Cambria Torquay vs. Hanstone Aspen

glueblobJanuary 28, 2013

We have narrowed our choices for our kitchen counters to Cambria Toquay and Hanstone Aspen. However, we have been having a hard time locating an actual sample of Hanstone Aspen to see in person.

Cambria is coming out to be about $700 more than the Hanstone, which is an amount I can probably live with. So, price isn't a HUGE factor, but a small consideration.

My question is - do any of you have opinions on these brands and/or these specific colors if you've seen them in person?

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I actually have the Hanstone Aspen in my bathroom. Unfortunately I don't have a close up picture of it with me at work. I'm attaching a far away one, but I don't think that does you any good. I can try to get a close up tonight if you would like.

In terms of quality, I absolutely love it. This stuff is impervious to absolutely everything. Coffee rings left for days wipe up with water. Hairspray, toothpaste, lotion, are no problem. It has convinced me that quartz is the way to go for our kitchen counters.

Now, in terms of color, I think it depends what look you're going for. If you are trying to approximate marble, then I think you're better off with the Cambria. I don't think my counter looks much like marble at all. I sort of thought it did before it was installed, but not anymore. That might be because the "veins" run from front to back on it vs. side to side (we used a remnant piece so we had no choice in direction) and I sort of suspect that is not the way the slabs lay.

If you are just looking for a really pretty countertop, the Hanstone could be perfect. But if you are really going for the look of marble, then I think the Torquay wins.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Thanks for your input wi-salorgirl! I do think Torquay looks more like marble and I think that's why I'm drawn to it more than Aspen. But the truth of it is, I'm not sure that any quartz really looks like/could pass for marble, so how much is "closer" worth to me? ::sigh::

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:41PM
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In the beginning of our planning process, when I knew I couldn't handle marble but loved the look, I had my heart set on quartz. I had narrowed it down to exactly your two choices and ultimately liked Aspen better than Torquay. To me, there was always something a little off with the Torquay, but I could never quite put my finger on it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:06PM
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Kimpossible - You described me (and others, I'm sure) to a T! Except, for some reason that's how I feel about Aspen. I just feel like something is off, but I'm not sure what!

Have you had the Aspen installed? If so, how did it turn out?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:24PM
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A few pictures of ours, Torquay:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 2:58PM
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oldbat2be - Have you been happy with your torquay?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:36PM
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HanStone and Cambria (and all the other quartz countertop brands) are manufactured on literally the exact same machines so there is no actual difference in the material beyond what you can see in the coloring.

a much bigger differnce can be the fabrication quality. In many areas Cambria is made at giant "factory" shops where all the polishing is done by machine. Not horrible but decidedly inferior to edges that are shaped by machine and finished by hand. HanStone may also be fabbed in a large volume shop.

The tip-off to machine (CNC) finished edges are loads of scratches that run parallel to the edge which can be very obvious in the right light. on lighter colors they are less visible and their prevalence is somewhat dependent on how old the diamond tooling is. Worn tools are much worse and unfortunately for the end user fabricators are motivated to get every last foot out of the tooling because a set of CNC tools for only one edge profile will cost approx. $3500.

I always tell my customers to pick the color they want because they'll be looking at it for a long time. re: the scratches; I have a small display that shows the differnce and have sold many jobs because we take the extra time (roughly 4 hours of shop labor on a typical kitchen) to finish the edges to state of the art quality.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Does quartz always have a reflective quality to it? I really am looking for something that looks like a honed marble, if there is such a thing.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Gluebob - yes, and no. The Torquay has worked well for us. Tomato, coffee, food coloring, lemon juice, blueberry stains... all wipe up, no issues. But ... I still lust after marble. What swayed me was an evening tossing my keys and a pair of scissors against my sample block of marble. (I didn't think I could live with the etching). Everybody loves the material and I do truly love how clean it is and how it reflects light. It's been great fun to photograph and is a great palette for your cooking:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:58PM
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We just installed Cambria Torquay and have been living with it for the 2 weeks since we moved back into our house (we did an addition/renovation that included building anew kitchen). The kitchen is not finished, but we have been using it regularly these past 2 weeks, and I LOVE the Torquay. It looks pretty in the daytime and at night, and it cleans up beautifully. My thinking is this: it would never pass for marble, and if only marble will do, this is not going to cut it. But if you just want the happy feeling of a light countertop that is not necessarily too modern looking (although I assume you could go modern with it, too), this is perfect. That said, before you get your heart set on it, make sure it's in stock or easily obtainable. We were told there was a significant back order time, and we just happened to luck out because our cabinet place had a few slabs that were momentarily unclaimed. I've attached a photo - please excuse the mismatched stuff on the counter, as we're still figuring out where things go.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Love it with the yellow cabinets, ArlingtonVAremodel! Beautiful combo.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Oldryder - What kind of products do you finish that way? Quartz or Granite?

Oldbat2be - Thanks for the input! Those all sound like good qualities!

ArlingtonVA - I do like the look of marble, but I think overall I will be happy with the clean, bright look of quartz. I guess we should check on the turnaround time, but no one said anything about it being an issue. The upside is, we don't really need it until probably April - our house is still in the framing stage.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Thanks, Oldbat2be! I am really happy with how the combo turned out.

Good luck, glueblob!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:32AM
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There are two new marble looks coming soon from Caesarstone. I posted about them with photos here. They are called Frosty Carrina and London Gray. It should come up on a search. I like them both better than the Torquay. The Torquay is very pretty but I don't care for the small dots which no marble has. The Silestone Lagoon also looks a lot like marbl. It has the dots too but they aren't as pronounced.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Blondelle - I JUST saw your post! The Frosty Carrina looks right along the same lines. I'm already trying to figure out how to get a quote on it! I'm SO glad you posted about it!

Hopefully tracking down a sample won't be too hard.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:46AM
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I just installed (last week!) the somewhat new color by Silestone called "Lagoon"...maybe you have not seen this one yet. It looks a LOT like marble and is gorgeous.

I am now also convinced to use this same color in my kitchen! It's my favorite thing about my new bathroom.

I have closer up pics....I'll post them when my bathroom is done....hopefully by the weekend!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:11PM
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We installed Cambria Torquay in Sept and are happy. Shines up and reflects nicely, easy to clean. Blondelle raises some good points about "dots" in the Torquay, which I was fine with. The Caesarstone Frosty Carrina looks promising and would have definitely been in the running had it been released earlier.

The thing that gets me is when folks say Torquay looks "fake". I view it a different way. I merely wanted a white quartz countertop with movement/activity in it. Torquay fit that bill perfectly and subtlely. I'm not trying to trick anyone. I'm not trying to simulate marble. In fact, people are just as impressed with quartz period (they're still living in the granite age). So don't worry about looking "fake" and pick the pattern you like best.

Arlington - Kuddos on your cabs! The old school yellow looks great!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Kompy - Is the gray "veining" very pronounced? It doesn't look like it is on the photos (both yours and Silestone's website)?

Nixit - I didn't notice too many "dots" in the samples of Torquay. Would you say there are a lot in your slabs? You have also summed up my feelings exactaly! I am looking for the "movement" of marble - but I know (and don't care) that quartz won't pass for marble. I also like the durability of quartz, but I don't want the "chips of stone" look that most colors have. That leaves you with a solid color (i.e. no movement) or something that is along the lines of marble (Torquay, Aspen, Lagoon, etc.).

Oh and blondelle - we hunted down a Caeserstone rep and have sent them our drawings for a quote! Hopefully they won't think I'm crazy for asking for a not-yet-released color!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:24PM
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The grey veining is not very pronounced...but it's softer, has more depth and is more natural looking than Misty Carerra or other quartz brands. Here's a closer up shot. Pictures do NOT do this material justice.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:57PM
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glueblob: my comments re: edge finish quality apply to both quartz and granite. most shops have opted for the inferior scratch laden CNC polish because the public knows no better and it costs less for the fabricator.

it's the age old difference between craftsmanship and businesses that have making money as their 1st priority.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:36PM
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gluebob - I would say there are very tiny dots/specs throughout. It's not noticeable from afar like the "veining", but it's part of the design.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:55AM
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gluebob - I would say there are very tiny dots/specs throughout. It's not noticeable from afar like the "veining", but it's part of the design.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Follow up question to everyone with Cambria - Two different sales reps (that don't represent Cambria) have talked about how horrible Cambria is to work with, to deal with for warranty issues and that "they don't use lasers to template your counters they just measure and ship the piece and it's the installer's job ot make it fit if it isn't right".

Have you had these issues with Cambria? I feel like it's just a sleezy/lying salesman talking.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:49PM
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I'm a KD since the mid-80's. I wouldn't say they are lying. Cambria wants to maintain more control over their tops by doing their own fabricating. That is not necessarily a bad thing...witha all the fly by night fabbers out there. However, I have a great fabricator and would rather HE do it for me. I does take a bit longer sometimes and there is issues with my customers previewing slabs (yes, some people still want to pre-view quartz).

Fabricators probably do make a little less on Cambria since they are really only doing the templates and installations....but not the sales least in my area. Cambria has been shuffled around to several different fabricators in my area over the yes, I think there is some truth to fabricators having issues with Cambria. There is also probably some truth to the warranty issues. Cambria has 'pooling' issues with several colors. Many people do not like this effect.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:00PM
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gluebob - My Cambria fabricator (Select Services in Chicagoland) used lasers to template our counter tops. I watched him do it. He took measurements by had as well. To me, it looked like he had all the latest technology.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:38PM
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I just got a quote on both of these products. The Torquay was $400 more than the Aspen. That is for nearly 70 Sq ft of counters (Torquay $5949, Aspen $5549). We were also told that it takes on average about 3 weeks for the counters to come in for Cambria. Hanstone was 2 weeks after measurement.

ETA: that price includes measurement, delivery and installation.

This post was edited by Mtkgal on Wed, May 1, 13 at 13:45

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:08AM
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