Both the similarly named quartz and quartzite are popular materials for kitchen and bathroom benchtops, however they are not the same material and are different with respect to their cost, required maintenance, longevity, and appearance. The following guide will outline the main differences between these two materials.
Repairing Chips, Cracks, or Fissures in your Benchtop
Cracks vs Fissures
Normally the word "crack" is used when talking about an unnatural break in the stone resulting from some sort of collision or transportation mishap. The word "fissure" is used to describe a separation that takes place along naturally occurring crystalline boundaries within the stone. In most cases neither one involves a break straight through from one end of the stone to the other, although in rare cases it can.
How do I tell if it's a crack or fissure?
Typically cracks will appear near areas of stress like the sink, or on or around supports, whereas fissures can take place just about anywhere as they are a natural part of the stone. Cracks will also typically run in a straight line whereas fissures tend to be more erratic (although they can be straight as well sometimes). Cracks also tend to be wider, perhaps wide enough to lose a key inside, whereas fissures tend to be much narrower. Cracks typically appear only in one place at a time, whereas fissures often occur in more than one place at a time. Cracks can change the plane of the stone, whereas the stone will remain level on both sides of a fissure. If you run your fingernail or a car key across a crack, it will likely be rough, whereas a fissure is more likely to be smooth.
Repairing Fissures or Chips
For fissures or chips you should use a clear resin, acrylic adhesive, or epoxy. Plectro, Tenax Tefill, and LiquiGlass are all excellent products for repairing small chips or fissures (note, however, that they are ideal for minor repair jobs only, and are not recommended for structural rebonding after a serious break). With the Tenax resin you can get a kit that comes with absolutely everything you need, which is quite convenient. LiquiGlass, on the other hand, is more permanent and also UV stable. Plectro resin is a color enhancer that might be your best bet if you're concerned about matching your original color to make the chip or fissure less visible.
For cracks, we recommend using a low viscosity epoxy, which is the best thing to use in order to get deep into a crack and form a new bond. It's also the best product to use to help prevent the crack from growing any larger. Lamlock Infiltrating Epoxy is a great product that we highly recommend for repairing cracks. After using this or another low viscosity epoxy to rebond the stone, you might want to touch things up with one of the products mentioned above in order to conceal the surface of the crack. There are many different colors available so you should be able to find one that will match your benchtop.
Repairing Full Breaks
For a full break we recommend going with an epoxy like Lamlock RocketGel. This epoxy is made specifically for holding stone together and is amazingly strong: after just 30 minutes of drying we doubt that you'd be able to break the bond even if you went at it with a hammer and chisel. Other benefits include being able to mix it with some coloring to ensure it matches up with your benchtop, not being sensitive to dry or humid climates and being largely unaffected by changes in the weather, and being easy to clean up as it won't stick to the polished surface of the benchtop.
If, even after the above education about chips, cracks, fissures, and the ideal products for repairing them, you would still prefer not to repair your benchtop by yourself, go ahead and contact us and we can help you get a free quote by getting you in touch with the best contractors in your particular region.