Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. Here is an in-depth guide on where to buy quartz countertops for your next remodeling project.
Overview of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a man-made material that resembles natural stone but has increased flexural strength and stain resistance.
Some key benefits of quartz kitchen countertops include:
- Durable and long-lasting – Resists scratches, stains, heat damage better than natural stone
- Low maintenance – Does not require regular sealing or polishing
- Hygienic – Non-porous so does not harbor bacteria
- Stylish – Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Customizable – Can be fabricated into any shape needed
Quartz is an excellent option for busy kitchens prone to spills and stains. The material is more affordable than natural stone while still providing an elegant, high-end look.
Where to Shop for Quartz Countertops
When ready to purchase quartz countertops, you have several options:
Big Box Home Improvement Stores
Large home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have an extensive selection of quartz countertop slabs on display. They work with leading brands like Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and Viatera.
The advantage of big box stores is convenience—you can browse different quartz varieties in one location. Keep in mind that the available colors and styles may be limited compared to a specialized distributor.
Local Countertop Suppliers
Many communities have local countertop fabricators and suppliers specializing in natural stone and engineered quartz. These businesses have relationships with various quartz manufacturers and can source slabs in numerous colors, finishes, and patterns.
Local suppliers provide greater customization options compared to big box stores. They can fabricate quartz pieces to fit your exact kitchen layout. However, lead times for production may be longer.
Direct from Quartz Brands
Major quartz companies like Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and others sell their products through a network of authorized distributors. You can browse inventory online and then visit a local retailer carrying that brand.
Purchasing directly from a brand allows you to view the full range of options. Keep in mind that some exclusive patterns may come at a higher cost. You’ll also need to work with a fabricator for installation.
A few online stores specialize in selling quartz slabs directly to consumers. For example, eBay provides listings from various quartz brands that you can filter by color, finish, etc. Online purchases involve more risk since you cannot see the material in person before buying. Be sure to understand return policies in case the slab has defects.
How to Select the Best Quartz Countertop
When shopping for quartz, keep the following tips in mind:
- Visit showrooms to view colors and patterns in real life. Quarts can look different under various lighting.
- Bring measurements to determine how many slabs you need. Remember to account for seams and overhangs.
- Examine closely for any cracks, chips, or imperfections in the material.
- Feel the surface to ensure it’s smooth without uneven spots.
- Consider texture – Some quartzes have more dramatic patterns than others.
- Preview edge profiles like bullnose or ogee to visualize the finished look.
- Check warranties to understand what defects are covered by the manufacturer.
- Get quotes from 2-3 shops to compare pricing. Bundled deals with installation may offer cost savings.
Professional Installation for Your Quartz Countertop
Once purchased, quartz slabs require expert fabrication and installation. The precise cutting needed to fit your counters requires specialized tools. Proper seam placement also prevents future cracking.
Seek out experienced quartz installers with training from the manufacturer. Confirm they will:
- Carefully measure templates of your existing counters.
- Fabricate the slabs offsite for a perfect fit.
- Smooth edges and polish seams for minimal appearance.
- Securely attach the quartz to reinforce stability.
- Seal joints between countertop and walls.
Proper installation ensures your quartz counters remain sturdy and flawless for decades. Take time to find a qualified installer upfront.
Maintaining and Caring for Quartz Countertops
Quartz requires very little maintenance thanks to its non-porous surface. Follow these tips to keep your counters looking pristine:
- For everyday cleaning, use a mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
- Blot spills quickly to prevent stains from setting.
- Reseal joints every 1-2 years using a colored caulk that matches the slab.
- Avoid exposing the surface to excessive heat from hot pans. Use trivets.
- Never use sealants or polishing compounds on the quartz.
- Check manufacturer guidelines for stain removal advice. Some acids can damage the surface.
With proper care, your quartz counters will stay resilient and maintain their original beauty. Be sure to keep the manufacturer’s warranty information handy.
FAQ About Purchasing Quartz Countertops
Where can I view quartz counters in person?
The best places to see quartz countertops in person are big box home improvement stores, local countertop suppliers, or quartz brand showrooms. This allows you to get a feel for color variations before purchasing.
What should I look out for when selecting a quartz slab?
Carefully examine the quartz for any cracks, chips, uneven spots, or obvious flaws. Also consider the texture and pattern to determine if it fits your desired style. Bring kitchen measurements to check sizing.
What are the most popular quartz brands?
Some of the top brands for residential and commercial use include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, Viatera, Vicostone, MSI, and DuPont Zodiaq. Each offers unique colors and patterns.
Should I purchase quartz directly from a brand or retailer?
It depends on your priorities. Buying directly from major brands allows you to see their entire inventory. Retailers often provide greater customization and may bundle installation. Evaluate options to find the best value.
How much do quartz countertops cost?
Quartz countertops range from $80 – $140 per square foot installed. Total costs depend on the quality, pattern, and thickness. More complex projects like full kitchen remodels also impact the final price.
How do I maintain and care for my new quartz counters?
For daily cleaning, mild soap and water is all that’s needed. Blot spills immediately to prevent stains. Avoid exposing the surface to excessive heat. Reseal joints every 1-2 years. Check with the manufacturer for stain removal guidance to avoid damage.
Quartz kitchen countertops provide unparalleled durability, hygiene, and style. When sourcing quartz, browse selections at big box stores, specialized suppliers, directly through brands, or online retailers. Carefully inspect all materials prior to purchasing. Hire experienced professionals for flawless fabrication and installation. With proper care and maintenance, quartz counters will stay looking pristine for years to come, making them a worthwhile investment in your kitchen’s functionality and beauty.