Uncle Paul’s Detailed Quartz Composite Sinks Review

Elkay Quartz Classic ELGU2522BK0 Black Single Bowl Sink

Each day that you walk into your kitchen and watch that old, stainless steel kitchen sink, you yearn for an upgrade.

At the height of your fantasies is a marble kitchen sink. Oh, the beautiful colors and the intricate veins that pop out of the subdued background.

But suddenly you wake up with a jolt when you see the sink crack as you accidentally drop a large pan on it.

Shit happens! Marble, as alluring as it may seem, is not a great choice of material for a kitchen sink unless you are Spiderman and can catch every object that can potentially damage it.

The next best bet is quartz, an engineered composite that almost looks like marble and can take an absolute beating without chipping or cracking.

Quartz kitchen sinks have become extremely popular in the recent past due to their semblance of natural stone and their durability, which is in the same league as stainless steel.

However, there are a lot of variations in quartz and unless you are aware of what to look out for, you might well be taken for a ride.

That’s where we step in folks.

Here’s our quartz kitchen sink buying guide for newbies and DIY home renovators.

Quartz Sink Reviews 2018

Model
Installation
Dimension
Price
 

Elkay ELGU2522BK0
Undermount
24.6 x 18.5 x 9.5 inches
$$

Elkay ELGUS3322RGR0
Undermount
33 x 20 x 9.5 inches
$$

Elkay ELG2522GY0
Drop In
25 x 22 x 9.5 inches
$

Buying Factors

The quality of the composite

quartz sink reviewsTo the untrained eye, all quartz sinks may look identical. They have a very smooth, unblemished, matte finish. Unlike natural stone, there are no variations or striations in the stone to help detect a bad batch.

However, there can be a marked difference in the quality of two sinks.

Because it depends on the ratio of natural ground quartz with resins, polymers, and pigments. The typical ratio that most manufacturers use is 90-10. That’s up to 90% of ground quartz and up to 10% of additives, give or take.

If you are unsure about this, ask the manufacturer or retailer about it. Most good brands will be more than willing to help you with the exact details.

The color of the stone

elkay quartz sink reviewsThere is no dearth of color choices when it comes to quartz sinks because the natural quartz is mixed with pigments. You can choose from hundreds of colors and finishes really.

The coarseness of the ground quartz particles will determine whether the stone has a flecked or a smooth finish. You can also pick quartz that mimics granite and marble in the finish. One of the most recent entrants is a cement-finish quartz.

You can match or go contrast with the countertop. If you have a quartz countertop as well, then matching the countertop with a quartz sink creates a seamless look for the kitchen. These are called integrated sinks and are usually custom made. Hence, they may be pricier than the rest.

Alternatively, you can also match it with the cabinetry.

You must be aware though that darker colored quartz sinks tend to be more revealing about scratches than lighter ones. Contradictorily, lighter colored stones will reveal stains easily.

Yeah, we know what you are wondering. Isn’t quartz supposed to be impervious to dings and stains?

Well, even if you have a sink made of the most durable material on earth, it will get scratched in due time. That’s an unavoidable aspect of kitchen sink maintenance.

Quartz is no different.

With proper care, it will look as good as new for years. But if you are like most others, a stain or a crack is just a moment’s distraction away.

The cost

quartz composite sinks reviewQuartz kitchen sinks usually cost around $200 to $600. That’s a huge price bracket to choose from.

It tends to be cheaper in local stone yards as compared to big box home improvement outlets. Also, a stone yard will be more than happy to throw in a few extras, like installation and maintenance from a skilled local contractor at a great price.

Alternatively, you can buy the quartz sink and look for a local installer to compare prices.

The brands

When you are out shopping for quartz sinks, you will most likely come across three popular brands.

These are Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone. Despite what the retail outlet might say, there’s very little or no difference in the quality of the quartz that these brands sell. It’s just that outlets often try to promote one brand over the other.

Well, one difference about Cambria is that their products are made right here in the USA. So, if that’s a decider, then you have a brand already.

But apart from that, there’s nothing really, to differentiate among these.

In fact, there are many other, newer brands like Zodiaq, Celador, LG Viatera, and Elkay that might offer better and more competitive prices than the top 3.

Elkay Quartz Sink Reviews

Model
Installation
Dimension
Price
 

Elkay ELGU2522BK0
Undermount
24.6 x 18.5 x 9.5 inches
$$

Elkay ELGUS3322RGR0
Undermount
33 x 20 x 9.5 inches
$$

Elkay ELG2522GY0
Drop In
25 x 22 x 9.5 inches
$

Choose the bowl configuration

Name your bowl configuration and you can find it in quartz. This includes the old, tried and tested single and double bowl sinks or the more innovative multi-bowl or the 1 ¾ bowl.

You can choose from round, rectangular or square ones as well.

The type and shape you choose should be in tune with your needs. Smaller bowls are perfect as prep bowls or decorative bowls whereas large single bowls are perfect for busy kitchens with lots of bakeware and pans.

A multi-bowl sink lets you soak the dishes or do your prep work over the sink bowl.

Be aware of the maintenance

Most of the marketing for quartz sinks are underscored by talks about it being scratch, stain, bacteria, and odor resistant.

However, you must still perform basic sink maintenance.

  • Quartz is usually heat resistant up to 535 °F. But, it’s best if you avoid placing hot pans or crock pots directly on the sink. Instead, use trivets or hot pads.
  • Always clean with a mild soap and water only. Never use abrasive chemicals.
  • Clean stains immediately before they dry