Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals blended with resins and pigments. This makes it an incredibly durable material that can withstand years of wear and tear in a busy kitchen. Quartz backsplashes are stain, scratch, and heat resistant. They are non-porous so they do not need to be sealed like natural stone. Quartz can stand up to knives, pots and pans, and accidental drops that would damage other materials.
One of the biggest perks of quartz backsplashes is how easy they are to clean and maintain. Since quartz is non-porous, food and grime cannot penetrate the surface. Quartz backsplashes just need to be wiped down with a soft cloth and mild soap and water. No harsh chemicals are required. This makes cleaning as simple as wiping up spills and messes as they happen.
With technology advancements, quartz manufacturers are able to create stunning designs that mimic pricey natural stone and hardwood looks. But unlike real stone and wood, quartz does not need ongoing sealing and polishing. The color and glossy sheen remain consistent year after year. Quartz backsplashes are available in a myriad of colors, patterns, and finishes that can complement any design aesthetic. Popular options include:
- Marble and granite looks
- Metallic and glass tiles
- Large format tiles and slabs
- Distressed, leathered textures
One of the best aspects of quartz backsplashes is the ability to customize them to your exact tastes and kitchen needs. Quartz can be fabricated into nearly any shape and size. Backsplash installations can incorporate special cutouts for outlets and fixtures. You can opt for full slabs, intricate patterns, special trims and borders, and combinations of tiles and slabs. There are limitless ways to design a quartz backsplash.
Heat and Stain Resistance
Kitchen backsplashes inevitably end up battling stains, splatters, burns, and high heat. Quartz is perfectly suited for backsplash use because it stands up to just about anything. The resins make quartz non-porous so it never needs to be sealed. The material is highly resistant to chipping, scratching, and staining. Quartz can withstand heat up to 212°F making it ideal around stoves and ovens. Any splatters or messy cooks are no match for quartz.
For homeowners concerned about sustainability, quartz is considered one of the “greenest” engineered stones. It contains a high percentage of natural quartz, reducing the need for excessive quarrying and mining. Quartz contains no VOCs and never needs resealing treatments and maintenance that introduce harsh chemicals. The stone itself is also non-toxic. Plus, quartz can be recycled and repurposed. An eco-friendly backsplash can still be stylish with quartz.
With health and wellness being a priority for many homeowners, a backsplash material that prevents germs and bacteria buildup is essential. The non-porous nature of quartz makes it impossible for microbes to penetrate the surface and grow. Quartz will not mold or mildew either. This makes quartz an ideal choice for hygienic kitchen and bath backsplashes.
Affordable Luxury Material
In the past, only luxurious materials like marble and granite were used for upscale backsplashes. Quartz now provides the look and feel of high-end stone for a fraction of the cost. Durability and easy maintenance also mean quartz backsplashes will last for decades without added upkeep costs down the road. Quartz delivers luxury backsplash design without stretching the budget.
Makes a Design Statement
The backsplash is prime real estate to make a design statement in the kitchen or bath. More homeowners are moving away from basic backsplash tile and getting creative with quartz. Large quartz slab backsplashes create a focal point. Interesting patterns and molded shapes add artistic flair. Quartz gives homeowners and designers unlimited potential to create a backsplash that expresses personal style.
Key Benefits of a Quartz Backsplash:
- Extremely durable
- Low maintenance
- Resists staining, scratching and heat
- Available in endless colors and styles
- Customizable sizing and shapes
- Hygienic and non-porous
- Affordable compared to natural stone
- Eco-friendly material
- Easy to clean
- Makes a bold design statement
Popular Styles and Applications for Quartz Backsplashes
Full Slab Quartz Backsplashes
Installing a full slab quartz backsplash makes a dramatic statement. Quartz manufacturers offer large format slabs in oversized pieces that can be fabricated to fit your backsplash space. This creates a luxurious, cohesive look. The minimal seams also make a full slab backsplash easy to clean and maintain. Full slabs showcase the natural patterns and beauty of quartz to create a striking focal point.
Mosaic Tile Quartz Backsplash
For a more intricate backsplash design, mosaic quartz tile creates visual interest and texture. Tiny quartz tiles come mounted on mesh sheets in stunning patterns and can be cut to size. Combining complementary tiles and colors together can achieve any look from modern geometric to whimsical nature themes. Grout color also affects the overall aesthetic. Mosaic quartz tiles make a captivating backsplash.
Metallic Quartz Backsplash
Metallic quartz backsplashes are having a major moment right now. The most popular options incorporate metal flakes and shimmering glass aggregates that catch and reflect the light. This creates a glamorous, jewelry-inspired look. Metallic quartz mimics exotic stones, like aventurine and labradorite, but with more durability. A metallic backsplash instantly elevates a kitchen or bath design.
Multi-Colored Quartz Backsplash
Why settle for one color when you can have many? Mixing and matching quartz tile shapes, patterns, and colors creates a custom one-of-a-kind backsplash. Contrasting grout colors also highlight each unique tile. There are no rules when it comes to color-mixing, so you can go bold or subtle. A multi-colored quartz backsplash serves as a work of art for your home.
Quartz Accent Strip Backsplash
Sometimes a full backsplash is overkill. Accent strips with quartz provide an option for minimalist designs. Thin strips of quartz fabricated to desired dimensions can accent a single wall behind a stove or sink. This focused application saves on cost and labor compared to tiling an entire expanse. The quartz strip then becomes a subtle but stylish focal point.
Patterned Quartz Backsplash
Unique patterns take a quartz backsplash to the next level. Quartz makes it possible to incorporate designs like chevrons, diagonals, 3D cubes, herringbones, arabesques, and varying textures. Pattern options are only limited to your imagination. Mixing patterns can heighten the visual impact even more. A patterned quartz backsplash transforms any kitchen or bath into a work of art.
Quartz Brick Backsplash
Stacked rectangular quartz “bricks” offer another creative backsplash option. The brick design creates dimension and textures. Quartz is cut into elongated bricks that get stacked in unique arrangements held together by grout. Contrasting grout color options include white, black, gray, and cream. The brick style works with modern and vintage design aesthetics.
Quartz Waterfall Backsplash
Waterfall backsplashes extending from counter to ceiling are a popular way to utilize quartz slabs. The waterfall effect makes a room feel more expansive and grand. Illuminated niches can also be incorporated behind the waterfall for display spaces. For a minimal and sophisticated look, few materials can rival a dramatic quartz waterfall backsplash.
Installation Tips for Quartz Backsplashes
Select an Experienced Fabricator and Installer
Quartz requires specialized tools and techniques for cutting, fabricating, and installation. Select a professional fabricator/installer with expertise in quartz. Read reviews and evaluate past quartz jobs to ensure quality workmanship.
Plan the Installation Layout
Take measurements and create drawings of the layout. Mark electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, and anything that requires cutouts. Decide the order/arrangement of tiles and patterns. Proper planning prevents costly mistakes.
Prepare the Surface Properly
The backsplash area must be clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any old backsplash. Sand off bumps. Seal porous drywall. This gives the quartz a solid base for long-term durability.
Use High-Quality Adhesives and Grout
Quartz requires resilient bonding. Consult your fabricator for the best adhesive and grout for the job. Products like Kerabond adhesive and Mapei Ultracolor grout work well. Improper grout can crack and stain.
Take Care Cutting and Polishing
Precise tile cuts and drill holes are needed to accommodate outlets and fixtures. The fabricator should have specialized tools to cut and polish quartz cleanly. Ragged edges ruin the entire look.
Inspect Seams Closely
Well-fitted seams are vital for an attractive backsplash. Inspect that slabs align cleanly with minimal gaps at seams. If grout lines look uneven and sloppy, have them redone.
Seal and Finish Properly
Sealing the installation according to manufacturer directions is crucial. A penetrating sealer prevents staining between the quartz and grout. Polishing and a final cleaning complete the job.
What thickness is best for a quartz backsplash?
3/8 inch to 3/4 inch slabs are common quartz backsplash thicknesses. Thinner 1/4 inch can work for delicate mosaic patterns. Thicker 1 1/4 inch+ is best for a dramatic slab look.
What is the average cost per square foot of a quartz backsplash?
Quartz backsplash cost per square foot averages $50-100 installed, similar to slab granite. Higher-end options with intricate patterns can be $100-200 per square foot.
Can you use DIY quartz backsplash tile or does it need professional install?
Quartz requires special skill to fabricate and install. Improper adhesive and grout can ruin the look. Hire a qualified fabricator/installer for best results.
How is quartz backsplash different from quartz countertops?
Quartz backsplashes are thinner and do not need reinforcement. Pieces are custom cut smaller to accommodate the space. The fabrication and installation process varies slightly.
Can quartz backsplash tile be used for shower walls?
Yes, mosaic quartz tile makes a water-resistant, easy to clean shower wall backsplash. Use proper waterproofing installation methods and avoid polished quartz near shower floors.
Does quartz need to be sealed like granite?
No, quartz is non-porous unlike natural stone. It never requires sealing or re-sealing. One of quartz’s advantages is being basically maintenance-free.
With limitless customization potential, exceptional durability, and stain-resistance, quartz has cemented itself as a go-to backsplash material. Homeowners can achieve dramatic designs and affordable luxury with quartz. Following proper fabrication and installation techniques ensures your quartz backsplash will withstand decades of kitchen and bath use. Quartz offers the ideal combination of style, functionality, and maintenance ease for backsplashes.