Home Planning & Renovations
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Engineered Quartz
By Tiffany Smolick
January 10, 2023
According to MyHome Designers, homeowners frequently indulge in the perfect countertop material for both the kitchen and bathroom and have progressively done so. To help you with your countertop decisions, we asked our remodeling consultants, project managers, and designers to tell us which is their favorite countertop material. The clear winner was engineered quartz.
What is Engineered Quartz?
Engineered quartz is a man-made material that is ninety percent ground quartz mineral and a ten percent mixture of pigments, polymers, and resins depending on the manufacturer. The quartz mineral is grounded along with the other materials and resin and then pressed together to form slabs. Engineered quartz recently gained popularity because it is less expensive.
The cost depends on who manufactured the material as well as installation costs. You can expect to pay anywhere between $60 to $120 per square foot for engineered quartz and another $180 to $350 per square foot for the installation. The cost may vary depending on whether you’re installing a builder, premium, or designer-grade engineered quartz counter. The most well-known manufacturers of engineered quartz are Caesarstone, Silestone, and Deckon.
The Advantages of Engineered Quartz
Engineered quartz comes in a variety of finishes and colors, making it stress-free to decide what works best for your taste and palette. You can pick from a variety of options such as speckles or veining that mimic natural stone countertop or a solid color. Several engineered quartz selections look so similar to authentic stone that it is hard to tell them apart. Whites and grays are among the more conventional color choices for a quartz countertop. But if you want to be more adventurous and add a pop of color to your furniture, you will see that quartz counters can come in shades of blue, green, black, purple, and even gold. There’s no shortage of style when it comes to natural quartz in the form of an engineered stone.
Engineered quartz is exceptionally durable. Unlike marble kitchen countertops, quartz countertops are much more resilient to damage as they are a stronger stone. This is particularly important in the kitchen and bathroom since they are usually the most used rooms in your home. Engineered quartz can withstand coming into contact with an acidic substance, where most other materials would normally stain. It does share many of the same qualities as granite countertops, including its lifespan, but it is, by far, a more forgiving option than a granite countertop. It is resilient against cracking, chipping, etching, and scratching. This makes quartz countertops perfect in the kitchen as they are resistant to knife damages. It would require extreme pressure to even make a small dent on a quartz countertop.
Most manufacturers offer an unusually long warranty, but if you maintain your engineered quartz properly, it should last a lifetime.
#3: Low cost
Engineered quartz is usually easier to install than natural stone. Considering its durability and quality, engineered quartz countertops cost less is relatively cost-effective compared to other options. What’s more, quartz is one of the most common minerals on the planet, making it less expensive to mine. If you’re on a budget but want something stylish and durable, then engineered quartz is a great choice.
The price depends on the color, finish, or veining you choose. Bold and rare color choices can also impact the price range, as these are considered designer-grade engineered quartz countertops. Depending on the veining, the cost can be as much as natural stone, but nevertheless engineered quartz is still a great choice because of its value. Price is often determined by size and manufacturer. However, some engineered quartz countertops are further cost-divided by type, like tile or slab quartz counter.
Engineered quartz is hard to stain because of its nonporous quality. This effect is achieved during the manufacturing process when the natural quartz is smoothed out and cleared of all its pores. The nonporous quality also does not allow viral or bacterial growth, which is extremely important in areas such as your bathroom. It can easily handle being drenched in wine, coffee, juice, or oil, unlike marble countertops. This aspect of engineered quartz means there’s no need for standard sterilization when cleaning. All you need to clean engineered quartz is soap and water. You can avoid abrasive scrubbers or harsh chemicals.
The Disadvantages of Engineered Quartz
#1: Visible Seams
Engineered quartz can be rendered as a rip-off of a natural stone. The method used to create an engineered stone countertop means that the differences between it and natural stone granite, marble, or even wood are very noticeable. This is true when the veining appears too symmetrical or perfect. If you need to use numerous slabs of engineered quartz, you will most likely see the seams. Light-colored quartz countertops in shades of white and gray and with fewer patterns should have the least visible seams. This is not an issue for bathrooms because the countertops are typically smaller.
#2: Heat Damage
Engineered quartz can and will be damaged if you set hot instruments such as curling irons on it with no protection. The resins and polymers that cause the engineered stone to be more durable, ironically, make it more susceptible to heat. To avoid heat damage, you will need to use a trivet for hot items. Keeping hot pads and coasters near the stove will greatly help in protecting your quartz countertop. It may be stronger than marble, but engineered quartz is not indestructible. At most, engineered quartz countertops can successfully manage to withstand temperatures as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
#3: Household Cleaners
All-purpose household cleaners that contain bleach or acidic elements will damage your engineered quartz. Before using any cleansers, first, check the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. Some engineered quartz is less stain-proof than others. High-grade natural quartz, particularly Petrosstone, is one of the more stain-resistant ones. If you’re looking into this as an option for your renovation or remodel, you must do due diligence and research the choices for your lifestyle.
Engineered quartz is a popular countertop material for bathrooms and kitchens alike. Therefore, a quartz counter is a solid choice for sprucing up your kitchen due to its resilience and clean finish–not to mention these countertops cost less than some natural stone options! Use our list of advantages and disadvantages to see if it is right for your next renovation project.
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We hope you found this bit of information helpful, inspiring, and motivating in renovating your kitchen and bathroom.