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Quartz Countertops

Fairly new to the market are engineered quartz countertops. Quartz is naturally very hard and stain resistant. Topaz, sapphire, and diamonds are the only other crystals that are harder. A typical natural granite may contain as much as 50% quartz and the other 50% as other minerals which makes it vunerable to scratches and stains. Quartz countertops on the other hand are made with 93% quartz and the other 7% being resins and pigments. When made using this formula, the resulting countertop is non-porous and more than twice as strong as granite. If not made with this percentage of quartz, the manufacturer cannot claim the hardness and impermeability of it's tops.

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How is it made?
Unique to the industry, quartz countertop manufacturers all use the same patented process to make their products. Breton, an Italian company, patented the process used to create the tops that are the 93% quartz crystal. The quartz is ground to pieces that range in size from grains of table salt all the way to the size of rock salt. These crystals are combined with pigments and a resin bonding agent and then are simultanesouly compressed, vibrated, and placed in a vacuum. The result is an extremely dense product that is impervious to water, moisture and bacteria and will not develop cracks or fissures. Some manufacturers are even certified by the National Sanitation Foundation International allowing their product to be used in commercial kitchens.Adding pigments during the production process can create virtually any color needed. Some producers offer up to 48 color options and the patterns are very uniform. This makes for seams that virtually disappear compared to granite, but granite being a natural product will have variations in the color and patterns which cannot be duplicated in the quartz manufacturing process.

These tops are extremely tough and durable. Manufactured to resist spills, cuts and chips, they require little to no maintenance. Due to this durability many manufactures offer warranties up to 10 years.

A wide range of sinks can be installed in quartz countertops including top mounted and undercounter styles. Custom sinks made from the same material are also available.

Due to their density, quartz countertops weigh a lot more than a comparable granite top. These should only be installed by a practiced professional. Most manufacturers supply the fabricators using a one-price policy. This means that different lines and profiles are all priced the same regardless to the style, color, and edging. $50-$100 per square foot is common depending on the the pricing from the fabricator and installer.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 09/13/2017






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