It’s easy to fall in love with quartz countertops. They give any space a luxurious feel while providing both easy maintenance and durability. Quartz comes in various colors, styles, and finishes, making it a versatile option for multiple areas throughout your home.
Despite its popularity, understanding how quartz is made isn’t common knowledge. If you’ve ever wondered what the process behind making quartz countertops is, it’s vital to first understand its fabrication process.
Quartz clusters can be found in different regions throughout the world, including India, Brazil, Japan, Madagascar, and even in the United States. When a quartz cluster is found, it is then extracted and used as the basis of the quartz material that ends up in your countertops.
While “quartz” is a natural mineral, when you see the term used in the context of countertops, it’s referring to engineered quartz. Engineered quartz, the material that makes up your quartz kitchen countertops, contains a mixture of quartz particles bonded together with durable resins and pigments to form a beautiful, resilient material.
When heat and pressure are applied, the resins and pigments fill any gaps between the natural quartz crystals, resulting in a beautiful and timeless countertop.
The average quartz countertop mixture contains a mixture of 90 percent quartz and 10 percent resin. You can expect specific brands such as Cambria, Silestone, and the others to have a slightly different makeup, but the percentages are all roughly the same.
Why use engineered quartz stone instead of the real, natural material? Man-made quartz offers a stronger, more durable option compared to natural quartz. It is resistant to common household cleaners and chemicals due to its non-porous material. Plus, it is highly customizable and comes in endless color combinations and unique patterns to breathe a new life into your home.
The fabrication process further explains the process of how quartz is made. Here’s an overview of how quartz clusters end up suitable for your kitchen countertops.
The first step in creating quartz countertops is gathering raw quartz clusters from quarries and open-pit mines around the world. Some rock formation is in blocks, but because there is silicon dioxide involved in quartz’s natural properties, it forms in clusters instead.
Bulldozers and backhoes work to peel back layers of soil and clay to reveal quartz crystals in the veins of the rock.
Once the clusters are harvested, they are measured to help achieve a concentration of about 90 percent quartz, up to 93 percent in some brands. Because there is such a high percentage of natural stone, quartz countertops can still maintain a natural appearance.
Once the quartz clusters have been weighed and broken down, they are mixed together with the filler material that includes polyester resins, pigments, and compounds.
A machine applies over 100 tons of pressure to the quartz and resin mixture to compound it into countertop slabs. If needed, the slabs can be cut into tiles at this point in the process.
During the crushing and blending process, the quartz material becomes non-porous, meaning that water or other liquids cannot seep into your counters and cause damage. Its high durability is one of the main reasons that quartz is such a popular countertop option.
The next step involved in making quartz countertops is curing the slabs in kilns at extremely high temperatures. This final step gives the quartz a permanent, high-quality seal that helps protect it for a lifetime.
While most quartz countertops in homes have a glossy finish, they also come in matte or brushed finishes, which are becoming increasingly popular.
As soon as the countertops are sealed and finished, they are ready to be used and enjoyed.
There are many reasons that quartz countertops, exceptionally engineered quartz countertops, are so popular in today’s interior design trends.
Unlike granite or marble countertops, quartz is non-porous, meaning there isn’t any risk of damage resulting from a spill. This means that you can pour yourself a morning cup of coffee without the fear of spilling and causing a stain.
As we mentioned earlier, quartz only needs to be sealed once and it will last a lifetime. This is excellent news for homeowners, as they won’t need to worry about resealing their countertops in the future. This process can be a hassle and costly.
Plus, household cleaners or other chemical-based products pose no threat to the lifespan or beauty of your quartz countertops. The polymers in engineered quartz help keep quartz countertops 99.9 percent bacteria-free as well.
It can be a tedious process to find the exact style and finish to match your ideal aesthetic. Plus, natural stone countertop options such as marble and granite are completely natural, which means there is no room for customization.
Quartz can be engineered to resemble other types of stones such as marble or granite without any of the traditional downsides associated with these materials.
Specific quartz colors and varieties result from differences in:
If you have a vision in mind for your space, but you don’t want to break the bank, consider looking into different quartz varieties to see if one catches your eye. If not, you can always work with a stone fabricator to make a custom quartz blend for your home.
Now that you have a better idea of how quartz countertops are made, you can feel confident in your choice! This is an elegant and stylish material with endless applications for your home or business.
If you’ve been eyeing particular quartz countertop varieties and you want the guidance of a professional team, look no further than Pro Stone Countertops. We’re your one-stop-shop for quality and reliable stone services from design and general contracting to fabrication and installation.
Call us today or complete our online form for more information. We would love to help you.
Get started on your dream kitchen today. Give us a call and we’ll schedule a one-on-one consultation to estimate the cost of your custom countertop project.