Some of the most stylish residential development projects of 2019 feature quartz countertops and flooring. Such is the case of the Tribeca Apartments in St. Louis, The Gallatin residences in the District of Columbia, and the Soltra at SanTan Village near Phoenix.
Since the 20th century, engineered stone flooring has been a mainstay construction material in commercial properties, and it’s increasingly becoming a top choice for builders and homeowners who want to turn kitchen and bathroom countertops into attractive focal points. One of the reasons quartz is emerging is its porosity—more accurately speaking, its lack thereof.
Understanding Porosity as a Geological Property
Porosity refers to the collection of void spaces in natural materials such as limestone and other natural stone. It can be expressed as a fraction of the total volume or as percentage. Geologic porosity ranges from primary and fractured to effective and micro-porosity. The general purpose of porosity is to allow air and water to flow and keep a certain balance within the Earth’s crust.
Quartz Is a Nonporous Surface
According to materials engineers at Cosentino, a Spanish brand of quartz known to manufacture slabs that look just like white Carrara marble, the reason quartz surfaces have zero porosity is because of their composition. Quartz slabs consist of more than 90 percent natural quartz fragments with advanced resins that act as bonding agents and develop the cohesiveness expected of a solid construction material, which results in high-density slabs without pores.
Quartz Has Always Been Intended to Be Nonporous
In the early 1970s, the Italian engineers who invented the quartz manufacturing process wished to create a solid surface material that would look as good as marble but with a porosity lower than granite. Bretonstone borrowed some of the techniques used in ceramic tile manufacturing, particularly the final glazing process. Maintenance was a concern. The Breton engineers wanted to develop a material that didn’t have to be constantly sealed and resurfaced, and they had high-traffic commercial flooring in mind. In other words, quartz was intended to be more durable than ceramic tiles, thus ruling out porosity as a property.
The Low-Porosity Advantage of Quartz
Since quartz tiles and slabs aren’t porous, they don’t need to be sealed. Furthermore, even when quartz is manufactured to emulate white marble, there’s no need to rush when water or beer is spilled on the surface because there’s no permeability to worry about, though it does still need to be cleaned as soon as possible with a specially formulated quartz cleaner. Granite Gold Quartz Brite®—the first-of-its-kind combination cleaner and polish specifically formulated for quartz surfaces—is the product you should use to care for your quartz countertops.
If you have additional questions about caring for quartz, reach out to Granite Gold® today. All of our products are also safe to use on natural stone, including granite, marble, and slate. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) to speak with one of our friendly representatives.
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