Quartz: Eco-Friendly Countertops that Boast Design and Durability
These days, it’s common for consumers to be more aware of the ways in which their choices might impact the planet. With more and more consumers demanding products that do less harm, the demand for “greener” options is growing.
For the environmentally-conscious homeowner, even replacing countertops throughout your home can be done in a way that supports eco-friendly sensibilities. While you may already know that materials like concrete and recycled glass will help you achieve your goal of a greener kitchen or master bath, you simply might not find that these options provide the design aesthetic that you desire.
The good news is that for the environmentally-conscious homeowner, quartz countertops provide you with a portfolio of options that offer the same luxury look of stone slabs, but with the added benefit of eco-friendly appeal. Here’s what you need to know about this engineered stone surface when you’re ready to upgrade the countertops in your home.
What is Quartz?
To begin, quartz is a naturally occurring mineral, often found in other types of stone (including granite). Quartz can be quarried in slabs, like other types of natural stone, but modern, engineered quartz is made from ground natural quartz. When weaker minerals surrounding the quartz erode, they leave behind a high content of quartz sediment, often in the form of sand.
This material makes up about 90% or more of a finished quartz countertop. The base material is combined with a mixture of resin and polymers designed to bond the quartz into a solid surface, as well as pigments that help to customize the appearance of the finished product, creating a wide range of options for consumers to choose from. The right application of pigments is what gives quartz the appearance of natural stone that many homeowners and professionals enjoy.
Take for example the quartz countertops in this NY eat-in kitchen. The bright white could easily be mistaken for marble or quartzite. The same goes for the quartz used for this NY waterfall island – at first glance, it looks an awful lot like Mont Blanc or Calcutta Gold marble. With plenty of options to choose from, including natural stone looks, you won’t have any trouble finding the right countertops to compliment your interior design.
What Makes it Eco-Friendly?
For many modern homeowners, the environmental impact of their choices is just as important as how they look, if not more so. This is why quartz is a great choice for anyone seeking the beauty of natural stone with eco-friendly properties.
The biggest draw is that quartz doesn’t necessarily have to be quarried, which means it saves on the energy, pollution, and waste inherent to mining industries. In addition, quartz countertops are extremely durable, so much so that many manufacturers offer a warranty (such as Caesarstone, Cambria and Cosentino.) They won’t need to be replaced as quickly as some other materials, and in many cases, quartz is recyclable.
Several notable quartz manufacturers even go the extra mile to deliver on the eco-friendly promise of engineered stone surfaces. Cosentino, for example, offers their ECO by Cosentino line, manufactured with 75% recycled materials, such as mirror, glass, porcelain, earthenware and vitrified ash.
If you’re concerned about the aesthetics of recycled materials, you’ll be happy to discover that ECO is indistinguishable from other Cosentino quartz surfaces. In addition, 94% of the water used in the manufacturing process is recycled after the fact. ECO by Cosentino meets standards for LEED-certified construction materials, and the line has also received certifications from NSF, Greenguard and Bureau Veritas.
In addition to the eco-friendly advantages offered by quartz, you’ll enjoy a long list of other practical benefits. Quartz is an extremely strong material, registering a hardness of 7 on the Mohs’ scale, which is slightly harder than granite. Because it is engineered, it is free of flaws, such as fractures, that could compromise the integrity of your countertop over time.
Engineered quartz is resistant to all kinds of damage, including scratching and staining, thanks to the bonding agents that make the surface non-porous. You’ll enjoy a low-maintenance work surface with quartz, which may never need sealing or polishing to remain beautiful, provided you observe proper cleaning practices.
Quartz also offers an incredibly hygienic solution for families. Some other counter surfaces can harbor bacteria and promote bacterial growth, but not quartz. Certain quartz products, like Caesarstone, are even Kosher Certified for food preparation. Typically, you’ll also save money when you choose quartz countertops, and when you opt for products with a warranty, you can protect your investment.
Reliable Quartz Manufacturers
If you’re worried that you won’t have as many options for quartz as other natural stone products, don’t stress. There are several manufacturers offering high-end, engineered surfaces, with plenty of options to help you create a unique and stylish interior design. Some top quartz countertop manufacturers include:
All you have to do is look at a few products to see that quartz can provide the beautiful, natural look of stone you crave, or an entirely different and unique appearance, paired with a wide array of benefits. Consider the stunning example of MSI quartz in this NY kitchen, which gives the appearance of white marble but with the added durability of quartz stone.
When you choose quartz, you’ll enjoy eco-friendly appeal in a high-end, durable, and variable surface that offers the function and beauty you prefer.
Need Help on Your Next Project?
We specialize in creating custom countertops for kitchen in Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY and partner with leading quartz suppliers from around the world. Please visit us today or contact us here to learn more.