Quartz Worktop grey

24 January 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Quartz Worktops

In this detailed blog post, we discuss everything you need to know about Quartz Worktops, what it is, its advantages & what to consider when choosing the right quartz worktop.

If you are looking to remodel your kitchen or bathroom and want a jaw-dropping finish, then quartz worktops are the way to go. Quartz worktops are created by crushing natural stone into fine grains and mixing them with resin and pigments. This allows Quartz to offer a more uniformed appearance than natural stones like marble and granite. In this article we are going for a deeper dive into the process of professional quartz worktop preparation, installation and maintenance, so once the experts at Impala Stone have finished your stunning worktops, you can keep them that way.

Why not get an idea of the beautiful quartz worktops we supply by exploring our wide range here.

What is quartz?

If you are wondering what is quartz worktop and what is quartz worktops made from, then we have you covered, with this detailed explanation of quartz and its process to becoming worktops. Quartz is a chemical compound, formed from silicon and oxygen and naturally moulded into a prism. Processing natural quartz into worktops involves several key steps to transform it from its raw state into a durable and aesthetically pleasing surface. These steps include:

1. Quarrying
The first step is to extract the natural compound from the earth and then crush and grind the quartz into smaller pieces. These pieces are further ground into finer particles, with their size influencing the final appearance of the worktop. Finer particles create a more uniformed look and larger grains form a more varied appearance.

2. Purification
The ground quartz must be purified to remove impurities. This is often done through a combination of mechanical and chemical processes, including washing, magnetic separation and sometimes acid treatments to achieve high purity levels.

3. Blending with resin and pigments
The purified quartz grains are then mixed with a resin binder and colour pigments. This resin binds the quartz particles together and gives the worktop its colour and unique aesthetic qualities. Typically, the mixture is about 90% quartz and 10% resin and pigments.

4. Moulding and compacting
The mixture is then poured into moulds that determine the size and shape of the worktops. The material is then compacted under intense pressure, which helps to create a dense, non-porous and durable surface.

5. Curing
The quartz worktop slabs are then heated at a specific temperature in a kiln to cure them throughout. This process causes the resin to polymerise and harden, binding the quartz particles firmly together.

6. Cooling, polishing and finishing
The cured quartz worktop slabs are then cooled and subjected to various finishing processes. They are polished to achieve the desired surface finish, whether glossy or matte and the edges are shaped and smoothed according to customer specifications.

Advantages of quartz worktops

Quartz worktops offer a range of advantages, making them a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Some of these benefits include:

  • Durability
    Quartz is one of the hardest minerals, making these worktops extremely durable and resistant to scratches and chips. They are less prone to damage compared to softer countertop materials.
  • Non-porous surface
    Quartz worktops are non-porous thanks to the resin binders used in their manufacturing. This means they are resistant to staining and don’t harbour bacteria or viruses, making them a very hygienic choice.
  • Heat and corrosion resistant
    Quartz is generally resistant to heat and corrosion, making it a superb choice for kitchen environments where hot pots and pans are commonly used. However, it is still advisable to use trivets or hot pads to fully protect the surface.
  • Uniform appearance
    Since quartz worktops are engineered, they have a consistent pattern and colour. This uniformity is often preferred in design schemes where predictability and consistency are desirable.
  • Wide range of colours and designs
    The manufacturing process allows for a wide variety of colours and patterns, including options that mimic the look of natural stone, concrete and other materials. This versatility makes it easy to find a style that fits any interior design theme.

Choosing the right quartz worktop

Choosing the ideal quartz worktops for your kitchen or bathroom involves several considerations to ensure it meets your aesthetic, functional and budgetary requirements. The first thing to calculate is your budget as quartz worktops vary in price depending on quality, design and brand and so having your budget in place from the start will help with your decision-making throughout the process. It is also important to consider the long-term value and not just the initial cost.

Quartz comes in a wide range of colours and patterns, so you will want to consider the overall look and effect of your kitchen or bathroom. Do you want the worktops to stand out or blend seamlessly? Neutral colours are versatile, while bold colours can add a striking visual element. Some quartz worktops mimic the look of natural stone and feature veining, and others offer solid colours and subtle patterns.

You should also consider the quartz worktop thickness as this can impact both the cost and appearance and thicker ones are heavier and can affect installation. Finally, you should decide on the edge profile you desire. These can be shaped in various ways, such as squared, bevelled or rounded.

Once you have all these considerations in place, it is time to talk to the experts at Impala Stone, to find the highest quality at the best price.

Installation and maintenance

Professional installation of quartz worktops is crucial due to their heavy weight and the precision required for a perfect fit. Experienced installers can ensure all measurements and cuts are correct, avoiding costly mistakes. Professional installers will also handle all transportation and placement of these slabs, preventing damage to the worktop or your property. A professional installation will also ensure your new quartz worktops seamlessly blend with cabinetry and appliances, achieving a flawless, long-lasting finish.

It is then up to you to keep them as beautiful as the day they were installed with correct cleaning and maintenance, which, fortunately, can be completed daily with simple soap, water and a soft cloth or sponge.

Cost considerations

Many factors come into play that can affect quartz worktops prices and, at Impala Stone, we offer our tier system (from 1-10) for material costs. Different slabs fall under different tiers thanks to their quality, brand, style and design. Higher quality quartz, which often features more intricate patterns and more consistent colours, will typically be found higher on the tier system, and the purity of the quartz and manufacturing process also plays a role in defining its quality.

Dimensions will also affect the initial material costs, such as length, width and thickness, and after the material is chosen, the finish, transportation, installation and current market demand will also play a part in the final cost of your quartz worktops.

For a more accurate quote, please get in touch with our helpful team at Impala Stone.

Cutting quartz worktops

The cutting of quartz worktops is something always best left to a professional. The simplest of mismeasurements or cutting mistakes can result in ill-fitting worktops and costly repairs. A professional quartz slab cutting will typically follow the same process.

1. Measure, measure, measure
Accurate measurement of the installation area. Detailed measurements are crucial to ensure the worktop fits perfectly with the cabinetry, sinks and appliances.

2. Create template
From the measurements, a template is created and used to mark cut lines on the slab. Precision is key to ensuring the correct fit.

3. Precision cutting
The quartz is then cut using a specialist diamond cutting saw, which is necessary for a clean cut due to the quartz’s hardness.

Cleaning quartz worktops

Cleaning quartz worktops is relatively simple, as the material is non-porous and highly resistant to stains. Unlike natural stone surfaces like granite or marble, quartz countertops don’t require sealing and daily cleaning can often be completed with a simple wipe-down with soap and water. Make sure you use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge.

For tougher stains, you can use a more robust quartz-safe cleaning solution and gently scrub the stained area in a circular motion. Never use any abrasive cloths or harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia or acidic cleaners as they can dull and damage the surface.

Quartz: the perfect material

To summarise, quartz is ideal for worktops thanks to its exceptional durability, its non-porous benefits and minimal maintenance. It is one of the hardest minerals and is highly resistant to stains and bacteria. Quartz worktops come in a wide range of colours, styles, patterns and veining and a variety of finishes to bring your kitchen or bathroom to life.

At Impala Stone, we have over 15 years of experience in the fabrication, supply and installation of high-quality kitchen and bathroom quartz worktops and have even picked up an award or two along the way. Get in touch with our expert team to see how we can make your worktop dreams a reality and be assured you and your home are in safe hands.

Kitchen worktop quartz design
Quartz worktop bathroom