Are white quartz countertops a fad?

TC44January 24, 2011

Hi. First post. I know the quartz vs granite topic has been beat to death, but I am still struggling...Getting ready for a kitchen reno. Open concept space. Givens: Light (clear) maple hardwood floors, espresso stained maple cabinets, stainless appliances, replacing sliding doors to patio with 8 foot french doors (9 ft ceilings). The issue? countertops. I admit to being a trend follower. So the white quartz contrasting with the dark cabinets seems like a no brainer! I like Caesarstone, Blizzard and Organic White. But my wife thinks the white quartz is cold and plain and looks 'plasticy' and that this look (which seems to be everywhere right now) might be a fad.... She would like to go with a light granite without too much movement. I also like the light granites but I am a bit concerned about the porousness of light granites (like Kashmir White,...). The creamy, brown quartzes do nothing for me. Anyway, I am wondering what people's predictions are for the long term outlook of white quartz counters. Thx :)

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lisadlu

My first choice was quartz (I liked the ones that look like terrazo flooring) but it was over $1K more than granite where I live. I went with a white granite and I love it! My struggle was (besides the extra cost) that the quartz doesn't look as custom as granite. That said, I don't think that quartz is a fad but will be around forever. I can understand why your wife thinks quartz looks plasticy. I think the solid colors do but the ones with flecks look like real stone to me. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:11AM
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palimpsest

I don't think it is a fad, quartz has been around for some time, and if anything they are increasing the number of fairly plain, minimal fleck choices. It is a fairly contemporary choice, because the blizzard or organic white are so monolithic/monochromatic. And in general I don't think a white countertop is faddish either, say compared to this color of quartz

I don't find the quartzes particularly plasticky,--they feel the same as stone to me. But, I don't think the monochromatic ones are trying to mimic anything in nature, and that is probably why your wife thinks they look cold.

There are lots of choices between blizzard white or the white granites and brown though, so I hope you can reach a good compromise.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:38AM
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wizardnm

I think there is room for all the different counter tops. What we choose is a personal decision. What we choose can set the vibe for the whole look in your kitchen.
I really like the combo that you are considering and think quartz would be a great choice. We just put in quartz and it's very easy care.

Is white a fad....no.
Is quartz a fad...no.
IMO. Like induction cooking, it's newer and gaining fans.

Go to more showrooms and take home samples of as many different quartz samples and granites as you find that you like. Look at them in your lighting and try to visualize the finished kitchen.

Nancy

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:52AM
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momqs

Consider the fact that if it's not your countertops it will be something else that looks dated in 5 or 10 years. Get what makes your heart sing.

Have you considered Quartzite? It's a natural stone and it's fairly bulletproof.

Here are some white examples:

Firsthouse_mp and I have White Princess:

Firsthouse_mp's island

My counters

Sochi's Luna di Luca

There are many others.

Here is a thread about marble look-alike countertops that has a few quartzite and then other materials.

White is great if you like the look. We love it and the counters make our kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:32AM
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davidro1

There is a stone called quartzite. Your comment about "light granite without too much movement" made me think of it.

I have an off-white quartz counter. The kitchen has tons of movement in it, without using the counter to express more movement. I just posted about my backsplash, translucent glass tiles only 1/8" thick. Now That Moves! Also, the wood of the cabinets has movement (grain, color, etc). At some point you have to stop moving and have a stable base. Our quartz does that.

Speaking of not-moving: this reminds me of the dress combinations tha used to go with men's business suits. At least one piece of clothing had to have minimal movement. Never all of them (tie, shirt, suit).

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0119262718999.html
"... The glass picks up and refracts other light sources, so its color varies, depending on the lights that are on. Even daylight is not the same "color" from one day to the next, because of cloud cover..."

Here is a link that might be useful: The glass picks up and refracts other light sources, so its color varies, depending on the lights that are on. Even daylight is not the same

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:37AM
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live_wire_oak

It's a timeless fad! How's that for "weasel words"? LOL! My original kitchen in my 70's rancher was dark walnut stained cabinets and barely off white laminate counters. If I had just waited, it would be back in style now!

White-ish counters are here to stay, regardless of material. Baby boomers are getting older, and older eyes need more light. Light counters are much friendlier to those rods and cones in the eye.

Quartz itself isn't a fad either. But it's just one of a huge growth market in choices. It's successful marketing campaign (especially the partnering with Candice Olsen) has made it a close but definately not majority leader in the "white countertop" choices, with granite, marble, quartzite, tile, and laminate making up the other percentages.

Since there are so many other choices for "white", be sure to investigate those. There is zero reason to put in something that's "safe" if you don't love it. If you feel you need white with your other decor choices, then there's plenty to look at!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:45AM
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norlandian

I'd be more worried that your wife thinks it looks cold and plain and plastic-y than whether it's a fad.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:53AM
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kitchendesigntips

Since your looking for something white and warmer,OKITE and Cambria have a couple of colors that you may really like.

OKITE especially, has an exclusive line of colors called their Venati Collection. Some of them are white with a bit of veining, which warms up the stone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Okite's Venati Collection

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:54AM
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TC44

Thanks so much everyone. The Quartzite is absolutely SPECTACULAR. Can people that have it comment on how it has stood up (in terms of staining, ...)?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:37AM
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momqs

I wanted Carerra marble soooo badly but when I tested it I realized I couldn't live with it. Everything etched it. When I found the quartzite I was really worried about it, but it really is bulletproof.

Quartzite is from sandstone and doesn't have the issues that Marble does with etching - there are no chemical reactions. I've left lemon, vinegar, wine, tomato sauce, etc.. and no etching at all.

We've had absolutely no staining either and I think some of that is a result of the sealer - we used Miracle 511 and haven't had any problems at all. We've only had it for about 4 months, but Sochi has had hers much longer and has commented that she hasn't had any issues either.

I did read about someone having etching issues with her Quartzite but the general consensus seems to be that it can't really be quartzite if it etches since it's all about the chemical reaction and quartzite doesn't have the makeup to etch.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:47AM
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noellabelle

I got valley white granite a few weeks ago, and I love the lightness and soft movement in it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:18PM
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cjc123

Love my Super White Quartzite! Have had it for 6 months and the only thing I can say is that I have to remind people not to pull or push items across it. There are a few scratches. Did I mention I LOVE IT! ;-) From Kitchen remodel (still not done)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:31PM
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plllog

If someone else said this, I missed it: One of the problems with white/light quartz is that the resins can yellow over time, especially in direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:44PM
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adel97

Engineered quartz products for countertops have been around for over 25 years, at least, so I would not call it a fad. My understanding is that they are used much more in Europe than in the U.S. for kitchens and baths, but usage is increasing in the U.S. as well. And some people (like me!) will always prefer white countertops for the kitchen, so I think white quartz will live long and prosper.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 8:49PM
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sochi

TC44 - I have one of the "virtually" bullet proof quartzite's - no staining, no etching. We very nearly went for blizzard white quartz caesarstone, I love how it looks with walnut cabinets. When I see the quartz on its on I love it. But when I compared it side by side with the quartzite, I just loved the natural, organic feel of the quartzite better. Go with what you love, but for the record, I don't think quartz is a fad - but it will no doubt wane in and out of favour, like corian and granite.

Here is a picture of my quartzite;

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:47PM
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wi-sailorgirl

Sochi ... that might be one of the most amazing counters I've seen on here and I wish I hadn't seen it because I really want it!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:35AM
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TC44

I am absolutely blown away by your counters. I am going to be on the look out for quartzite in my area (Vancouver, BC, Canada). Do you mind me asking how it compared in price to the Caesarstone?
Thx :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:47AM
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rockybird

Wow. Now I am considering quartzite. Sochi, I thought those were marble coutnertops! I really wanted marble but I am scared of staining, etching, etc. It looks like I have an alternative to the white silestone I was considering now.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:51AM
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vinesandroses

NO - imo. And I don't care if they are - I like white. We're getting white quartz because quartz is what the builder we chose offered as a standard upgrade. I might have chosen something else like marble if it was offered but this material has advantages like being non-porous, hygienic etc. Never heard of it turning yellow in the sun - it's 98% quartz. Our kitchen will be all white offset by a wood floor and a taupe glass backsplash. I don't think stainless appliances are a fad either as some seem to think - it's also a very hygienic material - very important in a kitchen. qualities like that are classic and don't go out of style - imo.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 5:27AM
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vsbonanni

My husband is working on a kitchen that used white Quartz and some of the workers got fingerprints on it with dirty hands (not grease) and now they can't get them off.I think the pure white does look sterile & cold. I do like quartz but something with a bit of color.
@ Noellabelle...I LOVE your granite! It's exactly what I'm looking for. Do you know if there are any other names for it? I'm in Michigan and it seems that every granite place makes up their own names. Do you have any more pics of it? It looks to be white & gray with specks of brown or red. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:36AM
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AngAx

A good friend of mine has dark cabinets, maple floors, and white silestone. It looks fabulous but one of our other friends who is not as kitchen obsessed as we had no idea what the material was - she actually thought it was laminate. However we are in a smallish midwestern city and are about 5 years behind the trends. :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:57AM
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momqs

@vsbonanni try looking for River White - it looks similar to Noellabelle's and was my choice before I found the quartzite. It's gorgeous.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:26AM
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noellabelle

vsbonannim thanks!

Mine was called valley white, but I agree that it looks like river white (and white spring too). I was going to go with black, but I fell in love with it in the granite yard. It does have specks of dark red.

Here's what it looked like in the slab.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:38AM
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kaismom

Go with what makes your wife happy. My husband certainly does. We got white quartz because I did not want a stone coutertop. I looked at marble and quartzite. Marble etched too much and stained without sealant. I did not find any quartzite in the area easily. I had to move on with the remodel. I also felt that the eveness of the quartz looked (Casesarsone Eggshell) better with my kitchen.

Another big thing (certainly not the only thing) for me was that.. I did not want to put a sealant on the counter top that I would not "cook" on. I know that the sealtant is inert with food, but it's still a chemical. I go to the extra trouble of not getting pesticide and herbicide in our food by eating all organic food. I did not want to have a stone that I had to treat with chemicals. I am sure the chemical is very safe and you can use it quite safetly. But I chose to not use it.

I know that most people will not find this reason compelling nor applicable to their own life but I put it out there for you to hear a very different perspective.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 11:29AM
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laura mcleod

we have quartzite too (madre perola) and found it so easy to care for - no staining, no etching, it also hides crumbs and fingerprints. I did not want dramatic movement, and was looking for something more low key and organic, and I think quartzite really delivers on this (clearly I am a huge fan!)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 2:15PM
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NYChelen

Sochi, your countertop is beautiful. Would you please tell us what color it is?
Thanks

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:46PM
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joyce_6333

I REALLY wanted Zodiac Bianco Carrara, but DH felt it too stark and we ended up with Bianco Romano Granite. Not installed yet, but I'm sure it will be nice.

Zodiac Bianco Carrara

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 2:19PM
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mhdcook

Hi. First time. I googled "problems with seams in white quartz" and it brought me to you. But I haven't seen anyone with concerns. I have a newly installed white quartz countertop and the seams are very noticeable. I'm told by the installer that white is very hard and I will always be unhappy! Any thoughts out there?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:41PM
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sochi

I'm sorry, I see there were a couple of questions for me that I missed in January:

NYChelen: it is called quartzite bianca or Luce di luna. It is really a greyish white in colour.

TC44: probably too late for you now, but the quartzite here in Ontario was a little more expensive that Quartz. Let me know if you've had any luck finding it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:24PM
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adel97

Mhdcook, I have a seam in my Caesarstone Blizzard. I asked that it be placed as far into the corner of the run as possible, where it would not be as noticeable. My installer was very experienced with CS and suggested the same. When installing, he used some kind of vice-type machine to to get it as tight as possible. Make sure you work with an installer who has done hundreds of quartz counters and get references before you commit.

Having said that, I never notice it, and had to take this picture just right to highlight the seam (can you see it?).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:31PM
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mhdcook

Thanks Sharonite. What a beautiful top! I was about to write you to say that I couldn't see it and as I was scrolling down, I caught it. What I can't see is the seam at the "lip" of the top--mine is especially wide and ugly at that point. My countertop is by a different manufacturer, but it's basically the same as the Blizzard. Because of a different issue with another seam (I have 3)the installer will have to take all or part of the counter out. He's urging me to abandon white altogether. I simply can't believe his story that no one is happy with white--why would all of the mfg's be coming out with some many variations on white? I had to pay for half prior to installation and am withholding the rest until we have a resolution.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:56PM
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Sunnydark

I also was concerned about white being a little too plastic-y so I went with one of your choices: Caesarstone organic white because it has subtle little blotches and waves that is subtle enough to keep it looking bright white but when you get up close, you can see the personality of the slab.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:19AM
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cloud_swift

cjc, super white seems to be a color name where some are selling non-quartzite and calling it quartzite. If it was truly quartzite, you wouldn't have problems with scratching. Quartzite is extremely hard - harder than granite. True quartzite is made almost entirely of quartz. It is hard, stable and strong. We have it (ours is mostly blue, green and grey but has some white patches). It doesn't scratch, stain or etch. It is bullet proof.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:10PM
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design40

Why would they be going out of style? White and black are probably THE two basic colors in design. People prefer natural materials, which quartz is. People also prefer practical cleaning options, which quartz offers. There are good reasons why the major quartz manufacturers are releasing more new lines of white and black quartz offerings in 2014...the old ones are selling very well.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 7:50AM
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Trebruchet

TC44:

There was a fabricator panel at the class I attended here at the International Surface Event East in Miami Beach, FL, yesterday.

The woman on the panel said she may as well throw out all the other quartz colors on display; all she sells is white and versions thereof.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 9:48AM
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oldryder

" People prefer natural materials, which quartz is." This statement reflects the marketing by the quartz suppliers but is demonstrably false. "Natural", by definition, means "existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind."

Quartz tops are a petrochemical based resin that is brewed up in big vats, mixed with quartz chips, artificial inclusions like glass, and coloring agents. (Incomplete mixing at this stage of the process is the source of the "resin pools" which are often found in the more variable quartz colors.)

This mix is then extruded out into a large shallow container and then baked at several hundred degrees. The resulting sheet of baked resin is then polished with equipment very similar to a stone polishing line. Hardly "existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind".

That said, the quartz surface products do make a relatively durable countertop surface that can be engineered to provide the appearance desired by the product designers.

IMHO the primary long term threat to the desirability of quartz surface is the increasing presence in the market of low price quartz products (Korea & China). As cheap copycat products permeate the market the current panache associated with quartz tops will dissipate and it will become simply another low cost alternative. This is much the same as what has already happened to some extent with granite. The increasing use of exotic stones like labrodite and quartzite has helped to maintain at least some of the upscale perception natural stone has always enjoyed.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 10:09AM
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design40

90% ground quartz and 10% resins, polymers, and pigments......Look around your house, it's loaded with resins, polymers and pigments, in every single room even if you went with granite counters because they are 'natural' and only sealed and installed with 'natural' non-synthetic materials, though I'm not sure any exist.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2014 at 12:21PM
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design40

90% ground quartz and 10% resins, polymers, and pigments......Look around your house, it's loaded with resins, polymers and pigments, in every single room even if you went with granite counters because they are 'natural' and only sealed and installed with 'natural' non-synthetic materials, though I'm not sure any exist.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2014 at 12:28PM
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marcolo

Any more SPAM you'd like to post on three year old threads?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2014 at 1:19PM
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design40

I see you are posting here on an older thread....that is still open and read often.

As for a duplicate post...that is the site's technical issue that day (showing up as not posted, but it actually posts later). Actually over the last couple of weeks - there must be a few system changes going on. I've had several friends who have had their relatively inactive accounts closed out of the blue because of inactivity? You can read about all the changes on other forums...

This post was edited by design40 on Sun, Nov 16, 14 at 9:51

    Bookmark   November 15, 2014 at 8:41PM
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