Quartz Vs. Marble vanity countertops
April 25, 2018
Countertops are one of the most important decisions when designing a kitchen or bathroom. One must think about functionality, looks, costs, maintenance, and a plethora of other considerations before deciding. When it comes to deciding between quartz and marble vanity countertops, however, benefits and drawbacks of each are fairly well defined and simple to choose from.
Cosentino can provide an option for either material. This guide will walk through the good and great of both materials including durability, maintenance, and design considerations.
Marble is an instant classic when it comes to vanity countertop materials. It has been lauded for its beauty, being the material of choice for sculptors such as Michelangelo as well as the architect of the Parthenon in Greece. It is primarily white in color, with veins of black, grey, and many other colors. It is a porous stone and is used architecturally for cladding, countertops, furniture, and columns.
Quartz is a newer player to the materials game. It is an engineered material that consists of about 95% quartz mineral with the resin being made up of polymer resins and pigments. The mineral quartz is the second most common mineral on Earth and has a Moh’s scales hardness of 7, meaning it can withstand pretty much anything thrown at it. Because it is a man-made material, it can come in a nearly unlimited variety of colors and textures.
Marble is a tough material, but it can stain fairly easily compared to quartz. It’s porous nature means it can absorb liquids fairly quickly. The material reacts with acidic liquids, which can actually dissolve particles of the stone. This process is called etching and it may be the biggest caveat to marble vanity countertops. The surface watermarks relatively easily and must be sealed and re-sealed regularly.
Quartz is an incredibly tough material that can easily withstand everyday use with very little maintenance. The resins used in the manufacture of quartz countertops provide a non-porous surface that is essentially stain proof. No sealing is ever needed. Quartz vanity countertops are heat and scratch resistant and easy to clean without needing special cleaners. As with many stone based materials, incredibly high heat and can damage the surface.
Marble is historically a higher maintenance choice when it comes to countertops. It stains easily, it needs special cleaners, and it needs to be re-sealed regularly. Sealer does not prevent marble from absorbing liquids; it simply slows the process. Anything spilled onto the surface must be wiped up as soon as possible. This can prove to be a pain around sinks and in bathrooms. Acidic liquids such as citrus juices and wine have to be cleaned immediately to prevent staining because of the chemical makeup of marble. It reacts quickly with acids and the reaction can permanently damage the surfaced.
Quartz, on the other hand is a low maintenance material. It is non-porous so it does not need any sealing or special cleaners. However, harsh cleaning chemicals such as bleach or abrasives can certainly damage the surface. Simple soap and water can typically do the trick.
Vanity Countertops: Design considerations
Marble can come in many colors, but it is usually white with veins of varying colors. While white is the main color of marble, the actual color can vary greatly from slab to slab and quarry to quarry. If the project is large and will need more than a single slab, the slabs will need the be from the same quarry in order to have as much color consistency as possible. If there are seams in the surface, they will be noticeable because of the inconsistency of the veining.
Quartz is an engineered material and is designed to be consistent in color, pattern, and texture from one batch to the next. Seams are more easily hidden with quartz compared to marble. Dozens of colors and patterns are available to match almost any design imaginable. Colors range from pure white to bold reds and everything in between. There are even designs available that mimic the look of marble.
Overall, quartz is a more durable and flexible material that requires less maintenance than marble. It is easier to maintain and can be found in more colors and patterns. And it is a more consistent material when it comes to pattern and color. Cosentino can provide a wide variety of quartz vanity countertops, some that even mimic marble.