Quartz countertops are becoming increasingly popular and are top competitors with granite for the best high-end materials for countertops. But what makes quartz countertops so great? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a natural mineral that is found in the Earth’s crust. It can be used for many purposes and has a variety of different names, depending on the type of quartz. Amethyst, onyx, rose quartz, and tiger’s eye are all examples of quartz stones often used in jewelry.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, quartz rates as a 7. In comparison, talc is a 1, granite is a 6, and diamond is a 10, so quartz is definitely one of the hardest stones.
When talking about countertops, quartz means something slightly different. Unlike granite which is mined in large slabs and sized down to fit the specific dimension of a countertop, quartz is an engineered material for countertops.
This means that the mined quartz is then ground down to very fine dust and added to a mixture of polymers, resin, and pigments. The resin and polymers bind the quartz together, and the pigments give the quartz a specific color and design.
Even with the added materials, quartz countertops are still made of about 90% natural quartz and can be made to look as natural as granite if you wish. With a similar price point but even more benefits than granite countertops, quartz countertops continue to rise in popularity—especially in multi-family commercial builds.
So why are quartz countertops so popular? Here are a few reasons to consider using them in your next commercial project.
Not only is quartz a more robust material than granite or other options for countertops, but the resins added to the quartz during the engineering process actually make the countertops even harder and scratch-resistant.
One issue to consider when choosing a countertop is that quartz countertops are not entirely heat-resistant. If you place a hot pot or pan on the countertop, the resins or polymers may melt and damage the countertop. This kind of heat damage is very difficult to repair, so hot pads should always be used underneath pots and pans.
Because of the tough, nonporous surface of quartz countertops, they are much less likely the chip or crack. Most warranties will cover quartz countertops for at least ten years, but they usually last for decades, if not for the entire life of your home.
When quartz countertops first hit the market, there were restrictions on what designs were available to be created. However, now you can have almost any color, texture, finish, or design you want.
Along with the pigments that determine color, various materials like metallic flakes and textured bits of different hues can be added to mimic natural stones like granite. Swirls of other colors can be added to create the look of marble. Basically, the world is your oyster when customizing quartz countertops.
This can be great for commercial projects like student housing, assisted living, or hospitality projects. Not only is it possible to ensure the color and designs match the rest of the space, but it is also possible to install a uniform look.
With solid stone slabs like granite, it is impossible to match countertops exactly. Even slabs from the same mine will have many variations in the natural stone. Some prefer this characteristic, but quartz countertops lend themselves better to multiple large installations.
It’s been argued that quartz countertops are also a more eco-friendly option for countertops than marble, granite, or other stone countertops. This is because the quartz used in most countertops is mined locally versus the specific types of granite or marble imported from around the world and requires more energy and resources.
Quartz still requires energy to mine and process before being made into countertops, but oftentimes the quartz can come from unused slabs and pieces that have been discarded and would otherwise go to waste.
The hard, non-porous surface of quartz countertops provides a solid and enduring countertop that can withstand years of wear and tear and has a stain-resistant surface.
Dirt, moisture (along with mold and mildew), and stain-causing particles cannot penetrate the countertop’s surface. This means easy clean-up with soap and water or a mild cleaner.
Even germs and bacteria are not able to get past the surface, making quartz countertops also antimicrobial. Quartz is the right choice for your commercial kitchen if you are looking for the best option for easy clean-up.
Before other natural stone countertops can be used, they require a sealer. This protective coat fills in the pores and cracks of the surface so nothing can soak into the stone, causing stains and contamination.
While the sealing process is relatively quick, it must be repeated over time. Some recommend resealing stone countertops every year, but no matter the frequency, all stone countertops must be sealed and resealed to be safely maintained. Quartz countertops do not require this step.
In addition to easy clean-up, quartz countertops require little to no maintenance. Once installed, there is no need to worry about a sealing coat or any additional protective measures (other than hot pads as mentioned above).
Once the quartz countertop is installed, that is for labor. All that needs to be done is regular cleaning like you would in any kitchen. This is helpful to consider for commercial housing projects.
The best design and installation with Superior Commercial Solutions
The skilled craftsmen at Superior Commercial Solutions can help you as a property manager get the best quartz countertops for your commercial building from start to finish. Specializing in multi-family, student housing, assisted living, and hospitality projects, Superior Commercial Solutions is a national leader in the industry.From countertops to cabinets, Superior Commercial Solutions guarantees quality products and installation. No project is too big! Contact us today for a quote on your next project!