White, black, green, blue, red, even sparkly! When it comes to selecting a new kitchen worktop, one thing you won’t be short on is choice.
But how do you know you’re making the right one?
Here at The Marble Store, we understand more than most the importance of finding the right worktop. It’s key to your kitchen’s overall design and getting it right can make or break the look you’re trying to achieve.
We also know that, when it comes to making the right decision, it isn’t just about colour. What your surface is made of is a big part of the selection process too.
So, before you start picking out shades, the first step is to decide on the right type of surface for your kitchen – one that will suit your kitchen habits and lifestyle.
Natural stones like granite and marble have been around for years but what about their more modern counterpart – quartz? Quartz has recently boomed in popularity and for good reason. Combining the best of both worlds – natural stone with man’s ingenuity – it’s an excellent choice.
But is it right for you?
To help you decide, we’re getting up close and personal with quartz. Read on for your ultimate guide to quartz worktops…
What is quartz?
There’s a degree of confusion surrounding quartz worktops. Often placed on a par with granite and marble, it begs the question is quartz also a natural stone worktop?
The simple answer is, no. But there’s nothing simple about quartz.
Quartz itself is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust – and also one of the hardest. But it’s unsuitable as a worktop if left in its natural state.
Thankfully, clever boffins recognised the potential of using quartz as a surface and discovered that by combining crushed quartz with polymer resins, and small amounts of glass or metallic flecks, beautiful yet hardwearing worktops could be produced.
– View quartz worktops
What are the benefits of a quartz worktop?
There’s a reason quartz is one of, if not the, most popular worksurface on the market. In fact, there are LOADS of reasons, including:
If you don’t like your options to be limited or you’re on the hunt for something a little different, then a quartz worktop definitely has your name on it.
Keep it simple with muted flecks and subtle marbling, or demand attention with bold colours such as vibrant reds and vivid greens. Whatever look you want to create for your kitchen, there’s a quartz guaranteed to help you achieve it.
– Hard-wearing and durable
Worried you’re a little heavy-handed in the kitchen or got a young family? Then quartz is ideal. Extremely hardy to chips, dents, scratches and all forms of surface damage, it’s the obvious choice to withstand the demands of a busy household.
Thanks to its extremely low porosity, quartz has an excellent barrier against bacteria and is highly resistant to stains. So if coffee, red wine and curries are your guilty pleasures, you can relax knowing quartz won’t give away your secrets.
– Easy maintenance
A worktop that looks great 24/7 without all the elbow grease? Yes please.
Quartz looks good with minimal maintenance – no scrubbing, expensive special cleaners or time spent buffing up the shine with microfibre cloths is required. Spills are easily wiped away and all that’s needed is a quick wipe with simple soap and water to keep it looking its best.
– No need for sealing
Natural stones, such as granite, are porous – meaning they quickly absorb liquids and moisture if spills aren’t dealt with quickly. To help prevent staining, these natural worktops have to be sealed. But not just once – they need to be resealed on a regular basis to stay protected. No such requirement with quartz.
Why choose a quartz worktop?
Erm, did you not read the list!? You can read more on the benefits of quartz but even a quick glance showcases why it makes a great choice and is a key contender in the world of kitchen worktops.
Perhaps even more compelling though, are its good looks. Quartz worktops are stunning.
And the design options aren’t limited by Mother Nature! As an engineered product, any colour can be added – alongside a multitude of flecks, dazzling sparkle and glass – meaning that the possibilities are endless. It can also be easily manufactured for unique shapes and sizing and is great for circles and curves.
For help narrowing down your search and picking the finish for your kitchen, read our detailed blog on how to choose the colour of your worktop or talk to our team of experts, who’ll be happy to help.
Looking after quartz surfaces
It’s all very well opting for a worktop that looks the part but for many of us, practicality is just as important. This means understanding how easy it is to clean and maintain quartz worktops, is a fundamental part of knowing if it’s the right choice for your kitchen.
– Cleaning quartz – how easy is it?
The short answer is, very!
Hygienic surfaces are crucial in a kitchen and, luckily, quartz is easy to keep clean and extremely low maintenance.
For a start, it is non-porous. This means the surface is excellent at repelling both stains and bacteria. So if you’re a messy cook, or prone to spillages, a quartz worktop will be more stain and germ resistant than the likes of granite or marble.
Day-to-day cleaning is as simple as it gets. No endless buffing is needed to maintain appearances and shine. All that’s required is a wipe over with a soft cloth and warm soapy water and you’re done. Quick and simple.
– Does quartz require ongoing maintenance?
Great news, no!
If you’re debating worktop options, it’s likely you’ll have seen reference to ‘sealing’. If you’re wondering what this means, and more importantly, how much regular resealing will cost, you can forget about it. Literally!
Quartz surfaces are non-porous – meaning there’s no need for regular resealing to protect them from absorbing stains and bacteria. Not only does this make them super easy to look after, but it also reduces ongoing expenses.
How much do quartz worksurfaces cost?
When it comes to choosing worktops, how much they’re going to cost can’t be glossed over. For many people, it’s fundamental to their final decision. Yes, you want your worktops to look the part, but it’s essential that they are within budget and affordable too.
So just how expensive are quartz worktops?
Competing with the likes of marble and granite, it’s natural to assume quartz surfaces carry a similar price tag, and you’d be right. The average price for quartz starts at £400 and can rise to £1000 per square metre – making the price range almost as wide ranging as the finish choices.
Whilst there are numerous cheaper options out there – laminate worktops being a prime example – it’s important to recognise that the durability, paired with the limited need for ongoing maintenance, makes them extremely cost-effective in the long run.
At the Marble Store, we strive to offer hugely competitive prices on all our work surfaces and offer a wide range of quartz to accommodate all tastes and budgets.
– Request a quote for quartz worktops
If you’re researching quartz worktops the number of brand names that pop up can be a bit mind-boggling. And whilst they are all very similar – they’re not the same!
Manufacturing processes and general characteristics may be replicated, but quartz can vary greatly in overall quality and price.
CimStone and Silestone are two of the most popular brands of quartz on the market, with Silestone in particular, offering a vast choice of colours – there are more than 70 shades and patterns available. Other favourited brands include Caesarstone, Cambria and Okite.
The key here is to ensure you buy worktops from a reputable supplier (like us!), who only sells quartz supplied from superior manufacturers. That way, regardless of the make you go for, you can rest assured you’re only choosing from quality quartz and will get maximum value for money.
– Shop quartz worktops by brand
How does quartz compare to other options?
Quartz is a key player in the kitchen world, growing massively in popularity over recent years it’s now top of many kitchen wish lists.
In terms of appearance and quality, it’s on a par with the likes of marble and granite yet thanks to the benefits of human intervention, it also benefits from a host of additional favourable characteristics – stain resistance, durability, low maintenance, which leaves the more traditional surfaces struggling to compete.
Alternatives such as laminate are arguably much cheaper, and can mimic the look of these premier surfaces, but are easily damaged and unlikely to withstand the test of time. Making them a false saving.
– Compare quartz to other kitchen worktops
How easy is it to fit quartz worktops?
Quartz lends itself to awkward cuts, shaping and intricate detail – so whatever the size and shape of your kitchen it’s sure to offer a great looking solution.
Gently sculpted curves, chamfered edges, waterfall island units, splashbacks and up-stands – quartz can be easily fabricated for all these uses.
Here at the Marble Store, we benefit from an experienced team of in-house stonemasons, all highly skilled and experienced in working with solid surfaces and we do everything in our power to make the process of fitting quartz worktops as quick and easy as possible.
Once you’ve made your choice, we’ll visit your home to template up. Next, our skilled stonemasons will carefully cut and handcraft your chosen quartz to the desired measurements. We’ll then be back to fit your new worktops within 7-10 days. It’s that easy.
Working with us, the only delay to getting your new worktops fitted will be the time it takes for you to narrow down your choice!
Are quartz worktops right for your kitchen?
Picking out a worktop is personal. The look, feel and how you want your surface to interact with the surrounding space, is unique to you.
That said, it’s reassuring to know that quartz works anywhere.
Over recent years it’s firmly established itself as a family favourite. Offering the advantages of practicality, safety and germ control, combined with good looks and an affordable price tag.
But it’s not just for suburban settings, it’s also highly rated for sleek city centre apartments, alongside student homes and rented accommodation where it provides an attractive yet durable surface.
But whether you want to go all out contemporary, play it safe with a traditional aesthetic or experiment with the ‘industrial’ craze, thanks to the vast possibilities presented by quartz worktops, there are few limitations.
Buy a quartz worktop today
Heard enough? Decided quartz is going to be the perfect fit for your kitchen? Then why not check out the beautiful range we have available here at The Marble Store?
With endless choice and designs from leading manufacturers, you might have picked the material of your worktop but you’re still going to be spoilt for choice (sorry!).
– Shop quartz worktops now
Need a hand? If you’d like more expert help and advice on choosing your worktop, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.