The differences in Imported Chinese Quartz versus American made Quartz relies in a few key elements that effect the durability, consistency, and reliability of your quartz counter-tops. The key elements I will be discussing are resin pooling, color inconsistency, volatile organic compounds and inconsistency thickness. These elements will not only effect the health risks but also the quality of the fabrication and installation of your quartz counter-tops.
The beauty of quartz counter-tops rely in the fact that it is an engineered stone and more than 90% comes from natural quartz mixed with resins and dyes. Imported quartz doesn’t follow strict guidelines mixtures of their counter-tops like American made quartz. When this happens resin pooling happens this causes an inconsistency in the counter-tops durability, consistency and reliability. Color inconsistencies in the polished surface and your counter-top will have flexibility or warp. As a fabricator I can tell you from experience that you will need to get the right combination when polishing edges and under mount sinks with imported quartz and as an installer you will have issues with leveling the seams do to counter-top flexing or warping. I prefer to work with American made quartz clean fabrication and clean installs.
Color inconsistency of imported counter-tops is an issue you will need to deal with as well. When you have inconsistencies in quartz, resins and dye mixture you tend to have lots of color variations. You need to take time in choosing your quartz slabs or counter-tops to make sure you have color consistency and pattern. The reasons why I say this is because counter-tops will look different if you choose wrong and especially different in the warehouse upright versus lying next to each other on your counter-tops. Sometimes the veins in white quartz with grey or black veins can be inconsistent too. This situation in quality quartz slabs should be very rare.
Volatile organic compounds is a real issue in most all manufactured products. The US, has laws and guidelines that American made manufactures have to abide by, import manufactures do not abide by specific guidelines; therefore using any chemicals necessary to produce their products cheaper. Many chemicals and there formulations will continue to give off gases for up to 3 or more years after being installed. The US guidelines tell a manufacture what chemicals they can use indoor or outdoor for safety reasons. As you can tell US and import manufacturing looks at VOC totally different.
Inconsistency of the thickness of imported quartz can be a problem in itself. It is very possible that you can purchase slabs or counter-tops imported that have a variance in thickness by at least 1/16 of an inch and sometimes even a 1/8 of an inch. This will cause variation in edge profile thickness when joined at seams. Your installer will also have issues in leveling your counter-tops when the thickness is inconsistent. You will need to spend time picking out the right slabs when choosing to go with imported quartz.
In conclusion our own preference is choosing an American made quartz material for durability, consistency, and reliability; as well as a beautiful clean fabrication and final installation. I recommend you take all this into considering American quartz or imported quartz. In the end the final decision is yours. One final thing to keep in mind the tariffs on china imports will increase quartz prices this year so going with a brand name quartz might look better for you now. Make a wise choice its your hard earned money and you will live in your kitchen for years to come.