Quartz is a favorite material for countertops—and for good reason. It’s more durable than concrete while being stronger, more crack-resistant, and lighter than granite. But it isn’t technically a natural stone; instead, it’s classified as an engineered stone because of its unique composition.
If you’re interested in understanding the manufacturing process and composition of quartz, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled the information you want to know below so you can be as knowledgeable about quartz as possible.
Quartz Is an Engineered Stone
Quartz is not classified as a natural stone; it’s engineered. This doesn’t mean that it is lower quality than a natural stone or anything like that. The reason quartz is classified as an engineered stone is that its composition tends to be around 90 percent ground quartz and 8 to 10 percent resins, polymers, and pigments.
These resin, polymer, and pigment additives are to seal the natural pores of ground quartz—which is a porous stone. Because these additives seal the pores, countertop quartz is nonporous. This is great for kitchen and bathroom countertops, as quartz’s nonporous surfaces make it bacteria and liquid resistant.
Quartz Manufacturing Process
Quartz starts with ground quartz mined from quarries, which are largely located in Spain and the USA. This ground quartz is sent to manufacturers, who take the quartz—a naturally porous stone—and then fill it in with polymers, resins, and pigments, which seal the stone’s pores and holes. Then this engineered quartz is sent to companies for installation—like us.
Benefits of Quartz’s Composition
The benefits of quartz’s unique composition are many. For one, the mix of resin and natural stone makes quartz lighter than other natural stones, like granite. Also, because the resins and polymers seal the quartz, it is practically impervious to bacteria and liquids.
Engineered quartz can also last for as long as you need it to. The resins and polymers are engineered to never fade, and the natural portion of quartz is near indestructible. Theoretically, quartz countertops could last forever.
Also, quartz countertops are very scratch resistant—but not scratch proof—and rarely chip. Quartz doesn’t need sealant because the polymers and resins make it nonporous. Since liquids can’t penetrate, quartz can’t stain.
Things to Look Out For with Quartz
There are some things about quartz’s manufacturing process to keep in mind. Despite all engineered quartz’s benefits, it does have some weaknesses.
For one, quartz countertops are not heat resistant, so do not put hot pans or other objects on them. Natural quartz is heat resistant, but the added polymers, resins, and pigments can burn and leave marks. Also, never put quartz outside. The resins will discolor and turn yellow under prolonged sunlight and weather exposure.
Finally, quartz can be more difficult to repair because of its manmade finish. This resin polish can be hard to recreate on repair jobs, and quartz will often show repairs more than other stones.
Quartz and You
Now that you know everything you need to know about quartz’s composition and manufacturing process, you can get some installed!