Ever wondered how professional granite and quartz installers create templates? It’s all here. Very interesting.

Kit to Seal Your Quartz Countertop. Why Would I Buy This?

Sealing a quartz countertop kind of defeats the purpose of having quartz rather than granite; namely, that quartz is supposed to be maintenance free. If I wanted to worry about keeping my countertops sealed, I would have gone with granite in the first place.

Maintaining Quartz Countertops

Promotional video for properly cleaning CaesarStone quartz countertops. I’m surprised to see that it’s OK to use cleansers with bleach when cleaning a quartz countertop. When we bought ours, we were advised to avoid cleansers containing ammonia or bleach. Our kitchen designer told us that they could dissolve/erode the epoxy that holds the countertop together. I’ll have to research further…

Choose Quartz Colors with MySurface iPhone App

Great idea! Free for iPad touch and iPhone. You can view and order samples directly from the app. I wish this had been available when we remodeled our kitchen.

Why We Chose Quartz

When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, one of the major decisions we had to make was what kind of countertops to install.

The previous owner had installed tile, which at the time (think mid 70s) was probably a good choice: It’s inexpensive, heat and stain resistant, easy to clean, and reasonably durable. However, after 20+ years, the counter tops had deteriorated to the point that when we entertained, we had certain spots where candles, bowls, or mats were always to be strategically placed . The deteriorating caulk had been stained a peculiar shade of brown that we could never match, so that was also a problem. More significantly, throughout the kitchen, tiles were broken and chipped–a few were missing entirely–and these tiles were no longer available in stores.

When deciding on what to replace the tile with, we considered everything our kitchen consultant showed us: Corian, stainless steel, butcher block, soapstone, granite, and quartz. Glass wasn’t readily available yet, or I’m sure we would have considered that as well.

We were able to narrow our choices down to granite or quartz fairly quickly.

After weeks of research and discussions, we ended up going with quartz. The main reason was that quartz is essentially maintenance free, whereas you have to remember to seal granite periodically (and then actually seal it). The other reason had to do with the following story our kitchen designer told us.

He was invited to dinner at the home of some clients he had guided through their kitchen remodeling. These clients had chosen granite, and since it was billed as heat proof, they had no qualms about putting hot pans directly on the granite surface. The woman took the pot roast out of the oven and placed it on the counter top. A minute later, the surface exploded. Granite is not a uniformly dense material and can have little air pockets that you can’t see on the surface. Turns out, the woman had placed her pan directly over an air pocket, which then expanded and exploded.

This is the last thing I need to worry about.

After eliminating granite, we had to decide between Silestone (which has built-in antimicrobial product protection–Microban®) and a different brand, like Zodiac, which doesn’t have the Microban®. We liked the look of Silestone but were concerned about the Microban® leaching out of the countertops and onto us and our food. The kids do their homework at the kitchen island, I do all of my prep work there, and we eat most of our meals there; so we decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

Once we’d eliminated Silestone, it was simply a matter of choosing a design from one of the quartz manufacturers our kitchen designer represented. We’ve never regretted remodeling our kitchen, and we feel going with quartz was the right choice for us.

A word of advice: When we remodeled our kitchen, I took dozens of before, during and after pictures, which I then made into a photo book on Picaboo.com. It’s been three years since we remodeled and I still pull the book out from time to time whenever people compliment us on our kitchen.

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