Carrara Quartz Worktops

If you have fallen in love with the idea of white Carrara marble for your kitchen worktops and splashbacks, but you are concerned that it is not the hardest of stones, you may very well want to consider Carrara quartz as an alternative.

carrara-quartz-worktops

Carrara marble has been mined since the time of the ancient Romans at Carrara in Tuscany. It is mainly a white stone with some gentle grey veining, although some is a blue-grey colour. It is a high quality marble, and has been used in buildings all over the world. It was the stone used by Michelangelo to carve the statue of David.

However, for use in the home, it has to be said that marble is a soft stone, and it is porous. In its’ natural state it is subject to staining and is not acid resistant. This can mean that everyday kitchen items such as vinegar or lemon juice can damage its’ appearance, so it must be sealed with a sealant every couple of years or so.

 

Carrara Quartz

Carrara quartz, on the other hand, is created from natural stone and resins, and is a much tougher subject. As an “engineered” stone, quartz can be produced in a wide range of colours, and Carrara quartz has been designed to look exactly like the marble version, but with properties that make it a better bet for the kitchen. Many people are surprised to learn that quartz comes behind only diamonds, sapphire, and topaz in terms of hardness.

Carrara quartz really does look stunning as a kitchen worktop, and one of the big advantages is that, as a virtually white surface, it reflects light extremely well, thus making the kitchen seem brighter. It can be finished in a matt or semi-matt finish, or a highly polished surface.

From a hygiene point of view, Carrara quartz excels. Because it is non-porous, it is impervious to bacteria and moulds, which is ideal for food preparation. It is also stain resistant. Spills are always best wiped up as soon as they are seen, but unlike other kitchen work surfaces, lemon juice, vinegar, butter, coffee, and red wine spills will not harm it. It is also resistant to household acids in cleaners, and so on.

 

Heat Resistant

Carrara quartz kitchen worktops are also highly resistant to heat. That said, common sense dictates that one should never place pans or casseroles directly from the hob or oven on the surface. Always ensure that you use a trivet or heat pad. In addition, it is highly chip and scratch resistant, but again it is not a good idea to chop or cut foods directly on the surface. A simple wooden chopping board will protect it, and will also not damage the knife blade.

Carrara quartz is also very resistant to impact. Even so, if you use heavy cast iron cook pots, they are best stored in cupboards below the work surface. If you should happen to drop one as you take it out of the cupboard it will only fall on the floor, rather than the worktop if you should store pans in cupboards above it.

Cleaning a Carrara quartz worktop is simplicity itself. A simple wipe over with a damp cloth will take care of most spills, but if something like egg should dry on the surface, it can be removed easily with a Scotchbrite pad.

Of course, as a perfectly flat surface, mimicking marble, Carrara quartz is ideal for rolling out pastry. Although not as cold a surface as marble, quartz is still relatively cold which is what pastry needs. A quick wipe afterwards will remove any remaining flour.

 

Other Uses

Carrara quartz is not only used for work surfaces. It can also be used as a splashback behind the cooker or the sink, or as an upstand.

In addition to that, it may be used as a windowsill surface in the kitchen or the bathroom, could be used as a surround for a washbasin, or might be used in a shower or behind a bath tub. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Apart from the domestic uses of Carrara quartz, it is often specified by architects, developers, and designers, for many uses, especially in the food and catering industries, because of its high resistance to staining, and of course the fact that its’ non-porosity means that bacteria and moulds cannot possibly thrive on it.

In addition, it can be used as a flooring material in either a polished or honed finish, and will always create an impact when used in something like a car showroom or a retail store. It is also employed as a work surface in places such as a dentist or a doctor, in restaurants and bars, in delicatessens, in hospitals, and anywhere else where a beautiful looking surface that is also extremely long lasting is required.

 

Care and Maintenance

Carrara quartz is a pretty tough customer, but some common sense rules still apply. Ideally, spills should be wiped up straight away, but if substances like egg, grease, nail polish, paint, and so on, should dry, they can be scraped off gently with a plastic putty knife.

Don’t put/store things like paint strippers, nail polish remover, permanent markers, inks, and other harsh chemicals on the work top.

Avoid high pH cleaners such as oven cleaners and concentrated bleach.

Worktops and other surfaces created with Carrara quartz are not only beautiful to look at. Given reasonable care, they will last a lifetime – or even longer. Many people today spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house, except perhaps the bedroom, and also entertain guests there as well, so it is more important than ever to design your new kitchen with that in mind.

For sheer beauty and timeless elegance, a Carrara quartz worktop takes a lot of beating.