The Origins of Quartz Countertops
- Quartz surfaces were first developed in the 1960s by Dupont as a durable, non-porous alternative to natural stone countertops like granite and marble.
- Dupont registered the quartz surface under the brand name “Zodiaq” in the late 1980s. This was one of the earliest trademarked quartz surfaces for countertops.
- In the 1990s, other companies started manufacturing their own branded quartz surfaces, like Caesarstone, Silestone, and Cambria. This made quartz more available to consumers.
Growth in Popularity in the 2000s
- In the early 2000s, as more brands entered the market, quartz became an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels.
- Between 2000-2008, quartz countertop sales grew over 800%. This rapid growth showed the increasing consumer demand for quartz.
- By 2005, quartz accounted for over 10% of all countertop sales. By 2008, this number had grown to over 20% of the countertop market.
Why Did Quartz Countertops Become Popular?
Several factors led to the rise in popularity of quartz countertops:
- Quartz mimics the high-end look of natural stone but has more consistent coloring and patterning. This appealed to consumers.
- Quartz comes in a wide range of colors and styles like marble, granite, and concrete. This variety gave consumers more design options.
- Quartz is very low maintenance and resistant to scratches, stains, chips, cracks and heat. It held up better than natural stone over time.
- The non-porous nature of quartz makes it very hygienic requiring little sealing or polishing. This made it ideal for kitchens.
- Lower priced quartz options became available in the 2000s, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to natural stone.
- Technological advances brought down manufacturing costs, which also reduced quartz prices over time.
Quartz Countertop Popularity Today
- As of 2022, quartz makes up over 50% of the engineered stone countertop market.
- Quartz countertop sales have grown over 1000% since 2000.
- Popular branded quartz product lines today include Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone, Vicostone, Quartz Master, Viatera, and Hanstone among others.
- Quartz remains a top choice for upscale kitchen and bath remodels today due to its aesthetics, durability, and affordability compared to natural stone.
- Continued innovations in quartz manufacturing, customization, and product options ensure quartz countertops will remain a staple in homes for years to come.
FAQs about Quartz Countertops
What are the benefits of quartz countertops?
Some key benefits of quartz countertops include:
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant
- Stain, mold, mildew, and bacteria resistant
- Requires very little maintenance
- Seamless appearance
- Heat and impact resistant
- Wide range of colors and styles
- Long lifespan (warranties of 15-25 years)
How do quartz countertops compare to granite or marble?
Compared to natural stones like granite and marble, quartz is:
- More consistent in color and pattern
- Less prone to stains, etching and scratches
- Needs less sealing and polishing
- Resists heat better than granite
- Less likely to chip or crack
- Easier to clean and maintain
However, natural stones offer a unique one-of-a-kind aesthetic that many still prefer over quartz.
What are quartz countertops made of?
Quartz countertops are made from about 90-95% ground quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together into a durable solid surface.
How expensive are quartz countertops?
Quartz countertops range in cost from $50-150 per square foot installed. More affordable options start around $50 per square foot. Higher-end custom quartz can cost up to $150 per square foot installed. Total costs depend on the quality, brand, color and complexity of the project.
How long do quartz countertops last?
With proper care, quartz countertops can last 25 years or longer. Many companies offer warranties of 15 years or more. Over time, some staining or dulling may occur, but quartz will resist scratches and cracks better than natural stone.
Quartz transformed the countertop industry as a durable, attractive, and affordable alternative to natural stone. After entering the market in the 1990s, quartz became widely popular in the 2000s as more brands entered the market and lowered costs. Its resistance to damage, easy maintenance, and range of styles make quartz one of the most preferred options for countertops today after its meteoric rise over the past 20 years. With on-going innovations, quartz countertops are sure to maintain their dominance in kitchen and bathroom design for years to come.