What Are Quartz Countertops Made Of?

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. But what exactly are these countertops made of? Here is a detailed look at the makeup of quartz countertops.

Composition of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone countertops, are made from a combination of materials for optimal performance and aesthetics. The key components are:

Quartz Crystals

  • Quartz countertops get their name from quartz crystals, which make up over 90% of the countertop by volume.
  • Quartz crystals are one of the hardest minerals found in nature, rated 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This high hardness gives quartz countertops excellent scratch and stain resistance.
  • The quartz is crushed into a fine powder and mixed with other materials to create the countertop slabs.

Polymeric Resins

  • About 7-15% of a quartz countertop consists of polymeric resins. These act as binders to hold the quartz particles together.
  • Resins impact the flexibility, strength, and moisture resistance of the material. Popular options include polyester, epoxy, and acrylic resins.
  • The type of resin used affects the look and performance of the finished countertop.


  • Pigments are added to achieve the desired color and pattern for quartz countertops.
  • Common pigments used include iron oxide, titanium oxide, and carbon. Different percentages of pigments create colors like white, black, blues, browns, greens, etc.
  • Pigments usually make up about 3% or less of the total material.

Other Additives

  • Small amounts of other additives may be used, making up less than 5% of the overall quartz countertop.
  • These can include recycled glass, shells, mirrors, semi-precious stones, and more.
  • Additives provide decorative accents and effects in the finished material.

The Manufacturing Process

Quartz countertops are made through an engineered process to create a durable, non-porous surface:

  • Step 1: Natural quartz is mined and then crushed into a fine powder. This powder is combined with pigments and resins.
  • Step 2: The mixture is compacted under vibration and vacuum pressure to remove air pockets and firmly press materials together.
  • Step 3: The material is molded into slabs using high pressure and vibration. Molds can imprint patterns and textures.
  • Step 4: Slabs are cured in an oven so resins can harden fully. The curing time affects the strength.
  • Step 5: Once cooled, the quartz slabs are polished, cut, and prepared for installation.

The Benefits of Quartz Countertops

The combination of quartz, resins, and other materials in quartz countertops creates a high-performance and visually appealing countertop material suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. Benefits include:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Stain, heat, and moisture resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Mold and bacteria resistant
  • Wide range of colors and patterns
  • Non-porous so liquids don’t penetrate
  • Seamless look of natural stone without the maintenance
  • Doesn’t require resealing like natural stone
  • Lower cost than natural stone alternatives

So in summary, quartz countertops get their resilient and attractive qualities from a mix of over 90% crushed quartz, 7-15% resins, and a small percentage of pigments and other additives. The combination of these materials makes quartz an ideal surface for busy kitchen and bathroom spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertops

Is quartz natural stone?

No, quartz countertops are engineered stone, made from crushed quartz bound together with resins. They have a look similar to natural stone but require less maintenance.

What are the disadvantages of quartz?

Quartz can be more prone to damage from impact compared to granite. Heat damage is also possible but unlikely with proper care. The material is also non-porous, so staining is not an issue.

How long do quartz countertops last?

With proper care, quartz countertops can last decades. Many come with a 10-year or 15-year manufacturer warranty. Their longevity rivals or exceeds that of granite.

Does quartz need to be sealed?

No, quartz does not require sealing because it is non-porous. This makes maintenance easier than natural stone counters like granite or marble that need periodic resealing.

Can you cut on quartz countertops?

Yes, quartz can be used as a cutting surface as long as proper care is taken to avoid chipping or scratching. Using a cutting board is recommended to preserve the beauty of the countertop.


Quartz has risen to popularity because it offers an extremely durable and low-maintenance countertop option that retains its beauty for many years. By understanding what quartz countertops are made of, including crushed quartz crystals, resins, and accent pigments, homeowners can appreciate the technology that goes into making this engineered stone. With strengths like scratch resistance, stain resistance, and non-porosity, quartz provides an unparalleled combination of form and function for kitchen and bathroom design.