Quartz countertops have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Their sleek appearance, durability, and low-maintenance nature make them a compelling choice for homeowners looking to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of their kitchens and bathrooms.

They’re known for their stunning visual appeal. They come in a vast array of quartz colours and different designs, from marble-effect worktops to concrete-effect surfaces, almost mimicking the natural beauty of marble and granite, but with added benefits that set them apart. Whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation or a bathroom makeover, understanding the advantages and disadvantages is crucial to making the right choice.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore their pros and cons, comparing them with other countertop materials, and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Quartz Countertops Good and Bad

Pros of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops have gained a reputation for their impressive list of advantages. In this section, we’ll explore the compelling reasons why many homeowners opt for quartz when it comes to their kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Durability and Resistance

Quartz countertops are engineered to be incredibly durable. They are composed of 90-95% crushed natural quartz crystals, mixed with resins and pigments. This combination creates a surface that is highly resistant to stains, scratches, and impacts. Unlike natural stones like marble and granite, quartz doesn’t require regular sealing to maintain its integrity.

Aesthetic Variety

One of the standout features of quartz countertops is the sheer variety of colours and patterns available. Whether you prefer the classic look of white marble, the timeless appeal of black granite, or something entirely unique, you can find a quartz countertop that matches your vision. The ability to customise the appearance to suit your style and design preferences is a significant advantage.

Low Maintenance Requirements

Quartz countertops are exceptionally low maintenance. Unlike some other materials, they don’t need to be sealed or polished regularly. Cleaning is a breeze ā€“ a simple wipe with mild soap and water is usually all it takes to keep them looking as good as new. This makes quartz an ideal choice for busy households or those who prefer a fuss-free lifestyle.

Hygienic and Non-Porous

Quartz is a non-porous material, which means it doesn’t harbour bacteria or germs. This makes it a hygienic choice for kitchen countertops, where food preparation takes place. Its non-porous nature also means that it won’t absorb liquids, preventing stains from common kitchen ingredients like wine, oil, and coffee.

Long Lifespan

Quartz countertops often come with long manufacturer warranties of 10, 15 or even 20 years. The reason is simple, the material doesn’t degrade and stands up to wear and tear. When you factor in this lifespan to the cost, it makes them a very attractive proposition.

Increased Property Value

Quartz countertops are a big draw for potential homebuyers. Partly because they create a luxurious look, and partly because of the known practicalities and length-of-life. When you install them in your home, you’re adding value to it, that you’ll realise through the life of the surface, but also benefit from when it comes time to sell.

These are just a few of the compelling reasons why homeowners are drawn to quartz countertops. The combination of durability, aesthetic versatility, low maintenance, and hygienic properties makes them a practical and stylish choice for any home.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

While quartz countertops offer a multitude of benefits, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks. In this section, we’ll explore some of the cons associated with choosing quartz for your kitchen or bathroom surfaces.

Cost Considerations

One of the primary drawbacks of quartz countertops is their cost. They tend to be more expensive than some other materials, such as laminate or wood. The price of quartz can vary depending on factors like the brand, quality, and design. While the initial investment may be higher, the long-term benefits outweigh the upfront expense.

Heat-resistant, Not Heat-proof

Quartz countertops are generally heat-resistant to a great extent, but they can be damaged by excessive heat or very quick changes in temperature, which we call heat shocks, such as a boiling hot pan being placed and left directly on the surface, leading to cracks or discolouration. It’s advisable to use trivets or hot pads to protect your quartz countertop from extreme temperatures.

UV Sensitivity

The resins used to bind the quartz countertops together during manufacturing are 99% non-UV resistant, meaning they’re no good for outdoor use, but shouldn’t be installed in an area of strong, direct sunlight. The only brands that say otherwise is Diresco Quartz, who guarantee their worktops range is UV-resistant, and Caesarstone, who manufacture a dedicated UV-resistant range of quartz surfaces alongside their standard selection.

It’s important to note that while these cons exist, they are not deal-breakers for many homeowners. With proper care and consideration, the drawbacks of quartz countertops can be managed or mitigated effectively.

Quartz kitchen countertops

Comparing Quartz With Other Countertop Materials

To make an informed decision about your countertop material, it’s essential to compare quartz to other popular choices like granite, marble, and more. In this section, we’ll explore how quartz stacks up against these alternatives, highlighting its unique qualities.

Quartz vs. Granite

  • Durability: Both quartz and granite are highly durable, but quartz has an edge in terms of stain resistance since it’s non-porous. Granite requires regular sealing to maintain this property.
  • Aesthetics: While granite offers natural beauty, quartz provides a broader range of colours and patterns, including marble and granite lookalikes.
  • Maintenance: Quartz requires less maintenance as it doesn’t need sealing, while granite needs periodic resealing.

Read the full breakdown in our Granite vs. Quartz guide.

Quartz vs. Marble

  • Durability: Marble is known for its elegance but is more susceptible to scratches and stains compared to quartz.
  • Aesthetics: Marble has a timeless beauty, but quartz can mimic its appearance without the high maintenance requirements.
  • Maintenance: Quartz is the winner in terms of low maintenance, as marble can be prone to etching and staining.

Quartz vs. Other Materials

  • Laminate: Quartz surpasses laminate in durability, aesthetics, and overall quality.
  • Solid Surface: While solid surface materials like Corian and Minerva are versatile, quartz has better resistance to heat and stains.

By comparing quartz to these alternatives, you can better assess which material aligns with your needs and preferences. Quartz often stands out for its balance of durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance, making it a top choice for many homeowners and one of our most popular ranges of stone worktops at MGD.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Maintaining the beauty and longevity of your quartz countertops is relatively straightforward, thanks to their low-maintenance nature. In this section, we’ll provide you with practical tips on how to care for and clean your quartz surfaces.

Daily Cleaning

Use a soft, damp cloth or sponge with mild dish soap to wipe down your quartz countertops after use. Avoid abrasive scrubbers or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the surface. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry to prevent water spots.

Stain Removal

If a spill occurs, especially with substances like red wine or coffee, clean it up promptly to prevent staining. For stubborn stains, create a paste using baking soda and water. Gently rub the paste onto the stain, then rinse and wipe dry.

Heat Protection

Always use trivets or hot pads when placing hot pots, pans, or heated appliances on your quartz countertops. While quartz is heat-resistant to a degree, sudden extreme heat can cause damage.

Avoid Sharp Objects

Quartz is highly scratch-resistant, but it’s not entirely scratch-proof. Use cutting boards and avoid using knives directly on the surface, particularly for high gloss or polished surfaces.

Sealant Not Required

Unlike some natural stones, quartz does not require sealing. There’s no need for regular resealing or maintenance of this kind.

Preventing Damage

Be cautious when handling heavy objects near the countertop edges to avoid chipping or cracking. Keep acidic substances like vinegar and lemon juice away from the surface, as they can dull the shine over time.

By following these simple maintenance and cleaning tips, you can keep your quartz countertops looking as good as new for years to come. The ease of care is one of the key reasons why homeowners appreciate quartz as a countertop material.

Environmental Considerations

In an era of increasing environmental awareness, many homeowners are concerned about the sustainability of the materials they use in their homes. In this section, we’ll delve into the environmental aspects of quartz countertops and explore their eco-friendly qualities.

Sustainable Sourcing

Quartz countertops are typically manufactured using a significant percentage of natural quartz, a mineral abundant in the Earth’s crust. The extraction of quartz does not involve the same environmental concerns as some other natural stones, such as granite or marble. Moreover, responsible quarrying practices aim to minimize the environmental impact.

Reduced Waste

The manufacturing process of quartz countertops allows for the efficient use of resources. Offcuts and remnants from larger slabs can be recycled or repurposed, reducing waste and minimising the environmental footprint. As a low-waste fabricator, we take this one step further by recycling in our manufacturing processes and by minimising waste through the distribution of worktop offcuts through dedicated sales channels, to minimise the environmental impact of our own practises.

Low Chemical Emissions

Quartz countertops are manufactured with low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) adhesives and resins. This results in reduced off-gassing of harmful chemicals, contributing to better indoor air quality in your home.

Longevity and Durability

The durability of quartz means it has a longer lifespan compared to some other materials. This longevity reduces the need for replacements, saving both resources and money in the long run.

While quartz countertops may not be entirely free from environmental impact, they offer several eco-friendly features that align with sustainable living practices. If environmental considerations are a priority for you, quartz can be a responsible choice for your kitchen or bathroom surfaces.

Installation Process

When it comes to installing quartz countertops, precision and expertise are essential for a successful outcome. In this section, we’ll guide you through the typical steps involved in the installation process and explain why hiring professionals like us is crucial.

1. Measurements and Template Creation

  • The process begins with accurate measurements of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
  • A template is created to ensure the quartz slabs fit perfectly.

2. Cutting and Shaping

  • The quartz slabs are cut and shaped in our workshop according to the template, using precision industrial stonecutting equipment.
  • Cutouts are made for sinks, hobs, and other fixtures.

3. Edge Profiling

  • Choose from various edge profiles to add a finishing touch to your countertops.
  • Edge profiling gives your quartz countertops a customised look.

4. Installation Day

  • On the scheduled installation day, our team of professionals will arrive with the quartz slabs.
  • They will carefully position and secure the slabs onto your cabinets.

5. Seaming

  • If your countertop requires multiple pieces due to its size, seams will be joined together.
  • Our skilled installers ensure seams are inconspicuous and structurally sound.

6. Inspection and Cleanup

  • A final inspection is conducted to ensure everything is in order.
  • The installation team will clean up the workspace, leaving your home with beautiful, new quartz countertops.

Hiring professionals for the installation is critical because the precision and expertise we bring to the process are essential for achieving a seamless and flawless result. A well-executed installation ensures the longevity and functionality of your quartz countertops.

Some Quartz Countertop Installation Examples by MGD

Wrapping up this Quartz Countertop Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the world of quartz countertops, examining their many advantages and potential drawbacks. Quartz countertops have proven themselves to be a top choice for homeowners for several compelling reasons:

  • Durability: Quartz countertops offer exceptional resistance to stains, scratches, and impacts, ensuring they stand the test of time.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: With a vast range of colours and designs, quartz can match any interior style, from classic to contemporary.
  • Low Maintenance: The low-maintenance nature of quartz makes it a practical choice for those who value ease of care.
  • Hygienic and Sustainable: Quartz is a hygienic surface that doesn’t harbour bacteria and is environmentally friendly due to sustainable sourcing and reduced waste.

While there are some considerations, such as the initial cost and susceptibility to heat damage, these drawbacks can be managed with proper care and awareness.

So, should you choose quartz countertops for your kitchen or bathroom? The answer largely depends on your priorities. If you value a combination of style, durability, and easy maintenance, quartz is an excellent choice. Its versatility, sustainability, and the peace of mind it provides make it a compelling option for modern homeowners.

We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether quartz countertops are the right fit for your home. If you’d like to know more about our quartz worktop supply, manufacture and installation service, please contact us for a chat with one of our friendly team.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the pros and cons of quartz countertops.

Quartz Countertop FAQs

Are quartz countertops as durable as granite or marble?

Yes, quartz countertops are highly durable and can withstand daily wear and tear. They are less prone to staining and scratching compared to some natural stones like marble.

Do quartz countertops require sealing?

No, quartz countertops do not require sealing because they are non-porous. This is one of the advantages of choosing quartz, as it reduces ongoing maintenance.

Can quartz countertops be damaged by heat?

While quartz is heat-resistant to some extent, it’s advisable to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from extreme heat. Sudden temperature changes can cause thermal shock.

How do I clean and maintain quartz countertops?

Cleaning quartz countertops is easy. Use a soft cloth or sponge with mild dish soap and water for daily cleaning. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads. More detailed cleaning tips are provided in the article’s maintenance section.

Is quartz an environmentally friendly choice?

Quartz is considered environmentally friendly due to sustainable sourcing practices, reduced waste in manufacturing, and low chemical emissions. It’s a good choice for those looking to make eco-conscious decisions.

Can I install quartz countertops myself?

While DIY installation is possible, it’s highly recommended to hire professionals for the installation of quartz countertops. Proper installation ensures a seamless and long-lasting result. The material is unforgiving and hard to work if you’re not trained and invested in the craftsmanship of stone.

How do I choose the right colour and design for my quartz countertop?

Selecting the right colour and design depends on your personal preferences and the overall aesthetic of your space. It’s a good idea to obtain samples and see how they look in your kitchen or bathroom before making a final decision. We can provide those free for you.

Are there budget-friendly options for quartz countertops?

Yes, there are budget-friendly quartz options available. Less complex designs and standard thickness slabs can help keep costs down. In fact, we have our very own range of MGD Quartz in the works that is due for launch in 2024, the first of which you can view here: Blanco Moresca by MGD Quartz.