As you will see, this issue of Stone World is a bit of a departure from our typical content. While we still include updates on various aspects of the natural stone industry, we have also devoted a portion of the magazine to quartz surfacing, which was a focus for this month. While many of you out there are purist and champion the use of natural stone, it’s difficult to deny quartz surfacing continues to rise through the ranks as a top choice when it comes to kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities — particularly when the look of white marble is desired.

When I talk to fabricators, most of you tell me that whether you like it or not, you are cutting quartz and even sintered stone products because that’s what many of your customers are purchasing. Every January Stone World publishes a purchasing plan survey, which is conducted by our parent company’s research department, and in 2015 88% of fabricators said they were fabricating both quartz and natural stone. This was a 10% jump from 2014. Last year, we were curious how many of you were working with sintered stone material, and it turned out two-in-five respondents (42%) indicated they are cutting Dekton, Lapitec and porcelain slabs in addition to natural stone and quartz surfacing.

The name of our magazine is Stone World, so of course we mostly dedicate our content to natural stone and help spread the word about its benefits. MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute is making a large effort to promote the benefits of natural stone through its “Use Natural Stone” campaign. There is a website, with various types of articles homeowners and the design community can read to learn more about natural stone, and the organization is even working to have natural stone featured on home improvement television shows. We support their efforts every step of the way.

With that said, we can’t ignore the rising popularity of quartz. More stone producers are even starting to produce their own line of quartz surfacing. We know our readers are dealing with issues pertaining to it too, so we want to be able to be a resource for you on all aspects of your fabrication business. Therefore, once in a while, we will include a quartz focus, such as this one, in an issue.

The article “Natural stone guide to sourcing quartz,” beginning on page 42, offers useful tips for fabricators and distributors when purchasing and working with quartz products. It explains the differences between quartz suppliers so the purchasers in our industry can make the best choices for their customers and their companies. In particular, this article discusses raw ingredients and the manufacturing process.

The authors wrote this article with the intention of helping industry members out when it comes to this topic. They made it a point to tell me they would like to field any questions you might have after reading it. So don’t hesitate to send me an email if something comes to mind and I will pass it along to them.