An Independent Review of Quartz Worktops: A Fast, No-Mess, Low-Budget, Kitchen Makeover
Minimum Mess Fixes for a Shabby Kitchen
My black laminate kitchen counters were fourteen years old and beginning to look a little shabby. On the positive side, the tiling still looked good and I wanted to retain it. An added problem was that my washing machine piping had sprung a leak which went undiscovered until I was literally squelching on the engineered flooring. Needless to say, the flooring needed to be taken up and replaced. I needed a fast kitchen makeover! I couldn't face the mess and disruption of having the worktops and tiles ripped out and replaced, and the skirting boards lifted to replace the flooring with like-for-like. So I decided that the best, least messy, option would be quartz worktop overlays and sheet floorings. An internet search identified several specialist providers of quartz overlay worktops and I had three of them come to the house to quote. I was lucky to find a new business start up, which quoted the best price. Here's how my kitchen received a facelift within the space of a few hours.
Tip: Paint the Walls Before Having Flooring Fitted
Whenever practical, paint the walls and woodwork before having flooring laid. Unless you are the most careful of DIY enthusiasts, with a steady hand or a willingness to mask everything meticulously, some paint will inevitably find its way onto the floor. If you are as clumsy as I am, a pot of paint may even be accidentally overturned.
Cross-Line Walls with Lining Paper for a Professional Finish to Wallpapering
I painted the kitchen and made a feature wall in the eating area before having any other work carried out. I learned how to cross line the walls before hanging the wallpaper. It was well worth the time and effort involved in cross lining, because the finished job looked far more professional than it would otherwise have appeared.
The wallpaper is Laura Ashley 'Geraniums'.
Equipment to Make Stripping Wallpaper Easier
Vinyl Flooring: A Quick and Durable Solution for the Kitchen
I was able to make new flooring my next priority because I was aware that opting for quartz overlays on the worktop would involve minimum dust and disruption. (If I had I chosen to have the worktops ripped out and replaced then the flooring would have been the final job).
I would have loved a new engineered wood floor but that would have involved removing skirting boards that had only recently been fixed - and repainting or
perhaps even replacing them afterwards. After thinking long and hard I opted for high-end sheet vinyl in a reasonably realistic oak finish.
- Cheaper than engineered wood
- Quick to install with minimum mess and no repainting of skirting boards
- Easy to clean
- Totally waterproof
I chose Lifestyle Floors Titan vinyl It's 4.50mm thick, has a 0.35mm wear layer and is slip resistant. It carries a 15-year guarantee and costs £17.99 per sq.m. (2016 price.)
I removed the cupboard plinths before the fitter arrived and he completed the job in less than one hour.
Quartz Kitchen Counter Overlays
I love my quartz overlays and was astonished by how quickly they were installed.The fitters were in the house for half a day and most of that time was spent waiting for a gas fitter to come along to disconnect and later reconnect the hob.
- I chose a supplier after obtaining a couple of rough estimates of the price. A representative came to the house and cut cardboard templates of the existing worktops. He gave me a firm price and left samples for me to browse. No pressure to buy.
- I contacted him the next day to place my order.
- A week later the team arrived to overlay the old worktops with a 7 millimetre made- to- measure quartz cover, which was glued into place.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.
Quartz slabs that are used for worktops are manufactured goods containing polymers and resins. The composition of the slabs makes them extremely hard and durable.
To learn more, read Quartz vs. Granite Countertops—A Geologist's Perspective.
Worktop Extension for Quartz Overlay
I wanted to create more workspace so asked for an extension of the counter. The dishwasher was to be slid underneath the extension and an end panel added. It wasn't a problem. A sub-frame was attached to the end of my worktop and laid the quartz overlay along the length of the wall. (There is actually a seam at the right angle of the cupboards due to an error in the calculations made by the representative who measured up. Were it not for this I would have a totally seamless counter. But the seam is virtually invisible and totally waterproof so I can live with it).
See How Quartz Worktops are Engineered and Fitted
My leaking tap was not repairable. In addition to having it replaced I decided to have a new sink too. The plumbing was part of the service provided by the company that installed the overlays.
Cost of Thin Q Overlays
My overlays cost £1628, which included the sink, taps,and the fee for a gas fitter to disconnect and reconnect the gas hob. (September 2016)
Advantages of Quartz Worktop Overlays
- It's not necessary to rip out the existing worktops
- Tiling is not damaged and does not need to be replaced
- Installed within a couple of hours
- Very little dust and no redecorating necessary
- Quartz is extremely hard and difficult to chip
- In the unlikely event that there is a chip it can be repaired
- Non porous,stain resistant and hygienic
- Can be wiped down with water to which a little washing up liquid has been added
- More cost-effective than replacing laminated counter with a solid granite or stone worktop
- Lighter than solid granite of stone so it's unnecessary to brace cupboards.
Replacing Worn Plinths
I purchased new plinths online from a DIY store and they were delivered the following day. In the meantime I contacted a joiner who had done work for me before and he was able to come along and fit them.
Cost of Cream Gloss Finish Plinths
£22 for 2600 mm x 140 mm. Three lengths + fixing clips + labour = £141 (Sept. 2016 prices).
Making the Most of Limited Space in a Small Home
I had numerous books scattered around my small home. It was time to gather them all together in one place. I purchased this oak and oak veneer bookcase from Marks and Spencer and assembled it one Saturday evening.
My dining kitchen now doubles as a study area and the small bedroom that was used as an office has reverted to a guest bedroom
'Perfect Fit' Blinds
Total Budget For Quick Kitchen Makeover
Thin Q overlays inc.labour
Vinyl Flooring inc. fitting
Plinths & fixing clips
Perfect Fit blinds
Paint and wallpaper
Self-assembly bookcase (half price)
Your Opinion of Quartz Worktop Overlays
What are your views on quartz overlays
Two-Year Update on my Quartz Counter Overlays
Two years after installation the worktops are as good as new. They are extremely easy to clean, needing only a quick wipe down with a solution of washing up liquid. I couldn't be more pleased with this renovation on a limited budget.
© 2016 GlenR