WhichQuartz/man-made counters have the most natural look & feel?

Madeline616October 14, 2012


Considering one of the man-made countertops for my parents' house in white/grey marble-look color. I have a sample of Corian (color is rain cloud), and it feels a little bit plasticky to me.

Wondering if any of the others (Cambria, Zodiaq, etc) have a more realistic, stone/marble/granite like feel. Maybe Corian has improved in the past few years? My sample is 3-4 years old.

Any opinions or experience you can share would be great. Also, any pricing info would be helpful.


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None look or feel real when compared with the real stuff. They usually cost more too.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Quartz are more polished than Corian and I think they look like stones and marbles slabs without a lot of movement.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Corian is not quartz but solid surface. It is a form of plastic therefore feels plasticy.

Quartz is ~97% crushed quartz crystal with 3% resin to bind the quartz dust.

It certainly feels like stone to my fingertips.

Almost all white quartz surface have evenly spaced speckles in addition to any veining. This hides dust and any spills/dirt/soilage that hides dirt so you don't have to constantly clean it for it to look good.

The cheaper marble/quartzite/"white" granite either stains/etches easily and/or has a lot of grey and not a lot of white. To get natural stone with large expanses of white that does not easily stain/etch is rather expensive. Some people call this staining/etching "patina" and think it looks good. I do not. IMO cheaper natural "white" stone that does not stain/etch easily is ugly.

The very best slabs of quartzite that I found beautiful are in the $120 per sq ft price range. Many may post they found a beautiful natural white stone that is easy to maintian in the $30-$60 per sq foot range. That has not been my experience and opinion of natural stone in this price range.

The best quartz colors at a reasonble price are IMO Cambria. Look at Torquay/Waverton/Newport. Prices vary greatly depending if you have a local distributor or dealer has to special order direct from Cambria. Whether dealer sells by sq ft or by slab plus fabrication.

Generally in the $45-$65 sq/ft price range. I ordered cabinets and installation of everything from one shop and got a price way below $45/foot.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Wow, I think the place that priced my Cambria must have to special order. They quoted me $120/ sf and I decided at that point I would not have Cambria! I was at Lowes yesterday and the brands they sell were much more reasonable, I think in the $49-89 range depending on brand and color, but I wasn't paying very close attention and they were next to the Corian type stuff. None of them were over $99, I know that much. I stopped by because I promised I would see a certain staff member there to what she might have to offer for my kitchen. Confirmed she couldn't provide frameless cabs, but surprisingly she is getting me a quote through Lowes on the granite I saw at the granite yard. Not that you need to know all that, but I guess my point is I wasn't there to price materials, but did peek a little.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:33PM
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I have Caesarstone and it sure feels like real stone to me: smooth, hard, cold. Unless the sun is shining on it and then it becomes smooth, hard, warm. As for appearance, YMMV depending on the color/pattern.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:52PM
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Below is link to two places here in Los Angeles that install Cambria for $46 per sq ft for standard edge.

Here is a link that might be useful: LINK

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 3:30PM
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This one below is $45 per square foot with standard edge.

The highest I found in my area was $100 per sq ft.

I laughed and walked out.

I got my Dovedale countertop with 2.5" Eased Edge.

Here is a link that might be useful: LINK

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 3:34PM
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We are using Chroma quartz by Pental.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 6:20PM
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We have Cambria as I wanted something non porous. Walked into several tile shops and the sale peeps loved my "granite".
Cambria buckingham

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Thanks for all these responses--very helpful!

I'm looking at Cambria Torquay online now, and it looks like we have a few local Cambria dealers.

I'll also check out Caesarstone and the others mentioned.

Deeageaux, tks for explaining the difference between Corian and quartz. I'm at the very beginning of my research on this, so having only touched one man-made sample (Corian) I assumed they all felt like plastic. Good to know there are so many options.

BTW, my 3 cm Vermont Danby Olymipian White marble was reasonably priced than many other white marbles like Calacatta Gold (my Danby was about $85-90 sq ft installed) and I love it. Just had to give the Danby a plug. But I think the Camb ria or another quartz might be the answer for my parents' cottage, because my mom would hate to have to worry about etching, etc.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 7:53PM
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I have Caesarstone Pebble and Blizzard. They feel very smoothe, cool, and great. I often find myself rubbing my counters! Now if that's not embarrassing I don't know what is!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Current wholesale prices for Cambria in Los Angeles is $18/sq ft for standard 2cm slabs and $22/sq ft for thicker 3cm slab. You only really need the 3cm slab for some super fancy edges.

Going rate for fabrication is $12/sq foot plus $2-$7 per linear foot for custom edges. Usually one sink cutout and upto four holes for faucets,soap dispensers, and garbage disposal buttons are included.

Anything above that is markup by the store for the slab itself.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Ann, thanks for posting your pics...they're really beautiful. I finally picked up the sample today, and I'm looking at it now.

Deeageaux--my local retailers don't seem willing to go below $60 sq ft. Based on your info, I might do some price shopping in another city about an hour away.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:01PM
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I did say $45-$65 depending on local factors.

Maybe your area does not have a distributor?

Sending tons of Cambria by rail to local distributor is a lot cheaper to ship than sending two slabs to your local fabricator by standard truck freight.

In any event your $60/sq ft is a lot better than williamsen's $120/sq ft :)

And Cambria does not have a premium for the prettier colors.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:02PM
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