Quartz countertops are one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom countertops today. They are made from engineered stone that contains roughly 90% ground quartz combined with resins and pigments. One of the most well-known brands of quartz countertops goes by the name of DuPont. So are quartz countertops also referred to as DuPont? Let’s take a closer look.
The History Behind DuPont Quartz Countertops
The DuPont company has been around since 1802, starting out in the gunpowder business before expanding into a wide range of other industries including chemicals, plastics, petroleum, food, and materials science. In the 1960s, DuPont scientists developed an engineered composite material containing quartz particles that they branded as “Zodiaq”.
In the early 1990s, DuPont licensed their Zodiaq technology to other companies who wanted to manufacture quartz surfaces for countertops. One of the first licensees was a company called Cambria, which began marketing their quartz products as “Cambria Natural Quartz” in 2001.
In 2019, DuPont sold its quartz countertop business to a company called Cosentino. So while the original Zodiaq quartz material was developed and branded by DuPont, today DuPont itself no longer manufacturers or sells quartz countertops.
However, DuPont quartz is still a commonly used term in the countertop industry today. This is likely because DuPont was a pioneer in engineered quartz composite materials, and their Zodiaq technology formed the basis for many of the quartz countertops on the market.
Why “DuPont Quartz” Persists as a Descriptor
There are a few reasons why quartz countertops continue to be referred to as DuPont quartz, even though DuPont no longer sells them:
- Brand recognition – DuPont was an early innovator and leader in engineered quartz materials. The DuPont brand carries strong name recognition and trust that gets associated with high-quality quartz countertops.
- Genericization – Like Kleenex for tissues or Band-Aid for bandages, DuPont has become a generic term used to describe all quartz countertops, regardless of actual manufacturer.
- Lack of awareness – Many homeowners, contractors, and even salespeople simply don’t realize that DuPont got out of the quartz manufacturing business years ago. The DuPont name persists out of habit.
- Similar technologies – While no longer identical, much of the quartz countertop industry uses manufacturing techniques and materials that are comparable to the original Zodiaq formula. So it’s not incorrect to associate today’s quartz with DuPont.
Major Brands of Quartz Countertops
While DuPont no longer sells quartz countertops under its brand name, there are many other major manufacturers of engineered stone quartz on the market today. Some of the top brands include:
- Cambria – As mentioned, one of the earliest makers of quartz surfaces thanks to their licensing deal with DuPont. Cambria Natural Quartz is marketed as a high-end, luxury brand.
- Caesarstone – An Israeli company that pioneered quartz surfaces in 1987. Caesarstone is known for their wide range of colors and patterns.
- Silestone – Manufactured by the Spanish company Cosentino, who also owns the rights to original DuPont quartz technology. Silestone offers a large catalog of quartz colors and styles.
- LG Viatera – LG’s premium quartz line that focuses on high-tech, stylish designs for upscale homes.
- QuartzMaster – A made-in-USA brand that touts their environmental friendliness and recycling processes.
- PentalQuartz – A family-owned company focusing on customization and excellent customer service.
- MSI Quantum Quartz – Budget-friendly quartz from MSI, available in a myriad of color and edge options.
Are All Quartz Countertops Created Equal?
While all quartz countertops contain roughly 90% ground quartz in their formulation, there can be differences between brands when it comes to:
- Resins – The specific polymers/resins used affects durability and appearance.
- Pigments – Added dyes and color agents create the wide color and pattern options.
- Other additives – Some brands add materials like recycled glass or shells for sustainability.
- Manufacturing process – Methods like vibration and vacuum compression affect the density and finish.
- Quality control – Rigorous inspection for flaws and cracks ensures product consistency.
So not all quartz is the same. But even lower-end brands meet certain benchmarks for quality and performance. The major differences come down to colors/patterns available, pricing, warranties, and brand reputation.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
Quartz has grown into one of the most popular countertop options because it offers several advantages:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
- Easy maintenance without need to seal or polish
- Resists heat, stains, bacteria, and everyday wear and tear
- Available in a wide array of colors, finishes, and patterns
- Can emulate look of natural stone or more modern concrete
- Non-porous so liquids don’t penetrate
- Some eco-friendly options use recycled content
- Higher cost than materials like laminate
- Cannot repair damage by refinishing surface
- Seams more visible than with natural stone
- Some colors/finishes show fingerprints, water spots, etc
- Needs to be installed professionally
Are Quartz Countertops Worth the Investment?
For most homeowners, the pros of quartz’s durability, appearance, and low maintenance outweigh the higher initial costs.
Quartz countertops are an investment that can greatly improve your home’s aesthetics and functionality for decades to come. Many colors and styles give off a luxurious, high-end impression as well.
Of course, every customer will weigh the pros, cons and costs differently depending on their budget and priorities. But for kitchens and bathrooms that get heavy daily use, quartz remains one of the best options in terms of performance per dollar.
That peace of mind is why so many customers continue to seek out quartz counters whether they call them DuPont or not! With some research and shopping around, you can find quartz countertops that meet your unique style and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all quartz countertops really called DuPont?
No, DuPont itself no longer manufactures or sells quartz countertops. But “DuPont quartz” remains a common nickname for all quartz countertops since DuPont pioneered the engineered stone material.
What are other top brands for quartz countertops?
Popular quartz countertop brands include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, LG Viatera, QuartzMaster, PentalQuartz, and MSI Quantum Quartz.
What makes quartz countertops different than natural stone?
Quartz countertops are engineered composites made from roughly 90% ground quartz mixed with resins and pigments. This makes them more consistent and durable than natural stone.
Are quartz countertops totally maintenance-free?
Quartz is very low maintenance compared to other surfaces, but still requires occasional cleaning with a stone-safe cleaner to keep it looking its best. Annual sealing is not needed though.
How much do quartz countertops cost compared to other options?
Quartz countertops range from $80-150 per square foot installed. This is more than laminate but less than many premium natural stones.
While DuPont pioneered the engineered quartz countertop, many brands have followed in their footsteps using similar manufacturing techniques. DuPont quartz has become a generic, shorthand name in the countertop industry. If you see “DuPont” used to describe a quartz countertop today, it’s referring to the origins of the material, not necessarily the actual manufacturer. And while options abound, quartz remains a top choice for beautiful, durable, low-maintenance countertops that offer homeowners great long-term value.