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Quartz Countertops - The Hot New (Affordable) Home Improvement Item 0

Quartz is a beautiful and affordable material that is becoming more and more popular for residential use for countertops and vanities. This durable and affordable material looks great in kitchens and bathrooms, as a bar and even as a tabletop. Quartz countertops allow you to complete your home improvement project on a budget while still creating a beautiful upscale look wherever you use it.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is engineered stone made from natural materials with colors added for variation. During the engineering process, the flaws of the natural materials are taken out, which helps to prevent cracking in the future. Quartz has resins and colors added to make the material durable, strong, and stain-resistant. The manufacturing process also eliminates the need for future maintenance. Quartz has been used as flooring in industrial and heavy-duty applications for many years. Most people have likely walked on a quartz floor in their local shopping center or airport without even realizing it. It has only became popular for use as a countertop or vanity in recent years.

Benefits of Using Quartz

Quartz is an affordable material that is durable and easy to clean. It requires little maintenance compared to some other types of materials like laminate. Quartz doesn't require initial sealing or future sealing, which helps to save time and money. Quartz also has resins added during manufacturing which helps to prevent staining and keeps counters looking new for many, many years. Because the colors are added during the manufacturing of the material, there myriad different color options to choose from.

Using Quartz Counter Tops in Your Home

Quartz can be used in the kitchen or bathroom for a unique look that is easy to install and durable. Quartz makes a beautiful vanity and you can find it in many different colors to get the look you want in your remodeling project. Pre-fabricated quartz costs significantly less than most marble or granite alternatives, which may be double or even triple that price for the same size area.

Pre-Fab vs Slab

Pre-fabricated quartz means that it's already cut and finished and ready for your installer. Often times the only step left to do is to cut the sink hole in the appropriate location.  Pre-fab is cheaper than slab but it doesn't work in areas with that have splays or curves. Slab quartz is more raw for custom jobs where it is then cut specifically to the specifications of the job. It works well for large kitchens that have a large island or rounded areas where the counters need to be shaped specifically for the area. Custom slab counters have less seams than pre-fabricated.

If you're working on a home improvement project, consider quartz countertops for your kitchen or bathroom. It's a non-porous material that resists stains, requires little maintenance, and holds up for years. It's also very affordable than many other remodeling materials and it's friendly to the environment.

Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring 0

If you are in the market for new flooring for your home, not much will surpass the warmth and beauty of hardwood floors. While solid hardwood was once the only choice for those desiring a hard-surface wood floor, consumers now can also consider engineered hardwood as one of their options.

Each solid hardwood plank is made from a sole piece of lumber that is often up to .75 inches or even more than 1’’thick. Solid wood floors are may be made from any type of wood but long time favorites like oak, hickory, cherry, maple and ash are popular today. Various types of oak are commonly used for wood floors, ranging in the middle on the hardness scale. Many exotic woods such as ebony, run towards the more durable end of the scale.

Typical hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring

Engineered hardwood is made as a composite of three or more layers of plywood or other durable material, topped by a veneer made of natural hardwood. The veneer is also known as a ‘wear layer’. The composite and veneer layer are then bonded together under heat and pressure to form a solid wood look and feel using less expensive materials. The characteristics of the wood and the thickness of the wear layer, play into the longevity and resilience of an engineered hardwood floor.

Which Should You Choose?

Solid hardwood flooring is more expensive than engineered hardwood flooring. Solid wood costs between $5 and $35 per square foot, while engineered wood runs approximately $3 to $14 per square foot. The price of wood, the rarity of certain species all mean that the more solid wood in a product, the more it costs manufacturers and consumers. There is no question that the solid hardwood floor is almost always higher in quality, durability and overall a better long term investment.

High quality engineered floors with thicker veneers look just like solid wood flooring to the untrained eye and are less expensive than solid hardwood. Some manufacturers claim that their engineered product can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years with proper care. Engineered wood can also be refinished, just not as many times. That is where the wear layer comes into the equation. The veneer layer is usually rated in mm from 1mm to 4mm thickness. An engineered hardwood floor that has a 4mm wear layer can be refinished more times than a product with a 1mm wear layer.

Solid wood, on the other hand, may be stripped and refinished many times to eliminate scratches and other flaws that may occur through normal wear and tear, making the surface last potentially much longer. The value of an old solid wood floor can be priceless down the road. The genuine patina you will get over many years of use adds value and enjoyment to your home.

 

  • Ganelie Ortiz

What is Laminate Flooring? A Quick Guide. 0

Laminate flooring is a viable, low-cost and increasingly popular option for homeowners who want an attractive surface underfoot. It’s a synthetic product, composed of an amalgam of materials arranged in layers...

DIY TIPS: Installing Laminate 0

These featured videos by The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) are followed below by written instructions and can be used as a general guide to installing laminate flooring....
  • Ganelie Ortiz

How is the flooring industry changing to protect the environment? 0

Many industries around the world have found the need to adjust business and manufacturing processes in order to meet changing laws, regulations and public concerns for the environment. The flooring industry is one industry leading the way to meet the growing demand for environmentally...