Countertop Series, Part 4 – Quartz

Hi, and welcome to part 4 of my favorite countertops series!

If you’re just jumping into the series today, basically, I’ve been featuring my 6 favorite countertop materials this week, strictly based on the way they look. (No cost break downs or installation instructions here. They make my brain hurt and seem to vary from place to place, big time.)

Anywho- today’s pick is quartz! Specifically, Caesarstone’s “Frosty Carrina”:

frosty carrina caesarstone

It was just released a couple of months ago and I love how white and faint the linear gray veining is. What a great alternative to real carrara marble. (Another one of my favorites!)

Because it’s so new, I had a hard time finding photos of it used in kitchens online. I was able to find this close up on Caesarstone‘s Pinterest page…


…and here are some screenshots of it from a video on the House and Home website…


…but obviously it’s hard to see the veining in those. NessaB posted this photo of Frosty Carrina in her (work in progress) kitchen over at GardenWeb:


…but again, no close up views there either. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more photos of it in use over the next few months. I’m sure it’ll pop up somewhere eventually!

There’s actually quite a few awesome carrera alternatives out there on the quartz market right now. I’m also a big fan of Cambria’s “Torquay”:

frosty carrina caesarstone lyra silestone torquay cambria carrara marble

Ashley from 7th House on the Left used it in her kitchen:


…and so did Emily from What Emily Does:


Do you have a favorite quartz or two?

PS- To read my previous countertop series posts, click on the links below!

1. Laminate
2. Concrete
3. Eco by Cosentino

And for pics between posts, join us over on Twitter, Facebook and/orΒ Instagram!

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Countertop Series, Part 5 - Antiqued Absolute Black Granite & Carrara Marble
Countertop Series, Part 3 - Eco By Cosentino

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    • Layla says

      Hi Marian! Torquay is a beautiful countertop for sure! Other than the shape of the veins, it’s really only different from the Frosty Carrina in that it has little tiny dots all over it. (The Frosty Carrina is solid off-white everywhere there’s not a vein.) Both are STUNNING though, and those are really the only two differences I can find! :-) #TopTwo

      • Pam says

        Just happen to have a sample of Zodiaq “Bianco Carrara” on my desk. Something to consider?

        • Layla says

          Hi Pam! Thanks for the heads up on Zodiaq’s Bianco Carrara! I just Googled it and it looks like the veining is a lot heavier and darker than Torquay or Frosty Carrina. Would you say that’s true?

          • Pam says

            Went to the cottage (no pun intended) where we keep our samples. Looked at the larger sample. Actually the veining is similar to Torquay but lighter. Haven’t really been following your counter top search til now. The Bianco Carrara would look great with black cabinets.

          • Layla says

            Good to know, Pam! Thanks for checking on that. We’re not really searching for countertops. A reader just wrote and asked what my favorite countertop types were, so I thought I’d host a little series just for fun! :-)

  1. says

    We are looking at the Lyra and another one from Silestone (it doesn’t have as much veining). I can’t wait — they will look gorgeous with our dark cabinets and floors!

  2. Ashlee says

    We installed Cambria Torquay in our renovated kitchen this past fall and I love it! It gives the same look of Carrera without having to worry about staining or etching, so I don’t feel stressed out every time I actually use my countertops!
    The only thing I didn’t like about the process with Cambria is that it is hard to get a hold of. We live in Tulsa and the closest distributor was in Dallas. So we were not able to see a slab in person and they refused to send us pictures since it moves so quickly and they can’t guarantee that the photo you get will be the slab you actually receive.
    Thankfully a stone company here had a small piece left from another project, so I got to see something larger than just a 3×3 sample at least.
    People will tell you (including the companies that make them) that the quartz products are going to look the same from slab to slab. Although this is somewhat true, there can still be variations, I saw plenty online when looking through photos of kitchens using Torquay. Some have more veining, some with less, some with heavier gray and some more white. Some had heavy concentrations of veining in one area and hardly any veining in another. This is totally normal with most natural stone products, but at least you have the option to view those at a stone yard and choose one that fits your personal preference. Unfortunately that is not the case when purchasing Cambria products (at least not based on our experience). So for anyone thinking of this product, be prepared that you may just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Luckily, for us, the slab was exactly what I was hoping for (minus a few small imperfections, that luckily we were able to cut around).
    With all that said, it really is a beautiful product and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. :)

  3. Kimberly says

    So glad you posted about this! I JUST made the decision after wanting Torquay for a long time to switch at the last minute to the Frosty Carrina. It was one of those last minute design decisions where I thought I wanted one thing for a long time and then once I saw the new Frosty Carrina I was thrown for a loop. Like you mentioned, the biggest reason I switched was the dots. Once I saw the Frosty Carrina was smooth and without dots I knew I had to switch. Both are beautiful though and I can’t wait to see our new countertops when they come in. I would definitely recommend people look at the two samples in person and close up though. From far away it is hard to see the dots in the Torquay but they are there. Thanks again!

    • Danielle says

      Kim, I was thinking about making this very same switch! However, I was told that the price point would be quite a bit higher for the Frosty Carrina. Was that the case for you? We are already looking at 90 dollars a square foot for the Torquay and I am not sure I would be willing to spend much more.


      • Kimberly says

        Hi Danielle,

        Sorry for the delay in response – it ended up being $600 total more for the Frosty Carrina (I can’t remember what that broke down to square foot wise). Compared to the overall price of everything, $600 wasn’t a TON more for us, but little additions do add up and could have brought us over budget. So I did spend time considering it and decided that the dots in the Torquay really weren’t what I was looking for, and since we were already spending a lot of money on our countertops I wanted them to be perfect and exactly what I wanted. So in the end, $600 was worth it for that. Good luck to you!


  4. Carrie-Curate By Carrie Corson says

    Great choice! I also like Misty Carrara by Caeserstone. I went out in search for Misty Carrara in our area with no luck, but I came also came across the Torquay by Cambria & loved that option too! So many great options….decisions decisions! You have great style! Can’t wait to see which choice you make for your kitchen.

  5. Megan says

    HI Layla,
    Am I the only one that thinks that some of the veined quartz remind me of leg veins (which I do not need to be reminded of, haha). For example of the ones above Lyra has that look. I would be afraid I would do my kitchen and that’s all I would see. The Frosty is much softer and doesnt’ look like that though.

  6. barbara waddell says

    We have recently finished our new home. We chose Cambria quartz in Torquay for our countertops and island – it is beautiful, The gray veining is not too dark running through the white. It is so pliable that our island top was made from one piece, in spite of the turns and corners. Easy care. Everyone comments favorably about it and I love working on the surface in the kitchen!! Price, beauty and durability are all in the right zone for us.

  7. says

    I’ve been drooling over Cambria’s Torquay for months! I was totally satisfied with my Corian counter tops beforehand and I try to remind myself of that whenever I see quartz πŸ˜‰ But it’s definitely my new fave.

  8. says won’t get a comment like this. When I looked at all the choices next to each other I said “oh, not so much on the Frosty Carrina, it looks like the spider veins running down my legs!”

  9. says

    This couldn’t have been more timely! We’re getting ready to gut the kitchen in our new home and I’ve been dreaming about carrara but not sure I wanted to deal with the high maintenance. Thanks for the post!

  10. says

    They’re all so lovely! I am a sucker for marble and an even bigger sucker for marble look alikes that will save me some money! :) :)


    • Julie says

      We just priced some bathroom countertops, and was surprised at his much more quartz was than actual marble.

      • Layla says

        Yeah, from what I hear, it’s because of the difference in durability. They say quartz is fairly indestructible! :)

  11. says

    We have quartz in our home and love it. It’s so pretty and durable. Our’s is more of a speckled quartz with lots of browns and grays – our consultant called it Reeses because it looks like chocolate and peanut butter (that pretty much sold me). That obviously isn’t the real name! It’s so easy to keep clean and looks great with anything. I’d use quartz again in a heartbeat.

  12. says

    I love white counters and honestly don’t think I would be able to tell the difference between marble and a quartz look alike. It’s wonderful seeing so many counter alternatives other than the typical granite that so many people feel is a must have in their kitchen.

  13. says

    Hey Layla! I actually had quartz put in this year. We LOVE it! We didn’t go with any of the marble look-a-likes but the actual product is fantastic. So easy to clean!

  14. says

    We used Caesar stone counters in our kitchen remodel as well (when IKEA ran their 40% off counters sale a while back). I went with the warmer “Oyster”. I was going for a Terrazzo feel, which this one has. The colors are black, white, transparent, cream, gray, and caramel, which tied everything together in my kitchen which is Expresso, white and natural acacia on the floor.

  15. says

    I chose carrera over Caesarstone a few years ago due to pressure from my contractor to use “real stone”. I still regret not going with CS “Quartz Reflections”. Marble is beautiful, but I found a nightmare to keep pristine. Every scratch and knick caused me heartache and I was so careful!

    I’ve now moved and, when I replace my old laminate, it will be quartz all the way!

  16. says

    I love the very light veining very much. I think the one called “Torquay” would be my favourite, just because of its name!
    I did some research after your last post and found that the “eco” countertops are sold in Switzerland, so I hope they’ll be available in France by the time I redo my kitchen as I found the idea very interesting.

  17. Marion says

    I’m looking at quartz to replace granite tile. Our granite tile has performed terribly, although we did seal it. I probably did not seal it often enough and it has large sections of oil type stains, which turned it an olive. I’ve tried every stain remover and poultices but I’m finally fed up and ready to replace it. I’m interested in Cambria because it is one price for all. I saw some Caesarstone I liked but my fabricator said they have different prices for different colors and some over $100, yikes! I just want something simpler now – tired of the busy look of granite. Peace and serenity for this kitchen!

  18. says

    We currently have white laminate in our home ( I actually like white counters) which I would love to replace. Have loved the look of Carrara marble for years, but reading this post and seeing the pics side by side, I will definitely check out quartz! Do you have an estimate of how much of a cost savings it is?

  19. Lisa says

    I just had Silestone’s Lyra installed in my kitchen with Martha’s Ocean Floor cabinets. I really love it.

    • Kathleen Harris says

      Please check out Silestone’s Lagoon. We’ve just finished a bathroom with these quartz countertops and I am in love! They are similar to marble but have a pale gray tone with subtle gray veining. They are beautiful and would be perfect for a kitchen!

      • says

        I too love lagoon in the suede finish. Was thinking of Lyra but it looks like spider veins, don’t think it looks like marble at all. Torquey another favorite.

  20. says

    Hi Layla!

    We mainly do granite countertops here in Louisville KY at my place but are getting requests these days for quarzt countertops too. The market is growing, and people like options when they’re doing a high end kitchen upgrade.

    I think you’ve got a great source of info here, and am going to save you in my favorites. We don’t have a lot of resources here just yet to share with our customers that are interested in quartz for their kitchens, so I will show them your article here while they’re at our place. People are so visual and your images are fantastic as is the whole article.