Among the various interior design trends expected for 2019, the increased presence of quartz in American homes is one of the most interesting. After years of being mostly confined to commercial establishments, quartz is now being selected over granite for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Quartz flooring is no longer confined to shopping malls, banks, and hotels. At major manufacturing plants operated by Dal-Tile in Tennessee, quartz fabrication testing has been taking place since December 2018. Quartz isn’t a new construction material, but it may feel that way to many homeowners. With this in mind, here are six of the most frequently asked questions about quartz.
1. What Exactly Is Quartz?
The word quartz is used to describe silicone dioxide, an abundant mineral that can be quarried in its crystalline form. Clear quartz jewelry is very popular and often associated with New Age healing. Moreover, it’s found in various concentrations within natural stone such as marble and granite. As a construction material, quartz is an engineered form of stone made from crushed fragments with high quartz content, resins, and pigment. Although it would be more accurate to call this material “engineered stone,” the name quartz has stuck for decades.
2. Why Choose Quartz Over Natural Stone?
The main reason quartz is trending is because of marketing, but there are other advantages such as the ease of maintenance, durability, more affordable pricing in recent years, and a wider variety of brands, styles, colors, patterns, and textures. Real estate agents are highlighting quartz counters and flooring in their listings, thus making them more attractive and valuable.
3. Is Quartz Affordable?
In 2019, quartz is expected to reach pricing levels similar to granite, and it may even become lower because of the trade war between China and the United States. Tariffs for Chinese quartz slabs, which are often cut to fit prefabricated kitchen and bathroom counters, are expected to be imposed after the New Year, thus putting American fabricators in a position to make their prices more enticing.
4. Do I Need to Seal Quartz?
If you don’t already know how to seal natural stone such as granite, slate, or travertine, you won’t need to worry about sealing if you’ve chosen quartz for your home. During the finishing process, quartz slabs and tiles go through a “perma-seal” stage that essentially removes the need to apply sealant. Once quartz is sealed by the fabricator, the likelihood of water stains is sharply reduced, making it ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces.
5. What About Quartz Branding?
The quartz brand you choose isn’t as important as the ratio of materials used and the warranty the manufacturer is willing to extend. When you research quartz, a ratio of 90 percent natural stone to 10 percent resins and pigments is preferred. Some brands may go as high as 93 percent. A 10-year warranty by an established fabricator is usually a good sign.
6. Is Quartz Easy to Maintain?
Ease of maintenance is a major selling point. A combination quartz cleaner and polish is all you need to keep your flooring, counters, splashes, and panels looking like new. There’s no need for sealing or having to worry about water spots that are difficult to remove. Quartz is harder than granite, but you still need to prevent nicks and scratches from sharp metal objects.
For additional tips on keeping the quartz in your home looking beautiful for years to come, get in touch with Granite Gold® at 1-800-475-STONE (7866). Please make sure to sign up for our newsletter as well to receive monthly tips on caring for quartz and natural-stone surfaces.