What Is Quartz Made Of? Plus All The Pros and Cons of a Quartz Countertop

updated Oct 13, 2023
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If you’re in the market for a new kitchen countertop, you likely have one burning question: What is quartz made of? And then also these: Is quartz expensive? Is it durable? What are the pros and cons of choosing quartz countertops for my home? Etc! So many questions! See, quartz countertops have continued to rise in popularity over the last decade . Yet, people don’t really know much about it. Let’s take a closer look and everything you need to know about quartz countertops.

What are Quartz countertops made of?

Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining around 90 percent ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with eight to 10 percent resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look.

How to Clean Quartz Counterops

When it comes to keeping quartz counterops clean and sparkling, remember that less is more. Most experts agree, you should never use harsh or abrasive cleaning products or tools (like scouring pads) to clean quartz countertops. Doing so could lead to discoloration of the stone or etching, which is a common form of damage than can occur with natural stone, and typically occurs when acidic substances — like citrus, coffee, tomatoes, juice, alcohol, or wine — or ammonia comes into direct contact with certain natural stones. Instead, stick to using a mild dish soap and microfiber cloth to clean your quartz countertop.

Wipe Down the Counters

First wipe the counters clear of any crumbs, appliances or debris.

Spot Test a Small Area

Next, use a mild dish soap and (ideally, one that’s labeled “neutral pH formulated”) and a microfiber cloth to apply the soapy solution to an inconspicuous area of your quartz countertop. Wait a few minutes to be sure the mixture hasn’t left any adverse effects.

Clean the Counter In a Circular Motion

Soak your microfiber cloth with a mixture of mild dish soap and water, wring it out, then use it to wipe the counter down using circular motions to clean and remove all stains on a quart countertop.

What are the Major Brands of Quartz Countertops?

The Italian company Breton owns the patent to manufacture solid surfaces from quartz and resins. All other companies use that patent for their own brand of quartz countertops, including Silestone, Corian, Cambria, CaesarStone, Avanza, and Technistone.

How Much Do Quartz Countertops Cost?

The cost of purchasing and installing quartz countertops can vary, but on average, quartz countertops can cost anywhere from $20-$200 per square foot.

What are the Pros and Cons to a Quartz Countertop?


  • It’s extremely hard and durable
  • It has a glossy sheen
  • It’s non-porous and stain-and-crack resistant
  • It does not require sealing or resealing
  • It comes in a wide range of colors
  • It’s easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth


  • It can be expensive (around $60 to $100 per square foot)
  • It’s not heat tolerant
  • Seams are inevitable for large countertop designs
  • Professional installation is strongly recommended (quartz countertops are quite heavy!)

What’s the Environmental Impact of Quartz?

Light to moderate! Quartz is the second most abundant material in the earth’s crust (which is good), but the acrylic resins used in quartz countertops are petroleum by-products, and they often contain alumina trihydrate fillers made from bauxite ore, which is mined primarily under toxic conditions in developing countries. However, the countertops are still extremely durable and non-porous. Additionally, a few major brands including Formica, Wilsonart and Silestone have been certified by GreenGuard as low emitting. Other brands, like Cambria Quartz, are mined and made entirely in the USA.

Real Quartz Reviews from Kitchn Readers

“I recently upgraded my counters, and after weighing pros and cons of all materials, I settled on quartz. Not only is it durable with almost zero maintenance, you have an array of color options to pick from.”

“I’m very happy with my quartz. Colors are good without being too ‘disco’ or ‘boring’. Not a chip in it after four years, not a stain or a scratch. Nice and cold for rolling pastry — actually, that’s probably the worst aspect: Put your toast down on it for a minute while you get the jam, and you might as well start over. But the heat-distribution quality is also great for defrosting things like a stack of wonton wrappers or a thin steak.”

“I’m all about quartz countertops, we’ve just installed them in our kitchen and they are a wonder to clean. It is true that these days cheap wildly patterned granite (I agree, sometimes they look like straight up barf) are almost universally chosen by developers, this is probably because quartz is more expensive these days.”

“We spent $5K on quartz (I freaking loooove it), where we could have spent about $500 on the same amount of laminate.”

Do you have quartz countertops? If so, tell us what brand and what your experience has been!