Unlike the Natural Stone, that are formed in nature, Quartz countertops are manmade, with stone slabs formed through a manufacturing process. There is a misconception that since quartz countertops are manmade, they must be less expensive than the natural stone such as granite countertops. On the contrary, all quartz countertops are more expensive than the granite countertops that are relatively abundant in the nature.
To better understand why the cost of quartz countertops is higher than granite, we should learn how they are manufactured. Quartz Countertops are made of natural quartz found in nature in different parts of the world, coloring pigments used for color, design, and pattern, plus resin that bonds them all together. First natural quartz are grinded to various sizes, sorted by color and clarity. Then they are mixed with resin and coloring pigments and poured into the special patented machinery made by Breton.
Through the heat and pressure, they are formed into slabs of manmade stone, called quartz. The result of the finished product is very durable, scratch and heat resistant, and low maintenance. Quartz countertops have become extremely popular due to their characteristics.
So, what contributes to the cost of cost of Quartz Countertops is the cost of raw material, quality and clarity of the natural quartz, major investment in machinery and equipment, energy used to make the slabs, research and development in creating new colors and patterns, marketing, transportation charges, and distribution.
Quartz stone slabs are made in different thickness of approximately 1/2 inch (1.2cm), 3/4 (2cm) inch, and 1 1/4″ (3cm). 1.2cm is mainly used for vertical surfaces such as backsplashes and shower walls, while the 2cm and 3cm is used for the countertops. In the Washington DC metro area use of 3cm quartz is more common for the countertops in the residential projects.
Almost all quartz manufactures have different price groups for different colors and thickness of quartz, Price of each color varies depending on the cost of and quality of natural quartz, and the R&D cost of producing the design and color. Generally an installed price of quartz countertops in Washington DC area in 3cm material ranges from $60 to $150 per square foot.
Granite Countertop prices vary greatly, due to many different factors. To better understand and analyze the pricing of stone countertops, it is best to break the stone countertops into two different categories of the Natural Stone countertops and Engineered Stone. In this article, we will discuss factors affecting granite countertop prices. Please see our other blog covering Engineered Stone such as Quartz Countertop prices.
With the natural stone such as Granite, Marble, Quartzite, and Soapstone, the price is based on scarcity of the raw natural stone color, demand for the particular granite color, quality of the stone and its polish, transportation and labor costs in various countries in the world, quality of fabrication and installation, are just a few reasons for this variation in Granite and Marble Countertop prices. In order to explain these factors, it is important to understand how the granite is quarried, cut to slab sizes, polished, imported, fabricated, and finally installed as a kitchen or vanity countertop.
Granite, Marble, Soapstone, and Quartzite are Natural Stone found in many parts of the world. Just like diamond and other precious stone, for most part, the cost of various granite colors is based on supply and demand. However, many other factors, besides their scarcity in nature, are considered in setting the price of the granite slabs.
Quality of the material is on top of the list. Every block of granite stone taken out of the ground by the marble and granite quarries has different characteristic, shade of color, veining, and density. These blocks are sorted based on their quality and color, and then sold to various processing plants around the globe, that cut the blocks in slices of different thicknesses called slabs, resin coat, and polish to the final slab product. Quality of the cut, resin, and polish by the processing plants is another factor in granite slab prices. Not all these processing plants are capable of producing high quality granite slabs. Some that use older equipment or lack quality control, have inferior products with uneven thickness of slab, poor resin coating and polish. These slabs are then sold to the importers around the glob and prices set based on the final quality of the slab. Euro Stone Craft only imports and purchases premium quality granite slabs. All of our extensive granite, marble, soapstone, and quartzite slab selections are hand-picked and inspected for superior quality, before they are ordered. We stock more than 2000 different stone slabs in our 30,000 sf showroom and factory in Northern Virginia. We always recommend that you select and inspect your own granite slab for your kitchen countertops and never order from a granite sample. Our design consultants could assist you with the selection of your granite slab and point out the characteristics of each slab and color.
Template, Slab Layout, Fabrication, and Installation
Before the granite slabs could be turned into kitchen Countertops, they first need to get fabricated and installed. This is where we come in. As each granite fabricator utilizes different machinery and various degree of skilled craftsmen, the granite countertop prices and quality will vary from one fabricator to another. Granite Countertops are custom-made by cutting them in shapes to fit perfectly on your kitchen cabinets.
Then, the countertop edges are shaped to desired profile and polished, properly sealed, and get ready for installation. At Euro Stone Craft, we first start by precise measurement of your kitchen countertops, also known as Template. We utilize the latest digital technology in countertop measurement for a perfect fit. Shop drawings are then drawn in CAD software, and laid over the digital picture of the slab for slab layout. Euro Stone Craft is one of the very few granite companies in the Mid-Atlantic region using SlabSmith technology for the slab layout and prefect seam matching. With SlabSmith, we will be able to show you exactly how your new granite countertops is going to look, before it is fabricated.
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Tonya Bruno, recipient of NARI Metro DC 2013 Hall of Fame award
On Saturday January 18th, 2014. at NARI Metro DC annual Coty award ceremony, Shawn Daghigh, vice president of Euro Stone Craft, presented NARI DC Chapter Hall of Fame Award to Tonya Bruno. The Hall of Fame Award recognizes that individual who has displayed continuous and distinguished commitment to the chapter, as well as dedication and passion that serves to elevate the standards of the remodeling industry.
Tonya has been very active with many trade organizations not the least of which is NARI Metro DC. She was the recipient of the NARI Metro DC Presidents Award in 2006, she served as the organizations Vice President and took over the daunting task of being NARI President in 2012.
Euro Stone Craft, a leading fabricator of granite, marble, and quartz countertops to NARI Metro DC members, is a proud sponsor of Hall of Fame Award. NARI DC contractors are considered to be amongst the best in the Remodeling Industry. When it comes to quality stone countertops, Euro Stone Craft is the fabricator choice for many NARI Metro DC members. Euro Stone Craft carries one of the largest selection of Granite, Marble, Soapstone, Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone, Zodiaq, and Santa Margherita. Euro Stone Craft is also the manufacturer of Verona Showers, the distinctive grout-free marble walls and floors.