Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. But with the wide variety of engineered stone countertops on the market, how can you tell if your countertop is made of quartz specifically? Here are some tips for identifying quartz countertops.
Check the Surface Pattern
One of the easiest ways to identify a quartz countertop is to examine the pattern and texture on the surface. Quartz countertops are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This manufacturing process results in a non-porous surface with a sparkly, speckled pattern.
The specks in a quartz countertop tend to be small and consistent in color and size. The overall look has a slight shimmer or sheen to it. Quartz does not have the bold veining, pitting, or distinctive swirls found in natural stone slabs like granite or marble. If your countertop has an aggregated style with large chunks of quartz rather than a speckled solid surface, then it is not a standard quartz material.
Check the Edges
The edges of a quartz countertop can also give clues as to the material. A quartz slab will have a uniform appearance all the way through since the color and speckles run throughout the thickness of the material. Granite and marble, on the other hand, can look quite different on the surface versus the edge.
With a quartz countertop, the edges should match the same speckled pattern and coloring as the top surface. Edges are typically squared off and smooth.
Look for Signs of Maintenance
One of the biggest advantages of quartz countertops is that they require very little maintenance compared to other natural stone surfaces. Quartz resists stains, etching, heat damage, and scratches better than granite or marble. As a result, a quartz countertop in good condition will show very little signs of wear and tear over time.
If you notice your countertop has needed extensive sealing, polishing, or stain removal, then it is unlikely to be made of quartz. Real quartz countertops keep their like-new appearance for years with just simple cleaning using a soft cloth and mild detergent.
Confirm with a Magnet Test
You can confirm whether a countertop is made of real quartz particles using a simple magnet test. Take a basic refrigerator magnet and try to stick it to various areas of the countertop surface. If the magnet sticks, then the countertop contains iron and is not quartz.
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from ground quartz mineral bound together by resin. Since natural quartz does not contain iron, a magnet will not stick to a real quartz surface. So if your magnet stays securely in place, your countertop is not quartz.
Ask About the Installation
If you are still uncertain if your countertop is quartz, try checking with whomever installed it or the previous homeowners if it is an existing home. Installers will know the specifics of the materials they used, including the brand name and variety of any engineered stone counters.
Quartz countertop manufacturers also typically provide care instructions and warranty information labeled right on the underside surface. So you may be able to identify the exact type of quartz by carefully checking the countertop edges and corners for any attached labels.
Compare Against Quartz Samples
One of the best ways to check if your countertop matches up with real quartz is to compare it against quartz samples. Home improvement stores and countertop retailers have sample boards that display all the different colors, patterns, and textures available in quartz materials.
Or order free samples directly from leading quartz manufacturers like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone. Comparing your countertop side-by-side with real quartz samples will confirm if you have a lookalike or the real thing.
Consult a Countertop Professional
If you are still unsure or want an expert opinion, consider having a countertop installation company or stone fabrication shop inspect your countertop. Professionals who work with quartz and other engineered stones everyday can quickly identify the type of material based on visual cues and tactile properties.
They may even be able to pinpoint the exact brand and variety based on the color, finish, and other characteristics. Just be sure to choose an experienced installer or fabricator specialized in working with quartz and engineered stone.
FAQs About Identifying Quartz Countertops
Does a quartz countertop feel cold like granite?
No, quartz does not feel as cold and stone-like as granite. Due to its resin binders, quartz has a slightly warmer, smoother feel than natural stone when touched. It maintains temperature better and does not feel as cool.
How do you know if quartz is real or engineered?
Real natural quartz crystals are translucent aggregates with fractures and inclusions. Engineered quartz countertops made of quartz particles bound with resin will show a sparkly, uniform speckled pattern throughout. The specks are small colored bits of ground quartz evenly distributed within the surface.
Does quartz shine or sparkle?
Yes, quartz exhibits a shimmering sparkle due to light reflecting off the small flecks of quartz particles set against the background resin. The overall look is speckled with a consistent, glittery sheen. Natural stones like granite have larger crystallization that reflects light differently.
Can you scratch quartz countertops?
While quartz is very scratch resistant, it can get scratched by cutting directly on the surface or by impact with other very hard materials. But due to its non-porous composition, any light scratches are only superficial and do not penetrate deep into the material.
Does a magnet stick to quartz?
No, a magnet will not stick to a quartz countertop. The quartz crystals used to make engineered quartz counters do not contain iron, so they are not magnetic. If a magnet adheres to the surface, then the countertop does not contain real quartz.
Do all quartz countertops have sparkles?
Most quartz countertops have some degree of speckling due to the small flecks of quartz used in the material composition. However, some minimalist modern quartz styles utilize a ground quartz so fine that it creates a solid, non-speckled appearance. But these are less common.
Quartz countertops remain one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodeling thanks to their strength, durability, and resistance to damage. By checking the surface pattern, edges, maintenance needs, and temperature, as well as doing a magnet test and consulting samples or professionals, homeowners can identify whether their countertops are made from real quartz versus other engineered stone materials. Knowing what signals to look for makes it easier to determine if you have authentic quartz countertops that will maintain their beauty for years to come.