‘rock crystal’ is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz, most likely because it’s the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s continental crust behind feldspar.
Hard white or colourless, quartz is a mineral made up of silicon and oxygen and is widely found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
There are numerous different kinds of quartz, many of which are semi-precious gemstones and traditionally dating back to ancient times, certain varieties of quartz have been popular minerals when making jewellery and hardstone carving.
How is quartz made?
Quartz counters are made up of approximately 93% quartz (aggregated with other stone-like materials) and 7% of binders that are either plastic-like (polymeric) or cement-based. It’s bound together with other stone-like materials along with resin and then pressed into sheets. Its resins are natural sealants, so quartz surpasses natural stone in this respect as it requires no additional sealing.
It’s a hard, durable manmade countertop material which is becoming increasingly popular as a countertop in kitchens and bathrooms and due to the controlled manufacturing process, there are also minimal imperfections.
Why choose quartz?
As mentioned earlier, granite has traditionally been the most popular choice for countertops in the kitchen and bathroom world but as consumers become increasingly more aware of the key features and main benefits of quartz, they are starting to take notice.
Below are some of the overall benefits of choosing quartz for your home:
- It looks great: Quartz is a beautiful material with a deep almost three-dimensional appearance similar to natural stone. It really can add a pleasing aesthetic value to your kitchen or bathroom.
- It’s extremely durable: Largely composed of minerals, quartz is a strong and almost impenetrable material which makes an excellent countertop in a kitchen or a bathroom.
- Nearly perfect: Quartz is carefully manufactured and easier to control during the engineering process so there is less wastage too.
- More popular: Due to its increasing popularity, quartz could be the decision-maker for potential buyers if you decide to sell your property in the future.
- It rivals the cost of granite: Although quartz is not the cheapest material around it gives other luxury products such as granite and marble a run for their money.
- More options available: Due to the engineering process quartz can be pigmented so the colour really is your choice. In addition, other materials such as stone and glass can be incorporated into the mix for a truly unique appearance.
Quartz for kitchen worktops
A lot happens in the kitchen; from chopping and cooking to washing and drying, your kitchen countertops are exposed to nothing short of a culinary battle-zone on a daily basis so it’s worth arming your work surfaces accordingly. A kitchen is also a huge investment which can be very expensive, so when you’re choosing the material, you need to not only think about the look you want but how useful and long-lasting it is likely to be.
Below is a summary of some of the main benefits of choosing quartz for your kitchen:
- A very hard material: Quartz is one of the hardest materials on the planet – a close second to diamond – so it won’t let you down.
- It stands the test of time: Strength and durability are two very key components in a busy kitchen. Quartz is very durable material and doesn’t crack or chip as easy as some other favourites. This makes worktops of this design the perfect addition for those who spend a lot of time in their kitchen.
- Pick any colour you like: No matter what your preferences, with quartz you are guaranteed to find the perfect colour for you. Pick a selection of quartz samples to see which suits your kitchen the best!
- Resistant to heat: Absolutely essential in a kitchen.
- Maintenance-free: Quartz never needs to be re-sealed and is highly resistant to acid, stains and scratches.
- Hygienic: Non-porous and completely sealed, quartz is super hygienic which is extremely important when it comes to food preparation and cooking in general. Especially if children like to get involved with cooking up a tasty treat.
- A consistent design: This is advantageous when joining together separate slabs as you won’t get a mismatch due to the uniform pattern. In addition, engineers are constantly improving the manufacturing process so that in time quartz will mimic natural stone more exactly.
Quartz countertops for bathrooms
Bathrooms have changed dramatically over the years and are now more of a feature in a house rather than a room solely for functional use. It’s a place where people can prepare for the day ahead and relax and unwind at night.
Floating countertops are also becoming progressively popular as people want their bathrooms to be visually appealing and beautiful places which complement the style of value of the rest of their home. Quartz is a great way to help achieve this blended appearance as consumers can choose it for their kitchen and bathroom worktops.
Below is a summary of some of the main benefits of choosing quartz for your bathroom:
- Non-porous: Bathrooms are pretty wet places and the non-porous nature and natural sealant of quartz means you don’t need to worry about the material soaking up moisture.
- Resistant to products and heat: Like a kitchen, a bathroom can be a cosmetic warzone. Shampoo, soaps and make-up can have a bad effect on stone countertops but quartz is not affected by it. Quartz also defends itself against heat from curling tongs, straighteners and hair dryers.
- Many design options: Choose any colour to match your bathroom design as opposed to natural stone such as granite which can only be produced in natural earthy colours. But make sure it’s a colour which will stand the test of time because as quartz can last a while you don’t want to have to change it simply because you become bored of the colour. Quartz can also be finished with a matt or shine adding further to your desired look and feel.
- More hygienic: Again, this is something that you ought to be mindful of as bathrooms like kitchens can spread bacteria like wildfire if you’re not too careful. Because quartz is completely sealed, germs can’t hang around for long.