When it comes to home furnishings, quartz has become one of the crowd favorites, especially in American homes. Specifically, it has been widely used as a material for countertops. With their durable and aesthetically pleasing nature, quartz countertops have undoubtedly gained some popularity alongside granite and travertine.
Quartz, a man-made material, is composed of varying natural stones and resin. It is also highly concentrated with silicon dioxide. Quartz pieces are even combined with coloring elements to suit different buyer preferences. However, what makes it stand out the most is not just its sleek design or its sturdy nature. It’s the fact that sealing quartz countertops is not necessary!
Quartz countertops are made of very cohesive materials. Because of this, they do not exhibit a porous characteristic unlike natural stones like granite or marble. But they are made with a combination of natural stones! Do quartz countertops need to be sealed then? The answer to this again is no. Even if quartz countertops are made of different stones, a permanent seal on their surfaces is created during the fabrication process. As a result, people get strong, enduring, and visually pleasing countertops for their homes. Meanwhile, marble, limestone, and granite countertops need to be sealed because they are naturally porous. If they are not sealed, they would easily be subject to material wear and tear. This also explains why in ancient history, many Greek and Roman architectures have not been preserved or are in ruins because they did not use sealants for their structures in the past.
What happens if you end up sealing quartz countertops?
First of all, since it is non-porous, it will not absorb the sealant that you will put on it. In fact, it will most likely just stay on the surface of the countertop and leave behind a film of the liquid. On the other hand, doing this on natural stone countertops like marble allows the sealant to permeate the surface of the countertop and fill in the gaps of its pores. As what can be seen, quartz is a kind of material that is virtually low maintenance, unlike its natural stone counterparts. If you want to polish it and make it shine like the first time you got it, all you have to do is clean it with warm water with soap.
Guidelines to provide the right kind of care for your quartz countertops without sealing
Since sealing quartz countertops is not needed anymore, you only need to take care of it as much as you can if you want its fine condition to last a lifetime. Even if they are low maintenance, without proper care, problems can still arise. This is why you only need to follow a few simple guidelines to provide the right kind of care for your quartz countertops.
Never clean with products that can cause abrasions. Doing so may scratch your shiny quartz countertops over time. As a result, you may be faced with dull, unpolished worktops since using abrasive products takes away the shine from their surfaces.
Be careful with the chemicals that can come in contact with your worktop.Sealing quartz countertops may be unnecessary but this does not mean that they are invincible from the damages that incompatible solutions may bring. Ensure that they are not exposed to other chemical products such as paint thinners or cleaning products for kitchen appliances, like over cleaners.
As much as possible, use heat protectants. Exposing your quartz countertop to extreme heat may also destroy it. It may be heat resistant, but this does not mean that it is heat-proof. In other words, it may be fine when you place your occasional coffee mug or hot bowl of soup on it, but it laying a scorching pot or pan on it for a long time is a different story. As a matter of fact, this can lead to discoloration or burn marks on your precious quartz countertop’s surface. Always remember to place a potholder or a trivet before putting a pan of just cooked food on your countertop.
Cutting things on the surface is a big no-no for your quartz countertop. It’s not scratching the surface that you have to worry about, but the effect of certain foods on it. For example, never cut citrus fruits or other acidic food on it. Otherwise, the acids from these foods may cause deterioration of your quartz countertop and leave an obvious dull spot.
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What chemicals can damage your quartz countertops without a sealant?
As a general overview, there are several chemicals that you need to avoid to protect your quartz countertops from any damages. As advised by TechniStone, Silestone, and Cambria, steer your countertop clear from the following:
Concentrated alkaline products
Abrasive cleaning materials
Cleaning products with high acidity
Without a sealant to protect it, you need to be mindful when using products to clean your quartz countertops. As mentioned earlier, warm soapy water can work but if there are some forms of a mess that this alone cannot handle, there are several ways to clean it.
If there is dried gunk, just scrape it away with a plastic tool, such as a putty knife. Remember to do this gently!
In case of grease, wipe this away with disinfectants or degreasing products which do not contain bleach. Wash it off immediately once you are done.
For tough stains, adhesive remover will do the trick. For example, you can use a small amount of citrus cleanser such as Goo Gone on the stain, leave it on for five to ten minutes, then wipe it off. This is especially effective when the stain is so stubborn. Afterward, wipe it off completely with warm water.
Quartz countertops are scratch-proof, heat-resistant, and durable in general. However, these do not guarantee its perfect state over time. This is why even though sealing quartz countertops is not needed, you need to still take proper care of them. Once you do this, you will be left with countertops that have not only stood the test of time but still look immaculate.
Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.