Kitchen remodeling typically includes replacing kitchen countertops, and that can be a problem for many homeowners. Many excellent options are available for kitchen countertops, ranging from inexpensive ceramic tiles to stainless steel. Choosing one is crucial for a successful kitchen remodel as it can greatly affect the look and function of the kitchen.
One of the most popular options today is quartz countertops. Quartz stone has only been in the market for a few decades, and has only become a go-to material in last five years or so. Some people are still doubtful about choosing it, as quartz countertops are typically more expensive than granite, and they are not available for DIY enthusiasts. Nevertheless, there are very good reasons why quart countertops should be in your short list for your kitchen countertops. Here are some facts about quartz countertops for kitchen remodeling.
Quartz stone for kitchen countertops is an engineered stone, which is another way of saying it is a manmade material. Some homeowners dismiss it for this fact alone, preferring only natural materials in their kitchens. If you are not of this tribe, then you should read on.
Quartz stone or engineered quartz is just one of many types of manmade stones. The reason for the name is that the primary component of this type of stone is natural quartz materials such as dust, chips, and pebbles. Manufacturers add in resins to bind the quartz pieces as well as pigments to give it color and design.
Initially, manufacturers created quartz stone that mimicked the look of natural stones, specifically granite and marble. They promoted it as the better alternative to natural stones, and they are correct in some ways, although it does have its drawbacks, such as its cost and tendency to fade under direct sunlight.
Nevertheless, quartz stone is an intriguing option for many homeowners. It is available in a extensive range of styles under different brands, each with unique colors, designs, and features. Each manufacturer says they are better than their competitors are, and this may be true. However, they do have one thing in common: they use the same technology.
The method used to make engineered quartz is Bretonstone, a patented process owned by Italy-based company Breton S.p.a. Company owner Marcello Toncelli invented this process in the late 1960s, and began licensing companies internationally to use the method to produce their own brands. Currently, over 50 companies can legally make quartz stone using the Bretonstone process. These companies include the top brands that currently offer quartz countertops to American homes.
Other things that quartz stone brands have in common include:
• A minimum content of 90% quartz materials
• Little or no contamination of softer minerals and other impurities due to the Bretonstone process, making it more durable than natural quartz or granite, which may contain these softer materials
• Non-porous, with an water absorption rate of 0.5%; this is comparable to porcelain tile
• Quartz component can stand heat up to 360 degrees; however, the resins and pigments are not heat resistant at all
• Edge treatments are manufactured rather than fabricated, as with natural stones
As mentioned earlier, quartz stone brands are distinguishable from each other, primarily due to differences in design. Each brand may patent a certain color, or lay claim to a certain shape, size, and population of streaks, striations, and other coloration. Some brands deliberately include “impurities” such as sparkly components and recycled materials. Some offer unusual texture options.
Another definite distinction between quartz stone brands is the warranty. Each one will offer different length, coverage, or conditions in their product warranties. Some would offer limited lifetime warranties, while others will offer shorter, but more flexible ones.
Other differences between brands are the size of the slabs and the price structures. Some brands will offer longer or thicker slabs, depending on the requirements of the client. Most manufacturers will not sell directly to end-users, so you will have to find an authorized retailer to make your needs known. This may have an impact on the overall price, as some manufacturers may have price structures that allow retailers to negotiate lower prices for some of their customers, while others may not.
Now that you have a general idea of quartz stones, here is a brief description of some of the top brands available in the US. This should help you choose one for your needs.
One of the most recognizable brands of quartz stone in the US is Silestone. A subsidiary of Italy-based based Grupo Cosentino S.L., Silestone has a wide range of bold and vibrant quartz stone designs unique to the brand, and one of the first quartz stone companies to produce slabs that are definitely manmade as they do not mimic natural stones.
Currently, the company produces quart stone in 142 colors, available on demand in your preferred one of three thicknesses and of 15 edge treatments. Silestone includes a line of vanities, sinks, and shower pans to match their quartz stone lines. The warranty is transferable in a limited fashion over 25 years.
Claiming to be the “original quartz surface manufacturer,” Caesarstone is one of the first quartz stone companies to offer its products to the residential market. Technically, however, it is not the original manufacturer, as that honor goes to Breton S.p.a., which also produces its own line of quartz stones.
The Israel-based company began manufacturing in 1987, and has factories in the Bar Lev Industrial Zone and the Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Traditionally, these areas were famous for terrazzo tile, which has since declined in popularity.
Caesarstone quartz stones are distinct for the inclusion of semi-precious gems and wood in so of its product lines such as the Concetto. It also offers unusual textures for the artistic homeowner, including crocodile skin and lace.
Among your options with Caesarstone are 53 designs with your choice of eight edge treatments, three textures, and two thicknesses. You have a lifetime warranty, and you can transfer ownership, but on a pro-rata basis of 10 years.
Cambria is the only quartz stone manufacturer based in the US. It started out in the unrelated dairy business in 1936, an important supplier in Minnesota for dairy products. It only began producing quartz stones in 2000 when it assigned 150,000 square feet of space for its manufacture. It has since expanded to three times that space as it gained popularity in the residential market.
Currently, Cambria has one of the largest numbers of options for quartz countertops with 133 designs and 19 edge styles. You can ask for one of three textures and three thicknesses. Cambria offers a lifetime, no-transferable limited warranty.
Quartz stones are definitely an excellent option for your kitchen remodeling, although it is not the only one. To help you decide, you need to consult with professional remodelers. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love you new kitchen for life.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We sell only top-quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products. Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in carrying out kitchen remodeling projects within budget and on time.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your kitchen remodeling project.