09 July 2008


I love quartz countertops. I love their family-friendly ease of use. You never have to seal them, as you do with natural stone. They're non-porous, which is more sanitary, and very stain resistant. I also love their hard-to-destroy durability. Finally, I love their manufacturers' warranties. (Mother Nature does not warranty her marble, onyx or granite products.)

Often called engineered stone, quartz, like cola, is sold under different brand names. The material is pretty much the same, though, like Pepsi, Coke, RC, et al, each will appeal to different tastes...


Caesarstone has some contemporary colors like lime green, orange and blue. It also has some nice concrete alternatives. My favorites, though, are the new Concetto series, made with precious stones, (shown here). Since I spotted these billion dollar beauties at KBIS 2008, I can't wait to find the right project for this line.


Those colors that try to look like granite don't. My favorite Cambria color, which I recently specified for a client's master bath, is Hyde Park. It's a quiet grey-green with a near translucent quality.

Cambria Nugget: Cambria is certified for Kosher Kitchens by a Rabbi. Isn't that just so cool!


DuPont's product has some colors that stand in nicely for concrete or Absolute Black granite, without their maintenance issues.


Silestone has a nice built-in feature: Microban antimicrobial protection. All engineered stone countertops are non-porous, as mentioned above. Silestone goes one step further in helping to combat contaminants. It's the germ-fighting overachiever for overprotective parents and germaphobic hypochondriacs. Aesthetically, most of the Silestone line tries too hard to look like granite, which it doesn't. The style I really like is the Leather Series, which has a soft matte finish evocative of honed stone. Unfortunately, the Silestone website doesn't really show them, so you'll have to visit a Silestone dealer. FYI, their biggest U.S. account is Home Depot, so stroll to your local Big Orange kitchen department for a look.

Silestone Nugget: Because Silestone is sold so widely at Home Depot, it can sometimes be hard for other accounts to get the slabs they need. Also, since the slabs come from Spain, if your color choice is back-ordered, you could be waiting quite a while for your tops to show up. (I've had clients in that position before.)

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