17 Mar Why you should choose a reputable branded quartz worktop?
There are times when a brand name really doesn’t matter. A tin of soup, a pair of socks, a screen protector for your phone. You know the stuff. But there are other times when a brand name does matter because you want quality. Your car, the Swiss watch on your wrist, the varnish on your floorboards. These things are best-served by a reputable brand because it means you get a high-quality product. You get consistency.
The same rings true of quartz worktop brands. You can buy unbranded quartz from a wholesaler or from overseas if you like and get it shipped over. You can buy unbranded quartz from backstreet outlets and warehouses. The trouble is, you never really know what you’re getting. Not all quartz is made equal, and in our experience, unbranded quartz is less robust and doesn’t look as good.
Of course we would say that because we sell brands. But, when you dive into how quartz worktops are actually manufactured (quartz worktops are engineered, i.e. they are made in a factory, unlike granite worktops which are mined), the differences in quality soon become clear. Here’s what you need to know.
The key difference in quality between unbranded and branded quartz worktops is usually the quartz itself. Quartz is available in three grades (first quality, standard, seconds). These grades set the price and determine the quality of the slab.
First quality is the best grade, the most premium of grades used by brands. It’s chosen because of it has few veins and imperfections. Standard is what you will typically find from an own-make brand such as that in your local DIY store. Seconds is what unbranded, cheap slabs are made from, and it is these you want to avoid.
You want to avoid slabs made from seconds because the quartz itself will feature discolouration and imperfections in the stone. To ensure these do not show through when the slab is formed, the manufacturer will use a higher amount of resin and pigments. This is great for masking imperfections but reduces the amount of quartz in the worktop. The best worktops have over 93% quartz. Many have more.
Quartz worktops are manufactured by pressing the slab into form. The slab itself is composed of quartz, resin and pigments. Everything that is not quartz is referred to as a ‘filler’ in the trade. Fillers are usually a polymer or resin mixed with a mixture of pigments to make up 7 to 5% of the quartz worktop.
The resin acts as a binder and enhances the durability of the quartz because it isn’t prone to chipping and is highly resistant to heat. The resin doesn’t shrink, warp, melt or dissolve or weaken when exposed to common chemicals. However, the use of too much resin or plastic in the worktop is a cop out. It makes production cheaper and many unbranded worktops have a resin content higher than 10%.
The quality of the fillers is also important. Grade A resin is used by brands to ensure the binding agent binds with the quartz forever. Cheaper resins can discolour or fade over time, as can the pigments used. Brands do not use cheap fillers. They use the best materials throughout the production of their worktops and the vibro-compression technique used to make the slabs forms a perfect product.
Warranty and guarantees
It’s also important to point out branded quartz worktops always come with a comprehensive workmanship guarantee. Some brands provide a 10-year guarantee, but others go as high as 30-years. A guarantee is important because the worktop is likely to be used every day for at least a decade or two. For many people, the peace of mind choosing a branded worktop offers is reason enough to go branded.
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