Form and Function: What is Engineered Quartz?
Gaining popularity as a more customizable option for countertops is engineered quartz, more commonly referred to as simply, "quartz countertops." Engineered quartz is a manmade product that consists of crushed stone and resins or binders. The ratio of stone to resin for a quartz countertop is typically 93% stone to 7% resin, creating a very hard and non-porous surface fit for the water, heat, and activity in kitchens and bathrooms.
Because engineered quartz is manufactured, there is more opportunity to purposefully add pigmentation while it is being made. This means that there is a wide range of colors to choose from to fit your design. Consistency is also more available in engineered materials, so countertops will be sure to match throughout a room.
The brightest white hues are more achievable in engineered quartz, offering bright and clean surfaces. With new technology in manufacturing quartz countertops, the dimension, variation, and patterns of marble are accomplished, but with a much harder and non-porous function.
The appearance of quartz is affected by how finely the stone component is ground before being mixed with the resin. If the stone is coarsely ground, the resulting quartz will have noticeable pieces and flecks of stone. It can also be ground so fine that the quartz is one solid color.
Quartz is crack, scratch, and stain resistant, but will need protection from heat by use of trivets or pads in the kitchen. It is also resistant to bacteria and can easily be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. Unless the quartz is specially made to be UV stable, it is best used for interior surfaces. It is very heavy and requires professional installment.
Due to the way it is made and its non-porous nature, engineered quartz does not require re-sealing. It is extremely low-maintenance and will last a lifetime.
Quartz is an abundant material, and because an engineered quartz countertop will last several decades, it is environmentally sustainable. Should the countertops need to be disposed, they are recyclable. Fully sealed, quartz has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and is safe to use in homes, schools, restaurants, and health care facilities.
Engineered quartz is a versatile and durable manmade surface. It can have a uniform, minimalist design, or mimic natural stone like marble and granite. Quartz countertops are stain, scratch, and crack resistant, easy to clean, and are non-porous. Recyclable, made from abundant materials, and long-lasting, engineered quartz countertops are also an environmentally conscious design choice.