Consumers in the market for a premium countertop surface are discovering early in their search that quartz, and not granite, has become the highest rated and most popular option available.
That’s because quartz countertops have emerged as the new worry-free, elegant alternative to high-maintenance granite for architects, designers and homeowners alike. They’re stronger than granite, require no resealing, are highly resistant to scratches and stains and come in a huge variety of colors.
Most durable surface option
In fact, Consumer Reports Magazine rated quartz as the top performer among countertop materials such as granite, ceramic tile, stainless steel, laminate, marble, limestone and concrete when it came to resisting prime kitchen hazards such as stains, heat and scratches.
According to the recent Freedonia Group Report on countertop industry trends, there has been a definite shift in the marketplace over the last several years as quartz has become the fastest growing market segment in the industry.
Quartz surfaces are growing in popularity because they have the appearance of natural stone, but unlike granite or marble these surfaces never need to be sealed. Quartz is a nonporous material, which means it will not promote the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria. This is why leading brands such as Radianz Quartz surfaces are certified NSF 51 (with the National Sanitation Foundation).
“Radianz quartz countertops have an aesthetic that can emulate the look of granite and marble but are also available in unique colors and surface effects not found in natural stone,” explained Mark Hanna, President of Accolade Surfaces, one of North America’s leading distributors of fine quartz surfaces. “The benefit of quartz is that it doesn’t have any of the drawbacks associated with natural stone.”
Quartz also king in commercial designs
Quartz is silicon dioxide and it occurs as individual crystals and fine-grained masses in a large variety of forms, patterns, and colors. It is naturally hard and scratch resistant. Most quartz countertops like Radianz are manufactured with up to 93 percent quartz mixed with pigments and resins. This prescribed mixture results in a product that is non-porous, stain and bacteria growth resistant, exceedingly durable, and more than twice as strong as granite.
It’s these attributes that also make quartz the leading choice for designers and architects for commercial applications such as restaurants, hotels, retail outlets and office buildings where the ability to withstand daily wear and tear is at a premium. “Maintenance is a major concern with materials used in commercial buildings, hotels and restaurants since more maintenance requires more labor and costs,” explained Hanna. “Business owners rely on Quartz surfaces because they never have to worry about sealing, stains or bacteria growth as the surface is a naturally nonporous material that requires minimal maintenance.”