Introduction to me Quartz Countertops
me Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Made from ground quartz combined with resins and pigments, quartz countertops offer an attractive, durable, and low-maintenance alternative to traditional countertop materials like granite, marble, and laminate.
With their natural stone-like beauty and variety of color options, me quartz countertops can complement nearly any home’s decor. Unlike granite and marble, quartz does not require regular sealing and is highly resistant to stains, scratches, chips, and cracks. This makes quartz an ideal choice for busy kitchens and bathrooms. me quartz countertops are also easier to maintain than many other types of natural stone, requiring only simple cleaning with mild soap and water to keep them looking like new.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know before choosing me quartz countertops for your next remodeling project, including:
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a abundantly found mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. It is one of the hardest materials found in nature, just behind diamonds in hardness. Natural quartz is mined and then pulverized into a fine powder. To make engineered quartz for countertops, the crushed quartz is combined with pigments for color and a small amount of resin as a binder.
The result is a durable, flexible, and low-maintenance engineered stone product. Quartz countertops maintain the beautiful, sparkling appearance of natural quartz but without the high maintenance requirements.
Benefits of me Quartz Countertops
me Quartz offers many advantages over natural stone and other countertop options:
Durable and Low Maintenance
Quartz countertops are incredibly strong and resistant to scratches, stains, cracks, chips, and heat damage. They are nearly maintenance-free, requiring only occasional cleaning with soap and water. Their non-porous surface does not need to be regularly sealed like natural stone.
The slick surface of quartz does not allow dirt, food, and liquids to soak in. This resistance to staining and harboring germs makes quartz an extremely hygienic choice.
With a wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes available, me quartz allows you to achieve nearly any style you desire. Quartz can convincingly emulate the look of natural stone while avoiding high-maintenance problems.
Quartz counters offer durability, low maintenance, and stylish good looks at a moderate price point. Quartz often costs less than natural stone but more than inexpensive options like laminate. Overall, quartz provides excellent value.
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require sealing as it will not absorb liquids. This makes maintenance simple.
Heat and Scratch Resistant
Quartz stands up well to heavy usage in kitchens. It resists scratches, scorching, and burns better than most other countertop materials.
Easy to Clean
Simple cleaning with soap and water is enough to keep quartz counters looking fresh. No special products are required.
Drawbacks of Quartz Countertops
Despite the many advantages, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider with me quartz countertops:
- Limited customization – Since quartz countertops are engineered in a factory, there is less room for customization than with natural stone. However, a wide variety of colors and patterns are available.
- Can chip if subjected to impact – While quartz is resistant to surface damage, dropped heavy objects can cause chips.
- Seams may be visible – For some installations, seams between quartz countertop slabs are unavoidable and may be faintly visible. Skilled fabrication can minimize the appearance.
- Manmade material – As an engineered product, quartz lacks the prestige and uniqueness of natural stone. But its performance strengths often outweigh this factor.
- Higher cost than laminate – Quartz is priced higher than inexpensive countertop materials like laminate. However, it compares favorably to granite and solid surface materials.
- Requires professional installation – The weight and rigidness of quartz makes DIY installation difficult. Hiring a pro ensures proper handling and fabrication.
Despite these limitations, me quartz remains one of the most popular options for its balance of aesthetics, practicality and affordability. For most homeowners, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
me Quartz vs. Granite Countertops
Granite is another top contender for kitchen and bath countertops. How does me quartz compare to natural granite? Here is a brief overview of the differences:
- Granite is only found in natural stone colors and patterns. Quartz offers manmade colors and styles.
- Granite exhibits natural variation while quartz has a more uniform appearance.
- Quartz is harder and less prone to cracks, chips or scratches than granite.
- Neither material needs sealing but granite can stain while quartz resists stains.
- Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains. Quartz needs only occasional cleaning.
- Granite can develop cracks over time. Quartz is less prone to damage.
- In general, me quartz pricing starts lower than granite but high-end quartz can overlap some granite prices.
- Quartz offers more predictability in pricing while granite has greater variability.
Both granite and quartz make excellent choices for countertops. Quartz performs better in terms of practical traits like durability and maintenance but some homeowners prefer the prestige and uniqueness of natural granite.
me Quartz Countertop Colors
One of the biggest advantages of me quartz over natural stone is the wide diversity of colors and patterns available.
Here are some of the most popular quartz colors and styles:
- Whites – Clean, bright whites like Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario lend an elegant, timeless look. Softer whites like Almond Cream and Coconut Cream are warmer options.
- Grays – From dark stormy grays to subtle, smoky shades, gray quartz brings a modern vibe.
- Beiges – Soft beiges and tans complement traditional or rustic kitchens beautifully. Options range from dark camel to creamy vanilla.
- Blacks – Striking black countertops make a bold statement. Some black quartz options have shimmering sparkle.
- Blues – Vivid midnight blue, soft sky blue, or swirls of blue tones create cool, watery visual impact.
- Greens – Earthy green hues like sage and jade can bring out natural elements in a kitchen or bath.
- Browns – Rich chocolates, warm caramels, and sophisticated taupes add a lovely neutral background.
- Multi-Colors – For maximum vibrancy, many me quartz slabs combine swirls of contrasting colors like beiges, grays, browns, and blacks.
With so many options available, it is easy to find the perfect quartz color to complement your space. Keep in mind that a variety of grain patterns and finishes like polished, matte, or textured are available within each color family.
How Much do me Quartz Countertops Cost?
As an engineered stone, quartz falls somewhere between natural stone and more affordable options like laminate in terms of pricing. Here is an overview of average quartz countertop costs:
- Quartz countertops typically cost $55 to $75 per square foot installed.
- The total cost for a typical 30 square foot kitchen countertop would be around $1,650 – $2,250.
- Factors like color, edge treatments, and regional labor rates can increase costs.
- More premium me quartz options can reach up to $100 per square foot installed. High-end styles mimic exotic natural stones.
- Simple, budget-friendly options like partial DIY installations can reduce costs to $40 per square foot.
- Quartz requires professional installation which typically adds $40-$100 per linear foot to the project cost.
- Other factors like demolition, alterations to cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and backsplash also affect total remodeling budgets.
With some shopping around, you can find quality quartz countertops installed for $60 per square foot or below, making quartz an affordably stylish option for most kitchens and bathrooms. Be sure to get multiple estimates before selecting your fabricator.
How to Choose the Best me Quartz Countertop
With so many color, pattern, and finish options on the market, choosing the perfect me quartz countertop requires some consideration. Follow these tips to select the ideal quartz:
- Samples – Order free small samples from manufacturers to see colors, patterns and textures up close before making a decision.
- Kitchen Style – Match your kitchen’s existing features like cabinetry, floors, and backsplashes. Contrast or coordinate with your decor.
- Lighting – View samples under both natural and artificial light to see how the color impressions change.
- Patterns – Slight patterns add depth but avoid extremely busy designs in small kitchens. Prioritize easy maintenance.
- Finishes – Matte finishes hide fingerprints and scratches while polished finishes shine. Consider your lifestyle.
- Visual Interest – Subtle veining adds interest without the maintenance issues of pronounced veining.
- Edge Profiles – Square edges work well in modern and transitional spaces while bullnose edges soften traditional rooms.
- Budget – Get quotes on a few color/pattern options to see pricing differences. Focus on cost versus long-term value.
Choosing the most appealing and practical me quartz countertop for your space is essential. Carefully weigh all the options before making a decision.
How to Clean and Care for me Quartz Countertops
One of the biggest advantages of me quartz is that it requires very little maintenance. With just a bit of care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for years. Follow these tips to care for quartz:
- Daily Cleaning – For day to day cleaning, use a mild soap and warm water. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Blot spills promptly to prevent stains.
- Stubborn Stains – For tougher stains, use a non-abrasive cleaner formulated for stone. Check the cleaner is safe for quartz first.
- Disinfecting – Occasionally disinfect quartz surfaces with diluted bleach – 10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Avoid contact between bleach and metal.
- Avoid Abrasives – Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, or powders which can scratch the finish.
- Heat Protection – Always use trivets and hot pads to prevent exposing quartz to excessive direct high heat.
- Annual Deep Cleaning – Once a year, deep clean quartz using a stone-safe cleaner to remove built-up grime or residues.
- Sealing – Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require sealing to prevent staining or damage.
With routine care and cleaning, a me quartz countertop will maintain its good condition and beauty for many years before needing replacement. The material’s durability and low maintenance requirements make it an easy-care choice.
Does Quartz Need to be Sealed?
Unlike porous natural stones like granite, me quartz does not require sealing. The resins used to make engineered quartz create a non-porous surface that resists moisture penetration. Liquids and stains cannot soak into quartz counters, so sealing is unnecessary.
However, it’s important to note:
- New quartz can benefit from an initial sealing when first installed, but it does not need ongoing sealing.
- Sealing is optional and will not impact stain resistance. But it can help with smoother cleaning for the first weeks of use.
- For food prep areas, antibacterial sealers can offer added protection. These also do not need reapplication over time.
- If any stains do develop, quartz can be spot treated with sealers to help draw out deep-set stains.
So in summary, regular sealing is not at all required for quartz countertops. But optional initial or spot treatments can help protect brand new installs or improve cleaning. Be sure to use a product specifically made for quartz and granite, not tile sealers.
Is Quartz Heat Resistant?
One of the advantages of engineered me quartz is its superior resistance to damage from heat compared to many other countertop materials. However, quartz does have its limits when exposed to high temperatures.
Here’s how quartz performs with heat:
- Quartz holds up well against typical household heat exposure like hot pans, briefly leaving a burner on, or setting down a hot dish.
- Brief contact with temperatures up to about 300°F generally will not damage quartz surfaces.
- Prolonged direct contact with higher heat or sudden, rapid temperature changes can damage quartz.
- Quartz manufacturers do not recommend exposing quartz to sustained temperatures above 300°F.
- Always use trivets, hot pads or silicone baking mats for any appliances, pans, etc that may output more than 300°F direct heat.
- Thermal shocks like pouring boiling water directly on quartz or sudden, drastic temperature shifts can harm quartz.
While quartz has excellent heat resistance compared to other stones and surfaces, it should still be protected from extreme prolonged heat exposure or sudden big temperature swings to prevent cracks, burns or discoloration over time. With reasonable care quartz performs very well in kitchens.
Is me Quartz Durable?
With a rating of 7 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale, quartz countertops are between granite (rating of 6 to 7) and diamonds (rating of 10) in toughness. The resins in quartz also make it flexible and resistant to cracks.
In practical terms, this means properly installed and cared for me quartz countertops are highly durable and ideal for busy kitchens:
- Quartz’s hard, non-porous surface resists scratches, stains, and etching much better than other stone and many synthetics.
- The material is also resistant to chips, cracks, and burns when used properly. However, significant impact can cause chips.
- me quartz maintains its glossy smooth surface over time, while some materials show wear and roughening.
- Proper fabrication and installation prevents seams from separating and prevents cracks.
- As an engineered material made under controlled factory conditions, quartz has consistent durability unlike natural stone’s variability.
With reasonable care, me quartz should last an average homeowner many years before needing replacement. For busy kitchens and baths needing strength and easy maintenance, quartz is an excellent choice.
Quartz vs. Marble Countertops
Marble is prized for its elegance and natural beauty in countertops, but how does it compare to engineered me quartz? Here are the main differences:
- Marble offers a wide variety of natural veining and colors. Quartz allows more consistency in patterns and speckling.
- Marble exhibits natural variation while quartz has a more uniform look.
- Marble is softer and prone to etching, scratches and chips over time. Quartz is extremely hard and durable.
- Marble can develop cracks. Quartz is less prone to surface damage.
- Marble requires frequent sealing to prevent stains. Quartz needs little maintenance.
- Marble can easily stain. Quartz resists most stains, only requiring soap and water for cleaning.
- Marble is often less expensive than high quality quartz.
- Installation costs may be lower for marble but long term maintenance is higher.
For those who specifically desire marble’s prestige, beauty, and Old World charm, it can make an excellent countertop material. However, quartz generally is a more practical, durable, and lower maintenance option for busy kitchens and baths.
Quartz vs. Solid Surface Countertops
In addition to natural stone, me quartz also competes with engineered solid surface materials like Corian®. How does quartz compare on key factors?
- Solid surface has limited color/pattern options. Quartz offers more variety and natural stone looks.
- Seamless appearance is possible with solid surface but not quartz.
- Quartz resists scratches, stains, heat better than many solid surface materials.
- Solid surface can be prone to damage from hot pans. Quartz is more heat resistant.
- Routine care is similar for both—simple soap and water cleaning. No sealing needed.
- Quartz is slightly easier to clean since fewer cleaners can harm its surface.
- Solid surface is often the more economical choice.
- More premium quartz costs more but basic quartz can be comparable to mid-range solid surface.
For those wanting natural stone aesthetics, quartz has advantages. But for contemporary styles, seamless installation, and budget value, solid surface like Corian® remains a top contender against quartz.
Are me Quartz Countertops Environmentally Friendly?
As homeowners become more eco-conscious, they often wonder whether modern engineered materials like me quartz counters are environmentally responsible choices. Here are some factors to consider:
- Quartz contains high percentages of natural quartz stone so it uses less petroleum-based resins than many synthetics.
- Most manufacturers use recyclable materials and avoid hazardous chemicals in making quartz.
- Quartz requires less energy, water, and processing than many other countertop