Are there any disadvantages to using Calcutta Quartz in home renovations

Quartz Surfaces PMC1622

Durability Issues

Calcutta quartz is often highly praised for its stunning likeness to natural marble, being a popular choice for house renovations due to its beauty. Nevertheless, there are several negative points about its durability that homeowners should be aware of.

Akin to Granite

Calcutta quartz is often advertised as scratch-proof, in opposition to granite. It is far from the case, however, as this material is quartz bonded with a polymer resin. As such, it could potentially suffer from scratches if not handled with care. For example, one should not use Calcutta quartz countertops as cutting boards, always employing a cutting board to prevent damage.

Quartz Surfaces PMC1867
Quartz Surfaces PMC1867

Heat Affectability

Another concern is its reaction to heat, as Calcutta quartz countertops can be destroyed by high temperatures. In particular, pots from the stove can discolor the table and even lead to cracking. The National Kitchen and Bath Association shared the results of research in 2017, revealing that exposure to quartz material to temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit could cause thermal shock, leading to an irreversible fracture.

UV Exposure

In addition, exposure to ultraviolet light for long periods can be harmful to the table. Indeed, in areas with a lot of direct sunlight, such as near patios or large windows, the Calcutta quartz will eventually start changing colour. Homeowners from sunny states have to be particularly careful, as direct UV rays can alter the pristine whiteness and veined appearance of the quartz.

Cleaning Chemicals

Lastly, homeowners should also be wary of cleaning agents, as strong chemicals such as bleach or ammonia can damage the substance. Resins between stones and quartz break down, reducing the integrity of the surface and dulling the hue. As such, homeowners are advised to clean quartz res with mild soap and water or a specially designed cleaner.

Aesthetics and Practicality

Calcutta quartz has become an inevitable part of modern homes, where its luxurious appearance creates a pleasant atmosphere. Shockingly, while this material contributes to the attractiveness of the property, its aesthetic aspect and, to some extent, practicality leave much to be desired.

Quartz Surfaces PMC1736
Quartz Surfaces PMC1736

Calcutta Quartz Appearance

One of the material’s benefits is being consistent, which is especially advantageous when it comes to large surfaces such as kitchen islands and bathroom countertops. However, this feature can also be a drawback, particularly if one appreciates natural stone for its one-of-a-kind and embellished appearance. Sometimes, the uniformity of Calcutta quartz can look too artificial, lacking the attractive randomness observed in granite or marble. It seems that this type of quartz is too perfect whether it comes to patterning or the gloss typical for natural stone.

Seams

Huge countertop surfaces would have seams as quartz slabs should be connected to each other. Despite the efforts of hurlstones used to try to match veins’ arrangement, seams can be visible, especially when one uses lighter equivalents of Calcutta quartz. No matter how hard installers try to hide the boundaries between the two slabs, the surface does not look flawless.

Trend Durability

Although this material is stylish today, the properties that make it so popular can be viewed as dated in the nearest future. Minimalism has been in trend for several years, but maximalistic-style interiors start to rise again. On the other side, Calcutta quartz demands specific surrounding, which means that it might seem too inappropriate for other interior solutions in the future.

Wear and Arrangement

The color characteristics of Calcutta quartzes are such that they require regular cleaning. They also make impurities such as smudges, crumbs, and some kinds of liquids noticeable. This property, coupled with the amount of effort required to maintain the material, makes it inappropriate for busy families with kids or pets.

Load-bearing Capacity

Calcutta quartz is often chosen thanks to its cosmetic attributes, yet its physical properties, specifically the load-bearing capacity, must also be kept in mind while renovating a house. This issue is especially critical when it comes to choosing the location for such applications as countertop overhangs or unsupported spans.

Overhangs

Calcutta quartz is notably insufficiently flexible in terms of applications with overhangs. In the case of kitchen islands, breakfast bars, and other similar structures, the overhang may be only so long . It is recommended to follow the industry guidelines regarding overhangs: in the case of quartz’s overhang being over 10 inches, support becomes mandated . In the absence of such support, a typical scenario of cracking is on the rise, especially in the events where the overhang is under pressure, e.g. during contact with heavy objects or being kicked.

Unsupported Span

In reference to larger countertop sections, the span between the support is an important consideration, and the size of a quartz sheet also plays a notable role. A typical Calcutta quartz sheet is about 1.25 inches thick . Unsupported spans over a few feet in length will inevitably start sagging with time, making an extra support necessary, and the longer the span is left unsupported, the less strong is its structure, with material failure being a likely outcome.

Weight

The characteristic weight of the aforementioned material also presents a noteworthy challenge. Calcutta quartz typically weighs around 20 pounds per square foot, therefore, ensuring there is a sturdy cabinet base or other types of support beneath is also necessary . In the case of house renovations, especially those concerning older buildings, it may be the case that a base will have to be reinforced in order to prevent it from crumbling under the weight of a full quartz countertop roll-out.

Translucency

Calcutta quartz is favored for its elegant and sophisticated appearance, which explains why it is so popular in modern kitchens and bathrooms. Its translucency, or how much light it lets through, can also be an issue in certain applications. For example:

  • Backbit applications are some of the most stunning uses for Calcutta quartz, as a softly glowing wall or island is very appealing from a design standpoint. However, Calcutta quartz does not let light through the way onyx does, or in a uniform way. This may result in the wall or a bar top looking unevenly backlit, with some spots being brighter than others and spoiling the desired effect.
  • Similarly, the presence of light and how Calcutta quartz interacts with it could be an issue as far as how true to color the material looks. For example, in completely differently lit room such as a very sunny and a dark bathroom, the same piece of Calcutta quartz can look much lighter in one and variegated in the other. This should be taken into account during the design phase, with awareness that the actual color may vary from the intended one once it is installed in the room.
  • If a homeowner or designer is looking for a very specific or consistent look, Calcutta quartz will be difficult to work with. Its translucent nature means that its backdrop will affect its appearance. In the example of the countertop, the color of the quartz itself will be influenced by the color of the cabinetry behind it. Even if those two colors are reasonably close, they may affect the appearance of each other, and will need to be carefully selected as a part of a considered room design.

Quality Issues

Calcutta quartz is one of the homeowner’s favorite materials. While it is appealing and makes a big statement when used by designers or renovators, it might not always meet the best quality level. Although the latter is a subjective term and depends on the individual’s needs, the following discussion features some common quality concerns.

Quartz Surfaces PMC1634
Quartz Surfaces PMC1634

Variability in Slab Quality

Depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the materials used in the production, there could be slight variability in different slabs. Concerns could range from color to veining and gloss of the slab. Homeowners using more than one slab for their project face the need of ensuring that all slabs have a similar appearance and this can become a challenging task.

Manufacturing Defects

The beauty and benefits of Calcutta quartz are achieved by mixing ground quartz with polymers, resins, and pigments . The process is considered to be relatively simple; nonetheless, manufacturers can make mistakes and create a product that has air bubbles, uneven color, or was not properly cured. While defects such as air pockets and uncured resin should be noticed after the installation because they lead to chipping and cracking of the material, some homeowners might have problems with the coloring of the countertops.

Using Low-Quality Resins

The resin used to make slabs of Calcutta quartz can impact the product. While some of them are completely durable and resistant to chemicals and stains, low-quality resins might discolor the product over the years. People who spend a lot of time in the kitchen and cook more often want countertops that are stain-resistant, especially since most of the staining liquids include oil.

About Panmin

PANMIN is an innovative manufacturer of artificial quartz slabs. PANMINQUARTZ® is man-made quartz surfaces from PANMIN, which can be applied in residential and commercial interior decoration including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities and office table. 

Currently, we have three factories, two in China and one in Cambodia to provide sufficient services to our customers.

For more information about PANMIN, please refer to our contact page and we should get back to you ASAP.

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