Things to Remember During Template Formation (Measure)
Published May 27, 2015
Once you have chosen a granite type (or any other natural stone) for your countertop, the next few steps would be concerned with the finalizing of the total cost related to granite slabs, templating, and installation. There are many unexpected costs that may pop up related to electrical work, plumbing, working on uneven substrate surface, etc. which are in most cases unavoidable. Templating forms the basis of installation and if any crucial information is missed here, then you would not be able to get that perfect granite countertop that you have dreamt of.
Templating refers to the process of using a material (mostly plywood) to project the spatial arrangement present in the installation area onto this material taking into account all the spatial variables present or that will be present once the installation is complete. It is important that you are present at home when the fabricator or supplier’s reps are measuring the countertop space. At the end of the process, they will ask you in written to authorize the templates so that there is no dispute later.
During measuring, it is important to discuss irregularities present in the surface (leveling required) or on the wall as well as if the wall is completely straight or curved at some point. Edge work needed should also be discussed so that the details such as overhang, thickness required, and the type of edge profile (square, bullnose, ogee, etc.) desired are clear and well-understood. When it comes to backsplash, length, height, and interruptions present should be taken into account. Once the sink cutouts for the top are created, the type required (under-mount or top-mount) should be discussed with the fabricator. Also, you must discuss the positioning of seams on the granite countertop depending on the appliances or other accessories that will be put consequently on the top. It is imperative that the cabinets are fitted before the measurement takes place because their positioning can alter the setting of the top.
Seams & Fissures on the Granite Countertop
Published May 18, 2015
While buying granite as a countertop material, there are many things in addition to cost that you must be well-informed about. In most cases, when you visit a stone dealer’s showroom, you will be shown various types of granite samples. You can choose the required color & design from these samples; however, there are many things that could go wrong here. As granite is a natural stone, there are natural variations present in every slab which are unique to that slab. Hence, the sample alone is not sufficient to ensure that the entire countertop eventually fabricated would be the replica of this sample.
Granite is quarried in the form of blocks which are of different lengths. Due to this reason, creating a larger slab for a top requires joining of these different slabs together which results in seam formation. These seams are filled with epoxy and color pigments so as to bind the different slabs together and to match the color of the seam as close to the color of the slabs as possible. These seams may become quite apparent if the adjoining slabs as well as the color pigments used are not matched. As said earlier that being a natural product no two slabs would have the same exact color even if they are of the same type; but, it is not a difficult job to find slabs which are a close match in terms of color, veins and movements. Hence, you must ask to see the slabs that will be used to create your granite countertop.
Fissures are naturally occurring separations on the surface of a granite slab which may be mistaken for cracks. Granite is continuous over the fissure which means that unlike a crack there is no discernible depression formed on the surface. Hence, a countertop will not get affected in any way by these fissures which are natural variations found in many other natural stone as well.
Know the Fundamental Differences Between Granite & Quartz Countertops
Published March 16, 2015
Granite and quartz are natural stone that offer various desired properties which make them a popular choice for kitchen & vanity tops. There are many misconceptions about these two materials that eventually hinder the selection process. It is imperative that you are well aware of their different properties such that you can make an informed decision about which of these two natural stone would be ideal for your kitchen space. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, we thoroughly discuss merits & demerits of various materials with our clients so that they could make the right selection when it comes to granite & quartz countertops.
The basic distinction between them comes from their composition which also in many ways affect their properties and appeal. Granite used for making tops is the same as quarried and nothing else is mixed into it. Hence, you could not find two slabs of granite that are replica of each other and therefore while choosing it, you must inspect the entire slab rather than just a small part of it. Quartz on the other hand, which is also a key ingredient of granite, is not used in its natural form to create countertops. Typically, quartz slabs have around 93-95 % natural quartz which is mixed with 7-5% of resins. Because of this reason, commercially used quartz is known as engineered quartz. The color pigments added to it are bound together with these resins which also provide a smooth surface to the stone.
Because of this manufacturing process, engineered quartz happens to be more durable and flexible than granite. Also, it is non-porous such that staining and bacterial growth are absent in quartz tops. Whereas, granite surfaces being porous are needed to be sealed periodically. Unlike granite, engineered quartz slabs can be replicated such that you can match your kitchen and bathroom space seamlessly. Though, due to the presence of resins, engineered quartz should not be exposed to direct sunlight (UV rays) as prolonged exposure might lead to discoloration and breakdown of the resin binder. Granite on the other hand doesn’t have this problem and it also exhibits way better heat-resistant properties.
Cost, once a primary distinguishing point between granite and quartz, has ceased to be the most relevant demarcator today. Traditionally, quartz used to be appreciably more expensive than most of the granite varieties but with the advent of highly efficient manufacturing processes the prices of engineered quartz have become comparable to third & higher levels of granite. You can visit our production facility/showroom in St. Louis, Missouri and we will provide you with the best prices possible for granite & quartz countertops.
Common Characteristics of Marble Countertops
Published February 4, 2015
Marble is quite different from other natural stone and its appeal through many past centuries has only augmented. There are other natural stone such as granite and quartz that are more durable and non-porous than marble (every natural stone wholesaler/distributor would unequivocally tell you this); however, the aesthetics of a marble top still trumps over these natural stone. Before you choose marble as your countertop material there are certain things that must be aware of beforehand. If you are living in the St. Louis, MO area and planning to buy marble countertop for kitchen or bathroom remodeling, then we can help you to choose the best variant at highly competitive prices.
As marble is formed naturally, there are obvious variations found from one slab to another in terms of color, veining, design and movement. No matter how careful you are with your top, marble will stain, etch, chip and scratch. You can have marble in two different variants namely honed and polished. Honed finish is deprived of shininess and reflective features thus making it difficult to locate scratches and etching on the surface. However, it makes it more susceptible to soak up spilled liquid on its surface. Polished finish provides a shinier and glossier look to the surface which would make locating scratches easier through reflection. Though the polish used makes it less porous. Located in the St. Louis, MO area, we could help you to decide the best finish for your marble countertop.
Since marble is a limestone, it has abundance of calcium in it which when comes in contact with anything acidic will go through a chemical reaction that will etch the marble. In general terms, etch refers to an area on the marble surface which is slightly more dull or grayish in appearance than other parts. Most people don’t even remember how their top got etched. In fact, as the time progresses, all these scratches and etching on the surface would soften up and become extremely difficult to spot and marble will develop a smooth appearance which is known as patina. This patina developed on the surface is the number one reason for many marble lovers to choose it as their countertop material.
Quartz: The Newest Fad in the Kitchen Countertop Market
Published January 6, 2015
Over the years countertop market has changed a lot and increasingly improving manufacturing technology has made new materials quite affordable to be used for residential purposes. Shifting from immemorial marble tops, to granite variants and now to quartz, the choices available for remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms are astounding. Cost, that used be the primary deterrent for using natural & engineered stone at homes, has quickly moved southwards and major quartz manufacturers such as Silestone & Caesarstone have been exporting these quality products all across the world at highly competitive prices.
In the St. Louis, Missouri area, you can find quartz countertops from both Silestone & Caesarstone brands.
There are some variants of quartz tops that are made out of quarried slabs of natural quartz but to lend them some other desired features, most tops are made up of engineered quartz which is manufactured by mixing a certain percentage of natural quartz (found in the earth’s crust) with a lower percentage of resins. In general, 93-95% of natural quartz is mixed with 7-5% of resins for the manufacturing of engineered quartz. Most of the engineered quartz variants used for making tops contain two commonly used resin types namely polyester resin and epoxy. To give captivating colors to quartz slabs, these resins are mixed with color pigments that bind the particles.
There are several advantages provided by engineered quartz over natural stone such as marble and granite, most notable of which is its high durability that makes it nearly indestructible. Due to its high durability, most manufacturers offer 10-15 years of warranty on them which is not possible with natural stone tops. You can find these slabs in various designs & colors and unlike granite there is no significant difference between the two engineered quartz slabs thus providing uniformity. There are some renowned suppliers in the St. Louis, Missouri area that offer numerous types of
Spoilt for Choice: Types of Countertop Materials
Published December 19, 2014
There was a time when the only natural stone countertop available in the market was of marble. However, because of economies of scale and technological advancements, countertops made up of granite, quartz and other extremely expensive materials have become quite common these days. Some suppliers in the St. Louis, MO area offer marble, granite and quartz countertops at highly competitive prices making it possible to use them at home. These countertop materials that are widely used today are discussed below.
It’s the timeless beauty that is mostly used for its elegance than any other feature. Its gradually developed patina and distinctive veining makes it a number one choice for high-end facilities. Marble’s heat resistant property makes it highly immune to hot objects such as hot pans and pots. It could be easily found and installed than any other type of natural stone. Being a poor conductor of heat, it naturally remains at lower temperatures thus making it an ideal choice for kneading and baking.
It comes from the family of igneous rocks and due to variations in its formation process, granite slabs differ from each other in terms of graining, movement and veining. Granite exhibits high durability, exceptional heat resistant properties, comes in various colors & designs, and if sealed properly, shows quite high resistance to stains also. Granite tops are relatively more expensive than the marble ones but they provided many benefits that are absent in marble tops. In the St. Louis, MO area many suppliers provide different levels of granite countertops.
Though it’s a natural stone but the variant used for making countertops is known as engineered quartz which is 93 % quartz and 7 % resin. This modification allows manufacturing of quartz slabs in numerous designs & colors. It has higher durability than both marble and granite tops and since it is non-porous, you don’t have to seal it. Quartz is the most expensive of these three materials but comparable to higher-end variants of marble and granite.
Different features of Granite Countertops
Published November 27, 2014
Countertops and kitchen cabinets are two important variables that decide the cost of kitchen remodeling as they take the major chunk out of your remodeling budget. People have always shown a propensity to buy natural stone tops for their kitchen & bathroom and granite is the most popular option at the moment that triumphs over both marble as well as quartz. Because of its various benefits and still affordable pricing, it has emerged as the number one contender for the title of best countertop material.
Granite belongs to the family of igneous rocks and has a crystalline formation and texture. Its primary constituents are feldspar, quartz, and mica. All granite slabs are not same and they differ from each other in terms of graining, movement and veining. More complex these three aspects are in a granite slab, more expensive would be the cost. You can find some excellent granite countertop suppliers in the St. Louis, Missouri area that offer a wide variety of granite tops.
Granite has high durability, excellent heat resistant properties, available in various colors & designs, and if sealed properly, shows quite high resistance to stains also. Granite is porous as any other natural stone would be and therefore allows liquids to penetrate its surface which may produce stains if acidic products are spilled over its surface.
Well-sealed granite tops do not allow this to happen as seal would add an extra protective layer on the surface so that there is a minimal absorption of liquids. It must be noted that not all granite countertops require to be sealed, though a seal may increase the resistive capability of the surface against water and acidic products.
It is generally assumed that the different levels of granite slabs are markers of the quality of these slabs. On the contrary, granite slabs are more and less of same quality only differing slightly due to natural variations. These levels in fact are markers of availability, design and price variations associated with these slabs. In the St. Louis, Missouri area, many granite suppliers provide countertops in different levels that are sourced from various places across the world.
Remodel Your Kitchen with Stylish Quartz Countertops
Published October 20, 2014
Quartz countertops that are also known as engineered natural stone tops, are manufactured by suspending quartz in a polyester or acrylic resin to create a countertop which is stronger than both granite and marble countertops. This manufacturing process produces an elegant, durable, non-porous, negligible maintenance quartz surfaces which are highly resistant to bacterial growth, spillage, heat, and staining. However, the degree of these attributes is not uniform and they change from manufacturer to manufacturer according to the manufacturing process adopted.
As with granite countertops, quartz countertops also come with the same edge profiles, allow for an integrated sink and/or backsplash and are available in numerous designs and colors. It must be noted that any material which is mined or manufactured in slabs will always have seams developed on the surface. However, in the case of quartz countertops it is a tad difficult to find the seams.
Silestone which is made up of 94 percent natural quartz is manufactured by a company called Cosentino which began operations in Spain. Silestone countertops have been certified by the ISO 14001, Green guard, NSF and LGA which guarantees the safety and reliability of these countertops. All of these tops come with a certified 15-year transferable warranty.
These countertops have non-porous surfaces which make them highly resistant to stains. They are more durable than granite and marble counter & vanity tops and have high resistance to etching caused by acidic products. They are also bacteria resistant and use latest generation silver ions to prevent any kind of bacteria formation on the surface. Caesarstone is another well-known name in the quartz manufacturing industry that produces four different collection of quartz: Classico, Supremo, Motivo, and Concetto. They have 93 percent natural quartz and 7 percent polymer resins.
Reasons to Choose Quartz Countertops over Natural Stone Countertops
Published September 10, 2014
When it comes to aesthetics, quartz countertops are as stylish as granite or marble tops and they provide a number of advantages over these natural stone countertops. Some of these advantages are discussed below.
Unlike natural stone tops, quartz countertops are made up of an engineered stone which has crushed quartz mixed with resin in a ratio of 93 % quartz to 7 % resin. This controlled manufacturing process allows countertops to be produced in different designs with minimal variations from one quartz slab to another of the same type. On the other hand, granite slabs of the same type differ significantly in color & design from each other.
Generally, quartz is costlier than the granite tops but as you move to high-end rare granite products these price differences cease to exist. In fact, higher-end granite products are costlier than the most quartz products.
It is more durable than both granite and marble. Granite contains around 40-60 % quartz only whereas quartz tops have 93 % quartz and no other natural impurity. This makes them highly durable and allows making stylish quartz countertops with some bold and unique edging designs possible.
Quartz is a non-porous material and hence, there is no need to seal it. This property allows it to be more stain resistant than granite and marble countertops. It can withstand acidic substances such as wine, vinegar, coffee, fruit juices, soft drinks and other sources of stains.
Due to its non-porous and non-absorbent properties, it does not draw moisture from spilled liquids or leftover food. This prevents bacterial growth on the surface & edges which ensures that there is no food contamination. Also, it doesn’t emit any radiations.
Proudly offering high quality Granite to the entire St. Louis area.