|Blizzard by Caesarstone is a popular choice. Photo from Apartment-Therapy-20|
Now that we've taken a look at the world of granite counter tops, today I'll tell you everything I can think of about quartz engineered stone countertops. First of all I am biased, but for good reason. As far as durability and efficient functionality you can't do better, seriously. Quartz is non-porous which means you don't have to worry about stains or sealers. In fact since it doesn't absorb it's antibacterial by its very nature. You can also cut and place hot pots directly on quartz without concern. Quartz is one of the hardest, most abundant minerals found in nature.
|Silestone offers Four different shades of RED, including this one which is Koan, great to accent an island. This shows a "waterfall" style counter top|
These qualities are firmly in the "pro column". If you want a countertop that is consistent and without streaks, movement and color variation it's the top for you. You will know what every inch will look like, no need to examine slabs. This this will be another pro for you. However if you want a counter top that is truly unique with an organic feel and drama, then the consistency is a con for you. Another con is price. Quartz is at least as expensive as granite (depending on the granite) and frequently even more. It typically comes in 3/4" or 1 1/4" thick slabs.
|Here's what quartz looks like before being pulverized to make your top|
There are many different brands on the market but they are all essentially the same thing which is approximately 93% natural quartz particles mixed with resins to hold it all together. So it is at least partly natural although it's a man-made product. These countertops belong to the category referred to as "solid surface". This means that the surface material runs all the way through unlike, for example, laminates. Corian is also a solid surface material but it can scratch and burn unlike quartz. Price varies little between brands but can vary according to color. If radon is a concern for you, quartz countertop manufacturers claim that testing shows their quartz counters to be low or free of radon gas. If you'll remember, in my previous post, I explained that radon is a naturally occurring substance found in the earth and since quartz is a natural substance you're not entirely out of the woods in that area. The most well known names in quartz countertops are Caesarstone, Silestone, and Zodiac. Cambria is an up and coming brand which I love for their color choices. Check our Local Resources guide on this website for suppliers in the Palm Beach County area.