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The basics: Engineered quartz is a man-made product formed from roughly 90 to 95 percent ground quartz and 5 to 10 percent resins and pigments. Commonly found brands include Caesarstone, Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria, Technistone, HanStone and Q. Several manufacturers have upward of 40 options, like colors from bright red to earthy linen and patterns from crocodile to concrete.
Cost: $95 to $105 per square foot installed.
Pros: Engineered quartz has many bragging rights. Thanks to the quartz content, it's tough like granite, and the resin makes the material malleable and impact resistant. Both materials offer stout durability. Engineered quartz is also nonporous, making it resistant to stains and scratches. And this material has a leg up on natural stone when it comes to large installations: Because it can flex, engineered quartz can be fabricated in larger pieces and with fewer joints.
Cons: The resin content isn't heat tolerant, so keep your trivets nearby.
Special considerations: Honed finishes, especially dark colors, show more fingerprints.
Maintenance: The surface requires no sealants or waxes (either initially or for ongoing upkeep). Routine cleanup is a breeze with soap and water.
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