If you’re in the market for quartz countertops for your kitchen, you’ll probably run into two major brands: Caesarstone and Silestone. Between them, they make up the majority of the quartz countertop market available today.
Like many, you may be asking yourself ‘what’s the difference between the two and is one better than the other?’
Firstly, let’s explain what a quartz countertop is.
Quartz is a countertop material that is well known for its beauty and durability. Although natural stone countertops are popular today, quartz countertops are actually manufactured stone. Think man-made granite.
These countertops are made from ground-up particles of natural quartz that are bound together with resin. This material is non-porous, meaning it doesn’t have to be sealed (unlike granite or marble) and is extremely durable.
Quartz can also be manufactured in a large variety of colours and designs, so customers have a great choice when looking for the perfect countertop for their kitchen. Overall, quartz makes a great choice for a countertop and is a very popular option.
Let’s take a quick look at the two major brands of quartz countertop: Silestone and Caesarstone.
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Based in Spain and founded in the 1990s, Silestone is a subsidiary of the larger Italian company Cosentino. Silestone exports their quartz to over 80 countries, giving them a global reputation. They started with home design but have since expanded their origins to include commercial applications of quartz, such as building facades. Silestone is a market leader with a reputation for offering a wide variety of colour options.
Founded in 1987, Caesarstone was the pioneer of the natural quartz surfaces market. Caesarstone is headquartered in Israel, with two manufacturing plants in Israel and one in the US. Caesarstone exports their quartz to 50 countries worldwide and offers both home and commercial applications for their products. Like Silestone, they are a market leader in quartz countertops.
Silestone vs Caesarstone
To help understand each brand a little more I’ve broken them down into six sections. This will help you compare the difference and find out which brand is best for your kitchen.
Generally, you can expect to pay more for Caesarstone than Silestone.
On average, Caesarstone will run from $60-80 per square foot. In comparison, Silestone ranges from $50-70 per square foot. The price will vary depending on the dealer, colour choice and amount of fabrication work needed.
When it comes to durability, both brands provide a very hard-wearing product. Using the Mohs Hardness Scale, both Silestone and Caesarstone quartz countertops have a rating of 7 (diamond scores a 10).
Both Silestone and Caesarstone countertops are non-porous and highly resistant to stains. This means you’ll be safe from coffee, wine, vinegar, or oil stains.
Overall, they perform well with very good scratch, stain and heat resistance.
However, both brands aren’t suited for hot pans straight from the hob or oven. The rapid change in temperature can cause ‘thermal shock’ and may crack the work surface. Also, because these countertops include a small amount of resin, this can scorch and leave a burn mark/ring on the counter surface.
Therefore, you should always use a board or trivet to protect the countertop.
The percentage of quartz is a factor when it comes to quality and appearance. Since these countertops are manufactured, the amount of natural quartz in them can vary.
Silestone manufactures their countertops with at least 90% quartz. Caesarstone has a 90- 93% quartz content. This is a small variation that does not make much difference in the appearance, feel, or its durability.
While Silestone and Ceasarstone have high percentages of quartz in their make-up, there are other lesser-known brands that have a much lower percentage which can affect their durability. These brands are often cheaper, both due to a lack of brand recognition and the lower quartz content.
Silestone offers 53 colours in 3 finish options: polished, suede and volcano.
Caesarstone offers 50 colours in 3 finish options: polished, concrete and rough. (At time of writing)
Generally, Silestone provides a wider range of colours, which can be positive or negative depending on the client. Some consumers want to keep their choices simple and pick out the colour in the showroom, while others like the larger selection and having more choice.
Slab size matters. If you have a long run of cabinets or a kitchen island, you’ll want to make sure you are able to get a sizeable slab of countertop.
Bigger slabs will allow you to have larger surfaces with fewer joints. This can increase the size of your island, for example.
When it comes to sizes available, Caesarstone has slightly more variability. Both Silestone and Caesarstone provide original and jumbo slabs for large areas.
Silestone Slab Sizes: 306cm x 140cm or Jumbo 325cm x 159cm
Thickness Options (for both Original and Jumbo Slabs):
Caesarstone Slab Sizes: 306cm x 144cm or Jumbo (Grande) 334cm x 164cm
Silestone provides a 25-year warranty on their products, depending on where their materials are purchased.
Caesarstone provides a residential lifetime warranty on their counters. This means that if you purchased the countertop, you are covered for the rest of your time in the property. If you move, then the warranty can be transferred to the new owners, but only for a limited 10-year warranty.
The majority of people don’t usually have to use their warranty, however, as quartz countertops are extremely long-lasting with the appropriate use.
When it comes to Silestone and Caesarstone, there isn’t a clear winner. Your choice will depend on your needs and taste.
If the price is the driving factor, then Silestone will likely be a better option for you.
If your kitchen design demands long stretches of countertop and the need to purchase a larger slab, Caesarstone is going to meet that need better.
Both offer great warranties, although the warranty is potentially longer with Caesarstone, offering a residential lifetime warranty over Silestone’s 25 years.
For quality and durability as well as quartz percentage, both companies are similar and there won’t be any noticeable difference.
If you’re still unsure about which brand is best for your needs, it may be helpful to visit a local showroom and look at both brands. Since prices and selection can vary slightly, you may be able to make a choice based on what you see. While you can’t go wrong with either option, you may find that one fits your needs better.
Overall, quartz is a great material for a countertop and you’ll find that this durable material purchased from either brand will last a long time in your home.