With a steep price tag, quartz usually makes people wonder if it’s actually worth the money in the long term.
- Quartz Countertop Durability
- 5 Reasons Why Quartz Countertops Are Durable
- 3 Things to Watch out For with Quartz Countertops
Quartz Countertop Durability
Quartz is one of the most durable options to pick for a countertop. It resists scratching from almost all other minerals and stands strong against most kitchen stains for years with minimal maintenance.
Let’s go over the top reasons that make quartz so durable and the main culprits to worry about with your countertop.
5 Reasons Why Quartz Countertops Are Durable
Although it’s rather pricey, quartz can offer a decent return on investment since it’s particularly resilient.
It’ll take on moderately rough handling like a champ, whether in a kitchen or a bathroom.
1. Non-Porous Surfaces Resist Stains
The main appeal of quartz countertops is that they’re completely non-porous, thanks to the polymer binding resins that hold all the different components together.
For you as a consumer, this property means the countertop will be as low-maintenance as possible.
No dirt and grime will get stuck in pesky pores to collect bacteria over time, and most importantly, it won’t stain as easily.
Keep in mind that the particles of the spillage material actually need to get into the pores to create a stain.
Other countertop materials, like granite, also have low porosity, but they don’t compare to quartz in that regard.
Needless to say, the porous marble comes pale in comparison.
According to Consumer Report’s testing, you’re better off spilling beet juice, syrups, coffee, or artificial dyes on quartz than on the good-old granite.
So, when preparing meals on your countertop, you won’t have to worry all that much about spillage ruining your quartz.
2. High Scratch-Resistance
No matter how careful you are in a kitchen setting, you’re bound to drag something sharp on your countertop at some point—be it a steak knife, a steel sponge, or even a set of keys.
Thankfully, quartz doesn’t scuff easily at all.
On Mohs’ hardness scale, quartz scores about 7 to 7.5.
This rating might not seem like much till you compare it to the diamonds at 10 and the granite at 6.
While hardiness isn’t all about withstanding blows, it’s all about relative resistance to scratches.
However, it’s important to note that while quartz itself is scratch resistant, the other additives and binding materials could scuff with extreme abuse.
Yet, in cases like this, the repair job is usually relatively straightforward.
You can buff out shallow marks or fill deeper ones with a bit of epoxy resin, then seal and cure.
3. Structural Integrity Reduces Chipping
Another bonus point that makes quartz a tempting option for kitchens is its relative strength.
Quartz has a flexural strength starting at 4500 and up to 7000 psi.
This rate means it can take a heavy load in bending before it loses its structural integrity.
Once again, if you compare that to granite, quartz will easily take the cake since granite comes at a mere 1200 to 4300 psi.
That’s not to say it’ll never chip—because it might.
However, it’ll take way more than your regular kitchen wear and tear to break your quartz countertop.
4. Manufactured and Subject to Innovative Upgrades
Although quartz is a natural mineral, there’s more to the countertops industry than just trimming the rocks to size.
Manufacturers add a blend of polymers, resins, and pigments to make a quartz countertop.
Then, this blend is pulverized, heated, and molded into shape.
While this might seem less appealing to people who want natural rocks, it comes in handy for the durability aspect.
It basically means there’s room to improve the manufacturing and make it even better than it was.
For instance, we’re now seeing brands like Ceaserstone jump into the idea of customizing their countertops for outdoor usage by improving their resistance to UV rays.
5. Extended Manufacturer Warranties
Since the science is there to back up the quartz in the durability lane, many manufacturers offer at least a decade of coverage on their countertops.
Of course, it’s not unheard of for a company to offer a lifetime warranty, either.
For the consumer, this adds to the sense of security people seek when paying extra to own a quartz countertop.
Think of it that way; you know that even though the material is resilient and the risks are minimal, the company stands behind its product.
So, all in all, you know you’ll be getting a decent bang for bucks if you opt for quartz.
That being said, you might want to check the conditions first since some warranties are limited vs. unconditional.
3 Things to Watch out For with Quartz Countertops
It’s easy to let all the strong points of quartz lull you into a false sense of security, only to find yourself misusing the precious countertop.
After all, being durable doesn’t mean being indestructible.
Here are three possible culprits to worry about with your quartz countertop.
1. Heat Damage
Quartz actually has a decent thermal shock resistance.
However, the additives in the blend don’t always share this characteristic.
Some people might notice white hazing if they expose their countertop to high heat at once.
That’s not because quartz couldn’t handle the heat but because the polymers got scorched.
To stay on the safe side, you’re better off avoiding laying hot pots and plates directly on the countertop.
Instead, you can use a mat or a silicone trivet.
Similarly, if you have quartz in your bathroom, you’ll need to be careful where you lay any heated hair irons and curling tools.
2. Harsh Solvents
We did cover that quartz is non-porous, so the spill particles can’t get stuck in the pores and leave stains behind.
The downside is that being non-porous doesn’t stop the additives from reacting with strong chemicals.
Hence it’s not recommended to use bleach, ammonia, acetone, and other potent solvents on your quartz countertop.
Otherwise, they’ll etch the finish right off.
Depending on the manufacturer and slab quality, you might get away with certain cleaning agents, but it’s not a risk worth taking with something this expensive.
In most cases, you won’t even need harsh cleaning products.
Just wipe your countertop regularly with water and mild soap on a microfiber cloth.
If you need to polish your countertop with industrial-grade solvents, it’s safer to consult a professional first.
3. UV Wear and Tear
While there are now countertops rated especially for outdoor use, that’s not the common practice.
Asides from innovative collections like Ceaserstone’s, most manufacturers will advise you to protect your quartz from the extensive photodegradation by the sun’s UV.
Some people find that leaving their quartz countertop in the sun for long can cause yellowing.
The patterns in the slap might even fade a bit and lose their luster.
Yet, prolonged exposure to sunlight isn’t really recommended for most household items, so that’s not a brutal blow to the pro-con balance of quartz countertops.