Your complete guide to quartz countertops
Quartz countertops are incredibly popular. As many homeowners gear up to remodel their kitchens this year, more and more of them are opting to install quartz instead of granite.
In this article, we’ll break down everything there is to know about quartz, from available colors and durability to its cost and value. By doing so, we’ll provide you with a detailed look at this type of stone countertop and what you need to know before you buy.
Quartz Countertop Colors
There are literally hundreds of quartz countertop colors out there, which means the possibilities for your remodeling project are nearly limitless. Unlike granite—which is cut from stone and, therefore, limited to colors and veining found in nature—quartz is made from crushed stone, protective resin, and whatever else the manufacturer wants to add.
Related Article: Your Guide To Granite Countertops
For example, many quartz countertops feature decorative metal pieces inlaid into the countertop. There’s a lot more variety due to this manufacturing process.
Generally speaking, quartz styles run the gamut, from granite countertop look-alikes—featuring natural colors and veining—to more stylish, engineered, and uniform countertops. From snowy whites to deep blacks, quartz comes in just about every color.
For this reason, if you’re looking for exotic colors such as cherry red or coral, you’re probably going to be interested in quartz over granite or marble.
At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we have 100+ quartz colors to choose from in our showroom. This includes the most popular styles of quartz, along with several less-common varieties. Whether you’ve been shopping around for quartz for a while or you’re just getting started on your search, stop by our showroom and see our selection.
Related Article: Here’s How To Find The Right Color For Your Kitchen Remodel
Quartz Countertop Prices
The cost of quartz countertops can range widely, depending on the stone, the manufacturer, the style, and—of course—the retailer. According to data from HomeAdvisor, homeowners pay, on average, about $125 per-square-foot for quartz. For a 100 square-foot kitchen, that means new quartz countertops will cost somewhere between $3,000 and $7,000.
It’s important to remember that this “average” cost includes many high-end quartz varieties. Many homeowners can find cheap quartz by shopping around, working with wholesalers, or selecting from overstocked or discontinued inventory. However, “cheap” should only be about the price: you don’t want to sacrifice quality, even if it means saving a few bucks.
If you’re shopping for new countertops here in Phoenix, your first step should be getting a free in-home estimate from us. As the Valley’s quartz wholesaler, we’re able to offer far lower prices on high-quality quartz than many other retailers here in Arizona, who have to pay pricey middlemen.
Related Article: Everything You Need To Know Before Starting Your Kitchen Remodel
Quartz Countertop Pros & Cons
Quartz is an incredibly versatile and popular countertop material. However, like all stone countertops, it has both benefits and drawbacks. Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of quartz countertops:
Why buy quartz?
– Quartz is incredibly durable. It stands up well to accidental cuts and scrapes, and doesn’t absorb moisture like granite does. It’s a long-lasting material that—when cared for—should last for decades.
– Quartz looks incredible. As mentioned above, quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s a quartz countertop for every kitchen remodel. Since quartz is manufactured, you’re not limited to just the colors and varieties found in nature, as you are with granite slabs.
– Quartz adds value. Due to its beauty and durability, quartz adds long-term value to your home. These countertops—as part of a kitchen remodel—are highly desirable. Whether you’re looking to add value or get your home ready for listing, you should strongly consider quartz.
What are the potential downsides of quartz?
– It’s not heat-resistant. We’ll review more about this below, but quartz isn’t as heat-resistant as granite is. You can’t put hot pots or pans directly on the surface. This is a downside for those who are remodeling their kitchen for the purposes of turning their home into a rental property (more on this below).
– Cost. Quartz doesn’t necessarily cost more than granite, but there are some varieties of quartz that are far more expensive than entry-level granite slabs. In other words, there’s a greater range in price with quartz than there is with granite.
– Manufactured by design. This really isn’t a downside as much as it is a note. Quartz is manufactured from crushed stone that is then sealed in a resin. This is why quartz can look like just about anything. But, for some homeowners who prefer the look of a natural stone slab, quartz just isn’t the right fit for their kitchen.
Related Article: Your Guide To Granite, Marble, Quartz & Other Countertops
Quartz Countertop Maintenance
Quartz is relatively easy to maintain. Unlike granite, it doesn’t require annual resealing to keep out moisture or stains. Just use a clean dishrag and some mild soap to scrub the countertop clean.
As a general rule, stay away from chemical cleaning products—unless they are specifically advertised for use on quartz countertops, you don’t want to risk an adverse reaction between the chemical and the quartz’ resin.
Quartz Countertop Stain Resistance
While quartz is generally more stain-resistant than granite, you should still clean up spilled liquids as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to spilled wine, cooking oil, grease, or other common sources of stains may lead to hard-to-remove or permanent discoloration.
As with cleaning products, certain chemicals found naturally in food and drink can react poorly with the resin. If this is the case, you may need to use a professional-grade quartz cleaning product to remove the stain. Look for products specifically labeled for use with quartz—avoid using granite cleaning products unless directed to do by a countertop expert.
Quartz Countertop Heat Resistance
Due to their protective resin, these countertops cannot have hot items placed directly on their surface. Beyond regularly cleaning your countertops, part of keeping your quartz looking great involves avoiding heat damage.
Many guests—perhaps used to granite, which can handle the heat from pots or pans—may need to be reminded that quartz is not as heat-resistant. Put hot pads and trivets out to encourage your friends and family to treat your quartz gently.
Quartz Countertop Sun Resistance
One final note: quartz is not as UV-resistant as granite. If you’re building something outdoors—such as a built-in backyard barbecue—you’ll want to go with granite over quartz. Quartz should only be exposed to indirect sunlight, as daily sun exposure could cause fading or discoloration.
How are quartz countertops manufactured?
Unlike granite, which is cut into slabs at quarries and then shipped to retailers, quartz slabs are made in factories and consist of about 90% pure quartz. Similar to granite and marble, quartz is mined. However, they are easily ground down, making shipping much less costly. The quartz in powder form is mixed with pigments and polyester resins under intense pressure and heat. This is then shaped into a countertop.
The pigments give color to the quartz countertop, while the resins make the surface non-porous and durable. In addition, various other materials may be added, such as material flecks or recycled glass to give special characteristics to the quartz.
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that this “manufactured” quality makes quartz less special or lower quality than granite. This just isn’t the case. While “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder, most homeowners rate the look of their new quartz countertops just as highly as those with granite do. Plus, as described in the section below, quartz is actually more durable than granite in several key areas.
What are the benefits of choosing quartz?
Quartz countertops are available in a wide variety of designs and colors. Most resemble the natural appearance of stone, including some of the natural veining found in granite or marble. However, there’s a greater diversity in look and texture. Many homeowners love the engineered and uniform look of quartz, especially when compared to the unique, but inconsistent or chaotic, natural veining of a granite slab.
To sum up what we’ve discussed above, quartz slabs are relatively cheaper when compared to countertops made of natural stone. While they are more expensive than laminate, they are more rugged and durable, offering greater value on investment. Also, they are easy to install as the long thick slabs can be installed in one piece.
Another benefit of quartz countertops is that the resin used during the manufacturing process makes them non-porous. This makes them resistant to stains and odor-causing bacteria, mildew, and mold infestation. They do not need to be sealed from time to time while remodeling your kitchen.
In addition, being one of the hardest known minerals, quartz is highly durable and resistant to chips, dents, scratch marks, and heat.
Is quartz the right fit for your home?
Chances are that the answer to this question is “yes.” The relatively affordable cost of quartz, combined with its durability, makes it a great fit for many homes and homeowners. This includes:
– Single-Family Homes: If you’re investing into the value of your own home, go with quartz for long-term value and an enjoyable kitchen. Quartz is manufactured to stand up to everyday wear-and-tear, from Saturday morning breakfasts to busy weeknight meal prep. It’s a stunning addition to any kitchen, and the starting point for many home remodels.
– Investment Properties: Are your remodeling a rental? You should strongly consider going with quartz. This type of countertop requires very little maintenance, which makes it ideal for your investment property. Plus, it stands up remarkably well to accidental spills, knife cuts, or other forms of damage. In other words, it’s the right long-term play for your rental property.
– Commercial Businesses: Thanks to its relatively low-cost and long-term durability, quartz is a popular choice for commercial remodeling projects. Restaurants, office buildings, retail stores, and many other types of businesses are turning to quartz for their kitchens, dining rooms, and even bathrooms. If you’re thinking about remodeling your business’ kitchen, you should strongly consider quartz—and talking to our team here at Superior Stone & Cabinet. We’re the Valley’s specialists when it comes to commercial kitchen and bathroom remodeling.
Where can I find quartz countertops near me?
Our recommendation? Start by looking at stone and cabinet wholesalers in your area. Here in Phoenix, we’re a quartz direct importer. Because they’re not reliant on expensive middlemen, wholesalers will have better prices and a better selection than many retail stores. Plus, many wholesalers—like us, for instance—also carry granite, cabinets, flooring, and everything else you need to complete a kitchen or bathroom remodel. This greatly simplifies your shopping experience!
If you live in an area without a wholesaler, start talking to local contractors. An experienced and reputable contractor will have a source for high-quality quartz and other materials. They may even be able to find you a deal by connecting you to overstocked or discontinued quartz, or adding you to a pre-existing bulk order for a larger customer.
Comparing quartz quotes
Don’t just take the lowest price without considering the following:
– Quality: Is this high-quality stone? Who is the manufacturer and are they reputable?
– Installation: Is the cost of installation included in my quote? Does that quote include demo and install, or just the latter?
– Selection: Am I being quoted a low price for just one type of quartz? Does that limit my options?
Everything you need to know about quartz
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, you should give quartz countertops some strong consideration. Quartz offers many benefits when compared to natural stone and laminate countertops. The countertops made of quartz are rugged and durable, and provide great value for your money. There’s a reason why they are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for kitchen remodeling projects.
To learn more about our selection of quartz countertops and learn about our process to install quartz countertops in your kitchen, give Superior Stone & Cabinet a call and schedule your free, in-home estimate with one of our professional designers.
View our infographic
In the infographic below, we break down everything there is to know about quartz, from choosing your countertop edging to finding a great deal: