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Top 7 Things You Don’t Know About Quartz Countertops

If you are thinking about updating your kitchen countertops, you might be considering quartz. Quartz is a relative newcomer to the world of countertops, having only been around since the 1990s. However, in that short amount of time, it has become a competitor to some of the big hitters in the countertop world including granite and marble. Though you have probably found a lot of information in your research about quartz, there are likely some things that you don’t know. Here are a few of those things:

1 – Quartz Counters are Technically Not Quartz

When most people think of quartz countertops, they assume that the quartz is mined from an exotic locale, cut into a slab and installed on a countertop. This, however, is not the truth. Though there is a mineral called quartz, and it is certainly mined, that mined quartz is not quite what a quartz countertop is made of.

When looking at a quartz countertop, there is certainly quartz in there, but there are also other materials. For instance, about 10 percent of the material is a binder, which may be resin or cement-based. The rest of the 90 percent is made of many other materials including waste materials such as marble, granite, ceramic, glass and silica, in addition to ground quartz.

2 – All Quartz Brands Are Virtually The Same

If you have started looking for quartz, you will notice that there are several brands on the market such as Cambria, Silestone and Caesarstone. These brands, however, all share a basic plan, and though they all have their own flair, all work from the same patent.

This patent goes back to 1963 with the development of Bretonstone, a technology used to make engineered stone. This technology was patented by Breton, the company that developed it, and all of these other brands still work off this technology.

3 – Cambria Countertops Are Made By A Company That Also Makes Cheese

One of the most popular brands of quartz is Cambria, but if you know your food, you may also know that there is a Cambria cheese. The same family that makes the quartz countertops, also makes the cheese. In fact, the family company that owns the Cambria name supplies Kraft Foods with more than 300 million pounds of cheese each year. In addition, they also have more than 100 patterns available in their countertops.

4 – Quartz Countertops are Environmentally Friendly

Many homeowners are looking for an environmentally friendly option when it comes to their renovation options. Fortunately, if you are looking for a green option for your countertops, you are making a good choice with quartz. How is it environmentally friendly? The main reason is that it uses waste products from other materials. If these materials were not put into the quartz countertop, it would end up in the landfill.

5 – You Likely See Quartz Every Day, And You Don’t Know It

Most people who think of quartz often thinks of it as a countertop material. However, this is only a small part of what engineered quartz is used for. If you walk in places such as a shopping mall or airport, you are more than likely walking on quartz. In fact, the first uses of quartz slabs was for flooring tiles. It wasn’t until later that putting these on countertops became popular.

6 – Quartz Doesn’t Compete With Natural Stone

Many people believe that quartz is a direct competitor to natural stone, but in truth, it is very different and when you ask the quartz manufacturer, they will likely not think this at all. They have created a material that is durable, virtually stain resistant and easily fabricated. These manufacturers believe that their material is totally different than these natural stones, and tend to focus on color and design when promoting their wares.

With natural stone, color is stunning, of course, but it is not consistent throughout the slab in most cases, because Mother Nature doesn’t always supply perfectly veined rock. Since this is the case, a slab of granite, for instance, may have strong veining on one side, and virtually no veining on the other. Many people love this look, of course, but quartz manufacturers use it to their benefit.

Since these manufacturers can create certain looks and colors, there is no limit to what you will find, from the traditional, such as black or beige to the ultra-modern, such as Blizzard or Apple Martini.

7 – Quartz Doesn’t Need A Lot of Maintenance

Finally, you will find that quartz doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, if any. You can clean a quartz countertop as long as you have access to water and a soft cloth, in fact. However, if you want to wash it more deeply, simply use a mild detergent. Other cleansers, unless specifically made for quartz, should not be used.