Quartz countertops have stormed into American homes over the past few years because they look great and are extremely durable. They’re more affordable than some of the higher-end natural stone like marble and are easy to repair and maintain. Quartz is so popular because it’s so customizable. Countertops can be made into almost any color or pattern. Often, they’re molded to mimic the most expensive luxury countertop materials. People have the visual appeal of a luxury kitchen without having to worry about spilling something that could stain and cost thousands to repair. Even though it’s a popular choice for kitchens across the country, quartz remains a relative unknown. Here are five interesting facts about quartz that will surprise you.

  1. Quartz Is More Than Meets the Eye

Many people may be shocked to hear that a lot of quartz countertops aren’t made of quartz. Sure, some do, but naming quartz countertops only requires that they follow a specific manufacturing process called the Bretonstone process. However, the process doesn’t mandate that quartz stone be used in the manufacturing process. So, a lot of companies have started to use other minerals to get the same finished, polished look that quartz owners have come to love. So, those quartz countertops you’ve been eyeballing might be made of a combination of marble, granite, and other kinds of stone. Chances are, though, that they’re mostly made from crushed quartz. Quartz is widely available and is extremely durable, so it’s a great choice for the Bretonstone production process.

  1. Quartz is an Eco-Friendly Choice

The great thing about quartz is that owners and builders who opt for the stone can rest easy knowing they’re helping the environment. It makes the most economic sense for manufacturers to use scraps for quartz countertops. They take the leftovers from other stonecutters and crush them for use in engineered stone. Using waste products that would otherwise be thrown away helps cut down on the amount of stone mined each year for slabs. That means less excavation, cut down trees, and disruption to the Earth. Quartz is a perfect way to contribute to conservation. In an era when people love to know they’re doing good, eco-friendly quartz is a way owners can feel proud of their purchase decision.

  1. More People Are Embracing Quartz

Years ago, quartz was a way for people to get the look of granite and marble without the price tag. Companies did their best to follow the trends every year when it came to a certain pattern or popular shade of countertops. However, the fact that quartz has been around so long has helped bring it out of the shadows. People are more confident in self expression as well. One of the best benefits of quartz and other engineered stones is that they’re extremely customizable. They can be transformed with resins into almost any color or pattern and can be molded to fit any kitchen design. It’s great for people wanting something very specific in their kitchen. They’re no longer hindered by limitations of how natural stone occurs in the wild. People are installing red, black, yellow and other countertops that can never be mined naturally. The only design limit on quartz is the owner or designer’s imagination.

Replacing parts of quartz countertops is also easy. Whether it’s needing more slabs because of a kitchen expansion or some other reason, it’s way easier to get matching quartz slabs than natural stones. If a marble slab breaks or stains, homeowners never know whether they can get a matching color or pattern. They end up either having mismatched countertops or doing a total replacement. Quartz can be customized to look exactly like their existing countertops. It gives owners nice peace of mind.

  1. The Quartz Sourcing Process is Unique

More and more consumers are paying attention to how their products are sourced and made. They want to know things are made in a conscientious, responsible manner. People are surprised to hear that the majority of quartz comes from Brazil. It’s also made in Mexico, South Africa, France, Australia and the United States. Each region puts their own design and style stamp on their products to distinguish themselves from other parts of the world. The colors, patterns, and design become their signatures. The different crushed stones found in each corner of the world make for a beautiful variety of stone countertops. Owners love knowing that their kitchen has a unique piece of the world sitting atop its countertops. Quartz isn’t terribly hard to find. In fact, besides sandstone, it’s the most common mineral found anywhere in the world. Some people say that quartz is so prevalent it’s found in some quantity in almost every rock on Earth. The abundance means that people don’t ever have to worry about a supply shortage happening. There will always be enough quartz to go around for everyone looking for wonderful-looking kitchen countertops.

  1. Quartz is Almost Invincible

We’ve all heard nightmare stories about people spending fortunes on countertops only to have them crack, chip or stain shortly thereafter. They’re stuck with looking at their misfortune ever day as they sip coffee in the morning or make dinner after work. Eventually they have to decide if they’re going to live with the blemishes or pay a lot of money to get them fixed. One of the greatest things about quartz is they’re virtually indestructible. They can’t be scratched, so parents don’t have to freak out when they see kids cutting apples directly on the countertop. They’re extremely hard to chip and can take a real beating.

If quartz has any flaws, it’s their aversion to heat. The resins in quartz make it so they’re vulnerable to heat. Homeowners with quartz countertops have to make sure that they always use trivets and pads to protect them from hot pans or risk discoloring. Manufacturers and retailers can give buyers great tips on how to keep quartz countertops in top shape.