Caesarstone, Zodiaq, Cambria, Silestone?

momali3September 9, 2008

Are there real differences in these products? I assume that the fabricator is crucially important. I've read some negatives about Lowes and their handling of Zodiaq installations. So far, though, they're the only dealer in my community which carries it. I'd be willing to work with an out of town dealer, though, if it was within 35 miles or so. I am most interested in Caesarstone and Zodiaq and have only just recently learned about Cambria. I'd love to hear your experiences with any of these & and comments about possible differences.

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Costco carries it if there is one near you. You can always join if you don't already and if you decide to get a counter there but first you have to know if they offer it in your area. Call your local Costco to find out. They will bring samples to your home to match with your cabinets, no charge. In my area it is Zodiac, don't know if it is the same nationally.

They are all the same formula of materials but some have colors with larger pieces of quartz and some have more resin pooling than others. Cambria I think it is, has decided resin pooling makes the stone look more real. You will have to decide what you think. Read the warantees about it, each manufacturer is different. I have Zodiac and there is none.


Here is a link that might be useful: Quartz pooling

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:54AM
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I thought some of the Zodiaq colors looked more "natural" than some of the others (I'm getting "Smokey Topaz"), but I think it comes down to who has the color you want. Be sure to see samples - it's so hard to tell from the web site how the stone actually looks. All of the companies will send you samples, either for free or for a small fee.

Very few dealers in my area (NYC) display Zodiaq, but I've found a number of them will still order it for you. For example, my cabinet dealer only officially carries Caesarstone and Silestone, but she's getting me Zodiaq. So ask around.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 6:37AM
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I think the products are fundamentally the same. As sue_ct says, some 'colors' contain smaller particles of stone and some contain larger particles of stone. I was told that the ones with small particles (like mine, I have Caesarstone Blizzard) are slightly softer, but I have not seen scratches on it, and I put hot pans down on the surface after I've drained the water from them.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:41AM
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during my extensive comparisons, the only difference between all the various quartz surfaces that i could ascertain were the varying colors.

we went with caesarstone in jersualem sand.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:04AM
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Unfortunately, we don't have Costco here where I live. I read that thread about resin pooling and some seem to like it and others hate it so much that they switch from engineered stone to granite. I just get more and more confused about which to get, granite or quartz, and DH is starting to say, "Just make up your mind and move on." But I worry about the radon thing with granite, I'm having problems with follow-through with each of the two fabricators I've tried to work with, etc. etc. When you live in a relatively small city (120,000) and there's only one dealer who actually has a stone yard, you have to travel 100 mi North or South to find multiple yards, but even when you do and find granites you like, you have to depend on your local fabricator to price it, and as I said, follow-up or follow-through is an issue. Wow! That's a long sentence, and I'm a retired English teacher!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:19AM
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I understand what you're saying. We also live in a small town and a trip to a granite yard is a whole-day affair, with 1 1/2-2 hours driving each way and necessitates hiring our pet sitter to let the dogs out. Gets expensive. Nor do we have a Costco anywhere close. Similarly, fabricators we've tried to get a quote from, since the yards won't even give you a ballpark, have to be nagged to get a price for one stone, let alone more than one.

As for pooling, with either quartz or granite, you need to select the actual slabs in person to ensure you know what you're getting, once you've chosen a material.

On the subject of radon, there have been many discussions here and elsewhere, and I'm not worried. But I have found it much easier to get samples of quartz to test for staining at home than granite, at least in our New England area. I worry about spending thousands of dollars and then finding I have a stain or etch from an errant lemon squirt. One sample of absolute black we were able to get did just that.

I feel your pain.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:04AM
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The resin pooling issue is interesting. Some colors seem to use a resin that blends in more with the particles. Some have a resin that contrasts - so if you end up with a pool of resin, it's more noticeable. Whether that's an attractive effect or not probably depends on whether you like the resin color, and how disproportionate the pool looks. In that resin pooling thread, the splotches were quite large and in a color that stood out from the rest of the countertop.

In my quest for the perfect quartz countertop, I gathered samples from Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone, and Zodiaq. The resin was the most noticeable with Cambria, which otherwise had gorgeous colors (I like the colors with large quartz pieces, btw). Next was Silestone, which I thought did a better job of blending the resin color with the overall color. I *think* Caesarstone seemed pretty good, though it's possible I didn't spend enough time with those samples to comment - the colors didn't appeal to me. Finally, Zodiaq seemed to do the best job with resin - barely noticed it at all. And I liked their quartz particles a lot - they seemed to have the most depth and translucency - best overall imitation of granite, IMO.

But your tastes may be different than mine. :-)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:48AM
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We concentrated on Cambria because it's the only one manufactured in the US, which was important to us in our planning. Caesarstone is made in Israel and Silestone in Spain I think. Hanstone is from Korea, I forget where Zodiaq is made - Spain as well I think.

I like Cambria's environmental position too: smaller carbon footprint, with less shipping; 100% of water used in fabrication recycled; minimising process waste etc. I felt they were continually reviewing their processes and working to reduce their environmental impact.

And: I LOVE my Bristol Blue!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:50PM
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Because I don't like the speckle look, and didn't see any veiny granite I liked, I got a deep chocolate Zodiaq Okite.....It's really pretty...Only bc of the color I picked, I am careful with chipping it (it's a dark solid brown with black veining so it shows everything)....woulsn't have that problem if I went with the lighter color...but again, I love it. I feel that if you want speckles, go with cheap granite and don't waste money on the man made stuff that looks the same...if you ant veining and more interest, I'd go with granite bc there is a lot of variation there....which is what I like..just personal taste...I don't think there is a big deal of difference with all of the materials you named...I wouldn't be putting pans out of the oven on any of them...chopping directly on any of them...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:57PM
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If you're looking for a sleeker look, I've heard really great things about idol guru Candice Olson uses it quite a bit...
I did see a few Cambria pieces that actually looked like they had depth..and not just flecks of stuff on the surface...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:00PM
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I have Zodiac, and so far I really like it. I have a light color with small particulates, and there are a few small blobs but they are not very noticeable. I also recommend picking out your slabs in person so you 1) can see what it really looks like and 2) make sure you don't get a super blobby piece!. As for the brands, I believe they are all about the same....93% quartz 7% resin. HanStone is 100% quartz I think. It's funny though, they all have different cleaning instructions. The fabricator gave me a big hunk for a cutting board, and I have been trying to stain/cut/scratch it, but it's only been a few weeks!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:02PM
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We are in SW LA and have ordered Zodiaq Okite for our kitchen, through Lowes. They use a Houston based fabricator as no one around here does Zodiaq. The fabricator came out to measure a few days after we paid Lowes. He estimated 2 weeks if in stock, a bit longer if not!
For the bathrooms we chose a Formica, solid surface, also through Lowes, they offered the color we liked. They have someone in the next town who installs.
Lowes contract states they use only certified and factory approved installers.
Will post when installed.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:28PM
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I can't stress enough, regarding the pooling, look at EACH manufacturer's warantee statememt for what it says about pooling. That tells you exactly where they stand on it and if they will stand behind it if you get one that you consider unacceptable. You are spending thousands of dollars on a countertop. Each manufacturer has a web page and has the warantee written there. Go read it BEFORE you decide which manufacturer to use unless you don't care about the pooling. Cambria, Silestone and Zodiac ALL discuss it in the warantee and all have different attitudes and tolerances for it.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:08PM
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I didn't want to go through a Lowes and glad I didn't since I rejected the first slab outright and then the second for another reason which they quickly polished out...I'm not sure a Lowes or Home Depot would do that with such ease...maybe they would....My place didn't give me ANY grief and I always had an individual person accountable to me which is #1 in my book...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:25PM
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Yes indeed - excellent point. And I'd add: make every effort to go and inspect your slab, just as you would with granite, before it's cut.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:25PM
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All these comments are exceedingly helpful, and I am going to copy and paste all of them into a Word document to save this entire thread. I would never have known to check the warranties for the pooling policies, for example. In fact, didn't even know about pooling until yesterday. It was amazing to read from emilynewhome in SW LA that she used Lowes and that a fabricator from TX was used. I live in TX and was about to think I was at the end of the earth in my small Central TX town in terms of finding anyone to fabricate. But I might just go talk to the people from Lowes and see what they say. I do like Zodiaq a lot and had found some samples I liked. That is fascinating, too, about Cambria being made in the US. I have found a dealer in a nearby town who handles Cambria; that is appealing to me, as well as to Sara the Brit! Now to go check out Cambria's colors. And I can hardly wait to see emilynewhome's pictures, when she gets hers installed!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:39PM
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I have Cambria Preston (installed several weeks ago). So far, I am very happy with it. I would not say I have any pooling problem. Here is a pic. The orange-y fleck on the left is from the flash.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 6:28PM
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