Is Caesarstone the Pits?

tuxedord2November 13, 2013

Pretty much decided that Caesarstone is the way to go and read great review from some of you. But now I am reading the bad reviews (thanks to google) and some threads report major problems with pitting and poor customer service. Seems that the pits are impossible to repair unlike natural stone. Does anyone want to talk me out of Caesarstone or quartz in general?

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Trebruchet

lesmobo:

You really have to qualify internet reviews. Some people are just nuts. Caesarstone has a warranty and a reputation to defend. I think they've got a bit more to lose than a person with a keyboard and an internet connection.

I did one of the first DuPont Zodiaq jobs in my area; about 12K for tops alone. The kids etched the top, tried to hide it with a candle, but DuPont flew a rep out, developed a procedure, flew back again, and we fixed it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 9:09PM
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may_flowers

I had Caesarstone Buttermilk for a few months. During install, the fabricators used Bar Keeper's Friend and acetone to clean off the epoxy. It left a dull spot in the resin. They said the sales rep told them to use BKF, and they had never had a problem in the past. With the solid color of the slab and my lighting, it was very noticeable. The fabricator took several hours of training from Caesarstone to learn their buffing-out procedure. He worked on my countertop with various polishing pads and solutions for 2 1/2 hours, which only spread the dull spot. It also chipped on the edge two weeks after install from no apparent abuse. They offered to replace my countertop.

Was I upset? No! I didn't want Caesarstone again because of the lack of quality control.The counter didn't look anything like the sample. One slab was fine, but the other had white thumb-print sized resin blotches all over it. It was not covered under warranty, so I would have been stuck with that ugly slab.

We switched to Pentalquartz because there is a warehouse locally and we could pick out our slabs. We've been happy with it, though we do have a very tiny chip near the sink--felt, but not seen. Chips can be epoxied, just like chips in granite. I'd buy quartz again, but I'd definitely view the slabs first.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:03PM
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tuxedord2

Vey helpful information from you both. Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 10:30PM
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Kristen Hallock

We have Cambria in the color "Victoria". This is the 2nd time we have had Cambria installed (same color too!) and I have to say I have been 100% happy with quartz and with the colors. I never went to inspect slabs before hand.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:39AM
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GauchoGordo1993

Aside from the different color/pattern aesthetics, I concluded that the various engineered quartz products are equivalent for all practical purposes. I assume it's possible to get a slab with a defect from any company, but they're very rare.

I think some of the problems folks describe are caused by fabricators treating engineered quartz like granite, when in fact they're different. For example, seams and other surface blemishes on the top surface of granite can be buffed-out without leaving a noticeable inconsistency, but this is not recommended on engineered quartz because buffing tends to leave a noticeable dull/hazy spot (which is ok on the front edge, but not the top). This is just one example, but the point I'm trying to make is that the fabricator & installer's experience and skill with the material (or lack thereof) is a bigger potential risk than defects in the material itself.

FWIW, we ended up choosing Silestone mostly because it had the best availability in my area, and I can't find anything wrong with it.

This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 19:25

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 2:32PM
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adel97

I've had Caesarstone Blizzard (soft white) for 4 years. Love it, no issues. It's white, so it stains with certain things, but a little Soft Scrub with Bleach takes care of any stains.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Gooster

I'm very happy with my CS, but I'm only about five months in at this point. Everyday we thank the decision not to use marble or soapstone (based on our usage habits). On the other hand, we are very, very careful with the marble backplash and table. I've had granite too and they are roughly the same (more care with hot pans on quartz, more care with sealer on granite).

The resin globs may be very pattern dependent; not an issue with mine.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 4:50PM
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sas95

We are happy with our Caesarstone, too. We have the Champagne Limestone color. No resin splotches or anything. The only thing I would do differently if I had it to do again is get an eased edge. We have straight edges now, and while the style looks great in our kitchen, it is prone to little dings and chips around the sink. We have epoxied them, and they are not noticeable unless you really look for them.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:12PM
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sjhockeyfan325

We're getting Ceasarstone. I'm sorry we'll have to use hot pads or trivets (we always put hot pots on the granite counters in our old house), but other than that, I'm so glad to hear of the good experiences. SAS, we are getting an eased edge - glad to hear that's a good idea.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Linelle

I've had CS Smoky Ash (mottled dark gray) for almost 2 years. I only clean it with water+Dawn and occasionally finish it with a Pledge wipe. The surface feels as smooth as glass, as do all the edges.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:53PM
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tuxedord2

Thanks for all the responses!!
Gaucho-- good point about choosing the fabricator.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 7:01PM
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ZacsDaddy

We've had our Caesarstone Buttermilk countertops for 2.5 years. Unlike the other commenter above, we've been amazed at how great they look and how well they have held up. The only issue we've had is I managed to chip an edge in the center of the sink when I dropped a roasting pan. I was devastated. However a quick call to our installed and they came back patched the spot (for only $150). Looks perfect once again and all is good.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 7:29PM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator.

The various quartz brands are all made on machines purchased from the same manufacturer so the material is essentially all the same across the brands. That said, some suppliers have better quality control than others. I have fabbed at least 1/2 dozen different quartz surface products and CaesarStone ranks well in terms of the quality of the product.

Overall in quartz the fabricator is even more important than in granite.

These days the biggest watch-out for quartz is the colors where the manufacturer is trying to mimic the movement in natural stone. Those colors can have "blobs" of resin with no color that looks like gobs of mucus in the slab. Worse yet, the manufacturers don't seem to consider those blobs defects so they don't repond to complaints.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I've had CS chocolate truffle for 3 years now and it's fine. I have one mini chip in it that you can't see, but can feel if you pay a lot of attention. This was a counter made with recycled glass and it's the glass that chipped, not the quartz. I've been very happy with it and have put hot pots and cookie sheets on it, but only briefly until I could get a rack. But it has not affected the surface at all.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 8:13PM
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tuxedord2

Such good information from all of you. Thank you, you are making this decision easier for me.

Appreciate your advice @olddryer!! Someone just posted about a Frosty Carrina Caesarstone seam problem on another thread. She might need your help? :-)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 10:21PM
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IliN

I love my CS because it does not stain, almost ever. On the other hand what does bother me is that it chips so easily. I have to be so careful. On the upside they do come out and repair it and it looks good as new.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 10:55PM
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marissa16

I have cs organic white 3 years and love it. I have had an occasional stain but soft scrub gel takes it right out. I will be getting Piatra gray for my Florida kitchen renovation next month. I keep a cutting board or towel to place anything hot. Not worth taking a chance.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 10:57PM
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blackchamois

I have teeny tiny little, what looks like, paint splatters on my Raven but honestly they don't bother me anymore and no one but me would even really notice (they are THAT tiny. Call me eagle eyes :)) And I will be getting Raven again.

@oldryder - any tips for finding/identifying a good fabricator? Questions to ask, etc?

@marissa -OT but any pics of your Org White? I am thinking of using this in my guest bath. (You can send via my email link if necessary)

Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:56AM
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mitchdesj

I also have Raven and my eagle eye has noticed pin prick size spots, randomly here and there: over time they have almost disappeared, I imagine they've darkened, when new those spots were white. This is my 2nd kitchen with CS and I love the slick look I needed and wanted.

I wipe my counters often and I have to admit the CS is unforgiving because of the slick glossy look and unlike a spotted granite that can hide marks, the CS does not.

I would still use it again in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 7:57AM
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marissa16

Black chamois, I will try and email you pictures. The organic white is in the kitchen and island against espresso colored cabinets.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 11:42AM
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sjhockeyfan325

marissa16, we're using Organic White too with lower cabinets that are a stone color (greyish-tannish). We're going to use the leftovers from the kitchen slabs for the bathrooms. Is your backsplash Organic White, too -- if it is, could you send me a picture?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:29PM
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blackchamois

@sjhockey - would love to see pics of you Org White too please!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:43PM
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sjhockeyfan325

BlackChamois, because of the holidays, my countertops probably won't go in until early January -- I hope it can happen sooner, but it isn't likely (appliances and cabinets will be delivered in early December, then installation, then we bump up against Christmas). I'll post pix when it's done though!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:54PM
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tuxedord2

Post organic white on they forum as I'd love to see it too!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:55PM
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marissa16

I will try and upload some kitchen pics with the organic white. Apologize, not the best pics. I have a blue glass tile backsplash to warm up the cabinet/countertop which would have otherwise been too cold. Will upload one at a time.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:58PM
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marissa16

Apt kitchen with island on one side and pantry on other side

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:01PM
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marissa16

Looking from door

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:03PM
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marissa16

I put the microwave in the island and love it

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:06PM
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marissa16

Pantry cabinets

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:09PM
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marissa16

It is hard to see in the pictures but organic white has a soft, subtle pattern. And also has a nice shine.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:12PM
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marissa16

This may show pantry better.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:18PM
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marissa16

Seeing backsplash over stove. Again apologize for quality of pictures.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:20PM
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sjhockeyfan325

marissa, I know this is off-topic (sorry OP) but I have to ask -- how long is your island, and what is the lighting/does it adequately illuminate the island for prep work? Our island will be 10 x 3, which looks to be about the same size as yours. (I'm getting the same microwave, which will go in the island too)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 2:08PM
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marissa16

Sjhockeyfan, my island is a little smaller 96" x 27". I have 3 hanging lights that spotlight well but don't use them often because I have 3 lights in the ceiling on either side of the island and they give more than enough light.

I can try and take a picture with the pendants alone so you can see.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 2:46PM
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marissa16

Sjhockey fan, I took pictures with the pendants only and with and without overhead. They give a good circle of light. Apologies for the cat.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:14PM
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marissa16

This is with pendant and overhead lights. My pendants are small and give a good amount of light.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:20PM
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marissa16

And this is just my overheads. Since I have a narrow kitchen, the overheads really are all I need but aesthetically and sometimes for mood, I will use the pendants. Sorry both cats came into that last one.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:24PM
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marissa16

Oops sorry, didn't mean to post 2 without the pendants. This last (and I do apologize to OP) shows pendants and overhead.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:30PM
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tuxedord2

OP here, I love seeing your kitchen, counters and kitty! You have a lovely space and I think the organic white is very pretty. Many thanks for posting!
Is your sink a soft blue or is that the reflection of the backsplash? Gorgeous!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:34PM
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marissa16

Here is the pendant alone over the sink which I do use. Maybe this helps to see how much light projects

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:59PM
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marissa16

And my final homage to organic white where it all started. I think you can see the faint pattern in this picture. Ok. I am done. But I would have no second thoughts about caesarstone. I prefer a rounded look so have not had any chipping issues. Will post the Pietra gray when my other kitchen is done hopefully in January.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 7:04PM
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marissa16

Yes, Lesmobo, it is Kohler cape Dory sink in Frost color, a soft blue green. Definitely an indulgence but I love it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 7:12PM
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BirchPoint

This thread terrifies me against CS or any quartz -- can't put hot pans on it?!? Isn't that one of the main reasons for a "stone" counter? I was not aware of these issues with quart which makes me want to go back to a real stone.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:00PM
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marissa16

Birch Point, no ones says you can't put hot things on quartz or granite and I am sure many people do. I don't feel a need to do that and my own comfort zone is to use a trivet or a towel on the counter. I don't think twice and it is just what I do. I would do the same with granite. I suspect many people feel the same way.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:50PM
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may_flowers

Well, Caesarstone says you can't put hot things on their product. Read the warranty. It can be damaged by thermal shock, and, being a resined product, it can scorch. But it'd probably take more than just putting a hot dish down briefly.

For more information, here is a recent discussion about putting hot things on granite. Granite too has been known to crack from thermal shock.

Here is a link that might be useful: recent thread

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Linelle

I would never put hot things (right off a burner or just out of the oven) on any counter material. It either goes onto an unoccupied (not hot) burner on the stove or a cutting board. I've never run out of available space to do that. The bottoms of pans coming off a gas stove can have crud on them. My CS counters get COLD in the winter. It wouldn't do a glass baking pan any good to land straight on that anyway.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:59AM
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marissa16

Thank you linelle. I am with you. I don't really see why you would want to put a hot pan directly on the counter.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:20AM
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