International Granite and Stone https://www.igscountertops.com #1 Rated Quartz, Granite, & Marble Countertop Supplier for Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and Orlando Thu, 19 Jul 2018 15:15:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Quartz vs. Granite: What’s the Difference? https://www.igscountertops.com/quartz-vs.-granite-whats-the-difference/ https://www.igscountertops.com/quartz-vs.-granite-whats-the-difference/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 22:16:34 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11873 If you’re thinking of a kitchen remodel or you want to replace your kitchen counter, you have plenty of options. The two most popular countertop surfaces you have to choose from include granite and quartz. But is there a difference? Many people will argue that each one is better, debating reasons why they’d never select [...]

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If you’re thinking of a kitchen remodel or you want to replace your kitchen counter, you have plenty of options.

The two most popular countertop surfaces you have to choose from include granite and quartz. But is there a difference?

Many people will argue that each one is better, debating reasons why they’d never select the other. They prefer granite or quartz for their own reasons.

But what’s the right countertop surface for your home remodel? In this article, you’ll learn the difference between granite and quartz so you can decide what’s best for your kitchen.

Let’s get right to it!

Quartz vs. Granite: What’s the Difference?

To help you decide which is best for you we will compare five qualities to of quartz and granite.

But first, let’s discuss their properties.

Granite is a coarse stone that comes from nature. You’ll find it around the globe. Granite comes from igneous rock, rock formed by magma or lava when cooled.

For the most part, granite rock comes in pink, white or gray. Its mined from quarries, cut to a transportable size and polished to a fine finish before it gets to your home.

Quartz, on the other hand, is made from oxygen atoms. Quartz is not completely natural. While most of the quartz comes from nature, five percent of quartz is made with polymer resins.

Now that you know the composition of the two rocks, let’s compare its qualities.

1. The Look

In this section, we’ll compare the appearance.

Granite

Granite is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns because of how it’s formed, the cooling process into molten material.

No two slabs of granite are the same. The selection of granite is endless. There’s no limit to the colors and formations you can choose from.

When you’re looking for a statement piece to make your kitchen pop or a continuous design for total symmetry, your choice of color and appearance is unlimited.

Quartz

Quartz enthusiasts love the appearance of quartz. The popularity of quartz has literally taken the countertop industry by surprise.

The reason why people like quartz so much is due to its look of stone. Quartz is also easy to customize its design because of its stone makeup.

If you’re looking to customize or personalize your kitchen, quartz is simpler than granite due to its flexibility.

Although granite offers many choices in slabs, it can be more difficult to find a piece to match your color scheme. Quartz offers an easier way to select the right piece.

2. Cost

Let’s compare price.

Granite

It typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000 to buy a slab of granite. And when you purchase granite from a wholesale merchant, you can save some cash.

You can also save money doing the preliminary work DIY. But it’s best to have the fabrication and installation of your granite countertops done by a pro. Here’s how to find cheap granite.

Quartz

The price of quartz can run higher. The typical cost to purchase and install quartz countertops can run as little as $1,500 but can get as high as 5,500.

This is an average. The price of quartz you’ll pay depends on the quality of the piece of quartz you select and the edging style.

Although you can do some of the initial work yourself to save some money, it’s best to hire a professional installer.

Unlike granite, the space you place your quartz in must be structurally sound. This is due to engineered quartz being heavier than other stone surfaces.

3. Eco-friendliness

Let’s talk about the impact of granite and quartz on the environment.

Granite

Granite needs to be quarried to get to your kitchen. And this process utilizes an abundance of energy.

If you order a special slab from another country, like Italy, the energy and fuel resources are expended. An eco-friendly idea is to first look at a salvage yard to find a slab that you can cut to tailor your tastes.

Quartz

Quartz can be better for the planet since its engineered. It won’t need as much energy for transport. This is when you purchase a slab that’s manufactured locally or from a regional manufacturer or fabricator.

Working with someone locally will drastically decrease the distance and fuel consumption needed to transport the slab or quartz for your kitchen.

4. Maintenance

So how do you take care of your countertops? Let’s find out.

Granite

You’ll need to clean your granite countertops using soap and water or a gentle granite cleaner every day. You’ll also have to prevent certain acids in food and oils from staining granite countertops.

You’ll need to read the manufacturer’s direction on the care of the granite. It’s best to reseal your granite countertops every year. Resealing protects your countertops–and your investment.

Quartz

Quartz is easier to maintain than granite. Similar to granite, you need to wipe up spills with soap and water or a gentle household cleaner, but that’s where the maintenance ends.

Quartz does not require you to reseal it. That’s because it is a solid surface. It’s simpler to clean and maintenance is less expensive, especially if you prefer to hire a professional to reseal granite countertops.

5. Durability

How long will your countertop last?

Granite

Granite is a durable material and it’s heat-resistant, unlike quartz. But due to its porosity, which means it absorbs liquid easily, spilled liquids can get absorbed into your countertops.

If you leave liquid sitting on your countertop, it can damage your countertop. Banging something hard on your countertop can also damage granite.

Quartz

Quartz is more durable than granite because its surface is harder. As a matter of fact, quartz is almost impossible to destroy.

Quartz is not porous, unlike granite. And it fights bacteria better than granite since it’s harder for bacteria to penetrate quartz.

The downside of quartz is that excessive heat can damage its surface. To avoid this, use hot plates and heating pads always. An easy fix.

Final Thoughts On Quartz Vs. Granite

Now you know more about each countertop surface to help you decide which is the better choice for your kitchen: granite or quartz.

When comparing quartz vs. granite, you learned that quartz lasts longer, it’s more eco-friendly, and it’s easy to customize if you want to personalize your countertops.

But quartz can be more expensive, so if you’re price-conscious or you prefer the unique colors of granite it might be worth the extra cleanup and yearly resealing.

Which countertop suits your and your family’s lifestyle: quartz or granite? You decide.

Ready to shop for your quartz or granite countertops. Visit the International Granite & Stong website to view our selection. Or check out our blog for some great content about countertops.

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The Consumer Guide: The Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops https://www.igscountertops.com/the-consumer-guide-the-pros-and-cons-of-marble-countertops/ https://www.igscountertops.com/the-consumer-guide-the-pros-and-cons-of-marble-countertops/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2018 22:18:15 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11876 Getting ready to install new countertops? Wondering whether marble can be a good choice for your home? Marble countertops can add a beautiful look to your home. However, when choosing countertops for a kitchen, bathroom, or another area of your home there’s a lot more to think about besides just the overall look. Marble offers [...]

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Getting ready to install new countertops?

Wondering whether marble can be a good choice for your home?

Marble countertops can add a beautiful look to your home. However, when choosing countertops for a kitchen, bathroom, or another area of your home there’s a lot more to think about besides just the overall look.

Marble offers some great benefits when used for kitchen or bathroom countertops, but it does have some drawbacks as well. It’s important to weigh your decision properly before making your final choice.

Below we’ll discuss the pros and cons of building your countertops out of marble so that you can make an educated decision for your home.

Choosing the Best Materials For Countertops

Whether you’re looking for countertops for your kitchen, bathroom, or another area of your home there are plenty of great material choices out there.

Quart countertops and stone countertops are both very popular choices and there are a few different options under those categories.

Luxury options are also available as well. Gemstone, recycled glass, and onyx are all possible to use for the countertops in your home.

Marble Vs Granite Countertops

Although they are similar, there are some key differences you should know about when considering marble vs granite countertops.

Marble countertops can be a good option for some applications but are typically regarded as being better suited for a bathroom, an office, or a fireplace.

However, granite usually makes a better choice than marble when it comes to kitchen countertops. It can also be used for other applications as well.

If you’re considering using marble in your home for a kitchen, bathroom, or another use you’ll want to think about the pros and cons carefully first to make sure you know what to expect.

Pros of Marble Countertops

So what are the best benefits of marble countertops? Here are a few of the reasons that marble can be a great choice in your home and why many people love having marble bathroom countertops or kitchen countertops.

Beautiful Look

The truth is that marble simply looks beautiful. It can make any home look more elegant and attractive.

Marble offers a unique look and not two slabs of marble are ever exactly the same. In the kitchen, it particularly offers a great look that is hard to beat compared to the other options that are available.

Great Colors

The material offers an interesting spectrum of colors and hues. Many options and looks are available for your kitchen.

You can choose marble that is solid white or solid black, for example. There are also plenty of other colors available including yellow, gray, green, and rose colors.

With the range of options that are available and the overall elegant look that marble can create, it’s obvious why so many people choose it for use in their homes.

Marble is Heat Resistant

If you’re looking for a material that is easy for use in the kitchen or bathroom and doesn’t have any trouble dealing with excessive heat, marble is also a great choice.

When used in the kitchen it won’t have any problem handling high temperatures from pots or pans. In the bathroom, a hot curling iron or styling tool won’t be able to damage its surface. It’s also commonly used around fireplaces.

Widely Available

Unlike some other materials available for countertops, marble is also widely available and easy to find. Marble can make a great choice due to its accessibility. You won’t have any trouble finding it from a stone fabricator or stone yard to use in your home.

On the other hand, many other materials such as quartzite and a few other quartzes aren’t so easy to come across.

Cons of Marble Countertops

While there are plenty of positive qualities of marble you also need to know that there are some drawbacks to choosing marble for the countertops in your home as well.

However, keep in mind that if you want to install marble countertops despite the shortcomings listed below you’ll want to make sure you know the right tricks to maintain marble properly.

Here are a few of the things that may make marble less than ideal for your home.

Staining

Marble is porous in nature and, as a result, doesn’t deal with liquids very well. This can lead to staining problems from even the smallest amount of liquid.

Whether you’re pouring juice in the kitchen or brewing coffee, it’s important that you’re always careful not to spill any as it can lead to unsightly stains. If you do spill anything, you’ll need to clean it up immediately.

The liquid easily goes deep into the stone so it makes it impossible in many cases to get rid of.

This is true in the bathroom as well, even when using basic bathroom products such as nail polish, some makeups or other types of liquids.

Not Durable Enough

Another problem is that marble is not the sturdiest of materials that you can choose for your countertops. It is softer than granite and can easily chip or break if handled in the wrong way.

It’s important to be careful when using knives and other cooking materials. Any hard or sharp items that come into contact with the marble has the potential for causing lasting damage and problems.

Easily Scratched

Marble is also easily scratched. Because it’s not very durable, it’s important to be careful with it, especially in the kitchen. It will quickly start looking bad if you’re not cooking and using your kitchen carefully enough.

Whether you’re dealing with acidic lemon juice or sharp knives and utensils, you may just leave lasting marks if you’re not careful.

Final Thoughts

While there are pros and cons to the material, marble countertops can be a good choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas. However, you need to remember what you’re dealing with and be well-prepared for its shortcomings.

By keeping the above points in mind, you should be getting a better idea if it’s the right material for you and your needs.

Looking for professional countertop installation? Contact us today to learn more about our services and to find out more about what we can do for you.

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What Is Cambria Quartz and Why Is It Different? https://www.igscountertops.com/what-is-cambria-quartz-and-why-is-it-different/ https://www.igscountertops.com/what-is-cambria-quartz-and-why-is-it-different/#respond Sat, 14 Jul 2018 22:22:21 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11879 There is a wide range of countertop choices out there on the market. When it comes to building materials and home projects, we tend to focus on all-natural solutions. There are some cases, however, where man-made synthetic materials are better than natural. For those who want something a bit more exotic than standard granite, marble, [...]

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There is a wide range of countertop choices out there on the market. When it comes to building materials and home projects, we tend to focus on all-natural solutions. There are some cases, however, where man-made synthetic materials are better than natural.

For those who want something a bit more exotic than standard granite, marble, or stone countertops, there is Cambria. What is Cambria, you might ask? Well, it’s one of the hottest trending premium countertop materials. For more about this luxurious brand of countertops, keep reading.

What is Cambria?

Cambria quartz, also known as Cambria granite, is the best of both worlds. It is comprised of at least 93% natural stone quartz. Quartz is naturally very durable and has amazing aesthetic qualities. Cambria quartz is a unique brand of quartz that is made right here in the USA.

It was developed and manufactured in Eden Prairie, MN. This discovery of new quartz qualities has led to a lot of excitement in the countertop industry. Unlike regular granite, Cambria granite does not need to be polished or sealed.

This is because of the hybridized nature of Cambria. It’s synthetic fillers and resins make for stain-resistant maintenance-free countertops. It also creates a surface that won’t harbor bacteria. It is completely non-porous and scratch-resistant.

It even makes for a good surface to do everyday work on. Quartz is the seven-hardest mineral in the world and Cambria is essentially reinforced quartz. Cambria granite is actually stronger than natural granite slabs.

Protection & Warranty

Because this isn’t your average piece of granite, Cambria comes with a lifetime warranty. If for whatever reason your countertop becomes damaged or blemished under normal use, it will be replaced. You can shop for Cambria granite countertops with confidence and faith that it has gone through a high QC test.

Comparing Cambria Granite

We have mentioned how Cambria compares to standard quartz granite countertops. They’re harder and easier to take care of, of course. This is partly due to the natural impurities in stone.

You will find inconsistencies in both hardness and shape, which can weaken over time. This is why granite owners must seal their countertops yearly. The cost of professional sealing and polishing adds up fast.

We should also visit other competing non-quartz countertops, too. Corian, for example, is hard, but not scratch-resistant. They are also porous and can degrade over time.

Marble is often mistaken as the highest quality countertop you can buy. This isn’t true for a number of reasons. One, it isn’t harder than Cambria. Two, it is porous and will stain easily. Three, it is marked at a premium due to labor and accessibility/rarity.

Trending Cambria Styles

Now that we’ve gone over the physical highlights of the quality of Cambria, let’s highlight the beauty of it. People notice Cambria for its wonderful array of colors, styles, and natural formations. These are just a few popular selections you can find for Cambria countertops.

Annicca

This mystical white ivory patterned Cambria is regal, yet subtle. There are highlights of gold and silver, purple and beige. It’s a great compliment to both darker woods and modern aluminums. Your kitchen will beam with light with this countertop selection.

Brittanica Gold & Warm

These are Cambria’s most popular styles, blending a solid three-color profile in natural tones. These colors resemble a river of flowing energy over the landscape. This is the perfect opportunity to add some movement to your kitchen.

We recommend the Brittanica designs for anyone looking for a more classic marble look, but with a slight twist. Goes great with rustic or luxe kitchen designs.

Highgate

We jump back to another popular milky countertop. This elegant design is airy and clean, but with a bit of mystery. The black cracks resemble that of bone or ancient relics. This style pairs perfectly with cooler colors or pastels.

Ironsbridge

This one is a stunning blend of stone and organic nature. On one hand, it can be interpreted as the skin of something powerful and ancient. The cracks also align perfectly with the monumental slabs seen forming statues and buildings. Ironsbridge is another great neutral design that fits any decor colors.

Kelvingrove

Now we’re starting to have some more fun with Cambria’s flexibility. This beautiful mix of cream and turquoise color just melts into the countertop. It gives vibes of Claude Monet, which any classical artist can appreciate. It isn’t going to match all kitchen or home styles, but it will definitely steal the show.

Rose Bay

Our last pick is a beautiful take on white marble. The details on this countertop are sublime. It draws the eyes and you instinctively start wandering all over the landscape. This countertop would go great in any modern home or vintage-inspired kitchen.

Are You Ready for Cambria Quartz?

Now that you’ve learned what is Cambria, how it stacks up to the competition, and have gotten a taste of the selection: are you ready for your own?

We know it can be tough doing kitchen renovations, let alone building from the ground-up. We can help you make those decisions a little easier. Our work speaks for itself, just look at all the beautiful countertops we have done here. Over 15 years of satisfied customers can vouch for our work.

If you need advice or to get quotes to see what options are available to you, give us a call. We offer FREE in-home consultations, which help you design your interior, get the perfect fit, and the best color scheme.

We have more than five different locations currently in Florida. International Granite and Stone has vast warehouses with tons of material to choose from. There’s a piece of granite out there with your name on it.

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How to Spot Fake Granite Countertops https://www.igscountertops.com/how-to-spot-fake-granite-countertops/ https://www.igscountertops.com/how-to-spot-fake-granite-countertops/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:23:48 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11882 Love the look of a solid granite countertop? A high-end trend from the late 1980’s has become a full-on American obsession. Granite has far outstripped the previous century’s luxury favorite, marble. Granite prices worldwide have stabilized with the introduction of Brazilian and other granite. Finishing work in China, India and other places supplements that Italian [...]

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Love the look of a solid granite countertop?

A high-end trend from the late 1980’s has become a full-on American obsession. Granite has far outstripped the previous century’s luxury favorite, marble.

Granite prices worldwide have stabilized with the introduction of Brazilian and other granite. Finishing work in China, India and other places supplements that Italian stoneworkers. Real granite is still a long-lasting, durable, natural material for counters.

Despite these advances, some stores are ripping you off with fake granite countertops. Don’t be fooled! Read on to learn how to spot faux granite.

Beautiful, Natural Stone

Granite is formed from molten lava deep beneath the earth. As the lava cools, it crystallizes under the pressure of many tons of the Erath’s crust. The longer the molten rock has to cool, the bigger the grains or flecks of color.

Granite is mostly made up of quartz and potassium feldspar, but there is a wide variety of colors from other trace minerals. Mica is often found in granite as well, is responsible for some dark gray or brown grains and shiny, light-catching flecks. Seismic activity thrusts granite from the depths of the earth to the surface to form hills and mountains like the Colorado Rockies and Vermont’s Green Mountains.

Slabs cut from granite formations come in a wide range of colors. Part of the beauty of granite is the overall evenness of grain and color with natural imperfections up close. Granite is heavy, dense and tough and can last through several lifetimes of wear.

Granite Is the First Choice

Granite has been the #1 choice for luxury countertops since the 1990’s and the trend is still going strong. It’s quite literally rock-hard, chip and scratch resistant, heat resistant and easy to clean. It requires minimal maintenance other than an annual sealing.

Properly sealed, your granite is stain and bacteria resistant. Just clean with soap and water. It will look like new for decades.

Since it is second only to diamond in terms of the hardness, it will probably be the last countertop you ever need. Most other surfaces discolor over time or wear to the point of needing replacement, but granite is long lasting. Even the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza is granite!

Fake Granite Basics

There are fakes like vinyl films you can roll out to cover a countertop. There are many inexpensive laminates printed to look like granite, too. There are even solid materials created for commercial bathrooms and kitchens with a “granite” finish.

None of these materials even approach the beauty and durability of real granite. A hot pan, a glass dropped onto the surface or an accidental scrape and they are ruined.

There is also engineered stone. It is simply a mix of resins with natural stone chips. From a distance, it most closely resembles granite but does not offer the same look and durability of a natural slab.

Fake vs. Real Granite

At first glance, they might be pretty close, especially if the countertop is already installed. Don’t be fooled! There are five easy “tells” you can use.

1. Knock-knock

A light tap rap on the stone with a bit of metal or a small hammer, on the back of the granite surface, can help you determine its origin. Natural stone like marble and granite produce a ringing sound when tapped.

An engineered composite is created from synthetic resins. When you tap on the back, it makes a dull click. When you tap on the back of a natural stone, granite and marble produce a ringing sound.

2. Check Out the Color and Pattern

The highest quality granite is famous for its even color throughout. However, it the color and pattern are exactly the same throughout, be wary. Natural stone has imperfections. Two pieces cut from the same slab can be very different

If the color appears same throughout the surface or the pattern repeats exactly, it is manmade. Also, while granite does appear in many colors, grays and browns predominate. Very bright or unusual colors, bold or repeating patterns almost always indicate fake granite.

Granite is a natural stone and the veins, colors, and texture on the surface of the slab are part of the unique character.

3. Is it Porous?

Granite is hard and durable, but it does absorb water. A few drops of water should momentarily darken the stone and soak in. Of course, this test doesn’t work with a slab that has been well-sealed.

Fake granite is an engineered composite and is completely nonporous. Resins and stone chips absorb no water. Liquids poured on the stone will not momentarily darken the stone.

4. Look At the Seams

Check the seam of an existing granite countertop installed in your home. If the granite is fake you will notice almost no shift of the pattern at the seam. In fact, with some manufactured products, you might not find a seam at all!

With real granite, there is a change in pattern, although an installation professional makes the transition less dramatic. Professionals completely minimize the pattern shift during installation, but it is still visible if you look for it.

5. Check the prices

The prices for a granite slab in Florida start at a relatively inexpensive $50 a square foot (sometimes less for a remnant) and can reach $2500 per square foot for some of the rarest stone. If the prices seem suspiciously low, you are looking at faux granite pieces or very poor quality stone.

No Fake Granite, Thank You

Now that you can identify the stone you want, come to be awed by the huge selection available. There are reds, blacks, grays, browns and more colors. Origins include the U.S., China, Brazil, Italy, Egypt and other exotic locations.

Make your selection for a lifetime. Your beautiful, unique, natural stone countertop is carefully crafted and will possibly never need replacement. Our experienced sales staff is happy to show you what that means.

International Granite & Stone specializes in custom granite countertops for Tampa Bay and Orlando homes. Contact us today!

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The Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops https://www.igscountertops.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-quartz-countertops/ https://www.igscountertops.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-quartz-countertops/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 22:04:41 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11855 It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking about redoing your kitchen, your bathroom, or both. If home improvement is on your mind, odds are you’ve been researching different types of countertops. While granite and marble are classics, quartz has been on the rise — and for a good reason. Quartz countertops have pretty much all the [...]

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking about redoing your kitchen, your bathroom, or both. If home improvement is on your mind, odds are you’ve been researching different types of countertops.

While granite and marble are classics, quartz has been on the rise — and for a good reason.

Quartz countertops have pretty much all the aesthetic beauty of natural stone. But, they also come with a few added benefits that you only get with quartz.

That said, quartz countertops aren’t for everyone. As with everything else in the world, they come with a few downsides.

If you’re looking for new countertops but aren’t sure if quartz is for you, don’t worry. We’re here to help you make the right decision for you and your home.

Here are all the pros and cons of quartz countertops you should consider before making a final decision.

Pros of Quartz Countertops

As we said before, quartz countertops can feature the same level of beauty found in natural stone. But, their fantastic looks aren’t their only positive feature.

Quartz can come from two separate sources. It can either be engineered or mined from a quarry.

Both versions are guaranteed to look great anywhere in your home. But, there are a few other perks that come from choosing engineered stone over more traditional natural materials.

Wide Variety of Colors Available

You can make quartz countertops out of either mined or synthetic materials. Because of this, they are available in a more varied array of colors than their completely natural counterparts.

This fact means that you won’t have to settle for one of a small set list of shades. You’ll be able to find quartz countertops in the perfect color to compliment your space.

Imagine, the look of natural stone, in a unique color that matches your style. It’s this extra level of freedom that leads so many homeowners to choose quartz over granite and marble.

As significant as decor can be, being able to find quartz countertops in a specific color is not the only reason it makes a perfect surface material.

Highly Durable

Picture this — you buy and install beautiful marble countertops. Your kitchen looks fabulous until your hanging pot rack comes loose and crashes to the floor, sideswiping the counter on its way down.

Now your beautiful countertops are all chipped up.

Sure this specific scenario is unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

If you choose quartz countertops, you won’t have to worry about kitchen accidents damaging your countertops.

Quartz, unlike other natural stone options, is all but indestructible.

The striations and flaws you can find in materials like granite make them more susceptible to chips and cracks over time.

While you can get granite countertops sealed to make them stronger, they still don’t match up to the durability of sealed, or even unsealed, quartz.

Quartz is nonporous, because of this it’s guaranteed not to crack or chip like other stone countertops.

Low Maintenance

Because of its nonporous nature, quartz is also simpler to maintain than other natural stone.

Quartz comes with a natural seal, making it more resilient against stains. Liquids and oils can’t penetrate its surface, so accidental spills don’t have to spell the end of your pristine counters.

There aren’t any crevices where liquids and bacteria can grow. Because of this, quartz countertops are even considered more hygienic than other types of stone.

Cleaning quartz countertops is a breeze. There’s no laundry list of dangerous materials to worry about like there is with granite. And, there aren’t any specific cleaning solutions required either.

All you need to get the job done is a damp rag and maybe a little gentle soap. It’s that simple.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

While quartz may look great and be more durable than other countertop materials, it’s not without its faults.

When it comes to renovating your home, it’s essential to understand the downsides that come with the alterations you make.

If you’re considering installing quartz countertops, here are a few negative aspects you should take into account.

Vulnerable to Heat

Stone is always at least a little susceptible to heat, and, this is especially true for quartz.

While quartz can take a beating from most things, heat can and will damage it.

If you set a hot pot or pan directly on a quartz countertop, it could cause the surface to become discolored or even crack.

Even smaller, more innocuous items like a curling iron can cause irreversible damage to your countertops.

But, while quartz is very weak to heat, it is possible to protect it. You can avoid heat damage with the help of heating pads or pot holders.

As long as your willing to be careful with hot items around your quartz countertops, this “con” shouldn’t be a significant issue.

Hard to Hide Seams

Everyone likes the look of a clean, flat, seamless stone countertop.

Unfortunately, there are moments in life that need seams.

Depending on the color you choose to install, quartz counters can have the same issue other stone countertops do — pronounced seams.

If you choose to light countertops or countertops with a pattern, the seams may not be as striking. And, most homeowners don’t consider this issue to be a deal-breaking drawback.

Whether you’re willing to have a few lines in your countertop is up to you.

Can Be Expensive

If you consider new countertops to be an investment in your home, this final “con” may not bother you as much.

Stone countertops can be a bit more pricey than other materials — especially when you add in the cost of installation.

It can be easy to spend upwards of $200 per square foot on quartz countertops, it all depends on where you buy it.

But, whether the price could be a dealbreaker depends on your budget.

You can request a quote on new quartz countertops from us today. Who knows? You may be pleasantly surprised by the price.

We also have financing options available on all our available quartz countertops. So, beautiful new countertops may be well within your reach.

The Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops can be a gorgeous addition to any home. And, while they come with several notable “pros,” they aren’t for everyone.

Now that you know the pros and cons of quartz countertops, you may be ready to make a decision.

Whether you’d like to find some beautiful quartz countertops, or you’ve decided to try something else, we can help.

Contact us today, and we’ll help you find the perfect countertops for you and your home.

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The 6 Best Countertop Materials for a High-End Kitchen https://www.igscountertops.com/the-6-best-countertop-materials-for-a-high-end-kitchen/ https://www.igscountertops.com/the-6-best-countertop-materials-for-a-high-end-kitchen/#respond Sun, 08 Jul 2018 21:56:32 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11778 One of the hottest kitchen trends in 2018 is decluttering counters to create open space where friends families can come together to work, play and relax. This means that your kitchen counter is now, more than ever, the centerpiece of your kitchen. Whether you’re having friends over for a glass of wine or you’re hosting [...]

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One of the hottest kitchen trends in 2018 is decluttering counters to create open space where friends families can come together to work, play and relax.

This means that your kitchen counter is now, more than ever, the centerpiece of your kitchen. Whether you’re having friends over for a glass of wine or you’re hosting a dinner party, people inevitably congregate in the kitchen.

If you’re getting ready for a high-end kitchen renovation, you’ll want to spend some time choosing the best kitchen countertops for your home.

Read our guide to some of the high-end options for designing your dream kitchen.

Beautiful Countertop Options for a High-End Kitchen

When it comes to choosing the material for your kitchen countertops, the choices are practically unlimited. When you’re thinking about materials, try imagining your dream kitchen and what kind of atmosphere it has.

1. Wood or Butcher Block

Wood countertops are coming back into fashion and will give your kitchen a warm centerpiece. Wood countertops come in many different colors and finishes and are available in a variety of materials. Most commonly, they’re made from oak and maple but teak, cherry, and walnut are also options.

With a wood countertop, you have the choice between edge grain, end grain, and wide plank. The wide plank is a beautiful style where boards are glued together edge-to-edge, but this style is more likely to warp or crack.

End-grain counters, also known as butcher blocks, are made from short, square sticks of wood. These are popular for people who want to do food prep right on the counter. Edge-grain counters, by comparison, are made with long strips of wood.

Prices vary depending on the type of wood you choose and the style that you prefer. Butcher block counters range from $30 to $95 per square foot for the materials. Edge grain and end grain counters are even pricier at $100 to $200 per square foot.

2. Granite

Granite has long been the most popular choice for upscale homeowners looking for an elegant finish to their kitchen. Some of the advantages of granite countertops are that it holds up to heat and is extremely durable, with the second highest hardness rating after diamonds, and it will increase the resale value of your home.

Its popularity stems from its elegance and versatility. This is another material where you have a lot of options. There are nearly 3000 colors of granite to choose from, and it requires only minimal maintenance.

While you can cut directly on the material, you need to be careful that your stones are fully sealed. Furthermore, you need to avoid abrasive cleaners and only use a stone cleaner to avoid damaging the seal.

Depending on the color and how the countertop is fabricated, expect to pay between $75 and $250 for granite countertops.

3. Engineered Quartz

Quartz is the next big trend in kitchen countertops. Quartz is another natural material that is very durable, ranking just below granite for hardness. Engineered quartz is manufactured by mixing quartz crystals with a polymer resin.

The result is a highly durable, low-maintenance countertop that’s available in a wide range of colors.

Unlike wood or granite, engineered quartz has a non-porous surface so you don’t have to worry about permanent stains or damage from water exposure.

In terms of the cost of installing engineered quartz countertops, you’re looking at about $100-$200 per square foot.

4. Soapstone or Slate

Soapstone is a popular option for homeowners wanting to give their kitchen a dark and calming air. Slate, on the other hand, comes in understated shades of green, red, purple and black which can give your kitchen subtle elegance.

Both materials can be fabricated into sinks giving your kitchen a modern finish with clean lines. The downside of soapstone is that is porous and must be sealed and maintained to prevent stains. Slate, however, is nonporous and requires little maintenance.

Slate countertops will cost you about $100 to $200 per square foot and soapstone a little less at $100 to $150.

5. Copper

Copper is a divisive choice for kitchen countertops, but one that definitely makes a statement. Copper has a lot of benefits, but it’s important to understand that its age will show in its appearance.

Copper countertops are surprisingly easy to maintain. Just clean them with ordinary dish soap and periodically wax or oil them.

Depending on your opinion, the patina of copper can be a good or bad thing. Known as a “living surface”, your copper countertops will oxidize and gradually change from a shiny copper to a mix of matte reds and greens. Look at samples of aged copper to see if you will like how it will look down the road.

For cost and installation, copper countertops come in at about $100 to $175 per square foot. It’s a tricky installation process, so make sure your contractor has experience working with the material.

6. Recycled Glass and Cement

Give your countertops a fun pop of color with recycled glass and cement countertops. Similar to terrazzo, recycled glass and cement countertops are a composite material made using pieces of glass from post-consumer sources will add character to your kitchen.

These countertops are very easy to maintain, incredibly durable and have a life expectancy of 50 years. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about teenagers mindlessly placing a hot pot on the counter or your kids playing on them since they are both heat and scratch-resistant.

Manufacturers let you chose the pigments of the glass pieces used in your countertops so you can pick a color scheme that matches your home and take pride in the fact that these countertops help reduce the amount of glass in landfills.

Recycled glass and cement countertops cost $100 to $160 per square foot.

Start Planning Your Dream Kitchen Today

Remodeling a kitchen is a big home renovation plan and one that is best not left as a DIY project. To get the great looking kitchen you’ve always dreamed of, it’s time to sit down with an interior designer and start thinking about how you want one of the most important rooms in your house to look.

Once you have an idea of how you want your high-end kitchen to look, contact us and we can start making that dream kitchen a reality.

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The Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops https://www.igscountertops.com/pros-cons-granite-countertops/ https://www.igscountertops.com/pros-cons-granite-countertops/#respond Fri, 06 Jul 2018 22:00:38 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11851 When you think of luxurious living, you probably think of chandeliers, hardwood floors, and granite countertops. It’s not surprising! Granite carries a certain respect here in America. But what are the pros and cons of granite countertops? Why not choose other materials such as quartz or concrete? The answer won’t surprise you: personal preference is [...]

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When you think of luxurious living, you probably think of chandeliers, hardwood floors, and granite countertops. It’s not surprising! Granite carries a certain respect here in America. But what are the pros and cons of granite countertops?

Why not choose other materials such as quartz or concrete?

The answer won’t surprise you: personal preference is the main factor. However, by exploring the pros and cons of the material each interested buyer can gain a better idea of the demands and payoffs.

Continue reading to gain a better understanding of this luxurious kitchen material and whether or not it’s a right fit for your home.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops

Making the move to granite seems like an obvious choice if you have the funds to do so. However, if you’re unaware of the nature of granite and details like upkeep and ‘do-nots,’ we’ve got you covered.

Below we’ll explore some of the most notable aspects of granite, helping you determine if it’ll make an appearance in your kitchen.

What is Granite and Where Does it Come From?

Granite is one of the most sought-after countertop materials in the world. There’s a smooth, textured hue to granite and it’s available in various colors. But where does it come from?

Granite is a type of igneous rock (from the Greek word for fire), which means that it once was a type of lava. When lava runs through the earth and over its surface, it pacts down in dense layers to form heavy rock.

When the hot layers cool and are pressed together by nature, it produces a smooth, almost glass-like texture. Granite slabs can be hundreds of thousands to millions of years old.

Granite gets its colorful texture from the various amounts of ingredients; these include feldspar, quartz, amphibole, and mica, which at one time were all apart of a flowing river of lava.

Today, we mine the age-old granite that has either reached the surface or is very near to it. Sectioned in large slabs, the rock is then cut to fit the dimensions of a customer’s kitchen counter.

The Cost of Granite Countertops

This depends on a range of factors, such as where you purchase a slab from and whether or not the cost covers any installation or cutting fees.

While you may be able to find granite for around $20 a sq. ft., you’ll likely pay something closer to $50 for it. From there, you have to determine if cutting the granite down to the dimensions of your counters will cost you extra.

The installation will certainly raise the price. Some companies tack on an installation fee as steep as the cost of the granite itself. Make sure to shop around and find a provider that offers some sort of deal or discount.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to find a cheaper slab at one supplier that you can pay a different company to cut and install for you.

Quartz vs Granite

You may have heard of the debacle homebuyers have of granite countertops versus quartz countertops. As we mentioned above, granite has a small amount of quartz in it with other mixed rock that gives its distinct textures and hues.

Quartz is found in the earth and then compiled with other materials (such as resin) to make a very durable material. Quartz is about as strong as granite and less likely to take damage, but it lacks a little in the visual beauty.

Quartz countertops are made up of about 90% of quartz with a few other additives to enhance strength and appeal.

You have to make your own choice whether or not you can compromise on your quality. Quartz does have a similar look to granite, but its subtle differences may seem glaring to some. The price is cheaper, but again, it compromises quality.

Pros of Granite Countertops

Why choose granite when there are so many options available to homebuyers and remodelers today?

Beauty: You can’t find another material as subtly textured and appealing to the eye as granite. It sparkles like crystal around your kitchen, catching the light at odd angles. Each slab is uniquely pearled and colored that gives individual character.

Durability: You’ll be hard-pressed to find another material that has the natural strength of granite. Unlike marble, it’s resistant to a lot of the acid in our everyday foods.

Hygenic: Its porous material can be sealed so that crumbs and moisture don’t settle into the surface (or left raw, as some people prefer). Once it is sealed, it repels any form of bacterial growth or algae so counters stay clean.

Cons of Granite Countertops

Granite is a definite beauty that can withstand regular active use. However, it does have a few cons that could be enough to sway your decision, namely:

The Potential for Chipping: Because granite is so strong and rigid, heavy pressure or a severe impact may break or chip it. Knocking an appliance against an edge while remodeling could be enough to snap off a corner of the slab.

And once the damage is done, it’s done. You may be able to find adhesives to secure a broken piece back in place, but there may still be a seam.

Uncleanliness if Left Unsealed: if you choose to go the more natural route, then know that all the pores in granite can fill with food. This leaves room for bacterial growth if not cleaned extensively and frequently.

The Pricetag: Again, you may be able to find discount slabs, but granite is likely to cost you a lot more than any other counter surface.

Helping You Find the Perfect Countertop

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of granite countertops, you can start an internet search for local companies offering it. If you need a little more guidance, though, we can help you explore your options!

At International Granit and Stone Countertops (IGS), we offer plenty of insightful articles to help you find the perfect countertop for your home.

Check out the IGS blog today to learn more!

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Your Guide to the Soapstone Countertops Cost https://www.igscountertops.com/your-guide-to-the-soapstone-countertops-cost/ https://www.igscountertops.com/your-guide-to-the-soapstone-countertops-cost/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 21:54:29 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11775 Are you considering soapstone counters? Then you’re probably wondering what soapstone countertops cost. You might be surprised to learn that soapstone is actually a great material for counters at a reasonable price. When considering soapstone vs granite, you don’t need to go for the trendy, expensive option. In this guide, we’ll show you how to [...]

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Are you considering soapstone counters? Then you’re probably wondering what soapstone countertops cost.

You might be surprised to learn that soapstone is actually a great material for counters at a reasonable price. When considering soapstone vs granite, you don’t need to go for the trendy, expensive option.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to have a beautiful budget-friendly counter using soapstone. Soapstone can withstand heat nicely, and it isn’t porous, making it an ideal choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

From cost to value, keep reading to learn how soapstone can benefit your home!

What Is Soapstone?

Unlike some well-known types of rock, soapstone is a bit of a mystery to many people.

A less-common name for soapstone is “steatite.” This metamorphic rock is comprised of at least half talc, plus other minerals, such as magnetite.

This minerals form into solid rock over a long period of time, under lots of pressure. Because soapstone is soft, it’s been used for carving for many centuries in a number of cultures. In fact, the best-known use for this material is in sculptures of all sizes.

Soapstone has been found all across the globe. Among the cultures that have used it in carvings are Africans, Inuits, Native Americans, and Grecians.

In the past, people used this type of stone to make pipes, bowls, molds, and even roads. Since it stands up to heat so well, many of these soapstone relics have survived to the modern day.

Soapstone Today

Have you ever seen “whiskey stones” used to chill drinks without ice? Those are also made of soapstone. Even in the modern world, it has a wide variety of uses.

Because it’s soft, this material is fairly easy to scrape and scratch. Soapstone had a value of just one on the Mohs scale of hardness – compared to 10 for diamonds.

However, the name of the stone actually comes from its soap-like feeling. When you touch soapstone, it often feels like touching a dry soap bar.

Soapstone doesn’t have to stay soft and malleable, though. It can be fired at 1,000 degrees Celsius, which levels up its hardness to a 5.5 on the Mohs scale.

Soapstone Types

The two types of soapstone have different talc contents, which is their main distinction. Artistic soapstone has more talc, so it’s easier to make into small, delicate carvings. However, architectural soapstone is much harder, with a talc content of 50 percent and more.

If you’re thinking of saving money by making countertops with artistic soapstone, think again. It’s too soft to make good counters, so architectural soapstone needs to be used. This variety can also be used to make other items that need to be hard, such as bathtubs.

Soapstone comes in a range of shades, from off-white to deep charcoal. It might even have a greenish cast at times. Mineral oil can also be used to darken the lighter types of soapstone.

It takes a number of mineral oil applications to get the stone to darken, but this doesn’t harm the material in any way – it just changes the color.

Some types of soapstone also have different visual effects, such as white veining or a speckly or flecked appearance.

Soapstone Counter Pros and Cons

Soapstone is a neutral stone, chemically: the alkalis and acids in household cleaners won’t affect it. This makes it more durable than both marble and granite, even though those other stones are harder.

Soapstone also has a more neutral look, which works nicely for some spaces. The bold patterns of marble and granite aren’t for everyone. Soapstone has subtle waves and patterns in simple grayscale patterns instead.

This type of stone is also bacteria-resistant, making it a top choice for bathrooms and kitchens. It sometimes changes in appearance a bit with time and wear, but many people find this a bonus, as it tends to get more beautiful with age. Although it’s not the cheapest material, it is easy to install, so you can save on the labor costs.

The one major drawback is that it’s soft, so it’s easy to nick or otherwise damage. However, when scratches and nicks happen, they can be sanded away to make the counter look as good as new.

Cost of Materials and Installation

The lowest cost for 50 square feet of soapstone is around $1,800. However, a price of $3,200 is more average. On the high end, you can spend up to $5,000. And that’s just for the materials.

The cost of labor depends on the layout of your kitchen. For example, the more cutouts there need to be for sinks and appliances, the more it will cost.

A counter with a lot of angles or curves also costs more to install. Complicated edging designs adds to the labor costs, too. However, all things considered, it’s still cheaper to install soapstone than granite.

An average installation takes about 10 hours, so budget accordingly. Less-skilled laborers don’t generally charge as much, but they also won’t have the same quality of work as their more experienced peers.

Installation Considerations

Once you’ve budgeted for materials and installation, there are still a few things to think about.

If the surface needs to be sanded, you should pay attention to the types of grit used. Some types might negatively affect the appearance and durability of your counters.

However, if this happens, you’ll just need to get the counters re-sanded. Hiring experienced installers will help decrease the chances that they’ll use the wrong kind of grit.

Is the Soapstone Countertops Cost Worth It?

The soapstone countertops cost can seem steep. However, this option is more affordable than granite, and most people find that there are more pros than cons.

Aside from being soft and easy to damage, soapstone doesn’t have many drawbacks. And since it can be sanded down, the damages can quickly be camouflaged. For a trendy home design that doesn’t break the bank, sandstone is a great choice.

Ready to take the next step in getting your new counters? Contact us today.

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How Are Granite Countertops Made? https://www.igscountertops.com/how-are-granite-countertops-made/ https://www.igscountertops.com/how-are-granite-countertops-made/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 21:52:01 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11771 You might love the look and feel of granite countertops – but have you ever considered learning how they’re made? When you know how these counters are made, you’ll have much more appreciation for your kitchen granite countertops. Whether you’re thinking of buying some or are already in the installation process, it all becomes more [...]

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You might love the look and feel of granite countertops – but have you ever considered learning how they’re made?

When you know how these counters are made, you’ll have much more appreciation for your kitchen granite countertops. Whether you’re thinking of buying some or are already in the installation process, it all becomes more exciting when you understand the full process of making a granite countertop.

That’s why we’re giving you the full story of how granite countertops come to be, from start to finish. Keep reading to learn about this fascinating process!

1. The Beginnings

Granite is heat-resistant and doesn’t blister, making it one of the top choices for luxe counters. It’s beautiful and more functional than other materials, like synthetic, laminate, and even marble.

One of the most beloved things about a granite counter, though, is its luminescent glow when polished. That glow comes from the locked crystals of mineral that make up this rock. Granite is made mostly of quartz and feldspar. It can also contain a number of other minerals, which give each piece a unique appearance.

Granite for countertops comes from quarries. It’s blasted, drilled, or chiseled out of the earth, and mining machines cut it into slabs of the right size. These slabs are usually about five feet wide and nine feet long at largest – bigger pieces can cost much more.

Other specialized machines are used to polish these slabs so they have an even thickness. At this point, you can already see the countertop taking shape.

It takes a lot of specific tools to get granite counters ready for installation. Some people might buy custom pieces, but it’s more cost-effective to buy pre-cut pieces of granite instead. It all depends on your kitchen design, and the way the piece of granite is formed.

2. Cutting

The next step in making kitchen granite countertops is cutting the stone. Most of this happens on location at the quarry, but some of the work will need to be done on-site during installation. No matter what, the right equipment needs to be used.

To shape something as dense and hard as granite, a typical household skill saw can be used, but only with a diamond cutting blade added. However, the professionals know that the vibration of these blades can make the granite chip. To keep that from happening, they often place collars on each side of the blades to reduce vibration.

Granite that’s cut dry also creates a lot of dust. A vacuum attachment on the blade helps cut down on the amount of dust that gets into the air.

The edges of your granite countertops can be shaped in different ways, depending on your preference. Choose from beveled, flat, curved, or rounded edges.

However, it’s hard to get the edges to match perfectly and meet in the corners – that’s why you need professionals to do this delicate work. They can use automated edge-shapers that will polish and cut the edges.

3. Installation Preparation

Now, the counters are prepared and ready to be placed in your kitchen. Installation takes a lot of labor, and a great deal of precise measuring.

In the kitchen, the fridge and stove will need to be removed to make room for the installation process. The sink also needs to be taken out of the countertop. If the current countertop was attached with screws, you might even need to take out the doors and drawers from the lower cabinets.

The workers doing the installation will need to carefully measure things like the openings for appliances, so the countertop will fit perfectly. Most people want the edges of the counter to be flush with the edges of the cabinets and other parts of the kitchen.

A template can help when trying to make the right amount of space for a cooktop or sink. Your installers will also need to take your backsplash’s thickness into account. This will help make sure the faucets will fit where they need to go.

Protect the subcounter with a layer of plastic sheeting beneath the granite.

If you’re hoping for a seam-free countertop, you might be out of luck. It’s typical for granite counters to have one seam at least, since most granite slabs are under 10 feet long. It’s possible to get a longer piece, but it’s also much more expensive.

4. Installation

If there are seams, they should be placed where the cabinetry is well-supported. The two pieces might have slight differences in thickness, so a shim can help make sure the top of the counter stays flush.

The installers will apply silicone between the two slabs, which accommodates contraction and expansion. They’ll also use epoxy to keep the granite firmly in place. Where it’s visible, the epoxy should be combined with resin that’s colored to match the granite, so you won’t be able to see it.

The colored resin can also be used to camouflage the caulking used to attach the counter and the backsplash.

5. Sealing

Granite countertops don’t really need to be sealed. However, a seal helps keep dirt away from the stone. Dirt can cause the granite to become stained or etched, so it’s worthwhile to keep it away.

Granite is naturally moisture-resistant, but it is still porous. A sealant will help keep liquids from getting in and damaging the surface. Otherwise, colored liquids can sink in and stain the granite.

Every year, a new layer of sealant will keep your counters protected. However, your counter might need to be sealed more or less often, depending on how porous your granite is.

Ready for New Kitchen Granite Countertops?

Kitchen granite countertops bring some of nature’s most beautiful patterns into your home. Granite is durable, stylish, and matches every kitchen. Why not try it in your own home?

When you’re ready to get the process started, contact us.

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Countertop Ideas: The 9 Best Countertop Materials https://www.igscountertops.com/countertop-ideas-the-9-best-countertop-materials/ https://www.igscountertops.com/countertop-ideas-the-9-best-countertop-materials/#respond Sat, 30 Jun 2018 21:49:28 +0000 https://www.igscountertops.com/?p=11768 A countertop can make or break a kitchen design. So whether you’re remodeling or designing a kitchen, you need to be able to make an informed selection. With so many different materials for countertops, it can be daunting to choose which one will be a permanent part of your kitchen. But don’t worry! We’re here [...]

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A countertop can make or break a kitchen design.

So whether you’re remodeling or designing a kitchen, you need to be able to make an informed selection.

With so many different materials for countertops, it can be daunting to choose which one will be a permanent part of your kitchen. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you with a comprehensive list of countertop ideas!

Read on for our guide to the 9 best materials and how to choose between them.

Stone Countertops

Stone countertops are the most traditional kind. They are made of sliced stone slabs that are cut to shape.

Stone is known for its grand appearance and beautiful texture. We’ve listed the four most common types below.

1. Quartzite

Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone. It’s a metamorphic rock that forms when sandstone meets extreme heat and pressure.

It’s available in a variety of neutral colors and is known for its characteristic wave patterns.

Quartzite is harder than granite and can withstand high heat. You can place a hot pan directly on to these countertops.

It does need to be resealed at least once a year to make sure that food stains don’t seep into and stain the rock.

2. Soapstone

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock made of talc and other stones after they undergo heat and pressure.

It’s available in more limited colors; blacks, greys, blues, and greens.

It has a reputation for being soft, but there are different “grades” of soapstone, so if you choose to use it in your kitchen just make sure it’s a high grade.

Soapstone feels at home in rustic or minimalistic kitchens.

It doesn’t require any maintenance, in fact, the aging of soapstone is desirable. But for clients that want a more uniform look, you can oil the surface.

3. Marble

Marble is the perfect touch to any grand kitchen. White marble is used most often for functional and aesthetic reasons.

It’s a relatively soft stone, so it can be scratched and etched. White marble disguises these marks better than dark.

Aesthetically speaking, white marble allows for the dark veins to show through.

4. Granite

Granite is one of the most popular of stone countertops because it’s readily available, very durable, and completely versatile.

Granite is an igneous rock which forms when magma cools. Becuase it can include so many different kinds of minerals, granite is available in a variety of colors.

It’s a hard, durable stone that can withstand knives and high temperatures. But it does need to be resealed to maintain color and strength.

It’s perfect for the homeowner who wants a warm, traditional, and elegant style in their kitchen.

You can never, ever go wrong with granite!

Manufactured Countertops

Manufactured Countertops are man made which means they come in a variety of colors and price points. Because of their versatility, they are incredibly popular.

And the most popular of manufactured countertops are quartz.

5. Quartz

Quartz countertops are made of about 90% ground quartz stone and 10% resin and pigments.

Quartz stone already comes in a variety of colors, but because pigment can be added to the resin that forms the countertop, many color options are available.

Because quartz countertops are molded, and whole stones don’t have to be used, it’s typically less expensive than stone models.

Other Countertop Ideas

Below we’ve listed a few other options for countertop materials. While they may be less commonly used, they’re just as functional, beautiful, and available.

6. Luxury

For the homeowner who wants a kitchen that’s a cut above the rest, a luxury countertop is a perfect choice.

We’ve listed it in the other category because it includes both manufactured and stone types.

Manufactured use sliced agate, crushed glass, or semi-precious stones that are placed in a clear resin. They are designed to have a high visual impact.

Glass and stones like agate come in so many different colors that these types of countertops create a bold statement in the kitchen.

Onyx countertops are an example of a rare stone type. Onyx is the luxury version of marble. It has a similar vein characteristic to the stone and comes in a variety of colors. But unlike marble, it has an often matte finish and is quite rare.

These styles of countertops are perfect for the client who wants a bold, unique, and showstopping kitchen!

7. Concrete

Concrete countertops are having a moment in home design partly because of how cost effective they are. Finishing a full kitchen with a concrete countertop can cost a few hundred dollars sometimes. We’ve even seen DIY tutorials.

Another benefit of this inexpensive option is the aesthetic. It feels perfectly in place in a farmhouse kitchen paired with warm woods and white cabinets.

A concrete countertop also works well in minimalistic style kitchens with flat front cabinets, metal barstools, and a modern chandelier.

Concrete is an industrial, modern, and economical option for homeowners.

8. Stainless Steel

Because of its industrial nature, stainless steel countertops feel right at home in modern and minimalistic homes and kitchens.

It’s also popular among aspiring home chefs because it’s a type of material commonly used in restaurant kitchens.

Homeowners can enjoy the feeling of cooking in their own professional space but in the comfort of their pajamas.

9. Wood

Wooden countertops are making a splash in eclectic and bohemian kitchens. They are perfect for the homeowner who wants a touch of nature in their space.

Edge grain is the most common type of wooden countertop. Wooden rails are laid on their edge, faces pressed together, to make a long block.

End grain is another option, where the blocks of wood are pressed together creating a checkerboard look.

Face grain is when wooden rails are laid flat and pressed side by side, running along the countertop.

Wood requires special maintenance because it’s more porous and can deteriorate if not sealed properly and regularly. It makes for a stunning aesthetic, but make sure you’re committed to the upkeep before you decide.

You Decide!

Now that you’ve got all the info, it’s time to decide!

Which one of these countertop ideas will you use in your kitchen?

The post Countertop Ideas: The 9 Best Countertop Materials appeared first on International Granite and Stone.

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