Quartz countertop fabricators will have on hand a leaflet from the quartz slab manufacturer, most of them have a page dedicated to what may or may not damage your countertop. Their labs and day to day experience have helped them elaborate a list.
What they may say about scratch resistance and abrasion,gloss, fire and heat ...
Without a doubt quartz surfaces are very hard. If you have a countertops fabrication unit, you'll notice that it grinds your diamond tools pretty quick.
Quartz surfaces contrary to what manufacturers say does:
- Scratch - I had a claim, on a dark blue engineered quartz, they had a glass bottle with a rough bottom, and with some friction it did leave marks on the quartz countertop
- Warp - I've see long slabs warp, due to warehousing or heat. In truth I've seen a genius in stone vanities do a rounded support for the quartz vanity with localised heat.
- Crack - they say it doesn't crack, I had once a claim from a countertop fabricator, while fabricating the countertop some would break when doing the sink cut out ... I figure it had excess tension on that point, and he didn't respect the cut out procedure (namely drilling wholes in the four corners of the cut out)
- Stain resistant - there is the good part, I had once a quartz manufacturer who for some reason started identifying slab defects with a Eding 3000 type permanent marker .... guess what, it stained, it actually was absorbed by the slab. Sodium hydroxide can also stain you countertop ... At the laboratories they test a limited range of products, and we all know that the detergent companies are constantly creating new more powerful and effective products, so be careful.
- Resist to Heat - some manufacturers say their product "can tolerate brief exposures to moderately hot temperatures without warping, staining, discoloring or cracking." I say, heat in direct contact with quartz may damage it permanently, so be very careful, don't ever risk putting a hot pot or pan on your quartz countertop.
- Resist Fire - it's made with 5-10% resin, but it is fairly resistant to fire. People sometimes approach me with this myth. I will share a true story .... once I was in a meeting with a potential client, he had never worked with engineered stone, but said that he had herd rumours that it was highly inflammable and that it would light up with a simple lighter, so I left the meeting room, picked up a lighter and a piece of engineered stone, and asked him to demonstrate that theory ..... nothing happen as it was obvious, the resin is in a solid state and its percentage is relatively low. Although it does burn at a certain high temperature.
- Have an even gloss - gloss is very difficult to attain on dark materials, you may have different gloss levels on the same slab, the question is if it is noticeable. Just to understand polishing dark quartz has been a difficult job for all slab manufacturers, as it is for some types of granite. Most countertop fabricators may apply some chemical agents to even off the gloss, if after a while you notice shade differences on your quartz countertop, it might not be your fault.