Now that countervailing and antidumping duties have taken effect on quartz countertops imported from China, some Chinese companies are already taking steps to circumvent the new regulations by offering crushed glass slabs. This can be seen either as a way to flood the market with a similar material that does not fall under the scope of the quartz duties or as a boon to efforts of using recycled materials. Either way, it is helpful to understand the pros and cons of crushed glass countertops before buying in to the material and offering it to your customers.
What Is a Crushed Glass Countertop?
Crushed glass is nothing new. It is produced domestically as a recycled-material option for those who wish to go green or rack up LEED points. Some of the branded options include Vetrazzo, IceStone and Curava.
While some crushed glass countertops have the glass embedded in concrete, acrylic resin is also used, and the resin countertops are those that are now directly competing with quartz. Home and business owners often choose crushed glass for its unique beauty, and some like the peace of mind that comes with owning and using a green surface.
Both types of crushed glass countertops are extremely durable, and some are even harder than quartz. They do not chip easily and are simple to clean. Acrylic resin is non-porous, so no sealer is required. However, with crushed glass embedded in concrete, regular sealing is necessary.
So far, the highest hurdle crushed glass has had to leap is the price point. Consumers pay from $50 to $100 per sq. ft., but that may drop now that China is looking much more strongly at this material to make up for lost quartz exports.
Crushed glass slabs are very strong, but if you put too much weight on one corner, they could crack. In addition, the material may stain from highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes, or from harsh cleansers that are not adequately washed away.
Availability of Crushed Glass
Crushed glass countertops are becoming increasingly available, and they are now produced to match quartz patterns and characteristics. One Chinese company, PowerStone Quartz, claims that they can produce slabs of any color that look exactly like quartz. These imported slabs are said to be distributed by MSI, but that has yet to be verified at the time of this publication.
According to PowerStone Quartz, their crushed glass options are only subject to an 18 percent tax/duty/tariff rather than the duties of up to 300 percent on quartz. Of course, domestic products are also available, such as the three mentioned above, but prices will be higher than Chinese imports.
If you have any experiences with crushed glass countertops, domestic or foreign, we would like to hear about your experiences. You can comment on this blog post on the website, or send us an email at [email protected]. We may publish your stories in a future update.