Granite Countertops in Washington DC. Maryland MD and Virginia VA

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone, also called quartz surface or simply quartz, is the fastest-growing material surrounding the countertop industry. It has the impression of natural stone, and it is perhaps the hardest and the most resistant material that can be found for countertop surfaces. During the 1960s, the first manufacturer to develop quartz surfaces was the Italian company Breton. Currently, companies such as Cambria, a national brand, Silestone and Zodiaq, among others use Breton technology to produce quartz surfaces for the countertop market.

Raw quartz, which is a very hard and common stone, is the main component of engineered stone surfaces. In most of its manufacturing process, there is up to 90 percent of crushed quartz aggregate, combined with resins, color pigments and other additional aesthetic materials such as glass, mirrored particles or semi-precious stones. Sustainable versions of engineered stone use recycled glass or other pre-or-post consumer waste.

Across engineered stone surface, colors and patterns are consistent. In busy designs, this uniformity in appearance can help to hide seems; however, this characteristic may be considered as a downside because for some, quartz simply does not look as marble or granite. Yet, engineered stone is a very sanitary surface that does not require sealants as a result of its non-porous and easy to clean features.

Engineered stone durability depends on following a few guidelines of care and maintenance. Just a damp cloth and a mild detergent, rather than specialized stone cleaners, can be enough for daily cleaning. It is advised to wipe immediately any spill or drop of high-staining liquids such as coffee, tea, fruit juice or wine. In the same way, it is also advised to use a trivet when placing hot pots on the surface. Although, it is highly heat resistant, prolonged exposure to heat can damage the surface. Similarly, use a cutting board when using knives for a direct contact of sharp blades can mar the surface.

Fabricated into slabs, engineered stone sizes are commonly around 54’’ to 63’’ wide and 120’’ to 128’’ long. The average thickness of every slab is ¾ inch and 1 1/8 inch. In the market, engineered stone can be one of the most expensive countertops available. In most cases, it matches or exceeds the prices of natural stone (marble or granite).

Cambria

Cambria is an American brand with its manufacturing plant located in Le Sueur, Minnesota. Across the United States, Cambria is the only company that produces engineered stone for the countertop industry. This domestic brand produces over a 100 colors.

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Caesarstone

Caesarstone is an Israel-based company that produces quartz surfaces for more than 40 countries around the world. Caesarstone offers a diverse variety in colors and finishes which includes 42 polished colors, 5 honed colors, 8 certified recycled colors, 2 patterned finishes and custom colors.

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Silestone

Throughout a large distribution network, Cosentino is the Spanish business group that delivers Silestone quartz surfaces into the United States since 1998. Silestone carries over 60 colors and exceptional finishes.

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Zodiaq

DuPont carries Zodiaq quartz surfaces for the United States market. Zodiaq offers a catalog of over 45 colors that range from soft neutral tones to intense reds, blues and whites.

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