Countertop Trends: Quartz tops Granite as strongest rock in consumer reports
Consumers in the market for a premium countertop surface are discovering early in their search that quartz, and not granite, has become the highest rated and most popular option available.
That's because quartz countertops have emerged as the new worry-free, elegant alternative to high-maintenance granite for architects, designers and homeowners a like. They're stronger than granite, require no resealing, are highly resistant to scratches and stains, and come in a huge variety of colors.
In fact, Consumer Reports Magazine rated quartz as the top performer among countertop materials such as granite, ceramic tile, stainless steel, laminate, marble, limestone, and concrete when it came to resisting prime kitchen hazards such as stains, heat and scratches.
According to the recent Freedonia Group Report on countertop industry trends, there has been a definite shift in the marketplace over the last few years as quartz has become the fastest growing market segment in the industry with 13 percent growth compared to granite's five percent.
Quartz surfaces are growing in popularity because they have the appearance of natural stone, but unlike granite, these surfaces never need to be sealed. Quartz is a nonporous material, which means it will not promote the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria. This is why leading brands such as HanStone Quartz surfaces are certified NSF 51 (with the National Sanitation Foundation).
"HanStone quartz countertops have an aesthetic that can emulate the look of granite, but are also available in unique colours and surface effects not found in natural stone," explained Mark Hanna, President of Leeza Distribution Inc., one of North America's leading distributors of HanStone Fine Quartz Surfaces. "The benefit of quartz is that it doesn't have any of the drawbacks associated with materials such as granite.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is silicon dioxide and it occurs as individual crystals and fine-grained masses in a large variety of forms, patterns, and colors. It is naturally hard and scratch resistant.
Most quartz countertops are manufactured with up to 93 percent quartz mixed with pigments and resins. This prescribed mixture results in a product that is non-porous, exceedingly durable, and more than twice as strong as granite.
The top rated quartz surface in the industry by designers, architects and developers alike is HanStone, because it contains a higher quartz content than the norm and includes clear and multiple quartz colors, bringing greater depth, dimension and style to its surfaces.
HanStone is also accredited with Greenguard environmental certification for low emitting products. The Greenguard certification is becoming an important requirement for consumers looking for premium countertops following recent news reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving increasing calls from radon inspectors and concerned homeowners about granite countertops emitting dangerous levels of radon and radiation. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
As a result more and more consumers are looking for healthier options for their countertops, such as HanStone for its Greenguard certification, to ensure their countertops emit low to no emissions of toxic chemicals into their home environment. More information on fine quartz surfaces is available at leezadistribution.com.