Marble countertops have enduring appeal, adding a timeless, luxury look to any room, but the expense or demanding maintenance can steer homeowners away. Now, there’s a solution: quartz. Quartz slabs can be manufactured to achieve a marble effect, giving consumers a great mix of affordability, durability, and style.
Why people love marble
Marble is the result when limestone, which contains a large amount of calcium, is heated and compressed. In this process, other minerals such as iron show up as the tell-tale veins that give the stone such an elegant and enduring appearance. Marble is beautiful—there’s no argument about that—and it lends a certain luxury feel to any room that houses it.
Drawbacks of marble
The heating and compression of limestone makes marble denser and harder than its core element, but calcite, its main mineral is very high maintenance. Of particular worry to those fitting a kitchen, calcite reacts to both alkaline and acidic substances, meaning it may stain or discolour with contact. Both alkaline and acids are present in many natural foods (think wine, lemons, or tomatoes) so the risk of damage is high, even with regular sealing. Adding to the problem, marble is porous so clean-up is difficult and cooks run the risk of stains or etching.
How quartz can help
Quartz is an engineered product made up of quartzite, resins, and dyes. It’s cost-effective, durable (heat-, stain-, and scratch-resistant), and can be produced in hundreds of shades, textures, and styles. These days, quartz can even be manufactured with a convincing “marble look”. The resulting appearance is so close to the original stone that it’s virtually impossible to distinguish. And, given the degree of control that goes into the production of quartz, you can even select your preferred elements such as veining and colour that best match your design.
Marble-look quartz successfully bridges the gap between appearance, affordability, and performance. Homeowners wanting the distinctive look and feel of marble in their kitchens no longer have to bear the expense or maintenance costs of the stone, and they can cook without worry of staining or etching.