Quartz: How It’s Made, Pros, and Cons

Quartz is becoming all the rage due to its versatility and appearance, but what is it and what are the pros/cons? Natural quartz is mined and then ground into an aggregate that’s fused together with resin binders to form a solid slab. Pigments added during the process add the color to the countertops. Below we breakdown the pros and cons of this popular stone:

PROS

Easily cleaned
Quartz does not need to be sealed and stains can be easily removed with soapy water, however, harsh chemicals should be avoided due to the resin.

Antimicrobial
The resin that binds the aggregated quartz, which makes it nonporous, meaning bacteria and mildew cannot penetrate your quartz surface.

Aesthetics & endless design options
Quartz can come in many colors and due to its flexibility, it can be shaped in ways natural stones cannot. This included served edges, sink shapes, floors, and tiles.

CONS

No extreme heat
Quartz is heat resistant, but it’s always best to use a trivet. Sudden changes in temperatures could lead to the quartz cracking.

No outdoors
Quartz was not meant to be exposed to the elements, including the direct sun, which can cause fading and splitting.

Rooms Worth the Stone Splurge (And Ones Not Worth It!)

Though stone countertops in any room can really elevate the look and add a timeless appeal, there are some rooms more worthy of the splurge than others, especially considering part of stone countertops’ appeal is the durability, strength, and heat resistant factors. Here are some spaces that could forego stone countertops to save $$$ for stone-worthy spaces:
  • While we love the updated laundry room trend (because who wants to do laundry in a dreary space?!), it isn’t of huge importance. Laundry rooms are generally shut off to guests and don’t really need the durability as compared to other spaces.
  • Guest bathrooms that are not frequently used could forego the upgraded countertops in favor of more frequently used spaces.
  • Similarly, powder rooms do not see use more than washing hands and checking makeup, so a more durable, heat resistant stone is not necessary.

And here are the rooms that NEED stone surfaces to ensure a longer countertop life:

  • Children’s’ bathrooms are probably the most surprising to see on the “go for it” list, but in reality, children tend to not understand proper care, so a more durable stone like quartz or cambria can stand strong and lengthen the life of the bathroom. Go with a neutral color and the room can grow with them!
  • Kitchens are the most obvious room where the splurge is worth it. Not only are they the center of the hosue where most of the entertaining takes place, they are also the rooms with the most spills, hot items, and messy spills. Eliminate the worry and go ahead and add stone- not to mention the resale value.
  • Outdoor stones are one of the more durable options that can withstand weather with proper care.

Guarantee a Long Life for Your Stone

Stone is an investment, and therefore, should be treated with care to ensure it has a beautiful, long life in your home. Though all stones have different strengths and weaknesses, there are a few general maintenance tips to ensure you get the longest use out of them, no matter where they exist in your home. The best way to guarantee that is to use proper techniques and products for cleaning.

Preventative:

  • Use coasters on all stone tableware
  • Immediately pick up spills; blot, don’t wipe
  • Use cutting boards, not your stone surface
  • Don’t leave acidic foods (lemons, tomatoes, etc.) on marble
  • Don’t place hot pots or pans directly on marble countertops

Daily Care:

  • Dusting stone is an easy way to prevent build-up
  • After using cleaning products, make sure to dry the area with a cloth or squeegee

Cleaning Products:

  • Always use a soft cloth, like microfiber
  • Never use products that contain acids as they could dull stone
  • Lemon and vinegar products can also speed up the aging process of stone

If you are ever unsure about a product, you can call Synergy Granite to ask about our professional opinions and experience with all stone cleaning products.

Countertop Material Choices

One of the largest decisions with the largest impact for your kitchen is deciding you countertop. Not only do you have to decide what type of material, keeping in mind that the best options are durable and long-lasting, but also deciding on the color and pattern. This review of granite, marble, quartz and silestone will help you decide what type is best for you and highlight the color options found within each category.

 

Granite: Granite is traditionally the most popular countertop choice and comes in a decent variety of colors and patterns. Granite is known for its strength, including heat and chipping resistance. Granite is very heavy and granite does need to be sealed to maintain its stain resistance. Due to granites popularity, it instantly adds value to your home.

 

Marble: Marble is known for its beauty, especially in the white tones with the distinctive veining. It is heat resistant, but is very susceptible to stains, scratches, and chips. However, with the proper care, marble makes a beautiful, timeless addition to any kitchen.

 

Quartz: Quartz countertops recently gained popularity in the market. It is an engineered stone that comes in the largest variety of colors and patterns. Additionally, it is equally as durable as granite against chipping and is heat and stain resistant. It can, however, be more expensive than its counterparts.

 

Silestone: Silestone is primarily made from quartz, but contains small amounts of plastic and similarly is offered in a large selection of colors and patterns. Silestone is also a hard, sturdy material that is resistant to heat, stains, scratches, and cracks, but one of the unique features of silestone is that it has an antimicrobial protection built-in to protect against bacterial growth.

Endless Possibilities with Granite and Marble

Granite and marble add value to any project and is preferred by most designers. Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth: It is extremely durable and won’t scratch under normal use and is easy to clean. It has commonly been used rather than tiles with heavily grouted joints in kitchen and bath projects but its popularity has expanded to every facet of our homes today. We are seeing larger slabs being used with stunning results and the outlook for 2019 is inspirational. You can look for more granite and marble in places you never dreamed possible to include:

Furniture tops of all sorts from your dining room table to your dresser. It is even being used on benches and more so let your imagine sore.

Outdoor projects have started to see the long-term value of using nature’s hardest stones in everything from stepping stones to fire pits.

Accessories have increased the use of previous stones to create that WOW factor in serving pieces, cutting boards, towel holders and even lamps to name a few.

The use of granite, marble and other previous stones continue to expand and add value to your home. What project can we help you with?

2019 Design Trends

What will be popular in 2019? There has been a lot of speculation as to what will dominate 2019 with the country and industrial look that lead 2018. Granite, Marble and Quartz are still key elements and you can mix and match them based on your personal preference.

  • We are likely to see more Granite, Marble, and Quartz throughout our homes this year. Don’t worry, these are timeless investments.
  • The tile backsplash may be replaced with single slab pieces for a more dramatic look and ease in cleaning.
  • Islands in the kitchen will remain a key feature. Their utility insures this trend is here to stay.
  • The waterfall workspace seen on TV and in magazines should only increase in popularity. It is such a stunning element in your kitchen.
  • Darker colors will make a comeback in 2019 with the addition of brass or copper. Think rich navy, forest green, and maybe even some black!
  • Nature is coming indoors with marble or natural wood table tops and the taupe/gray tones of stone and greens of nature gaining in popularity.
  • Open shelving has been a growing trend, which should continue.
  • Our Smart home technology will certainly increase incorporating our kitchens and other areas of our homes.

We look toward 2019 with excitement and stand ready to explore your 2019 ideas!

The Home You Want to Come Home To

If you have ever had your house staged for sale, you are in awe of how little they spent for such spectacular results.  Most of the time, it looks like a completely different house.  Well why wait? Start your new year with a home that is the envy of your friends but what is the secret?

  1. Get rid of the Clutter.  Less is more in making your space look inviting.
  2. Light and bright makes your space look larger and more welcoming.  Paint with a light neutral color such as a light gray and by using the same color in multiple rooms you get that seamless look that says wow.  Also, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures and add additional lighting as well to get the warm embracing feeling to make your space look great.
  3. Accessories with items that not only look great but say welcome such as candles, plants (this can come from your yard), throws and pillows.
  4. Nothing says high-end and makes your house look great like redoing your kitchen and baths.  By painting your existing cabinets and adding new hardware you can achieve the same look for less.
  5. What is the secret to staging that they never pinch pennies on: GRANITE and MARBLE.  This truly separates your home from the rest.  It says classy and  luxurious like nothing else can.  Even though you watched every penning in your transformation, granite and marble says you didn’t skimp but did it right!

May your house in 2019 be the home you want to come home to!

 

Cozy Fireplace Ideas

This is the coziest time of the year between the hot-cocoa, festive films, and nights covered in blankets by the fireplace. With that in mind, here are a few of the fireplaces that will make your home feel warm, stylish, and unique. 

  • The traditional: give your traditional fireplace a little flare with a granite in-lay:
  • The detail: use marble tiles to add a little detailed-flare to your fireplace:
  • The slab: using one piece of stone makes for a stunner, cohesive look:
  • The ornate: this historical beauty is a true piece of work:
  • The stack: stacking stone, whether it be polished bricks, or rustic original stone finishes, this is a classic option that can fit every aesthetic:

Quartz: The Stone of 2018

As 2018 winds down, we’ve noticed a few trends, one of which being Quartz. The reason for the increased prevalence: durability, ease to clean, and extensive color options. Quartz is scratch resistant, stain resistant, nearly heat resistant, and can be fashioned in the same styles as granite and marble. If you’re not sold and still love the look of marble and granite, quartz even comes in styles that look just like these stones. Take a look at some of the look-alikes below:

Halloween Hues

In the spirit of Halloween, we’re highlighting stones with an orange and black tone! Despite he Halloween comparison, these stones are very versatile, great for all spaces, and some even have a little sparkle to them! Would you dare to go black and bold, or do you prefer the warm orange hue?

-Is there a more halloween themed granite out there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-This orangey stone makes for a very warm space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Black with some dimension is a classic look that is also very versatile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Solid black is a sleek, modern look that can go with anything.