There are several myths about quartz countertops. Myths like it is heat resistant, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and whatnot. So we're going to take a deep dive and provide clarity on everything you need to know about the quartz.
After the lockdown had been eased, you decided to have dinner with your friend's family at her place. On your arrival, something caught your eye. You discover she's got a new countertop.
You instantly fall in love with the beautiful work of art and want something similar. When you ask her about the product, she gushes about her quartz countertop, and you're blown away all the more.
However, her claims seem too good to be true. So you're on the lookout for answers:
Is the quartz heat resistant?
Is it durable like the granite countertop?
Does it absorb liquid, and is it easy to maintain?
This article will answer all your questions, and at the end, you'll know if the quartz countertop is right for you. You can also read more about how is quartz made and the pros and cons of a quartz backsplash for your kitchen!
So without further ado, here's everything you need to know about the quartz before installing one in your home.
Are quartz countertops heat resistant?
Yeah, quartz is heat resistant.
They're non-porous and are baked/cured in industrial ovens at temperatures ranging from 175 – 185 degrees. The way Quartz countertops are made makes them resistant to heat, stains, abrasives, and scratches.
As a matter of fact, one of the finest qualities of the material is its durability. However, quartz countertops (different from the natural stone – quartz) aren't completely heat resistant. Lengthy exposure to too much heat can damage your countertop.
This is because quartz countertops are made up of a composition of around 93% natural quartz material, while the remainder is resin and pigments. This polymer resin makes the engineered stone more durable than as compared to marble countertops; protects the countertop from getting stained, and allows for easier maintenance over time.
But the resin used–epoxy glue–is what's responsible for the quartz's low heat resistance: it can only withstand temperatures of about 150 degrees. And temperatures of 300 degrees and above can potentially damage or discolor your quartz countertop.
The excess heat burns (producing a yellow or brown coloration) or breaks the countertop. So it's not advisable to put your hot pans and pots on your quartz countertop immediately after taking them out of the stove let oven.
Secondly, your quartz is a stone: which means it's subject to thermal expansion when heated to a high temperature. Even though quartz is UV resistant, the quartz slabs aren't suitable for outdoor use.
That said, sunlight is not the quartz's best friend. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage your quartz. Nonetheless, they can be used in rooms with lots of sunlight.
So how do you protect your countertop from excess heat?
Here's how to protect your quartz countertop
The quartz countertop can withstand the heat of about 300 degrees. But exposing your quartz to such an amount of heat could scar and damage the quartz slab.
One of such ways of damaging your kitchen countertop is placing your hot pots, pans, or coffee pots on it.
While it might be difficult to refrain from placing hot objects on this engineered stone's surface, here's how you can avoid ruining your quartz kitchen countertop‘s beauty:
Use hot pads or a metal trivet
When you use trivets or table pads, you'll preserve your quartz countertop's appeal for a long long time.
All you have to do is simply place your hot pad or trivet on the kitchen countertop and put your hot pans or pots on it. This will prevent your quartz counter from being heated directly by these hot surfaces and in turn protect it from getting damaged.
While the heat from tea and coffee mugs might not potentially harm your countertop, you don't want to leave anything to chance.
When you use coasters, you'll be making your quartz more durable.
Clean it frequently
Wipe your quartz countertop with soapy water and cloth after using it.
This will help keep it cooler, prevent the chemicals from alcohols, and other liquids from reacting with the polyresins.
Leave hot pots on the stove
Allowing the hot pots and pans to cool down on the stove after cooking will protect your countertop from being exposed to excess heat.
This is good when you don't have a hot pad or trivet, yet.
Use high-quality stone
All quartz slabs are not manufactured the same. Even though the same materials are used, the chemical formulations and processes used by the providers differ.
This is what determines the quality of your engineered stone. If your provider uses the right formulation, the quality material can reduce the extent of the burns and damage.
How to fix discoloration on your engineered stone
Sorry quartz owners, there's no quick fix for your countertop's discoloration.
But you can make guests not notice the stain by hiding the affected area. And you could replace the affected spot or change the stone altogether.
Advantages of quartz countertops
There are a couple of reasons people prefer quartz kitchen countertops to those made of marble or granite. Here are some of them:
Quartz is a very hard stone. It's got a hardness index of 7, and this makes it as durable as granite. So the natural quartz stone that makes up your countertop will make sure it is durable for many years (without a scratch or chip).
They're also resistant to abrasives and scratch-resistant. But you're advised not to clean with abrasive cleaners, use it as a cutting board, or drag heavy objects across its surface.
The quartz countertop is adorable and should be treated with care (and dignity).
Quartz countertops are non-porous
Porous countertops can retain liquid. And this can make it unsanitary for kitchen use, as it can absorb bacteria and other germs.
But with quartz, you've got no such problem. Quartz has been cured to the extent that its surface is non-porous. And it doesn't absorb liquid or heat.
Although Quartz is stain-resistant, using materials like paint or markers can stain it. These materials may contain solvents that will react with the resin.
It's super easy to maintain the quartz countertop. All you've got to do is clean frequently with soapy water and cloth and never place hot objects on it.
And unlike marble and granite, quartz doesn't require a seal to protect its surface. So you won't have to bother about maintaining any quartz sealer, as there will be none.
So if you're fussy about cleanliness and maintenance, there you have it: quartz is the best choice for you.
The resins and pigments that have been engineered with the quartz make it have a variety of colors and designs. The colors are so diverse that you'll be spoilt for choice.
This rightfully enthrones quartz as the king of countertops designs. And quartz can also be made to look like marble or granite if you like.
The quartz countertop is durable, long-lasting, and requires little maintenance.
While the natural stone is resistant to heat, the engineered stone (because of the polymer resins and pigments added to it) isn't, completely. At 300 degrees, your quartz countertop can burn or break.
To avoid such scenarios, always clean it with soapy water and a cloth, use trivets or table pads, or leave the hot pots and pans on the stove to cool down before placing them on the countertop.
Some of the interesting features of the quartz countertop are that it's;
– beautiful and have lots of designs because of the pigments it has been engineered with
– easy to clean and maintain and doesn't need a seal over its surface.
– scratch-resistant, heat resistant, and doesn't absorb liquid.
So now you've got every piece of information every quartz owner should have.
Now you're aware of its pros and cons. You know it's almost as durable as granite. And that it's more beautiful and easier to maintain. But exposure to direct sunlight and contact with very hot materials are its bane.
At this point, making an informed purchasing decision shouldn't be a problem if you'd like to embellish your home with the quartz. But if you feel like you need more information on how to buy a quality one, do consult with a vendor and get an expert's advice.