Going into our new build, white quartz countertops was on the top of our “must have” list! Quartz countertops offered up a look and lifestyle we couldn’t match with other surfaces. After reading this post you will know all about the maintenance of quartz, how our white quartz held up over 4 years, cost, tips for picking quartz countertops, and photos of what we used.
We used a mix of three kinds of white quartz countertops throughout the home: Cambria Brittanicca, Cosmos White Zen, and LG Viatera Minuet.
Everything To Know When Deciding On White Quartz Countertops
We’ve had our white quartz for 4 years now, so I know quite a bit!This post should be helpful for those planning a renovation or a new build… or just dreaming about some dazzling white countertops.
What Are Quartz Countertops Made of?
First things first, quartz countertops are man made. They are not a slab pulled from a rock quarry, they are an engineered stone, made in a factory. Quartz is made from mixing crushed up pieces of (real, actual) quartz and other stones, and bonding all the pieces together with plastic resin.
Our stone manufacture told us quartz countertops are roughly about 90% ground up particles of real stone, and 10% plastic resin.
It’s that 90% that gives quartz countertops the look and feel of real, natural stone! Quartz doesn’t feel man made, it feels like a true stone.
How To Care for Quartz Countertops
A quick google search of quartz makes the stone sound like an overblown exaggeration. We read it was more durable than granite, and no sealing ever! (Does anyone actually seal their granite yearly?)
Because quartz is almost impossible to scratch, our countertops still look new 4 years later! Take it from me, mom of 4 messy kids over here.
Quartz is nonporous, so it doesn’t hold onto bacteria from raw meat. Quartz should not be used as a cutting surface – although it likely won’t ruin the countertop – it will ruin your knives.
We use our island heavily – mainly, piling up all our crap (isn’t that what they are there for?). But also for cooking, homework, kids crafts. The white quartz seems indestructible.
You will not have to seal quartz, ever.
Do Quartz Countertops Stain?
And another pro of being nonporous: even a bright white quartz countertop stays white!
We do not baby our countertops. We used them heavily. Case in point:
No, quartz countertops do not stain. Ours see red wine, lemon, red slime, coffee spills, all of it. I once forgot to bring a box of popsicles to a party and left them out on the counter – dripping food coloring all over the white quartz island for the better half of the evening. It did not stain.
For cleaning up dark stubborn spills, I’ve used my beloved Shout Out (the laundry cleaner). One spray and any leftover red popsicle wipes right up. If you like a more natural approach, just try a baking soda and water paste.
My boys have a toothpaste problem and can’t not leave toothpaste all over their bathroom quartz countertop (please tell me I’m not alone???).
Shortly after move-in day a dream crushing child wrote with permanent marker on our white quartz island! I shed actual tears, thinking it was forever. We gave it several 5 minute soaks with rubbing alcohol and were able to lift all the ink up.
How To Clean Quartz Countertops?
Aside from daily wiping up, no maintenance is required.
Seriously, we do nothing.
You can use what you have on hand to clean it: a warm soapy rag, a cleaning wipe, or a Norwex cloth are fine. What you shouldn’t use are abrasive cleaners with bleach. It’s not necessary.
Are Quartz Countertops Heat Resistant?
This is something to be careful of – high heat will damage your countertops! Not a cup of hot coffee though, we’re talking about taking a pot out of the oven and setting it down directly on the quartz.
I say this with every ounce of good intention, but in my little opinion, people sometimes get far too hung up on this heat thing. Getting the family into the habit of setting hot pots on the stove top or using hot pads can be easily accomplished in most cases.
Just like you don’t think twice to reach for a cutting board – you can also learn to use hot pads like second nature too. It doesn’t take much coaching until the habit is ingrained, even in kids.
How Much Do Quartz Countertops Cost?
But how much are my quartz countertops going to cost me? It’s a common question with a range, unfortunately. The cost of quartz runs $50 to $100 square feet. Premium types of quartz will be on the high side of that range (our island is a premium stone, and our perimeter countertop is not).
The installation of quartz is an even bigger range, running between $75 and $200.
When getting a quote for the cost of quartz, make sure to ask if the price includes installation and removal of older countertops if needed!
Quartz Countertops Colors And Kinds We Used In Our Home
We used a mix of premium, high priced quartz and simple more budget friendly quartz.
Cambria Brittanicca on our Kitchen Island
We chose Cambria Brittanicca for our island, a premium quartz.
Cambria Brittanicca has a white base with a lot of contrast, thick large veining splashed across it, and bold movement. It says “look at me, I’m so pretty and extroverted!”, but it’s not ostentatious. Brittanicca is your statement piece for the room. The white part of the quartz has soft warm gray undertones, and the veining is light to medium gray tones.
Our island is generously sized at 9.7 x 4.3; it is large and in charge and needs a quartz that can keep up! The Brittanicca was perfect, and we added a 3″ mitered edge.
A mitered edge means the edge is 3″ thick, instead of 1.25″ like the perimeter countertops (the standard thickness). Don’t be fooled – the whole slab is not 3″. The 3″ side pieces are laminated on! This extra detail cost us just under $1500. It is a detail I don’t regret. It really pops, similar to a waterfall island.
I recommend making sure you are able to get countertops without a seam. This isn’t always possible but it is definitely worth shopping around to see if it’s possible.
I visited our fabricator to pick out the exact slab we wanted. The slabs at the yard were almost the identical size of the island, which made it easy.
Cosmos Quartz White Zen On Our Perimeter Countertops
We saved a little by using White Zen quartz (a less expensive quartz) made by Cosmos on the perimeter countertops. White Zen looks just like what you would imagine – a pure, solid white countertop. No speckling or veins, nothing “exciting” but a great backdrop so your kitchen can shine.
Although most of our cabinetry is white, this could look great paired up with the trend of darker, moodier cabinets too!
We continued the White Zen all through the house; in all the bathrooms too.
White Zen In Our Guest Bathroom:
Cosmos quartz comes with a 10 year warranty – that’s a long time for a warranty!
Viatera Minuet Quartz: A High End Look
I wanted something special in our master bathroom though. I still wanted to use quartz, but I wanted something different than the other bathrooms. Something high end feeling and lux!
Viatera Minuet quartz is made by LG Hausys. Viatera Minuet might by a mouthful to say, but it sure is easy on the eyes! It has grey marbling that makes it look classic and luxurious. It has a rich feel, and somewhat mimics marble.
We were able to find our Viatera Minuet top from a remnant. What a score! After move-in day, this made me giddy for months every time I walked in here.
3 Other Kinds of White Quartz To Consider
Make sure you try out the a a sample in the light of your own home! What looks like a regular white quartz in the showroom could can be stark and cold amongst your own lighting.
1. Cambria Ella
Cambria Ella is hands down gorgeous. It gave me pause even though my heart was set on Cambria Brittanicca. If you have concerns Brittanicca is too bold, Ella is the compromise you are looking for. The veins are thinner, more delicate.
Ella looks more like marble with the veining. The white in the quartz is luxe.
2. Calacatta White quartz
Similar to Calacatta Marble, but without the price tag. I don’t believe you should expect this to be a total dupe for marble, as quartz often looks like quartz, but it is nevertheless stunningly beautiful.
3. Torquay Cambria Quartz
Small light veining on Torquay makes it a crowd pleaser. Super clean looking!
Torquay is not a bright white quartz, but more of an off white, with subtle interest and movement. If you love the look of marble, take a peak at Torquay.
Although I love the way the white quartz countertops contrasts against dark floors, I really love how they look against light wood flooring! You can read about our light hardwoods here.
Thoughts After 4 Years With White Quartz Countertops
Especially as trends go in and out (from white kitchens to dark!), white quartz has staying power. They looked great in the heyday of all white everything, and they look super on trend and stark contrast against a moody vanity. And as a bonus, they keep darker rooms from feeling too dark.
Bottom line? If we were ever to build again, I would be inclined to use quartz a second time. Real stone is lovely, but at this point in motherhood, low maintenance takes priority!
You will also love reading my guide to 10 types of white countertops!
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