quartz counters one year later

by | Jul 18, 2019 | All Things Home, Kitchen, My House, Popular | 56 comments

Last May, we had Hanstone Quartz countertops (in the pattern Monterey) installed in our kitchen and I thought I would give an update now that we’ve been using them for over a year.  Of course, a review after 1o years or 20 years would hold more weight, but well…I don’t have a time machine, so you’re getting a one-year review!

The original posts about these counters were a part of a sponsored collaboration with Hanstone, but this follow-up post is not.

I will go ahead and destroy any suspense that may have existed and let you know that I love these counters and they were a great decision.  If you remember when I was in the process of selecting new counters, quartz felt like a bit of a compromise.

I had my heart set on marble.  Or so I thought.  What I actually had my heart set on was the look of marble.  The more research I did, the more I realized that the natural patina, spots, and stains that develop with marble might not look best in a new-ish suburban home.  I love patina and imperfections in things.  They’ve been well-loved and used over a long life.  In the wrong context, though, they look damaged instead of charming.

So, I went with quartz that emulated marble and it was the right choice for our kitchen.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | miss mustard seed

It has lived up to its reputation and has been durable.  Although I try to baby them, I have boys who do not.  They climb on them, cut directly on them, and drop things on them.  I’ve been able to remove pencil, Sharpie, and pen marks easily.  I have not been able to find one stain, scratch, chip or ding.

And, I love the way they look.  I have not once wished for the real thing.  The veining looks natural, even on close inspection, and isn’t repetitive.

In fact, I loved mine so much and my mom loved them too, that she ended up getting the same counters in the Montauk pattern.  It’s similar, but the veining is slightly warmer, which fits better in her home.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | miss mustard seed

To keep them clean, I use a mix of mild dish soap and water.  I’ll just spray it on and wipe it off with a towel.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | miss mustard seed

You would think that white counters would show every spot, smudge, and crumb, but they really don’t.  I have found the Monterey Quartz counters to be even more forgiving than the dark granite we replaced.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | miss mustard seed

We made a lot of changes in this house, but the kitchen is one of the more dramatic makeovers and the quartz counters are a big part of that.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | miss mustard seed

As a reminder, here is how the kitchen looked when we first moved in…

suburban kitchen makeover before | miss mustard seed

The kitchen definitely wasn’t bad.  In fact, I loved the bones of the kitchen.  It has a wonderful layout and nice cabinetry.  I just customized the surfaces, the aesthetic parts of the kitchen, to make it suit my style.  (And I say my style because Jeff defaults to me about 98% of the time.)

One last note…  my kitchen isn’t always this clean!  We end up with stove splatters, counter clutter, and a sink full of dishes just like everyone else.  Before I take pictures, though, I give everything a nice cleaning, just as I would if I had a guest coming over.

hanstone quartz monterey | kitchen counters | kitchen aid stove | miss mustard seed

I just wanted to throw that nugget of reality out there!



  1. Louise

    Love your kitchen! How happy are you with your KitchenAid stove? I have the same one, and it’s a love/hate relationship for me. We’ve recently remodeled our kitchen, and we went with London Sky quartz countertops. I’m a state over in the Milwaukee area. If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin, I could give you the whirlwind tour of some great antique shops!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I’ve been happy with all of my Kitchen Aid appliances, including the stove. I like the configuration of the burners, it’s powerful, etc.

    • Sarah

      Louise, which shops do you recommend? (I’m in Watertown, WI).

    • Renee Schmit

      Hi…I live very close to u in Grafton. I have been contemplating the London sky quartz counters. Could u share a picture?

      • Stacey

        I rarely look at a post’s comments, I just enjoy the inspiration from Miss Mustarseed’s blog. I am very interested in the topic of countertops as it is my husband’s business so, in this case, thought I would read on to see if there was feedback I could share with him. It was quite a surprise to see people so close to home interested in sourcing countertops, so I hope I am not overstepping by recommending Soerens Woodworking in Cedar Grove, WI. A small custom cabinet shop in a small town with big connections and great talent :-). We offer several kinds of quartz options in marble-looking finishes (Hahnstone, Caesarstone, Cambria, Viaterra). My husband has 29 years experience in custom cabinetry. He is truly a master at his craft.

        Side note, we have had quartz countertops in our own home for 14 years and they look like new (nail polish, easter egg dye, etc. nothing affects this product). I could not be more pleased. We also have customers who have had great success with marble-looking laminate options, an economic alternative that I thought I would pass along as well.

  2. Chris

    I have had quartz counters by Cambria for ten years and I am as happy with their performance today as the day they were installed. If I could do itover again, the only thing I would change is to get a marble look since it was not available when I bought mine.

    • Judy

      Hi – I love my quartz counter tops too! Wanted to share that Clorox Wipes cleans them like a dream. I wipe them down once a day after dinner and they are good to go for another day.

  3. Kari

    Forgive me if you’ve posted about this before, but how do you like your Kitchenaid toaster oven? We are putting in a 36 in Viking and that oven’s going to be overkill for 2 baked potatoes for dinner 🙂 ! I’m shopping around and I think yours is one I’ve looked at. Thanks!

    • Mary-Margaret

      I agree with the two baked potato overkill! For that same reason, I purchased a Wolf countertop toaster oven and love it. I’ve had it for nearly four years and it’s a workhorse – I use it all the time! To call it a “toaster oven” is misleading because this Wolf countertop model does everything a regular size oven can do but in a much smaller size. It’s pricey but I don’t regret the purchase because of its abilities and constant use – and looks great too!

      • Kari

        Mary-Margaret, I’ve looked at the Wolf option too! We actually live down the street from a small shop owned by a member of the Wolf family, and they used to sell the Wolf small appliances there (we are in the Madison, WI area where Wolf-SubZero is based). I’ll take another look, since we are not putting in double ovens with our kitchen re-do!

  4. Heidi Dallas

    Beautiful! Hard to believe it has been a year already!
    Heidi from Ohio

  5. Judy Kulmaczeski

    My Cambria quartz countertops are 10 years old and they look like they were just put in….I clean them with soapy water or Windex.

  6. Theresa

    Did you paint the insides of your cabinets. if so did you use a brush or just spray.

  7. Barb

    Marian, your kitchen is beautiful as well as the rest of your home. I fell in love with your white kitchen scale & found one very similar, but I think mine is twice the size! It’s a monster, but I love it!
    I would also pick the same countertops!

  8. Gerry

    Where did you get your stools?

  9. Marlene Stephenson

    Thanks for the update, i want new cabinet tops and have been wondering what would be a good product. Love your kitchen.

  10. Lin

    I too have quartz countertops and they are a year and a half old. Can you give the ratio of soap to water please in your bottle to wipe them down with? I use the dishwater when washing dishes and it leaves a smear on my countertops. I tried glass spray but it did not do any better. Thank you.

    • Lexie Marchetti

      Yes, I am wanting to know the same thing!

  11. Brenda

    Your kitchen is lovely! However, If you really wanted to show a nugget of reality you should take a picture of a sink of dirty dishes! 😉 Just saying….

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! I had already done the dishes at that point! 🙂

  12. Dori Johns

    I love, love, love your counters and I’m totally smitten with your crystal drawer pulls. Perfection! 🙂

    • Marian Parsons


  13. Kirstin

    Wonderful news, especially since we are using quartz in our reno. Did you go for a deep tub for your sink? Now that we are so far into this reno, hats off to you for your beautiful finished product! I had no idea how many decisions needed to be made.

  14. Michele M.

    Perfect kitchen – scroll up, lots of various questions were asked of you.

    And yep = pic of dirty dishes or it didn’t happen,

    Just kidding – I was the family dishwasher with two brothers, two sisters, an old fashioned father and a sick mother.
    There is no such thing as actually being done with dishes sometimes. Haha.

    Really ♥ your kitchen, it’s AWESOME.

  15. Kathie

    Your kitchen is really beautiful. I loved all of your choices. I’m pleased that you’re happy with it. You know quartz is actually made of the ‘real thing’. It’s 95% or more, stone (from slabs) mixed with polymer resins in an engineering process that makes it’s far more durable and stain resistant than most non engineered stones. Where I live, it’s the preferred choice (never the compromised choice) & is also more expensive than stone. There are variances in quality depending on the brand & it can scratch BUT it’s really hard to damage. I notice that here, it’s the preferred choice for holiday rental properties being chosen for it durability. I usually clean it with glass cleaner as that was the stonemason’s recommendation.

  16. Angie Kraeske

    I’m so glad you shared how you like your counters after living them for a while. We’re planning a kitchen update and I was looking at your original post only yesterday and wondering how they’re holding up. Now if I could only decide on a color!

  17. Kim

    I love mine. Marian’s Mom

  18. Edith Sutterlin

    Wow, how lively. Our kitchen remodel starts in 10 days, and we will have white cabinets and grey quartz countertop, new for me.
    What backsplash did you use. Your choice looks ideal in thr photo, and I would like to check that out as an option. It is hard to choose all the details, but niw that cabinets, appliances, floor, and countertops are purchased,and the sink and faucet decided, the backsplash and lighting are the only elements left to choose. Hipefully.

  19. Lisa

    Thanks for that nugget! ?

  20. Lisa

    Love your kitchen Marian! So bright and sunny. I love your counter tops! I would love to paint my cabinets as well – my walls are a deeper sage green so I’m thinking a black island with soft white cabinets. Thank you for all the inspiration!

  21. Nancy

    We have had quartz counters for 17 years! We love them…and though now somewhat out of style (we have the “granite” look….they have withstood everything we throw at them….
    Love the look of the marble…that wasn’t available back then…
    Best choice we made when we redid the kitchen…

  22. Brenda niemiec

    I just got my quartz counters installed and love them!

  23. Teresa

    I remember when you had your mind made up on marble! I kept thinking I hope she wont regret this in a few years. Yes, no doubt marble is beautiful but with two boys and a busy family I think you made a wise choice. No doubt, after a year of living with quartz and not having the first scratch or stain is a testament to quartz.

    We currently have Corian solid surface counters and after 18 years I am ready for a change so I am looking at different quartz companies. BTW…I know your readers would love to see your Moms (Kim) new countertops if she is okay with it. I remember what a beautiful job you did of their master bedroom update when you featured that.

  24. Judi

    Love knowing you don’t live in a magazine where nothing gets dirty. I love seeing your rooms and enjoy the inspiration it gives me to upgrade something small of mine.

    I’m a quilter and am having trouble finding your fabric. Do you know which places sell it?


  25. Sarah

    They are lovely but…..bad experience. When helping our daughter move in to a new home, I unintentionally gently hit the edge of her quartz counter with a Pyrex baking pan. Did the Pyrex,available at any Walmart break? Nope. It took a quarter size chunk out of the quartz edge! They owned the house one day! I felt terrible. We had it repaired for $250. The spot is darker. Repair guy said he will be back….not yet. It was a fluke, I get it. But, I now don’t want to go near the counter. That being said, give me my Lumber Liquidator walnut counters any day.

  26. Carolyn

    The kitchen is so bright and cheerful! Are you able to take hot pans out of the oven and place them directly on the quartz without damaging the surface?

  27. Kary

    So I love your comments on the Quartz!! I too am in beginning stages of changing our dark granite (which I didn’t get to choose since I bought this townhome as soon as possible after our 3 story loghome was lost in a fire). I saw some Quartzite in an Instagram post of a friend and so now I’m just wondering is this same as??? I believe the post I read said it was a natural stone. Can you help me understand a bit better? Is there a difference or the same??

  28. Deanne

    Hi. Where did you get that lovely runner in your kitchen?

  29. Alexa

    I wonder if the brand matters or pattern. Ours are solid white. One year after installation, I hate our quartz counters. They stain like crazy and we are not messy people. I got them so I wouldn’t have to worry about messes and kids and now I feel like I worry all the time. The funny (well not really) thing is we have a table with a vintage marble top on it. My kids make a mess on it and while there is etching, you can only see from certain angles and it still looks beautiful after 5 years of use from us and who knows how many prior to us. We kept telling the countertop folks that we’ve had zero problems with marble, yet everyone steered us to quartz and said “we’ll do you cook at your table? No? Then get quartz”. Total disappointment. I would pick marble if I were to do it again.

    • Erica Gustavson

      Oh Alexa, I empathize! I don’t even let me boys put away the dishes because one drop of any thing, no matter how light scratches my quartz. I’m so protective of them that it defeats the purpose of getting them. No stains but dozens of chips and scratches and we are so careful! It totally depends on brand. The store we bought them from severed their relationship because of poor quality!

  30. Erica Gustavson

    These are gorgeous!!!!! Make sure you go with a reputable company (like this one). Within a year my gorgeous warm grey colored quartz were full of dings and scratches and it broke my heart. I’m stuck with them. Next kitchen I’m getting similar to the ones in the pic, stunning!

  31. Buddy

    Reputable companies supplying quartz? Hopefully your supplier did not send installers out to site that had to cut the quartz on site using dry cutting methods. In the past twelve months we have begun to learn of the reality of the quartz industry and the amount of harm it does to employees leading to silicosis, from the very harmful silica dust that goes into the air each time a piece is dry cut. So we now have another product that looks harmless and looks good in our homes but carries a deadly threat just below the surface.

  32. Cindy A Redman

    I haven’t forgotten when you installed these and if we ever have the bucks these will be the counters I purchase. It’s great to get an update and to know you still love them. I think they are beautiful!. I so appreciate all of your research into these kinds of things. It saves me from starting from scratch, so,… Thank you!


  33. Sandra

    Hi! Where did you buy your runners in your kitchen. Love them!

  34. Christina

    Hi Marian,
    I love how your kitchen turned out. I redid my kitchen last year and wasn’t sure what type of countertop to go with. After reading your post last year about quartz, that’s what I went with. I wanted something durable but something that looks nice. I am so happy with my choice. I went with something similar to what you chose. I have received so many compliments. I also wanted to thank you for the info on how you clean your counter. I wasn’t sure what to use because I’ve read that some cleaners can cause a buildup. Do you use Mrs. Meyers dish soap or something like Dawn?

  35. Graham

    This is totally off topic but I think painting your island green was a great decision, All white , imho, could cause snow blindness in a lot os rooms
    I see on line.

  36. Karen Caraccilo

    I have the same ones as you – 4 years later still love them and they still look like they did the first day ❤️

  37. Rhonda

    When it came time to replace our Formica countertops, I had no idea what material I should go with. I love the look of marble too, but after research I found the same problem you found, that it didn’t age well. It was your post on the countertops that made my mind up for me. I loved the look of the quartz and after doing research I decided that if Miss Mustardseed was having Hanstone quartz installed in her home they must be a great choice We have had ours for a year as well and, like your mother, I chose the Montauk, with a more subtle veining. I absolutely love it, so beautiful and super easy to clean! I have to thank you for your post on your choice of countertops, I’d still be looking!

  38. Beth B

    I’ve had Cambria quartz countertops for 10 yrs now and love them. I’m not careful with them at all and they look just like they did the day they were installed. I clean them with soapy dishwater. I don’t set hot pans on them though. I wish they’d had the marble look when I bought mine but I still love them!

  39. Jean

    I’m ‘almost’ your neighbor, in Milwaukee WI, and have had Hanstone Quartz for two years! Best purchase ever! Where are your glass pulls from? They are beautiful!

  40. Jennifer

    We chose quartz for our kitchen renovation now 4 years ago. It’s a very similar color and pattern that is meant to be the closest to Carrera Marble. I am so glad we went with the quartz. The maintenance is so effortless and it’s so lovely that the extra cost was well worth it. I’ve cleaned off all sorts of messes from canning and freezing, kids doing school projects on them, and basic life.

  41. Patty Fuscaldo

    Tell me about your backsplash. I love it!

  42. Debra

    Marian, we had HanStone quartz counters installed two days ago… just before all nonessential businesses were shut down here. I am sooo stressed about ruining them by putting cold china bowls directly from the refrigerator on them or splashing tomato sauce from my stovetop or just setting my porcelain pitcher of cooking utensils and my African violet on it. Can you talk me off the ledge? You’ve said that you use soapy water on a daily basis for cleaning but how did you remove Sharpie, pens and pencils?

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, they have been so easy! I set things right from the fridge on them all the time and spill, etc. They don’t stain (even from cherries, tomato sauce, red wine, etc.) I use a cutting board, put a potholder under pans right off the stove, and wipe off pools of water (that might be left from doing the dishes, etc.) The water won’t hurt the counters, but our water is on the hard side, so it can leave some hard watermarks. That doesn’t happen if I wipe it up, though. I use soapy water to clean it, which would remove most pens and pencils. If you get sharpie on it, see if it’s okay to use alcohol. That’ll remove the sharpie.

  43. Laurie

    I would love an update on your counter tops. I have chosen this one after seeing your initial post about them after scouring the web for info but wondering now that it has been a few years how they are holding up and if they are difficult to maintain. Thanks!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, they are wonderful and I would get them again in a hearbeat! They are easy to clean and care for and stand up very well to everyday use.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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