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When it comes to materials for countertops, home design has come a long way from flimsy laminates. Today, there are all kinds of choices that are not only beautiful but also extremely functional, and natural stone surfaces such as granite, marble, and soapstone have enjoyed great popularity. But there is a new stone in town; quartz is slowly easing its way into the spotlight.

 

Engineered Stone Gains Popularity

A newer choice is gaining traction. Engineered quartz delivers all the qualities people want when it comes to a countertop, and offers some real advantages over natural stone options.

While there are quartz countertops crafted from stone only, the engineered material combines ground quartz with polymer resins. Typically, it is about 90-95% ground natural quartz, with the rest of the mixture consisting of polymers, resins, and pigments. This process produces a surface that is extremely hard and requires very little maintenance — no annual sealing required. What’s more, because it is an engineered product, it offers nearly unlimited color choices and design options. If it is ground coarsely, a flecked appearance is the result. A fine grind produces a smoother, more uniform look. If you have a specific look in mind for your countertop, you’ll be able to get it with quartz.

Quartz countertops have a glossy sheen that is truly lasting and doesn’t require refinishing. Cleaning is about as easy as it gets — you don’t need anything more than soap, water and a soft cloth. The material is also less prone to chipping, making it a great choice for busy households with young children. You can expect your counters to look the way they do upon installation for many, many years to come.

Sure, quartz does have some drawbacks — it’s not as tolerant of heat as some natural stone and long counters or large kitchen islands may need to have a seam or two. But for many people, these shortcomings are significantly outweighed by the ease of maintenance and the worry-free durability.

 

quartz

 

Durable and Stain-Resistant

While it’s great in the kitchen, this engineered stone may offer even more advantages in other spots around the home. In the bathroom, where color can be especially important, you can find both a hue and look — more flecks, fewer flecks, metallic or muted — that makes it a great choice for a vanity. It has a certain luxury feel to it, reminiscent of marble. This can help make your master suite feel more like the ones at your favorite hotel. And it is so easy to clean that you can be confident you’re getting rid of any of the bacteria or gunk that nobody wants in their bathroom.

When it comes to countertops for something like a home bar, where you may be trying to create a very specific atmosphere and feel, it’s also worthy of serious consideration. It is non-porous and stands up to all the tough stuff, including wine, juice, oils, tomatoes and coffee as long as they are wiped up quickly. It isn’t affected by acids like marble and other natural stones are.

While it is true that a quartz countertop may look slightly more contemporary than one of natural stones, that’s not necessarily a drawback. Even in a traditional kitchen, many people like the contrast this sleeker surface provides. Down below is our Vena Ovaltine quartz.

 

Vena Ovaltine

 

 

Today, homeowners are fortunate to have so many great options for countertops. In the end, your decision should hinge on your own personal preferences. But if you’re looking for a lasting, substantial material with a truly upscale look and feel, you should certainly have engineered quartz on your list of considerations.

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