A few weeks ago, we blogged about how quartz surfacing is way more than a passing fad. As consumers, designers, and architects learn more about the versatility and durability of this material, its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds—with it now second only to granite as the top choice in countertops today. It’s interesting, however, to look back over the past decade to see how the industry itself has evolved, not just the technology.
Tub surround and vanity top in Frosty Carrina Caesarstone; photo via Caesarstone
When quartz surfacing first entered the North American market, there were few manufacturers, and really only one company that sold the machinery to fabricate quartz. As an example, Caesarstone was a very early pioneer in the quartz market. Beginning in 1987, they provided in-depth training to sales personnel and developed educational outreach programs for architects, designers, and fabricators alike.
As the idea of engineered quartz surfaces began to catch on, other manufacturers began to capitalize on the opportunity and delve into the evolving technology. One interesting example is the Davis family. Previously known for their success in the dairy business, they purchased quartz processing equipment and, soon after, Cambria was born.
Today, the names of companies who offer top-quality quartz surfacing products span the alphabet, from Avanza to Zodiaq. In between, you’ll find ColorQuartz, Legacy, LG Viatera, Okite, Silestone, Technistone and many more. Now, dozens of companies make solid surface on a global level, and there are also hundreds of regional manufacturers making it for their local markets.
What makes these companies different? Well, when it comes to manufacturing quartz surfacing, there’s not a huge difference. Quite simply, all of the surfaces are made of basically the same materials in very much the same ways. What can be differentiating elements are factors such as color and finish selections, or availability in a particular geographic region.
Countertop done in Capri by ColorQuartz; photo via ColorQuartz
You may be wondering…why would so many manufacturers begin offering the same product? And the answer to that question is quite simple. Quartz is exceptionally popular. It’s an incredibly durable surface whose uses are just beginning to be recognized. In the residential realm, it’s a fantastic countertop material because it’s exceptionally easy to maintain, it’s resistant to heat, mold, mildew, and bacteria, it never needs to be sealed, and it’s even incredibly easy to repair, if necessary. In short, it’s a fantastic alternative to natural stone because it offers the look of natural stone, without the extra maintenance.
It’s also desirable when it comes to green building and construction. Quartz can be made with recycled materials—materials that might otherwise take up space in a landfill—plus it has very low VOC emissions. Its durability and longevity also makes it a fantastic choice when environmental friendly materials are preferred.
Quartz is fantastic for commercial applications too, especially hospitals, doctors offices, nurses stations, and really any public space in general. Since it’s non-porous, it won’t harbor germs and bacteria. It’s a wonderful choice for helping stifle the spread of germs around sinks, showers, countertops, bathroom stalls, and more.
Want to know more about quartz products and how manufacturing has evolved over the past decade? We’d love to tell you which products we recommend and answer any more questions you might have about quartz. Learn more at www.marbleandgranite.com, visit one of our two New England showroom locations, or call us at 877-39-STONE.