White natural stone is a timeless, classic material for countertops, but in today's market, there are more choices for how to achieve that look. In most cases, white stone means white marble or quartzite, both of which are sleek and beautiful, bringing classic elegance to any space. But natural stone can require a lot of upkeep, so if the thought of a natural material such as granite, marble, or quartzite is too much of a headache, you may want to consider manmade options.
Quartz Countertops Are Not Natural Quartz
Countertops made from engineered stone began to develop popularity beginning during the late 1990s, and they are generally categorized under the label "quartz," even though they are by no means made of solid quartz slabs. More properly, this material should be termed "engineered stone," although they are widely known simply as quartz countertops.
So-called quartz countertops are actually made of a blend of pulverized natural stone (marble, granite, quartz) and sometimes industrial waste (ceramic tile, glass, mirrors, etc.). About 90 percent of the material consists of this blended mineral content, which may or may not contain a significant amount of actual mineral quartz. The other 10 percent of the material is various polymers and binders. The blended material is heated and shaped into large sheets, allowed to cool and harden, then cut into various shapes for use as a building material. While the material does not look exactly like the real thing, the presence of a large amount of mineral content gives quartz countertops a look very similar to real stone.
Quartz countertops can be very good at mimicking granite, but the veining pattern of natural marble has been more difficult to duplicate. Gradually, though, engineered stone/quartz countertops have become increasingly good at mimicking the look of real marble. Quartz is also durable, has a wide selection of options, and is not overly porous, meaning it's easier to keep clean.
Here are four good products that can substitute for real white marble.
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Cambria is one of the leading manufacturers of quartz countertops, known not only for durability, affordable price-point, and made-in-America origin but also for the aesthetic depth and realism of their engineered stone. Compared to other manufacturers, Cambria has long had white marble lookalikes, including Torquay and Dovedale. But a recent addition, Brittanicca, is almost indistinguishable from genuine white marble. This is one of the very best marble lookalikes you can purchase, a creamy white stone with convincing gray vein patterns.
Britannica comes in three different versions, including standard (shown here), warm, and gold hues.
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Cambria also offers a second convincing white-marble imposter—Ella. While this stone is not quite as dramatic as Brittanicca, it definitely has the movement, depth, and subtle veining necessary to make it an excellent option. This is a great choice where you want more subtlety than the drama found in Brittanicca.
Cambria, located in Minnesota, makes its products entirely in the U.S. Cambria was one of the first companies to produce this form of engineered stone and is regarded as a premier producer. It offers more than 80 different styles and colors of engineered stone, including more than 30 resembling different forms of marble.
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Caesarstone's Calacatta Nuvo
Caesarstone is another reputable name in the quartz countertop world, offering several viable options that look like natural stone. The strongest of their offerings if you're looking for a countertop that resembles white marble is Calacatta Nuvo. The movement and depth of color look authentic and the coloring is exactly on point, though less dramatic than either of the Cambria options.
Caesarstone is a newer company, originating in Israel in 1987, with a manufacturing plant in Georgia. It is known for its commitment to protecting the environment.
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Another very pretty option is Silestone's Lyra, a convincing reproduction of Carrera marble. This stone is another pretty option with a truly authentic natural aesthetic. Unlike the other options, featuring warm overtones, Lyra is a cool white quartz with elegant bluish-gray veining.
Silestone, based in Coral Gables, Florida, is known for engineered stone products that include 90 percent genuine quartz material. The "white marble" options are available in both a warm cream and cool white color, and you can choose among several vein patterns and surface textures.