Quartz counters, once unknown, have developed a reputation over the past 50 years as a high-end surface material. But the process of gaining respect has been slow. Even today, quartz countertop competes with the solid surface and natural stone for space in kitchens and bathrooms. Is it really made of quartz or what? Even if you are not familiar with quartz as the name of this material, you may be familiar with its more prosaic name: counters of artificial stones. Quartz is a sexy word, since it implies brightness, translucence and hardness.
While quartz countertops contain quartz, the term is more for marketing than anything else. In simple terms, quartz counters are composed of 93% of stone-like materials and 7% of binders that are plastic or cement-based. Of those stone-like materials, quartz is just one of many substances. Granite, marble and natural stone in general, from crushed stone left in the quarries, or recycled industrial waste, such as fragments of ceramics, silica, glass, mirrors, etc.
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These stone-like materials provide quartz counters with the hardness and lack of porosity necessary for the great demands of cooking. Some manufacturers also combine antibacterial substances. For many buyers, the main benefit of the quartz countertop is its natural shine. Unlike laminate, quartz has a deep, almost three-dimensional appearance, very similar to natural stone.