Of all the construction materials you can choose for your kitchen and bathroom countertops, quartz is one of the most durable. In recent years, quartz has been taking considerable market share away from granite, a natural stone that was the favorite countertop material of American homeowners for a few decades. Durability is one of the reasons for granite’s popularity. Compared to marble and limestone, granite is a more robust choice for countertops, but quartz is an even better option in this regard.
Quartz is stronger, heavier, and harder than granite. The durability of quartz can be attested by the warranties fabricators offer, and it’s also easy to care for as long as you use the right quartz cleaner and polish. Most quartz warranties last 10 years, and some manufacturers even offer lifetime warranties. Once quartz is installed, you can expect it to last for decades, which is a major reason it’s often chosen as a flooring material by commercial establishments such as banks and shopping malls. Here are some interesting details about the durability of quartz.
The Engineered Strength of Quartz
When the fabrication process of quartz was defined by Italian engineers in the 1960s, a lot of attention was placed on material strength. The goal of Breton, the company that first developed quartz, was to make an engineered stone that would score higher than most natural stones on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which assigns values from 1 to 10. Diamond, which is the hardest natural material, scores a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Granite usually scores around 6, and quartz scores 7. What this means for homeowners is that their quartz countertops won’t easily crack, chip, scratch, or burn if cared for properly.
The Low Porosity of Quartz Surfaces
Quartz is fabricated with a mixture of crushed natural quartz, compound polymer resins and synthetic pigments. These elements result in a solid surface that isn’t porous like natural stone. Low porosity is one the reasons granite became more popular than marble for countertops. With quartz, porosity isn’t an issue at all. With a nonporous surface, homeowners don’t have to worry about water or liquid substances seeping through and forming stains.
Quartz Is a Low-Maintenance Material
As a nonporous solid surface that’s sealed once during the fabrication process, quartz is very easy to maintain, and this contributes to its durability. Natural stone is more delicate and requires frequent sealing. Otherwise, a patina will eventually form even if stains are promptly removed. Quartz countertops only require a few precautions and a reasonable cleaning schedule.
Heat Resistance of Quartz
Quartz countertops can generally handle heat better than natural stone. Thermal shock is known to happen to marble surfaces. Granite and soapstone are more heat resistant, but placing hot pans and baking sheets on them is a gamble because you never know when thermal shock will cause natural stone to crack. Even though quartz is more heat resistant than natural stone, it’s better to not place hot items directly on top because constantly doing so may result in discoloration.
Caring for quartz is fairly simple as long as you have the right quartz care products. At Granite Gold®, we offer a wide array of products that are safe to use on quartz and natural-stone surfaces such as granite, slate, and marble. If you’d like to learn how to disinfect granite and natural stone, call the Stone Care Experts today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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