Quartz in Your Home: A Complete Guide
Quartz is one of the most abundant materials on the planet. And that’s handy as it has become a popular choice to create stunning, durable, surfaces in domestic and commercial settings.
If you’re redesigning your kitchen, bathroom, or whole property then you’ll know there are a lot of decisions to make.
Every detail shapes the aesthetic of a room from the colour palette to the worksurfaces. Finding a stone to bring your living space together takes careful planning and research.
If you’re in the process of learning about the options available, then you’ll quickly stumble across quartz.
Well, keep reading to find out what it is, the different types, and where it is best used in your home.
What is Quartz?
The term “quartz” derives from an Eastern European word, “Quarz”, which means hard.
It’s one of the most prolific minerals found in Earth’s crust. Made up of silicon and oxygen, it is incredibly tough, resistant to chemical and physical weathering.
In fact, when rock wears away the remaining material is often Quartz. This means that the sand you find at the beach has high amounts of Quartz in it! More than just the beach, you find this mineral everywhere from mountaintops to oceans.
How Is Quartz Formed?
Quartz is created during the last stage of igneous rock formation and during metamorphic conditions.
In simple terms, it is when molten lava cools or extreme heat and pressure are applied to silicon and oxygen. This is when the crystallisation process occurs to create stunning Quartz of all sizes – from tiny grains to large stunning crystals.
So how do these crystals become the quartz slabs to be used in interiors and architecture?
Well, mining is required to extract these natural minerals. Next, they are ground into smaller aggregate pieces which are fused using resin. Heat and pressure is applied to form a quartz slab. During this process, pigment is infused with the resin for bespoke colouring.
The final product you see in your home is a mix of lots of little Quartz shards and coloured resin. Quartz slabs generally have between 90% to 95% quartz and the rest is made up of bonding agents and colouring.
What are the Different Types of Quartz?
No slab of Quartz is the same as the composition of crystals is always unique. As it is a naturally occurring mineral there are varieties found around the world.
These include rock crystal, milk quartz, rose quartz, smoky quartz, morion and many more.
Adding to this, manufacturers alter the final results with the pigmentation added to the resin for bespoke or consistent-looking results.
This means you can choose from a wide range of final colours sparkling with natural crystals including:
What Can Quartz be Used For?
Quartz is used for a variety of interior surfaces and finishes. It’s a popular choice in kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces. At some point, you’ll have even walked across a quartz floor without even knowing it. Let’s take a look at where you can use it in your interior design.
The final touch to any kitchen is the countertop. It’s the centrepiece of the room which needs to look both amazing and be hardwearing. With Quartz being one of the hardest materials on Earth, it makes for an exceptional kitchen worktop to last for years.
To complement a worktop, you can use quartz for a kitchen backsplash. This adds a stunning modern look to your room with a continuous finish to your surfaces. Quartz is non-porous which makes cleaning up easy. Once you finish cooking any splatters or spills can be quickly whipped away to keep your kitchen looking fresh.
Bathroom Counters and Surrounds
The qualities of quartz make it a brilliant fit for your bathroom surfaces. Use it as a countertop or for a complete surrounding design. You love the unique contemporary finish to suit your chosen colour scheme. Adding to this, maintenance is minimal and cleaning is a synch!
Quartz is a growing trend, especially in commercial flooring. And there is a good reason for this too. Its customizability allows designers to find the perfect shade to bring life to a room or hallway. It’s no secret that flooring takes a beating, especially in busy walkthroughs. If you’ve read this far, then you’ll already have noted the durability of quartz which lends itself to creating floor tiles that stand up to these rigours.
Is Quartz Expensive?
As with any natural stone, Quartz is not ‘cheap’, you are paying for quality and longevity. As you can imagine, the process of mining the crystals and finishing them into a worktop or tile is a substantial process. But the final product in your home is unique. If you take care of your surfaces then don’t be surprised if it lasts for decades.
On average it will cost between £300 and £600 per ㎡ not including fabrication.
What’s the Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite?
When researching stones for your interior, you’ll come across Quartz and Quartzite. It is important to understand that these are different.
Quartzite is completely natural while a quartz countertop is man made or ‘engineered’.
The key distinction comes during the mining and shaping process. As you know, quartz is mined in tiny pieces and then bonded together. Quartzite is extracted as a complete block and then cut into slabs without alterations to colour or use of bonding agent.
Quartz vs Granite
Both quartz and granite are brilliant stone choices for worktops and surrounding surfaces. Either option gives you an incredibly durable final product but there are subtle differences.
Granite is a natural stone made of igneous rock with its colouring and features coming from the cooling speed during formation. A complete slab can be cut after the mining process for a one-of-a-kind final product. When compared side by side with quartz, you’ll notice that granite often has an added natural sparkle and twinkle combined with naturally occurring colouring and patterns.
Advantages of Quartz
- Virtually Non-Porous
- Low Maintenance
- Highly Durable
- Wide range of colour options
- Reduced imperfections
Disadvantages of Quartz
- Not heat proof for hot pans
- Spills must be cleaned up
- Not completely stain proof
- Not all are suitable for outside, although manufacturers are bringing out a UV stable range
- Not unique
- Encourages you to pick a style that might go out of fashion
Quartz: The Final Words
If you’ve read this far, then you’ll understand why quartz is such a fashionable choice for interior surfaces.
As you have discovered, it is incredibly durable and built with natural minerals bonded together with resin. This man made step enables pigment to be added to the final product for an almost limitless amount of designs.
All of this comes together to give you the perfect finish to last for decades whether it’s as a kitchen worktop, splashback, or bathroom surface.