Quartz is a mineral made up of silicon and oxygen atoms in a continuous framework of silicon – oxygen tetrahedral. Each oxygen is shared between two tetrahedral, which gives an overall chemical formula of Silicon dioxide. Quartz is the most abundant mineral that is found in the Earth’s continental crust.
Quartz has several varieties, some of which are semi-precious gemstones. Quartz countertops are surfaces that are made from chunks of stone that is mixed with coloring and resins. The appearance of quartz countertops is usually dependent the manner in which the quartz is ground, when the quartz is coarsely ground it produces a flecked appearance, whilst finely ground quartz will have a more smooth appearance. Some varieties quartz rocks are pure quartz which are traditionally called rock crystal or clear and it is colorless and transparent or translucent and are often used in the making of hard stone carving. Other forms of quartz are Amethyst, Blue quartz, Dumortierite quartz, Citrine, Milky quartz, Rose quartz, Smoky quartz and Prasiolite. All these forms vary in colors from gray translucent colors to quartz that are green in color.
The use of quartz in kitchen countertops has become increasingly popular and it has even become more popular than granite kitchen countertops. This is due to the advantages that consumers can gain from purchasing quartz kitchen countertops as opposed to granite. One of the biggest advantages of using quartz is that, quartz is impervious to stains and can stand up to acidic food without needing and sealing. Another advantage of using quartz material on your kitchen countertops is that it is much more scratch and chip resistant than granite kitchen countertops. For those who support eco-friendly products, quartz kitchen countertops are considered as the greener choice because they are made from waste stone and they do not need mining slabs or any shipping.
With every positive there are negative and there are some negatives to using quartz kitchen countertops. Due to their uniform patterns, quartz tends not to resemble real stone, however, manufacturers have found a way to make the quartz look more irregular and adequately resemble granite and other types of stone. This new development has made quartz countertops very eye-catching and their wide range of colors adds more appeal.
Manufacturers of quartz today use the Breton patent in the manufacturing of their own brand of quartz kitchen countertops as it is the company that owns the patent to manufacture solid surfaces from quartz. Should you decide to create your own countertop it is highly suggested that due to the flexible nature of the added resins the quartz material can crack when improperly handled? It is advisable to work with a professional. If DIY is not for you, purchasing quartz kitchen countertops, can cost you about $60 to $90 per square foot which usually includes installation. They are available from an array of kitchen-design showrooms, home centers, big box stores like IKEA, Lowes, etc. and they come with warranties that range from about 10 or 15 years to a lifetime depending on your purchase store.