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TYPES OF PRODUCTS
This material is often referred to in the industry as quartz, but the name engineered stone gives you a better idea of what it is. Unlike natural stone countertops that are cut from pure granite, marble or sandstone, engineered stone counters are made from quartz crystals held together with a resin binder.
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QUARTZ COUNTERTOP PROS & CONS
There are some quartz countertops made from quarried stone, but most are an engineered material made from natural ground quartz and polymer resins. This manufacturing process creates an ultra-durable countertop that is as close to indestructible as you can get. In fact, quartz countertops often come with a warranty from the manufacturer.
Most stone products are porous to some degree, which means the stone can absorb liquid. However, some types of stone are more porous than others. For instance, granite is less porous than marble and some types of granite are more porous than others. Engineered quartz is different than natural-stone products because it is nonporous thanks to the manufacturing process.
The durability of quartz is one of its greatest assets. Engineered quartz countertops resist corrosion and stains from household cleaning solutions, liquids, and oils. However, high heat can still damage quartz, and it can become discolored when exposed to direct sunlight for too long.
Offers Excellent Design Possibilities
If you want to get creative with your kitchen countertops, quartz is a good choice. Unlike natural-stone, engineered quartz is a flexible product that can be held in place with epoxy instead of screws. This means it can be used for shower enclosures, backsplashes, and walls without visible seams. However, engineered quartz is much heavier than other stone products and installation can be complicated. Quartz countertops are usually installed by certified distributors.
In addition to its design flexibility, quartz comes in a huge array of colors, whether you want something that looks like a natural slab of quartz or you want a solid color. When engineered quartz is manufactured, pigment can be added to the resin and crushed quartz to match the design of your bathroom or kitchen perfectly.
There aren’t many cons to this engineered stone. The biggest concern for some will be the price.
Maintenance & CARE
Quartz is hard to beat if you want a low maintenance countertop. Because it is not porous and is made with resin mixed with ground quartz, engineered quartz countertops do not need to be sealed. For many homeowners, this is a nice benefit over natural stone. Still, quartz does benefit from routine cleaning with a stone-safe cleaning product and a non-abrasive granite cleaning pad.