Where Do Quartz Countertops Come From?

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. But where exactly do these durable and stylish countertops originate? Here is an in-depth look at the production process and sources of quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is a mineral that is found naturally in the earth’s crust. It is composed of silicon and oxygen atoms and is the second most abundant mineral in the continental crust, after feldspar. Quartz has a Mohs hardness rating of 7, making it extremely scratch and abrasion resistant. This is one of the reasons it is an ideal material for countertops.

Mining Natural Quartz

Natural quartz is mined from the earth in large blocks. Most natural quartz comes from Brazil, Italy, India, Spain, Madagascar, the US, and Canada. The quartz is extracted from rock quarries and underground mines using explosives and special machinery. These massive quartz blocks can weigh several tons each. The blocks are then cut into more manageable slabs and transported to manufacturing facilities for further processing.

Manufacturing Process

At the manufacturing plants, the quartz slabs are inspected and analyzed to determine their mineral content. They then go through several complex steps to transform the raw quartz into a material that can be used to fabricate countertops.


The quartz slabs are crushed into smaller pieces using heavy machinery. These smaller fragments are then fed into a ball mill, which grinds the quartz into a fine powder. This increases the surface area of the quartz for the next steps.

Mixing with Resin

The ground quartz powder is then mixed with coloring pigments and a small amount of binding polymers, usually polyester resin. The resin binds the quartz particles together to create a durable, non-porous material. Various pigments can be added to the resin to create different colors and patterns.

Pressing into Slabs

The quartz resin mixture is pressed into molds under intense vibration and vacuum pressure. This compacting process removes all air pockets and bonds the materials together into a slab. The slabs are then cured at high temperatures to harden the resin binder.

Polishing and Finishing

Once cured, the quartz slabs are polished to achieve a smooth, glossy finish. Computer-controlled equipment is used to calibrate the thickness and ensure precision. The slabs are then ready for shipping to fabricators for countertop production.

Sources of Manufactured Quartz

There are several major companies that dominate the engineered quartz manufacturing industry:

  • Cambria – Based in Minnesota, Cambria is the only major American-owned and operated quartz producer. It sources quartz domestically as well as from Brazil.
  • Caesarstone – This leading brand imports quartz from Israel as well as Italy and other locations. Caesarstone pioneered engineered quartz surfaces.
  • Silestone – Manufactured by the Spanish company Cosentino, Silestone sources quartz from Spain and other countries.
  • HanStone – A South Korean company with manufacturing facilities in the US. Hanstone imports premium quartz from South Korea.
  • LG Viatera – Using quartz from India and Brazil, Viatera is LG’s quartz brand made in the US.
  • QuartzMaster – This company sources quartz both domestically and internationally for its US-made engineered quartz.
  • Vicostone – A quartz brand that sources raw quartz from Vietnam as well as other countries like Brazil and India. Manufacturing is done in Vietnam.
  • Pokarna Limited – An Indian company that manufactures quartz slabs using 99% pure natural quartz mined in India.

So in summary, engineered quartz countertops combine naturally mined quartz with recycled content, resins, and pigments. Leading brands source quartz worldwide and manufacture slabs domestically or abroad. The variety of colors and patterns are achieved by the mixing process in manufacturing, not the natural quartz itself. This allows for great customization options for today’s quartz countertops.

FAQs about Where Quartz Countertops Originate From

Where is most natural quartz mined for countertops?

Brazil and India are the leading sources of natural quartz used in engineered quartz slabs. Italy, Spain, the US, and Canada also contribute significant amounts of quartz.

Is domestic or imported quartz better?

There is no discernible quality difference. Leading brands use quartz from both domestic and international sources. The manufacturing process is more important than the source.

Can you get quartz slabs made entirely in the US?

A few brands like Cambria and QuartzMaster use a portion of US-mined quartz. But there are currently no 100% American-sourced quartz countertops on the market.

Does quartz come from recycled content?

Yes, many quartz brands incorporate recycled glass, mirror chips, metallic flecks, and other recycled material into their slabs during manufacturing. Up to 20% recycled content is common.

What is the rarest quartz color?

Many exotic quartz patterns and uncommon colors are achieved through added pigments. Natural Rose Quartz is quite rare and is sourced for some pink-hued slabs.

Can quartz be naturally white?

Pure quartz is colorless. Natural white quartz exists but is less common than milky or cloudy forms. The bright whites in slabs come from added pigment during manufacturing.


Quartz countertops may seem indistinguishable from natural stone, but they go through a highly engineered manufacturing process. The journey from raw quartz mining to fabricated countertops involves crushed minerals, pigments, and polymers coming together under heat and pressure. Leading global brands source quartz worldwide, allowing creative mixes of colors and patterns unavailable from nature alone. With durability, low maintenance, and endless customization options, engineered quartz provides the best qualities of natural stone with modern manufacturing innovations.