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Quartz is the second most occurring mineral found in the earth’s continental crust right behind feldspar which is the main ingredient found in granite. Quartz may be found in many varieties, a few of which are semiprecious gems.

Unlike granite and marble countertops which are slabs cut from large mined blocks of stone, quartz countertops are manufactured. The chemical makeup of quartz causes it to form crystal structures. The natural quartz crystals are mined and ground, and then mixed together with resin materials. This quartz mixture is then fused together with intense heat and pressure to form a countertop.

Natural quartz comes in many colors including citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz. Pure quartz, or clear quartz, is transparent. During the manufacturing process pigments can be added to the quartz mixture, resulting in a limitless array of color possibilities.

Quartz countertop finishes

Like granite and marble, quartz countertops can be completed with a variety of finishes for a varied look and feel. A polished finish gives the countertops a slick feel and a shiny look. Quartz countertops may also be honed or sandblasted for a a smooth, matte finish.

How durable are quartz countertops?

Quartz countertops are highly durable and practically maintenance free. Due the the nature of the resin manufacturing process, quartz countertops are non porous and do not need sealing. Quartz countertops are just as strong as granite, yet more flexible, making them easier to install. Quartz is also highly heat resistant and antimicrobial. The seams in quartz countertops are not as visible as in marble or granite.

There is a drawback to quartz countertops in that prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading of color. For this reason, quartz is not recommended for outdoor kitchens.