What is engineered Quartz stone? Quartz exists naturally in clusters and does not form huge stone blocks like granite (which contains 40% – 60% quartz), limestone or other types of rock. This makes it unsuitable for use in its natural state, like for countertops or other large slab applications. As a consequence, that raw material needs to be converted into another form. Therefore, the quartz particles are crushed and blended in the ratio of 93 % quartz aggregates to 7% polyester resin and other additives.
The result is engineered stone, which can be further processed and used for several applications. Because of its high MOH score quartz is very resistant against scratches and can be well used for flooring or kitchen countertops. Engineered stone products in general are also suitable for shower and tub surrounds, vanity tops and other surfaces in wet areas – unlike porous stones, which can more easily foster bacteria growth.
Engineered stone slabs and counter tops are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and even textures. Its texture can be fine or coarse, depending on how it is processed. Furthermore, it can be combined with glass and other reflective materials for a sparkling finish. These materials are increasingly popular in high-end applications combining the benefits of granite’s durability and non-porous nature of quartz. As those materials are human manufactured, they can be fabricated in large quantities, having consistent colors and designs.
It is important to consider that depending on the manufacturer there are great differences in quality and properties of the Quartz to be found.
Laminates are human engineered materials. In its manufacturing process ultracompaction-technologies are being used to sinter a variety of selected minerals, such as: quartz, feldspar, kaolin, silicon, among others. Its production is concluded with Ultra HD printing on its surface and extreme heat. The result is a high-performance surface, which finds application in several areas. There are hardly any restrictions on use, the material can be applied on floors, facades, kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops and so on. Laminates in general can be installed indoors as well as outdoors, due to its high resistance levels (e.g. sunlight).
Since the designs are human made, they also can be replicated in large quantity with consistent appearance – unlike to natural stones, where every stone is a unique piece. There are basically no limitations when it comes to color or pattern of the surface.
Usually, the producers of laminates offer different kind of finishes and thicknesses to better serve the functional and conceptual demands of architecture and design.
It is important to consider that not every laminate is the same. Depending on the manufacturer there are great differences in quality and properties to be found.
Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. Metamorphism recrystallizes the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength. Quartzite is one of the most physically durable and chemically resistant rocks to be found at Earth’s surface.
Quartzite has a diversity of uses in construction, manufacturing, architecture, and decorative arts. Its properties are superior to many currently used materials.
In architecture, marble and granite have been the favorite materials for thousands of years. Quartzite, with a MOH`s hardness of seven along with greater toughness, is superior to both in many use cases. It stands up better to abrasion in stair treads, floor tiles, and countertops. Also, it is more resistant to most chemicals and environmental conditions. Quartzite is usually white to gray in color. Some rock units that are stained by iron can be pink, red, or purple. Other impurities can cause quartzite to be yellow, orange, brown, green, or blue. Many people enjoy the range of neutral colors to be found in quartzite.
The use of quartzite is growing slowly as it is getting more attention and popularity.
Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface.
Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray, or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock. All in all, the colors, patterns, and qualities are as manifold as nature itself.
Along with Quartzite, Granite is considered to be one of the hardest stones on the planet.
Granite is the rock most often quarried as a “dimension stone” (a natural rock material that will be cut into blocks or slabs of specific length, width, and thickness). Granite is hard enough to resist abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering, and it accepts a brilliant polish. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.
Marble is a metamorphic rock, which forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. It is composed primarily of the mineral calcite (CaCO3). Usually it also contains other minerals, such as clay minerals, micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite.
Under the conditions of metamorphism, the calcite in the limestone recrystallizes to form a rock that is a mass of interlocking calcite crystals. A related rock, dolomitic marble, is produced when dolostone is subjected to heat and pressure.
Marble occurs in large deposits that can be hundreds of feet thick and geographically extensive. This allows it to be economically mined on a large scale, with some mines and quarries producing millions of tons per year.
Most marble is made into either crushed stone or dimension stone. Crushed stone is used as an aggregate in highways, railroad beds, building foundations, and other types of construction.
Dimension stone is produced by sawing marble into pieces of specific dimensions. These are used in monuments, buildings, sculptures, paving and other projects.
Marble is usually a light-colored rock, that even can appear to be translucent. When it is formed from a limestone with very few impurities, it will be white in color. Marble that contains impurities such as clay minerals, iron oxides, or bituminous material can be bluish, gray, pink, yellow, or black in color.