Do Quartz Countertop Brand Names Matter?
When shopping for quartz countertops, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the different choices and names of quartz. There are many different brands of quartz countertops on the market. Caesarstone, Cambria, Pental, Okite, Silestone, Vicastone, Zodiac, MSI, LG, and many, many more. Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertop slabs have a brand name rather than just a colour name. So what is the difference between quartz countertop brands?
What are the differences between quartz countertop brands?
- Color palette
- Slab Quality
- Manufacturer Warranty
Does the brand of countertop you are choosing even matter? Read on to find out.
The first and most obvious difference between quartz brands is the range of colour offerings. Some brands can have a limited selection of only a couple dozen colours, while other brands can have well over a hundred different colours to choose for your new countertops.
The “One Thing”
Each major brand of quartz countertops typically has their “one thing”, or speciality look that separates them from their competitors. Most brands have 60 to 70 percent of their colour palette roughly the same as the other major players on the market, but use the remaining 30 or 40 percent of their colour options for unique countertop designs that in essence become their trademark.
- Cambria for example, which is the world’s largest producer of quartz countertops, is known for its bold, dynamic designs with large, sparkly aggregates.
- Caesarstone, on the other hand, has a large amount of clean, modern and monochromatic designs like pure white and rugged concrete.
- Pental is the best at imitating marble and has colour choices ranging from bright white to warm grey.
- Okite offers several quartz countertops that are translucent and can be backlit with LED lighting
- Silestone offers three different textures of countertops: Polished, Suede and Volcano.
Another major factor that differs between quartz countertop brands is the warranty. A handful of quartz manufacturers such as Cambria and Caesarstone offer a limited lifetime warranty. Most major manufacturers offer a 15 or 20-year warranty.
What does a Quartz Countertop Warranty Cover?
A warranty from most quartz countertop brands will only cover manufacturer defects. What is a manufacturer defect in terms of quartz countertops? Here are some examples:
- Abnormal colour spots. Defining “abnormal” in a random color pattern can be extremely subjective, but any color variation that is clearly not part of the intended color pattern and occurred during the manufacturing process should be covered by any reputable quartz manufacturer warranty.
- Foreign objects in the slab. Quartz countertops are made by a unique manufacturing process similar in some ways to pouring concrete and can, therefore, be susceptible to items being dropped into the slab during manufacturing.
- Uneven surface. With the exception of intentional texturing, your new quartz countertops should be flat and free of divots, gouges, voids or other variations in the surface.
- Universal surface polish. The shine or sheen of your countertops is developed during the polishing process that occurs at the factory. The shine should be even throughout the top of the slab. It is important to note that the shine on the edge and other cut areas is completed by your countertop fabricator, not the quartz manufacturer and would not be covered under the warranty.
If you choose a reputable brand of quartz countertops, you will likely not experience any of the above defects or any other defects that I did not list. The overwhelming majority of manufacturer defects would be caught by the manufacturer during their internal quality control checks. In the event a slab does escape the factory with a defect, a quality fabricator, such as New Leaf Cabinets & Counters, who inspects every slab upon arrival and again before installation, would also most likely catch the defect prior to the countertops beings installed.
What’s Not Covered Under a Quartz Countertop Manufacturer’s Warranty?
Well, everything except a manufacturer defect.
A manufacturer warranty will not cover:
- heat burns
- fading from sunlight
- any type user induced damage whatsoever.
- fabricator error
- sink separation
- seam breakage.
It is extremely important when purchasing new countertops to speak with your countertop fabricator about what their warranty covers in addition to the manufacturer warranty. A quality fabricator will warranty their workmanship for at least one year. Things to look for in a fabrication warranty are sink separation and seam breakage as these are the two most common instances that will occur within a few months of getting your new countertops.
Risks of Countertops Without a Brand Name
No name brands are becoming more and more common and are typically sold at cut-throat prices. What does that mean for you? No name, no warranty. It also means that the manufacturing process probably does not have as many quality control procedures in place.
The chances of having an issue with a slab from a no-name countertop manufacturer are much higher than it would be from a manufacturer with a warranty. Because the no-name brand is not obligated to replace the slab, their quality control standards are typically much lower.
Most no-name brands are imported from countries with little or no environmental concern which is not only irresponsible but also dangerous. Your countertops will be in contact with food that you eat. The safe chemical make-up of those countertops is extremely important.
Another big factor when considering which brand of quartz is right for you is slab availability. If you are making selections early enough in the remodel or building process, waiting a couple weeks for your slabs might not be an issue, but if you need your new countertops next week, it doesn’t do you any good to look at colors that are not available for several weeks because they are stocked out of state.
Does the Brand of Quartz Countertop Matter?
Yes. It really doesn’t matter which major brand name that you choose, but it is extremely important that you buy quartz countertops produced only by a major manufacturer that stands behind their product with a lengthy warranty. Your new countertops will be part of your home for years to come. Saving a few bucks to go with a no name, no warranty and unknown manufacturer can present your family with risks that simply aren’t worth it.
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