Professionally installed natural or engineered stone countertops can enhance the look and function of any bathroom or kitchen. For many people, quartz is the go-to material for stone countertops because it offers many distinctive patterns and colors that can complement any room design. But how long do quartz countertops last?
At NorthWest Stone Fabricators, we offer countertop installation services for homeowners and contractors using natural quartz and other stone options. In the article below, we explain how long you can expect your new quartz countertops to last and how you can preserve their beauty.
What Is Quartz?
People often assume that quartz countertops are 100% natural stone, but that’s not entirely accurate. Quartz countertops consist of engineered quartz, which is a blend of natural quartz, polymer resin, minerals, and pigments. Still, quartz countertops are up to 95% natural stone.
The engineering process and natural appearance of quartz stone give these countertops a luxurious appeal similar to granite or marble. It also gives the material exceptional durability and strength.
A natural quartz slab is tough but porous, making it susceptible to stains, bacteria, fungal growth, and water damage unless you seal it during installation. However, combining the stone with the synthetic resin and putting it under intense heat and pressure significantly increases its durability and strength.
Diamond, corundum, and topaz are the only natural materials that surpass engineered quartz on the harness scale. As such, quartz countertops have excellent resistance to chips, burns, and scratches.
Average Lifespan of Quartz Countertops
How long do quartz countertops last? In short, these countertops could last a lifetime or at least several decades. That’s assuming the kitchen or bathroom countertops will undergo routine maintenance and won’t encounter a major disaster like deliberate damage with a sledgehammer or another tool that could break a hard material.
The long lifespan and impressive durability of quartz make it one of the most popular materials for countertops among homeowners, designers, and contractors. The durability is so good that some countertop manufacturers include a lifetime product warranty.
Yet, many manufacturers limit their warranties to 10 to 15 years. Since warranties cover the repair or replacement of defective or damaged goods, manufacturers often underestimate their product’s lifespan and only cover the shortest amount of time they expect their products to last. If warranties only protect quartz countertops for ten to 15 years, then it’s reasonable to think they’ll last at least that long.
Unless you’re blatantly abusing your natural quartz countertops, you can expect them to last for a long time and possibly surpass the 15-year mark.
Reasons to Consider Installing Quartz Countertops
Exceptional durability is only one reason why people consider quartz one of the best materials for countertops. However, this engineered stone has much more to offer any homeowner who chooses it for their houses.
Versatility Without Imperfections
Unaltered natural stones like marble or granite have imperfections that add to the slabs’ unique characteristics, but they’re not always desirable. The imperfections develop during the stone extraction and slab fabrication processes. However, the engineered surface of quartz eliminates imperfections to create an intentional, uniform appearance.
You can choose from a wide range of colors and patterns to work perfectly in any kitchen or bathroom interior design. Whether you prefer something traditional with a solid color or a retro aesthetic with light speckling, you can enjoy stunning quartz countertops without blemishes.
One of the primary reasons people love quartz countertops is their stain resistance. A major drawback to natural stone countertops consisting of marble or granite is high porosity. Anything you spill on them can quickly absorb into the stone, making it difficult to remove the stain.
Natural stone countertops need a sealant to protect them from stains and moisture damage. However, quartz countertops are naturally non-porous with a slick surface. You can wipe spills away quickly, but even if you don’t, you still don’t have to worry about the countertop developing an unsightly stain.
If you spill something that is notorious for causing stains, like tea or red wine, you can remove the blemish with a glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol.
Though many people incorporate quartz countertops in their kitchens, the material works well in other areas, too. For example, you can install quartz countertops in your bathroom to enhance the appearance of your vanity. You could also use these countertops around fireplaces or outdoor kitchens, thanks to their heat resistance and durability.
If you want to upgrade your kitchen countertops, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Since the process of producing quartz countertop slabs includes exposure to high heat to increase their hardness after applying pressure to the quartz, minerals, and polymer mixture, the slabs maintain great heat resistance.
Still, heat resistance doesn’t mean heatproof. Quartz countertops can withstand high temperatures, but scorch marks can develop if you put a hot pan directly onto the countertop. Always use a trivet when placing a hot pot or pan onto a quartz countertop.
You won’t have to worry about the countertop surface harboring germs, bacteria, or other microbes. The polymers and resins that give the stone a smooth, glossy sheen also seal the material. As a result, the countertops are virtually maintenance-free.
To clean your quartz countertops, simply wipe them down with a microfiber cloth and a gentle antibacterial cleaner. Since the material is non-porous, there’s no concern about particles or germs getting below the countertop’s surface where they can hide, multiply, and make your countertop a breeding ground for harmful microbes.
How to Maintain Your Quartz Countertops
Though the answer to “How long do quartz countertops last?” is a lifetime, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of them. Without proper maintenance, quartz countertops typically last between 10 to 15 years. Still, the man-made product can be nearly indestructible with the right care.
Cleaning and disinfecting quartz countertops are integral to their maintenance and longevity. Though these countertops have a non-porous surface, viruses, bacteria, and grime will stick to the countertop unless you clean it correctly. Regularly wiping the countertop down with a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth is sufficient.
Using abrasive sponges and scouring pads can reduce the quartz countertops’ natural shine. The same goes for harsh chemical cleansers that contain bleach. Abrasive chemicals will eventually affect the countertops’ finish.
Cutting food directly onto a quartz countertop is not ideal. The surface is scratch-resistant, but persistent contact with a sharp knife can impact the surface. The hardness level of a quartz countertop can also dull a knife over time, so always use a cutting board.
It’s also best not to include a sealant as part of your quartz countertop maintenance. The material doesn’t require a sealant because it’s non-porous. If you apply a sealant onto a non-porous countertop, the sealer won’t be able to seep into it and will create an uneven layer on top of the countertop.
Get Durable Quartz Countertops from NorthWest Stone Fabricators Today
How long do quartz countertops last? At NorthWest Stone Fabricators, we say a quartz countertop’s lifespan is a lifetime, especially when you invest in high-quality materials and professional installation.
Our company specializes in installing natural and engineered stone countertops fit for any kitchen or bathroom in the Seattle, Washington area. Our expert installers work with homeowners, contractors, and designers to facilitate the entire countertop installation process, from fabricating stone slabs with CNC machines to disposing of existing countertop materials.
Call (425) 881-5100 to schedule a consultation with NorthWest Stone Fabricators today.