Engineered stone uses a quartz mixture to replicate the features of granite or marble. While there are many different engineered stone companies, they all produce what is basically the same product, with few differences in the composition or effects of the stones. Other factors, such as color availability and service quality, tend to make the most difference.
Both Caesarstone and Silestone are popular brands of engineered quartz stone, designed to replicate the features of authentic granite. They are created by mixing pure quartz with a bind resin and several other ingredients together. In form and function there is little difference between engineered quartz and granite, both having similar qualities and similar prices. The primary difference lies in color differences and whether or not the buyer prefers natural granite. The most common use for engineered stone is on kitchen countertops, where its durability appears equal to that of natural granite. Most engineered counters use sealants to help prevent stains from soaking through, but like regular granite the stonework is susceptible to gouges or scratches from heavy, dropped objects or repetitive, grinding motion.
According to Naturally Bespoke, Caesarstone claims to be the original inventor of engineered stone. Their creations are made of 93 percent quartz and are marketed based on their heat- and stain-resistant properties. They offer a wide number of edging options and have several texture and finish options to give the stone different effects, but do not have as many color options as Silestone.
Silestone focuses on its international reputation as an engineered stone provider, and in general Silestone products are available in more places than Caesarstone. Silestone is known for offering a wider variety of color options to customers, although they use slightly less quartz in their mixtures than Caesarstone: at least 90 percent instead of 93 percent. Silestone also claims the durability, stain-resistant, and heat-protective features of its products make its engineered stone superior to natural versions.
Since the two brands are so similar in actual construction, most noticeable differences lie in the services provided by each company. Location and variety have already been mentioned, but another frequent comparison concerns the warranties offered by both companies. Silestone, according to the provider Naturally Bespoke, offers a 10-year warranty, although 15-year warranties are also available depending on location. According to its website, Caesarstone offers lifetime warranties but with added limitations, including necessary maintenance (per Caesarstone's guidelines) and full ownership of the product in question.
The prices for both Silestone and Caesarstone depend greatly on what kind of stone is ordered, what features it has, how the edges are constructed, and what kind of sealants are used to protect it. In general, prices for Caesarstone range from $60 to $80 per square foot, while prices for Silestone are slightly lower, ranging from $40 to $60 per square foot depending on type and quantity (2009 figures).