When looking to update your Kitchen and Bathroom, you might have heard about Quartz Countertops. Quartz Countertops are a great option for any home, but not all quartz is made equally. Countertop Projects are a big undertaking, and many people try to make sure they get the best price possible for their project. That may include choosing an off-brand Countertop Material to save a little on cost. Little did you know, that off-brand Quartz Countertop was made in China, and can have a whole host of issues. In this article, we review the common issues that can arise when using a Chinese Quartz Product for your Countertops.
9 Biggest Problems & Reasons to Avoid Chinese Quartz Countertops
1. Chinese Quartz Tariff
One of the biggest issues with Chinese Quartz Countertops and cost in general is pricing due to new regulations from the country of China itself. Chinese Quartz recently had a steep tariff of over 300% put in place on it. For example, if you were paying $1,000 for a slab of Chinese Quartz, the consumer would now be paying over $4,000. This is also leading to the inevitable decline in the amount of Chinese Quartz being available in the United States.
2. Chinese Quartz vs. American Quartz Countertops
American Quartz Countertops are durable, consistent, and reliable. Unlike Chinese materials, you can trust the quality, color, and material you purchase when you source American made Quartz. Purchase American made Quartz Countertops, like Cambria Quartz, over Chinese Quartz Countertops and avoid these issues in the future.
3. American Anti-Dumping Lawsuit Against Chinese Quartz Producers
Cambria Quartz, a family-owned, Minnesota based company, has started a huge lawsuit against China involving both the International and Federal Trade Commissions. China’s illegal dumping of Chinese Quartz into America’s Free Market has disrupted American Quartz Brands, in amounts in excess of $1.2 billion.
Since consumers are always looking for the best price and value, big brands and companies undercut the farmers, workers, and producers in order to make a cost-effective product to sell to the mass market. In this case, the Chinese Government issued subsidies to Chinese Quartz slab producers in an effort to destroy the domestic quartz slab market. As a result, Chinese Quartz slabs were imported into the United States at a price below the cost to manufacture the same slabs in America. This created an unfair advantage and unfairly traded goods in the American Market, ultimately hurting the American worker.
4. Resin Pooling in Chinese Quartz Countertops
When too much Resin is used in the production of Quartz slabs, you run into an issue called “Resin Pooling”. Resin Pooling is defined as an area on a Quartz Countertop where the Resin used to produce the slab pooled up or settled in one spot. Resin Pooling can leave dark spots on the Quartz Countertop and detract from the overall color pattern of the slab. Resin Pooling in Chinese Quartz is a commonly reported issue that can mar the appearance of a quartz countertop and is a sign of poor craftsmanship.
5. Resin to Pigment Ratios
With Chinese Quartz Countertops, there have been reported issues of color variations not matching the samples they were sold from, along with other color differences from piece to piece. Quartz slabs are supposed to be almost identical and consistent to each other, but in some cases, customers who bought Chinese Quartz have noticed vast differences from one slab to another.
6. Resin to Crushed Quartz Ratios
Another issue with Chinese Quartz is the unpredictability of the makeup of the quartz. Chinese Quartz brands tend to use a higher percentage of resin than most American companies in order to save on the amount of quartz they use in each slab. American Quartz Brand Cambria uses 93% crushed quartz and 7% resin. Chinese Quartz Brands have upwards of 30% resin in their slabs. Too much resin creates issues in itself such as Resin Pooling, but it also creates issues with heat. Too much resin makes the countertops susceptible to melting and scorching.
7. Inconsistent Slab Thickness
What you see is not always what you get with Chinese Quartz Countertops. Many people have reported having issues with the varying or incorrect thickness of their Chinese Quartz Countertops. Issues have arisen because the material is being sold and advertised as a certain thickness and the countertops being delivered are not the accurate thickness. The material being thinner than it should be could make the countertops less durable and create an issue when installing the Countertops. If the material is too thick, this can cause misalignment from the official template and they may not fit in the kitchen correctly.
8. Dye Lot Inconsistency
While there is always some degree of dye lot variation to be expected in any man-made product, 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 of the amount of resin, and therefore the amount of pigment can vary. In investigations conducted by the U.S. 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, this offers less confidence for homeowners.
9. Chemical Standards in China vs USA
The United States is one of the strictest countries in terms of its Health and Safety Standards. Due to this, products produced inside the United States go through rigorous product checks and quality checks, ensuring that the product is produced according to the law. China’s standards differ from the US, and as such, the chemicals used during production may not be the safest. One example of this we’ve seen reported is that Chinese Quartz Countertops may emit a smell for the first year or so in your home due to excess chemicals used during production in China. This is something important to consider, as the United States has very specific regulations as to what chemicals can be used during the production of a surface that will come into contact with food.