Whether you are upgrading your home or just adding the finishing touches to your favorite areas, having custom countertops will really make the space stand out. As we go through the planning process and pick out the best option for your home, we will recommend one of two materials. These are Quartz and Granite. The two each have their own strengths and weaknesses but in the end it will come down to the look and the ultimate cost of the countertops. Here we will outline the main differences between the two.
With its swirling patterns and flecks of color, granite offers that one-of-a-kind beauty found only in nature. It adds character and warmth that cannot be duplicated. Virtually indestructible, granite is highly resistant to heat and scratching yet easy to maintain for a lifetime of enjoyment. Granite is must have to make your kitchen or bathroom feel complete.
Granite Care And Maintenance:
Natural stone is inherently hard and durable, and an ideal material for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. With proper care and maintenance, your countertop can last for decades. Your countertop is an investment that will give you many years of good use, added value and beauty. Here are instructions and recommendations for routine care and cleaning:
- Dust surfaces frequently
- Blot up spills immediately
- Use a clean cloth with warm soapy water for best results
- Clean with a neutral cleaner, such as mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks
- Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and wipe until dry with a soft cloth
- DO NOT use vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia or other cleaners containing acids as these products contain acids which may etch the surface and reduce the sealer's properties
- DO NOT use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives
- DO NOT use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tile cleaners
- Do NOT apply acetone or any type of paint thinner
- Do not use the stone countertop as a cutting board. This may scratch the stone and dull knives
Quartz is the most common mineral on Earth and makes up 12% of the Earth’s crust by volume. The United States (particularly Arkansas), Canada, Brazil, Germany and Madagascar are the major producers of natural quartz crystals. Quartz crystals, naturally embedded in dirt and clay, are washed clean with water then in a weak oxalic acid solution. After the crystals are rewashed with water, they are sorted by quality, color and size. Hundreds of pounds of quartz crystals, resin and pigments are combined to form a single slab of quartz. After careful inspection of all raw materials- 93% of raw quartz, recycled material and 7% of resins and pigments, the compound is blended and mixed into a set mold. Then the quartz mixture enters a special vacuum and elements of vibration and pressure combine to even out the quartz slab on both the top and bottom. Once the quartz slabs have cured, coarse grits of diamond abrasive pass back and forth over the engineered stone slab. Typically, quartz slabs are only polished on one side; however, both sides can be polished. Once the slabs are done polishing, each slab is inspected for defects and color consistency.
Quartz Countertop Maintenance:
Quartz is easy to maintain. It is a non-porous material that is highly resistant to stain, scratches and heat. However, it is not stain, scratch, or heat proof.
Quartz Routine Care and Maintenance
Simply clean with soap and water on a regular basis to keep the lustrous gloss and radiant sheen. Use warm water and a damp cloth with a small amount of non-abrasive cleaner that does not contain bleach. Although Quartz is resistant to stain, spills should be cleaned as soon as possible. Liquid spills and stains from fruits, vegetables, or other foods should be wiped up and cleaned with soap and water.
Quartz is designed to be resistant to heat and can withstand exposure to normal cooking environment for brief periods of time without being damaged. Although Quartz withstands heat better than most surfacing materials on the market, all surfacing materials, including stone, can be damaged by extreme temperature changes, whether prolonged or sudden. Trivets and hot pads should always be used when placing hot skillets, pans, crock-pots or other heat generating kitchenware on the surface.
Quartz's durable surface is designed to withstand normal use. While it is resistant to scratches, cuts, and chipping, cutting directly on the quartz surface should be avoided. Using cutting boards and taking care not to drop or move heavy objects on the surface will help to ensure long-lasting beauty.
Avoid exposing Quartz to any strong chemicals and solvents. It is important to note that some of these chemicals and solvents can be found in household items like paint removers, paint and stain strippers that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride, nail polish removers, bleach, furniture cleaners, oil soaps, permanent markers or inks, and chemicals with high alkaline/PH levels (oven cleaners, drain openers, etc.). Avoid using cleaning products that contain oils, powders or abrasives.
Although long-term or frequent exposure must be avoided at all times, the following products may be used with short-term exposure (removing and rinsing immediately after application with water) to clean difficult stains or residues. Always handle such cleaning agents with care and rinse the applied surface with water completely afterwards.
- Simple Green
- 10x Stone Polish
- Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean
- Soap and Water
- Denatured Alcohol
- Hopes Surface cleaner
- Rock Doctor cleaner
**All products must have all excess removed immediately after application with water and cloth. Prolonged exposure may ruin the surface of the slab.**
Removing Difficult Spills
On stubborn or dried spills where routine cleaning procedures do not work, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad along with the above mentioned cleaners. If gum, nail polish, paint, or other substances are accidentally allowed to adhere to the surface, they can be removed with the use of a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape off the substance and by following routine cleaning procedures.
Chemicals to Avoid
The below list of chemicals should be avoided with Quartz; however, the below list is not a complete list, and there may be other chemicals not listed here that may damage Quartz. The effect of any chemical usage on Quartz is ultimately dependent on the type of chemical, the length of exposure, and the degree of concentration.
- Oil soaps, bluing agents, dyes, stains, paint thinner or strippers.
- Solvents such as acetone, nail polish remover, lacquer thinner, or bleach (short-term exposure at 50% dilution may be acceptable for purpose of cleaning difficult stains-based on removing and rinsing applied area immediately).
- Chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene or methylene chloride
- Benzene, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone
- Concentrated acids such as hydrocyanic acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid.
- Chemicals with high alkaline/PH levels (pH > 10)
**If any of the substance listed come into contact with Quartz, rinse with plenty of water and follow routine cleaning procedures immediately.
Countertop Edge Options
When choosing what type of edge you want on your countertops, there are a handful of options. The location and usage of the countertop will help decide what edges to use but make sure you feel them all to be sure you like it.
In addition to installing countertops and customizing the edges, we offer some sink options to add the finishing touch to the kitchen area. Having a properly sized sink is critical to ensuring you are happy with the space.