Kitchen benchtops made from granite and other natural stones may be attractive and highly desirable, but they can also be hideously expensive, even if you only have a small amount of benchtop space to cover. However, this doesn't mean that the looks and durability of stone benchtops aren't out of your reach if you are fitting a new kitchen on a modest budget.
Quartz benchtops are mostly made from powdered quartz stone that is bound together and strengthened with hard plastic resins and coloured with pigments. This unique construction gives quartz benchtops a number of advantages over benchtops made of stone and other materials. However, they do have some unavoidable drawbacks, so you should consider the pros and cons of quartz benchtops carefully if you are thinking of installing them in your new kitchen.
What are the advantages of choosing quartz benchtops?
Quartz benchtops can match natural stone benchtops in terms of raw durability and can take a heavy beating when used in the busiest kitchens. They will not dent or crack easily, even when heavy objects are dropped on them, and the hard outer coating created by the resin binders makes them very resistant to scuffs and scratches. These resins actually make quartz benchtops less brittle than natural stone equivalents, and overhanging ledges and corners are less likely to be accidentally damaged or chipped off.
The resins used to create quartz benchtops also make them thoroughly non-porous and waterproof. This makes them virtually impossible to stain, even with coffee, red wine and other liquids notorious for staining lesser surfaces.
The pigments added to quartz benchtops means they can be found in an enormous array of colours and designs, including many impossible to recreate with natural stone. This allows you to pick out a quartz benchtop that can match any overarching kitchen design, from traditional timber-and-ceramic designs to sleeker, contemporary kitchens.
Despite all of these advantage, quartz benchtops are readily affordable and are significantly cheaper than benchtops made from granite, marble and other sought-after stones. They can even be cheaper than some non-stone benchtop materials, such as butcher's block timber. This makes them especially suitable for larger kitchens with a lot of benchtop space to cover.
What are the disadvantages of choosing quartz benchtops?
Some quartz benchtops have visible, raised seams caused by two seperately-created pieces of benchtop being joined together. These seams can be unsightly and give away that your benchtops are not made from solid stone. However, they can be hidden effectively by the right kitchen design. Custom-made quarter benchtops, though more expensive than off-the-shelf benchtops, can be made to keep these seams hidden.
Vulnerability to heat
Although quartz benchtops are resistant to impacts and stains, they are not so good at handling high temperatures. The resin used to seal their surfaces can be scorched or melted by prolonged exposure to high temperatures, so if you choose quartz benchtops, you may not be able to place hot pots and pans on them directly.
For more information about quartz or other options for kitchen benchtops, contact a local supplier.Share