Engineered and Natural Quartz - The Difference
Posted on January 07, 2019
Today’s Engineered Quartz combines modern technology with the luxury and appeal of natural stone resulting in an array of surface options that are both beautiful and durable! Available in solid colors or natural stone look-a-like patterns, the “new” Engineered Quartz surfaces will both surprise and amaze you!
Engineered and Natural Quartz – The Difference
Natural Quartz is a mineral that forms in clusters. It is among the most abundant minerals on earth and is extremely strong, second only to diamonds.
Engineered quartz is made up of ingredients that, when combined, take on qualities of natural stone. These ingredients are quartz mineral (up to 93%) and several additional additives, such as resin and color.
When Natural Quartz is combined with resins and formed under heat and pressure, the cracks and crevasses between the quartz crystals are filled, and a non-porous, strong surface material is created…Engineered Quartz.
Commercial Options for Engineered Quartz
Select surface suppliers and wholesalers work with developers, contractors, designers, management companies and architects to provide cut-to-size options for engineered quartz commercial applications such as hospitality, health care, office, retail, institutional and multi-family projects. These cut-to-size options are available in both engineered quartz and natural surface materials.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Quartz
- Non-Porous: There is little concern with bacteria and germs settling in an Engineered Quartz countertop. It is also less likely to stain.
- Maintenance Free: Because it is non-porous, Engineered Quartz retains its luster and does not require sealing. It is easily cleaned with mild soap and water
- Uniformity in Color Patterns: A slab of Natural Stone may have large variations in the color pattern from one end to the other. Adversely, Engineered Quartz has a consistent color pattern throughout the slab.
- Wide Color Palette: Engineered Quartz has multiple color options not available in Natural Stone, such as bright greens, blues and yellows
- Movement: Today’s Engineered Quartz has been designed to mirror the movement, color and brilliancy of natural stones such as granite, marble and soapstone
- Style Options: Man-made quartz can be engineered to match any design
- Susceptible to Heat and Impact Damage: Engineered Quartz can chip or crack under heavy impact and requires trivets and hot pads to protect the surface
- Chemical Sensitivity: Can be damaged by household chemicals that are highly acidic or alkaline based such as heavy duty cleaners, bleach and others
- Scratch Sensitivity: The resin that binds the quartz crystals together is susceptible to scratches when cutting directly on the surface
- Limited Use: Not recommended for exterior use or fireplace applications
Engineered Quartz Comparison with Natural Stone in cost
Natural Stone countertops vary widely in cost. Engineered Quartz varies similarly with a wide range of pricing. It’s up to the consumer to decide which variables are most important to them such as cost, style, durability and maintenance when comparing Engineered Quartz to Natural Stone.
Selecting the Brand
The material composition of Engineered Quartz is basically the same across all brands. Therefore, the top differentiators when selecting a brand are:
- Make sure it is a highly-engineered surface material that features the latest technology
- Require a large selection of stunning surface designs that expand your choices and appeal to your individual style
- Look for brilliancy, depth and clarity in the material
- Seek high-end designs that include movement in the material that mirrors natural stone
- Ask about availability through a local infrastructure and distribution system
- Look for quick delivery time – turnaround in 2 to 3 days
- Ask if purchasing HALF slabs is an option
- Research a competitive price point
- Look for warehousing and storage opportunities for commercial projects
If you or your client is looking for a durable, low-maintenance, sophisticated look that provides the ability to select from a myriad of colors and designs, then Engineered Quartz is the surface of choice!