- By Mary Anne
- No Comments
There are a lot of choices, and a lot of confusion, about quartz, quartzite, granite and marble as countertop options. Today I had the opportunity to attend a session hosted by Cambria, Urban Quarry and Interstone discussing the pros and cons of different solid surface choices for countertops, walls, and even floors. Here are a few new things I learnt.
- Quartz, which is 93% natural stone and 7% resin, has come a long way from its original very small, uniform patterns. There are some choices that now come close to mimicking real stone, but, in my opinion do still not have the same depth and character of the real thing. However, there are advantages that you need to consider as countertop options that may make up for the look, such as being less porous, having less maintenance and often being harder than natural stone.
- Technology has made production so much more accurate and efficient. Computer programs can now show a client how exactly the pieces will be laid out on the slab before it is cut. This ensures the client is happy with how the pattern lines up and what pieces of the stone they wish to highlight. Laser saws with water jets and diamond tipped blades can cut out holes for sinks and faucets in a fraction of the time. Computers can even program machinery to accurately cut the slab.
- Quartzite is a beautiful natural product and comes in an array of colours. Some, like Calacutta Quartzite can give the look of marble, but are much more durable and less porous as countertop options.
- Honed and textured finishes are becoming much more popular. Removing the polished surface defines honed, while giving the surface both a dull finish and some texture is known as antiquing or leathering. The same slab of stone can look quite different with a change in finish. Cambria, a leading maker of quartz, is now working on offering different finishes to their product line.
There are many countertop options to consider and it can be confusing. One thing though is for certain. I always insist my clients view the exact slab(s) that they are buying so there are no surprises after installation. Choosing from a 4″sample does not portray the movement and colours in an actual slab, and slabs themselves can also vary greatly. This is an investment and I want you to love your selection!