Why are quartz worktops so popular?
Over this year, Quartz worktops have retained their place as one of the most popular kitchen materials on the market. From large kitchens to small, designers and customers continue to choose quartz as their worktop material within a kitchen refit. While granite remains a strong option for natural and unique features and marble has enjoyed a real on trend moment, quartz stands strong as a consistently popular all round performer. So what is it about this material that makes it such a great counter top?
What it is Quartz?
Pure quartz is a natural mineral. It forms in crystals rather than the mined slabs that we use with granite or marble worktop products. To manufacture quartz worktops, natural quartz crystals are mixed with around 6 to 7 per cent polymer resin. This synthetic aspect means that quartz benefits from enhanced durability and more consistent appearance than its naturally mined alternatives.
The qualities that quartz possesses give this material a number of advantages over other worktop materials. Some of this is down to the manufacturing process, and some down to the aesthetics of natural quartz. It’s important to weigh up the benefits before making a decision for your kitchen.
There are a considerable number of quartz worktop products available. From the very deepest black to the most translucent white to the warmest beige, you can choose a tone to suit any design concept. Its consistency of appearance means that it doesn’t detract from other visual statements in the room.
In this way, quartz is simply more versatile than other worktop material choices. Within some ranges you can choose from a satin or gloss finish, which is another feature which helps to add depth and texture to a kitchen design.
A massive benefit to the manufacturing process of quartz is that the worktop is non-porous. Wood and other surfaces that absorb and scratch can easily harbour bacteria, even after cleaning. This means that more abrasive cleaning products need to be used. However, a quartz worktop only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth, and maybe some dish soap. For busy family kitchens, this makes daily life that bit easier!
Because quartz is manufactured with resin rather than sealed, it is virtually impossible to stain your worktop. From food and drink spills to acidic cooking ingredients, it’s easy to see how a kitchen worktop might get stained. Many customers choose quartz because this simply isn’t a danger for this material.
Similarly, in a working space such as a kitchen there is a danger of heat damage. Dishes straight out of the oven, or pans straight from the hob can very quickly cause terminal damage to laminate or wooden surfaces. Quartz can withstand the hottest kitchenware without the need for additional hotplates which can make a room look cluttered.
There are a number of reasons that quartz fits so well into a variety of kitchen refit design schemes and concepts. Depending on what style you prefer, there are specific elements of quartz that you may wish to consider to maximise the impact of this material as a counter top.
Contemporary and modern
These kitchen styles are functional and unfussy. They cover concepts as diverse as industrial minimalism to pop retro. In all these design schemes, the ideal worktop has clean lines and purity of appearance. There tends to be a lot of additional accessories within these schemes, from exposed pipes and utilities to statement lighting or art. Here, a plain quartz can support the style without taking over.
More traditional looks may have a farmhouse, cottage, or rustic focus. In these schemes, stone need not be clean and clinical. By choosing rose quartz, for example, there is an aesthetic warmth that sets off the use of natural wood elsewhere. With an additional element of contrast, quartz worktops assist in creating a feeling of depth and texture in the room.
For shaker or beachside concepts, the ambience should be airy and light. This makes quartz an ideal worktop material because of its natural reflectivity. Certain ranges have an added sparkle which helps to refract natural light around the room, making it appear brighter and larger. The muted tones that are commonly used for these design concepts tone in beautifully to a number of neutral quartz colours.
With elements of both contemporary and traditional kitchens, transitional styles can be eclectic and diverse. There are a mix of clean lines and exposed storage, allowing a lived in and homely feeling. Quartz worktops are ideal here because they can be used to contrast a cabinet colour scheme, or accent wall. As transitional rooms are often busy family kitchens, the durability of quartz is another factor that makes it both practical as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Let’s not forget about the initial and ongoing practicalities of choosing a quartz worktop.
As a non porous material, daily maintenance is easy. Just wipe up spills or grime with a wet cloth. In addition, quartz has the major benefit that it does not require long term maintenance procedures. While marble and granite are strong, they should be re-sealed periodically to maintain the best performance. Similarly, natural wood worktops must be regularly oiled and finished to keep from long term degradation. Other materials such as laminates are likely to need to be replaced due to damage after a time. A quartz worktop simply continues performing as if it were newly installed.
Sometimes there’s an assumption that quartz, like other stones, is expensive. However, as with any product choice there is a scale, with some varieties being more costly than others. Take advice at our showroom to find a variety that will both fit your aesthetic priorities and your budget.
Quartz is such a versatile material, it is easy to see why it ticks the boxes for so many kitchen designs. It is durable and low maintenance. It brings a consistency to any kitchen design style without dominating the room. To discover which quartz is your favourite, it can help to see different varieties in situ. Browse the ranges at our showroom for the best experience.