While granite and marble countertops may be among the first choice for people with plenty of money to spend on remodeling their kitchens and those on a strict budget may lean toward laminate, quartz countertops shouldn't be ruled out. There are a number of reasons why engineered quartz may be a more attractive option to some homeowners.
Engineered quartz is made from about 95 percent ground quartz mixed with polymer resins. These resins make it so quartz countertops are now available in a wide variety of different colors, including the expected creams, browns and blacks but also brighter colors like blue, green or red. There are also a number of options when it comes to finish, including the typical polished look as well as embossed, honed or sandblasted options. Because of the versatility of the material, you can get quartz countertops that look similar to other, more expensive and harder to care for types of stone, including granite, limestone and marble. They won't match the look of stone exactly, however, because they don't have the natural variation that's present in the stone.
Quartz is a very hard mineral, making it very durable. It won't scratch and the resins used in the countertop make it so it isn't likely to stain either. Very high heat levels can still damage these counters, however, so be sure not to put hot items directly on the surface of the counter. Use hot pads or trivets under pans.
Unlike other natural stone countertops, quartz isn't porous, so it doesn't need to be sealed. The countertop also isn't likely to harbor any bacteria, making it a very sanitary surface. You don't need to use any special cleaners, which are often recommended with natural stone counters.
The main drawback to choosing quartz countertops instead of laminate is that is similar in price to granite and other natural stone countertops once you take into account the cost of installation. All of these materials tend to range in price from about $35 to $100 per square foot, including installation. Laminate ranges from $10 to $30, which is why it is often the choice of those on a budget, but it isn't as durable and may need to be replaced more often.
The other main consideration with quartz countertops is that they can be very heavy. The cabinets may need to be reinforced to make them strong enough to hold the weight of the quartz counter. The weight also increases the difficulty of installation, so it isn't a task suitable for a homeowner to do on their own.Share