Quartz worktops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops due to their durability, low maintenance, and attractive appearance.
At the top end of luxury and quality, quartz kitchen countertops are made from re-engineered stone, using the latest technology to eliminate the inherent flaws found in natural stone worktops, such as granite and marble.
Due to a mix of natural quartz crystals, polymers and pigments, quartz worktops are always unique in colour and texture. They’re extremely hard-wearing and resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and bacteria.
You can find quartz worktops available in a wide range of colours and styles to suit any décor or design preference. They can also be customised with edging or other details to create the perfect look for your space.
For more information, please get in touch. You can call us on 0208 935 5337 or get an instant quote online in minutes.
What are the best quality quartz worktop brands?
Worktops.net are accredited and approved suppliers of all the leading brands of quartz worktops including Diore Quartz, Cambria, Silestone, Caesarstone, Compac, Technistone, and many more.
We are also accredited and approved suppliers of all the top brands of solid surface, ultra-compact, natural stone worktops, and wooden worktops.
What are quartz worktops made from?
They are manufactured from pulverised natural quartz which is blended in a special process with resins, polymers, colour pigments, and antimicrobial agents, to produce a beautiful and incredibly hard, non-porous surface without any cavities, pores, fissures, or cracks.
Its hardness is surpassed only by three precious stones. To put this in context, diamonds have a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, quartz 7 and solid granite 5. This makes quartz countertops highly resistant to scratches.
Natural quartz is a very hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon dioxide that is found in igneous-, metamorphic-, and sedimentary rocks, which gives the worktops their unique crystal-like sparkle.
Typically the highest-quality quartz kitchen countertops contain about 94% quartz, but the exact percentage depends on the brand and type of quartz countertop used.
Polymers and resins act as an adhesive to bind the quartz aggregate and give it some flexibility that granite worktops do not have. The end result is a sleek and non-porous worktop, ensuring problematic liquids such as water, oil, wine, juices, and so forth cannot penetrate the surface.
Colour pigments are blended in to give a uniform colour throughout the thickness of the worktop and across slabs used on the same project.
Silver ions are baked into the mixture to actively fight bacteria, making a quartz worktop 100% hygienic and suitable even for surgeries and laboratories.
How are quartz worktops manufactured?
Quartz worktops are manufactured through a process that combines natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments. Here are the general steps involved in the manufacturing of quartz worktops:
- Raw Material Selection: High-quality quartz crystals are carefully selected and sourced. These crystals are typically around 90-95% pure quartz, with the remaining percentage comprising resins and additives.
- Mixing: The selected quartz crystals are mixed with a precise ratio of resins and pigments. This mixture may also include additives such as binders or strengthening materials.
- Blending: The mixture is blended thoroughly to ensure uniform distribution of the quartz crystals, resins, and pigments. This process helps achieve consistent colour and pattern throughout the worktop.
- Pressing: The blended mixture is then poured into a mould and placed in a specialised vacuum or hydraulic press. The press applies pressure to compact the mixture and remove any excess air.
- Curing: The pressed slab is transferred to a curing oven, where it undergoes a heat treatment process. This process helps the resins to harden and bind the quartz crystals together, resulting in a solid and durable surface.
- Calibration and Finishing: The cured slab is calibrated to achieve a precise thickness. It is then subjected to various finishing processes, including polishing, honing, or texturing, depending on the desired final appearance.
- Quality Control: The manufactured quartz worktops undergo rigorous quality control checks to ensure they meet the required standards for strength, durability, and aesthetics. This includes inspections for color consistency, surface smoothness, and resistance to staining and heat.
- Fabrication and Installation: Once the quartz slabs pass the quality control checks, they are sent to fabricators who cut, shape, and edge the slabs according to the desired specifications. The fabricated worktops are then installed in kitchens or other designated areas.
It’s important to note that specific manufacturing processes may vary slightly between different quartz worktop manufacturers. However, the general steps outlined above provide a basic overview of how quartz worktops are typically manufactured.
Where can I use quartz worktops?
Quartz is imminently suitable for sophisticated kitchens, but that is by no means the only place you can use them. Available in a huge range of colours and patterns as well as different thickness slabs, quartz affords you boundless options for your kitchen design and applications.
Their extraordinary hardness and scratch resistance make them both highly durable and suitable for elegant, matching flooring in place of tiles.
The thinner, and therefore lighter, thicknesses lend themselves to wall cladding and fireplace surrounds.
Because they are completely non-porous, quartz is a much better option for bathroom and restroom countertops, rather than marble and granite worktops which can absorb liquids and require a lot of maintenance.
They are perfect for stylish shower flooring and wall cladding because the joints are seamless, preventing water from entering anywhere and leaving nowhere for bacteria, mould or mildew to grow.
Staircases have never looked more luxurious than in quartz and will last for generations.
A vast array of well-designed quartz accessories allows you to enhance your kitchen worktops with matching backsplashes, downturns, and integrated sinks and basins.
What are the benefits of quartz worktops?
- They are exceptionally versatile. They are ideal for kitchen worktop surfaces, bathroom countertops and vanities, flooring, staircases, wall cladding, fireplace surrounds, furniture, and much more.
- Their unmatched hygiene, hardness, and resistance to scratches make them the perfect fit for homes, hospitals, surgeries, laboratories, and commercial applications such as airports, hotel countertops, and public restrooms.
- They exude unsurpassed luxury and elegance, often making them the first choice for sophisticated kitchens.
- They have a unique lustrous, 3D crystal-like appearance not found in any other worktop material.
- Their rock-hard, high-density, non-porous, surfaces are extremely stain-resistant, scratch resistant, and largely unaffected by all other physical damage. The only three other minerals that can scratch it are diamonds, sapphires, and topaz.
- Work surfaces are joined virtually seamlessly, with unobtrusive joints that look fantastic and add to their hygiene factor.
- They are ultra-hygienic because:
- Silver ions baked into the worktops actively fight bacteria
- The various parts between surfaces, along the walls, and around basins and sinks are joined seamlessly in a special heat process, leaving nowhere for micro-organisms to accumulate and grow
- The surface is completely impervious to any liquids and no harmful substances can penetrate.
- Other than a regular cleaning, they do not require any treatment or maintenance and will last for generations if not abused.
- They are available in a vast array of colours, shades, textures, styles and patterns, finishes, and end profiles.
- Because the colour pigments are embedded throughout the thickness of the worktop slab, the colour remains consistent along the edges.
- The slabs are colour coded, making it possible to find matching slabs used for the same project.
- An extensive range of matching accessories, integrated basins and sinks, up-stands, backsplashes, etc gives you free rein to create innovative designs.
- It does not contain Radon, a potentially harmful chemical found in rocks and soil, including granite worktops and other natural stone worktops.
- Quartz is found in abundance virtually everywhere in the world and because large, selected slabs, quarried straight from large blocks, are not required, the manufacturing of quartz kitchen worktops is highly sustainable and eco-friendly.
- All the highest quality quartz slabs are fabricated into worktops by the market leader in the UK, Bluestone, the sister company of Worktops.net, assuring you of quality workmanship and after-sales service.
What are the disadvantages of quartz worktops?
No material is ever completely perfect and quartz countertops may not suit all tastes and circumstances. Here are some of the disadvantages of quartz countertops.
The amazing quality and highly specialised processes involved in manufacturing and fabricating quartz surfaces come at a price.
While the resin adds to the superior aesthetic appearance of quartz, and as heat resistant as most other worktops, it is vulnerable to extreme heat and can be damaged or discoloured by very hot pots and hot pans placed directly onto the surface and it is essential to protect them with trivets.
The colour pigments can fade if constantly exposed to high temperatures and direct sunlight, making quartz countertops unsuitable for outdoor areas.
Quartz is exceptionally beautiful, but some people may still prefer the beauty and irregularity in colour or pattern of natural granite or marble.
· Can only be installed and repaired professionally.
Specialised equipment and skill are required to cut, install and repair quartz.
Are quartz worktops better than granite worktops?
So many people – so many answers. This is a very subjective answer and will vary according to your tastes, requirements, and circumstances.
From a functional point of view, solid-coloured quartz worktops are superior to granite because of their hardness; flexibility; non-porousness; hygiene; stain-resistance; colour consistency; their wider range of colour, patterns and textures; their variety of matching accessories; and seamless joints.
- Quartz countertops do not require any sealing, special treatment or maintenance, while granite needs to be sealed before installation and at various intervals.
- Quartz countertops are super easy to clean. In most cases, it requires you only to wipe off dirt with a damp cloth and stubborn grime can be washed off with warm water and a mild detergent.
- A natural granite worktop can handle higher temperatures and will not be damaged by hot pots and pans. However, a hot pan or sudden temperature change can crack granite countertops and it is still recommended to use trivets.
- Natural granite countertops can be used outdoors without fear of fading.
This is without question the distinguishing factor. Some people will prefer the unique lustre and glitter of quartz, while others will prefer the traditional look of granite.
The highest quality quartz worktops are generally more expensive than other natural stones or granite because of the specialised manufacturing processes.
It is important though to understand that there are various grades of granite and the best quality granite may cost (almost) the same. You also have to consider the cost of maintaining granite.
Are quartz worktops worth it?
The answer is a resounding “Yes!” but only if they suit your taste, style, budget, and circumstances.
Where can I find out more and get expert advice on quartz kitchen worktops?
For more information, please contact us. You can call us on 0208 935 5337 or get an instant estimate online in minutes.
Worktops.net is the online division of Bluestone Bespoke Worktops which has been supplying the kitchen and Bathroom sector for over 12 years in the UK.