Quartz countertops are popular options in kitchen remodels because they resist stains, are durable, and come in a variety of colors. The quartz countertop, however, does have some disadvantages when compared to other countertop surfaces.
Quartz countertops are manufactured by several companies, all using the same process with minor variations. In this process, small- and medium-sized quartz crystals are combined with a thick resin and any necessary coloring. The mix is then put into a mold, and air is removed as heat and pressure are applied. The resulting countertop is smooth, molded and extremely durable, but the processing required to turn the quartz crystals into a countertop increases the cost of the product.
The cost of the necessary processing to mold the quartz countertop causes it to be as expensive as granite, yet it is without the natural stone beauty of a granite countertop. In addition, quartz is heavier than granite, and should be professionally installed in order to minimize breakage and waste. The cost of a professional installation increases the overall cost of the countertop.
Quartz can be molded and blended in an attempt to mimic natural stone, but does not have the same look as naturally occurring slabs of stone. When countertop pieces are joined together, seams are evident, although they can be partially masked with darker colors.
Long-term exposure to sunlight can cause discoloration of the quartz countertop. High levels of heat and ongoing exposure to heat can damage a quartz countertop, as can exposure to chemical substances.
Despite their benefits, and the fact that they are just as expensive as granite countertops, quartz countertops don't add the same equity as an upgrade to a granite countertop. Color and pattern options for quartz countertops are limited to the availability of the manufacturing process, while natural stone countertops offer virtually unlimited colors.