Quartz worktops are the result of billions of years of geological processes followed by a sophisticated set of engineering processes within the factory.
The second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust, quartz is found in a wide variety of rocks near the earth’s surface. Quartz crystals are beautiful, tough, and conduct electricity – leading to their use in products as diverse as sandpaper, soap, and radar. It was only in the late 1980s, however, that the process of turning quartz into kitchen worktop panels was perfected.
A quartz worktop is typically 93% natural quartzite. To manufacture the worktop, this stone is ground into small crystals, and mixed with glass and an acrylic resin binding agent, then poured into molds to be formed into various slab sizes. Other things that can be added at this stage include just about any colour you can imagine, even mirror crystals for sparkle, and an anti-bacterial agent for the ultimate in worktop hygiene.
As manufacturers learnt more about how to control this process, the range of colours and designs increased rapidly. If your style is modern or contemporary, you can choose a solid colour like snow white, citrus orange or shocking pink and be assured that the colours will always be colour consistent without variation. If you are more traditional you could opt for a worktop that has the practical qualities of quartz but has the flecks and grains founds in natural granite or maybe a quartz that emulates the sheer beauty of translucent marble.
After molding, the mixture is compacted into slabs by a special vacuum and vibration process at a pressure level of 100 tons. The slabs are further toughened by being heated in a curing kiln to 90 degrees centigrade, before the final stage where the slabs are gauged, calibrated and polished for a shine that will last a lifetime. And if a high gloss finish doesn’t fit with your interior style no problem, you can choose from a soft matt finish or even a tactile ribbled texture.
Quartz is non-porous and as such has fantastic anti-bacterial qualities, being mold and mildew resistant if food hygiene is high on your wish list. It is used frequently in commercial kitchens for that very reason. It is also extremely heat resistant and scratch proof, the perfect choice for an almost maintenance-free stone work surface.
Visit our quartz section to see just what a quartz worktop could offer you and your kitchen.
If you would like to discuss your worktop requirements and view our extensive range of quartz and granite samples call Donna on 01565 300065 or book an appointment here.