Engineered stone is taking the countertop industry by storm, but what about quartz bathroom countertops? Are they worth the price tag? Here’s everything you need to know about the bathroom quartz countertop. What are the cons? Do they merit the hype? (Spoiler alert: They don’t.)
What Is Quartz?
Before we get into the pros and cons of quartz, it’s essential to understand what it is and how it’s made. Quartz is what’s known as an engineered stone. Because of that, many people assume that it’s man-made. But that’s only partially true.
Quartz is a naturally occurring mineral mined in the form of rocks. Other countertop materials like granite, marble, and soapstone are also extracted from quarries, but they come in large sections cut into slabs. Some people are surprised to learn that many granite slabs contain portions of natural quartz.
Quartz on its own isn’t naturally found in large slabs. Rather, the quartz pebbles are ground down into fine dust and then mixed with resin, pigments, and polymers to form a hard and durable countertop. Natural quartz makes up about 90% of most quartz countertops, and the remaining 10% is other materials.
So while the bulk of the materials in quartz countertops are naturally occurring minerals, the actual process of making them into a slab is done by humans, hence the title “engineered stone.”
Cons of Quartz Bathroom Countertops
There are quite a few reasons why quartz countertops are great for bathrooms. They’re incredibly durable and completely nonporous, so they resist water, staining, germs, and bacteria. They’re easy to clean and maintain, and they are visually appealing.
For all of these pros, though, there are some concerning downsides. Here’s a look at some of the biggest cons of quartz countertops and why you might want to avoid them in your bathroom.
Easily, the biggest downside to ordering quartz for your bathroom remodel is the price. Quartz does come with benefits – it’s nonporous, extremely durable, scratch-resistant, customizable, and doesn’t need to be sealed.
But all of these benefits come with a cost. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider other countertop options. The price of quartz countertops can vary significantly. It all depends on the manufacturer, installation costs, style, and design. Marble and granite are cheaper.
Although the appearance of quartz can be a huge selling point for some buyers, it can be a serious drawback for others. The coloring and style are entirely customizable, but they will always have a uniform appearance.
If you’re hoping to perfectly mimic the varying appearance of granite or other natural stone, it’s just not going to happen. The natural veins of granite simply can’t be replicated by engineering quartz countertops.
Another drawback is that the seams in quartz are more visible than those in natural stone. So if you’re looking for a large bathroom countertop that will take more than one slab, there’s a good chance you’ll have a noticeable seam where the two slabs meet.
Prone to Heat Damage
Bathroom countertops need to be able to handle whatever your daily routine throws at them. Hot curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers are part of many morning routines, and quartz countertops don’t handle them well.
While natural quartz is heat resistant, the resin and polymers that help bind the countertop together are not. Exposing quartz counters to high-temperature objects can easily cause damage in the form of white spots, clouding, and permanent discoloration.
How much heat can quartz countertops take? Some manufacturers claim they are heat resistant up to 300 degrees or more, while others state they can only handle 150 degrees. The actual temperature threshold of a certain quartz slab will depend on the quality of the countertop and the manufacturer. Either way, it’s essential to be cautious when using hot items on quartz countertops.
Difficult to Install
Quartz is extremely heavy, making it very difficult to install. It’s not something you can knock out yourself in an afternoon of DIY. It requires professional installation by someone who knows what they are doing and has worked with quartz before.
Lining up the seams to reduce visibility is also much more difficult with quartz than with granite, so be prepared to pay higher installation costs if you choose to go with quartz countertops.
Can’t Handle Sunlight
Engineered quartz countertops are made for indoor use only. Use it in your bathroom? No problem, as long as there are no windows. Is there a big, beautiful window letting in plenty of sunshine?
If there is, the UV light will fade the pigment in quartz countertops and leave you with a yellowish hue in place of the beautifully colored slab you once loved. So, unless your bathroom is in a dark dungeon with no natural light, you might want to steer clear of using quartz for the countertop.
Upgrade Your Bathroom With Mountain States Kitchen and Bath
Quartz bathroom countertops might not be the right choice for your bathroom remodel. But where quartz is lacking, granite can really deliver. Granite countertops are a surefire way to upgrade the look and feel of not only your bathroom, but your entire home as well.
So, when you’re ready to make a change, Mountain States Kitchen and Bath is here to help every step of the way. We have everything you’ll need to create the bathroom of your dreams, from custom cabinetry to granite countertops and everything in between.
We specialize in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms across the Wasatch Front, from Spanish Fork to Salt Lake City, Utah, and everywhere in between. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer, or swing by our showroom in Lehi, Utah, and see some of our beautiful options and designs for yourself. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have or to schedule an in-home consultation with you. Let us help you design the home of your dreams. We can’t wait to work with you!