One of the best things about our industry is that there is no connection between quality and price. Often, even the least expensive option can be a very high quality slab that makes a perfect material for your countertop. Pricing is instead based on a few simple considerations.
Supply and demand – Brazil is an example of a mature economy where they have the perfect combination of excellent materials to be quarried, a high level of technological expertise in extraction to minimize waste and loss, and an excellent distribution and transportation network to move materials from the quarry to finishing factories to ports for shipment to the US and other countries. For these reasons and many others, there is a massive supply of high quality low cost Brazilian materials in the DC market.
Labor and insurance – Norway and France are good examples of countries with a good supply of materials and technology, but prohibitively high labor and insurance costs that inflate their final product costs to consumers here and elsewhere. The high quality finishes and precise finishing can sometimes balance these increased costs and make the finished slabs very attractive and worth the premium they command.
Market manipulation – As recently as last year Saudi Arabia was toying with the idea that pricing on their product had fallen through acceptable levels and that by limiting supply, they could put it back within the target range they had decided was appropriate for the three primary colors they export. As a result, we have seen less supply, lower quality and higher costs on some of these items as wholesalers clear out stocks.
The unicorn factor – Every year we see one or two colors quarried and sold that the […]