Quartz: The New Countertop Contender
With low maintenance, high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a tempting alternative to natural stone countertops.
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Joe Everitt, an independent contractor who has spent the last decade remodeling New York City brownstones and lofts, says that homeowners love the fact that quartz allows color choices never before available in stone. But he says the best features of quartz are actually invisible.
"These countertops are close to indestructible," Joe explains. "They're so durable that most manufacturers offer a warranty, something you won't find with, say, granite. And quartz isn't porous like other stone surfaces, so these countertops are much more sanitary in a home kitchen. You can keep them 99.9 percent bacteria-free."
This durability also means that, unlike other types of stone countertops, quartz resists staining or corrosion from cooking oils, liquids and most household cleaning products — so there's no need for periodic resealing of the surface. Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, however, so homeowners should use trivets or heating pads.
Quartz countertops allow for a variety of edging options, just like natural stone. Unlike stone, however, engineered quartz also offers other design possibilities. Because it's more flexible to work with and is held in place using glue and epoxy instead of screws, quartz can be used on larger vertical surfaces like backsplashes and even shower enclosures, without the fissures and seams often all too visible with natural stone.
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