Get the lowdowns on all the different types of quartz and the essential factors you need to consider for each type, including instructional videos and useful tips on installation and the upkeep of quartz.
Quartz is a popular building material worldwide due to its availability and durability. At first glance, quartz in the form of rock may look like any other rock, but it’s a versatile mineral that plays an integral role in the home building and decorating world.
The options for incorporating quartz into your home may seem endless, but there are a few things worth considering before you head to your local home improvement store and browse their quartz products.
How you plan to use the quartz, where you install it, and pricing are all important deciding factors. We’ll start out by discussing common uses of quartz in the home, as well as some benefits and drawbacks to each type of quartz.
I. Buying Guide
A. Quartz Types
Although quartz gemstones are popular in jewelry making and a favorite pick among people who collect rocks, minerals, and gems, our goal is to show you how you can incorporate quartz into your home on a larger scale. Maybe you’ve been contemplating remodeling your kitchen countertops or want to upgrade your guest bathroom.
Quartz is used in a variety of ways but some of the most common applications that we will discuss in-depth include countertops, flooring, backsplashes and tiles, tables, and sinks.
A kitchen without a countertop is hardly a usable space. Not only do countertops provide valuable working space for preparing food, but for many homeowners, a countertop on top of a kitchen island is a gathering space and an excellent option for people who don’t have a dining room.
Like other home materials, countertops are available in a variety of materials that have different levels of quality. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or an older home, maybe your kitchen countertops were made of laminate with a design to look like quartz or other top-grade materials. These types of countertops are easy to manufacture and are often more cost-effective but don’t last as long as other materials like quartz.
How quartz countertops are made
The process that goes into making a quartz countertop is different than you may expect. Rather than cutting slabs of rock, small and larger pieces of quartz are mixed with a binder. Color is added to the mix since quartz is naturally white, the mixture is baked, all air is sucked out to make it non-porous, and then slabs are polished and cut.
Main benefit of quartz
One of the primary reasons why people choose quartz for kitchen countertops is because they aren’t porous like other countertop materials. Having a non-porous surface is not only easier to clean and care for, but you also don’t have to worry about germs and bacteria seeping into your countertops.
Whether you have a small countertop or long ones that wrap around your kitchen, quartz is relatively easy to work with and customizable to fit a kitchen or bathroom. Keep in mind that quartz does have some size limitations.
Quartz is durable and scratch-resistant, but one drawback is that it’s not entirely resistant to heat. While this isn’t much of a dealbreaker for people who love the look of quartz, it requires a little extra care when placing hot pots or items on the countertop.
Some people complain that the modern and minimalist look of quartz countertops clash with older design styles, but it ultimately comes down to the homeowner’s preferences. Another drawback to consider is the installation process, but we will discuss installation and costs a little later in this guide.
Source: Shaw Floors
Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling a floor in your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is a popular flooring material. Even though coloring is added to quartz, most quartz flooring is light-colored. Lighter colored quartz flooring looks great in bathrooms and other areas where there’s not likely to be high-traffic, dirt, or mud.
Quartz is durable and can withstand wear and tear, but it’s important to note that light-colored flooring may require more maintenance or show signs of wear and tear more quickly. Quartz flooring is typically available in tiles with the option of color and texture.
There are many “stick and peel” flooring options that are made to look like quartz. While this type of flooring method is convenient and inexpensive and a great DIY project, it is not quartz and will not hold up as well as the durable material.
Quartz flooring in your home has many of the same benefits as quartz countertops. Still, since flooring naturally has more foot traffic and everyday wear and tear, regular cleaning is inevitable. Some reasons why people prefer not to install quartz flooring is because it can get too slippery in areas like kitchens or bathrooms, and special care is required when cleaning to prevent scratches.
If you are looking for durable flooring in your garage, basement, or a more industrial setting, there are epoxy flooring options that contain quartz. This type of flooring is durable and easy to keep clean but is not a common choice for homes due to its lack of aesthetics.
3. Backsplashes and Tiles
Source: decor pad
Regardless of your design style, a backsplash is a great way to add a little “flair” or color to your kitchen or bathroom, and protecting your wall is just a bonus. Like flooring and countertops, quartz backsplashes are available in different sizes, and with mixed materials like glass, mirrors, or other natural stone.
Quartz is an ideal material for a backsplash since it’s non-porous and easy to clean, but if you’re inspired by the look of a large slab backsplash, keep in mind that it might not have a seamless look. Since quartz is also susceptible to scorch marks from hot pots and pans, be mindful of how close you put a backsplash near your stovetop.
Quartz tiles are a great way to accent walls, flooring, and other areas of your home. You can even get creative and make a refurbish a table with quartz tiles.
The sink is easily one of your most used items in your kitchen every day, and you might think more about functionality than aesthetics. Quartz sinks are attractive and functional, giving you the best of both worlds.
Most quartz sinks are composite (typically a blend of quartz and acrylic) but are an excellent option for bathrooms and kitchens for various reasons.
Not only are quartz sinks non-porous, which means you don’t need to worry about bacteria and germs as much, but they are also available in a variety of sizes and styles, such as Farmhouse. Another plus is that quartz sinks are less noisy than stainless steel sinks.
Since quartz sinks are sturdy and hard, it’s important to wash your dishes carefully as the sink can chip or crack them.
B. Quartz Installation Methods
Installation methods for quartz are largely dependent on the size and complexity of the project as well as your own skills when it comes to house projects. Let’s take a closer look at the common installation methods for each type of quartz in your home.
1. Countertops, Flooring, Back Splash, and Tiles
Unless you have extensive knowledge and experience with working with quartz, installing countertops or flooring, these types of installations are best left to professionals. There are plenty of tips to help DIYers through the installation process, but if you want to ensure a countertop is installed properly, it might be worth the extra cost of expert labor and advice.
Aside from accuracy, there are a few more reasons why you may want to leave a countertop installation to the professionals. Even though quartz is durable, it’s also heavy, which means it can be difficult to move around. You also need to make sure that the existing cabinets are strong enough to hold the weight of a quartz countertop.
The estimated weight of quartz is 20 to 25 pounds per square foot and an unfinished slab can weigh over 1000 pounds. Carefully consider the weight of quartz before you try to install a large piece, like a countertop, on your own. Professionals have experience and the right tools to protect their backs (and the quartz).
Installing flooring, backsplashes, and tiles are common household projects that many aspiring DIYers decide to try. Installing quartz flooring, tiles, or backsplashes is typically easier than heavy countertops, but again, it depends on the size of the project and your level of experience.
Many people choose to tackle a house project on their own with the hope that it will save some money, but you need to consider the time it takes and other factors like whether or not you have the right tools on hand.
Since quartz sinks are significantly heavier than stainless steel sinks, installing a quartz composite sink may be a challenging project. While most DIY projects are best done with another person, you should never attempt to install a quartz sink on your own without the help of someone else.
Any time you work with quartz, whether you’re installing a small backsplash or larger tiles, it’s critical to wear proper gear like safety glasses and a respirator mask to avoid breathing in particles or getting quartz in your eyes.
C. Best Places to Install Your Quartz
Earlier in the guide, we talked a little bit about some of the best places to install quartz flooring. Quartz’s versatility and durability make it an excellent option for nearly every household, but there are a few things to consider.
Safety and Comfort
Like any type of stone tile flooring, you need to consider safety and comfort. A flawless looking and polished quartz tile floor in a bathroom are stunning, but a few drawbacks include the risk of slipping accidents and feeling cold on bare feet. An anti-slip mat on the floor can reduce the risk of slipping and falling.
High Traffic Areas
As we briefly mentioned earlier, it’s best to avoid light-colored quartz in high traffic areas unless you want to clean your floors regularly.
Exposure to Heat and Sunlight
There’s a good chance that quartz, when exposed to heat and sunlight consistently, will fade over time. Discoloration and deterioration are possible with nearly any type of flooring or countertops, but it’s an important consideration when choosing the installation location.
If you decide to use quartz in an outdoor kitchen or around your pool or patio area, make sure that you cover it when not in use to help keep the quartz in good condition.
II. More Details
Quartz is relatively maintenance-free, but here are some care tips to consider when you have quartz. We also discuss pricing for various types of quartz.
A. Caring for Your Quartz
Source: Maid Sailors
The key to caring for your quartz is never to use abrasive cleaners or tools when cleaning. Even though quartz can handle everyday wear and tear, it will last longer and look great if you still to the right cleaners and soft cloths.
While it’s never a good idea to let food or liquid spills sit on your countertops, don’t let food stains harden or let liquids sit for too long on your countertop. Wiping up spills with a microfiber towel as soon as you notice them is a number one care tip from many cleaning professionals.
If you can’t wipe away dried-on food easily, gently scraping the area with a plastic putty knife or kitchen scraper is safe for your quartz. Always read the label before you use any type of cleaner. With regular cleaning using a small amount of dish soap and a soft sponge or rag, you probably won’t need special cleaners.
The same cleaning tips are necessary when cleaning tile or flooring. To avoid rocks and mud scratching up your floor, get in the habit of making a “no shoe” rule in your home. There are plenty of mudroom ideas or storage options that will keep shoes from ruining your floors.
If you have a quartz sink in your kitchen or bathroom, you need to remember the “no abrasives” rule. Cleaners and scrub brushes can scratch up the sink. Regular cleaning and drying out the sink, when not in use, is the best way to care for your quartz sink.
B. Quartz Pricing
Many people who love the look of natural stone will choose quartz over marble or granite because the materials are typically less expensive. Although quartz usually costs less than quartzite, marble, or granite, the costs associated with installation is higher.
Cost of Countertops
Let’s take a look at the costs of quartz countertops first. Without installation fees, the average cost per square foot of the quartz countertop is $75. Lower-quality quartz starts at around $50 per square foot, and high-quality quartz can cost more than $150 per square foot.
Other things that may increase the cost of a quartz countertop includes:
- Building supports
- Customizing the size
- Joining the seams
- The type of edging on the countertop (such as waterfall or bevel)
As you’re shopping around for countertops, it’s a good idea to spend time doing research and price comparisons. While the total cost of quartz countertops (after professional installation) costs a few thousand dollars, a countertop sales associate can walk you through the pricing of the whole installation process.
Cost of Quartz Flooring or backsplashes
The cost of quartz flooring varies greatly and is dependent on the size of the space and the style or size of tiles you use. A kitchen floor is likely to cost more to tile than a guest bathroom, and a small backsplash behind your kitchen sink might be your least expensive option.
Quartz tiles can cost as little as a few dollars per square foot, but keep in mind that the price will also vary due to the quality of the quartz. Tiling projects typically range between under $1,000 to over $2,000. Tiling your floor yourself may save a bit of money, but don’t forget to factor in time and the costs associated with installation, such as tools.
Cost of Quartz Sinks
A quartz sink may be the most expensive sink you ever purchase, but it’s likely to last you a long time if you care for it properly and invest in professional installation. On average, a quartz sink costs between $200 and $600. You will also need to factor costs associated with general labor or plumbing.
III. Where To Buy Quartz Online
Now that you have more information about some of the most common types of quartz to incorporate in your home, you’re probably ready to start shopping. As you start planning how you want your countertops to look or the pattern of your quartz tiles, we strongly recommend looking at these types of quartz in person.
One of the many benefits of quartz is that it’s more consistent in color and appearance than other natural stone materials, but it never hurts to view countertops, tiles, and sinks in person. You aren’t obligated to buy in-person or even hire a professional to install, but it’s always good to do a little in-store shopping before you buy.
If you’re ready to buy online, here are some of our favorite online merchants for buying quartz countertops, tiles, and sinks.