How are quartz worktops made?
If you’re considering choosing quartz worktops for your new kitchen or bathroom, you might wonder how they’re made and where quartz comes from. Before investing money into a new countertop, you should make sure you have a clear understanding of the material you’re choosing.
This blog will give you a detailed breakdown of what quartz is, how it’s formed, and how it’s transformed into stunning worktops and countertops.
What is quartz, and how is it formed?
Quartz is a mineral consisting of silicon and oxygen atoms (silicon dioxide). It’s one of the most common minerals on earth and is often found in igneous rocks, such as granite.
In igneous rocks, quartz is formed as magma cools down. As the silicon dioxide cools, it crystallises, turning into quartz crystals. Although pure quartz is clear, these quartz crystals come in a range of colours depending on the impurities within them. This includes purple, white, black, yellow and pink.
Mineral quartz is incredibly hard and rated a seven on the Mohs hardness scale, making it very durable and resistant to erosion. Because of its durability, quartz has many uses.
What is quartz used for?
Quartz is used as a raw material in a huge range of products. It’s widely used in construction materials such as quartz sand, glass, concrete, and mortar. Quartz is also refined to produce silicon which is used in computers and other electronics. It’s also used in jewellery, as well as watches and clocks.
However, one of the most common uses of quartz is to make quartz worktops and countertops for kitchens and bathrooms.
What is a quartz worktop?
A quartz worktop is a slab of engineered quartz manufactured from raw quartz. These worktops are popular in residential and commercial buildings and are often used as alternatives to natural stone worktops, such as granite or marble.
Quartz worktops are made by combining ground quartz crystals with resin and pigments. This material is then compressed into a large slab. Most quartz countertops are made from 90 – 95% quartz minerals and 5-10% resin and pigments. These pigments are used to colour the quartz, which is why quartz worktops are available in so many different colours.
The slabs are then manufactured to the required size and thickness. Usually, quartz slabs are available in 20mm or 30mm thicknesses.
Quartz slabs are then cut precisely to the customer’s required shape using a template. Because quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, special tools in a stone-cutting workshop are used to cut the slabs to size.
Why is quartz used for worktops?
Quartz is one of the most popular worktop materials primarily because of its durability.
Quartz countertops are heat-resistant and scratch-resistant, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. They stand up to the everyday wear and tear of high-traffic areas. The resin makes them flexible, making them less prone to chips and cracks than natural stone worktops. A quality quartz worktop will last for years and years!
Unlike granite worktops, quartz kitchen worktops are non-porous. This means they don’t require sealing and are naturally stain-resistant. These kitchen countertops are also highly hygienic and easy to clean. They only need mild soap, water and a soft cloth to keep them in top condition.
Is quartz man-made or natural?
Quartz itself is a completely natural mineral. It’s one of the most common minerals on earth.
However, quartz worktops are referred to as man-made products. This is because quartz worktops are made from a mixture of natural quartz, resin and pigments to produce a solid slab. Quartz worktops are often called engineered stone worktops because of this.
Natural stone worktops, like granite and marble, differ from engineered ones. Granite and marble are made entirely from natural rock, mined from stone quarries in large slabs and then polished and cut to size to produce worktops.
Quartz vs quartzite: are they the same?
Sometimes people confuse quartz with quartzite worktops. Despite their very similar names, quartz and quartzite are different materials.
Quartzite is a natural stone that contains quartz minerals and silica. It’s formed below the earth’s surface when sandstone with a high quartz content is heated to a high temperature and put under pressure. This stone is mined and cut into slabs which are then turned into quartzite work surfaces.
So, the main difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is manufactured into engineered stone worktops while quartzite is mined and cut into natural stone worktops.
How Mo’s StoneX can help
Whether you’re in the middle of a renovation or just researching countertop materials, we would love to help. With over ten years of experience, our professional team is used to supplying and installing premium quartz worktops. If you’re unsure if quartz is the right option for you or want more information about how we work, get in contact with our team today!
Mo’s StoneX handles the entire process, from providing the initial quote to creating a custom template to installing your beautiful new worktop! We offer a huge range of colours, styles and finishes to help you find the ideal quartz worktop for your new kitchen or bathroom. From subtle natural colours, including our popular marble-inspired Carraras range, to in-demand sparkly options, we have something to suit every taste and style.
Fill out our online enquiry form for a free quote to start transforming your home!