You’re probably curious about how the quartz is produced when you’re gazing at quartz countertops. You may have heard of granite quarries and marble quarries on the peaks of the mountains, but you never thought of quartz quarries. You may also have seen small rocks at rock and mineral displays or in shops called “Quartz” –but they’re not like the quartz countertops you’ve pictured. So how are your quartz countertops made?
Quartz is the most plentiful mineral present on the surface of the Earth. It is available and widespread in the world. The rocks form at every temperature In all temperatures it shapes. Among careless, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, it is abundant. It is exceptionally impenetrable to mechanical and chemical weathering (breaking down of rocks). This is the primary mineral of mountaintops and the main component of ocean, river and desert sand. Quartz is omnipresent, abundant and long-lasting. There are minable deposits worldwide.
Using Quartz in Glass Making
Occasionally, volcanic sands composed of almost 100% quartz grains are deposited. All these deposits were identified and processed as high-purity silica sand sources. Such sands are used in the field of glassmaking. Quartz sand is used for the manufacturing of glass, flat plate glass, highly specialised glass and fibreglass.
Quartz as Kitchen Countertops
A quartz countertop is a good investment if you’re going to get the best value on your kitchen to revamp. Quartz is a highly engineered, heat and stain-resistant material which makes it a great option for busy kitchen areas. It contains about 95% ground-floor quartz, one of the hardest minerals on the planet, and a mixture of polymer resins. The finished product is a stone-like coating that can withstand damage caused by regular use on a daily basis. The materials do not need to be sealed unlike natural surfaces of stones, such as marble or granite.
A tour to a kitchen showroom will give you insights on a great variety of designs and patterns on quartz counters that look like real marble and other natural rocks. Though quartz has gotten a long way to get there! Such countertops were first built in Italy in the 1960s— with the combination of ground quartz and resins into a slab — as an alternative to stone that wouldn’t weather easily. Although the resins were only sufficiently robust to do the trick, the early quartz countertops were a bland cream and tan.
Recent advances in solid-surface engineering have made quartz majestic in design and durability. You will probably find something beautiful that matches your home with a multitude of final choices and infinite variations of hue and edge designs.
In addition to the appearance of quartz, it’s exceptionally easy for you to maintain–unlike marble and natural stone that requires a special sealant and can be fussy to care for. Quartz produces between 90% and 94% ground quartz and between 6% and 10% polymer resins and pigments that create a granite-hard slab which, without maintenance may mimic the appearance of a fascinating marble swirl or earthy natural stone.
Moreover, Quartz resists scratching and cracking more than other natural countertops, ranking a Moh’s scale a “7” in terms of hardness (developed by Friedrich Moh in 1822 to rate mineral hardness). Marble just rates a “3,” by contrast.
A reminder to homeowners looking to remodel on the market: Do not equate quartz with quartzite when exploring countertop alternatives. Quartz is composed of pigments and resins, while quartzite is simply sandstone that was exposed to extreme heat by natural metamorphosis and therefore solidified. Quartzite is also found on countertops that were mined from large stone quarries and carved into firm slabs whereby it must be sealed once or twice a year before use; unlike quartz
Pros and Cons on Quartz
The non-porous quality of the quartz makes it resistant to mould, stain and mildew, therefore it’s easy to maintain in addition to being germs or bacteria-free quartz is resistant to thermal damage to a certain degree. Quartz is designed by manufacturers to endure temperatures up to 400 ° F (which is why it functions as well as a fireplace).
But the “thermal shock” will occur when a hot saucepan is placed directly on a quartz countertop which can lead to crack or discolouration. And while quartz is resistant to staining because liquids cannot through its surface, it is not 100% stain resistant.
However, the expense is the biggest drawback of quartz. While you are getting back a few hundred bucks from a preformed or laminate countertop, the quartz countertops range between $70 and $100 per sq. ft. mounted, equivalent to the cost in countertops of natural stone. You can spend a few thousand dollars on quartz for a medium-sized kitchen.
Steer clear of quartz if you plan to build a kitchen in the backyard. The sun’s UV rays will degrade the resin binders and deteriorate the countertop, resulting in fading and potential distortion, and are not ideal for outdoor purposes.
How to Choose the Best Look
With a variety of selection, making a decision can be difficult! Bring home any samples of quartz from a showroom until you make up your mind on a particular color or pattern. You may choose a pattern and design which complements your kitchen decor under your own lighting and against the backdrop of your cabinets and the walls. It lets you get a good idea on how you would like your finished kitchen to look like before you purchase the quartz of your visions. You can navigate in any kitchen showroom through design books or get suggestions from home design magazines and websites. Keep in mind the following points as you plan:
Seams: If your counter is more than 120 inches long or has a complicated design, quartz may need to be manufactured in more than one part, ensuring you will have one or more seams. Seams on dark tone quartz are typically less visible, but they can be prominent on light tone or multi colour countertops, such as those with clear patterns of veining or marbling.
Thickness: countertop thickness, based on style, model and size, varies from 1⁄2 inch to 1-1⁄4 inch. The retailer can recommend a thicker label if they order a wide countertop or want an intricate edge pattern. Expect to have more seams if your heart is set on a thin countertop, but your kitchen is big. Thickness also depends on the specific features, such as merged drainboards and detailed edge profiles.
Details of Design: There are customized styles in a wide range of colours, from soft greys, off-whites and subtle tans, bold blues, bright yellows and bold strong blacks. You can choose either quartz from smaller particles for a smooth look or larger grains for a scattered look, in addition to colour. The coating can be smooth and vivid or has the spotted look, pebbled or even suede.
Edge ideas: In complex designs, tailored edge profiles make a difference to your cooking space but contribute to the final cost. You can always go for a bold square counter top, a structured defined edge, or a softer rounded bullnose corner. A reverse waterfall edge resembles the crown molding shape and brings a sense of traditional style while modern edges, including slanted, mitered or undercut edges, give the appearance of a thinner slab. Ogee (S-shaped) is a popular design for every décor.
Bathroom Buys: Choosing a quartz countertop for a bathroom is subtly different from purchasing one for your kitchen. The vanities in the bathroom come in standard sizes, so you can buy premade vanity countertops. Most come with pre-molded sinks or holes that are precut to match drop-in sinks. Bathroom vanity quartz countertops vary from $400 to $1,000 based on length, and they are more DIY-friendly to build with.
What to Expect When Installing?
Skilled installation is highly recommended for quartz countertops in kitchens. As a result of the unique nature of the configuration and the weight of the slabs, it often involves some lifting that requires a few helping hands. In order to protect your investment, installers need to be accredited to mount a certain quartz brand that you purchased. Most quartz countertops are guaranteed with 15 years or even lifetime warranties, but only if the professional installs them. Here’s what you’ll do for installation once you’ve agreed on a countertop style and colour:
- A rep agent should come to your home to measure the cabinets to create a template for your countertop design. The countertops take an average of two weeks to be completed.
- The new countertop is directly installed on the adhesive base cabinets— no underlayment is necessary. The installers should accurately fit all seams as needed and fill them with the epoxy resin which suits the countertop . Typically, installing a standard quartz countertop takes from a few hours to a whole day.
- You or your plumber can now move on to the under-sink plumbing installment.
Keeping the Quartz Looking Glossy
Beyond just the appearance of the stunning quartz, is that it is fairly easy to take care of your new countertop but there are still some things that are significant to consider about.
Do wipe spills with towels of paper or with a damp cloth. Although quartz is non-porous, liquids such as wine and coffee, if left to dry, will stain the surface.
Don’t use the countertop with abrasive cleaners or scrubbers. The base can be rubbed by scrubbing powders and steel plates.
Use a spray kitchen cleaner or mild business household cleaner for daily cleaning purposes (see Amazon for example).
Do not use or spill on your countertop acidic or alkaline goods. Quartz tolerates mid-pH cleaners, but chemicals on any end of the pH scale will lose its luster. Remove water cleaning leaks, oven cleaners, acetone, paint removers, solvents, chlorine, dishwasher rinse agents, or products which contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride.
Be safe than sorry: Don’t use it if you don’t know that a product is ideal for quartz.
Don’t use a non-pad or sponge: Must be used to properly scrape away the traces of adhesive items.
Do not use a metal knife, for the removal of hardened food items like stuck-on candy-making spills Alternatively, use a plastic/putty knife to carefully scrape them.
Use a spray glass cleaner after cleaning the countertop well, and dry the surface with a clean towel to ensure that it has no streaks on. Choose a gentle, oil based purifier for the removal of rough ink or pigmentations, and clean with plain water (Goo Gone, available on Amazon) as a suggestion.
Don’t cut and dice foods with your quartz countertop. To avoid knife marks on the countertop, use a separate cutting board.
Do tackle difficult cleaning tasks, such as splattered grease, through a kitchen degreasing solvent and leave on your countertop for 5 to 10 minutes before you wipe away.
Don’t put hot pans on the countertop directly to prevent discolouration and cracking. Keep other trivets accessible and use them constantly.
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