When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two popular options are Cambria and quartz. Both offer durability, style, and easy maintenance, but they differ in composition and price. Here is an in-depth comparison of Cambria vs. quartz countertops to help you decide which is more budget-friendly.
What is Cambria?
Cambria is a brand of quartz countertops made from natural quartz and other minerals. It is non-porous, resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. Cambria slabs are made in the United States and come with a 10-year limited warranty.
Some key features of Cambria countertops:
- Made from about 90% natural quartz mixed with resins and pigments
- Has a glossy, non-porous surface that resists stains
- Comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Does not need to be regularly sealed
- Resists heat up to 450°F
- Has antimicrobial properties to inhibit bacteria growth
- Covered by a 10-year limited warranty
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material.
Key features of quartz countertops:
- Made from 90-94% ground quartz bound with resins and pigments
- Non-porous and stain, scratch, and heat resistant
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns
- Does not require regular sealing
- Withstands heat up to 450°F
- Has antimicrobial properties
- Often comes with 10-15 year limited warranty
Brands of quartz countertops include Silestone, Caesarstone, MSI, Hanstone, and Viatera.
Cost Comparison: Cambria vs Quartz
The biggest difference between Cambria and quartz is the price. On average, Cambria costs $65-$100 per square foot installed. Standard quartz countertops run $40-$80 per square foot installed.
Here is a more detailed price comparison:
- Entry-level quartz ranges from $40–$60 per square foot installed.
- Mid-range quartz runs $60-$80 per square foot installed.
- High-end quartz ranges from $80-$100 per square foot installed.
- Cambria quartz starts at $65 per square foot and goes up to $100 per square foot installed.
So why is Cambria more expensive than regular quartz? As a premium brand, Cambria invests significant resources into crafting unique designs and patterns. Cambria also has excellent marketing and brand recognition in the countertop industry. Their reputation allows them to command a higher price.
Many interior designers and homeowners feel Cambria offers superior aesthetics, especially their natural stone and wood-like patterns. If your priority is getting an elegant, high-end countertop, the extra cost of Cambria may be justified.
Factors Affecting Overall Installation Cost
Keep in mind that material cost is only one part of the total price. Other factors impact your final installed price:
- Edge treatments: Decorative edges like bevels and ogees add $10-$15 per linear foot.
- Thickness: A standard 1 1⁄4” thickness is ideal. Going thicker will raise costs.
- Cutouts: Extra cuts for sinks and cooktops add labor costs. The more cutouts needed, the higher the price.
- Installation: Complex projects take more time and skill, increasing labor fees.
- Delivery fees: Getting slabs to the install site costs money.
- Area labor rates: Prices are higher in places like New York City and San Francisco.
Be sure to get an itemized estimate so you understand what is included. Many fabricators charge around $100 per cutout and $100 per linear foot for decorative edges.
Is Cambria Worth the Extra Cost?
For many homeowners, Cambria’s beauty and quality justify its premium price tag. Cambria offers one-of-a-kind designs that you often won’t find from other brands. Many people are drawn to specific Cambria patterns and colors.
That said, quartz remains a fantastic option that is often more budget-friendly. Brands like Caesarstone and MSI offer hundreds of stylish quartz designs at lower price points. Both quartz and Cambria are durable, low-maintenance options that will serve you well.
Here are some scenarios when paying extra for Cambria makes sense:
- You have your heart set on a signature Cambria design like Brittanicca or Windermere.
- You want a statement piece or focal point for your kitchen.
- You prefer to buy American-made products.
- You want the prestige of a top luxury brand.
- Budget is not a major concern.
For many projects, standard quartz delivers an excellent combination of beauty, durability, and value. Carefully review samples of both materials to choose the right design for your space and budget. Be sure to get 2-3 estimates before finalizing your decision. With proper planning, you can get the high-end countertops you want while staying on budget.
FAQ About Cambria vs Quartz Costs
Is Cambria more expensive than Caesarstone?
Yes, Cambria is generally 20-30% more expensive than Caesarstone quartz for material and installation. As a premium brand, Cambria prices start around $65 per square foot installed. Caesarstone starts around $55 per square foot installed.
Is Cambria worth the extra cost over Home Depot quartz?
Cambria is priced higher than Home Depot’s house quartz brands like MSI and Hampton Bay. Cambria’s unique designs and reputation for quality make it worth the investment for many homeowners. However, Home Depot quartz can also offer durability at excellent value.
Does Lowes have Cambria countertops?
No, Cambria countertops are not available at Lowes. Cambria slabs are exclusively sold through authorized Cambria dealers and fabricators. Home Depot is the only major home improvement chain that carries Cambria.
Is Silestone more expensive than quartz?
On average, Silestone quartz countertops are comparable in price to other major quartz brands. Silestone offers over 90 designs with installed costs ranging from $60-$100 per square foot. It is not noticeably pricier than brands like Caesarstone or MSI quartz.
Is Cambria cheaper than granite?
No, Cambria quartz almost always costs more than granite. While granite pricing can vary, most granite runs $40-$70 per square foot installed compared to $65-$100 per square foot for Cambria. Granite remains one of the most budget-friendly natural stone options.
Cambria offers distinct high-end designs, but at a higher price tag than standard quartz countertops. Actual installed costs can vary based on your specific project. Be sure to get multiple quotes to compare pricing. For many homeowners, Cambria’s aesthetic appeal makes it a worthwhile investment. But for those on a tight budget, quality quartz like Caesarstone remains a solid option that won’t break the bank. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each material for your kitchen project.