As the new favorite decorative surface of North American homeowners, quartz has achieved the popularity that marble, granite, travertine, and other types of natural stone have enjoyed for many years. Looking at current real estate listings, it is clear to see quartz floors and countertops have become a major selling point, and one of the reasons behind this preference is because quartz is a construction material that does not require constant resealing.
Understanding Quartz as a Construction Material
The first thing to learn about quartz is to not confuse it with natural stone, particularly with quartzite. There is a bit of confusion in this regard because quartz is the name of the crystalline mineral that gives many kinds of natural stone its attractive patterns. As a construction material, quartz is made of crushed rock fragments featuring a high concentration of silicon dioxide. These pieces are mixed with coloring substances and bonding resins to form slabs, tiles, and even bricks. In other words, quartz is an engineered, manmade stone.
The Quartz Fabrication Process
Depending on the manufacturer, the raw materials used to make quartz can be up to 93 percent natural rock fragments, and many of them come from recycled natural stone. Less than 10 percent of quartz consists of synthetic resins and artificial pigments. The compound made from these materials is placed in vacuum chambers that mix, vibrate, and mold the resulting slabs or tiles. After this stage, the quartz material is heated and curated before the surface is finished and polished.
Quartz Surfaces Are Not Porous
The finishing of quartz slabs and tiles makes them very cohesive. Unlike marble and other types of natural stone, quartz does not feature a porous surface that would require sealing and resealing. For example, the high porosity of limestone and marble is the reason many ancient structures did not retain their integrity. Even though they were built with solid natural stone materials, being exposed to the elements without adequate sealants, which would not be formulated for a few more centuries, resulted in permanent damage. When the quartz fabrication process is complete, a sort of permanent seal is formed to the benefit of homeowners who get a very attractive, durable, and long-lasting material.
Caring for Quartz without Having to Worry About Resealing
In general, quartz is more durable than granite and also easier to maintain because of the lower risk of staining and scratching. With natural stone, frequent sealing is required mostly because substances can seep through the pores and cause permanent stains. With quartz, stains are less likely to happen, but this does not mean quartz is 100 percent stain-proof. Spills of any kind, but particularly of substances with a high acidic content, should not be allowed to sit on top of quartz. Furthermore, countertops should be frequently cleaned with a specially formulated quartz cleaner such as Granite Gold Quartz Brite®.
If you’d like to learn how to care for quartz, how to clean granite, or need additional tips on caring for natural stone and engineered stone surfaces, reach out to Granite Gold® today. Give one of our friendly representatives a call at 1-800-475-STONE.