Quartz has crawled up the ladder in popularity for kitchen and bathroom countertops, with white quartz being a popular color choice. Homeowners and interior designers alike are starting to see the benefits to owning quartz or Caesarstone countertops. Because quartz stone has many great qualities, it is an appealing alternative to natural stone. But is it truly better than its natural stone cousin? And would a color like arctic white quartz be the right investment for your home?
It’s been a whole year of living with Caesarstone arctic white quartz in our primary bathroom remodel. Now, I’m ready to share with you all the nitty gritty details of owning white quartz countertops. This guide will answer all your questions about white quartz, and help you decide whether or not you should choose this modern material for your next kitchen or bathroom remodel.
This article will answer everything you need to know before you purchase white quartz countertops for you next kitchen or bathroom remodel. The following topics will be covered:
Table of contents
What Is Quartz Stone?
- Let’s put on our nerd pants for a moment and learn some fun facts about quartz. Please ensure your nerd pants are secured safely above your belly button. Quartz stone used in household countertops is a type of engineered material. Also known as silicone dioxide, quartz and other materials such as glass, mirror, or various natural stones, are ground up into a dust and combined with resin. Quartz contains a mixture of approximately 90 – 95 percent quartz and other minerals, to 5 – 10 percent resin.
- Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals available on Earth. In its purest form it is clear in appearance. But, it can also come in many different colors depending on its location and other minerals surrounding it. Quartz is also found in other types of other rocks including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The next time you find a gray rock with little specks of sparkle in it, you will know those little sparkles are actually bits of quartz!
- Unlike granite and marble, quartz can’t be excavated in a slab. Therefore it needs to be mixed with other minerals, binders, and resin to give it its durability and strength. These resins, quartz, and other binders such as recycled glass or mirror are mixed together. They are then poured into a mold and baked at high temperatures. This process helps to create one of the hardest surfaces known to man, and gives quartz countertops its non-porous surface and durability.
How Does Quartz Compare To Natural Stone?
The Advantages of Quartz Over Natural Stone:
- Because of the manufacturing process, quartz countertops come in a large variety of colors and textures. An array of pigments, minerals and actual size of the quartz allows manufacturers to come up with the endless range of styles consumers can choose from. Quartz countertops can also be made to look as an identical dupe for marble or granite. Due to their non-porous surface, quartz countertops are a natural anti-microbial material. Another advantage to quartz is that it needs little to no upkeep other than routine cleaning. Most natural stones including marble and granite, will eventually need surface treatments in the form of refinishing, resealing, or honing. Annual upkeep will be necessary to keep your natural stone looking its tip top shape.
The Advantages of Natural Stone Over Quartz:
- One advantage natural stone has over quartz is that it DOES need annual maintenance. Yes, this goes against my just saying quartz is low maintenance, but hear me out. If quartz gets a stain, which no amount of cleaning will remove, it’s most likely stained forever. However, if your natural stone is damaged or dirty, you can still remove the little stinker with sanding, honing, or resealing. Your natural stone will be washed away of its sins and will be reborn as a brand new countertop once again!
- It’s beautiful! True, quartz countertops have come a long way in style and appearance. Many are practically identical to granite or marble these days. However, there’s nothing quite like the look of a beautifully marbled Carrara with striking veins and interesting patterns. The fact that it was created so perfectly in nature is a wonder in itself. Walking down the aisles of granite manufacturing facilities, it’s almost necessary to take a moment and stand back in appreciation at the wonders of the first and best artist on our planet, Mother Nature.
Does White Quartz Stain?
- The simple answer to this is yes. Left unattended, certain foods or products will stain your white quartz countertops. You may have read articles singing the praises of quartz and its impenetrable qualities making it darn near indestructible. However, with almost everything, there are exceptions. No, quartz doesn’t stain easily, and it’s a non-porous surface. But, after personally owning arctic white quartz in our primary bathroom, I’ve seen a few stains appear from my makeup. Even with impeccable cleaning routines, there’s still those few stubborn stains that just won’t budge.
- We own Caesarstone arctic white quartz which is one of the purest white quartz options available. The quartz and minerals are finely ground, leaving little texture, giving its surface a solid white appearance. There are many other varieties of white quartz countertops out there. Most of these contain larger specks of gray and cream rock which will give the countertop more texture and dimension. If your heart is truly set on white quartz, but you are concerned about maintenance, these options may help blend stains or smudges better than the purest white.
How Much Does White Quartz Cost?
- Depending upon your selection, quartz can cost anywhere between $50 – $150 per square foot. Unfortunately there is no advantage cost wise for choosing quartz over natural stone. Our arctic white quartz was on the lower end of the price point at $50 per square foot. But quartz isn’t in the realm of Formica or tile. The good news is that quartz is a highly durable, quality product, and the value for your money is well worth it.
What’s The Difference Between Quartz and Caesarstone Quartz?
- You may have heard a friend or contractor refer to quartz countertops as “Caesarstone”. So what’s the difference between Caesarstone quartz and quartz? Caesarstone is the brand name of a company that manufactures engineered quartz countertops. Other popular companies that produce quartz include: Silestone, Cambria Quartz, and LG Viatera. The Italian company Breton invented the technology that we now know as quartz countertops. Companies producing quartz today, are putting their own spin on Breton’s initial patent.
How Do You Clean White Quartz?
- Cleaning your white quartz countertops is extremely simple. I use this cleaning method on my arctic white quartz in our bathroom, and it works like a charm. The products you will need are:
- Dawn dish soap
- Bar Keepers Friend (Powdered formula.)
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For Daily Cleaning:
- Fill a 16 ounce spray bottle with water. Add 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap and give it a shake. Use this combination for routine day to day cleaning. Wipe with a cotton towel or microfiber cloth.
For Occasional Stains:
- For stubborn stains that won’t budge, use a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend to remove it. Moisten the dirty area, sprinkle a small amount of BKF on the stain, and gently rub till it is removed. DO NOT scrub your entire countertop with this product. It is abrasive and can cause scratches if used aggressively. Only use Bar Keepers Friend for spot removal, and keep the product isolated on the stained area. Use BKF with a microfiber cloth. After scrubbing your stain, wipe away any excess with a clean damp towel.
Is White Quartz Heatproof?
- I’ve read many articles claiming quartz countertops to be heatproof. However, I would strongly caution any consumer to begin setting their scalding hot pots and pans directly onto their white quartz countertops. Quartz stone is heat RESISTANT. Resistant being the key word. If quartz stone were called heat proof that would be another story. The resin in quartz countertops can only withstand degrees of 150 Fahrenheit. I highly recommend setting trivets or pads onto your white quartz countertops before placing a hot pot or pan on top of it.
White Quartz Countertops: Pros Vs. Cons
- Antimicrobial – Quartz countertops are a natural antimicrobial. Due to its non-porous surface, bacteria and viruses aren’t able to replicate making it a great option for bathroom and kitchen countertops.
- Durable enough to last a lifetime – Quartz countertops are one of the most durable materials in the countertop genre, and can easily withstand a lifetime of wear and tear.
- Environmentally friendly (kinda) – Quartz stone is recyclable. The mining process of quartz causes less environmental impact compared to the mining of natural stone. However, mining in general always creates an impact onto our environment.
- Low Maintenance – Sealing quartz is not necessary due to its non-porous properties.
- Not Heat Proof – The resin within quartz stone can only withstand temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, trivets and pot holders are necessary to prevent heat damage.
- Can Stain – Stains can happen if left unattended for long periods of time, particularly with the lighter or white quartz countertops. If you’re worried about stains, stick to the darker shades of quartz which will conceal stains better than white quartz countertops.
- Pricey – Unfortunately, there’s no savings opting for a quartz countertop. Cost wise it compares with natural stone. However, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. If you love the look and quality of quartz, it will be money well spent.
Is White Quartz A Good Option For You?
There are many factors to consider when deciding on a countertop. But how do you know if white quartz or a white Caesarstone is the right choice for you? Here are four questions to ask yourself before purchasing white quartz countertops:
- Are you okay living with small stains and blemishes, or are you a perfectionist who can’t stand the sight of even the slightest smudge?
- Do you want a product that won’t need any servicing in the future for sheer sake of convenience?
- Do you love the look of a bright, white kitchen above all others?
- Are you okay with more daily maintenance and spot cleaning for those stubborn stains?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then chances are, white quartz countertops could be a good option for you!
I’ve been happy with our arctic white quartz in our primary bathroom, but would I put it in my kitchen? Probably not. Since the kitchen gets the most wear and tear in the home, I would opt for a darker quartz or go with a natural stone.
A permanent stain I’d have to look at for the rest of my life would drive me crazy. Having said that, I think white quartz is a wonderful option for the bathroom. Our arctic white quartz countertops are one of the purest whites and have held up well despite the few makeup stains. And a bathroom isn’t prone to wine or acid spills the way a kitchen is.
Weigh Your Options
Ultimately there are many things to consider when deciding to go with white quartz. It is a beautiful option, but isn’t without its downside. Unfortunately, there isn’t the perfect unicorn countertop as they all come with their own list of pros and cons. Take the time to do your research. Visit lots of stores that sell countertops, and get a professional’s opinion. Reading my article is a step in the right direction, but there are many other articles out there that might share an opinion different to my own. Knowing what you’re going to love and be able to live with for many years will help you feel comfortable in making that final decision.