What is Quartz Used For In Homes?

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated June 16, 2021
modern kitchen with white cabinets, black backsplash, and quartz countertop
junej - stock.adobe.com.

Quartz can withstand almost any household task without losing its natural beauty

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Quartz is one of the strongest naturally occurring materials on Earth—and it’s pretty, too—which makes it a popular choice for countertops and elsewhere in the home. If you’re debating what materials to use in your next home project, learn more about the pros and cons of quartz and how it compares to similar materials, like granite.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is an igneous rock, meaning it consists of hardened molten material. Scientifically, quartz is chemically known as SiO2 and is a member of the silica family. Quartz is one of many crystalline forms of silica.

Its formation process makes this natural stone one of the strongest, most durable materials available. In nature, quartz withstands weathering; in your kitchen, it holds up to small appliances and piles of dishes with ease.

For home use, especially countertops, engineered quartz is a newer, popular option with similar strength to its natural counterpart. Human-made quartz slabs typically include a small percentage of natural quartz.

Pros and Cons of Quartz

Quartz has many benefits as a material for home use, but there are some downsides as well. Is quartz better than granite or marble? It depends on your needs and lifestyle.

Benefits of Quartz

One significant benefit is that there are many types of quartz. Whether you want to achieve a rustic look or something more modern, there’s a style of quartz to suit your needs. Naturally, quartz comes in many colors, including pinks, browns, yellows, blues, and greens. Engineered quartz countertops can be made into just about any color, although neutral tones like white, brown, gray, or black are the most popular.

To make quartz countertops, manufacturers combine crushed quartz and other stones like marble or granite and a resin or cement binder for strength. These types of countertops only contain a percentage of quartz; the added resin or binder makes quartz counters stronger and less likely to chip over time. These non-porous surfaces are also more resistant to staining than porous counter materials like marble or granite, which matters when you’re rinsing raspberries and chopping tomatoes.

Drawbacks of Quartz

The main issue with quartz is that it’s more expensive than many other countertop materials. Costs are typically similar to that of marble. Quotes to install these countertops could range anywhere from $60 to $200 per square foot.

Engineered quartz countertops are not as resistant to heat as other countertop materials like concrete or crushed glass. Still, they are not likely to scorch in typical temperatures generated in kitchens or bathrooms. Just be sure to use trivets before placing hot pots and pans on engineered quartz.

Cost of Quartz Per Square Foot

The cost of quartz per square foot can start around $60 and go up to $200. This price is similar to other popular, durable countertop options like marble, granite, or slate.

Solid surface countertops are a lower-cost option with a similarly modern appearance to quartz. Solid surface is a material made of mineral dust combined with plastic resins. It is more likely to scorch from a hot pan or hair styling tool than quartz.

a white quartz bathroom countertop with rectangular shapes, silver fixtures, and tan and gray marbled walls
nongnuch_l - stock.adobe.com.

Quartz vs. Granite

Quartz and granite are two of the most popular countertop options. Like quartz, granite is a durable natural stone, albeit not as strong as quartz. Quartz counters are a mix of natural quartz and sometimes silica, resins, or other materials; granite counters are typically 100% natural.

Granite also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Because it is natural, each slab is unique. Engineered quartz offers virtually endless options for customization.

Granite is another premium countertop material, ranging from $80 to $180 per square foot depending on the granite countertop installers near you.

As far as maintenance goes, granite needs to be resealed about once a year. Granite is more porous and vulnerable to staining than quartz. Be mindful of the cleaners you use on granite, too, because this material can stain from some acids and oils. 

Comparatively, quartz does not need resealing.

Choosing Quartz for Your Next Project

Quartz is an excellent option for homeowners who want a customizable look, premium countertops, and a durable, low-maintenance material. While it can be costly to install stone countertops, quartz can last a long time, making it worth the investment.

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