White quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance, and sleek modern aesthetic. However, one concern that often comes up is whether white quartz slabs will match if installed at different times, such as during a kitchen remodel. The good news is that with careful selection and planning, it is possible to get a seamless look with white quartz countertops, even if they are installed months or years apart.
What is White Quartz?
Before diving into the matching question, it helps to understand what exactly quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops are engineered stone slabs created from roughly 90% ground natural quartz minerals and 10% polymer resins and pigments. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a hard, non-porous surface.
The added pigments are what gives quartz its color and pattern. White quartz gets its crisp clean look from titanium dioxide, which is a bright white pigment. Other shades like grays and neutrals are achieved by adding in black, silver or copper colored pigments.
Why White Quartz May Vary Between Batches
When shopping for white quartz slabs, you’ll notice that no two pieces look exactly identical, even if they are the same brand and color. This natural variation occurs for a few reasons:
- Subtle differences in quartz mineral composition – No two mining sites will yield precisely the same makeup of quartz particles. This can account for subtle shifts in texture.
- Variation in pigment distribution – While the goal is to achieve uniform pigment dispersion, some small inconsistencies can occur batch to batch.
- Position on the slab – Quartz slabs are cut from large engineered blocks. The position of the slab within the block impacts the patterns seen.
For these reasons, white quartz slabs will have an inherent range of lightness, tones, and veining patterns within the same overall color family. This is part of the natural beauty of quartz. However, it does mean that if your countertops are fabricated months or years apart, you’ll want to take steps to get the best color match possible.
Tips for Matching White Quartz Countertops
Here are some best practices for ensuring white quartz counters seamlessly match from one installation to the next:
Purchase from the Same Manufacturer and Line
The first step is purchasing quartz slabs from the same brand and line as your original counters. Although different companies formulate their own quartz recipes, staying within the same product line improves the chances of a consistent bright white tone and texture.
For instance, if you first chose Caesarstone Pure White, purchase additional Caesarstone Pure White slabs for future projects or expansions. While another company’s white may look similar, side by side discrepancies in shade and pattern will be more noticeable than if using the identical line.
Use Slabs from the Same Lot
When buying quartz slabs, each batch from the factory is assigned a lot number. It’s printed on the back of every slab. For the closest match possible, request slabs from the same lot as your original counters.
This ensures the slabs came from the exact same engineered quartz block, guaranteeing excellent consistency in color, movement, and aggregate.
If the same lot is no longer available, at minimum request slabs from the same week or month of production. The closer the manufacture dates, the better the match will be.
Use Consistent Lighting When Selecting Slabs
The way lighting hits quartz can impact how white it appears. When viewing slabs at the stone yard or fabricator, be sure to examine them under the same conditions.
Natural daylight is best. If using indoor lighting, ensure it’s the same intensity and color temperature each time. This allows you to accurately assess consistency in whiteness.
Avoid color distorting conditions like shadows or warm incandescent bulbs. Consistent pure white lighting removes variables.
Match the Slabs Yourself Before Fabrication
Once potential matching slabs are selected don’t leave it to chance. Visit the stone yard or workshop to examine the old and new pieces side by side. This allows you to confirm the color, patterning and aggregate match to your eye before cutting begins.
If you see noticeable differences in whiteness or veining under the lighting, work with your fabricator to source better matched slabs from the supplier. Don’t rely on photos alone – eyeballing the pieces is the best test.
Use Consistent Thickness Slabs
Quartz thickness can also impact its appearance. A 3 cm slab will allow more light transmission while a 2 cm piece may look darker or more saturated. For the closest match, keep the slab thicknesses the same between installations. A difference in thickness will be especially noticeable on backsplashes or perimeter countertops.
Take Home Samples to Compare
When evaluating potential matches, bring home loose samples to examine next to your existing counters under your permanent kitchen or bathroom lighting.
Natural lighting shifts throughout the day – morning, afternoon and evening light can make colors appear different. Viewing samples at home at various times allows you to preview the match before committing.
Blend Old & New Slabs Strategically
When fabricating, have your installer create the layout thoughtfully, blending old and new slabs in an intentional pattern. This can help minimize abrupt changes between pieces.
- Place new white quartz on island and existing on perimeter
- Use existing quartz on most visible spaces like peninsulas
- Alternate old and new slabs in unbroken runs
Discuss layout ideas with your fabricator to find the most seamless blend.
Will White Quartz Countertops Exactly Match?
While following the best practices above can get you very close, understand that some mild variation between installations is inevitable with natural stone surfaces like quartz. The suggestions here minimize obvious mismatches but cannot guarantee an absolute perfect match.
However, inherent quartz variation adds depth, dimension, and visual interest. Slight differences create a distinctive look that is unique to your home. If maintaining a flawless uniform appearance is a top priority, solid surface materials like Corian may be a better option than engineered stone.
Overall, with due diligence selecting consistent white quartz slabs from the same manufacturer and thoughtfully fabricated layouts, you can achieve stunning counters that flow beautifully from one area to the next. Any mild variations add organic beauty to the finished look.
Frequently Asked Questions About Matching White Quartz Countertops
Here are answers to some common questions homeowners have about ensuring a seamless look with white quartz installed over time:
Can you add new white quartz countertops years later?
Yes, white quartz counters installed years apart can match well if care is taken selecting consistent slabs. Be sure to note the brand, line and lot number of your original counters. Purchase new slabs from the identical production batch if possible. Examine them carefully under consistent lighting and home conditions before fabricating. With due diligence, white quartz additions can blend beautifully even years later.
Will different white quartz thicknesses match?
Using the same slab thickness is recommended, as different thicknesses can impact how color and light transmit through the quartz. However, if necessary, a skilled fabricator can often seamlessly join different quartz thicknesses by carefully leveling and polishing edges. Discuss options with your installer.
Should you mix old and new quartz pieces during fabrication?
It’s ideal to thoughtfully blend old and new slabs during layout to achieve the most uniform look. Strategies like alternating pieces or placing new slabs in less visible spots can minimize noticeable variation. Don’t cluster new and old slabs separately. Discuss layout with your fabricator to seamlessly integrate pieces.
Can you add to existing Caesarstone Pure White counters?
Yes, provided you purchase additional Caesarstone Pure White slabs from the same lot, it is possible to beautifully match the addition to your existing Caesarstone counters years later. Follow the tips above to compare new slabs and get the best color consistency. With careful selection, Caesarstone can be seamlessly expanded over time.
What about low-variation quartz – will that improve matching?
Some quartz lines like Cambria’s Bella Bright advertise low color variation between slabs. While helpful, it cannot guarantee a perfect match between installations. Some minor differences will always exist. Follow the tips above even with low-variation quartz to get the closest match possible across projects.
Installing matching white quartz countertops over time is achievable with careful planning and execution. Choosing slabs from the identical manufacturer and lot number, examining them under consistent conditions, thoughtful fabrication layouts, and selecting matching thicknesses will provide the best results. While perfect uniformity is unlikely, following these best practices will make new additions blend beautifully. With white quartz, your counters can evolve seamlessly to fit your home’s needs for years to come.