If you’re a big fan of stone countertops of any kind, you’ve probably encountered quartz kitchen or bathroom countertops at one time or another. Have you ever wondered where quartz comes from and how it’s turned into the gorgeous fixtures that beautify so many homes around the world? We’ll examine how quartz is made and try to provide insight into why it’s such a popular choice for so many homeowners’ interior decor.
What is Quartz?
Unlike many artificial compounds, quartz is a naturally-occurring mineral – among the most common minerals on earth. According to geologists, you can find quartz in a wide variety of rocks, in different shapes and sizes. It even makes up much of the composition of those gorgeous white sand beaches that we all love so much. It comes in crystalline form or small masses of globe-shaped stone.
Where Does Quartz Come From?
Quartz is generally mined from veins. In its purest form, it’s transparent in color – but the mineral itself can come in many different colors. Large deposits are routinely found in the United States, Brazil, and other countries around the globe.
How is Quartz Manufactured?
Quartz is a hard mineral, but it’s almost useless for manufacturing unless bonded with another mineral or some other substance. Typically, manufacturers mix quartz with a small amount of chemicals, stone, or glass to improve appearance, blend them together in special mixers, and then pour the composite substance into a mold to create the slabs used for kitchen countertops and other home features. Those slabs are then baked at extreme temperatures to create the durable, non-porous material we find in many homes.
Why is Quartz So Popular?
Quartz offers builders and interior designers a relatively affordable alternative to many higher-end countertop and building materials. In addition, its strength and non-porous surface make it an attractive option for things like kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, and other home or office features. Thanks to the polishing process used to refine the surface of quarts slabs, the material is aesthetically pleasing. And because it needs no polish or sealant to protect its integrity or appearance, it’s a great low-maintenance option for any design need. Quartz continues to be among the most popular interior design options for homeowners who want to balance cost-efficiencies with aesthetics. If you’re considering new home decor for your house, quartz countertops for the kitchen or bathroom can be a great alternative to marble and other more costly options.
Top tips and what the experts say about quartz
Michelle Thomas, award winning Austin interior designer and owner of MTD, tells us: “Quartz is a great option when selecting a modern, low maintenance countertop for your bathroom or kitchen. We often choose quartz because of its quality, many color choices, and variety of patterns. It also offers more durability and longevity than natural stones like granite and marble.”
“The beauty of quartz is you often get the look of a natural stone, less the maintenance. Quartz definitely gives natural stone a run for its money!” Jessica Love, Allied ASID, Urbane Design.
Heather Scott Home & Design give us their thoughts: “Quartz material is one of our go-to materials for kitchen and bathrooms simply because it helps provide our clients with peace of mind. It is a durable material that can stand up to life’s messes. We love it also because there are so many colors and styles available that can still offer a kitchen or bathroom with a beautiful, classic, and timeless look.”
Julie Risman, Lead Designer with The Inside Story Design in San Antonio Texas often specifies quartz slabs for their kitchen and bathroom remodel projects. “Quartz is durable, consistent, on trend, is available in many colors and designs and is becoming more and more cost-effective. We love the variety of colorways and looks that we can achieve with quartz. We specify quartz for both young families who benefit from the durability of quartz surfaces as well as empty-nesters who don’t want to bother with the upkeep of marble. Quartz is our surface go-to and is a material that is here to stay!” Rebecca Mager, talented St. Austin based designer and regular contributor to ThinkRealty.com writes, “Quartz isn’t just about luxury. Yes, Quartz is considered high end, but it is also about durability and strength, streamlined seams on large surfaces and stunning colors and patterns. Because of the variance of patterns, you can be more creative with your backsplash if desired. Many distributors run specials on certain slabs on occasion.”
Emma Vidler from real estate agency Keylet says “Quartz can bring the neccessary glitz and glam to really elevate the kitchen space”.
A representative from Tredilian Park stately home informed us that quartz is the perfect material for their large scale kitchen used for banquetting receptions and it’s very good looking whilst being solid enough to handle professional grade cooking.