Quartz counters are an engineered product that undergo a series of precise fabrication processes. Learn how quartz slabs are made and customized to fit inside of a residential kitchen.
Engineered quartz products are made up of several materials. Ground quartz (a natural material) is mined from the earth. It is combined with resins and polymers. An industrial pigment is added to the mixture.
A manufacturer may use a wide range of pigment shades to mass-produce quartz products that can be installed in home kitchens and bathrooms. The mixture is blended extensively. During the blending process, the raw ingredients form a paste-like consistency.
Some manufacturers may add small stone flecks and other natural materials to the mixture. The addition of these materials may provide a quartz counter with a unique sheen or a marbleizing effect.
Quartz counters are nonporous. In order to provide counters with their nonporous status, the mixture that is added to a mold must undergo compression and vacuum processes. These processes eliminate air bubbles and ensure that the mixture solidifies properly.
A large industrial mold is used to retain the mixture. Once the compression and vacuum processes are complete, the quartz is placed inside of a heated vessel. The heat hardens the quartz.
Polishing is used to remove rough edges from custom quartz slabs. Each slab is polished individually. During this process, the quartz is inspected for inconsistencies. The fabricator's role is to ensure that each slab is uniform in shape. The thickness of a slab must be precise. After the inspection process, the slabs are carefully packaged and shipped to a supplier.
Some fabricators may sell products directly from the industrial plant where the quartz products were produced. The quartz slabs that will be kept 'in-house' are carefully tagged and stored. They will remain part of the industrial plant's inventory until they are sold to customers.
When a residential home improvement contractor is hired to install new counters, they perform an inspection and take measurements of the area where each quartz counter will be installed. These steps are critical when determining what size each counter will need to be. A slab that will encase a sink will need to have a cutout made in it.
The contractor will record information during the inspection process. They will use this information when ordering custom products. The slabs that are ordered will be cut to order. They will then be sanded and shipped directly to the residential address that the contractor provides. For more information on custom quartz kitchen countertop fabrication, contact a professional near you.
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