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How Durable Are Quartz Surfaces?

One of the newer materials used for countertops and other surfaces in and around homes, businesses and other buildings is engineeered quartz. In recent years this material has grown in popularity and is available in a wide array of colors and patterns. Engineered quartz surfaces are a durable option and many people choose them because of this. But, how durable are quartz surfaces? How is engineered quartz promoted? We will explore the answers to these and other questions in this article.

What is Engineered Quartz?

We won't get into a lot of the details regarding engineered quartz and how it differs from other materials. Mainly because you can read about quartz surfaces on our website and we even have a section featuring articles that compare one material against another. In this article though, we will look into considerations regarding the durability of engineered quartz.

How Quartz is Promoted

One of the first things that you will find when researching engineered quartz care and maintenance, and even the sales material, is that the material does not need to be sealed. Along with that promotional statement, the material often says all that is needed for cleaning it is warm soapy water. These statements accurately describe what goes into regular cleaning and maintenance of engineered quartz surfaces. But it can also be easy to come to a wrong conclusion based on only those remarks. Just how durable is engineered quartz? We'll look at that in a few moments, but first we need to understand durability. Let's look at that next.

The Durability Factor

As we previously stated, many people buy quartz surfaces because of their understanding of the durability of the material. But what is durability? For the purposes of our discussion, durability includes a few basic aspects. These are:

  • Stain Resistance
  • Scratch Resistance
  • Heat Resistance

The above list is not an exhaustive enumeration of what factors into a material's durability. But it does cover the main ones. Let's consider each of these aspects as they relate to quartz materials.

Resisting Stains

The ability of a material to resist certain kinds of staining relies heavily upon its porosity. If liquids can get into the pores of a material, the chance of the material becoming stained in the pores are heightened. Since engineered quartz is non-porous, liquids never get into the pores. Rather, the liquids stay on the surface of the material.

Scratch Resistance is From Hardness

When we speak of a material's 'scratch resistance' we are basically speaking of its hardness. The harder a surface material is, the more it will resist scratches. Engineered quartz is a very hard material, coming in it a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. That means it does not scratch easily.

Heat Tolerance

The other factor that we want to touch on briefly regarding the durability of engineered quartz is its heat tolerance. It is made to resist heat that you will commonly find in household uses. That said, quartz manufacturers generally instruct that owners of quartz use hot pads or trivets for hot pans and pots from the stove.

Is Quartz Indestructible?

So far, we have seen that engineered quartz is a durable choice for hard surfaces in general. Their stain resistance and ability to withstand scratching is impressive. These characteristics collectively could lead some to conclude that they need not worry about the material; they could conclude that it is indestructible. Is that the case?

As you may have already surmised, there is a big difference between durable and indestructible. For each of the aspects of durability that we have mentioned thus far, there are limitations. Each facet of durability has its own boundaries. Take heat for example, if a quartz slab was indestructible, there would be no instruction to use a trivet or hot pads. SO even though a material is durable and resists heat or some other force, there are still requirements.

Not Scratch-proof

Additionally, scratch resistance is not the same as scratch-proof. If an object is hard enough and/or sharp enough, it can scratch engineered quartz surfaces. But a hard, scratch resistant material such as engineered quartz will hold up to many tasks that might marr other materials that are softer.

Quartz: A Stain-able Material

Spills that occur on an engineered quartz surface still must be cleaned up. And if they are not, the substance could dry, leaving a stain on the surface. There are many types of substances that could cause a stain on the surface of an engineered quartz countertop, worktop, or floor panel. The following list enumerates a few of the big ones to be aware of:

  • Cement
  • Coffee
  • Nicotine
  • Ink
  • Tar
  • Tea
  • Oil
  • Wine
  • Grease
  • Rubber
  • Hair Dye
  • Metal Marks
  • Mineral Deposits
  • Permanent Marker
  • Fingernail Polish

As you can see from that list, there are some things that will leave a surface stain on natural quartz surfaces. Many of these can be cleaned up with some elbow grease, but others require some specific cleaners. Since not all cleaners are suitable for use on engineered quartz, it is important to choose wisely.

As we have seen in this article engineered quartz is a very durable and desirable material for use as a hard surface. However, it is not impervious to staining, scratching, or even heat burns. Being aware of strengths and limitations of engineered quartz will serve as a good guide in working with or owning this popular material.