Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. With a wide variety of colors and patterns available, quartz offers the look of natural stone with increased durability and lower maintenance. But is quartz truly as durable as it claims to be? Let’s take a closer look at the durability factors of quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material, while the rest is polymer resins. These resins bind the quartz particles together to create a hard, non-porous surface.
The resins make quartz more flexible and workable than pure natural stone. But it’s the high quartz content that gives the material its strength and durability. Quartz hardness registers at around 7 on the Mohs scale, making it suitable for heavy duty use.
One of the biggest selling points of quartz is its high resistance to scratches. In fact, quartz ranks just under diamonds in terms of hardness. This makes it extremely resistant to cuts and scratches from everyday use.
Quartz won’t scratch from general kitchen tasks like chopping, dicing, and sliding plates and pots around. You don’t have to worry about damaging the surface while prepping meals. It can even withstand having appliances placed directly on top without suffering any scratches.
Compared to materials like marble, quartz is far less prone to surface damage. Marble rates at only a 3 or 4 on the hardness scale, making it much more delicate. Small scratches and cuts on marble can become highly visible over time. But quartz’s durability keeps it looking pristine for years.
That said, quartz isn’t completely invulnerable to scratches. Extreme pressure from sharp objects can still damage the surface. Materials harder than quartz, such as diamonds, can also leave scratches. Avoid cutting or chopping directly on the countertop whenever possible. Using a cutting board is always advised.
In addition to scratches, stains are another concern for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Spills from coffee, wine, oil, and other liquids have the potential to discolor natural stone over time. But quartz’s non-porous nature makes it highly resistant to stains.
Unlike materials like granite and marble, quartz won’t absorb spilled liquids. Its sealed surface simply won’t allow most stains to penetrate. Acids and oils will bead up rather than soak in. This makes quartz an ideal choice for busy kitchens prone to spills.
However, quartz isn’t completely stain proof. Prolonged exposure to strong chemicals and cleaners can eventually cause discoloration. Concentrated food pigments from turmeric, beet juice, and berries may also stain over time. But these stains remain rare under normal use. With proper care and maintenance, quartz will stay stain-free for many years.
Quartz also holds up well against exposure to heat. Its resins create a surface resistant to both hot pots and high temperatures. Placing hot pans, skillets, or serving dishes directly on a quartz countertop generally won’t cause any issues.
However, quartz does have its limits regarding heat. While it won’t burn or scorch from typical stovetop use, exposing it to extreme temperatures could potentially damage the material. The resins binding the quartz together can lose their adhesion if overheated.
It’s not recommended to place extremely hot items like pots and pans fresh from a 500+ degree oven or burner. Trivets and hot pads should be used whenever possible with extra hot cookware. Also avoid exposing quartz to direct flames or very high heat. While resistant, prolonged exposure to extreme heat could compromise the structural integrity.
Quartz also holds up remarkably well to impacts from drops or objects hitting the surface. Its hardness prevents chips and cracks better than softer natural stones. Minor impacts likely won’t leave any marks at all. And due to the resins binding the material, cracks and chips rarely spread or worsen over time.
However, quartz isn’t indestructible against impacts. Dropping heavy objects from a significant height could potentially chip the surface. Forceful blows from hard tools used directly on the countertop also have the potential to chip or crack. While less prone than marble or granite, quartz can suffer structural damage if subjected to extreme impacts.
Durability Over Time
One of the biggest advantages quartz has over natural stone is how its durability holds up over many years of use. Natural materials like granite and marble remain prone to slow wearing, pitting, and etching even with proper maintenance. Their porous nature means sealants must be regularly reapplied.
But quartz’s durability remains constant over decades of use. Since its non-porous surface can’t absorb liquids, it doesn’t require regular sealing. Its scratch, stain, and heat resistance allow it to stay looking pristine for years. With just basic cleaning, quartz will maintain its integrity and appearance over the long term.
To get a sense of just how durable quartz remains over time, consider this: Many major quartz manufacturers back their products with 15-year or lifetime warranties. These warranties cover defects, damage, and degrading performance. The fact that quartz makers confidently offer such long guarantees speaks to how durable the material remains over many years of use.
Factors Impacting Durability
While quartz offers impressive durability, not all quartz countertops on the market provide the same level of strength. Certain factors can impact just how durable a quartz surface will prove over time:
- Quartz Content – Higher quartz content means greater durability. Countertops with lower resin content tend to perform better. Seek out brands advertising quartz content in the 90-94% range.
- Quality of Resins – Higher grade resins stand up better over time. Acrylic-based resins are generally the strongest binder. Inexpensive urea-formaldehyde resins are weaker.
- Thickness – Thicker quartz sheets can better withstand impacts. 1.2-2cm thickness is ideal. Thinner 0.7cm sheets are more prone to cracks and damage.
- Coloring – Darker quartz with high pigment levels can become prone to fading and discoloration over time, impacting appearance. Lighter quartz tends to maintain coloring and looks longer.
- Finish Options – Polished finishes better resist scratches and stains vs. rough finishes. Unique textured finishes like leather can be less durable over many years.
- Quality of Installation – Proper seamless installation according to manufacturer specs helps maintain structural integrity vs. shoddy installation.
Choosing high-end quartz from reputable brands and having it professionally installed will provide the greatest level of durability for a lifetime of use.
Maintenance for Durability
While quartz’s durable composition requires little maintenance, some basic care is advised to keep it looking like new for decades:
- Use cutting boards and trivets when needed to prevent accidental scratches and damage.
- Clean up spills promptly to minimize potential for stains.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners that could compromise the finish.
- Stick to gentle PH-neutral cleaners free of bleach.
- Rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning.
- Reseal quartz once a year as an added protective measure.
With just simple, regular care quartz can maintain its durability and function like new for over 15 years of use. Proper maintenance will keep it scratch, stain, and damage free.
Is Quartz Countertop Durable Enough?
When choosing any material for kitchen countertops and other high-traffic bathroom surfaces, durability is likely a top concern. Compared to materials like solid surface, laminate, marble, and granite, quartz consistently proves to be a more durable and resilient option. Key advantages of quartz:
- Extremely scratch resistant – holds up to heavy daily use without damage
- Won’t stain or etch from typical household spills
- Maintains appearance and integrity for over 15 years
- Resists chips and cracks better than stone
- Non-porous so won’t require frequent sealing
- Withstands heat and impacts better than natural materials
- Backed by long manufacturer warranties
For those seeking long-lasting kitchen and bathroom surfaces able to withstand decades of use and still look pristine, quartz countertops provide an optimally durable choice. Their strength and durability provide peace of mind that they’ll stay looking like new with minimal maintenance required.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertop Durability
Interested in installing quartz counters? Here we answer some common questions homeowners have about quartz durability:
Is quartz more durable than granite?
Yes, quartz generally proves more durable than natural granite. Its non-porous composition resists stains, etching, and sealing better than porous granite. Quartz also better withstands chips, scratches, and marks from cuts and impacts over time.
What is least durable about quartz?
The resins binding the quartz particles together can become compromised by extreme heat or prolonged chemical exposure. This causes loss of structural integrity and potential cracks or discoloration. But this typically requires exposures beyond normal household use.
Is quartz durable for outdoor kitchens?
Quartz is not recommended for prolonged outdoor installation. UV rays can cause fading and breakdown of the resin binders over time. Outdoor conditions also make it hard to keep quartz stain-free. Most manufacturers advise against installing quartz outside. Other materials like granite better accommodate outdoor use.
Can you damage quartz by cutting on it?
It’s possible but unlikely with normal kitchen cutting. Only extreme force and very sharp knives have potential to scratch or chip quartz when used directly on the surface. Still, using a cutting board minimizes any risks of damage from cuts.
How hot can quartz countertops get before damage occurs?
Up to about 150-200°F should not compromise quartz. High heat above 300° can potentially scorch or burn quartz. Thermal shock from pots straight from a 500°+ oven may also damage integrity over time. Always using trivets and hot pads is advised.
How thick does quartz need to be for durability?
1.2cm is the recommended minimum thickness for sufficient strength. Thinner quartz around 0.7cm is more vulnerable to cracking from impacts over time. Optimal durability comes from 1.5-2cm+ thickness.
Do quartz countertops stain?
Quartz resist stains remarkably well. But it’s not impossible for excess pigments from oils, spices, sauces and chemicals to discolor the surface over many years, especially if not properly cleaned. Still, stains are much rarer than other surfaces.
Does quartz scratch like marble?
Nowhere near as easily. Quartz’s durability makes it highly scratch resistant compared to delicate marble. Where marble shows immediate signs of wear, quartz maintains its unblemished look for decades with just minor upkeep. Durability is a key quartz advantage.
Is quartz scratch resistant?
Extremely so for everyday kitchen use. Quartz won’t scratch from sliding plates, chopping, and scrubbing. Only significant force from sharper objects can potentially damage quartz. It rates 7 on the hardness scale, making it one of the most scratch-proof countertops available.
The Bottom Line
Kitchens and bathrooms subject countertops to years of scraping, scrubbing, chopping, and more. Only the toughest, most durable materials can stand up to the demands of daily use and continue looking pristine. With its inherent scratch, stain, and impact resistance, quartz proves to offer unmatched long-term durability.
While no material is completely invulnerable, quartz comes exceptionally close for household use. With just basic care and maintenance, quartz countertops will withstand decades of use while maintaining their flawless appearance and structural integrity. For homeowners seeking kitchen and bathroom surfaces able to handle years of heavy use without showing signs of damage, quartz delivers on durable performance.
Is Quartz Countertop Durable?
- Quartz countertops are made from 90-94% ground quartz, making them extremely hard and scratch resistant. They rate 7 on the Mohs scale, just below diamond.
- The non-porous nature of quartz makes it very stain resistant since liquids can’t penetrate the surface. Acids and oils will bead up rather than soak in.
- Quartz holds up to normal heat exposure from hot pans, skillets, and serving ware. But extreme, prolonged heat above 300°F could potentially damage quartz.
- Impacts and drops rarely damage quartz thanks to its hardened composition. But harsh, forceful blows have the potential to chip or crack the surface.
- Over time, quartz maintains its durability and appearance much better than natural stone, laminates, and solid surfaces. It doesn’t show signs of wear even after over 15 years.
- Simple maintenance like using cutting boards, washing spills promptly, and avoiding harsh cleaners keeps quartz looking pristine for decades. Quartz requires much less maintenance than other counter materials.
- Quartz offers superior durability compared to granite, marble, concrete, laminate, and other common countertop options used in kitchens and bathrooms.
Is Quartz Countertop Durable? Exploring The Longevity Of Quartz Countertops
If you’re considering a quartz countertop installation for your kitchen or bathroom remodel, durability is likely a key factor in your decision making. Natural stone surfaces like granite and marble can sustain damage and wear over time. Other countertop materials like laminate and solid surface also have vulnerabilities.
Quartz has emerged as a leading contender for durable countertops able to withstand heavy daily use. But how durable is quartz compared to other options? Here we examine the key qualities that make quartz an incredibly hardwearing countertop choice.
Quartz Countertops 101
Before analyzing quartz durability, let’s quickly review what quartz countertops are. Sometimes called engineered stone, quartz countertops are made from:
- Quartz Mineral – Finely crushed and ground quartz makes up 90-94% of the material. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals, rating 7 on the Mohs scale.
- Polymer Resins – Added resins like polyester, epoxy, and acrylic bind the quartz particulates together into a durable solid slab.
- Pigments – Added pigments introduce color and unique veining patterns that mimic natural stone.
This combination of quartz aggregates and tough resin cements creates a Non-Porous, highly durable surface perfect for countertops.
Now let’s examine why quartz countertops offer such formidable durability.
Kitchen countertops endure a lot of scraping, cutting, and scrubbing daily. All this abrasion can quickly scratch and dull softer natural stone surfaces like marble. But quartz’s high hardness makes it exceptionally scratch resistant.
On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, quartz rates 7 out of 10. For comparison, granite rates from 6-7 while marble ranks lower at a 3-4. This makes quartz one of the most scratch-proof materials available.
Quartz stands up admirably to cutting, chopping, pots and pans, and scouring. Cutting directly on a quartz surface likely won’t leave a mark. This scratch resistance retains its strength for many years compared to other surfaces that show gradual wear.
Quartz’s non-porous composition also provides excellent stain resistance for kitchen and bathroom spaces.
When liquids like wine, oil, and coffee spill onto marble, granite, and other natural stones, they can penetrate and discolor the porous surface over time. But with quartz, the tight resin binders form an impermeable barrier that blocks stains from soaking in.
Instead of absorbing, spilled liquids simply bead up on quartz’s surface so they can be easily wiped away without leaving a trace. While not stain-proof, quartz stands up to stains from household use remarkably well compared to other options.
Quartz also handles heat exposure better than many materials. The resin binders allow quartz surfaces to withstand:
- Hot pots, pans, and bakeware rested directly on the surface
- High temperatures from stovetops and ovens
- Warmer appliance surfaces like crockpots or electric griddles
The non-porous resins prevent heat damage and scorching. However, quartz does have its limits for extreme heat exposure. Direct flames or exposing quartz to temperatures above 300°F could potentially damage the resins over time. But for typical cooking tasks, quartz endures heat well.
Durability Over Time
Where quartz really outperforms other materials is how its durability holds up over many years of use. Natural stone and surfaces like laminate slowly wear even with careful maintenance. But quartz retains its hardy properties for over a decade of heavy use.
Since liquids can’t penetrate the surface, quartz doesn’t require resealing every few months like natural stone. Its scratch-resistant surface maintains remarkable resilience despite years of cutting and scouring. The color and polish of a quartz surface remains largely unchanged over more than 15 years.
This is why quartz makers confidently offer 10-15 year warranties. They stand behind how well quartz endures heavy use without significant signs of damage or decline.
Compared to delicate natural stone, quartz also better withstands the occasional kitchen mishap. Its durable composition is surprisingly tolerant of impacts.
For example, accidentally dropping a heavy pot, pan, or appliance onto quartz likely won’t crack, chip, or shatter the surface like it would marble. The resin binders absorb the impact while the hardened quartz aggregates resist fracturing.
However, quartz does have limits. Extreme impacts like hammering on the surface could potentially harm quartz over time. But for typical impacts, quartz’s superior durability