Quartz & Sintered Stone - A Comparison
On the surface, it might not be readily noticeable but sintered stone and quartz materials are different in many ways. Although, they do have some similarities. But what are the characteristics that distinguish these materials from one another and how are the two materials alike? In this article we will consider both aspects of this topic.
Comparing Quartz & Sintered Stone
When it comes to quartz & sintered stone, a comparison of the materials should really include a variety of aspects. First, the composition of each will reveal some similarities and differences. Afterward, looking at how these materials perform along with what the use and care requirements are for each can give us some insight.
Properties of Quartz Countertop Surfaces
To begin our comparison, we will delve into the properties of quartz. Quartz is a hard material that is non-porous and is easy to care for and clean. Since the surface does not allow substances to penetrate quartz, it is stain resistant. These qualities have earned this material a place in kitchens all over the globe.
Sintered Stone Characteristics
Sintered stone materials go by many names. There are a number of related materials as well that are called by distinct terms. However, these materials have some distinctively recognizable properties that set them apart from materials in other classes. Sintered stone is extremely hard. It an be formed to carry a variety of appearances. Visual texture and color selections make it very appealing to many designers and decorators; not to mention architects and builders.
Sintered stone is available in various formats and thicknesses. Large panels and other dimensions are among the sizing choices form which to choose. In fact, sintered stone panels are used for wall cladding and facades as well as flooring and even countertops. These materials are easy to clean and are virtually impervious to normal household heat sources. In addition to that, sintered stone materials are also scratch and stain resistant.
How Quartz and Sintered Stone Are Alike
Now that we have taken a look at the properties of both of these materials, lets compare the two and get an idea of what they have in common and why. First up, quartz and sintered stone share the characteristic of hardness. Both materials are harder than granite; which registers in the range of 6-7 on the mohs hardness scale. This hardness is what makes these materials scratch resistant and durable. And even though sintered stone is somewhat harder than quartz, both materials are very hard.
Another trait that sintered stone and quartz have in common is that they are both non-porous. This translates into a surface that is not easily stained since foreign liquids cannot penetrate the material to discolor it. The stain-causing agents simply stay on the surface of the material - whether it's a countertop or otherwise - and cannot get into it. Cleaning up these materials is easy since the stain-causing liquid remains on the surface of the material and does not penetrate it.
Finally, both quartz and sintered stone are available in a variety of color options. Since these materials are produced in a controlled environment they can be created to specifications. This means that the color of the material is controllable. Quartz and sintered stone surfaces are available in numerous colors and each manufacturer offers their own color palette.
Differences Between Sintered Stone & Quartz
Even though sintered stone and quartz share some traits that does not mean these material are the same. They are, in fact, very different from one another. Let's look at some of the differences between quartz and sintered stone.
Perhaps the main difference between quartz and sintered stone is their composition. Quartz is a combination of the natural mineral quartz (some 90%) and the balance of the material made up of pigments and resin binders. On the other hand, sintered stone is composed entirely of natural minerals. The minerals are transformed into a new material using the process known as "sintering". This process uses intense heat and other forces like pressure and electricity to transform the minerals into a solid hard mass of a new material.
The differing composition of sintered stone and quartz mean that these materials have different care requirements. One caution that you will probably find find quartz that you may not find with sintered stone is that quartz can be susceptible to burning from high temperatures. This can happen in the fabrication shop or in the home. If quartz is exposed to extreme heat, it can discolor because of the limits imposed by the resins in the material. Conversely, sintered stone is formed in the presence of extremely high temperatures and is therefore resistant to very high temperatures found in normal everyday household environments.
So there you have some aspects of each of these materials. A basis on which to compare the two. Quartz is a hard engineered surface that is non porous, scratch resistant and does not easily stain. And sintered stone is an all natural surface composed of minerals created using a sintering process that yields another hard material with similar characteristics and more.