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Though granite is the headliner in most kitchen remodels, quartz has its advantages. Cost, aesthetics, and maintenance all come into play when choosing stone countertops.

Cambria. Creating the look of onyx, marble, an granite without compromising the performance benefits of its quartz material, the maker is introducing 21 new colors across three collections. Each new color is named for a location in England or Wales where the Cambria family originated. The Canterbury color offers warm brown with copper flecks, while New Brighton (shown) features the beauty of onxy and can be backlit for a luxurious, radiant look. www.cambriausa.com.

Formica. Building on it's most successful residential laminate series, the maker is introducing seven new designs to the 180fx series. The new designs feature color variations that mimick natural stone slab and petrified wood in realistic 5-foot spans. Advanced printing technology and high-end finishes leave the material with a low-sheen, subtly textured feel, or a softly polished finish. The seven new patterns emulate marble, fossilstone, wood, and other natural materials. www.formica.com. 800.367.6422.

Granite Transformations. Five new colors have been added to the Trend Stone collection. Trend Stone offers the look of granite without the demolition and installation headaches associated with ordinary slab material. The non-porous, stain resistant material now comes in king ivory, Walker gold, mocha real, blue steel, and dark steel. www.granitetransformations.com.

Hanwha Surfaces. Beginning in February, 11 new product colors from the maker's Hanstone quartz line will be available for distribution. Suitable for residential or commercial use, the new shades will incorporate soft browns, golden tones, creamy whites, and charcoal hues. www.hanwhasurfaces.com.

Silestone. With a distinctive orange-peel textured finish, new Volcano Textured surface offers a tactile experience for normally smooth quartz surfacing. With a contemporary matte look and feel, a new technology applies a lightly indented effect to the quartz, which is available in five colors. Like other Silestone materials, subtly textured Volcano products remain non-porous and do not require sealing. Abuilt-in antimicrobial protection fights growth of mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria. www.silestoneusa.com.

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