Engineered quartz countertops are a popular choice in the market. Brands such as Caesarstone and Silestone are readily available in a large variety of colors. They are manmade with a mix of natural quartz, dyes, polyester resin, and other chemicals. Many homeowners are drawn to this surface because it is well-marketed for being easy to maintain and doesn’t require sealers.
There are a few things to be aware of when deciding between this engineered material and natural stone. First, don’t assume engineered quartz will cost less than the real thing because it is manmade. Prices vary, but in general are towards the higher end when compared to most granites. If you want a more natural look that is less grainy and has movement, the price goes up. Second, engineered quartz surfacing is sensitive to UV light. If you have a lot of natural sunlight in your space, be wary of the darker color options as they are likely to fade. Third, engineered quartz can, and does, burn. Hot pans or even Crockpots will discolor the surface if not protected. Both granite and marble are more tolerant of heat.
If you’re concerned about the maintenance requirements of granite and marble, let us break it down for you. Sealing is done prior to installation and depending on the product used, will not need to be redone for several years. When it comes time to reseal, the process is very easy: clean the surface, apply sealer, allow to dry, and you’re done. Cleaning granite and engineered quartz surfaces are quite similar; soap and water usually do the trick. With marble, you need to take care not to use harsh chemicals or allow acidic food and beverages to linger on the surface too long. You can find more information about care and maintenance at these links: