The colours available are always growing and now we begin to see also an evolution in finishes, like honed, bush hammered and aged.
When dealing with Quartz based materials, we're actually looking at a product that is hard, it's hardness can be 4 times a granite, working and finishing quartz products requires special equipment. The darker colours normally are very difficult to work, especially regarding polish.
Regarding these quartz based products, very frequently we find some suppliers selling silica sand as quartz, or even cement based quartz agglomerate. The best material is quartz based with polyester resin as the bonding agent.
One more thing, this product does have one handycap, never put hot pots or pans on top, it may stain permanently.
What is engineered quartz? It's a man made stone, with high quality standards, made with vacuum and vibrocompressing technology, aka, conglomerate stone, or agglomerate stone ... even some are named after the brand, like Silestone and Caerstone.
Engineered quartz can actually bring colourful modern moments into your home. It's mainly used in kitchen tops, it has about 93% natural quartz grain, bonded with polyester resin. It's more resistant than granite, however it does have some particular features regarding maintenance and care. Like every product, also engineered quartz has it's application problems, one and the most serious is the hot pan, don't put a hot pan or pot on your quartz, it may stain permanently.
One other thing, when applying on floors, be sure to read carefully the instructions and choose wisely your adhesive glue. Due to its low porosity, excess water may warp the tiles, but a correct use and application will avoid these problems.
- It's 95-97% natural marble (大理石), and is used, installed and maintained as natural marble.
- In some cases it's much more resistant than the natural stone that's in it's base.
- Can maintain the same shade in large applications, little colour variations;
- High quality material, compared to other agglomerate marble solutions (such as terrazzo);
- Easy material to work, repair and cut
Basically when polyester bonding is used, the compaction is much better and the physical attributes of the product becomes very similar to the natural stone in its composition. You may find cement bonded cultured stone, however it'll be more absorbent and have a rough gloss.
Cultured marble (大理石) is widely used in private home applications as well in public high traffic areas. Being the fact that cultured stone can be repolished, is also a great application advantage, after a few years you may repolish the floor and it'll become glossy and beautiful like if it was just installed all over again.
This man made stone uses high standards technology to give the final product a solid surface that looks and feels just like natural stone. Comparing this material to natural stone you have a few advantages, especially when decorating is involved, as you may create colourful, modern and innovative spaces.
Engineered stone may be made of several types of stone, it basically depends on the type of aggregates used in the filling. You'll find marble based and quartz based material, typically it may have the same usage as its base type of material, however it does have some technical problems regarding exterior use.
UV from sunlight is one of the things that most affect engineered stone negatively, especially the one that used polyester resin as the bonding agent. Even with UV inhibitors, I figure time will actually prevail, and the polyester will eventually be affected by it to a great extent.
Engineered stone, has, when polyester resin is used some different technical data from it's original stone material, in most cases it may even improve it's behaviour, unfortunately in other cases the product is affected by the bonding agents technical data.
But have no doubt that no product is perfect, fortunately engineered stone in my opinion has more to the positive end than to the negative one. It certainly is a product to look for while choosing interior decoration, engineered stone can be a colourful and unique product that will certainly differentiate your home.