Need help importing stone and marble from China?
No idea where to import affordable wholesale stone in China?
Have difficulities to decide which China stone supplier is the best for you?
Find it challenging to choose the quality stone products?
In this guide, I’m going to show you exactly how to import quality stone and marble from China, and solve all of your FAQs on stone products.
Now, it’s time to get started!
I. Why Import Stone and Marble from China?
1. Good Quality with Lower Price
China’s stone and marble industry has continuously upgraded and has become competitive in the global market. With the high global demand for importation and large-scale processing, China has improved the quality of stones produced using state-of-the-art machinery. And when talking about price, you know that most sellers can’t beat China’s prices.
2. Numerous Manufacturers
China ranks as one of the world’s leading producers of granite, marble, and other natural stones. The production of marble in China is centered mostly in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Shandong, Hubei, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Most of the leading manufacturers have put up bases in these regions.
3. Start a Successful Business
If you want a business that gives you a steady stream of high income, consider starting a business as an importer, wholesaler, or retailer of marble and stone building materials from China.
There will always be a strong demand for building materials since housing is a basic necessity. And where else can you get a good return on investment than when you choose to source stone and marble from China? That’s where there’s plenty of supply, and prices are much lower compared to other source countries.
II. Where to Import Stone and Marble from China
Since marble and other stones are plentiful in China, you’ll find it easy to look for suppliers. Here’s where to start:
1. From Online
The easiest way to look for stone and marble suppliers is to find them online. One of the most significant sources is Alibaba, the world’s biggest online commerce company, hosting millions of merchants and businesses. Sourcing from Alibaba saves you time and money going to and from China to make your purchase. By using Alibaba, you can make a list of suppliers you’d like to check out at your own convenient time.
2. From Canton Fair
Canton Fair is a yearly import and export trade fair held during spring and autumn in Guangzhou, China. This massive trade fair showcases exhibitors of various products from electronics and household electrical appliances, building materials and hardware, machinery, equipment, fabrics and textile, and many more. With a wide array of marble and other stones from different manufacturers, there are several choices for you to consider the best materials for your building project. In 1 to 3 days, you can talk to different suppliers and make the best deal from your visit. Admission to Canton Fair is free, but you may need to apply for a visa when going to China.
3. From Manufacturer Bases
Top manufacturers of China marble and stones have set up bases in the following provinces where resources are abundant.
Foshan, inlaid in the hinterland of the Pearl River Delta, is well known as the ceramic city of the South. So far, there are over 350 enterprises dedicated to producing and developing ceramics and stone, and more than 1200 production lines in Foshan. Foshan has always been at the forefront of domestic counterparts in terms of product quality and technology development, boasting the premium quality with reasonable price in the world.
Yunfu is the stone base center and artificial stone capital of China. It has the largest inland river port, which plays a significant role in the import and export business in the province. With the abundance of resources, top manufacturers located in the area deliver quality stones like marble of different colors, onyx, limestone, and others at a lower price. These are quality stones used for building and for ornaments.
Xiamen is a coastal city in Fujian Province. There are several stone products available in Xiamen, including granite, marble, slate, sandstone, and limestone. These can be used for sculptures, tombstones, and building stones for slabs, countertops, columns, staircases, patterns, and mosaics for different building and construction projects.
With its abundance of natural resources and its convenient water and land transportation, Laizhou City in Shandong Province is considered as the “stone materials export base in north China.” Laizhou City produces stones such as granite, marble, limestone, slate, pebble, and other stone products. These are especially good for exterior and interior wall and floor applications.
4. From Top 10 Stone Manufacturer List in China
Importing stone and marble from China is difficult and challenging. Which stone supplier is right for you? Which stone factory is really a factory, not the trading company? Which stone factory manufactures high-quality stone and marble? We have compiled the list of top 10 stone suppliers in China for you to choose. George Buildings is your choice!
Related Article: Top 10 Tile Manufacturers in China
Related Article: Top 10 Window and Door Company in China
III. Popular Types of Stone Used for Buildings Constructions
Do you know what are the popular and commonly used stone types for building?
Well, here are some right types of stone for you to choose:
- Granite is an igneous rock used for monuments and institutional buildings. Polished granite is used as bench tops, cladding for columns and walls. It is also used as coarse aggregates in concrete.
- Marble is a metamorphic rock used for facades as well as ornamental works. It is also used for flooring, steps, columns, and as table or countertop.
- Onyx is a stone formed from limestone. It consists of fine intergrowths of quartz and morganite, and is available in many colors. Its best use is for walls with light behind them as it is enhanced due to its translucent color.
- Quartzite is a metamorphic rock used as building blocks and slabs. It is also used as aggregates for concrete.
- Limestone consists of calcium carbonate. It forms an attractive feature when polished due to fossil inclusions, which makes it more decorative when used in the fabric of a building as facades, cornices, and pillars. It is often used as floor tiles and bathroom wall tiles, vanity tops, fireplaces, and staircases.
IV. How to Choose the Best Stone and Marble in China?
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best stone and marble in China. Here are a few:
1. Choosing Sizes and Thickness
Marble flooring sizes vary from commercial setting (large slabs) and residential use (form of tiles). The most common dimensions are: 12 x 12 with 3/8 inch thickness; 16×16 inch with 7/16 thickness and 24 x 24 inch with 1/2 inch thickness.
2. Choosing Shapes and Textures
The most common marble surface finishes are polished, honed, tumbled, and brushed. Classic marble tiles are usually square, but there are also rectangular marble tiles as well as geometric tiles where hexagon is most common.
3. Choosing Styles/Finishing and Patterns
Marble and other stones come in different colors and patterns. When choosing styles, finishing and patterns, it helps to keep the rest of your decor scheme in mind. Make sure that the stone you choose will complement your home decor, your paint color, your possessions, and also your lifestyle.
4. Comparison Between Marble and Granite
While both granite and marble are natural stones, they are very different in appearance and function
Granite is known for its excellent durability and building properties because of its high strength and hardness, low absorption value, least porosity, good resistance to frost and weathering. Dark-colored granite does not easily scratch or etch.
An excellent quality marble is strong, uniform in texture, least porous and are suitable both as ornamental stones and for general construction like green marble. However, those made of calcite absorbs stains and to etch over time.
Granite is less expensive than marble. Installing both marble and granite may sometimes cost the same. But granite requires less maintenance and more durable, thus more cost-efficient.
Granite’s color varies from light to dark with flecks, veins or solid patterns. Marble’s smooth surface is usually striated with veins of minerals. However, both stones’ appearance varies depending on its natural source and cut location.
V. How to Import Stone and Marble from China?
1. Know about Tariffs and Countervailing Charges
A tariff is tax levied by governments on the value including freight and insurance of imported products. With the new tax law on import and export in China, under tariff rate quota (TFR) schemes, goods imported within the quota are subject to lower tariff rate, and goods imported with higher quota are subjected to higher tariff rates.
Countervailing charges are applied to goods that can be cheaply imported into your country because the manufacturer was given a subsidy by the government as this inexpensive goods are not competitive with the local business (may vary from different countries)
Before finalizing your payment, know first your country’s law on taxes and charges to avoid incurring extra payment that may be imposed to you for the product you import.
2. Classify Your Goods and Calculate the Landed Cost
Landed cost refers to the total cost of the product once it has arrived at the buyer’s door. Every fee, clearance, tariff, duties based on goods, import custom clearance and a long list of all importation transactions are included in the landed cost. It is best to coordinate with a sourcing agent who understands all these requirements.
3. Find China Supplier and Place Orders
You can search for a supplier either in person or online. If online, there’s always Alibaba, a trusted platform that features a wide variety of products of wholesale building materials (which includes stone and marble). Remember to research about the companies and check out who you are dealing with. It’s important to know if they are authorized to sell what they offer. Always look for their “Trading Level” to ensure they have accumulated successful transactions.
If you prefer a person-to-person transaction, visit China’s trade fairs where you can talk directly with vendors and see the actual product on site. Visit Foshan is also an excellent option for you, as Foshan is the most famous ceramic city in China. There are numerous options for your choice, from budget, middle level, and high-end types of stone and marble.
When you’ve found your supplier, you can request for a price quotation and make sure you discuss minimum order requirements, sample pricing before you order in bulk, production pricing for the final order, delivery time, and payment terms. These information creates a smoother flow of transaction.
4. Product Inspection for Quality Control
Have your product inspected for quality control. Ask your manufacturer to send you detailed photos with specifications as proof of your order. You may also request a sample. Of course, this has a price. Better yet, you may opt for a sourcing agent who can do this for you as it may not be feasible to travel frequently to China to do product inspections.
5. Arrange Your Cargo Shipment
There are a lot of fees associated when shipping stone and marble from China.
This includes packaging, terminal handling, broker fees and container fees. Check the details of sea freight, air freight, and courier service. When satisfied with the freight quote, contact your supplier to arrange shipment transportation.
VI. Common Problems When Importing Stone and Marble from China
1. Issue on Quality
- Inconsistent Material Quantities
Some stone materials used in countertops are not 100% natural stone but a type of an engineered stone. Those made from quartz for example is 93% quartz mixed with resin and dyes. However, some manufacturers do not follow a strict ratio for the amount of resin and quartz used, resulting in resin pooling, which may eventually damage the product during the transport.
- Color Difference
When natural stone materials like marble are poorly processed, it can come out dull. Beware of scams where consumers are fooled as they were not able to identify the genuine stone from a knock off.
- Inconsistent Thickness
Some slabs may be slightly thicker or thinner than the rest. Because of this, there can also be a price inconsistency, which can mean shortages in some thickness of specific color.
- Corner and Edge Breakage
Most stones, especially granite and quartz, are durable as concrete. They won’t crack or chip easily. But a less than high quality stone can lead to easy chipping and breakage, especially if edges are not sealed properly.
- Defects in Flatness
When stone and marble are not processed properly, some defects may surface. For marble, one flat side must be polished while the other should be free of any wire mesh. If wire mesh is present, it indicates that the marble is soft and easy to break.
- Damaged Packaging
Stone and marble products are very fragile and may easily break while being transported. When not given special attention in packing, items may not be protected and may each you with damage. So make sure to specify in your contract that quality packaging be used for your orders, or the manufacturer will pay for any damage.
2. Issue on Payment
Most suppliers in China require a 30% deposit before production, and the remaining balance upon completion of the order before shipment.
For safe payment options, here are the usual payment options for your supplier in China:
Telegraphic is the most common payment method, and is widely accepted by suppliers. Generally, the telegraphic transfer is complete within two to four business days, depending on the origin and destination of the transfer, as well as any currency exchange requirements.
Paypal is becoming increasingly popular for transactions, especially for electronics sales. Paypal focuses on buyers’ protection, though there are still some risks, such as taking a long time to make a claim when a dispute arises.
Suppliers love cash, and Chinese suppliers are no different. Paying by cash is very common in China. You need to check the exchange rate when dealing with the foreign exchange transaction.
3. Issue on Shipment
- Delayed Delivery Time
No matter how you plan everything, unexpected events may delay your shipment. There are several reasons why there are delays like Chinese holidays, port overloads, bad weather and the likes. Keep calm and constantly communicate with your freight forwarder to keep track of your shipment.
- Inadequate Documentation
Appropriate documents are needed to process the shipment of your ordered stones and marble. The cost of delivering Bill of Lading, Packing List, Commercial List, and other documents through courier are often paid by the importer. Some suppliers are even willing to pay this charge if you order in bulk.
- Overruns freight
If you get a wrong freight forwarding partner, chances are the logistics is not well managed. There will be rising costs and wastage.
VII. FAQs on Stone and Marble
From where can I buy cheap and good quality marble for flooring?
Use online sourcing platforms like Alibaba where there are lots of sellers in China of high quality but cheap price marble and other types of stone building materials. You may also visit trade fairs to personally check on the quality of the marble flooring available. And the best solution is come to China, and Foshan is the best place to go, as Foshan is knows as the ceramic city of the South.
Where do I find top quality granite stone and marble stone in China?
Granite and marble stone are abundant in the provinces of Guangdong, Shandong and Fujian. Guangdong is the best choice for you, and Foshan must be the best place to come.
Why choose natural stone flooring?
The outstanding qualities of natural stone flooring make it an excellent choice for the home. its colors and texture bring warmth to a room, specially with the variation of color it brings. It can also withstand the daily rigors and is easy to clean and care for, making it a flooring requiring little maintenance.
Any tips will you suggest choosing natural stone products?
Consider the following factors in selecting a natural stone: color, finish, and usage. Your choice of what natural stone to use depends on exactly where you are going to use it. Certain types of stones are better suited for some applications than others.
Generally, granite is a great choice for kitchen countertops, tabletops, floors, and other heavily used surfaces. Marble is often used for floors, countertops, fireplaces, walls, tub decks, and furniture, while limestone is typically used for wall cladding, interior flooring, and exterior applications like curbing and paving.
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