Many people consider using quartz worktops as part of their kitchen remodeling, but how do you make sure your choice is the best one for your kitchen? Here’s a quick guide to choosing quartz worktops with a few pointers about what to look for before making a final decision.
Firstly, do not confuse quartz worktops with quartzite. Both are popular worktop materials but the two are quite distinct.
Probably the main distinguishing factor is that quartz is what’s referred to as an ‘engineered stone’ because it consists of a mixture of various synthetic components including loose quartz, which makes up more than 90% of the finished product typically. In contrast, quartzite is a natural rock which is extracted, cut, shaped and polished for use as worktops.
So which is better? Let’s compare some essential features of both.
1. Visual appeal: obviously this is very subjective, but quartzite is typically available in various shades from white to grey, and often includes natural red and pink tones which result from its iron oxide constituent. You can also find quartzite in green, blue and yellow which is a result of the presence of different minerals during its formation. Another common feature of quartzite is its streaking, or veining, which runs through it.
Now, with quartz, because it is engineered, the range of colours is almost unlimited. This is because various colour pigments can be added during the production process in order to colour it. However, once finished, quartz closely resembles marble and granite which, according to experts at quartz worktops London firm JR Stone, is one of the main reasons it’s so popular for kitchen and bathroom worktops.
So, if you’re adamant about having natural stone in your kitchen or bathroom – quartzite will probably fit the bill more than quartz. On the other hand, if you need a wider range of colours to choose from – then quartz will be your best bet.
2. Functionality and durability: which material is the hardest? Quartzite. It’s actually stronger then even granite, and extremely heat-resistant. While quartz is still very strong it’s less so than quartzite, and not as heat-resistant either due to the resin compound used in its manufacture. But quartz has the advantage when it comes to being resistant to chipping or scratching because of its greater flexibility. However, that’s not to say it’s a good idea to cut or chop on a regular basis directly on either of these materials – a chopping board should always be used in order to protect the worktop surface.
3. Maintenance and cleaning: quartz is the clear winner here. Maintenance is almost non-existent. Simple regular cleaning with a clean, damp cloth keeps it in tip-top condition. In contrast, quartzite needs a bit more attention; it needs to be properly sealed at least twice a year in order to keep it protected and in good condition because it’s a natural stone and is permeable. Leaving it unprotected makes it susceptible to staining.