What Is Quartz?

Quartz is one of the hardest and most common minerals on Earth. Because of its strength and abundance, quartz is a popular and reliable choice for countertops. Quartz countertops are sometimes referred to as “engineered” or “man-made,” but quartz is in fact a natural stone. The amount of natural quartz in a slab depends on the quartz manufacturer. Cambria is among the highest concentration of pure quartz to ensure strong, compact slabs.

Quartz Pros & Cons

With quartz countertops, the pros outweigh the cons.

  • One of the main benefits of quartz countertops is that they are extremely durable.
  • Quartz countertops never have to be sealed, unlike granite, marble, and other surfaces that require regular maintenance.
  • Quartz countertops are also nonabsorbent, so they resist staining and don’t harbor harmful bacteria.
  • Homeowners and designers also turn to quartz for its versatile and beautiful designs, colors, and patterns.
  • Quartz countertops are scratch resistant, but due to their hardness they may dull a knife that is used directly on the surface.
  • Like all natural stone countertops, quartz can be damaged by sudden changes in temperature. Pot holders and trivets should be used to protect a quartz countertop from anything hot.
  • Though quartz countertops are not approved for outdoor use, quartz may be used in outdoor kitchens with full overhead coverage from the elements.

Quartz Countertops Compared

Quartz Countertops vs Granite

Quartz countertops are stronger than granite countertops. Quartz countertops contain up to 93% quartz, an extremely hard mineral. Granite is composed of 40–60% quartz and other softer minerals and impurities. Granite also absorbs liquids and stains, while quartz is completely nonabsorbent. Quartz countertops are maintenance free. Granite countertops need to be sealed and polished regularly. In addition, quartz can be fabricated for use in many unique applications that are not possible with granite or other stones.

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Quartz Countertops vs Marble

Quartz countertops are much more durable than marble countertops. Marble scratches and stains easily, while quartz countertops resist scratching and staining. Marble countertops require frequent maintenance, but quartz countertops never need to be sealed or polished. Unlike marble, quartz is nonabsorbent, so staining liquids and harmful bacteria are never absorbed. In addition, acidic foods like lemon can cause etching on marble countertops, which is never a concern with quartz.

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Quartz Countertops vs Concrete

Unlike quartz, concrete is not a natural stone. Concrete is a mixture of water, cement, and an aggregate of sand or gravel. Concrete countertops are porous, susceptible to stains, and require sealing. Quartz countertops do not absorb liquids, do not stain, and never require maintenance. Concrete countertops are sometimes touted as a DIY project, but they are extremely heavy and difficult to install. When purchased from reputable companies and retailers, quartz countertops are installed in a smooth, expert process by professionals.

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Quartz Countertops vs Soapstone

Quartz countertops are significantly more durable than soapstone countertops. Soapstone countertops etch and scratch easily and must be oiled regularly to maintain their appearance. Quartz countertops are scratch resistant and do not require any maintenance. Soapstone countertops have a soft, powdery feel to the touch and their appearance can change or darken over time. High-quality quartz countertops will maintain the same appearance over time without any upkeep.

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Quartz Countertops vs Wood

Quartz countertops provide much more strength and durability compared to wood or butcher block countertops. Wood can stain, scratch, and chip easily. Wood also needs frequent sealing, sanding, and oiling. Quartz countertops are maintenance free, making them a more practical choice for kitchen countertops. Wood countertops are viewed as a DIY or budget option, but the high maintenance and susceptibility to damage may make them more costly in the long run.


Quartz Countertops Colors & Designs

Quartz countertops come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and tones making them a versatile option for many interior design styles. Quartz countertop colors range from solid, monochromatic hues to boldly patterned designs with intricate movement and veining. Many popular quartz designs showcase neutral or earth tones and reflect the look of granite, marble, or other stones. Quartz colors can also be unique and vibrant, including reds, blues, greens, and golds. Some quartz designs incorporate shimmer and sparkle, with jewel-like particles.

Quartz Frequently Asked Questions

Taking care of and cleaning quartz countertops is straightforward and simple. Unlike granite and marble, quartz countertops do not need any maintenance and never require sealing or polishing. To clean quartz countertops, use water and a soft cotton cloth. Use a mild soap if desired, but avoid harsh cleaners. Check with the quartz company or retailer for a list of approved cleaning products. Do not use any products that claim to be quartz sealants or polishing agents.

The price of quartz countertops is comparable to granite countertops and other mid to high level stone surfaces. While not the lowest-cost option for a countertop, quartz countertops are often viewed as the best value due to their desirable performance benefits and aesthetics. Cambria offers a transferable Full Lifetime Warranty so the investment in quartz countertops may also increase the value of your home if you plan to sell. A number of factors can impact pricing such as edge profile, surface finish, design choice, and the size of your project. Because of this Cambria lets dealers set their own pricing the best way to compare prices against other surfaces is to connect with a dealer near you for an estimate.
Quartz countertops like Cambria are sold through experienced retail partners. A Cambria dealer will ask questions about your project and provide an estimate. They will also coordinate the professional measurement and installation of your quartz. Find a Cambria dealer near you to discuss your project and get a quote.

Where to Buy

Find local Cambria dealers by entering your location here.