Red quartz has become an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops in recent years. Known for its durability, easy maintenance, and beautiful appearance, red quartz offers homeowners an attractive and practical alternative to natural stone and other materials. Here is a detailed guide on where to buy red quartz countertops.
What is Red Quartz?
Red quartz, also known as engineered quartz, is made from crushed natural quartz blended with resins and pigments. This mixture is then compacted under extreme heat and pressure to create an incredibly hard, non-porous slab.
While natural quartz on its own is white or colorless, red quartz gets its vibrant hue from added pigments during the manufacturing process. The red coloration runs all the way through the material, so it will not fade or discolor over time.
Red quartz countertops retain the key benefits of natural stone while avoiding some of its drawbacks:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
- Stain, heat, and water resistant
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Consistent coloring throughout
- Does not need periodic sealing
With proper care, red quartz countertops can last for many decades in the home. Their low porosity and integral coloring also minimize the need for harsh chemical cleaners. This makes red quartz an ideal choice for busy kitchens and baths.
Where to Shop for Red Quartz Countertops
Red quartz countertops can be purchased from a few different sources:
Big Box Home Improvement Stores
Major home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowes stock a selection of red quartz slabs and offer in-store fabrication and installation services. This provides a convenient one-stop shopping experience. However, the color selection may be limited compared to quartz specialists.
Local Stone Suppliers
Many local stone yards and suppliers will also carry red quartz options along with their natural stone slabs. Be sure to ask about their quartz inventory. Local suppliers can offer greater customization and customer service during the templating and installation process.
Buying red quartz slabs online simplifies the shopping process. Retailers like MSI, Caesarstone, and Silestone allow you to view all available colors and order samples. Once you select a color, they coordinate delivery and fabrication. Purchasing sight unseen can be risky, so be sure to closely inspect your slabs upon delivery.
Direct From Quartz Manufacturers
Some of the largest engineered quartz brands like Cambria and Cosentino operate their own showrooms and fabrication shops. Visiting a manufacturer’s design center allows you to view a huge range of colors and patterns in person. Keep in mind that lead times for fabrication and installation may be longer when ordering direct.
What to Look for When Buying Red Quartz
- Color consistency – Inspect the slabs to ensure an even distribution of color and pattern. Some variation is normal, but adjacent pieces should transition smoothly.
- Surface quality – Check thoroughly for any pits, cracks, or surface defects. Your slabs should arrive in pristine condition.
- Fabrication reputation – Be sure to vet any third party fabricators carefully. Look for experience working specifically with quartz. Poor fabrication can ruin even the highest quality materials.
- Warranty coverage – Red quartz usually comes with at least a 10 year manufacturer warranty. Make sure you understand exactly what defects are covered.
- Installation services – Some retailers offer full-service fabrication and installation. Choose this option if you want minimal hassle.
- Price – Red quartz is priced in a range similar to natural stone, typically $50-$100 per square foot installed. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true.
How to Care for Red Quartz Countertops
The resilient properties of engineered quartz make red quartz countertops very simple to maintain:
- For daily cleaning, simply wipe down with a soft sponge and mild soap and water.
- For stuck-on messes, use a non-abrasive cleanser like Soft Scrub or Bon-Ami with a damp sponge or non-scratching scrub pad.
- Disinfect periodicially with a cleaner made specifically for stone surfaces.
- Avoid exposing the countertops to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
- Use cutting boards and hot pads whenever preparing food or placing hot items on the surface.
- Re-seal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating quartz sealer to enhance stain resistance.
- Avoid using abrasive pads, scouring powders, or harsh cleaners that can damage the finish.
With appropriate care and maintenance, red quartz countertops will stay looking like new for decades. The small amount of regular upkeep is well worth it for the beauty, performance, and pride these surfaces bring to any home kitchen or bath.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is red quartz more expensive than other colors?
The price of quartz is primarily based on the overall quality and pattern of the material. Some specialty colors like red may carry a small premium over standard white or black quartz, but not a significant amount.
How thick should red quartz countertops be?
3 cm (1.2 inches) is the most common standard thickness. Go with 2 cm (0.8 inches) for lower cost, or 5 cm (2 inches) for a sturdier appearance. Thicker slabs are recommended for heavier use areas.
Can you etch designs, patterns, or lettering into red quartz?
Yes, quartz can be computer engraved to create decorative designs and lettering on the surface. This can be done to customize pieces like kitchen backsplashes. Ask your fabricator about their etching capabilities.
Does red quartz get hot from the stove or hot pans?
While resistant to heat damage, quartz can still get hot when exposed to very high temperatures. Using trivets and hot pads is always recommended to avoid getting burned. The color does not affect heat sensitivity.
How long does it take to get red quartz countertops installed?
From ordering to installation typically takes 3-4 weeks. The fabrication shop needs up to 2 weeks to cut out your slabs and edges once they receive your templates. Schedule accordingly if doing a kitchen remodel.
With the right combination of durability, practicality, and eye-catching color, red quartz has become a top choice for homeowners wanting to make a vibrant statement. Following this guide on where to shop, what to look for, and how to care for them will ensure you end up with gorgeous red quartz countertops that withstand heavy use and look incredible for years to come. Do your homework, inspect carefully, and invest in quality fabrication services, and your red quartz surfaces will become a treasured part of your daily life.