The Best Affordable Alternative Quartz Worktops That Look Like Marble

While there is no denying that the marble is the king of natural stones and looks stunning, the market today is flooded with better, cheaper choices.

Home owners increasingly are opting for affordable alternatives to marble worktops, in the form of engineered stone, made up of a small amount of quartz mixed with a binder.

Quartz countertops typically comprise 90%-93% natural ground quartz (a hard mineral) and approximately 7-10% resins, polymers, and pigments.

Quartz stone’s appearance varies from coarsely ground quartz offering a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz offers a smooth look.

The results look like marble but are sturdier. Quartz can provide a marble-effect, on a more durable surface.

Natural stones like the marble and granite are not only unique, but they also may they require maintenance.

If you are on a lookout for hassle-free stunning looking worktops, that are practically maintenance free, consider quartz.

Marble Stone Worktop Closeup

Close-up image of an Opal Calacatta Gold worktop surface

Quartz does not stain and scratch easily, unlike natural stone. Quartz countertops can offer a clean minimalistic look, as well as looks with veining.

As early as 1963, Breton, an Italian company developed the technology of creating engineered stone/Quartz.

Over the last 50 plus years, it has licensed the usage of this marvellous technology to over 50 companies around the world, carefully ensuring there is only one quartz manufacturer on each country.

With this intention, Cosentino (who makes Silestone) produces quartz in Spain, Compac Quartz makes their slabs in Portugal, Caesarstone in Israel and so on.

Having an exclusive quartz manufacturer per country ensures the result of the slabs are manufactured perfectly and under strict guidelines.

The different manufacturers add their own flair and aesthetic enhancers to their engineered stone counter-tops, creating some delightful pieces.

Despite the brand you chose, the composition, hardness, water absorption statistics, heat resistance and other functional properties remain the approximately same.

What differs from one quartz brand to another is:

Designs

The range of designs is the single biggest difference between quartz manufacturers.

The slab’s visual appeal, the colour, size, shape, and striations vary from one brand to another.

Since the look of the stone changes based on brands, the selection requires careful observation.

Slab Sizes

The sizes of the slab vary per the manufacturer.

Check the details before selecting the ones that best fit your requirements.

Whereas during the last 20 years the average slab size covered an average 4.27 m2, the advent of larger stones has resulted in an increase of the average quartz slab sizes to 5.16 m2.

Prices

Quartz slab prices are wholesale-only and are confined to the supply chain between manufacturer and approved dealers.

While one cannot directly negotiate with the manufacturers, it is advised to speak to a few dealers and opt for the best offers.

This is so, because rather than just buying a quartz slab, people also require carrying out labour on the material which differs in its characteristics.

Some of the largest quartz manufacturers in the world are:

Cambria

Minnesota based; the company is the only American company in the quartz surfaces business.

Operating since 2000, the company is relatively new but offers a vivid selection of designs, colours, edges, and slab sizes.

Cambria Quartz is distinctive in that it is family-owned.

With a background on food processing, Cambria slabs are made with the highest degree of quality and with superior artistry.

Not only that Cambria uses its own quartz quarries to make their slabs, but the quality control of the material is second to none.

It results in stunning surfaces that are unparalleled by others when it comes to attention to detail.

Copper Faucet in Butler Sink

Cambria Brittanicca Warm worktops and kitchen splashbacks

Caesarstone

The company calls itself “original” manufacturer of quartz countertop material and this Israel based company has been in the business since 1987.

The Israel based company, was the first manufacturer to produce engineered quartz slabs for the market.

Before it, most companies were producing composite marbles.

It is this innovative approach and the constant search for new products, that made Caesarstone of the largest quartz makers worldwide.

Not only that the brand boasts trusted network on all continents, but it is also listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Rugged Black Concrete Worktop

Caesarstone Rugged Concrete worktops from the latest Metropolitan Collection of quartz stones

Silestone

A Spanish Company and currently the largest quartz manufacturer in the world.

The brand-wide range of choices and vibrant colours make it highly versatile for any project.

The products come with long 25-year warranty making it a popular choice for interiors.

A few popular marble lookalike quartz options may include colours such as, Cambria Brittanicca, Opal Quartz Calacatta, Caesarstone Misty Carrera, Carrara Quartz and Quarella Carrara Navona, Opal Calacatta quartz, Opal Statuario, CRL Verona Quartz, and CRL Regency White Quartz.

The market is full of vivid choices, select a well-known quartz brand and then select the product that matched your requirements to enjoy long-lasting counter-tops.

Social Media Icons on Phone Screen

9 Tips to Boost Your Social Media Marketing Productivity

While it is true that having a social media presence is helpful, any marketer who doesn’t more than just create some social media channels on the various social media sites is bound to fail.

To thrive on these platforms, it will take you so much more than just creating a page.

You have to be focused, socially aware of what’s trending, and have an organized marketing structure.

The need to balance between multiple tasks such as curation and content creation, handling and engaging with followers as well as getting involved in promotional and ad campaign activities is often challenging to marketers.

The following are 9 tips that can help you in this endeavor – help you boost your social media marketing productivity.

Digital Strategy Sketchbook

Have a Strategy, Plan, and Goals

Having a social media strategy, plan or goal should be on top of every social media manager’s list, if they are to boost their marketing productivity.

The right social media plan and strategy is crucial for success of any digital marketer.

In today’s world, customers expect brands and companies to be excellent at engaging with them on social media, respond on time and to add value with their products or services.

Failure to do this, businesses stand a very high risk of losing even their most loyal customers.

Marketers need to establish a social media strategy to help them focus on their efforts as well as understand their business objectives and goals.

Afterwards, they can come up with a plan to help meet these goals with less time wastage for improved social media marketing productivity.

Calendar on iPad

Use Content Calendars

If you want to carry out your SMM strategy the most efficient way possible, then you need to consider using content calendars.

Content calendars will allow you to come up with a schedule to help you plan out on what you intend to post or publish on your social media channels.

Moreover, with content calendars you are able to organize and do follow-ups on various social media activities about your content such as tracking customer engagement.

They also help you save a lot of time.

For instance, if you are blogging, your plan could entail creating several blog posts and then scheduling them for publishing over several weeks or months using the available social media scheduling and publishing tools.

Make an Impact with your Images

Whilst blog articles and links are important for driving website traffic, they are best accompanied by images.

The impact that images and pictures have on your target audience is the drive to get them to click on your product.

Make use of images on your blogging sections on your website, or you can use image based social media sites such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Exposure to share and increase your brand awareness.

Repurpose Old Content

If done the right way, repurposing content is a great way to help marketers save time as well as expand their brand reach.

Instead of constantly creating new contents for the same group of audience, try picking out key details form your previously published content and repost them to your social channels to reach out to more people.

In addition to resharing your old content on your social media platforms, you can also try adapting your content in a variety of ways.

For example, you can change your visual content and publish them as articles and share them on social platforms such as Slideshare.

Incorporate Video into your Content

In digital platforms, almost everything is visual, which is why incorporating and sharing video content will help your brand stand out in the market.

This will help you connect with your target audience and followers on a personal level.

Create customer testimonies, product presentations or trainings to reach to your audience in different ways.

The good news is, even when you don’t have any skills, with the help of social media video and editing tools, you are able to create high quality videos that are appealing to your audience.

Focus on Top Performing Platforms

To help you improve your productivity on social media, you need to focus more on social networking channels that provide your brand with highest return on investment.

Know what is working for you as well as what is not.

For starters, you can begin by analyzing your social media platforms, then proceed to compare their overall performance.

Use social media analytic tools such as buffer, Social Sprout, Hootsuite among others to help you gather more data and information.

The collected insights, will help you come up with a better marketing strategy so that you can dedicate your time and resources on social platforms that have high ROI.

Never Stop Learning

If you want to succeed in digital marketing, you need to be an expert in as many social media topics as possible.

As a marketer, being aware of the latest marketing developmentsas well what’s trending will give you an edge over other social media marketers in your niche.

As a social media manager, you need to:

  • Be skilled in using variety of social media tools
  • Be able to manage social media campaigns especially paid ads
  • Be to able to understand how to use web analytics tools and social media metrics

It is also advisable to continue improving your skills in different areas such as copywriting, marketing, data analytics, presentation, design as well as communication.

Outsource

Large organizations usually have a team of specialists based in different locations to carry out their marketing strategies outside their agencies.

Outsourcing social media tasks help brands reduce the amount of time they spend on routine social media activities.

Outsourcing will help you boost your social media productivity.

Taking advantage of social media specialists, come with them lots of experience and knowledge.

These specialists can help your brand with all sorts of social media activities including monitoring your performance on social media, marketing as well as administration services.

Give Customers a Reason To Provide Feedback

Getting real customer feedback is extremely important for marketers.

Feedback helps businesses know the reaction of their customers to their product offerings.

It also provides a basis for engagement between brands and their followers to drive up sales.

Usability tests, surveys, and questions are some of the methods that brands use when they want to gather information from those who buy their products and services.

As a way of encouraging them to provide you with the feedback you’re looking for, try offering them certain incentives, e.g. discount coupons.

With a little persuasion, most customers would be willing to spare a minute and give you their honest insights into how they think you can improve the quality of your products.