Cambria Countertops: Basics and Brand Comparison

Quartz Countertops
Quartz Countertops. fotosense/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

What Is It?

Cambria is the brand name of an engineered stone (also called quartz stone) countertop material, typically used for kitchens and bathrooms.

Engineered stone is not 100% natural stone.  Instead, it is a mix of materials.  The majority of this mix is a stone-like material.

Details

Based in Eden Prairie, MN, Cambria USA is a high-end maker of quartz countertops--a redundant statement, as quartz counters are considered to be premium.

You install quartz counters in your kitchen for their attractiveness and performance, or because they look similar to slab stone--but never as a cost-saving gesture.

Quartz counters are relatively similar cost-wise to slab granite.

Quartz counters are well over 90% stone-like aggregate, including quartz, with the remainder composed of various resins and pigments needed to bind and color the materials.

Company Details

Cambria is a privately-held family company.  Currently, two family members, Mark Davis and Marty Davis, serve on Cambria's board and its leadership staff.

Cambria Compared To Other Quartz Countertop Brands

Considered to be a premium brand, Cambria has only a few competitors in the upper echelon of quartz countertops.  Two other strong brands are:

1.  DuPont Zodiaq

DuPont Zodiaq would be one close competitor of Cambria.  Zodiaq quartz material is considerably newer, having been brought onto the market in 2000.

 

Zodiaq is made by DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.

One chief difference is that Cambria counters are 100% made in the United States, at Cambria's LeSueur, Minnesota plant. So, if you are concerned about purchasing home improvement materials that are made in the U.S., then Cambria is exactly what you need.

2.  Bretonstone

Bretonstone is another competitor.  Originating in 1963, Bretonstone is considered to be the world's first quartz countertop.  Its technology is, in fact, licensed to Cambria and 51 other international companies.

Quartz Compared To Other Countertop Surfaces

  • Slab Granite:  Comparable.  Quartz counters excel because they are both harder than natural stone and they provide more design options. Slab granite may have irregularities and soft minerals that weaken it.  But quartz counters have toughness built in. From a design perspective, quartz and pigments can be combined to produce an almost infinite range of styles. You are not limited by whatever slab happens to come out of the quarry.
  • Solid Surfaces:  Not comparable.  Corian is the most prominent brand example of a solid surface countertop.  Solid surfaces are more plastic-feeling to the touch and they scratch easier.  From a resale value standpoint, quartz counters are considered higher value than ​a solid surface.
  • Laminate:  Not close to comparable.  Cambria is a dense, solid counter material, whereas laminate is a thin veneer glued onto an MDF core.  Laminate is considerably more hollow feeling and provides a vastly lower resale value.

    Trivia:  The Cambria-Cheese Connection

    Cambria counters are made by a company that also makes cheese.

    The Davis family supplies about a third of a billion pounds of cheese each year to Kraft Foods.

    This makes Cambria the first kitchen materials manufacturer that also makes food (albeit through a sister company).