Life can be busy. And, let’s face it, worrying about the care and maintenance of your countertops may not be high on your priorities list. If you’re looking for a surface that can withstand daily wear and will still give you the visual appeal of natural stone, low-maintenance quartz countertops may be right for you.

Read on to learn why we’ve named quartz as our Best Pick for Low-Maintenance Countertops.

How are quartz slabs made?

Quartz is engineered, made from a combination of mostly ground quartz crystals with added polymer resin binders and pigments. Because quartz is engineered, it has a consistent appearance and color that is controlled through the manufacturing process, giving it an even, uniform look.

What are the qualities of quartz countertops?

One of the hardest minerals found on earth, raw quartz registers on the Mohs Hardness Scale as a whopping 7 out of 10, even beating the ever-popular countertop material, granite. This makes it an extremely durable option for homeowners looking to renovate their kitchens or who need countertops that will last for the long haul.

Besides being nearly indestructible and scratch-resistant, quartz is also nonporous. This means it’s stain-resistant and impermeable to bacteria and moisture, so you don’t ever have to worry about sealing it. Oil on the counter? Wine spill? Lemon juice not wiped up? No problem. Without the cracks and holes of natural stone, quartz wipes up clean.

Quartz is also heat-resistant up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but we don’t recommend direct heat or sudden temperature changes. Rather than drop a hot skillet onto your counter, put down a trivet or hot pad first.

Although quartz is good for a lot of uses, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be used for outdoor projects. That’s because the resin used in engineering the slab will turn yellow when exposed to the elements, altering the intended appearance.

What can quartz countertops look like?

Quartz can resemble the look of granite, marble, or any other natural stone. The wide variety of colors and patterns available in quartz make it easy to match any interior, from traditional to contemporary, farmhouse to modern. And because it’s engineered, you can bet on a consistent color and pattern that can be used for your entire project without the challenge of matching patterns or colors. Another benefit: the color doesn’t fade over time.

Are quartz countertops expensive?

Quartz is reasonably priced, making it a good value for your money and an option for a variety of home renovation budgets. Due to its durability, quartz is also known for its great ROI (return on investment) when you sell your home. Its long-lasting, stylish appearance will make your kitchen appealing to a wide variety of potential homebuyers. If impressive appearance and the rate of return on your investment is important to you, quartz may be the surface material for your kitchen, home, or commercial project.

Can I install quartz countertops myself?

DIY is not the way to go with quartz. Like natural stone, quartz slabs are very heavy, and they can crack if not properly handled. Stick with an experienced installer. Professional installation can also help you achieve almost any edge profile you may want for your kitchen with quartz: a standard eased edge, which is slightly rounded, or an aesthetically pleasing ogee edge, which has curves, are some of the most popular kitchen renovation choices. Different edges may come at different price points.

How to care for quartz countertops?

Quartz is nonporous, making it antimicrobial—bacteria, mold, and mildew can’t penetrate the surface. This makes cleaning the kitchen a simple (and quick) task.

To care for your quartz countertop daily, simply wipe the surface clean with a cloth and soapy water. Surface stains can be removed with a gentle cleaning spray and scrub.

Because of its durability; ability to repel stains, germs, and moisture; and overall cosmetic appeal, in the category of low-maintenance countertops, quartz wins hands-down.

If you want to learn more about your options when it comes to countertops and stone surfaces, we’re here to help.