Battle of the Titans: Quartz vs Granite Part 2

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cheryl clendenon

Owner and Lead Designer at In Detail Interiors
My name is Cheryl Kees Clendenon, a California transplant to Northwest Florida. Been in the interior design business for 14 years and learn something new every day! This blog is about the day to day running of a design business and the crazy clients, silly subs, vexing vendors and exasperating employees! Join us for the ride!

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Continuing on with my post on quartz, I wanted to illustrate why sometimes the more homogenous quartz colors work best in kitchen design. It is not that I do not like some of the quartz colors that mimic the movement of granite or natural stone but often I go to quartz because I do NOT want the movement. This can be for several reasons; the backsplash is the star,the design is minimalist in look or just going for a monochromatic look in general.
Quartz is simply hard to beat. I think the popularity increase can be attributed to the strides the quartz manufacturers have made in the different colors offered. This, to me, is superior to what you can find in most granite yards. And, I think there will be other mfr’s getting into the trend. I have heard of others but I am focusing on the mfr’s I have actually used. Please drop me a comment and let me know what you like best, any stories you have and also what other mfr’s you may like!

Cambria Gray is a softer alternative to the black and white look they client originally wanted and sets the calcutta gold marble nicely. Designed by In Detail.

Cambria

I do not use Cambria all that much. They do not have as many homogenous colors as some other mfrs. Also, they seem to be pricier in my area. I did use the deep gray in the project above.
**64 Colors. Website says offers all in all 1cm, 2cm,3cm. I have not seen the 1cm but sounds interesting.
**Privately owned family company
**Lifetime limited warranty
**Only quartz produced in the U.S. (website claims)
**All colors are priced same unlike some other manufacturers
**Is not available through the big box retailers. But note: I have found that as a designer, I can offer almost every countertop option less expensively than the big box retailers EVERY time. If they do not buy a million of a widget, then their pricing is generally higher

Zodiac

Zodiac is made by Dupont. Same company that makes Corian. I like Zodiac because there are a multitude of solid colors with some detail. But again, with all quartz products, it is all about the particular look you want.
**Very cool iphone app to download: mysurface
** 8 colors in the Terra Collection that offer 25% post consumer recycled content ( Calm springs is one of my faves)

Zodiac Calm Springs

**Slabs are 52in x118in  These dimensions are important if you do not want any seams.
**10 year residential limited warranty
** 54 colors

Zodiac

Hanstone

Hanstone is a little known manufacturer compared to the big guys. But I have used it with great success
and love the Tiffany Gray!

Tiffany Grey

**32 colors
**slabs are 55in x 120in
**4 thicknesses available
**93% quartz

10 Comments to "Battle of the Titans: Quartz vs Granite Part 2"

  1. All of those products are 93% aggregate because all of those products use a licensed formula. This makes them identical chemically. The only difference between them is their palette and their price point.

    I’m not knocking the product but I do have a problem with how it’s marketed. It’s not natural, despite the claims of the manufacturers. Considering the polymers (and BPA) used as a binding agent it’s not “green” and can’t be made so. It’s also not non-porous, though it’s less porous than natural stone. The amount of bad science and idiotic hoopla they crank out gets on my nerves.

    It’s a great product though and I spec it all the time. I just wish the manufacturers didn’t have such an inferiority complex about it. It’s cool stuff, as itself. It’s not a substitute for natural stone and I wish they’d stop pretending that it is. I think of it as another good option when it comes to counters and there are times when its warranted and times when it’s not. I love being able to use it in solid colors when I’m going for minimal and monochromatic. And sometimes I like to be dramatic with a piece of stone. I like having the option.

    I strongly dislike having to overcome objections from using one over the other from clients who get their information from HGTV and other quartz composite industry-underwritten programming. I’ve actually had people who think that Silestone comes out of the ground!

    Sorry for the novel Cheryl but you struck a nerve!

  2. You are correct in that the mfr’s definitely market the product as “better than” granite or natural stone. However, I feel it is every bit as good as granite and in some cases better than…and some cases, less than. I agree, it is all about the color. Not who does the manufacturing. That is how I look at it. In fact, I mix all the samples into one big area…do not segregate at all by mfr. And I agree on the porosity. I have no beefs with granite on that score..no one ever reseals granite and do not find anyone at all who asks. I had had issues with quartz scuffing and do not have that issue with granite. But, then again, have had light granites need several coats of sealer. I think it is a decision made on the overall look as the properties are similiar and I could give a rats you know what if my client has “natural” stone or not. I like glass tops and it is not “natural” really either. Who cares? What looks right? They all have similiar features and properties…except for my beloved marble..which is most assuredly more upkeep. But, hey, I would do it for the look you get!! I even like solid surfacing…for the right job. I do not think granite or quartz can be considered green although, cambria has an edge since less fuel used to get it here since local to the states. So I agree about the marketing but can say that about scores of products…totally agree on HGTV! But, do think I like quartz better than granite for many applications. But if the shoe fits for granite, then that is what we use.

  3. Really, when you think about it, any choice you make for just about anything in life has pluses and minuses. What is helpful is doing lots and lots of research (for those of us have an interest in such things) or having access to people who have done their homework. It has been my misfortune to encounter a few young designers who have not learned much more than a list of “hot items” for kitchens and baths. I have also been fortunate enough to come across a number of wonderful designers like you and the other designers who comment on your site who have actually done the work involved in learning enough to make intelligent choices.

    My particular favorite, because I’m a woodworker, is wood countertops. But it’s not for everyone, and it has pluses and minuses. I have read quite a bit from that industry touting the advantages of wood, especially those qualities that make it absolutely impervious to bacterial contamination. Interestingly enough, I have also read the same claim for polymer cutting boards; they’re said to be much better on the bacterial front than wood!

    Looking at what you did with the Cambria Gray, though, points out a clear advantage for quartz. You have the solid color that would be available in Formica (I have seen this done to really nice effect at times, especially with a matt finish), but it is much more durable.

    I think my fear would be ending up with something like Corian, which was so, so HOT for a while, and now it’s not. But that said, I think if the kitchen is designed well, then it’s designed well, and the choice of materials will not matter nearly as much as the timelessness that comes from those who design well-composed works of art that people can cook in.

  4. All of the above posts are full of great information. Our company sells a tremendous amount of Caesarstone, not because it is necessarily better than the other brands, but because they have an exception color palette. (And by the way, have you seen their new Motivo colletion? -STUNNING!) I am also quite find of Silestone’s color pallette.

  5. Thanks Joseph! And by the way, I love wood tops in all forms. If you look at my portfolio you will see a ton of wood tops! I love them!

  6. I work at a “big box” store in the Kitchen-Bath design center…I love Quartz counter tops.  This is still a sticking point with my “older” relatives who some how thought they should mention that granite was what they wanted in my kitchen…

    • Agreed! It takes awhile for anything new to catch on!

  7. Quartz is manmade material and that is the reason it is more durable than natural stone. It is though as natural as one can get from a fabricated countertop.

  8. Unique perspective. Thank you for doing such a good job. I will check here to see what’s new and tell my acquaintenances about this website.

  9. In Denver, our shop is fabricating just as many quartz countertops as granite countertops, my favorite company is Caesarstone, they are easy to work with, handle their warranties very well and I am not a big fan of what Cambria was trying to do in the Denver market, that is bringing in their own shop and not selling to any of us other fabricators, kind of what they are doing, in Minnesota and South Dakota. http://granitecountertopsdenver.co

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