Though the trendiness of quartz countertops is a relatively recent phenomenon, they’ve been available since the 1960s. As the process to make ground quartz into a useful compound occurred in Italy, it makes sense that the quartz countertop trend originated there after Marcello Toncelli created the process in 1963. It would be a few decades before the trend really took off in the U.S.
Custom quartz countertops are sleek, elegant, and stylish, but classic appeal may have many people thinking that quartz countertops come directly from Mother Earth. However, this stylish and wildly popular countertop option is actually man-made. Here’s how it’s done.
Quartz countertops look like natural stone because most of what goes into manufacturing them is natural. About 90% of the material used to make quartz countertops is ground quartz, a natural, hard mineral. Because quartz is one of the most abundant minerals found at the Earth’s surface, it makes sense to use it for things like countertops. It’s durable and widely distributed. It is the primary substance found in all forms of sand—beach, rivers, and desert—so quartz can be found in mineable deposits all across the globe.
To make countertops, a mixture of about 90 percent ground quartz is blended with a mix of 8-10 percent resins, polymers, and pigments to create a hard, natural-looking surface. Because quartz countertops include a mix of manmade and natural materials, each quartz countertop is slightly different. These countertops can also be made in many colors and designs as humans can imagine.