Jul 13, 2019
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Quartz #1 choice for countertops

According to surveys taken by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), quartz countertops have surpassed granite as the most popular countertop material. Predictions also point toward quartz continuing to grow in popularity over the next several years.

This is good news for homeowners who want a low maintenance and consistent countertop material. Unfortunately, it also means that as demand begins to outpace supply, more dealers may feel compelled to consider importing their countertops from China, where lower cost products have emerged.

While the countertops may look similar on the surface, there can be many problems with Chinese quartz countertops, concerning for both dealers and homeowners.

Resin Pooling

resin pooling

Quartz countertops by name might imply that they’re made of 100% natural stone, but the beauty in this product actually lies in the fact that it’s an engineered stone. Quartz countertops are actually made up of about 93% quartz, mixed together with resin and dyes. This renders the countertop non-porous, durable, and consistent in color in a way that natural stone cannot be.

One problem that has been emerging from overseas quartz countertops – and Chinese quartz countertops in particular – is resin pooling. This is an inconsistency in the countertop that leads to large pools of colored resin marring the surface of the counter.

Inconsistent Material Quantities

chinese quartz

While every quartz manufacturer in the North America follows strict ratios for the amount of quartz and resin they use, many Chinese products are less consistent. Some may use higher percentages of resin with less quartz stone.

This can contribute to resin pooling, and it can also make a more flexible countertop that can bend during transport. The ratio inconsistencies mean that the quality of the countertop is inconsistent, as well. You won’t know the quality of the material you’re buying as you may not be able to detect the problem visually.

Dye Lot Inconsistency

One of the reasons that homeowners like quartz is the consistency it offers in color and pattern. While natural stones like granite can vary tremendously from slab to slab, quartz is usually much more reliable.

There is always some degree of dye lot variation to be expected in any man-made product. However, this variation is controllable to some degree, and while one slab may vary slightly from another, you won’t find a lot of color changes within one slab.

Chinese quartz countertops are more likely to have dye lot variation, because the amount of resin – and therefore the amount of pigment – can vary. In investigations conducted by the US Government as to whether Chinese quartz was harming the domestic market, some slabs were found to have some inconsistencies in the product.

Combined with resin pooling, meaning a countertop can suddenly change color and pattern in some areas, this offers less confidence for homeowners.

Potential VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a problem with many manufactured products. Some chemicals used in the formulation may give off gas over the first five years of the product’s lifespan.

Therefore, many US states have laws that regulate what chemicals can be used in products that will be used in kitchens and near food. For example, formaldehyde is currently being phased out of cabinetry.

The way that the US defines VOCs and the way that China defines them are two vastly different things. While the US specifies the use of certain chemicals for indoor and outdoor use, China does not. This means that it may be possible that the countertops you receive from China could give off VOCs that would not be present in those made in the US.

Inconsistent Thickness

An additional problem that some dealers are experiencing in Chinese quartz countertops is an inconsistency in thickness. While a slab may be sold as 3cm, it may be slightly thicker or thinner, beyong a reasonable few millimeters tolerance.

In addition, there can be dramatic price inconsistencies between thicknesses, which can mean shortages in some thicknesses of specific colors. For a homeowner that wants one color in two thicknesses in a kitchen, this can be problematic.


As Chinese quartz continues to take up a larger share of the quartz market in the US, tariffs are being considered on their import. Both the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission are looking into duties on future imports of Chinese quartz countertops and are likely to announce duty amounts in September 2018.

This could cause a significant spike in prices, resulting in a drop in Chinese quartz supply. This sudden drop in the market could cause a temporary shortage of product, which means that any dealers and prospective buyers will need to watch the market closely and ensure that they have a consistent supply to meet their customer’s demand.

Chinese Quartz vs North American Quartz Countertops

North American quartz countertops are durable, consistent, and reliable. Unlike Chinese materials, you can trust the quality, color, and material you purchase when you source North American made quartz.

While some Chinese quartz products have seemingly lower prices, this is offset by the lower quality of the product; the countertop may not last as long, perform as well, or give you the desired results. Purchase North American made quartz countertops over Chinese and avoid these issues in the future.

Jul 11, 2019
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About Quartz Countertops

When it comes to updating one’s kitchen, there are more choices available today than ever before. You might opt for a butcher block finish, the old school look of Formica, or the very gorgeous choices like marble, granite, quartz, soapstone and others. Consequently, going to select your new countertops can be an all day excursion involving hundreds of questions and perhaps multiple locations.

But, for most consumers, this is a great thing as we like to be able to customize the appearance of our home. But, after some research, it is often easy to narrow down what countertops we would like to have. And while there are many options, one of the rapidly increasing favorites is that of quartz countertops. But what is it about this surface that makes it so appealing? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the use of quartz countertops.

Quartz Countertop FAQs:

1. Where can quartz be used? This beautiful stone can be used in virtually any room in the home, as well as in outdoor kitchens and patios. Common spaces where quartz is incorporated are kitchen and bathroom counters, fireplaces, shower surrounds, windowsills and even coffee tables. If you are considering quartz for your business, then it is perfect for service counters, conference tables and reception areas. It should be noted that if using it outside, that it is not unusual for quartz to discolor over time.

2. What colors are available? Quartz comes in a wide range of colors but most common ones are neutrals like creams, browns and blacks to apple-reds and grassy-greens.

3. Is quartz indestructible? Sadly, there is not a counter surface that is totally indestructible. However, quartz can withstand a great deal of force and if properly cared for can last for many decades.

4. Does quartz need to be sealed? No. Unlike granite, once quartz is installed, there is practically no maintenance required other than the basic wiping down if there is a spill or crumbs.

5. Is quartz affected by heat? Yes, it can become discolored if hot items are placed on it. To combat this, just be sure to always use a trivet or hot pad when setting hot pans, or cooking items on your quartz countertops.

6. Is quartz scratch and stain proof? No. You will need to use a cutting board when preparing food items on it. However, quartz is a stronger surface than marble or granite. As for staining, while it is not impervious to staining, it is resistant to stains so you don’t have to be concerned about staining due to oils, juices, coffee and other common food items.

Quartz countertops are a great choice for a number of surfaces in your home. Talk to a local installer, visit some showrooms and before you know it, you will discover the perfect piece and design for your space. So, get started on creating that perfect look today!

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of quartz countertops. One such site worth visiting is http://www.imperialcounters.com/quartz-countertops-minneapolis/

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for WebDrafter, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Janet_Slagell/285006

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Jul 11, 2019
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How Quartz Counters Are Made

Quartz is one of the strongest materials on the planet, which makes it ideal for your new countertop space. The durability, customizability and beauty of quartz make it a designer’s and a homeowner’s dream. Quartz starts as crystals in the ground and goes through an interesting process to become a countertop: read on to learn more.

Quartz Basics

Quartz is the second most commonly found mineral on earth, and some varieties of it are considered semi-precious gemstones. It forms a crystalline structure that usually is hexagonal in shape, and this structure makes it one of the hardest minerals on earth. Quartz forms with many different colors, but the most commonly used quartz for countertops is usually whitish or clear.

At the Quarry

Quartz is mined on every inhabited continent on earth. To get to the quartz, heavy machinery and explosives are used to break through any ground or stone blocking access. Once the quartz is exposed, mining is a simple process. Miners can pick up loose crystals with their hands and loosen fixed crystals with shovels and pickaxes.


Unlike other stone countertop materials, quartz does not come in large sheets, so manmade processing is necessary to make it into a solid slab. Once the crystals have been harvested, they are ground up so that they can create countertops. A fine grind allows for a more uniform appearance to the counter, whereas a larger grind allows the countertop to have more sparkle and depth.

Mixing with Resin

The ground up quartz is now mixed with a coloring agent and a small amount of resin to create a hard countertop surface. The amount of color and resin is minimal: only around 3% of a quartz countertop is anything other than pure quartz. Yet the coloring can make a world of difference; you can have a quartz countertop in almost any color imaginable! Other materials may also be added at this point if the client desires, including semi-precious quartz varieties, recycled glass or small flecks of precious metals.

Slab Formation

Once mixing is complete, the quartz material is pressed into a mold and then cured in an oven. Molding can be customized to allow for the consumer to determine an edging style and the counter’s dimensions. After curing, the countertop is allowed time to harden and cool. At this point, it already has a glossy finish and just needs whatever sink, stove, faucet or fixture holes made before installation.


Once the appropriate fixture holes have been made, your quartz countertop is ready to be installed in your home. Most quartz manufacturers only guarantee work that is professionally installed, so it is recommended that you have a professional install your new quartz countertop. When the adhesive has dried and the fixtures have been mounted on your counter, it is ready for many happy years in your home.

Melinda Pulliam is the Director of Marketing for Craftmark Solid Surfaces. Craftmark Solid Surfaces is Atlanta’s granite countertop supplier and their Atlanta countertops showroom selection consists of over 19 granite colors and many granite edge profiles to choose from. Craftmark Solid Surfaces also supplies beautiful solid surface and quartz countertops in Atlanta.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Melinda_Pulliam/701498

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