what's up with counter top materials 2018?
If you want to completely glam out- here’s a crystal quartz slab. Kinda spectacular. I bet the price would be as well. But, oh, so beautiful! Photo credit: stonecontact.com
Quartzite vs Quartz
Now, talking about counter and surfacing materials in general - we have to start off with the fact that we are so over granite. Ahh granite, you’re that friend who not only never left the party but stayed over, won’t leave and is now ordering pizza for brunch.
And yes, marble - everyone’s current surface crush - many marble slabs are wonderful- and may be timeless but, their popularity is pretty much at its highest point ever and few can deny that it’s getting, oh, a wee bit over-generously used in residential interiors these days.
(We’re talking about you Carrera Marble-yes you! you’re the worst offender.)
So, here at Romero & Obeji Interior Design we’re loving exotics like Quartz and Quartzite. Many people (including yours truly) have been a bit fuzzy on the differences between Quartz and Quartzite - these two increasingly popular counter and general surfacing materials. Now-yes, this info we’re offering is simplified, just consider it the CliffsNotes version- all correct info, but streamlined so nobody passes out from boredom.
quartzite above and below
Quartzite is a naturally occurring rock – it’s basically the middle child found between where marble and granite is formed in the earth. It’s the Jan Brady of the rock world. Quartzite is harder than Granite and withstands heat very well and is found naturally in a very wide ranging assortment from clean white and greys to some smashing colors from blues and greens to even red. It has characteristics of both marble and granite.
Quartz below, on the other hand, is known as an engineered (manufactured) material – still about 93 % of it is composed of natural loose quartz which is then mixed with synthetic binder and pigment and then molded into countertops and slabs.Quartz is available many beautiful whites and greys among a heap of other options. We prefer the designs that do not like they are trying to resemble natural material or faux. We like designs that have a look of their own, many new and fresh options for traditional and modern installations.
above some great quartz styles
Both Quartzite and Quartz materials are wonderfully strong, hard and very resistant to heat. Quartzite is better at withstanding temps over 300 degrees which may affect the resins in Quartz, but, as an interior designer- and there is this one magic point where I go “okay- this is totally the one!” So listen up.
Quartzite needs, like all natural marble and granite counters, to be sealed before use- and then resealed periodically to prevent stains. Even water can damage marble surfaces if the protective finish is worn or imperfect.
See where I’m getting at here? Quartz, that “manufactured” material- has all these synthetic binders, resins – etc. holding it together thus making it impervious, indefinitely under normal conditions, to stains throughout the entire slab. No worries about that wine ring. Or coffee. Or your sister’s kid’s cranberry juice. Dang those kids. What? Do they do that at home?
Both Quartz and Quartzite materials are easy to clean- but like any counter and surfacing materials- you need to use the right products for that specific material- “Barkeepers Friend” is perfect for Quartz -you can buy it everywhere. And, Quartz is available in an ever-increasing range of colors and I’ve just seen some samples that look very realistically like marble- not fake marble like an old Las Vegas lobby, but beautiful subtly veined marble.
Most Quartz surfacing is more reasonable to buy than marble or granite, and unlike marble slabs that must be matched, quartz is super consistent just make sure that all slabs selected must come from the same lot (made at the same time with the same mixture) - installation however will cost you about the same as any natural stone and marble. Installation is everthing, so make sure you find experienced installers or call us for the redesign of your home. Please note- we are not sponsored by any quartz or surfacing material company- it’s just that when we find a great product- it’s hard not to gush.
above is a kitchen in a home we that entirely redid – and of course the clients loved the quartz counters. romero & obeji interior design
Don’t worry Jan, You’ve got quartz!
Alice will never know you spilled all the punch on the counter.