Has anyone experienced problems with Generic Chinese made quartz?

lolittakatOctober 18, 2012

My husband and I are trying to modernize our kitchen on a very small budget. We were recently searching for floor tile when we came across quartz counter top slabs at a Chinese shop. We got a price quote, and with installation, it will cost us around $1200. We were amazed with the price as we thought we couldn't afford new counters at this time, but i guess we could squeeze and extra grand if we finance more appliances. For a price comparison we got a quote from the least expensive Cesar Stone dealer, the price triples. We were removing our old counter last weekend, when the sample of the Chinese quartz fell and a corner of it broke off and shuttered. This is raising red flag with us. Isn't quarts supposed to be one of the strongest materials? on the other hand, it fell of the counter height, and we are not planning on dropping our new counter top. Do you think it's safe to proceed our choice of a generic brand? We need to make a decision fast as we don't have a countertop at the moment.

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I didn't even know generic man made quartz is available. Personally, I would be against it, not because of durability (the brand name stuff can also chip), but because of safety. Who knows what kind of unregulated chemical or dye they put in the resin.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Quartz itself is one of the strongest materials. HOWEVER - when you are talking about a "quartz" countertop, you are talking about "engineered stone." It is NOT solid quartz. It is 93% quartz chips and 7% resin (or at least that's the formula that the big manufacturers use - who knows what the Chinese use). I got Chinese quartz quoted and it was not cheaper than the Caesarstone I really wanted, plus I did find bad reviews when I googled the Chinese quartz, so we went with Caesarstone.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Google "quartz resin pooling."

A bad batch can and does happen to every quartz countertop manufacture but it seems to be a much bigger problem with generic and you are left holding the bag on warranty when trying to remedy the situation.

When I got quotes the Chinese stuff was only about 15% cheaper than Cambria and Ceasarstone here in Los Angeles.

Where are you located?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:30PM
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We are in San Francisco, and we do have "cheaper" places to shop around here. For example the floor tile that i got quoted $4.50-$5/sqf we were able to buy for $1.99, and it's EXACTLY the same. But since the counter is off brand, it worries me way too much. If we don't find a good deal, the only other option we have is re-installing our old ugly colored corian that was chosen by previous owner :(

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:44PM
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a large local development went with the cheaper chinese 'quartz' product...the quartz/resin proportions were 70/30, a far cry from the industry standard of 93/7 for the main brands.
This development has had tons of problems with the counter tops...they looked good to start but they have not performed well over time.
Now, China makes a lot of stuff (really :-) ) and different manufacturers there may have different ratios, so you will need to determine if this batch is of the better high quartz type or the other.
Notwithstanding the wage costs in china (which are rising fast) there are generally other reasons why some products from china are so much cheaper...
caveat emptor

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:41PM
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