The Quartz Countertops that I LUV, Why I Think White is Here to Stay & The Truth Behind Our Pretty Photos

Of all the questions I get on my social, some of the most frequent pertain to the countertops in my home… What are my opinions on quartz vs. granite, marble, etc? AND I’m asked ALL THE TIME how I have so much white in my house with little kids and how I keep it clean.

(Our master bathroom, featuring Ella by Cambria Quartz)

To the first question… We have had granite countertops before and now have 2 different brands of quartz countertops in our home. We started our renovations in the kitchen a couple years ago and selected our white quartz, based mostly on price and our budget. I wanted something mostly solid white, with very simple veining. The style I selected fit the bill for this, and I was pretty happy with it when installed. (More on this later…)

If you don’t know a lot about quartz, there are 2 main reasons it has become so popular…

1- It’s beautiful. To me, granite can look overly flecked and uniform. Because of the way quartz is manufactured, the patterns are all completely unique. I had the pleasure of visiting the Cambria Quartz production plant in Minnesota, and watching the materials being made was mesmerizing, to say the least. The creations are gorgeous, ornate and full of character. It has the look of marble, and {almost} everyone LUVs marble. But unlike marble…

2- Quartz is super low maintenance! Granite and marble both require regular maintenance and need to be sealed regularly, as they are extremely porous. Quartz is typically pretty stain repellent and naturally impervious to acidic substances. While real marble is absolutely gorgeous aesthetically, if you are going to choose this material for your home, you must be completely open to the idea that stains and etching could be inevitable. Quartz requires zero sealing and is more likely to maintain its original character, as it is highly durable.

I often follow the second question (about how I have so much white with kids) by reminding my followers that what you see is not always what you get when it comes to a bloggers’ photos. Typically I’m photographing a space that is freshly cleaned, and for every clean space that’s being photographed, there’s typically a mound of laundry or some other type of mess hiding just behind that space. Having said that, I believe there is something to be said for light surfaces, in terms of keeping them clean. The granite countertops we previously had were a dark blend of blacks and metallics, and quite honestly, you’d never even know if they were dirty, because they hid EVERYTHING. While some may find this idea nice, the thought of what lurked beneath what meets the eye always gave me the heeby jeebies. When a surface in my home is dirty, I know. I can feel confident when food touches my countertops that they’re not bacteria-ridden, both because I keep them cleaner (because they are white) and because they aren’t porous.

So to prove to you my point that bloggers’ photos are not always an accurate depiction for what everyday life looks like, I’m going to show you some staged photos of my kids’ bathroom vanities and then show you what they look like more often than not…

Here’s how my daughter’s bathroom came together. The color we selected is Ella.

OK, now let’s be real… Here’s a more accurate depiction of how her bathroom typically looks. Em’s daily rituals are as bright as her personality. She likes to come home from school and add a rainbow of hair chalk to her hair. She usually has the hamster on her countertops while she brushes her teeth. And, despite the fact that she’s 8 years old, she LUVs applying makeup.

I mean, you can be afraid of white surfaces all day long. But for me… what’s scarier is thinking about what my kids put on their countertops (ahem… hamster butt) and not being able to see if they are actually clean. Non-porous sounds pretty good, when you think of it this way, huh?!

Corbin, on the other hand, is a certified neat-freak, like his mama. He doesn’t like anything to be dirty. But one thing that seems to linger is toothpaste residue. (Someone tell me why children always get more toothpaste on the countertops and in their sinks than their actual toothbrushes?!) AND, like Em, there’s often an animal on the counter. He has had a fish here for the last year, that just passed, rest his soul. But the kids put the dog on the counter to drink water out of the sink and Em tends to bring her hamster in here as well. So, again, I really like that their surfaces are non-porous. Here’s what his vanity area looks like when I typically photograph it for my social…

And what it more frequently looks like…

 

So, as you can see, non-porous is the key when suspicious bacterias could be lurking on your surfaces. (Ahem, dog on counter and then toothbrush in mouth…)

While I would have LUV’d to do unique designs in each of our bathrooms, we decided to keep a unified look throughout the house, for both resale value and budgetary reasons. We used white shaker cabinets through our kitchen, bathrooms & laundry room and simply chose different hardware and finishes, to make each space a little unique from the other. Like I mentioned before, we chose a quartz countertop brand based on price when we first did our kitchen, and the bathroom renovations came a year later. After a year of using our kitchen quartz (not Cambria), I wasn’t completely happy with the durability of them. They do, in fact, scratch a little and they have become a little more dull than I had hoped. So when we went to select the quartz for our bathroom renovations, I went with the brand I had coveted from the beginning… Cambria. Cambria’s cutting-edge technologies make their designs more durable and higher-quality than all of their competitors. Some key notes I learned about Cambria when visiting their facility last winter…

  • Cambria is American-made!
  • Cambria is a quartz surface product made of 93% pure, natural quartz- one of the hardest and most common minerals on Earth.
  • Cambria offers more variation than any other quartz manufacturer. (AND, recently introduced a matte finish material into their product line as well.)
  • It is non-porous, scratch and stain resistant, maintenance free and never needs sealing! Liquids and bacterias are never absorbed.
  • Cambria invests extensively in research and development, delivering the most technologically advanced surfaces available in the market.

So, in a nutshell, Cambria leads the way in technological advances, when it comes to quartz countertops, and seeing with my own eyes how it is made, I really was able to see what makes it the best. All of that aside, I can speak through experience that it really is superior when it comes to quartz countertops. Our kitchen quartz (not Cambria) has scratched, chipped and stained. Something I never thought would happen. We’ve now had Cambria in our bathrooms and laundry room for more than a year and have not seen one scratch, one stain or one imperfection. (This post may be sponsored, but that is a fact and my own experience and 100% truthful!)

Having said all of this, our “white’ish” Cambria quartz countertops have been one of the best design decisions I have made in our home. Again, I LUV that I can always see if they are dirty and I LUV the versatility of the design. In my next home, maybe I’ll go outside my comfort zone with a little color (who knows?!). But I’ve been extremely happy with how cohesive the designs in our home feel. I’m guessing white is going to stick around a while. It’s versatile; (You can change out the hardware and/or decor and have a different look.) It’s bright and beautiful; and I think it’s here to stay.

Got any other questions about my experience with the countertops in my home? Just ask!

Shop the items in my bathroom (and similar):

Shop the items in my kids’ bathrooms (and similar):

* This blog post was sponsored, but it was arranged a year AFTER having chosen Cambria for our home on our own. This experience has 100% been our own, and I agreed to do this collaboration because of my positive experience with the brand.

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