What makes one stone pricier than another?
Engineered stone prices start at the level of our mid-range granites. Engineered stone prices are affected by three main factors:
i. Technology and Materials involved in the production
Quartz materials for worktops are made from a variety of elements and involving various techniques, some of which are very much state of the art and are top secret for the companies concerned. As a rule of thumb, stones with a very pure, non-granular appearance, stones with special metallic finishes and the best quality copies of natural marbles are all very expensive, while granular creams, whites and greys can be quite cheap.
As with any market in manufactured products or materials, brand is important, and to some degree you pay for the name. But it is not quite as simple as that: the big brands do most of the research and development work which others then copy, more or less successfully. In general, we see the best-looking materials as being from the big names – the copies look like copies and the originals are best. As in other markets, brand-profile is not achieved merely by hype – to stay at the top you have to work and maintain your cutting edge. Brands like Caesarstone and Silestone are constantly innovating and new technologies from them can cause a real stir right across the industry.
iii. Bespoke versus Stock Materials
The last, but by no means the least important, factor in our engineered stone pricing is the difference between Stock and Bespoke material. Any stone which we buy in bulk for stock will always have a price advantage over against bought-in materials. Our price on some Silestones, for example, is extremely competitive as we are able to sell them, from a leading brand, at the price of a mid-range granite. Before stocking them on a regular basis, we would not have been able to come close to that.