Quartz countertops have overtaken granite as the most popular kitchen countertop. According to House Logic, an online consumer publication of the National Association of Realtors®, quartz outperformed granite in 2014 after being tied in 2013. Offering many advantages as a work surface, quartz countertops are among the more environmentally friendly materials to use.
Producing quartz countertops is a greener process
Stone products such as granite are often criticized because the extraction, cutting, and transportation of the stone are resource-intensive. While some of the granite is domestic, a large percentage comes from Italy, China, India, Africa, and Brazil, and large amounts of fossil fuel are needed to bring it to America. Considerable waste is generated in the extraction process, especially since many slabs crack and are not usable. Additional waste produced in manufacturing and installation processes is not typically recycled.
Quartz is an engineering stone with a composition of 93% quartz (silicon dioxide (SiO2) and 7% resin and pigments. Much of the material comes from the USA, which saves mining and transportation costs. .
The production of quartz countertops is an environmentally friendly process. Caesarstone, a major manufacturer of quartz products, claims that it recycles 97% of the water used in cutting and strives to use minimal resources for shipping, handling, processing and production. This company also uses 42% post-consumer recycled material in its production. Other manufacturers like Cambria have similar statistics.
Why you will love quartz in your kitchen
While you may appreciate the green aspects of quartz, you may be more concerned with how it looks and works in your home. The best thing to do is work with a local dealer and visit their showroom for a hands-on introduction to the material and its many benefits, including:
– Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solids. You can get the look of granite and other natural stones if you like, but neutral and high intensity tones are also on the palette. Unlike granite, which has variations from slab to slab, quartz has a consistent color and pattern.
– The product is naturally strong, making for durable countertops that are more resistant to chips, burns, or cracks. While you must treat all stones with care, quartz will keep for years.
– Since quartz countertops are not porous, they do not need sealing like granite countertops. This makes them immune to bacteria and mold, a great advantage for allergy sufferers. The product is also more resistant to stains.
– Quartz countertops do not emit gases or release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air, as some other man-made materials do, such as laminate.
Choose an experienced installer
You can’t go wrong with the look, durability, or eco-friendly characteristic of quartz, which rivals granite in price and now surpasses it in popularity. Their appearance is highly dependent on the quality of the installation, so if you want to explore the benefits of quartz countertops, work with a supplier that offers premium materials and experienced installers.