At a recent Stone Industry Education seminar, hosted by Global Granite and put on by Stone World and the Natural Stone Institute, a panel discussed stone trends they are seeing in the industry.
Bethany Jobe, the owner of Planet Granite, discussed some of the materials she is seeing go through her locations.
"Quartzites continue to be hot," said Jobe. "Marbles I think have made a resurgence. I think people that understand marbles and know them like the exotic marbles in their kitchens. We are seeing the Midwest grow in the large format porcelain and sintered stone."
Bobbi Price of Carved in Stone agreed with a lot of what was said and explained they do a lot of exotic materials as well.
"Out in the Ozarks they are all trying to one up each other," said Price. "The crazier the stone, the better it is for them."
Laura Harris of Titan Granite agreed with the amount of quartzite she was seeing in the area but also was excited for something else.
"As a fabricator it’s exciting to see a lot more colors coming back," said Harris. "Not just Taj and creamy colors all the time. The greens and blues are exciting. We have done quite a few Fusion jobs, which is interesting to me because it’s a stone that’s kind of out there but people are loving it."
Jobe made a comment that their locations are still seeing a lot of quartz come through and Harris followed up on that.
"I think, since I am a natural stone person," said Harris. "But it’s like the struggle. I want to tell people, ‘Do you want your diamond to be actually a Swarovski crystal, or do you want a real diamond?’ But my main sales guy will tell me that selling quartz is easy. It’s predictable, it’s forgiving, and it’s just an easy sell. So it becomes a balance of it is what it is."
Jobe went onto say that she has seen a lot of customers with misinformation about quartz.
"What we try to do here is educate the customer," said Jobe. "We want them to understand that every product has their pros and cons and quartz has had some challenges as well and it’s not a perfect product. We have seen people that had quartz and they are pulling it out because they want natural stone. Then there have been people that come in and only want quartz but they see a piece of natural stone and they fall in love with it."