Everything You Need to Know About Quartz Countertops Before Upgrading Your Kitchen
Sporting incredible durability and a wide array of colors and patterns, quartz is a stylish and highly sought-after choice for kitchen countertops. According to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, the engineered stone was the most popular material in countertop upgrades for the past three consecutive years. With broad and timeless appeal, the surface can suit any design style, and easy upkeep makes it work even in messy or busy kitchens.
Although quartz is a naturally occurring mineral, this type of countertop is considered man-made. Manufactured using crushed quartz crystals combined with pigments and resin, the surface replicates the look of real stone with patterns of flecks and swirls. Unlike natural stone slabs, however, quartz countertops have a non-porous surface that resists scratches and stains. If you're considering upgrading your kitchen surfaces, check out our guide to quartz kitchen countertops below to learn about the material's care needs, color options, cost, and more.
Quartz Countertops Cleaning and Maintenance
Because it's polished during fabrication, engineered quartz doesn't need to be sealed (and, therefore, resealed). Regularly rubbing down quartz surfaces with mild soap or an all-purpose cleaner and a non-abrasive cleaning pad or cloth will keep them in tip-top shape, says Kathy Johnson, National Kitchen and Bath Association member and showroom manager at The Bath and Kitchen Showplace in Houston. You can remove most stains on quartz countertops with glass cleaner and a non-abrasive sponge. To kill germs and boost shine, Johnson also recommends wiping your quartz surfaces with a half-and-half solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Although scorch-resistant, quartz can be damaged by extreme heat. Always use a trivet or protective pad when placing a hot pot or pan on the countertop.
Quartz Countertops Colors
Because the material is mixed with pigment, quartz countertops are available in a wide variety of colors. Unlike natural stone, engineered quartz is homogenous and has uniform color and pattern, making it much easier to match tiles and slabs during installation. The appearance of the surface depends on the size of the quartz granules. Keep in mind that styles with large granules might make your countertop look busy.
When it comes to stain resistance, even the lightest shades of quartz hold up well. "However, not all quartz is created equal," says Susan Serra, a certified kitchen designer (CKD) in Huntington, New York. Before you settle on a particular brand and color, see if the sample stands up to home-based scratch and stain tests. Serra recommends letting coffee, oil, and red wine sit on the sample overnight.
Quartz Countertops Cost
The price of quartz countertops will depend on the style of the material and type of installation. For example, a countertop with lots of cut-outs, seams, and edge details will cost more to install than a single standard slab. Quartz slabs are very heavy and difficult to handle, so installation should almost always be done by a professional. The cost of the material itself typically runs between $50 and $100 per square foot, but high-end quartz countertops can cost up to $200 or more. Additionally, quartz countertops sometimes chip around edges or corners and can be difficult to repair. Hiring a professional to fix damaged areas can drive up the overall cost of quartz countertops.