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August 01, 2017

All hail, Caesarstone

The latest rock star in the countertop arena

Aaliya Essa

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Choosing a countertop can be a daunting task. There are so many options available these days, from arborite, to granite, marble, wood slab, concrete and even stainless steel — the amount of choices available makes it a challenge to narrow down the search.

One product that’s proving to be a real rock star in the countertop arena is Caesarstone, a man-made product produced with quartz natural materials. It’s a product that has been around for ages, literally and figuratively, but now is finally in the spotlight for a variety of reasons.

Caesarstone is 90 to 94 per cent quartz and six to 10 per cent high quality polymer resins with natural pigments and additives, such as recycled glass for a colour like 7,141 quartz reflections. By extracting this product from the ground, it can be as course as a rock salt and as fine as a grain of sand, and that’s mixed with different dyes and resins. It’s combined together, poured into a mold and baked to become a slab of quartz. Voila you have Caesarstone.

“Quartz in general is less porous then most natural stones,” says Jean St-Onge President and CEO of ICON Stone and Tile. “It’s as resistant as granite, per sé, is less maintenance than natural stone because you don’t have to seal it on a regular basis. Because it’s produced in a controlled environment, patterns and colours are more consistent than natural stone created by Mother Nature.”

“Caesarstone has grown in popularity because humans are involved,” stresses St-Onge. “Producers are trying to follow trends, and by doing so, fashionable colours are being selected. To find this direction in nature, you may spend more time than the speed of change of the trend,” he says. “Where a quartz manufacturer like Caesarstone, is able to quickly produce colours that are current, and therefore they can manage to bring products to the market that buyers want now.”

Another fantastic feature to this remarkable product is that, unlike natural stones, depending on the slab, the pattern can be slightly different, Caesarstone offers you a “what you see is what you get” feature.

ICON Stone and Tile has been providing stone for over 11 years They have a fantastic show room here in Calgary where you will find what you are looking for and more. Whether you’re selecting countertops for a new home, or perhaps if you are looking to do some renovations and update your current home, ICON is the place to go.

Caesarstone comes in variety of different looks, the level of creativity when designing this product continues to grow and provide a look that can even mimic a marble slab. Though the common thread with this product is no matter which style you choose, the quality of the product is the same for each slab.

And with each style that is created and mastered, “in many cases Caesarstone looks better then the actual natural stone,” says Aliza Gheron of Prestige Granite.

The price varies by the look and amount of character you want in your stone, such as colour and placement of veins. “Prices depend on the modification, on style and colour,” she says.

With so many options to choose from, there is a growing number of people that enjoy adding a mix of stone design to their home, “you can use as many styles in your home as you’d like,” says Gheron. With more than 50 colours to choose from, while many enjoy consistency, having the freedom to make each room unique is certainly a possibility.

Prestige Granite offers Calgarians a variety of services, starting with a great selection of stones. Now 14 years in business, they also offer their assistance and expertise in other aspects of the kitchen, making it possible to have all your needs met through one provider.

Currently, says Kerris Sinclair Account Manager for Jade Stone, in the market, buyers are gravitating towards the more grays and whites designs she says. “Our Ocean Foam style is one that we sell the most of,” she adds. “We can’t keep it on stock. It’s a nice, clean white colour that has a little fleck to it which gives it some character. It’s on the lower end of the price point, and because of those reasons it sells really well,” she says.

While prices do vary from one shop to the next, “an average size kitchen around 50 square-feet, depending on the style of Caesarstone you fancy, could cost around $3,000 and up,” says Sinclair.

Jade Stone is a local Calgary business, celebrating their 20 year anniversary this year, they offer a variety of options at their show room, which truly gives new meaning to hanging art on the walls. With large slabs of stone hung up like pictures, buyers have the ability to see a variety of stones up close and personal.

Every store mentioned in this feature offers a variety of products at a wide range of prices, with the cost on a average sized kitchen starts from around $3000, and they all include installation, which in itself is a crucial part of the purchase.

While the process is similar for each store, of course first you must select your style of stone, once this is completed, the next step is depending on if your cabinets have been installed, a measurement is taken of the kitchen or bathroom.

When this information is acquired a template is made of the layout. There are a variety of checks along the way, to ensure the size and fit are correct, and there are no discrepancies. Once the stones are cut, they are finished off with a hand polisher, to be prepared for installation.

Once installed, Caesarstone certainly lives up to its name, a product that was designed with the end user in mind, easy to clean, low maintenance, and can stand the test of time and will endure all the messes you may throw at it. This is a product that is finally getting the attention and recognition it deserves, a rock star in the making.

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