Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. But what exactly does a quartz countertop look like? Here is an overview of the appearance and design options of quartz countertops.
Introduction to Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone countertops, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together.
Some key advantages of quartz countertops include:
- Durability – Quartz is resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and cracks.
- Low maintenance – Quartz does not require regular sealing or polishing. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all that is needed.
- Stylish appearance – Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns that mimic natural stone.
- Non-porous – Quartz does not harbor bacteria or allow liquids to seep in.
What Does Quartz Look Like?
The look of a quartz countertop can vary greatly depending on the style and color pattern selected. Here are some of the design options:
Many quartz slabs come in uniform, consistent solid colors all the way through such as white, gray, black, or cream. The color will be the same throughout the thickness of the slab. Solid colors lend a modern, sleek look.
There are quartz materials designed to emulate the look of natural stone like marble or granite. These have swirls, veins, speckles, and other patterns for added visual interest. The veining gives a natural appearance without the maintenance needs of real stone.
Some quartz counters have an agglomerate or amalgamated appearance, with various sized quartz fragments and pieces embedded in the resin matrix. This style provides an earthy, organic look.
Sparkling and Metallic Finishes
For a glamorous appearance, some quartz slabs incorporate sparkling mica, glitter flakes, or metallic particles. These reflective specks catch and reflect light.
There are many quartz options that blend several colors together in an artistic way. Different colored crystals and aggregates are mixed to create color variations.
Quartz Surface Finishes
In addition to selecting a color and pattern, quartz can have different surface finishes:
A polished finish gives the surface an ultra-smooth, glossy look. This is the most popular finish for quartz.
For a softer aesthetic, a matte or honed finish provides a flat non-reflective surface. Fingerprints and watermarks are minimized with the matte look.
Some quartz slabs incorporate texture. The surface may have ripples, striations, or small indentations to emulate motives, leather, concrete, limestone or other natural materials.
Edges and Backsplashes
The edges and backsplashes also contribute to the overall design of a quartz countertop:
- Edge styles – Square, beveled, ogee, bullnose, and other edge profiles can be fabricated.
- Backsplashes – usually made from the same slab, with options like standard height, full height, popped out, modern angles.
- Special effects – Some companies offer embellishments like hand-carved edges, laminated edges, or decorative endcaps.
Brands of Quartz Counters
Many companies manufacture quartz slabs under various brand names. Some popular brands include Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone, Viatera, Vicostone, MSI Q Premium Natural Quartz, Cosentino, and Corian. Each brand offers unique colors, patterns, and naming conventions for their products.
Quartz Looks Like Natural Stone But Performs Better
Quartz delivers the appearance of high-end natural stone but without the fragility and maintenance. If you are looking for countertops that are stylish, durable, and easy-care, quartz is an excellent option that comes in many beautiful colors and designs. With proper installation, a quartz countertop will last for many years of daily use while maintaining its good looks. Take some time to view quartz slab samples to see all the design possibilities for your home or business.
Factors That Contribute To The Look of Quartz Countertops
There are several factors that influence the final look and aesthetic of a quartz countertop installation. Understanding these elements will help guide decision making when selecting and designing with quartz.
Quartz Material Composition
As described above, the specific color, pattern, and particle sizes mixed into the engineered slab determines the overall visual appeal. Larger quartz fragments will give a more textured look than fine particles. Some colors and textures are meant to emulate natural stone while others are more modern.
Direction of Veining Patterns
In quartz materials with flowing veins, aggregations, or geometric patterns, the orientation of the designs makes a difference in the look. Veining can run horizontally, vertically, or at an angle. Quartz slabs can be rotated to customize the alignment and flow of patterns.
The edge style chosen impacts the finished appearance. Thinner edge profiles like bevel or ogee create a delicate, elegant look. More substantial edges like triple bullnose provide a thick, chunky appearance. The edge can match or contrast the slab.
Integrated quartz backsplashes contribute to a streamlined, contemporary aesthetic versus traditional tile backsplashes. The backsplash height and whether the material is continuous or popped out influences the overall look.
For larger countertops, seams will be necessary. The locations of the seams and how visible they end up will affect the visual flow. Good planning of seam placement can keep them subtle and inconspicuous.
Fit with Cabinetry and Architecture
The cabinets, floors, lighting, and room details should harmonize with the tone and style of the selected quartz material. A bright white modern quartz will look best against darker cabinetry in a contemporary space versus traditional cabinets.
Proper installation is crucial for an attractive finished look. Cutouts for sinks and cooktops should have clean precise edges. Seams should be tight and aligned correctly. The countertop should sit level without wiggle or uneven surfaces.
Care Over Time
Simple regular cleaning and avoiding damage will keep quartz looking like new over decades of use. Quartz does not require sealing or polishing, but spilled liquids should be promptly wiped up and abrasive scrubbing avoided. With proper care, quartz retains its original beauty.
Popular Colors for Quartz Countertops
With many options on the market, here are some of the most popular quartz countertop colors being selected for home kitchens and bathrooms:
An elegant, timeless choice. Crisp white quartz has a fresh clean appearance. Popular white quartz varieties include Carrara, Glacier White, Frosty Carrina, and Statuario Venato.
On trend, gray tones work with any style from modern to traditional. Gray colors include Cirrus Grey, Stormy Grey, London Grey, Sprite, and Concrete.
For contemporary dramatic flair, black quartz makes a bold statement. Some top choices are Midnight, Nebula Quartz, and Nero.
Beige and Cream Quartz
Warm beige and cream quartz materials create a soothing, welcoming ambiance with colors like Cream, Cameo Quartz, and Beachquartz.
Cool aqua, marine and sky blues have calming tranquil vibes. Choose from Cloudy Blue Quartz, Skylight Quartz, Skye Quartz, or Blue Stone.
Verdant green quartz varieties referencing nature include Sagebrush Quartz, Kona Quartz, Jade Quartz, and Moss Quartz.
Rich organic browns like Coffee Quartz, Peanut Butter Quartz, and Chocolate Brown emulate natural earthen hues.
Get creative with vibrant blends of colors and patterns like red/blue/green merging, dramatic high contrast aggregates, or chic metallic flickers.
Many of the top quartz manufacturers offer their own proprietary collections of colors and patterns with unique names like Caesarstone’s Supernatural collection or Cambria’s Brittanicca and Maritime series. There are unlimited ways to mix and match colors, textures, edges, and other options to make your quartz countertop uniquely you.
Costs of Quartz Countertops
What type of price range can you expect for quartz counters? Here is an overview of typical installed costs.
- Quartz slab prices per square foot – $40 – $100, averaging $55-$75 per square foot
- Total installed cost per square foot – $80 – $150 depending on slab chosen, edges, backsplash, complexity, and region. Simple applications in the Midwest or South may range $80 – $120 per square foot while premium slabs with intricate edge details in areas like California may be $120 – $150 per square foot installed.
- Quartz vs Granite – Quartz is generally a bit more expensive than granite for material, but comparable in total installed cost.
- Quartz vs Marble – Quartz is similarly priced to many marbles but requires less sealing/maintenance.
- Quartz vs Laminate – Quartz has a higher upfront cost than laminate but will have much longer lifespan and better resale value.
Always get 3-5 estimates from reputable fabricators before final countertop selection to understand total project costs. The final price depends on the variables above for your specific kitchen or bath. Many find quartz an attractive balance of aesthetics, ease of care, and value over the long term.
FAQs About Quartz Countertops Appearance
Some common questions about the look of quartz countertops:
Q: Does quartz look like real stone?
A: Quality quartz is engineered to closely emulate the appearance of stone like marble or granite. The patterns, speckling, veining, and aggregate styling aims to authentically mimic natural materials.
Q: Does quartz look dated after a few years?
A: Quartz offers timeless beauty and does not look dated. Neutral colors stay stylish for years. Bolder styles can be updated with new backsplashes, hardware, or paint colors as desired.
Q: How thick are quartz countertops?
A: Quartz slabs are typically 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ thick. Thicker edges can be built up as part of fabrication. Thickness impacts appearance and feel underhand.
Q: What edge profiles look best with quartz?
A: Waterfall edges and thin edges continue trending for quartz countertops. However, personal style preferences rule. Modern, traditional, minimal, or ornate edges can complement quartz.
Q: Can quartz have seams that show?
A: Seam placement is carefully planned in the design phase. Seams are often barely detectable after installation and normal use will make them less noticeable over time.
Q: Is quartz pricier than granite?
A: Quartz and granite have similar total installed costs on average. Granite has more very low cost options which widen overall range. Highest end granite and quartz are comparable.
Q: Can you use different edge/backsplash on quartz?
A: Yes, mixing materials is possible. A marble backsplash can pair nicely with quartz counters. Contrasting edges or personalized inlays create unique looks.
With the right combination of quartz material, edge details, seam placement, color coordination, and professional installation, quartz countertops can look stunning in any kitchen or bath remodel. Take the time to view design ideas online and visit showrooms to get inspired by the limitless options. There are so many styles, colors and patterns available to perfectly suit your home’s character and your family’s needs whether your taste runs modern, traditional or somewhere in between. A well-selected quartz countertop will be a beautiful and functional focal point that you can enjoy for decades.