Replacing a countertop? Chances are you’re caught between quartz and solid surface.
Quartz is a 100% natural hard mineral that provides strength and beauty. Solid surfaces are made of plastic polymers and aluminum that lack the brilliance and clarity of natural stone, and are more likely to scorch or scratch.
Solid-surface acrylic and quartz countertops are two good choices when remoulding a kitchen top or vanity top. Both are manufactured surfaces, but have very different qualities. Quartz countertops are comprises of 93% natural quartz and a small amount of organic colour pigments and enhanced polymer resins. They have many of the characteristics of stone. Acrylic countertops are solid resin, which is a hard, plasticlike surface.
As for appearance, both Quartz and Solid surface have consistent, uniform color and patterning but Quartz has a polished finish (shiny) while solid surface is matte (not shiny).
In order to help you decide the right material, let us do a quick comparsion.
Quartz countertops are extremely hard surfaces.Quartz scores 7 on the Mohs hardness scale for minerals. By comparison, a diamond rated 10. Quartz is definitely more durable.
Acrylic countertops are also hard surfaces but they are not as hard as Quartz surfaces, and can be scratch,dent and scape. However, they are fairly easy to repair.
Heat & Scratch Resistance
Quartz counter tops are relatively heat-resistant (anything over 400F might be a problem) and for scratches it's again highly resistant too. Quartz won’t scratch or chip unlike solid surface counters. The colour on quartz goes through, and scratches can be buffed.
Acrylic solid surface countertops are also hard surfaces , they are not as hard as quartz surfaces. Solid surface options have a tendency to warp, melt, crack and/or discolour with even the most temporary contact with hot objects (pots, pans, dishes etc.). However, they are fairly easy to repair. Scratches can be buffed by hand or with a handheld rotary tool fitted with a polishing accessory, and burns can be sanded away with fine-gritabrasive paper or a sanding accessory. However, the deepest scratches, when it comes to warping and melting, your hands are tied.
Both quartz and acrylic countertops are versatile in design.
Quartz can be manufactured in many different colours,even solid colours. They can both be produced without seams to fit any shape or design.
The acrylic countertops can be produced with many different edge finishes, while Quartz has fewer options.
Hygiene ( Porous or Non-Porous )
Both Quartz & Solid surfaces are non-porous and highly resistant to bacteria-growth.
If cleanliness and hygiene are your main concerns, you may opt for Quartz which is highly resistant to bacteria.
However, if you opt for Solid surface, it may not be that hygienic as its scratches easily; its absorbs the moisture quickly and is very likely to provide shelter to bacteria if it's not cleaned properly.
Both of them can be kept clean easily with mild soap and warm water .
They may be a big difference in prices of Solid surface and Quartz. If you are on budget, you may look for Solid surface. If you are looking for affordable luxury, Quartz will best suit you!