05

Jun

Which Countertops Materials Are The Most Durable?

The best kitchen countertop materials are those that last long and can stand against almost anything that kitchen prep throws at them. Granite countertops are the most popular, but are they also the most durable? Here is a list of countertop materials ranging from the most durable to the least.

Most Durable Countertop Materials

Quartz

The most durable countertops of them all is none other than quartz. This man-made material is seriously a titan in the kitchen. It requires almost zero maintenance. It doesn’t need to be sealed because it’s not porous and it can also resist heat and scratches better than many. So, that makes quartz a clear winner in the kitchen.

Moreover, you don’t need to handle quartz with kid’s gloves or invest in specialty products to clean the surfaces daily. A bit of water and soap goes a long way.

However, there are still some downsides. For instance, quartz excellent for indoor kitchen but not for outdoor kitchens.

Moreover, quartz is usually available in light colors. From light grays, beige, off-white to stark white. Now, a lot of the time, people want a bit darker color to play with and there may be some limitations. Other than that, if you’re looking for a material that will outlast everything, then quartz is your best bet.

Granite

You might have thought that granite would get the top spot in the list of most durable countertops, but quartz beat it to the punch. However, granite is just as durable as quartz and it’s also long-lasting. Then why isn’t it on the top spot? you may ask.

Well, the maintenance required for this natural stone is what makes people skitter away. Since it’s a natural stone, granite has lots of pores on the surface. These pores can suck water and moisture in and ruin the stone. This is why sealing granite countertops is a must. It not only gives the countertops a shiny surface but also makes them last longer.

As far as regular cleaning is concerned, granite has a sensitivity to acids and harsh chemicals, so you need to get pH-balanced cleaners for it to remain undamaged and most of all, clean.

Solid Surface

Solid surface is another man-made option that’s durable and long-lasting. Solid surface is made out of pulverized rocks mixed in with clear resin and pigments to give the countertops a dash of color.

This rock-hard material is resistant to scratches, stains, and water damage, so there’s no need for you to seal these babies.

The only downside would be that solid surface doesn’t do well with heat. It can get damaged by heat if you constantly put hot pots and pans on the surface. Heat stains are almost impossible to remove and they can ruin the look of your perfect countertops. So, it’s better to protect them with cutting boards and trivets.

Concrete

Concrete is a very versatile and reasonable option to go for. Concrete is hydrophilic, so it loves moisture and it will absorb any moisture in the surroundings within minutes if not seconds. So, sealing these countertops is a must.

Concrete countertops also have great resistance against pressure and heat, so you can deal with hot food all you want on this countertop material and it won’t budge. It also endures scratches well, so you won’t have a scratched-up surface at the end of the day. The best part? You can get it in any color and shape you want.

Tile

Tile countertops are durable too. Don’t let the wafer-thinness fool you. Some porcelain tiles are durable and long lasting. One of the things that make tile countertops amazing is the fact that they’re really easy to install. Say goodbye to handling huge slabs and welcome tiles because tiles are manageable and you can even install them by yourself if you have a bit of time and skills.

Tiles also perform well under heat and pressure, although they can break or crack easily, especially ceramic tiles which are not recommended for kitchen countertops. However, if your countertop tile cracks, it’s not something to worry about since you can easily replace the broken tile with a new one.

Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for a minimal countertop material that will make your kitchen look professional, then stainless steel is the one to choose. Stainless steel is also pretty amazing considering that you don’t need to worry about waterproofing or anything like that. However, fingerprints, hand smudges, scratches will be an issue with stainless steel. Because of its mirror-like shine, it can reflect smudges a lot clearly and you have to clean them.

Not to mention, stainless steel is pretty hefty in price, as it is in quality, so you’ll need to have a comfortable budget for this material.

Not So Durable Materials

Now some materials which are not that durable and you should think twice before investing in them.

Wood

Hardwood is not the best material to use in the kitchen and there are a couple of reasons why. Firstly, wood is not great against water and moisture. So, it will get ruined sooner because of mold and fungus. Also, hardwood isn’t naturally stain-resistant so you need to seal the countertops right after installation.

Hardwood, on the flip side, is amazing against heat. It can endure high temperatures without any damage, so that’s the quality that makes this material a somewhat good choice, but other than that, you might want to explore other durable options for countertops in the kitchen. If you’re dead set on installing a wood countertop, then look for wood types that do well against moisture.

Marble

Marble is a beautiful natural stone with looks that will make everyone stare in awe, but it’s not as durable as other natural stones like granite and limestone. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that marble needs a lot of maintenance and it’s a soft and fragile material that gets chipped and cracked under even the slightest of pressure. So, marble is even worse when it comes to maintenance than granite.

Therefore, if you’re not a fan of constantly maintaining a countertop material instead of working on it, then it’s best that you don’t go for it.

On the bright side, marble does perform well under a lot of heat, since it’s a natural stone and it’s made inside the boiling depths of the Earth. And as said earlier, marble slabs are extremely beautiful.

Soapstone

Soapstone, a slippery soft material is great against heat and water damage. However, it scratches extremely easily. It’s even softer than marble, so using a sharp knife directly on the surface of soapstone will result in deep scratches that look hideous. Also, if you want to install soapstone in your kitchen, then regular sealing is a must.

Laminate

If you’re looking for a cheap and reasonable countertop material, then laminate is a great choice. It’s popular among people mainly because of its low price and reasonable longevity.

Laminate is made out of layers of plywood and there’s a decorative layer on top and this is where all the magic happens. This decorative layer can be made into any countertop design known to man. So, you can get the look of granite, marble, quartz, or anything for half the price. That’s pretty amazing in the books of the majority of people.

Conclusion

The first 6 materials are amazing for investing in your kitchen because they will last for a long time. The other four are also fine, but not as durable. if you want the best of them, pick granite or quartz countertops. Moreover, choose reliable countertop replacement services Rockville for high-quality slabs and perfect installation.

24

May

10 Countertop Materials You Can Choose In Place Of Marble

Marble is a beautiful countertop material, but since it’s an expensive material, a lot of people can’t afford it. Those who can, still want an option that looks like marble or more durable than marble, but with a lower price tag. If you want countertop materials similar to marble, then you’re at the right place. Hint: some are even better than marble such as granite and quartz countertops. Let’s begin!

Alternatives To Marble Countertops

Quartz

If marble isn’t in your budget and you just can’t deal with the mountain of maintenance it needs, then you can skip it and go for a very durable, beautiful, and simple quartz.

Quartz is a man-made material made out of natural quartz, minerals, and resin all packed together to give a countertop that is so strong that it will outlive everything else. You can get quartz in a variety of colors too, but if you want to stick to the light marble theme, then quartz has tons of options for you to choose from.

The light background with the contrasting subtle veining is to die for and you will love the look of it in your kitchen. It’s certainly the closest material to marble as far as looks are concerned and it’s also one of the most long-lasting ones, so you know that you won’t need to slave over its maintenance.

Onyx

Even though its name is anything but light, onyx comes in a lot of light colors too and one of the striking resemblances it has to marble is the fact that it looks very much like the fragile stone, but it’s anything but. The color variety of onyx will leave you confused in the best way and you can rest assured that these slabs will last long in the kitchen.

Another great thing about onyx is that it’s very resistant to heat, so say goodbye to those heat stains.

The only downside is that it needs to be sealed because the surface of onyx has a lot of pores that tend to suck water and moisture in. This can ruin your countertops. So, seal them and you will be good to go.

Quartzite

It sounds like quartz, but it’s natural stone and it looks just like marble. If you want to get your hands on a natural stone, since marble is one too, you’re going to love quartzite countertops. Quartzite has that soft and rough and tough finish that perfect quartz doesn’t have and it looks amazing in the kitchen.

It also has a decent color variety and since it’s primarily available in lighter colors, you can get your hands on muted hues. However, just like any other natural stone, you will need to make it waterproof by sealing it. It’s a measure that will make it long-lasting.

Granite

Next in line is granite. Now, you might be thinking: How does granite make a good alternative to marble? It’s dark! Well, granite is available in lighter colors too and you can get amazing slabs in muted colors with the same natural beauty that everyone knows and loves about marble. And the plus point is that granite is more rigid and durable than marble.

There is also subtle veining and mosaic patterns on granite that add that extra layer of something-something to your countertops. Moreover, many types and qualities of granite are cheaper than marble.

Soapstone

Just like its name, soapstone is light, soft, and slippery in the best way. If you want something that looks like marble but has the feel of butter, then soapstone is the material for you. It is soft to the touch and the random subtle and heavy veining just takes this material to the next level.

Be warned though because soapstone is a very fragile material and it can be chipped or cracked if you put too much pressure on it. So, try to take it easy on the poor material and don’t use sharp knives directly on the surface of soapstone and also don’t put heavy items on it if you don’t want scratches or cracks on the surface.

Concrete

White concrete can also mimic the appearance of marble, that is if you do it right. White concrete is available in either pre-made slabs or you can get them fabricated and even add veining to give it that marble-like appeal.

Concrete is a highly porous material though and it can darken over time, especially if you get it wet a lot, so you’ll need to have it sealed and polished after every couple of months. However, it is a much cheaper, but durable option as compared to marble. So, there are many good things going for concrete.

Neolith

Neolith is a new material in the realm of countertops, but it’s getting more and more popular. It is made out of pulverized quartz, glass, and porcelain and it’s a lightweight and durable option for those who want their countertops to look like that of marble. It also has a reasonable price and it is affordable to install. Since it’s lightweight, most people can install it by themselves too.

To add to the qualities of neolith, it is also heat resistant, so all in all, it’s a great material for someone who wants marble-like countertops, but on a budget.

Porcelain

The beautiful porcelain! Even though porcelain slabs are seldom used in kitchens, you can still see the similarities between porcelain and marble. It’s a material that screams “opulence” and “indulgence” and the iridescent look and light color of porcelain will steal your heart.

However, it’s not as strong as the other options. It can chip pretty easily, so it might not be the best option for the kitchen. However, you can safely use it in the bathroom as countertops and vanities and that will look amazing. Porcelain can also be used to make shower fixtures.

But if you only want porcelain for kitchen countertops, there are some varieties that are tougher which can use.

Solid Surface

A durable, man-made option is solid surface. This material is pulverized minerals and resin all sealed together in a rock-hard thing of beauty. The light color is very similar to marble and it also has the option of veining like marble and natural stone countertops.

Solid surface is pretty much robust and indestructible. It’s heat resistant, it doesn’t stain, it doesn’t scratch and it also has built-in UV protection to prevent darkening of the countertops.

Vinyl

If you want a material that is affordable and can mimic almost all of the countertops known to man, then vinyl is the one you want to go for. It’s a combination of plywood slabs and decorative sheets on top. These sheets are magical things because you can print any countertop design on them, stick them onto the panel and call it a day.

It’s probably the cheapest option available so you can safely that it’s not as durable as other options on this list.

Conclusion

Who says you can’t get the beauty of marble countertops at a much more reasonable price? Now you can choose from a list of materials that look strikingly similar to marble. If you want the best options, choose granite or quartz. Get in touch with quartz countertop contractors Potomac to take a look at various light-colored quartz slabs.

06

May

Prefabricated Vs. Custom Kitchen Countertops

We’ve all been there. Once finally we decide on the material of kitchen countertops like granite or quartz countertops, we have to make another hard decision of deciding between prefabricated and custom countertop designs. What to do? What to choose? Well, here is everything you need to know about choosing prefabricated and custom countertops.

How To Choose Between Prefab And Custom Countertops?

What Are They?

Prefabricated Countertops

These are countertops that are already cut out for you, with the holes of sinks, outlets, and, sometimes, edges already in place. You just need to buy them and install them in your kitchen. These designs are pre-made by the manufacturers in large quantities to reduce costs.

Custom Countertops

Custom kitchen countertops are countertops that you design by yourself and have an expert carve out every single detail according to your liking. Everything from the size, the edge design, the shape of the sink cavity, and things in between is decided by you.

Materials

If you thought that you could get prefabricated or custom countertops in any material under the sun, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Prefabrication and customization are two very distinct things and they can’t be done blindly for every kitchen countertop material. There is strength, durability, the overall structure of the slab, and, most importantly, the demand that needs to be considered.

Prefabricated Countertops

Prefab countertops usually include in-demand and popular materials like granite, quartz, marble, and even limestone. Retailers usually know that these materials are what people gravitate towards the most so they tend to make a lot of pre-designed cutouts that can be useful for people who don’t know anything about customization or want quick installations.

Softer materials like soapstone, porcelain, etc. can or cannot be prefabricated or there might not be a lot of choices of design in them because they’re not as flexible when it comes to designing the edges, cutouts, and other details.

Custom Countertops

As for custom countertops, they are more tasteful and they require a lot of attention to detail. You can get a custom design for any countertop material you want like granite, quartz, marble, limestone, soapstone, travertine, porcelain, quartzite, solid surface, and others.

However, if you’re pressed for time, then you won’t be able to go for these countertops, because they take a lot of time to get done.

Custom countertops have a quality that prefabricated countertops cannot level. These countertops are made with every single detail in mind, whereas prefabricated ones are made in bulk, so there are little quality assessments and there can be some areas where the design or slab might not fit well with your kitchen space. Whereas with custom countertops, you don’t need to worry about a stitch.

Price

Next comes the price tag. Kitchen countertop materials are already expensive, so you should give this one a thought as well.

Prefabricated Countertops

Prefab countertops are a bit on the less expensive end of the spectrum because they’re made in bulk and there is a general design template that’s followed when cutting them out. Usually, it’s a mix between versatile and the most common designs that people go for.

Most people tend pick these countertops because of the reasonable price and if they spent a lot on natural stone countertops, then they wouldn’t want to spend any more on anything else so they might simply choose prefab slabs.

Usually, prefabricated countertops will cost you anywhere between $40 to $100 per square foot, so it’s a pretty good deal. However, the final price hugely depends on the material and the quality of the material you’re choosing.

Custom Countertops

Custom countertops are way more expensive. Some custom countertops can have prices in the same range as the countertop material itself. So, you’ll be splurging a lot if you want custom countertops.

The reason why these countertops cost an arm and a leg is because they’re very unique and however you want the countertops to be fabricated, they can be customized for according to your kitchen’s measurements and needs.

There isn’t a set price range for customized countertops because it can be as detailed or as generic as you want it to be. Usually, customized countertops can run between $100 to $500 per square foot. Again, the price depends a lot on the material you choose.

Sizes

Size is also another issue that a lot of people face when getting countertops.

Prefabricated Countertops

Prefab countertops are available in a few designated sizes. So, if any of them work for you, then good, otherwise you’ll need to go for custom countertops. This is what’s bumming about prefabricated countertops. There’s no room for any sort of customization.

Custom Countertops

Custom countertops are customized to any size you want. Whether you want big or small or wide or narrow countertops, anything can be made for you. A great thing about customized countertops is that you give the details first, and then the fabrication process commences, so the countertops are being made for your specific kitchen requirements.

Availability

Availability of the countertops is half the battle.

Prefabricated Countertops

Prefabricated countertops are available in a several designs. Since they’re built in bulk, there isn’t a shortage of quantity and they’re mostly available any and everywhere.

However, the main thing that causes people to turn away from prefabricated countertops is the fact that the sizes, shapes, and designs they want are seldom available. So, it questions the fact whether these countertops are even worth buying or not.

Even if they’re available in abundance, it’s likely you won’t find your desired countertop shape or design and that’s going to put you back in square one.

Custom Countertops

If you’re not pressed for time and have some extra cash to spare, then definitely consider custom countertops because they can be made in just about any shape and design your heart desires. The winning factor in customized countertops is the fact that these aren’t made until someone requests them.

From that point on, you can provide measurements, shape, and other design requirements and all that’s left to do is wait it out until the countertops are complete.

Installation

Installation is probably the most important factor to consider and this is where time is of the essence.

Prefabricated Countertops

Prefabricated countertops are cut out and ready to be installed as soon as you swipe the card for purchase. All you need is an installer or not if you’re skilled enough to install the countertop by yourself, and you’ll be done.

These countertops save you a lot of time and they’re great if you’re remodeling your kitchen and want a quick installation.

Custom Countertops

On the other hand, custom countertops can’t be made in haste. These countertops need all of the attention during the fabrication process and it can take anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks for the countertops to be complete. Afterwards, you can get them installed.

So, custom countertops aren’t as instant as prefabricated ones and this can be a good or bad thing. Again, it all boils down to you. If you have the time and you’ve planned, then you can sit back and watch your dream countertops get made and installed in your kitchen. However, if you don’t have the luxury of time, then it’s best if you go for another countertop fabrication option.

You can manage the waiting time by ordering custom countertops a few weeks before your kitchen remodeling project so you have them ready when you begin the remodeling.

Conclusion

Whether you want to go for prefabricated or custom countertops, this guide will help you through everything. You can consult a quartz countertops dealer Rockville, if you have any queries.

24

Apr

Pros And Cons Of Black Granite Countertops

Black granite countertops have their own following. They look mysterious, edgy, and wonderful. Now, are they the same as any other granite countertop or do you need to know more? You do need to know a few things so here it goes.

What Is Black Granite?

Granite is already dark in color, but there’s a new material on the block and it’s putting all of the other dark countertops to shame. Black granite is essentially granite, but darker in color.

As far as composition is concerned, black granite consists of gabbro, basalt, diabase, norite, and even a slight percentage of quartz. The strength and feel of black granite is just like the parent stone.

Black granite is available in two finishes:

  • Honed black granite which has a more matte appearance
  • Polished black granite which has a glossy, glass-like shine

Now that you know what black granite is, here are some pros and cons that can determine whether this specific granite color is worth buying or not.

Pros Of Black Granite Countertops

It’s Dark In Color

This one goes without saying. The color of this material can be a good or bad thing depending on what the buyer prefers. There are a lot of people who prefer dark-colored countertops because they look ethereal and just so mysterious with a thick layer of unparalleled beauty.

Granite is already a well-loved material in the kitchen and if there’s a dark variety in it, then you better believe that people will more than pounce on it to get their hands on this dark, beautiful rock.

However, there are also a ton of people who don’t like dark colors, especially in kitchen countertops and that could be due to several reasons. Whether they think that dark countertops make their space look crowded or simply don’t fit their preferences, dark countertops don’t appeal to them, which is why they tend to go for something fresh and light or colorful and charming.

It’s Versatile

Like any granite color, black granite can be fabricated in almost any shape, edge design, and look. Some kitchen countertop materials are already pre-fabricated in certain designs and that just kicks creativity and personalization out of the window. Well, black granite will not disappoint you. It’s a stone that can be customized to your heart’s desire and you can get just about any design made on it.

Not only this, if you don’t want to use black granite for kitchen countertops, you can certainly use it for other things around the house. There are just a lot of customization options.

Durability At Its Peak

This is granite. It is not a fragile man-made material, that’s going to break on the slightest of impacts. The properties of granite shine just as bright in this dark material. Black granite will outlast anything and everything. It is super strong, durable, and just an overall amazing material if you’re looking for something that won’t get scratched, cracked, or chipped. It doesn’t need to be treated with kid’s gloves and you’ll be surprised by the longevity of this material.

Granite is seriously impressive when it comes to durability and you’ll want nothing else but granite countertops as soon as you get a glimpse of their sheer strength.

Great Stain Resistance

Black granite is a great material when it comes to stain resistance. It doesn’t let the spill turn into a permanent stain although you have to be vigilant about getting it sealed.

Stains usually occur when the surface of the countertop is porous such as granite. This can allow the rock to suck in any liquid or fluid pooling on the surface. Over time, this action can lead to hideous blotches and stains forming on the surface of the countertops.

With black granite countertops, as long as you seal them once every few years, you’re in the safe zone.

Easy Breezy Maintenance

Black granite is a breeze to maintain. There is no need for regular polishing and varnishing. The only thing you need on a regular basis for maintenance is a good countertop cleaner and you’re good to go.

If you don’t want to spend money on a store-bought cleaner either, then you can make one at home too. You just need a pH-balanced detergent and some water. Mix the two in a spray bottle and use this solution with a wet washcloth for everyday cleaning.

However, it’s better to use a cleaner specially made for granite countertops because it will ensure that the material doesn’t fade.

Cons Of Black Granite Countertops

It’s Expensive

Black granite is strong, durable, and very popular, but all of these things come with a hefty price tag. Black granite, just like any other granite color, is an expensive countertop material. In some cases, black granite is pricier than other granite colors.

The thing is that black granite is seldom found as compared to other granite colors. As its availability is sparse, it can cause retailers to price it even higher.

So, yes. In some places, you might find black granite slabs to be double the price of other regular granite colors. That fact in itself is mind-boggling.

Gets Dirty Fast

The thing with dark colors, especially black, is that dirt and debris show up prominently. This is very off-putting for a lot of people. If you’ve ever owned a black car, then you would know how hard it is to keep it clean because you can see dirt piling on it, from a mile away. The same is the case with black granite countertops.

If you are not cleaning them regularly, then dirt and dust will stick out like a sore thumb and it just doesn’t look that great at all.

Prone To Smudges

Black is a color that doesn’t take smudges and fingerprints well. You are going to have to deal with unwanted fingerprints and hand smudges on the usually spotless countertop surface and that can look pretty unpleasant. Black is a color that shows any and every imperfection in a blaringly obvious spotlight and fingerprints and hand smudges are no exception.

It’s nothing that will make you go bonkers but it’s still a very unpleasant sight, especially if the black granite is under natural light. It will make all of the smudges more obvious.

The Color Is At A Disadvantage

As mentioned previously, black granite is very controversial because of its dark color. There is a clear division in the masses and while half of them adore this stone, the other half doesn’t as much.

A black countertop is usually considered to be harsh and it can make the kitchen look dark and crowded, especially if there isn’t any natural light coming in. This can be frustrating for a lot of people. Also, the dark black color can divide the kitchen into harsh increments instead of making it look fluid and cohesive throughout.

Conclusion

Black granite is taking up the top seat in the realm of countertops and for a good reason. Now that you know what makes or breaks this material, you can decide if you want it in your kitchen or not. To know more about any granite color, get in touch with granite contractors Potomac.

07

Apr

Beware: These 10 Things Can Damage Your Quartz Countertops

Quartz is one of the most durable kitchen countertop materials out there. However, there are certain habits and things that you need to avoid doing because those can damage your precious countertops. So, let’s know what you need to avoid to keep your quartz countertops looking clean and beautiful.

Bashing Things On The Surface

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s tenderizing meat on the countertops or using heavy things to break the shells of nuts, most don’t even realize that they’re doing this on the countertops. While quartz countertops are pretty strong, it doesn’t mean that you can go around taking your aggression out on the surfaces. Once or twice is fine, but over time this can lead to cracks and chips on the surface and if the crack gets bigger, then it will be a nightmare to repair.

So, if you can, try to avoid smashing things on quartz countertops because you might just ruin your perfectly good countertops, which costed you a small fortune to install. Smash things on the floor after keeping a wood plank on it instead because that will not only get the job done, but your countertops stay safe from the damage.

Putting Weight On The Countertops

You might be guilty of doing this as well. When it’s hard to reach for things, you can sometimes use countertops as a stand to reach a cabinet or something that’s out of reach. Quartz countertops can get impact damage if you stand on top of them for too long. Quartz may look like a super durable material, but it can still get damaged if you put a lot of weight on one point of the surface.

Putting heavy groceries on the countertops can also lead to damage. So, what to do? Well, you need to be careful when putting a lot of weight on the countertops. If you want to grab something that you can’t reach, then use a stool instead of your countertops. Similarly, if you have to put something heavy on the quartz surface, make sure its weight is distributed. You will thank yourself for taking care of your quartz countertops in the future.

Using Abrasive Cleaners

Abrasive cleaners include things like scrubbing pads, hard sponges, and things like metal scrapers, sandpapers, and pointy needles. These things are used a lot to get rid of dried-up food crumbs and debris present on the countertops, but you might want to think twice before using them. Why? Because it will lead to scratches and deep slashes on the surface of the countertops.

Quartz can easily be cleaned with a microfiber cloth and a toothbrush to get rid of the dried and clumped-up food and that’s pretty much it. You don’t need to use these harsh things.

Throwing Things

Heavy pots and pans may look harmless, but they’re anything but, if you’re throwing them from a height. A lot of the time, you don’t realize that you’re using a lot of force to settle the pots and pans on the countertops. This is not a good thing because similar to smashing, quartz countertops can also get damaged and chipped by setting heavy pots down with a lot of force.

Try to gently put the pots on the countertops and make sure that you’re using trivets to create a barrier between the countertops and the heavy-bottomed pot.

Letting Spills Sit

Even though quartz doesn’t stain like most natural stone countertop materials, it’s still better if you don’t let spills sit on the surface for too long. This is because quartz is generally light in color and any spill, whether it’s food or liquid, will show up very prominently on the surface.

So, whenever you see a spill, clean it up right away because the longer the spill sits, the deeper the stain will be and the harder it will be to remove. Not to mention, not cleaning spills just makes the countertops look super dirty and you don’t want that.

High Temperature Equals Disaster

Quartz is not as heat resistant as natural stones and that’s a fact. Some people believe that quartz is a really good insulator of heat and that high temperature doesn’t affect the material, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

High temperatures can lead to heat stains that are dark, permanent, and downright ugly. They can ruin perfect countertops in no time and this is why you need to ensure that you’re not putting piping hot things directly on the countertop surface because things will take a turn for the worst. Use cutting boards or trivets to handle all of the hot stuff.

Not Using A Cutting Board

Sometimes, you might mindlessly use sharp knives directly on the surface of quartz countertops. While once or twice doesn’t matter much, you don’t want to make it a habit. Not only is it unsanitary, but it can also cause scratches over time.

If you want your countertops to look perfect and beautiful, then you need to use a cutting board when cutting anything. The cutting board will take the scratches leaving your quartz countertops beautiful. They will also help you keep your countertops stain-free.

Also, cutting boards are great to use if you want to cut or put very hot things on the countertops for cutting them.

Habitual Use Of Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals like bleach, acidic cleaners, and ammonia-based cleaners are a big no when it comes to cleaning quartz countertops. You don’t need these harsh cleaners, especially when you have the good ole lukewarm water and soap solution. If there is a stain that you want to treat or if you want to disinfect the countertops, then you can use a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol and that’s pretty much all there is to it. Using chemicals will only ruin the countertops in the long run.

Not Cleaning The Countertops

If you’re cleaning your countertops every single day, then they will look spotless and shiny at all times. However, not all people follow this simple thing. Since quartz is usually light in color, it’s best that you don’t forget about this crucial step.

Countertops are the most used surfaces in the entire kitchen, so you want to ensure that you’re cleaning them regularly as soon as you’re done for the day. You’ll not only see that the countertops look and feel more clean, but you won’t end up needing those specialty cleaners that cost a lot. So, keep things simple and you’ll be good to go.

Excessive Sunlight Exposure

This might surprise you but, quartz is sensitive to sunlight. Quartz isn’t a material that has natural UV protection, so it can fade and discolor under excessive exposure to sunlight. This is why quartz countertops are not recommended for outdoor kitchens. You might notice your countertops looking marginally faded if they’re somewhere near the window or in direct sunlight in the kitchen.

What you can do is apply a UV protective sealant to prevent further damage to the countertops. And if you haven’t installed the countertop yet, make sure the area of the kitchen where you will install them doesn’t receive direct sunlight.

Conclusion

Even though quartz countertops are strong and durable, it still doesn’t mean that you need to test the limit. Handle them with care and they will last forever. If your countertop is damaged and you want to repair it or require a replacement, get in touch with quartz countertop contractors Rockville.

24

Mar

9 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Laminate Countertops

Laminate is one of the cheapest materials that can be used for kitchen countertops. Here are some reasons why you would want to think twice before choosing laminate countertops and instead of laminate, choose quartz countertops.

Disadvantages Of laminate Countertops

It Looks Cheap

It’s a hard hit, but it’s true. Laminate countertops, even though they have a very versatile and can be made to look like any material you want, can look cheap at times. You can definitely tell if your kitchen countertops are cheap or luxurious just by looking at them and sadly, laminate countertops don’t pass the beauty test.

The feel of the material isn’t the best as compared to natural stones and the look is similar to shiny plastic, which might sound okay, but it’s not.

There is an array of colors and patterns to choose from, but there is not a single one that exudes a contemporary and lux vibe. It’s entirely generic and the ones that look like wood or natural stones still appear a bit fake.

Yes, the material is inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean that the looks need to be compromised. Even concrete countertops look better in appearance when compared side by side to laminate. Looks matter the most to a majority of people and laminate countertops just doesn’t cut it.

It Can Get Stained

You might think that because of the super hard and non-porous surface, laminate can’t get stained. Well, this demerit is going to burst that little bubble. Laminate countertops are susceptible to stains, especially if you don’t clean them every single day. Food, liquid spills, and even dried-up food can be a nightmare to remove if you let these things sit on the surface for too long.

While it’s recommended that you clean your countertops daily, this fact can still be off-putting for a lot since laminate is marketed as a low-maintenance material. Given its characteristics, however, it’s not different from natural stones that need to be maintained by regular sealing, polishing, etc. So, why not choose something that’s at least pretty to look at and will add some value to your space? This is why quartz countertops are much better than laminate. But it comes with a bit higher price tag.

Not Scratch-Resistant

This one is truly discouraging because laminate is a hard material. When you see those ugly and deep scratches on the surface of laminate, your heart will drop to the floor. As unfortunate as it sounds, it’s something that you need to accept. Laminate is not scratch-resistant.

Sharp knives, pointy skewers, and even certain utensils will scratch the hard surface and it will stick out like a sore thumb. You would know how a single scratch can ruin the look of your countertops and laminate falls right into that category. At least, with natural stones and even some man-made options, scratches don’t occur that easily.

You can take quartz, limestone, tiles, and even soapstone and these options will sustain scratches, so they’re better materials than the seemingly cool laminate. So, whatever you do at the end of the day, choose the material wisely.

It Can Get Chipped

Laminate might look like a material that could, at least, resist breaking, but unfortunately, that’s not true either. Laminate is highly susceptible to breakage and even though it’s not primarily because of impact forces, it’s still quite a letdown.

Usually, the main culprit is temperature which can allow the surface or the sides of laminate to crack and chip, and you know what that means. One small chip can lead to a trail of them in no time and it can ruin the countertops.

So, if you’re considering laminate countertops, then keep this detail in mind, otherwise you will be highly disappointed.

Heat Stains

Speaking of temperatures, high heat and laminate also don’t go together when appearance is concerned. If you put hot pots and pans directly on the surface of laminate countertops, then be prepared to greet hideous heat stains. They’re extremely unpleasant to look at and the worst thing about them is that they are essentially irreversible. You can’t get rid of them no matter what unless you want to change the countertops altogether.

This is highly inconvenient as there are better stones, like granite and quartz that seem unfazed by the rising temperatures in the kitchen. Since natural stones are made under the influence of high temperatures and man-made stones like quartz and engineered stones are reinforced with strength and durability, hot things aren’t an issue for them. However, the same can’t be said for laminate countertops.

Full disclosure though, if you have natural stone or quartz countertops, you should still avoid putting hot pans directly on the surface.

Not Long-Lasting

With the continuous list of downsides of laminate, it won’t come as a surprise to you that this material is also not as long-lasting. Yes, it can last a couple of years, but that’s still not enough to justify the already low price of laminate.

If you’re looking for a countertop material that’s fairly decent in durability, then there are other materials that you can choose from and they won’t have other problems that laminate has. Laminate countertops are the epitome of the saying “You get what you pay for”.

Water Can Damage Them

Water can damage most countertops like natural stones and wood especially if you don’t seal them and laminate countertops aren’t safe from the throes either. It won’t cause the material to disintegrate, per se, but it will lead to water stains and an overall murky appearance that’s not pleasant to look at.

If you let water or spills sit on the surface of laminate countertops for too long, then it could lead to penetration inside the material, and over time, fungus and mold can form, and those are things you certainly don’t want in your kitchen.

Need Professionals For Repair

Considering that laminate countertops are very easy to install, this con might surprise you. Laminate countertops, when damaged, aren’t so easy to repair and you are going to want to have professionals on speed dial if you don’t want matters to worsen even more. Professional repair costs shoot through the roof and they can add up over time, especially if your countertops are always damaged. Not to mention, it also takes some time for the countertops to be reinstalled in the kitchen again, depending on the severity of the damage. So, here’s a question: Are laminate countertops worth going through all of this trouble?

Don’t Look Like The Real Stones

Laminate countertops are marketed as countertops that can mimic almost any material on Earth. Well, this is a huge claim and it is also one of the major selling points of laminate as well. But does it mimic natural stones to the T? No! Some things are just too good to be true and this fact about laminate countertops is one of them.

Even though there is a slight resemblance, you can still tell if the countertops are the real thing or a fake. So, save yourself from the embarrassment.

Conclusion

Even though laminate is a good choice for people who don’t have an elaborate budget, there are better options out there that can look as pretty as well as they function. Contact quartz countertop contractors Rockville and you will find some slabs that are durable and also affordable.

09

Mar

Do Granite Countertops Emit Radiation? Is It Harmful?

Granite countertops are really popular and they’ve been around for a long time. However, recently, there has been news flying around that these natural stone countertops are radioactive. Is there any truth to granite countertops being radioactive? Here’s what you need to know about it.

Radiation & Its Harmful Effects

The Earth is full of radioactive metals and substances. Uranium, plutonium, thorium, and even lead is found in the many layers of our planet. These metals can be extremely harmful to human health and if it’s mixed with resources like water, sand, and air, then the results can be detrimental.

Radioactive substances and metals are extremely unstable and they tend to emit certain rays to stabilize. Those rays are commonly known as radioactive rays or simply radiation. These rays can penetrate through almost anything and everything and the scary part is that it is not felt by humans or animals.

Radioactive rays can have a multitude of side effects and those include:

  • Abnormal changes or deformation
  • Miscarriages or still-birth in pregnant women
  • Defects of the face
  • Abnormal changes in the cell structure
  • Cancer and other vigorous disorders
  • Stomach issues like ulcers and chronic pain

Radioactive rays are a combination of certain rays and each of them has severe effects when it comes to human health. Radioactive rays consist of:

  • Alpha rays (positively charged or have an abundance of protons)
  • Beta rays (negatively charged or have an abundance of electrons)
  • Gamma rays (neutral rays with no charge)

Granite Countertops & Radiation

Granite is essentially an igneous rock that is made by solidifying molten rocks when cooled. These rocks can endure high temperatures and pressures that’s why they are used for various purposes like flooring and countertops.

However, there has been speculation and certain cases that granite is, in fact, not at all good for your health. This has caused a considerable blow to the rock’s reputation because emissions from granite sound downright terrifying. This was brought to light when granite was included in the conversation about radon emissions. Some tests and theories even found out that there are lethal emissions coming from the stone and this caused a whole debacle to take place and people were genuinely concerned.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless and odorless. Radon is produced when uranium breaks down chemically as it surfaces on the ground. Since, natural stones are also quarried from the ground, these rocks, especially granite can likely contain trace amounts of radon and can be emitted in plain sight.

Uranium that seeps out of the ground is sporadically found in certain areas. This implies that whenever there is granite, there won’t necessarily be a seep of radioactive metals, but where there is uranium and granite in close vicinity, then it’s possible that granite can get “poisoned” by the seeping uranium. Because of this, radon can penetrate in the rock.

Since granite is a natural stone, it’s also porous, so any fluid, whether it’s a liquid or gas, can easily find its way into the rock, without a lot of effort. This is also another supporting factor that granite can emit harmful radiation because of its characteristic porous nature and that is frightening, if you think about it.

Are All Granite Countertops Radioactive?

Things can blow out of proportion very quickly, especially if it’s something horrific like radon emission, or something coupled with the prefix “radioactive”. Does this mean that all granite countertops are capable of emitting radiation? Well, that’s not exactly true. While it can be a possibility that granite may contain minute quantities of radioactive substances, it is not always going to emit radiation.

A case-by-case approach is more suitable to support this claim. These allegations, related to granite and radioactivity, are not new. They have been around for a long time and even though some people might believe the fact, at face value, a lot of individuals want studies and proof to be able to understand the situation.

A very common theme that some studies have shown over the years regarding granite and radiation, is the veining of the countertop. Granite has very distinct and beautiful veining on the surface and while most of it can be molten rocks, mixed with mica, it is believed that these traces of random lines might also contain uranium, thorium, and plutonium, all of which can decay into radon causing lung cancer. The thicker and more prominent the veins are, the higher the possibility of radiation.

Radiation From Granite Countertops Is Negligible

However, this study needs a bit more support from research and observations before it can be deemed correct. It is a known fact that radiation emitted from granite doesn’t contribute to the annual world radiation percentage and it’s extremely minute. Instead, it has been found that radon found in the soil is far more lethal to human health than that found in natural stone countertops.

This allegation is also used as a marketing gimmick by other competing countertop material retails and manufacturers because undoubtedly, granite is the king of countertop materials and its popularity can’t be toppled over that easily. So, retailers and manufacturers use the next best tactic: creating rumors that might frighten people.

Can You Test For Granite Radiation?

While granite doesn’t contain a lot of radiation-causing metals or substances, it’s still important that you test your countertops for radon emissions. This can be done pretty easily. You can either call in a professional radon testing technician for your countertops, or you can also get radon testers from your local health stores. Although the former option is recommended more because the results will be precise and more believable.

Usually, the radon test is done either in the kitchen or in neighboring rooms and the air is tested for radon. The device uses calibration and highly meticulous measuring capability to sense the presence of radon. It is recommended to all granite countertop owners that they should get their countertops tested, if there is even a blip of worry in their minds so that once the results are in their hands, they can either breathe a sigh of relief or get down to business to decrease the elevated levels of radon in the countertops as well as in the air.

What To Do?

So, you tested your countertops for radon and the results show elevated levels. Aside from being alarmed, a burning question in your mind might be: Well, how do I get rid of radon? No, you won’t have to remove your countertops, so if that’s what you were wondering, then you can stop fretting over it.

There are devices available that act as filters for radon and they can be installed in the kitchen or other rooms and the gas can be eliminated by this nifty contraption. The device essentially removes radon from the air. So, it kind of works like an air purifier, but specialized for lethal radioactive emissions.

Conclusion

Although it is possible that there could be trace quantities of uranium and other radioactive elements in granite, but to label it as “destructive” and “deadly” is a bit far-fetched. Still, if you want to be careful, ask granite contractors Rockville for granite slabs that don’t emit any radiation when choosing granite slabs for your kitchen island or countertops. And in case you want to avoid granite, you can go for quartz countertops.

22

Feb

10 Tips To Follow When Buying Quartz Countertops

Are you thinking of getting new countertops for your kitchen? Is the material coming to mind quartz? Well, you’re at the right place, because here is the guide you need to buy quartz kitchen countertops.

Look For Small-Scale Retailers

If you want to get your hands on authentic quartz countertops without making your wallet scream, then this tip is the one for you. Small-scale countertop retailers have a lot of options to choose from and they’re generally a lot more reasonable than those big countertop brands. Chances are that you will get the real deal from these independent retailers as well, and because they’re small-scale, they won’t charge you an arm and a leg for the countertops.

Since quartz is a man-made material, there are a lot of independent retailers because it’s made in every manufacturing factory and you can easily find something that you will fall in love with. All you need to do is bargain for the perfect price and with small-scale retailers, that’s also easy to do.

Do Your Research

Quartz is a very readily available material for kitchen countertops. There will be hundreds upon hundreds of options for you to choose from. Of course, you’re bound to get confused. So, to avoid this brain spiral, you’re going to have to be smart and do your research beforehand.

This means that you’ll need to prepare a list of all possible retailers that have quartz countertops available and then you will filter them out based on your preference.

Usually, you will need to check if the retailer’s options fit your budget, if they have your desired style and finish of quartz, if they are near you, if the quality is reasonable, and other similar factors. The retailer that will tick all of the boxes for you will be the one you need to go to first because chances are that you will find your perfect countertop there and also at a reasonable price.

Explore

Don’t expect to find your kitchen countertops at the first shop you go to. Countertops are similar to clothes, and you’ll never find the one that hits the jackpot until you explore a couple of different stores or browse a few stores online.

So, don’t be afraid to window-shop around and look at samples and finishes of all available options. You will find something that you’ll love. You can also look at reviews of the retailers beforehand so that you can get an idea as to which ones are worth giving a shot and which ones aren’t. This will also save you a lot of time.

Always Look At Samples

People normally don’t take this step seriously, but looking at countertop slab samples is so important. They’re kind of like a sneak peek of the actual thing that you’re going to get. So, whenever you visit a quartz countertop retailer, make sure to view a couple of samples, because things can look very different in online pictures. Pictures are taken in different lightings so colors and patterns may appear different when seen in person.

It’s also recommended that you take a look at the samples in natural sunlight so that you can get an idea about the finish of the countertop and the real color.

The Color Variety

Quartz is available in a long range of colors and it depends on which color is perfect for your kitchen as per your preference. If you have no idea what color quartz will look good in the kitchen, then you can assess the décor. If you’re stumped, then choose neutral or light-colored quartz because that’s going to be a winner in any case.

Regardless, you’re will need an idea for the color of the countertops before you hit the stores and buy said countertops.

The Thickness Matters

Another very important thing that you need to keep in mind when buying quartz countertops is the thickness of the slab. Whether you’re opting for a slab, the thickness is key. The thicker the slab is, the more durable it will be and the more aesthetic it will look.

However, keep in mind that you may have to pay more for thicker slabs and if you don’t have an allocated budget, then things can take a wrong turn. It’s recommended that you go for a slab that’s medium in thickness, not too thick or too thin so that the countertops are easier to install and they won’t crack or break either.

Prefabricated Countertops – Are They Good?

This is also another dilemma people go through when looking for quartz countertops. There are two types of countertops that you can get, especially where quartz is concerned. You can get slabs that have to be cut to fit your kitchen counters, and then there are prefabricated countertops that come already prepared with all of the cavities and openings pre-cut. So, all you need to do is match the dimensions and have the countertops installed.

Now, the only problem with fabricated countertops is the fact that they don’t fit every single time, so this means that there isn’t a lot of variety. But, if it does fit, then it’s a breeze.

Quality-Price Balance

The quality of quartz is really important to consider, but keeping it in check with the price is crucial as well because you don’t want to end up spending every last cent from your savings on high-quality countertops. High-quality doesn’t always mean better in every case.

The balance between the quality and the cost of quartz countertops is really hard to maintain because people can go to the ends of both extremes and not get what they need. They can either go for really cheap quartz that can break and crack under the slightest pressure, or they tend to go for really expensive quartz countertops that are downright hefty and they’re left with an empty wallet.

Look At The Finishes

Quartz has a lot of finishes as well. You can opt for a matte, shiny, polished, or smooth finish when choosing quartz countertops. The finish you go for ultimately depends on what seems to be your preference.

If you like the look of glossy countertops, then polished ones are the way to go. If you like the honed and matte look of surfaces, then matte finishes will be perfect for your kitchen.

Consider Everything Else Too

When selecting quartz countertops, you need to consider the entire kitchen as a unit. You can’t just localize the décor to countertops or the island alone. The lighting, the appliances, the orientation of the windows, the amount of natural light, etc. need to be taken into account when selecting the perfect quartz countertops because only then you will be able to tie the kitchen together and everything will look stunning.

You should also keep the functionality of the countertops in mind. They need to make you productive in the kitchen, So, where you put them is the name of the game.

Conclusion

Countertops can difficult to buy if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, these tips are going to help you in the process. Get in touch with a quartz countertops dealer Potomac to ask any questions and to take a look at the varieties they offer.

11

Feb

What Are Leathered Granite Countertops?

You might be familiar with granite countertops, but leathered granite countertops, this might be something you haven’t even heard of before. Here is what you need to know about this variant of granite countertops.

What Is Leathered Granite?

Granite countertops are available in a variety of finishes. Granite can be matte, shiny, polished, honed and the list goes on. But what’s with the leathered finish? Well, granite also has a very rustic finish that is similar in appearance to polished granite, but instead of being smooth on the surface, it has a lot of texture. There are dips, divots, holes, and small hairline “cracks” that add to the beauty of the stone.

Leathered granite is kind of like a hybrid between a polished and textured granite surface. You might think that it will look weird or disproportionate, but the look of leathered granite is to die for.

Leathered granite is a treat for the eyes and because it is a textured surface, it is more likely to prevent stains from becoming permanent, which can be a huge issue with honed or matte granite countertops.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a granite finish that will save you from the burden of maintaining it, then leathered granite is worth a try.

How Is Leathered Granite Made?

A lot of people ask this question. Is leathered granite naturally like this? Is it made to have divots and holes? What’s the process? Well, for starters, yes, leathered granite is made to look like this.

Granite that is naturally found inside the Earth’s surface is smooth, but not “polished” per se. If a manufacturer wants to make leathered granite, they will have to polish and grind the surface of the granite to make it slippery and smooth.

Afterward, there is special equipment that is used to make divots on the surface of the countertop to give it some texture and turn the super slippery surface into something with a bit more friction.

So, a great thing about leathered granite is that it isn’t as polished as other granite surfaces, so fingerprints, smudges, and dirt stains won’t be an issue.

As the surface of granite is textured, you can also get away with not cleaning it as frequently and if you’ve used traditional glossy granite countertops before, then you would know how demanding they can be when it comes to maintenance. So, leathered granite countertops are a good choice for people.

Things To Know About Leathered Granite Countertops

Now that you know what leathered granite is and how it’s made, here are some things to know about these countertops.

It’s Durable

It’s granite, so of course it’s going to be extremely durable, but there is an added layer of robustness because of the textured surface. Leathered granite countertops are very strong and they don’t normally chip or crack under pressure, weight, or even high heat.

Also, the textured surface prevents heat stains and it distributes the heat and weight applied everywhere. So, you better believe that these babies are going nowhere for a long time no matter what you put them through.

No Worries Of Scratches

Scratches are a big hassle, especially if the surface is shiny and polished. Somehow the scratches are even more pronounced and it can be quite embarrassing to notice those blaringly obvious scars.

However, with leathered granite, there’s not a single thing that you need to worry about when it comes to scratches. The textured and divot-dotted surface of leathered granite is a blessing in disguise and it helps conceal most kinds of minor damage on your countertops. Even though some people might not like the look of textured granite, it is versatile when it comes to camouflaging imperfections.

It’s Less Slippery

If you paid attention in science class, then you would know that slippery surfaces normally don’t have friction at all. That means that things can slip and slide freely. On the other hand, textured surfaces tend to have friction and they’re amazing for gripping things.

Well, this is exactly the difference between polished granite and leathered granite. Yes, people love polished surfaces more, but leathered granite is a lot more efficient when it comes to friction. Liquids and moisture will not drag along the surface, rather the droplets will bead up, making clean-up a whole lot easier. So, textured surfaces aren’t as bad now, are they?

Divots Can Be A Problem

As amazing divots can be, they can also be a bit hard to clean. Since divots and cracks are dipped into the surface like small holes and bowls, it can be hard to simply clean the surfaces with a washcloth. This is why a brush will be needed to scoop up the dirt and debris from the crevices.

If you leave the dust and spills in the crevices, then the countertops can appear a bit dirty and with darker colors, the difference will be clear as day. So, when it comes to cleaning these countertops, you may have to take a few more steps.

It Can Be Expensive

Granite is already quite an expensive material, but leathered granite surpasses that limit as well. You might think that textured granite would be less expensive, but since leathered granite is treated and manufactured in a certain way, it runs a bit higher in price as compared to its polished and honed counterparts.

When purchasing leathered granite countertops, you need to keep in mind that you’re paying for the texture and the qualities accompanying it. It is a different material and if you think about it, leathered granite is worth the splurge.

It’s Easy To Maintain

Maintenance is synonymous with granite. There’s no doubt that granite is a wonderful material, but the amount of maintenance it requires is just a bit too much to handle. However, leathered granite will save you from this ordeal as well.

Given its textured and slightly polished surface, leathered granite doesn’t need to be polished, waxed, or treated with any solution. You just need to take care of the cleaning of the divots and reseal it once in a few years. There’s also no need to invest in specialty cleaners as some good ole detergent and water work perfectly for everyday cleaning. However, cleaners made for granite surfaces can be helpful.

You Need To Seal It

You’re going to have to seal leathered granite. Granite is a porous material in general, but leathered granite is a lot more vulnerable to water damage because of its textured surface. You will need to reseal leathered granite countertops frequently (every 1-3 years) because normally in the first round of sealing, some spots can be easily missed and you’ll need to go over them again.

This is probably the only “maintenance heavy” thing that leathered granite demands and besides, sealing the countertops will only make them last longer, so it’s a win-win situation no matter what.

Conclusion

Granite is already the most popular countertop material. And then there is leathered granite. It’s not something you’ll want to walk past. It’s a material worthy of having the spotlight in the kitchen. Check with granite companies Rockville to know which leathered granite textures and colors they are offering.

20

Jan

Why Quartz Countertops Are A Bad Choice For Outdoor Kitchens?

Quartz seems to be the titan of the countertops realm, with its unmatched durability, excellent longevity, and overall performance. But is this countertop material good for outdoor kitchen just as granite countertops are? Well, let’s see if quartz can handle the giant fireball, aka the sun.

Yes, Quartz Is Not Fit For The Outdoors

If you were thinking about building an outdoor kitchen and keeping quartz countertops in the blazing sunlight, then you might want to take a step back and rethink. Quartz countertops, even though they’re amazing for indoors and there aren’t a lot of stones that can match the qualities quartz has, are still not good for outdoor kitchens.

Why, you ask? Well, it’s going to fade away quickly in the sunlight and it will not look as appealing as it did before. Some things just aren’t meant for use in the sun, and quartz is one of them.

UV Light Damage

The main culprit that inflicts damage on quartz countertops is the sun’s rays. The UV rays of the sun are as bad for the countertops as they are for humans and their skin. Same with skin, if you keep the countertops outside for too long, they’re going to become dull and fade in color and in some cases, the quartz can become very brittle and fragile. So, it’s best that you don’t use them outside at all.

Minimal sunlight is alright, but anything too direct and exposed for too long can turn your beautiful quartz countertops into an ugly faded mess. UV rays from the sun affect the resin and pigments of the quartz countertops making them extremely dark and splotchy on the surface.

Shade Is Necessary

If you want to install quartz countertops outside, then you need to keep them in the shade. Direct sunlight isn’t good for anything, especially when it’s not protected properly. So, proper shade will be the safest option, however, it won’t guarantee that the countertops will remain in pristine condition as they would if they’re inside. This is mostly a last resort if you’re dead set to install quartz countertops in your outdoor kitchen.

Light Quartz Vs Dark Quartz

Another way by which you can suppress the damage of quartz countertops in sunlight is by getting lighter-colored quartz. Darker quartz can react more violently with sunlight and the pigment and resin combination can lose its potency way faster than its lighter-colored counterpart.

Dark quartz will also show the damages prominently whereas lighter quartz is a lot more forgiving. So, if you want to bite the bullet and get quartz countertops for the outdoor grill or kitchen, then consider lighter colors because they’re going to last a bit longer.

It’s Not Heat Resistant

If you didn’t know this already, quartz is not a naturally heat-resistant material. Quartz is an engineered stone and it’s made by combining and sealing resin with pulverized rocks and pigment, which gives the stone its characteristic appearance. Almost all man-made stones have bad heat resistance.

Nothing matches the heat resistance of natural stones because they’re made naturally inside the ground where the temperatures are astronomically high and the pressures are unbearable. You can’t expect quartz to match anywhere near this quality of natural stones. This is also another major reason why quartz doesn’t last as long in sunlight and it gets faded.

Amazing Qualities Of Quartz Countertops But Not For The Outdoors

Quartz can’t last in the sunlight. So what? The material itself is not bad. Quartz is still a very durable and reasonable material that will make wonderful and long-lasting countertops for indoor kitchens. Here are some qualities of quartz that are make it so popular.

Durable

Quartz is a highly durable material. It can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years if you take good care of the surface. Buying quartz countertops is a one-time investment and you will not regret this purchase because it’s going to pay off. This is why it’s a fan favorite among people.

Comparatively Affordable

Quartz is not as expensive as other materials. Natural stones, even though they also have amazing qualities, just aren’t as affordable as quartz and if you compare them with the qualities and things quartz has to offer, then you’ll know exactly which choice is better.

People can justify the cost of quartz, because it’s durable and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance whereas some natural stones are also durable but they need more maintenance than quartz.

Quartz countertops don’t need to be sealed every few years. You can set it and forget it because these bad boys are going to stay put for as long as you want.

Easy To Clean

There aren’t a lot of countertops that can match this quality of quartz. Let’s face it; no one wants to slave over kitchen countertops with a washcloth at all times. So, it’s comforting to know that quartz won’t put you through this trouble at all. It’s truly a magnificent material that requires little to no maintenance.

You just need to take care of daily cleaning and getting the countertops polished every year or so, and you’re pretty much set for a long time. Now that’s what you can call “low-maintenance”.

Better Alternatives To Use In Outdoor Kitchens

If you’re looking for countertop alternatives to use outside, then these options are going to be the best:

Granite Countertops

Lo and behold! Granite is a stone that knows no damage, especially the one inflicted by the blazing sun. Granite has a very high heat resistance which is not a quality you see in a lot of stones and it can take the heat of the sun like a champ.

There’s no need for you to worry about discoloration, fading, or damage to the countertops because granite can endure temperatures and harsh weather with finesse, so your kitchen will always look dazzling as long as you seal and maintain it properly.

Porcelain Slab Countertops

Porcelain is another great option to use outdoors. This material is also very shiny and it has a very opulent feel to it. So, the kitchen will feel glossy and luxurious. One thing that you need to keep in mind about porcelain slabs, is the fact they are not waterproof. You will need to seal them to protect the beautiful countertops from food stains and moisture.

This is the only drawback of this seemingly perfect material, and other than that, porcelain works like a wonder in an outdoor kitchen. If you like tiles, you also get a porcelain tile countertop that is waterproof.

Concrete Countertops

This option is great for all of you lovers of rugged countertops out there. Concrete is a very popular countertop material choice for outdoor kitchens. It’s appealing, it has that rustic appeal to it and it doesn’t need to be colored or stained whatsoever because the natural color of concrete doesn’t fade away in the sunlight. And the countertop will be as durable as the walls of the kitchen.

The only downside is that this material is extremely porous and it can absorb water, among other things, like a literal sponge. So, this makes sealing necessary because you not only want to protect the countertops from water damage, but infestation of bacteria and viruses too.

Conclusion

Quartz countertops are not fit for outdoor kitchens. Looks like it’s a score for the sun and a loss for quartz. But you can use granite countertops that are also extremely popular. Discuss it more with a granite installer Rockville.