The average shopper isn’t a geologist. When they hear the word “quartz” it may bring up something from high school geology, but nothing that tells them exactly what their countertops are made of.
While you may not want to know the exact composition of quartz countertops, you may be curious as to whether their countertops are naturally occurring stone or are manmade.
The short answer? Quartz countertops are manmade — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t made of natural stone. If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about quartz countertops and whether they’re the right fit for your kitchen.
Quartz vs. Quartzite: Man made or Natural?
One of the biggest mistakes made by someone shopping for their ideal countertop is not knowing exactly what materials are featured in their selection. For example, engineered quartz countertops are manmade, and though they still contain natural stone. Here is a breakdown of the major differences between quartz and quartzite countertops.
Quartz (Man made)- With regard to countertops, quartz refers to an engineered stone made up of quartz, resin, pigments, and other materials. Typically quartz is the primary material in quartz countertops and some blends are composed of up to 95% quartz stone.
Quartzite (Natural Stone) – Quartzite stone is made naturally when quartz and sandstone undergo the metamorphic process and face extreme heat and pressure. Countertops can be made of pure quartzite and are usually classified as natural stone.
What’s the Difference?
For one, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone material that hasn’t undergone any engineering or modifications that alter its chemical make up. Although quartz countertops are made up of natural materials, it is ground down and combined with other materials in its manufacturing process. This allows quartz to maintain some of its most coveted features, specifically, its low-maintenance needs.
As quartz countertops are engineered or man made to be resistant to stains, scratching, and doesn’t require sealing. By comparison, quartzite needs to be sealed to maintain these same characteristics. Both quartzite and quartz feature a wide variety of colors and patterns that will add a distinct touch to any room that you place them in.
What to Know When Considering Quartz Countertops
Whether you’re in the process of shopping for a quartz countertop or are trying to narrow down your choices, it’s important to have an understanding of the potential pros and drawbacks to quartz countertops.
The Pros of Quartz Countertops
It’s no secret that quartz countertops are a high-quality choice for any homeowner looking to change up their kitchen’s aesthetic. However, if you need a refresher, we’ve got one! Here are some of the top pros of quartz countertops and why you should choose them for your kitchen.
Quartz Countertops are Durable – Kitchen countertops face a lot of wear and tear, especially for those who love cooking. That said, you want your countertop to be hard-wearing to increase its longevity. Quartz is dense and resistant to scratching and other damage.
Quartz Countertops are Versatile – Natural stones are limited in their color schemes, but with the different mixtures of materials available, quartz countertops can be made to suit your aesthetic! If you want a quartzite countertop, don’t fret! They offer a number of different colors and patterns.
Quartz Countertops are Hygienic – Quartz countertops are easy to clean and sanitize! This is very important considering the current climate. You don’t have to worry about these countertops holding on to germs after a thorough wipedown — they are low-porosity and can withstand staining.
The Cons of Quartz Countertops
Quartz Countertops are Man made – If you are looking for a 100% natural stone countertop, then a quartz countertop shouldn’t be your first option. However, if you’re looking for natural stone like quartzite, we have a wide selection of natural stone countertops that would be perfect for you!
Quartz Countertops should not be used outside – If you are looking for a countertop for your new exterior bbq area quartz countertops are not the right solution. The resins in most quartz countertops will turn yellow and crack over time with exposure to UV direct rays. Some quartz countertop brands are trying to use resin that is UV resistant, please ask your designer for more details if you plan to use your quartz countertops outside.
The Bottom Line
For most, quartz countertops are an excellent choice for your kitchen space or any other place you’re looking to place them! However, before you make a final decision about whether quartz countertops are right for you, it’s important that you understand their composition.
Quartz countertops are made from quartz, a naturally occurring stone, and other materials. So while quartz countertops feature a lot of natural stone, they are ultimately an engineered or man made stone.
That said, quartz is a great stone choice that can provide everything that you’d want in a countertop — durability, style, and hygienic.