Anyone Got Experience With Quartz Countertops?

nerdyshopperMay 22, 2010

I am now considering a quartz countertop for our kitchen. We like the Brownhill pattern of Cambria. But we are wondering about issues with the material and the installation. So far I have one estimate in and a second on the way. The first is quite expensive for 76 square feet of counter with a cutout for an undermount double sink and another for a drop in glass flat top range. The total cost estimate is $7239, including 8.3% sales tax. Anyone care to comment?

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Amy Koch Interiors

We have Zodiaq quartz countertops we are very happy with, but I'm not sure what your question is. "Issues with materials and installation" ...?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 12:48AM
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mileaday

I have Silestone quartz in both my kitchen and master bath and love it. It was the most expensive surface that I considered but the best choice for me. It is easy to keep clean and somehow looks shiny and clean even when it isn't. The men who installed it did a fantastic job. The 2 seams in the kitchen are invisible and I've had no issues with chipping on the edges or any kind of staining. I initially chose it because it was the best match for my cabinets and I'm glad I did.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 8:08AM
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columbusbrian

I too have Silestone. Yes, more pricey then some other options, but worth it. No constant sealing, very easy to care for, and a more environmentally friendly. I have an undermount sink so I also have two seams, but not really an issue for me either.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 8:47AM
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lennym

We recently had Brownhill installed and love it. Shopping around is a very good idea; we paid a lot less per square foot than your estimate. We used 45.5 sq. ft. Another retailer wanted $100. One of the problems in some areas is that there may not be many Cambria retailers. In shopping around I noticed that there is more somewhat negotiation room with Silestone as there are many more dealers and fabricators-including sales on it at HD. For a while we considered Sienna Ridge, though we didn't like it as much.

Our longest stretch of counter is 13.5 ft. and has a seam at the sink, hardly noticeable.

We haven't had it long enough to judge its durability. But what is your concern?

Here in NY installed counters are considered a capital improvement and are not subject to sales tax. I suggest you inquire with your own state's tax department.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 9:40AM
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caligal

I have a very small kitchen and paid $65/sqft installed for my caesarstone. Have had it in for a year and a half, no problems what-so-ever and it is a light color. I believe it was the middle of the pricing scale, letter C, color oyster.

I had 3 quotes ranging from $1600-$3800. Went with the mid range quote of $2200 because I saw the installers work and it looked good. Oh, and they threw in a $700.00 sink. I would try to get at least 3 estimates and see the work or get a reference.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 2:43PM
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nerdyshopper

Thanks for all yoour responses. I guess my major concern was how to judge the competence of the installers used by various dealers. So far the one I got an estimate from one who seems to have their own trained installer. However two other local dealers have to call an installer that is 150 miles away and give him a detailed diagram of the kitchen counter that I must measure and draw up, to get an estimate. I have visions of excuses related to my drawing if anything goes wrong. I hope someone can do this for less that the quote I posted. So far I got one definite quote for $67 a sq. Ft. with a lot of extra charges for shipping, sink cutouts, etc, and another for $69.95 per sq. ft. all inclusive. The latter is not definite since I haven't made the detailed drawing yet. I may have to give up the idea if I can't control costs in this area.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 3:21PM
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charlikin

I have Zodiaq quartz. Looks beautiful, totally easy to care for - I don't always notice a spill till the next morning, but no worries, it cleans up great.

I chose Zodiaq because I liked the way it looked the best out of all the quartz brands - it looked the most like granite to me. Something about the translucense of the quartz particles...

A year or two ago, someone posted here about serious problems she'd had with Cambria - there were large "resin pools" in her countertop, beyond what might be considered normal, and Cambria refused to consider it a defect. She ended up replacing her countertops with granite, and she recommended that people go view their slabs before they're cut (even though viewing slabs is not normal procedure with quartz).

The only problem I had was that my installer was quite far from where I lived, and when they had to make an additional templating visit (because of some screw-up by the contractor), it cost quite a bit extra because of the distance. In retrospect I would have chosen an installer who was closer by.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 4:52PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

I have Cambria and am very happy with it. I remember the pooling issues, and made a point of inspecting the slabs before fabrication, as you would with granite. I would urge you to do the same. There were no resin pools in either of my slabs, but inspection will ensure peace of mind.
There was only one qualified Cambria installer in my area, but they are well regarded and I was happy with them.

Cambria was less expensive than the other brands of quartz, at least in my location, but my choice was based on them being the only one manufacturing in the US, and I really liked the colour we selected.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 5:28PM
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nerdyshopper

I have been searching for the thread that talks about "resin Pools" in Cambria. Nothing. Only one thread came up for Cambria countertop, quartz, or countertop. Cambria, or resin pool led me mostly to garden forums unrelated to my quest. Anybody recall a key word in the title that I can use to get there. If there is a problem with Cambria, then I question the whole process for making quartz countertopa. Maybe you have to inspect each one. I tried to find Zodiaq countertops but the DuPont site only had one vendor about 80 miles from here. I like the Brownhill pattern because the chips are much larger than is typical for other quartz countertops that I have checked out: Caesarstone, LG and Silestone.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 8:41PM
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albemi

Caligal,

Do you have more photos of the oyster countertops from further away?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 9:03PM
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charlikin

Found some of the threads:

Replacing my quartz countertop

Pooling or spots on Zodiac quartz

Quartz opinions and pictures please

Btw, the way I found these was through the following google search: "site:gardenweb.com cambria resin"

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 9:57PM
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caligal

alberni, here is one from a distance:

click on my name for email & I can send you
more pics if you want them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:58AM
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nerdyshopper

After following all the threads on quartz countertops, I have decided that they are a concept that is half-baked. Manufacturers charging a fortune for a product that has flaws that they refuse to fix. No inspections allowed unless you have a fabricator with a very large collection of them---most just order the slabs after you choose the pattern. I don't think so. Many have very satisfactory countertops and post beautiful pictures, but what if mine isn't. I don't want to make that investment. I think one thread had a poster that concluded the only sane choice was laminate. For the difference in cost you could replace it three times--and the 180fx laminate looks like the most expensive granite patterns. I'm back to the original choice but I haven't found a fabricator that can cope with my undermount sink yet.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 2:25PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

I'd just like to counter (no pun intended) the "no inspections" comment by stating again that I was able to inspect the slabs at my fabricator's warehouse, just as you would with granite. I'm also happy to say that my Bristol Blue Cambria looks EXACTLY like the sample on the website, and the sample I actually had at home. There were no flaws. I've seen just as many folk posting here with unsatisfactory granite installations - nothing is foolproof. Do your research, and check that you'll be able to inspect your slabs, before you place an order.
If its the look you really want (and in my case, we didn't like any granites we saw, but wanted the hard-wearing, easy maintenance of a stone-type counter), then go for it if you have the budget. But do your research, just as you would with granite.
My recollection about the poster with the resin pooling is that she did not inspect prior to fabrication.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 4:23PM
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charlikin

I don't know that I would say quartz is half-baked. I truly love my Zodiaq countertops. Beautiful, easy maintenance... In my opinion, it's as valid an option as anything else.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:34AM
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caligal

I have to agree with charlikin, I think my quartz is one of the best features of my kitchen. I do not baby them and I am not that tidy either. Over a year of abuse and they have held up well and look spectacular in person. There are pros & cons for all countertop materials.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:40AM
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vidaprodiga

I LOVE QUARTZ- ESPECIALLY CAMBRIA. I am a designer for countertops and we sell Cambria 95% of the time. It's a GREAT product, non-porous, scratch resistant, and can withstand high heat. For instance I iron my clothes on my counter(of course I use a towel on the surface first). I had quartz installed just recently and was really torn between granite or cambria. I chose cambria because it require less up keep- NEVER needs to be sealed, and you can prepare food on the surfaces and will never seep into the core of the counter. I would go with Cambria if you like the fact that it's made here in the US and their the 'creme de la creme' of quartz. Not everyone can sell it, they are picky about who they let represent their products.
I am a huge advocate of Cambria and would sell nothing more than just Cambria, but again it does not offer all the color SileStone, Hanstone, Viatera, Zodiaq, Ceaserstone offers. There are other suppliers that are starting to bloom, one of them is located in the Pac NW, Chroma from Pental- their colors are very nueatural and nature inspired.

BTW- we retail our Cambria under $70.00 per square foot, with edge profile at .50 cents an inch. We purchase our slabs direct and fabricate them ourselves. If you are going through a cabinet shop or carpet dealer, then you are going to pay more than if you went to a fabricator direct. Too many middle men getting a chunk from the sale.

I hope this helps you out- CAMBRIA ROCKS..... oh and it will dull your knives if you cut on it- its that strong!

Here is a pic of my kitchen AFTER counters were installed... I have since painted my cabinets and installed new floors and appliances...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:15PM
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PoorOwner

I think quartz surfaces are great, we have one baking area made with it only 8 feet and looking for a uniform color, with very sanitary surface, quartz fits the bill.

It is more expensive than granite these days, but that's only because granite prices dropped alot.

Here is my caesarstone oyster.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:32PM
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tr5188

Anyone have thoughts on using Brownhill by Cambria? I have natural yellow pine cabinets and dark walnut floors in an old and a bit dark farmhouse. I was going to go with Victoria,but I think I can get away with a darker color since the cabinets have really lightened the room up. I fnayone has a pic of brownhill, especially with lighter cabinets, i would really be interested in taking a look. I would aslo be intersted in some other ideas for colors to go with the dark floors and mellow natural pine cabinets.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 3:31PM
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vidaprodiga

Here are some pictures of brownhill that we have installed and a closeup of my 12x12 sample. It's a neutral color that when looked at from a distance has a warm undertone. It has darker browns, blacks, and light tans to it. Your natural pine cabinets and dark wood floors would look lovely with it! The victoria is lighter than brownhill- but it's also brighter - if that makes sense!

Brownhill pics

Victoria pics

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 4:41PM
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kimberly62

We had Silestone Giallo Quarry installed last year, and we couldn't be more pleased with them. They are beautiful, and maintenance free. We had no problems with the product itself, or installation. I would recommend quartz countertops to anyone.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 4:49PM
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trwanner_aol_com

Thanks so much, I hope my kitchen looks as nice as yours does when it's done. I think you've sold me on the brownhill - it seems like it would be a better fit with my cabinets/floor than Victoria. TR

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:03PM
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giacomo_it

Stay away from Handstone, a client of mine that I suggested to go with Quartz. I show her Stone Italiana.
She end up using Handstone.... 3 months later she regret to go cheaper....one night she had a party and red wine stain is on the counter-top.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:08PM
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linda123_2010

I was wondering what you ended up with for your countertops? I think I'm going with Cambria Brownhill. Going to see a slab on Friday.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:34AM
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davidro1

Late April I had quartz counters installed. About 40 square feet. Am happy, satisfied and proud. It's 2cm, thinner than the average counter. I got a special edge. Price was about one third each for installation, material, and edging/cutouts/polishing. Total was in the same low range per sq.ft. as caligal and others who mentioned same.

A cooktop cutout should have r=5mm corners and not be simply four straight cuts that meet at the corners. This is per the manufacturer. (Same principle applies to stone counters too. It helps prevent possible cracks starting at inside corners). Fabricators might be meticulous and follow all instructions, or not... in my case I kept on delaying my purchase until I had it all in writing, and then I delayed the next step until I had it written into the template too.

I got a light quartz. Its uniformity is a big attraction. People like it. In 2008 I thought I wanted soapstone, but ultimately couldn't justify it in a kitchen designed to be light, open and not "busy" visually.

I have a $1000 wet saw to cut tile and stone. I sliced into pieces of the quartz material to see how it works. It's very dense. It's very strong. At 1/8" thick, it resists snapping as well as a 1/4" thick piece of most stones. In my order I bought some extra quartz material for future projects. The installer gave me tips on how to polish it after cutting it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:27PM
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sammi06

I have Cambria Cranbrook. I had no problems with pooling. I love my countertops. My installers ( Ohio) were very professional and did an awesome job. I could not be any more happy with Cambria. Big plus was MADE IN AMERICA... My only problem is coming up with a backsplash and paint to go with Cranbrook. Anyone out there who has this color please share pics of your finished kitchen...PLEASE

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:52PM
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doonie

I've had my Yellow Nile Silestone in the leathered finish about 1 month now. I really love it. I had a sample piece that I tested red wine on and it came right off, but I'll admit, I am a little anxious about leaving red wine on my installed counter. We had a bottle that left a ring after about 1/2 hour. The stain did not wipe up immediately, but it did come up after some 409 and a non scratch scrubber pad. I would think with the regular polished finish and the darker quartzes, that wouldn't be so much of a concern.

There wasn't really a selection of fabricators in my area. I had 1 to choose from, but they did a great job. It was probably the cost of a higher end granite.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:53AM
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lennym

sammi06,
The Cambria site is now making paint color suggestions for all their stones. Benjamin Moore colors, but you can have them made up with any paint. Mostly earth tones.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cambria Site

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:01AM
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sammi06

lennym, Thanks for the heads up.. I will check this out.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 1:59AM
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elbartee

So many great experiences with quartz countertops that I have to share my experience for those in the decision process.

Expected low/no-maintenance, nearly-bullet-proof from Cambria, but my countertops are terribly marked up from, of all things, rivets on jeans.

A week or 2 after Cambria Whitehall installation, Installer came out to help with removing gray marks--they look like pencil scribble and some would wash off with dish soap, but others wouldn't. Installer decided the marks were from metal objects, mostly pocket knives (his marked the edge while reaching to clean the widow sill). The marks that wouldn't wash off Installer said are scratches.

Fast-forward a week and we have 4 friends over for a Friday night. The next day: tons of marks all over the edges of the counter. Whitehall is very white and small-grained so these marks are *very* obvious. Tested the Cambria sample piece and jean rivets did mark it.

Seems like it wouldn't show on a darker color, but it is something I didn't think to test on my sample prior to purchase.

As for other benefits of quarts, there is one small stain that I can't figure out where it came from. But wine, tea, coffee, berries, chili sauce all clean up easily.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 5:32PM
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elbartee

So many great experiences with quartz countertops that I have to share my experience for those in the decision process.

Expected low/no-maintenance, nearly-bullet-proof from Cambria, but my countertops are terribly marked up from, of all things, rivets on jeans.

A week or 2 after Cambria Whitehall installation, Installer came out to help with removing gray marks--they look like pencil scribble and some would wash off with dish soap, but others wouldn't. Installer decided the marks were from metal objects, mostly pocket knives (his marked the edge while reaching to clean the widow sill). The marks that wouldn't wash off Installer said are scratches.

Fast-forward a week and we have 4 friends over for a Friday night. The next day: tons of marks all over the edges of the counter. Whitehall is very white and small-grained so these marks are *very* obvious. Tested the Cambria sample piece and jean rivets did mark it.

Seems like it wouldn't show on a darker color, but it is something I didn't think to test on my sample prior to purchase.

As for other benefits of quarts, there is one small stain that I can't figure out where it came from. But wine, tea, coffee, berries, chili sauce all clean up easily.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:26PM
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Gen42

I had my quartz countertops installed about 10 days ago with a polished surface. Backsplash was installed today and grout was Bostik premixed grout. Installers said they had worked with it before. The counters look like some of the polished surface has been removed and is dull in many spots. Is the surface restorable. Is the Bostik corrosive to quartz? Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:11PM
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PamM07

Are these seams considered well done? I currently have quartz in my kitchen but have no seams. Our new home's kit hen has longer countertops requiring seaming. Here are pictures. Would live some feedback.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:27PM
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calumin

My quartz install manual says not to put a joint within 6 inches of a cutout.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:13PM
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boone_2009

Calumin, when you say cutout, do you mean the sink in that picture ( or a cooktop cut out)? If so, where should the seams go - at corners away from sink and cooktop? I have a peninsula kitchen.

Just wanted to ask another quick question, since earlier posts talked about inspecting quartz countertops for resin pooling.
Please tell me exactly what to look for - I plan to go next week to inspect our slabs. What will 'resin pooling' look like - brown blotches? What else do I need to be on the look-out for? Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:29PM
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calumin

@boone_2009, I got my quartz countertop from a company called Pental. Their recommendation is to not build a seam where any cutout (sink, cooktop, etc) exists, or within 6" of that cutout. Their other recommendation is to not lay an L-shaped countertop without a joint at the L corner. Here is the manual:

PentalQuartz Installation Manual

Other quartz manufacturers have slightly different recommendations (e.g. some say not to build a joint within 2-3 inches of a cutout, others don't mention it). If I could, I would avoid doing the seam there.

The issue of resin pooling never came up when I purchased my slabs. In fact the people at the store I went to said people usually buy Pental slabs from the samples, because their slabs always look identical. (I don't think they were just being lazy). This could be something that affects some companies more than others. I think on inspection, given the nature of quartz, the slab should just look exactly like the sample and be uniform (and free of cracks).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:39PM
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boone_2009

Thank you very much, calumin.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:03AM
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may_flowers

Resin pooling will look like an area without quartz "rock" in it, or it could look like spots of a different color than the rest of the slab. I had a beige quartz from Caesarstone with small white circular spots as the pattern. When my slab arrived, it had thumbprint sized white blotches that looked like paint smears and very few of the circular spots. Very different than the sample. I switched to Pental and got perfect slabs, though I did see one slab at their warehouse which had a white resin drip that looked like paint.

Some put the seam in the corner--it's called a European miter. My seam is 4 inches from the corner. The peninsula is one slab. Here's a good discussion of seams from Oldryder.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oldryder's thread

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 10:02AM
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boone_2009

may_flowers: Thank you so much for your detailed explanation and for that helpful link. I search the forum all the time before I post anything, so I won't duplicate posts ...but maybe I am not using the right 'key' words :-(.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:00PM
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ayako

Hi all, I am new to the group, I hope you don't mind me asking few questions about countertop.
I have been shopping for our kitchen countertop and island and 2 bathroom vanity countertop for a while.
I set my mind for Luce de Luna, thanks to the recommendation I read here, however my bathroom tiles have a lot of lines in it and I am worried that they will crash with the Luce de Luna countertop.
I have Grigio in kids bath and Bianco in master.
http://www.nemotile.com/category/volcano/volcano/236
I went to several fabricator around here and I found one place where they offered remnant pieces for vanities at much better price.
I asked them for white marble looking quartzite (I have 3 kids and I could not worry about maintenance)
I really liked Super White and Acaida Blanca but they didn't have enough, and they recommended PentalQuartz Lattice.
Has anyone installed this one at home?
I searched this site but there weren't many posts about it.
Calmin, are you happy with your choice?
Is the quality any less than other quartz?
Thank you

Here is a link that might be useful: my bath tiles

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:02AM
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