Does a Quartz Countertop Sometimes Look Like Korean?

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. Known for their durability, low maintenance, and variety of colors and patterns, quartz counters can provide a stylish and long-lasting surface. But with so many options on the market, it’s common for homeowners to wonder what makes quartz look like high-quality Korean quartz specifically.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The exact combination can vary between brand and color style, but high-quality quartz slabs contain over 90% ground quartz mixed with about 10% polymer resins.

Unlike natural stone slabs, which are mined from quarries, quartz slabs are manufactured in factories under carefully controlled conditions. This allows the manufacturer to avoid natural stone’s mineral imperfections and produce a highly consistent color and pattern. The resins bind the quartz particles into a durable, non-porous surface.

Benefits of Quartz Countertops

Compared to natural stone and other countertop materials like granite, marble, and laminate, quartz offers several advantages that have contributed to its popularity:

  • Extremely durable – Quartz has a flexural strength of over 4000 psi compared to 1500-2000 psi for granite. This makes it very resilient to scratches, chips, cracks, and heat.
  • Low maintenance – Because it is non-porous, quartz does not need to be regularly sealed like natural stone. Simple cleaning with soap and water is often enough.
  • Resists stains – The lack of pores also prevents stains from absorbing into the material. Quartz is not affected by wine, coffee, juice, and oil.
  • Consistent coloring – The controlled manufacturing results in uniform coloring throughout the slab and from slab to slab.
  • Wide range of styles – From solid colors to glittery agglomerates, quartz can mimic patterns found in natural stone as well as dramatic artificial designs.

Characteristics of High-Quality Korean Quartz

With quartz countertops gaining popularity in the United States over the past decade, Korean quartz brands like Samsung and Lotte have earned recognition for making high-end, luxury slabs. Some characteristics that set apart premium Korean quartz include:

Natural Appearance

Korean quartz producers excel at creating slabs that closely resemble the look of natural stone. The particle sizes, patterns, veining, and shade variations are carefully engineered to capture the depth, polish, and luster of granite and marble. This allows homeowners to enjoy the low maintenance benefits of quartz with the beauty of natural materials.

Attention to Detail

Korean cultures place a high value on precision and accuracy, and this shows in the deviation tolerances of their quartz manufacturing. Slabs contain uniform speckling and veins placed with meticulous attention to detail. This consistency and flawless patterning gives the material a clean, upscale look.

High Percentage of Quartz Content

While the minimum amount of quartz particles needed in a slab is only around 90%, Korean quartz tends to use a very high ratio of over 95%. Higher quartz content increases the hardness and durability of the material. This gives their quartz an extremely resilient and stone-like feel.

Variety of Premium Colors and Finishes

Rather than basic whites and grays, Korean quartz is available in a diverse palette of luxurious colors like emerald, sapphire, and sandstone. Finishes go beyond the standard polish to include unique options like a satin finish that refracts light subtly like a granite honed finish.

Clarity and Depth of Colors

Korean quartz uses top-quality quartz particles that have very low iron content. This results in colors that are extremely clear and vivid compared to cheaper quartz with high iron content that dulls the tones. The uniform mineral composition provides consistently rich, saturated color throughout the slab.

How is Korean Quartz Manufactured?

Behind the scenes, Korean quartz makers follow an extensive manufacturing process optimized over decades to produce their renowned quality quartz:

1. Raw Quartz Sourcing

Korean quartz starts with carefully sourced raw quartz crystals mined from locations around the world. Impurities like iron are minimized to preserve vivid coloring. The raw quartz gets crushed into particles of specific sizes needed for the quartz recipe.

2. Mixing with Resins and Pigments

The quartz particles get combined with liquid polymer resins and pigments that will give the finished slab its color, pattern, and structural stability. The exact ratio, types of resins, and mixing process varies by brand.

3. Pressing the Quartz Mixture

The quartz mixture gets pressed into slab molds under intense hydraulic pressure, compacting it into a solid form. The end pressures can be up to 100,000 psi to remove all air pockets.

4. Pre-Curing

Before curing completely hardens the slabs, they are removed from the press and allowed to cure into a semi-solid preform. This stage is key to preventing internal stresses and cracks.

5. Vibrocompaction

The slabs go through a vibrocompaction process that vibrates the material to further eliminate air pockets and pores that could cause structural weaknesses.

6. Polishing and Finishing

Multi-step polishing with diamond abrasives is used to create the final smooth glossy finish. Other special finishes like satin etching are applied at this stage as well.

7. Inspection and Quality Control

Throughout the process, the slabs are meticulously inspected for any imperfections or inconsistencies. This ensures only the highest grade slabs proceed to final packaging.

8. Slabbing and Installation

The finished quartz slabs are cut to countertop sizes, edged to specification, and shipped out to installers to be installed in homes and businesses.

Popular Korean Quartz Brands

Two of the most recognized high-end Korean quartz manufacturers include:

Samsung Radianz

As the luxury quartz line under the Samsung conglomerate, Radianz has pioneered Korean quartz manufacturing since entering the market in 2007. Their R&D perfects technical innovations like metallic glass technology to structurally reinforce their slabs. With purity up to 99%, Radianz offers over 70 styles from brilliant whites to bold emeralds.

Lotte Staron

Staron quartz from Lotte Chemical is one of the early innovators in Korean quartz, debuting internationally in 2003. Their unique slab pressing system minimizes internal stress. Staron provides designer options like metallic, opal, marble, and concrete effects in their extensive color portfolio.

Other Notable Brands:

  • Hyundai CristalStone
  • Haedong Siltstone Quartz
  • UFL Quartzite

How to Choose the Right Quartz Countertop

When selecting a quartz countertop that emulates the high-end look and quality of Korean quartz, keep the following tips in mind:

Select a Reputable Fabricator

A quality fabricator experienced in Korean quartz is key to ensuring proper installation and getting the most out of the material. Read reviews and evaluate previous work to find the best option.

Carefully Check Sample Slabs

Examine how closely the particle patterns, veins, glossiness, and colors resemble natural stones. Judge quality metrics like consistency, clarity, and durability.

Learn About Manufacturing Process

Ask fabricators about the manufacturing process used by quartz brands you are considering. Opt for brands that emphasize quality control like Korean manufactures.

Compare Percentage Quartz Contents

Look for quartz content over 90% for high performance. The very hardest, most resilient options contain over 95% finely crushed quartz.

Consider Unique Color Options

While whites and grays are popular, branches into bolder blues, greens, browns and exotic patterns showcase Korean quartz capabilities.

Evaluate Warranty Coverage

Longer warranties often correspond with brands that exemplify durability. Leading Korean warranties extend coverage to 15 or 20 years.

FAQs About Korean-Style Quartz Countertops

Does a quartz countertop sometimes look like korean?

Yes, many modern high-end quartz countertops are engineered to closely resemble the look and quality of quartz produced in Korea. Through precise manufacturing, they can capture the depth, polish, patterns, and clarity expected from luxury Korean brands.

What are the pros and cons of quartz vs granite?

Quartz is more durable, stain resistant, and low maintenance than natural granite. But granite offers a more unique look with natural variations. Quartz provides man-made consistency while granite has rustic charm. Both can be great options depending on personal style.

Is Korean quartz better quality?

Major Korean manufacturers like Samsung Radianz and Lotte Staron are consistently top-rated and regarded as the gold standard for excellence in quartz. Their innovations in materials, molding, and polishing allow them to produce extremely high-quality slabs.

Does quartz staining mean low quality?

Minimal staining is related to quality quartz, but no quartz is completely stain proof under extreme conditions. Top brands like Korean quartz use high purity quartz and precision manufacturing to minimize pores that could absorb stains. Prompt cleanup of spills prevents most staining.

How thick should quartz countertops be?

Quartz countertops are commonly cut to thicknesses of 1.2 cm or 2 cm. Thicker 3 cm options provide even greater strength for heavy use areas. Korean brands tend to recommend 2 cm thickness as the optimal balance of rigidity and cost.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

Quartz is generally slightly more expensive than granite, with smaller gaps in price as manufacturing costs for quartz have declined. But for high-end luxury Korean quartz, the pricing can be comparable to premium granite. Total installed price depends on slab prices set by retailers.

What are characteristics of low quality quartz?

Signs of low quality quartz include a high number of visible repairs, inconsistencies in finish or pattern, muted or dirty-looking colors, and porous areas that absorb stains easily. High iron content and low percentages of quartz particles can also indicate cheaper manufacturing.

Does quartz hold up over time?

With proper care, high-quality quartz like that produced in Korea maintains its durability, shine, and visual appeal for decades after installation. Avoiding excessive heat and impacts helps prevent gradual wearing that reduces lifespan.


With Korean quartz setting the global standard, quartz manufacturers around the world now emulate the high-end aesthetics and purity achieved by brands like Samsung Radianz and Lotte Staron. Seeking out quartz made with over 90% finely crushed quartz and specialty resins results in countertops with the low maintenance, enduring performance, and chic styling that exemplify luxury Korean quartz. Carefully inspecting samples, learning about manufacturing, and consulting an experienced professional helps homeowners select the ideal quartz countertop. With the right knowledge and choices, it is possible to install beautiful quartz surfaces that stand out with the quality and visual style expected from premium Korean quartz.