Caesarstone Pebble Quartz Should Be In Your Kitchen

Caesarstone Pebble Quartz Should Be In Your Kitchen

There’s something special about stone countertops, isn’t there? The shine, the texture, the feel, it just screams luxury and, in many cultures, success. Surprisingly, though, you don’t have to be independently wealthy to afford stone countertops, depending on what you’re after. And, it’s not just how attractive these materials are that makes them so in-demand, both in the past, in the present and certainly on into the future.

Stone is easy to keep clean and sterile, it’s tough stuff really only susceptible to acidic compounds (and even then, in all reality, it takes a good bit of it to do any damage). Heat? Weight? Vigorous cleaning? These are nothing to most stone, provided you don’t use abrasive materials or substances.

However, not all stone is created equally, and when you’re redoing your kitchen or your bathroom, you have a lot of choices – more than you probably think. Granite is probably the toughest stone out there, debatably, but it’s also very hard to quarry, and very hard to repair as well. These add to its cost, and it does have some limitations to the style of cutting and assembly it can provide as well.

Likewise, marble is a bit softer, but has a wider variety of colors and contrasts, and is capable of being cut thinner and shaped more. Unfortunately, marble is harder to find with the quality and beauty set as standard, so while it’s easier to quarry than granite (granite is well, hard as granite), it’s actually just as costly due to its scarcity and the high standards it must meet.

Then again, you have something like travertine, which is a very sadly undervalued stone for home use. Travertine, in the western world, has been very closely associated with flooring for retail outlets, with its unique shades of green or tan. This has resulted in it being kind of relegated to mostly these, though it is increasing in popularity with countertops as it fades from use in modern retail (with terrazzo and tile is more common for modern public space floors).

Is there a compromise in durability, beauty, versatility, and affordability? There is, and it may be something that a lot of people wouldn’t think of. Quartz, especially Caesarstone pebble quartz, is on the rise in popularity. It’s actually very unfortunate that a lot of people aren’t that familiar with this material, because it does have a lot to offer which makes it more than a capable alternative to the more common forms of stone out there.

About Quartz

When you think of quartz, your mind probably goes in one of two directions, depending on experience. To many, it’s a simple crystal with some odd electrical properties, often used for timing watches and computing devices.
To those with a little bit of geology or stone experience, it’s regarded as mainly an ingredient in other stones, which isn’t untrue. Much of the whites and shiny striations in other stones like marble and granite are quartz deposits, which just adds to the confusion for most.

On top of this, there’s also quartzite, which is another material used for counters and floors, and it’s not the same thing. Quartzite has a large amount of sandstone and other materials and is produced by extreme heat and/or pressure being applied to raw sandstone.

Actual pebble quartz is a little different. It’s not pure quartz – that is indeed a base crystalline structure, but unlike granite, marble, travertine or quartzite, it’s the primary material, rather than a minor supplemental one.
Quartz itself is a silicon material, basically a natural glass. Sand and other silica materials, when pressed, heated or otherwise transformed, produce this material.

Advantages of Pebble Quartz

This material has a host of advantages, largely due to being a synthetic or manufactured alternative. It retains the natural feel and look of quarried stone, but is vastly stronger, and with the capacity to control its appearance.
Pebble quartz can be much thinner without forsaking the strength of quarried stone and is much more affordable due to the lack of a quarrying process as well. Finding a shade and pattern that matches your desires, while adding variety that natural stone cannot in cut style and application, is only possible with something like pebble quartz.

Several companies produce this material, but the absolute best comes from Caesarstone, who have led the industry in variety, approach and technology since the inception of materials like this.
If you’re ready for the latest in stone technology – pebble quartz – you’re ready for Caesarstone, which is not only the highest-quality, most modern implementation of the material, but also one of the most surprisingly affordable.

Caesarstone Pebble Quartz Varieties

Being the leader in this material production, Caesarstone has the largest variety of styles on the market, and you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for what you’re going for. We’re going to briefly look at just some of the many varieties they have to offer.

  • London Grey – Looking for something reminiscent of Alaska White granite? Do you like that clean, bright luster with just a little bit of gray patterning? Then you want London Grey, which contrasts nicely with earth tones, or boosts natural light.
  • Emperadoro – This is something truly unique – a mocha/brownstone that you kind of don’t see in nature. It still looks natural, though, which will leave a lasting impression and pairs excellently with wood cabinets.
  • Piatra Grey – If you want to go with a darker, subdued kitchen, which is a timeless but modern approach, consider Piatra Grey, a nice shale-like stone with rippling white striations that just ooze with a calm energy.
  • Misty Carrera – This is one of Caesarstone’s first takes on a truly natural stone, and they pull it off, looking like an off-white marble with classic gray striations. People will wonder how white marble like this was cut so thin and so perfectly.
  • Dreamy Marfil – This is a warm, marble-like stone with shades of light tan and caramel striations that add a homey-ness without being too bright and sterile.
  • Calcutta Nuvo – You wouldn’t know this wasn’t a light galaxy marble of some sort, with its sweeping gray and creamy-white coloration that makes it excellent for lining showers or laying out countertops.

These are just a few of the varieties they offer, and they’re forever coming up with new natural-looking pebble quartz styles. The sky is literally the limit. To learn more about Caesarstone’s excellent materials, and about the modern marvel that is pebble quartz, fill out our contact form today!

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that makes a statement piece in any kitchen. Not only does it look amazing in any setting and add some value to your household, but it is also highly durable. But while granite can stand the test of time better than synthetic countertops, there are a couple of things that can dull its beauty or damage the counter for life.

If you want to keep the granite countertop looking brand new, here are six things you should avoid exposing the counter to:

Sharp Objects

Back in the early 2000s, there was a myth that you didn’t need to use chopping boards on a granite counter, since granite is such a resilient and durable stone. Unfortunately, that is not correct. Even the strongest stone will break if it is placed beneath stress. Granite counters are the same and will often get scratched, cut, or chipped when used as a cutting board. The abrasions will dull the surface of the counter, making it look older and less appealing.

This means that you should avoid using sharp cooking utensils and other objects directly on the granite. Protect the surface of the granite countertop with cutting boards. This is better for both the counter and the knives that would otherwise be striking the hard surface and getting dulled.

Raw Meat

Similar to the above point, granite counters are not impervious to microscopic damage. Furthermore, even with sealant, igneous stone does have some pores that bacteria from raw food and other sources could potentially contaminate.

While placing raw meat directly on a granite counter will not hurt the stone itself, whatever was on that food prior to cleaning and cooking could remain behind and get into other ingredients or cooked food. Since most household cleaners can damage the sealant and discolor the granite, it is best to use cutting boards, since the cleaners will work more effectively on the boards and protect the counter from bacteria.

Acidic Liquids

Anything that contains an acid, whether that is a cleaning solution or something as simple as vinegar, orange juice and other citrus fruits, soft drinks, or even beauty products like nail polish and perfume can whittle away at the sealant on the granite and get into the stone, resulting in dulling, staining, and discoloration.

Protect your counter when working with acidic liquids and materials by using coasters, cutting boards, and being attentive to spills.

Hot Pans

Granite is hard igneous rock made from the heat of a volcano, so it can indeed briefly handle pots and pans straight from the oven. However, if the counter is continuously exposed to prolonged periods of intense heat, the sealants will grow weaker. As the sealant gets weaker, the counter becomes prone to stains and other damages.

So while it may be okay to momentarily set a hot pan on the counter while you rifle around for a potholder or trivet, you shouldn’t make it a habit.

Sitting or Standing People

While it might be tempting to let someone sit on the counter or let your child stand up on the counter to reach a high cupboard, you best not. Granite is strong, but it is not built to resist the weight of neither children nor adults. Natural stone contains striations, veins, and fissures that result in vulnerabilities. Sitting or standing will eventually cause cracking in the stone.

Similarly, you should never let your child take a bath in the undermount kitchen sink, since the weight could, again, crack the stone.

Pigmented Liquids

There will come a time when you spill something on the counter. Kids will spill juices, and you might do the same. As noted earlier, granite is porous. Even with sealant, if you let pigmented liquids—juices, wines, sports drinks, and so on—sit for a long period, you risk staining.


Granite continues to be an appealing and trustworthy material for kitchen counter tops. With proper maintenance and care, a granite counter top will last your household for many years. If you are remodeling your kitchen or moving into a new home and want some updates, consider a beautiful granite counter to bring the kitchen altogether.

If you have questions about granite counter tops or would like more information about the services we provide, contact us by filling out the form. We will send more news right to your inbox.

How To Match Your Backsplash Tiles & Countertops

here are some ideas to spark your imagination and bring out the interior designer diva in you.

Matching your backsplash tiles to your countertops can be a fun and exciting project. You want your selection to be one that fits your budget, coordinates well with your kitchen design, is easy to maintain, is protective of your walls, is resistant to stains, adds a focal point to your kitchen area and, at the same time, inspires homeowner creativity and personal taste, coupled with a sense of design.

With today’s backsplashes being more than just a catchall for splatters, more thought has gone into how a backsplash can improve a kitchen space and make a kitchen area a more attractive and inviting gathering spot for family, friends and guests.

Matching your Backsplash

So, exactly how do you match backsplash tiles with your countertops? Maybe you have already lined out an entire plan for your kitchen renovation with specific paint color swatches, flooring samples, top-of-the line appliance selections, faucet and sink choices, cabinetry and countertops, but you are completely at a loss as to coordinating a backsplash with any or all of it, particularly in relationship to your countertops. With that in mind, here are some ideas to spark your imagination and bring out the interior designer diva in you.

What First, Countertop or Backsplash?

Making a decision concerning a particular backsplash can be an overwhelming one, especially with the options and styles available today. To avoid the uncertainty and decision making, it might be worth your sanity to simply concentrate on finding the right countertop first and worrying about a backsplash later.

New countertops will be the backbone of your kitchen space and will likely be one of the largest purchases you make. Countertops are also going to be more of a standard item, which means that your choices will be somewhat more limited in colors and patterns in comparison to limitless backsplash selections. Indecisiveness doesn’t have to be a constant and painful companion when it comes to choosing a countertop. Also, a countertop is usually installed first which makes it easier to coordinate an eventual backslash choice. You can match up backsplash samples to your heart’s content once your countertops are installed.

Perfect Chance of a Backsplash

There is always a chance that you might stumble across the perfect backsplash tile before you have selected a countertop material. If that is the case, you can easily narrow down your countertop selection to one that blends with your backsplash, enhances it and brings a textural aspect to it. Most any backsplash also adds a pop of subtle, bright or lustrous color that directs a back and forth movement from the backsplash and countertops. This combination suggests a double focal point that showcases both the backsplash and the countertops.

Countertop Extension

Color coding or matching a backsplash area to countertops can be an easy fix as you can always use any excess slab or leftover material from your countertops and extend it as a backsplash. An all-in-one look is also possible with both a countertop and backsplash as you can continue a backsplash beyond its traditional level and further extend it almost all the way up an entire wall. You can achieve a uniform and monochromatic look this way, particularly if you like a clean, urban or industrial appearance in a backsplash. This kind of matching idea serves as a double fix, but if you still want to go with a traditional backsplash and like the same coloration and pattern appearance as your countertops, find a backsplash tile that has similar colors and patterns that integrate well with the countertops.

Also, there is always the option of using a completely different material for a backsplash. Natural stone, wood, brick, glass, subway tile or even stainless steel can provide a contrast that brings an entirely different look to a backsplash, yet still enhance and boost the look of the countertops.

Various Tile Shapes and Patterns

A more luxurious backsplash look can be achieved with various tile shapes and sizes. For example, mosaic tiles in rich colors and shapes can either compliment, accentuate or blend in with your countertops and enhance any other items in a kitchen space such as the cabinets, appliances, sinks, faucets and any other accessories within the kitchen. When different tile shapes, sizes and patterns are used in backsplashes, a more customized and personalized look can be achieved.

Make Things Simple

If a perfect match or color exuberance is not your thing, why not consider using simple white or neutral colored tiles for your backsplash. Subway tiles, squares, rectangles or any other geometrical patterns left plain or infused with color can be arranged to reflect a whimsical backdrop. This type of patterning is certainly one of the few ways that countertops can be enhanced in a simple and uncomplicated way.

Other Choices

Another practical and attractive backsplash tile choice is glass. It can intensify or neutralize a countertop and is a good choice for granite countertops as glass can easily blend in with the luster and coloration of various granite pieces. Another thought with totally white or neutral colored kitchens is the fact that most any backsplash color choice will coordinate with these kitchens as will other materials that aren’t tile.

Color Variations

Matching can be made easier when variations of the same color are used in a backsplash. If you have an ebony granite countertop that has both dark and lighter gray ribbons or streamers of color running through it, you can pick up on both those gray colors and create a backsplash with a darker and lighter gray coloration. The ribbons of color would blend with those in the countertop slab.

Matching backsplash tiles with countertops doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project. In fact it should be a fun and creative endeavor with a positive outcome. With the abundance of backsplash choices, a personalized combination or even a custom made design can be created. If you are looking for a suitable tile match and can’t come up with the answers, complete the online contact form and a specialist will help you make a match that works for you.

What Is Santa Cecilia Granite?

What Is Santa Cecilia Granite?

Santa Cecilia granite is a type of granite that comes from Brazil, and which has recently become common in the marketplace. Because this is a little-known type of stone, it can be difficult to research. However, we have done the homework so that you don’t have to. Here is everything we know about Santa Cecilia granite.

In essence, Santa Cecilia is not much different from other forms of granite. You probably know that granite comes in a near-endless variety of colors and patterns, and Santa Cecilia is arguably one of the most beautiful and varied. It also stands out in another way: Its relatively low cost.

How Cheap Is It?

So, how much less expensive is Santa Cecilia granite? Let’s take a quick look. We have a lot of choices in terms of vendors here, so let’s pick a very common one: Home Depot. We could have picked any, so don’t mistake this random choice for favoritism. We chose this seller simply because they are one of America’s largest sellers of home improvement supplies.

Here’s a good example of Santa Cecilia’s price. It’s a sink top which is about 21 inches wide. Even with the hole in the middle, this is still a pretty big piece of stone. The cost is only $25.00, which is amazingly cheap.

Let’s compare this price to that of similar granite sink tops. Let’s take a look at this one. It’s 22 inches wide, making it only slightly larger than our Santa Cecilia sink top. This thing will set you back about $500.

To be fair, that one was black granite, and black granite is one of the more expensive types. Let’s look at something a little more average. This one is a similar-sized sink top (22 inches wide) and it’s made of Rosselin white granite. It will cost you a little less than $400.

Although you might not always find Santa Cecilia to be this much cheaper, we think the point is made. Santa Cecilia granite (on average) is going to be far cheaper than most other types.

Why Is Santa Cecilia Granite More Affordable?

There are several reasons for the low cost of this stone. First of all, this type of stone is very abundant in certain parts of Brazil. As we all know, rarity is often the main thing that determines an item’s price. Since this stone is not rare in the least, people are willing to sell it at much lower prices.

Another reason for the affordability of this stone comes from the fact that it is not well-known. Prestige also plays a big role in determining the price of a given item, and this relatively uncommon material doesn’t have the fame that it probably deserves.

What’s The Best Thing About Santa Cecilia Granite?

The best thing about Santa Cecilia granite is the huge variety of colors in which it can be bought. Most types of granite are found in one or (perhaps) a few different colors. Santa Cecilia, on the other hand, is found in a huge variety of different styles and colors. Although some colors and patterns are a little more expensive than others, all of them remain highly affordable.

Some would say that the best thing about this stone is its low cost, while others would probably point to its wide variety of colors. We consider both of these advantages to be equally important. This is a type of granite that virtually anyone can afford. At the same time, it makes no compromises in quality or beauty. With its huge color palette, this type of granite can match with the decor of any room easily.


Although there is not a whole lot of information to be had regarding this type of stone, you can assume it to be much like any other kind of granite. It will be hard, smooth, and will last for decades if cared for properly. Speaking of which, make sure that you seal the surface of your granite with one of the many products intended for this purpose. Even with the low cost of this stone, it would be a shame to ruin such a beautiful piece of nature with a stain or a blemish.

We hope that this article will help you to find the most affordable granite surface that you’ve ever bought. We also hope that you will fill out our contact form so that we can continue to bring you all this helpful information.

Should Marble Be In The Kitchen Or Bathroom?

Should Marble Be In The Kitchen Or Bathroom

Although quartz and granite remain popular countertop options in kitchens and bathrooms, there are other options for natural stone that work just as well. One of these is marble which has significant benefits when used in a kitchen or bathroom over other types of stone. Admittedly, it does have a few disadvantages but, depending on the look you want in your kitchen or bath as well as your lifestyle, marble may be the best option.

Timeless Beauty

One of the reasons many people use marble in bathrooms and kitchens is that they have a timeless beauty and elegance other types of stone do not offer. Marble colors range from solid white to various hues of rose, yellow, gray, green and black. No two slabs of marble are alike so your counters can look different depending on where you stand in the room.

Heat Resistance

Marble stands up well to hot pots and pans. If you choose to use marble in the bathroom, styling tools like curling irons and straighteners will not mark the counter if it is left on too long. Many people are also using marble as a fireplace surround as it can withstand sparks and the heat generated. Marble can scratch easily so experts recommend using hot pads and trivets under pans taken from the stove, not because of the heat, but because grit on the bottom of the pan can scratch the surface.

Stain Resistance

One disadvantage to marble is that it is porous which means that it absorbs liquids. Substances like oil, wine, coffee and tomato-based foods can leave stains if they are not wiped up quickly. In the bathroom, nail polish, liquid makeup and other substances can also stain the counter. If you dye your hair, for example, you need to be careful not to let the dye drip on the marble counter as it could leave a stain that will be difficult to remove. However, installers are able to seal the marble surface and the stone should be sealed every few years which can prevent staining. Lotions and other bathroom supplies can also leave a stain on the counter.

Scratch Resistance

Another disadvantage with marble is that it is not scratch resistant. You must use cutting boards to avoid damaging the counter when cutting up food. If you drop a heavy pan on the counter, it could chip or crack the stone as well. Marble is much softer than quartz or granite which is why it scratches and breaks so much easier. If you use care, however, your marble countertop will provide you with years of beauty.

Cool Surface

Anyone who works with pastry or dough will tell you that marble is the best surface for creating the perfect baked goods. The coolness of the marble interacts with the ingredients in pastry dough to create a pastry that is light and flaky. One of the reasons marble is excellent for pastry is that the stone remains a few degrees below room temperature, creating the ideal surface for bakers who not only create pastries but also work with chocolate and ice cream.

Easy to Install

If you have an oddly shaped kitchen or bathroom, marble may be easier to install. Because it is softer than quartz or granite, it is easier for installers to create more unique edge profiles and to cut the stone into odd shapes. If you choose a premium edge, however, it may be more expensive than commonly used edges. Straight, bullnose and bevel edges are common choices but marble may be cut into chiseled, stair thread or waterfall edges. The softness of marble also allows it to be milled, machined and tumbled so you can find a wide range of styles as well.

Room Brightening

Marble can actually lighten up the room, something that may be very beneficial in a bathroom that might not have much natural light. Marble has its own natural glow which helps pick up the light that exists in the room. If your kitchen or bathroom is small or does not have much natural light, marble is a great option to brighten the room. One thing to remember, however, is that marble contains minerals like iron. Bathrooms often have more moisture than other rooms in the house and this could lead to some discoloration of iron that is buried deep in the marble.


There is no question that marble is extremely durable. Marble has been used for a building material for centuries and the fact that the marble features in structures that are thousands of years old are still in outstanding condition is a testament to its durability. Marble that is treated properly can last for many years, providing you and your family with a surface that has a timeless beauty and is very functional.

Although there are some disadvantages to using marble in your kitchen or bathroom, with care and maintenance, a marble countertop could provide you with beauty and functionality for many years. For more information on marble countertops, contact Flemington Granite by calling today or fill out the easy online form.

What To Expect During A Granite Installation

What To Expect During A Granite Installation

Congratulations on deciding to make a long-term investment for your home with the purchase of a beautiful granite counter. Granite is both beautiful and strong, ensuring that the investment you make will last your household a lifetime and beyond. If you have never gone through the process of installation before, then there is a couple of things you need to know. This will help smooth the process, so you can enjoy your new granite countertop sooner!

Before The Day Of Installation

Once you have made your appointment for installation, you need to do a few things before the team arrives:

• Clear a path through your home to the job site, whether that is your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or anywhere the granite is being installed. You want to choose the closest entrance, since the team will be carrying in the slabs of granite, and the pathway should limit maneuvering as much as possible.
• Keep small children and pets out of the way for safety.
• Protect any nearby furniture or textiles from dust by covering them up.
• Clear the countertops in your home of objects to make sure they are ready for removal, if necessary. Try to limit obstacles around the workspace.
• If you have other contractors and artisans working on other projects, especially during a new home construction, then you should have them clear the area momentarily while the stone slabs are being transported to the job site.
• You have to be present during the installation procedure. Our team is going to go over the steps of installation and will need approval before finishing the installation.

During The Installation

Because your satisfaction is our main concern, we would like for you to be present during the installation. Please feel free to ask any questions before the procedure begins. Once the job commences, you don’t have to remain physically present. We need to concentrate on the job at hand and focus on the strategy for installing your new granite counters.

You are welcome to watch, but the craftsmen often prefer to work without interruptions once they begin.

Removing Existing Counters

In the event that your household has existing countertops, it is often required those units are removed prior to the installation team’s arrival. However, you may also request to have the existing countertops removed at the same time the new granite countertops are being installed. The team will work to avoid damaging other sections of the job site, including cabinets, walls, and so on. Should you have laminate counters with a backsplash, the wall plaster could come off; but you don’t need to worry about that, since the granite countertop will cover up those blemishes.

Cabinets, Putting Everything Into Place, and More

Next, the team starts to work in steps, including the following:

Level Cabinets

The crew will check that the cabinets are level, since granite needs to be secured. If the granite is being placed on a freestanding island, the cabinets must be anchored to the floor. Since there is a tipping hazard, level cabinets are absolutely essential.

But what happens if the cabinets are not level? Sometimes, shims can be placed under the granite countertop to make up for any discrepancies, but if that remedy doesn’t apply, a contractor will have to be called in to adjust the level of the cabinets.

It is recommended to check the level of your cabinets beforehand if you believe that there could be an issue. This would prevent any mishaps and last minute surprises.

Seams and Caulking

With the level of the cabinets assessed, the team then moves onto the actual installation of the granite countertop. The installation crew will lay the granite pieces out then use an epoxy glue that creates seams that will cement sections of granite, soapstone, quartz, and marble together, forming the unified countertop.

You may notice that two kinds of epoxy are used—a clear glue and a neutral one. Depending on the color of the countertop, one epoxy might be used more often than the other. This is so the seams blend in. When the seams had dried, the excess is carefully scraped off with a razor blade to make the seam as smooth and unnoticeable as possible.

Afterwards, the granite is secured to the cabinetry with something called attachment or bondo blocks. After that, you don’t need to worry about the counter moving.

Backsplash, Sinks, and Cooktop Cutouts

Other elements that need to be installed alongside the countertop include the undermount sink, cooktop cutout, and the blacksplash, if you decided that you wanted one. These elements often require minor on-the-spot adjustments to ensure that everything fits correctly. Some pieces will be a tight fight, so you might notice some of the team cutting holes slightly bigger to meet the necessary measurements of any appliances.

Keep in mind that transporting stone with holes already in the material can be risky and cause weakening. Therefore, the craftsmen often create little notches of where to cut. Upon installation, the team finishes the cuts.

A shop vacuum is used to clean up the dust. Everything is then wiped down with acetone or alcohol, removing epoxy that may have been missed, and the job site will be cleaned up as much as possible prior to the team’s leave.


Depending on the size of the counter being installed, the entire installation process can take up 7 hours, but that is the most complex scenario. On average, installation takes around 3 hours from start to finish. Once everything is done, the team will wrap up the day by giving you some maintenance instructions and a review of the job. If you are satisfied, you can start enjoying your beautiful new granite counter right away.

If you are ready to learn more about granite countertops or would like to request information and a hassle-free quote, fill out the contact form. Our knowledgeable staff is on standby and will send more information straight to your inbox.

How To Clean A Stone Fireplace

One of the latest trends in decorating is fireplace surrounds created from natural stone. This is a change from the brick fireplace surrounds that were popular not that long ago. However, stone surrounds, whether they are granite, limestone or slate, need to be cleaned more often than brick as microscopic pits on the surface can collect dust, dirt, soot and creosote. Of all the substances that should be removed from your fireplace, creosote is critical as build-up of the by-products caused by fire can lead to chimney fires. In addition, the substances can make your stone surround look dull. Cleaning them will bring your fireplace back to its beauty while also making it safer for your family.

Fireplace Preparation

The first thing to do is to prepare your living spaces to pre-clean the firebox and the surround in order to protect the rest of your home. You will need drop cloths, a plastic tarp, a small shovel and metal container. You will also need a mask and gloves to protect yourself. Plain water along with a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment will also be necessary.

Cooling Period

Allow the fireplace to cool for at least 12 hours after you put out the last fire. Once the fireplace is completely cool, place the drop cloths on the floor around the fireplace to protect the floor and drape the tarp over furniture to protect them from the airborne dust that may be generated as well as any cleaning fluids that could splash in the room during the process.

Personal Protection

Once the furniture and flooring are protected, it is time to protect yourself. Put on the gloves and mask to protect your hands and lungs from ash that may escape. Using the small shovel, scoop up the ashes that remain in the firebox and place them in the metal container. Once the ashes have been removed completely, fill the container with cold water and close it with a tightly-sealing lid. Carry the container outside and store it away from other flammable materials until you can discard the ashes properly.

Vacuum Firebox

Using the vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment, siphon dust from the surround. You want to start at the top and move to the bottom, dislodging any dust and debris. This helps remove any accumulation on the stone surface so your cleaning process goes much more quickly and smoothly.

Prepare to Clean the Stone

The next step is to gather the materials you will need to clean the stone. You will need a small bucket, dish soap and warm water. A wood stir stick, stiff-bristle scrub brush and two clean rags are also necessary. Don’t forget your gloves and mask as well. In the bucket, pour a quarter of a cup of dish soap in a quart of warm water. Stir the solution with the wood stir stick until the soap is completely dissolved.

Scrub the Stone

After putting on your gloves and mask, dip the scrub brush into the soap solution and scrub the soot, smoke and other substances from the inside of the fireplace before scrubbing the fireplace surround from top to bottom. Be sure to scrub any grout that is in the stone. Once you have scrubbed the entire fireplace, empty the soapy water and rinse the bucket.

Rinsing the Stone

Fill the bucket with fresh cold water. Saturate one of the clean rags with the cold water and then make one or two passes across the stone to wipe away any soap suds as well as any dirt or debris that remains. When it is clean, use the other rag to dab the fireplace dry to avoid water spotting. Let the entire fireplace air-dry completely before you ignite another fire.

How Often to Clean

It is usually enough to do this type of cleaning once each fireplace season but if you notice heavy or hard-to-remove pockets of dirt, you may need to do it more often. Deep cleaning should occur before the first fire of the season to be sure there is no creosote build-up near your fireplace. If you don’t use your fireplace very often, you can wait until there is a thicker layer, usually around one-eighth-inch, in the firebox before you do a deep cleaning.

Cleaning your fireplace and the surround will keep your fireplace looking beautiful for many years but it is also critical for the safety of you and your family. Allowing fire build-up to remain in your firebox or on the surround could be a fire hazard that may put you and your family in jeopardy. To learn more about stone fireplace surrounds, contact Flemington Granite today. You can speak to one of our friendly customer service staff by calling or filling out the easy online form. They will guide you through the process and help you find the perfect stone for your fireplace surround.

How to Remove Rust Stains From Granite

How to Remove Rust Stains From Granite

Granite is an outstanding countertop material as it has both beauty and durability as well has resistance to scratches and heat. It does, however, have one weakness and that is its porosity, which means that it can absorb stains if its surface has not been properly sealed during the installation process.


Without going through an initial sealing process and follow-up sealing sessions, acid-forming foods and drinks like wine, fruit juices, and other foods can be damaging to granite. Also, if granite countertops happen to be in a lighter color, they are even more susceptible to possible stains and discolorations. The same is true with rust stains. Without the proper sealing process, rust can stain granite. So, in relationship to rust, how is it formed and just how can it be removed from granite?

Rust Formation

Again, the porosity of granite makes it susceptible to stains. In any area where water is continuously in use and accumulates, like around a metal kitchen sink or faucet area, the possibility of rust formation exists. It can creep into the granite part of the sink area and stain it. There are ways to remove rust stains and here are a few steps to take to prevent it:

1. Find the Source

Whether the rust source is from a leaky faucet or a metal sink, fix either one before trying to get rid of the rust. Secondly, if iron cookware is left on wet areas of a countertop, it should be removed from the area before attempting to treat any rust stains.

2. Poultice

Rust can be removed with a poultice. There are commercial rust removers that can be combined with flour. Mix the two together along with some water until the texture is like peanut butter. Baking soda can also be used if commercial rust removers are unavailable. The amount of mixture needed should be tailored to the size of the stain.

3. The poultice should be about a quarter-inch in thickness and spread over the rusty area. It doesn’t need to be any thicker than this.

4. Next, place plastic wrap over the poultice and tape the edges in place. Let the poultice remain covered for at least 24 hours, or until it has dried. If the area is not completely dry, let the covering remain for an additional 12 hours.

5. After the poultice has dried, remove it with a soft cloth or your fingers. If the poultice has done its job, the stain should be pulled up and away from the granite. The area can then be dried with a wet cloth.

6. If rust still remains, apply the poultice again in any spots where there are remnants of rust. Reinitiate the poultice step process if there are heavy residual spots and go through the previous steps.

For all its beauty and durability, granite can easily stain, especially if it is not initially sealed, and sealed at periodic intervals after that. If you have questions or further concerns, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need to remove rust in a permanent fashion.

Can Water Ruin Granite?

Can Water Ruin Granite?

Granite countertops are extremely popular today as people are looking for counters with less maintenance but stunning beauty. Perfect for both bathrooms and kitchens, granite provides a stunning look of luxury. However, it is important to understand that granite counters are not indestructible and there are certain things you need to do to keep them looking pristine.

Granite is Porous

Because granite is a natural stone, it can be porous which means it can absorb liquids. Usually, the stone is treated with a sealant that makes it less porous so that it does not stain. Liquids such as tomato-based sauces, fruit juice, coffee, and red wine contain an acid that can lead to damage if the granite is not sealed so it is important that you have your granite sealed properly and have the sealant reapplied periodically.

Water and Granite

Rainwater coats granite regularly when it is out in nature so you would think it would be safe to leave water on the surface of your granite. The fact is, the porous nature of granite can lead to absorption of water through tiny holes that are not visible to the naked eye. Just a small amount of water left to dry on your countertop may not cause a problem but if it is left for a very long period of time, it could cause the counter to darken in that one spot.

Granite Water Stain

If you have discovered a water stain on your granite counters, there is no need to panic. It can normally be removed easily. Use a soft-bristled brush, mild soap and warm water to lift the spot from the counter. If your water is hard, which means it has a higher than normal mineral content, you may need to take additional steps to remove the stain. Hard water can leave a white, filmy residue on your counter which may seem impossible to remove, but it is actually relatively simple. Mix baking soda or granite cleaner with a small amount of water to make a paste. Spread a thick layer on the stain and cover it with plastic wrap. Tape down the plastic wrap and allow to dry for 24 hours. Gently rub the poultice with your fingers to remove it. Use a soft cloth and warm water to remove the remaining poultice. Repeat if all of the hard water stain is not removed.

Water on its own will not damage granite but it can leave a stain. The best practice is to always wipe up spills, even if they are just water, from your granite countertops to avoid any discolorations. If you are considering granite countertops, contact Flemington Granite today by filling out the easy online form or give us a call.

Why Are Quartzite Countertops Considered High End?

Why Are Quartzite Countertops Considered High End?

Quartzite countertops are considered high end for a number of reasons. Not only does quartzite exude extraordinary beauty, but it is also quarried from the earth the same as granite, marble and soapstone. Also, quartzite is not to be confused with quartz. Quartz is a manufactured material that is derived from quartz crystals that have been combined with resins and pigments to form its shape.

Price Differences

There are varying price differences with natural materials such as granite, marble, and soapstone. Most natural materials average in the mid to higher ranges in pricing per the number of square feet installed. Quartz is somewhat in the lower price range while quartzite is higher than all four. The higher prices with quartzite have to do with the following:

Scarcity of Quartzite

The areas where quartzite is quarried are rare, which makes the availability of the stones scarce and costly. In contrast to granite, which is less costly, there are considerable more quarries in countries like India and Brazil.

Quarrying Limitations

Along with the scarcity of quartzite is the difficulty in extracting it where it is located. Like other natural stone materials, slabs must be cut from larger stone blocks and removed from a quarry. Finding quartzite is considerably more difficult than carving out granite and other natural stone blocks. Quartzite is a fragmented type of stone that is not easy to remove. Locating large enough sections of it is hard and once larger blocks have been found, other smaller and less usable pieces are simply wasted. In comparison to other natural stone extractions, the output with quartzite is considerably less.

Time Consuming

In relations to other natural stone materials, quartzite is a hard, rough and more abrasive stone, which makes it more difficult and time-consuming to quarry. Additional time is involved in both removing, cutting, polishing and fashioning it into actual slabs. Special tools in the form of diamond blades, wires, and polishing heads are also required in the finishing and fabrication process, which also create added material expense. Even with specialized machinery, cutting through quartzite takes considerable labor-intensive production and has to be completed in increments. Polishing the edges of quartzite also requires a longer procedure much more so than dealing with granite and other natural stone products.

High Demand

Because of the innate beauty of quartzite, it is in high demand. Homeowners, as well as interior designers and architects around the globe, want to incorporate its use in their various home and building projects. With this kind of demand, supplies are going to be limited and quartzite will be of higher value and cost to consumers.

If you want to know more about quartzite countertop use in your home, feel free to complete the online contact form and a specialist will get back to you with the answers you need to experience the elegance of quartzite.

How To Design An Island For Your New Kitchen

How To Design An Island For Your New Kitchen

Everyone loves a well-equipped, large and warm kitchen. This is why people want to see the kitchen when house hunting, before much of anywhere else. The most sought-after thing is of course counter space, which is at a premium even if every wall is lined with countertops. This is why islands are so popular, and an effective way to bring in more space, and add more purposed space to your kitchen as well.

Before you go looking into the island of your choice, though, you want to understand the concerns that come from installing an island – not every kitchen can really have one, and not be crowded after all.


With two exceptions, islands become permanent fixtures in your kitchen, which means they will permanently occupy the space where you’ve installed them. In smaller kitchens, this just isn’t an option unless you go with one of those two previously-mentioned exceptions (which will be discussed at length momentarily).

You will also probably want to run power and maybe water to it if it’s a permanent island, which brings structural challenges that you wouldn’t have necessarily expected as well. So, before you commit to an island as a solution to your problem, be sure you have room for it one way or another, be sure you’re ready for the temporary damage to your house to make the addition, and make extra certain that you have a contractor whom knows what they are doing!

Island Types

There are several styles or layouts of islands to choose from. The simple square or long galley island we tend to imagine is only the most basic form factor, and today, we’re going to look at some of the more interesting ones out there, and why they might be desired.

L-Shaped Islands

L-Shapes are probably more common than others, but still not seen as often as more basic approaches. These provide a lot of counter space while using square footage more wisely.


  • Very large, lots of counter and cabinet/drawer space.
  • Extra workspace that’s easily compartmentalized and sorted.
  • Very social bar-style eating is simple to achieve with an L-shaped island.


  • The angularity of these can kind of segment your kitchen in ways you may have not anticipated, and ruin the flow.
  • The sharp corners can also create something of a claustrophobic, boxy sense to things.

U-Shaped Island

U-Shaped islands have a lot of the advantages of L-Shaped, though more symmetrical, and with even better bar-style dining where desired. It’s not uncommon to add a second sink and perhaps a drink station to U-Shaped islands like these as well.


  • Lots of space.
  • Lots of storage capacity.
  • Plenty of countertop space.
  • If you add an appliance to the island itself, you can really make the best use of space as a chef.


  • These take up a lot of space, and unless you have an open kitchen plan, or a very large kitchen, these will get away from you quickly, overtaking your whole kitchen.
  • Like L-Shaped islands, the boxy nature of this can mess with the ambience of your kitchen, and its flow, if you don’t plan very carefully with these in mind.

Galley Island

Galley islands are the sort that most picture. The smaller ones in smaller kitchens are technically galley style, though traditionally, they’re much longer rectangular structures.


  • Simple design makes them less of a nemesis to the rest of your kitchen planning.
  • Excellent storage.
  • Bar-style eating may be a little less social due to the length, but it’s easier to optimize.


  • It’s not “interesting” compared to some other popular designs.
  • Appliances and sinks don’t fit as well with these.

Circular Island

Circular islands are actually pie-slice quarter-circles, and it’s a unique design not often seen.


  • Lots of prep space.
  • Lots of seating options for table-height chairs.


  • The curve can mess with space efficiency.
  • Storage space is at a premium.

Rolling Island

A rolling island is on wheels, and while you can design your own, these are often just purchased and assembled.


  • Can be anywhere.
  • Excellent for small kitchens, as we hinted earlier.
  • Can also be a food tray or extra table.
  • Easy to move around.
  • A cheap option that’s not permanent.


  • Things on wheels are not that stable.
  • Not as classy.
  • Can be a pain to roll out.
  • Useless for bar style eating.
  • Minimal storage and counter space.

Furniture Style Island

These stand on rounded feet which can produce a unique aesthetic.


  • Unique aesthetic.
  • Very decorative.
  • Easier to clean around.
  • Openness keeps it from sectioning your kitchen.


  • Storage is definitely at a premium with this design.
  • Furniture tops are more fragile than something like granite or quartz, making these overall less durable.

Flemington Granite

We have decades of experience installing gorgeous, long-lived stone countertops, and we’re ready to help you make your kitchen and/or bathroom really sing with beautiful granite, travertine or marble. Fill out our contact form today!

How To Plan A Outdoor Kitchen

How To Plan A Outdoor Kitchen

Have you ever watched a movie where you see a friendly party among family and/or friends, and they have an exceptionally nice back yard? I don’t mean that it’s just big, or well-manicured. I mean, on top of a pool and an excellent patio, they also have a full-on working kitchen out there, which can be used to prepare just about any meal for any sized crowd.

This seems like something made up for Hollywood, or at the very least, like something only the rich could afford. Believe it or not, the outdoor kitchen is increasing in popularity, especially in areas with at least half a year of mostly clement weather wherein they can be enjoyed.

Outdoor kitchens aren’t that costly to implement, in as much as any major addition to your home can be inexpensive. It all comes down to how much of this you can do yourself, and how much of it you need a contractor’s help with. You can save a lot of money just by doing your own planning, acquisitions and so on, and just leaving the construction and implementation of things to skilled contractors.

Today, we’re going to talk about the concerns regarding an outdoor kitchen – what to consider, how to handle certain hurdles, and how to stay on top of the seemingly daunting logistics of it all. It’s honestly not so bad as it may initially seem, once you know what you’re doing.

#1 – Location

This is, of course, going to be the biggest set of challenges in the whole bunch. You can’t change where your yard is, what’s around it, nor how big it is. The more land you have back there, the more freedom you have in your design and implementation of an outdoor kitchen. However, most people in the suburbs or urban areas, don’t really have vast, sprawling back yards nor much distance from their close by neighbors.

This closeness to neighbors is the first hurdle you’ll have to overcome.

  • Noise – Nobody likes a noisy neighbor. Loud parties, loud banging noises from cooking, barking dogs – all of these things can drive your neighbors crazy, and cultivate something of a pariah status for you in the neighborhood. This is why you’ll need a fence for one, most likely. Fences dampen and disperse noise fairly effectively. You’ll still be heard when someone goes outside, but they won’t hear you in the house, so no harm done as long as you don’t get too wild.
  • Light – Light can also annoy neighbors if it comes in through their windows when they’re trying to sleep. This all comes down to direction for your lights, and again, a fence goes a long way towards dampening this impingement on their peace.
  • Smoke and Smells – Cooking produces smells and smoke. While most people will rarely complain about the pleasant, nostalgia-bringing experience of smelling barbeque or other good food being cooked, anyone who’s lived in an older apartment building can vouch for one thing. Smelling everyone else’s cooking begins to feel awkward, and it does get ever so old. Implementing proper ventilation over the stove, grill and other cooking apparatus can help to channel these smells away, so they’re just a vague hint in the air for everyone else.

Of course, your neighbors aren’t the only concern when it comes to your location. You’re kind of stuck with the size and terrain of your back yard, and while terrain itself is something we’ll address in more detail shortly, size is a big issue for a lot of people.

You may think of your back yard as pretty big, but once you start populating it with more constructions, you quickly realize how deceptive large empty spaces can be. If you have an outdoor patio and/or pool, this becomes even more of an arduous challenge.

One of the smarter things to do in this case is to make use of that patio space if it’s a big enough patio. Converting one of the lateral ends to a slightly-enclosed and properly-equipped outdoor kitchen saves a lot of groundwork and makes optimal use of your space all around.

Of course, this means you have to consider foot traffic bringing food out, partygoers being able to come and go from the house without getting into the cooking line, and so on, so choose which part of the patio carefully. Remember, if you’re doing this atop existing cement or tile work, you will have to drill for water lines and drainage, as well as gas if you cook with gas.

Electric appliances outdoors can be something of an electrical safety hazard, of course.

#2 – Onto or Next to the House

This is more of a dubious question for a number of reasons. First and foremost, building onto the house means modification of your own home’s structure will be on the menu, which can be come costly, and definitely dangerous for you to do on your own.

On the other side of this, there’s the permanence of building onto the house. Whether or not this improves resale value isn’t as cut and dry as a lot of other home improvement projects, because while a lot of people love the idea, many others might actually not want another kitchen wasting space, especially if they’re not outdoorsy nor ones to entertain.

If this is your forever house, this resale value concern is less of an issue, but remember, never actually bank on your forever house being forever. Economies are unpredictable, life is unpredictable, and these culminate in there always being that off chance you may have to one day downsize or move.

The advantage of building onto the house is that you can provide sheltered access from inside, to the outdoor kitchen, where building next to or behind the house means if it’s raining, you’re going to get wet. In more wilderness areas, this also means a greater chance of running into possibly dangerous wild animals, which is at best unnerving, and at worst something leading to severe injuries and trauma.

#3 – Pros and Cons of Stand Alone Kitchens

We talked a little bit about this above, but we think it best to actually take the time to look at the pros and cons of building a stand alone kitchen, which is actually the more common choice, weather and animals notwithstanding.


  • Electrical Safety – If you’re smart, you will set up the electrical infrastructure with its own sub-box, thus if anything gets wet or damaged, it won’t wreak havoc on the entire house’s electrical stability. I’ve seen this be a problem where the electrical setup was too linear and too much demand was made on the main breaker box and main house power supply.
  • Easier Maintenance – This may seem counterintuitive, but easier maintenance does indeed come from a stand-alone kitchen. Since it’s self-contained, you have more material freedom (might we recommend some gorgeous granite, marble or travertine for your floors?). This reduces maintenance headaches where the addition was made and partnered to the house significantly.
  • More Space – Yes, space constraints are still an issue, but if you’re not attached to the house, you can use more square-like surface areas, which make for more room, which means a more overall optimized kitchen in the long run.
  • More Predictable Resale Value – Like we said, the resale value implications of an attached outdoor kitchen are uncertain, and vary wildly. However, you can predict, pretty well, the impact of an additional structure – something easily torn down if the next owner doesn’t like it, but is often more appreciated than an actual addition can be.


  • Weather – Like we said a moment ago, if it’s not attached, you have to run into the rain, and outside in the dark sometimes. While you generally wouldn’t plan to use this kitchen in the rain, rain shows up unannounced. This also means that if you live in a place with rough winters, you can’t as easily enclose and heat these outdoor areas.
  • Permits – In some areas, it’s harder to get a permit for an additional building than it is to add onto your existing property. If you really want a stand-alone outdoor kitchen, you may be facing a real, difficult journey to make the project legal.
  • Space – While you can optimize space better with a detached outdoor kitchen, you will need more net space in the back yard to do it, so it’s not illegally close to the main structure. This means that it can be hard to implement a well-done outdoor kitchen in a smaller back yard.
  • No Decks or Terraces – The terrain problem we touched on earlier is a bigger issue when it comes to detached outdoor kitchens. The terrace would have to be huge, and a deck just isn’t an option, so while you may have more freedom with materials, that’s not the case for construction practices, really.

#4 – Terraces and Decks

Naturally, you don’t have to limit yourself to just a kitchen on the ground in the back yard, and you may be forced to think outside the proverbial box if your topography is odd. Sloped back yards are common in more hilly or mountainous areas, meaning you may need a terrace or a stilted deck.

Both of these have their merits – the deck is more affordable, and provides an excellent, intimate environment that feels more like part of the house than something in the yard would. However, decks are a lot of maintenance, and if you don’t build them right, you will have maintenance nightmares for years to come.

Conversely, building a terrace is more solid, and has less maintenance, but will require more tenuous code permits, and will be costly due to the cement and earth work that’ll have to be done. It’s more permanent too, which, like building onto the house, is a dubious prospect, depending on whom you ask. Decks are easily demolished if a buyer actually hates it being there. Terraces not so much.

#5 – Testing Locations

So, whether you want to build onto your home, or build a freestanding location a little away from the house, you don’t want to begin work before seeing if the spot works during practical use. This is why, just as restaurants and events have rehearsal dinners, you should as well.

Set up indoor furniture outside to test comfortable dining, and set up a hot plate or at least a grill, and try preparing an actual full meal and serving it in the prospective locations. Note any flow problems, any potential problems for neighbors, etc.

#6 – Choosing a Contractor

If you’re satisfied that your location and layout are perfect for you, the next thing to do is to choose the right contractor to make your dream a reality. Unless you are yourself a skilled architect and carpenter, you don’t want to do this yourself, leave it in the hands of professionals.
Do your due diligence with your research. See what people are saying about the company in question, and look into their history. See if you can find some examples of their work, and see for yourself the quality you can expect from the contractor in question.

Flemington Granite

At Flemington Granite, we have decades of experience working with all kinds of stone – marble, granite, travertine, quartz, you name it. We recommend going with tasteful stone for your countertops in an outdoor kitchen. While you will have to work more to wash off water deposits, you know granite and marble can handle the weather, the heat and everything else while still looking great.

To learn more about outdoor kitchens, fill out our contact form today!

7 Reasons to choose Quartz Countertops

7 Reasons to choose Quartz Countertops

There is no doubt that quartz is a durable countertop material. It is engineered to endure just about anything, including resistance to stains, scratches, heat, and corrosion as well as chipping, cracking and peeling. Its toughness comes through its manufacturing process. Quartz is a synthetic material that is classic and flawless in its appearance. It is composed of at least 93 percent crushed quartz along with resins and pigments that contributes to making it as strong as it is. The inherent strength of quartz countertops is even guaranteed and most manufacturers offer a warranty on their countertop materials for anywhere from 15-25 years.

1. Durability

There is no doubt that quartz is a durable countertop material. It is engineered to endure just about anything, including resistance to stains, scratches, heat, and corrosion as well as chipping, cracking and peeling. Its toughness comes through its manufacturing process. Quartz is a synthetic material that is classic and flawless in its appearance. It is composed of at least 93 percent crushed quartz along with resins and pigments that contributes to making it as strong as it is. The inherent strength of quartz countertops is even guaranteed and most manufacturers offer a warranty on their countertop materials for anywhere from 15-25 years.

2. Environmentally Friendly and Easy Access

As quartz is manufactured in America, it is easier to access it for countertop use; whereas, both granite and marble are exclusive to certain regions of the world and are harder to secure for use. In addition, added sources are needed for their extrication, storage, and shipping. With quartz countertop production, the environment is less disturbed and other resources related to its production, warehousing, and shipping are confined to the United States. In spite of the abundance of quartz as a mineral and its ability to remain as a viable source, some quartz manufacturers specialize in recycling and repurposing it, which enhances the eco-friendly value of quartz as well as its sustainability. There are fewer worries with supplies being depleted and shortages occurring with quartz.

3. Bacteria Resistant

In addition to the ability of quartz countertops to tolerate stains, scratches, heat, and corrosion, their surface is resistant to bacteria. The non-porous nature of quartz combats bacteria, mold and similar growths. Any cold, hot, gummy liquids or raw foods and food staples that accumulate on the surface will not be able to penetrate and cause these growth issues. You can feel safe with preparing food on a quartz countertop surface.

4. Abundance of Choices

Quartz countertop choices are abundant and there are numerous selections in styles colors and patterns. There are also options with edging and bevel styles that can be easily adapted to any homeowner’s personal taste. In addition, quartz can be used in a vertical fashion without the involvement of seaming and weight issues placements. Quartz can even be fashioned to look like natural granite or marble to the point that differences are hard to detect. So, if you like marble or granite, it is possible through quartz manufacturing.

5. Easy Care and Maintenance

Quartz countertops require limited care and maintenance. Their non-porous nature makes them an easy care material. A simple swipe with a paper towel and soapy water will clean them quickly. Though quartz is extremely durable, it is still subject to possible abrasion and staining from chemicals, bleach, and harsh cleaners, so those products should be avoided. Quartz is the perfect selection for homeowners looking for fast and worry-free cleanups without the hassle of constant attention.

6. Good Value

For its concentrated durability and high quality, quartz retains its value over the lifetime of a home. In comparison with granite, the cost of quartz is about the same, yet with quartz there is the assurance of lasting value and limited maintenance, which makes quartz countertops a worry-free asset to a home. In the long run, they pay for themselves just in their value alone.

7. Appearance Control

Quartz offers uniformity and consistency in its colors and patterns. With a granite slab, there will be inconsistencies, flaws, and imperfections while quartz will offer a smoothness and uniformity that is usually not available in a natural stone material like granite or marble. If you like consistency and smoothness and are particular about the appearance of a countertop, quartz is a more logical choice.

Quartz countertops offer super durability, classic beauty, design flexibility and maintenance ease which makes them an excellent choice for today’s homeowner. If you are looking at quartz as a countertop choice or just have questions about the product, complete the online contact form, and a representative will get back to you quickly with the answers you need.

The Ultimate Guide To Metal Countertops

The Ultimate Guide To Metal Countertops

When it comes to your home’s interior, you have a lot of important decisions to make. If the exterior of a home seems complex, interiors make that look simple (even though it’s not). With each room, there are so many aspects to worry about. On top of that, you have to balance and prioritize areas of your home. Two places that need immediate attention are your bathroom and kitchen, two places that intimately project who you and your family are, to anyone who visits.

These are also very active and intimate places, which need to be comfortable, clean, and durable. Chief among these concerns is one that spans both of these rooms; countertops. Countertops are so often taken for granted, and that’s why a lot of shoddier contractors manage to convince so many people to be okay with Formica, or some pressure particle board abomination.

Quite frankly, your countertops cannot be a place where you cut corners. Yes, it’s possible to be frugal with them to a degree, and by all means, be wise with your budget. But, don’t settle for subpar materials just to save a little – you don’t save at all. Inferior countertop materials stain, chip, decay, succumb to heat and scratches, and just look and feel terrible. You will be replacing them well before any other type of countertop.

For better materials, you do have more choices than you may think. Of course, you have your various types of stone (granite, travertine, marble), higher-end manufactured synthetics and metal.

Types of Metal Countertops

More Diverse Than You Think – The Endless Types of Metal Countertops

The moment we mentioned metal countertops, it’s a sure bet that you pictured the sterile and utilitarian counter tops of commercial kitchens and the like. Yes, that is indeed a type of metal countertop, and one of the oldest forms of it at that. These are in such places for a reason, as they can stand up to incredible punishment for decades, be easily cleaned, and have no aesthetics to ruin.

These are, however, not the only type of metal countertop out there. Prepare to be amazed.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel does include the previously-mentioned commercial style, but that’s far from all stainless can do. Being a molded material, it can take on hues, grains, or even three-dimensional textures that provide a unique personality.


• This is very easy to clean, and it stands up to heat, rust and staining.
• It has a modern, likely timeless feel to it.


• Stainless will always have some sense of the sterile and industrial.
• It can be scratched or dented, it heats up fast, it smudges easily, and it’s expensive.


Copper isn’t something people give much thought to, for large metallic surfaces these days. Once, it was one of the most high-tech elemental metals man could harness. It has a warmer vibe to it, either rustic or elegant depending.


• This is a proven timeless, warm material.
• It’s very easy to clean.
• Can be made of recycled materials.
• Depending on oxidation permitted, you can govern its color texture and hue.


• Copper is actually kind of soft, so it can dent and scratch.
• The patina can be unpredictable.


Zinc is coming very much “into style” with a lot of applications recently. Zinc is another metal that can take on a patina, though it’s a unique blue one in this case.


• Like copper, it’s easy to shine and keep clean.
• Works well for decorative edges.
• Antimicrobial.


• Doesn’t like heat.
• Also has an unpredictable patina.
• Costly.


Pewter is another old, traditional metal. This too develops a patina of a coral shade, which can look rather striking.


• Pewter doesn’t stain nor cultivate bacteria.
• Works excellently for stylized edges.
• Cleans easily.
• Very “old world” charm.


• It’s pretty soft, it dents and scratches.
• Pretty much all patinas can be random.
• Very expensive.


Bronze doesn’t develop a patina very quickly, and is easy to restore, as well as clean. Bronze has a unique hue to it, and is easy to keep shiny. It’s a rare material though.


  • Tougher than zinc or copper.
  • A unique choice.
  • Has a warm vibe.


  • Hard to find.
  • Costly.


Brass is even rarer than bronze, and has an equally unique color and shine to it. This gold-like hue is striking and memorable, and has a posh sense to it.


  • Brass is very tough.
  • Has a striking gold color.
  • Rare, so it stands out.


  • Hardest material to find.
  • Expensive.
  • Patina forms, which isn’t that attractive.

To learn more about metal countertops, the textures and edge styles, and how to care for them, fill out our contact form today!

Caesarstone VS Granite: Weighing Your Options

When it comes to Caesarstone versus granite, there are benefits with both materials. With granite being predominant in a majority of kitchen countertop designs today, due to its resistance to stains and scratches as well as its overall durability and natural elegance, it is one countertop material that is hard to beat; however, there are just as many pluses with Caesarstone quartz countertops. Between the two, there are advantages to either choice. As a consumer, it’s best to weigh the options available with both. Here are a few ways to determine what material best suits your needs.

Caesarstone Features

What matters most with either of these materials is which one complements with an individual’s home and personal design taste. With Caesarstone quartz, its features provide:

  • A modern and streamlined appearance
  • A structured, uniform and minimalist look
  • A wide range of color choices that are consistent in coloration

Comparisons of Caesarstone and Granite

In comparison to granite, Caesarstone can provide clear color choices that are consistent in their flow throughout the material. Though granite is available in a number of varieties and coloration, every slab is less consistent in its patterns and consistency. Each slab can be totally different from one to another.

Natural vs. Manufactured

Granite is obviously a natural stone from nature that is adaptable to almost any setting. The richness of the stone colors can blend with any number of design schemes, while Caesarstone is a manufactured material that is composed of over 90 percent quartz clusters along with pigments and a resin component that holds the different materials in place. Caesarstone has a dense and uniform appearance and evenness of texture, which brings more of a custom and modern look to a countertop space, though the color in Caesarstone is artificially induced as opposed to the naturally occurring colors and patterns in granite. Granite seems to be more conducive to traditional and even country or rustic settings, while Caesarstone can transform modern and contemporary spaces.

Visual Differences

With these visual differences in mind, a choice that suits the surroundings of a kitchen or bathroom countertop area should be easier to make. Again, granite’s natural and varied patterns and possible inconsistencies should be noted. Both its natural beauty and the more manufactured beauty of Caesarstone are important features to examine when deciding on a countertop material. It’s all about what coordinates best with your kitchen or bathroom area, and your chosen design scheme.

Other Factors

Other factors to consider with Caesarstone and granite include the care and upkeep of either material. Granite needs to be regularly maintained and with consistent upkeep should withstand years of use, though original sealing and subsequent resealing are important maintenance decisions to consider with granite as it is subject to spills and water absorption. Caesarstone is easily damaged by any solvents that are acetyl-based and it is not entirely resistant to heat. Placing hot cookware or other utensils directly on it are not recommended.

Attributes of Both

  • Both Caesarstone and granite fall within a similar price range
  • Both can be sustained indefinitely with proper care and maintenance
  • Both are resistant to scratches, dents, and heat
  • Both can be protected through warranties
  • Both consist of natural stone components
  • Both require similar installations
  • Both are durable and strong materials, though Caesarstone has more weight and is somewhat harder
  • Both are high quality and long lasting materials

Making a Decision

Weighing the options with Caesarstone and granite actually comes down to personal choice and what best fits an overall design scheme. Making a decision doesn’t have to be difficult once you have weighed the options, but if you are still unsure of what material is best for your needs, complete the contact form and a countertop expert will get back to you with answers to all your questions concerning Caesarstone or granite.

Cambria 101: Everything You Should Know

Cambria 101: Everything You Should Know

Cambria quartz countertops combine durability and stain resistance with beauty to give you a countertop that is safe for food preparation while giving you the look you want in your kitchen. They are virtually maintenance free and available in a wide range of styles. If you are considering Cambria for your kitchen, here is everything you need to know to make the best choice.

What is Cambria?

Cambria is created from natural quartz, one of the hardest materials on Earth. Granite contains about 40 to 60 percent quartz with the rest of the stone made from softer minerals and impurities. Quartz is extremely strong and, once the counters are manufactured, they are considered an organic stone product. Because the stone is reinforced with polymers, the counters are actually stronger than the stone used to create them.

Many Color Options

One of the benefits of Cambria is that it is available in a wide range of colors. Unlike other types of stone, you can actually get solid color countertops which can be an excellent design tool. When a light solid color is used in a small room, it can make the room feel larger while a dark solid color in a large room can make the room feel smaller. Solid white is light and airy, giving the room a cooler feeling. Medium tones give the room a more traditional feel while rich, dark colors look more exotic.

Countertop Styles

When you choose other types of natural stone, you are limited in colors to what nature can create. With Cambria, you can choose from many other options as well. Because the counters are manufactured, each slab looks the same so if you have a large kitchen, the counters appear more uniform. Despite the fact that the counters are manufactured, the veining and patterns can mimic the look of marble or granite.

Not Just for Kitchens

It is important to note that Cambria is not just for your kitchen. It can be used to create a stunning fireplace surround or as accents in a built-in unit in your family room. Use the counters as a desktop in your office or create a stunning cabinet in your foyer with a curved, bevel-edged Cambria top. Add a vase of fresh-cut flowers and your visitors will feel welcome as they enter your home.

Comparing Cambria to Granite

Cambria is much stronger than granite with a density test rate of about 2.65 (t/m3) while granite does not appear on the scale. Cambria has a 25-year lifetime warranty while most granite countertops have only a 10-year warranty. Homeowners are also warned about heat and collision damage with granite. You do not have to have the countertop sealed periodically as you do with granite. Cambria is available in more than 120 colors while granite is limited to colors that can be created in nature. Cambria is engineered to be safe for the environment. It has received the GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certification as a low-emitting product while granite has not been rated by GreenGuard.

If you are considering Cambria countertops for your home remodel, call us today or fill out the easy form online to speak to a customer service representative.

The Most Popular Countertops In 2019

Countertop trends in 2019 appear to be moving right along in the classic tradition as those looks have remained mainstays in the countertop market. Quartz, granite, marble and even wood never seem to fall out of favor or reach the point of being declared passé. Innovative materials and countertop accessorizing updates from bygone days have also entered the scene. So from the past and present, what are the most popular countertops today?


Quartz has steadily moved up the hierarchy in countertop choices. It has gained considerable popularity mostly because of its ageless and classic look as well as its durability, hard surface and minimal maintenance requirements. Quartz’s affinity with marble has made it a likely substitute material for marble, as it is a less costly material investment. Quartz namesakes are Silestone and Caesarstone which contain elegant alternative choices to marble.


Believe it or not, the butcher block look from years ago has had a comeback with countertop use and even repurposed or weathered wood has worked its way into countertop designs. Wood adds a look of warmth to any kitchen area and coordinates well with white or lighter toned cabinets.

Granite–of a Different Finish

Granite has remained a holdover standard with countertop choices but the shiny and polished surfaces of yesteryear have been replaced with a flatter or matte granite look. These newer surface finishes have edged out earlier granite selections from 15 and 20 years ago. This understated look is a more popular choice in granite countertops. Their application is in tune with more rustic, industrialized and country style home designs.


Concrete is another countertop choice that has made a name for itself in modern 2019 kitchen design. It is a good, budget-friendly choice for a minimalist, modern or industrial type of countertop. It can be paired with almost any type of backsplash and fixtures, and it can be easily integrated with most any chosen design theme.

Earthy Color

Countertops that are created in earth tone ranges are going to be part of a 2019 trend. Organic and rich colors in brown, grey, washed out blue and even black will be colors to use for countertops whether in laminates, tile pieces, quartz or even painted wood. Pops of color with countertops never hurt any kitchen area, and color helps to cancel out the totally white look in kitchen cabinets and countertops that have waned in popularity.


Terrazzo countertop surfaces have bounced back and forth from their height of popularity in the last 50 plus years. They are once again enjoying a renewed sense of design in 2019 and are a sought after look that enhances minimalist and modern kitchen designs.

Popular countertop trends come and go but there are choices provided here that will endure beyond 2019. Whether you want a traditional, modern or minimalist look in a countertop design, there are enough choices available today to enhance your kitchen for years to come. If you are unsure what countertop choice best fits your design requirements, complete the contact form and a countertop expert will get back to you with the answers you need.

Do Quartz Countertop Brand Names Matter?

Do Quartz Countertop Brand Names Matter?

With the abundance of quartz countertop brands in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know which ones are actually rated any higher or lower than others and whether the brand aspect of quartz even matters. As most quartz materials are identified by their brand name rather than just a color name, a little research into general quartz specifics will give an overall picture of what to expect. Knowing the differences with quartz countertop brands does have some importance simply in determining what quartz choice works best with a particular situation. So what differences should a consumer examine with quartz brands?

Quartz Brands in General

Generally, quartz is going to have similar characteristics. Technologically and historically speaking, quartz production is derived through Bretonstone technology, which is a patented system developed some 50 years ago by Marcello Toncelli. The system process and the machines used in production are licensed throughout the world, so other quartz manufacturers today continue to utilize the patent.

Quartz Brands Similarities

1. Quartz is going to have a similar mineral content of a little over 90 percent. The minerals are what provide quartz with its characteristic appearance and feel.

2. Hardness is attributed to quartz because of its mineral composition and elimination of other impurities.

3. The low porosity rate of quartz sets it apart from other materials and makes it a nonabsorbent material, which resists water absorption and creates a hard and durable surface.

4. Heat resistance with quartz is only good up to certain temperatures (360 degrees Fahrenheit) for a short duration of time. The minerals can stand the heat but the other materials and resin within quartz are what can trigger heat damage.

5. Any seaming that occurs with quartz will likely be visible. Usually, more than one slab has to used with a quartz countertop installations so any seam is going to show unless the installer is extremely adept at diminishing it.

Quartz Brands Differences

1. Designs and edging with quartz brands are two of the biggest differences with brands. Actual designs have to do with the appearance of a quartz slab along with its size, shape, mineral composition, color, and any textural aspects within the slab. The edging aspect has to do with the actual contours or profiles that are formed at the time of production in a factory.

2. Most quartz brands either come with warranties or different warranties are available. The differences in warranties deal with any limitations as well as with the time period of the warranty and whether the warranty can be transferred.

3. Prices are going to vary between quartz brands. The slabs themselves are usually priced at wholesale and are limited to the availability with the manufacturer and validated dealers and installers. Quartz prices through dealers are usually negotiable and can vary.

4. Color differences are going to occur with quartz brands as are color ranges within brands. Some brands will have minimal color selections while others will have innumerable choices.

Quartz Brand Specializations

Certain quartz brands do have distinctive characteristics within the brand. Top-of-the-line brands include the following specializations:

  • Cambria – is the largest manufacturer of quartz and is well known for its striking and lively designs that are interspersed with large luminous mineral clusters.
  • Silestone – provides different quartz textures through suede and polished categories as well as Volcano.
  • Caesarstone – focuses on one-color or monochromatic looks with pure white and even concrete inspired designs.

Whether you are comparing quartz brand names or are simply looking for a quartz slab that meets your color and size specifications, complete the online form and a quartz expert will get back to you with the information you need to make an informed decision concerning your countertop needs.

What Is A Wet Bathroom?

We all know the biggest woes of a bathroom – water, water everywhere. Sometimes, our shower curtains don’t close perfectly, and without our realizing it, we’ve saturated the floor and surrounding area with water. In the case of an enclosed shower, sometimes seals give way, causing the same problem.

Still other times, we get out of the shower, instantly a little chilled in spite of the stream enshrouding us, eager to get toweled off and retrieve that invigorating cup of morning coffee. Unwittingly, we slough off seemingly a gallon of water off ourselves as we do. This water is actually harmful to your bathroom, believe it or not.

Water does a lot of damage, eating away at caulk, drywall, the baseboard, cabinets, you name it. There is, after all, a reason for carpet not being a common element in bathrooms due to the destructive nature of water. Pretty much the only things it doesn’t damage are tiled walls, tiled floors, and the porcelain of the commode and sink.

One would think that a fully waterproof bathroom could be pretty easy to design in the modern world, with our wondrous materials and engineering. Well, the fact of the matter is, we have. The wet bathroom has been a fairly common sight in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia for some time now, but is much more rare in the Americas for the moment. However, if you do spend time in higher-end hotels across the country, you’ve probably experienced one at least once, as they slowly creep into popularity by the more risk-taking architects and designers out there.

What’s a Wet bathroom, Anyhow?

A wet bathroom is precisely what you’d expect – a bathroom entirely waterproofed. The furniture (cabinets, drawers etc.), the walls, the floors, even the ceiling in most cases, are made of water-tight and waterproof materials such as ceramics, porcelain, stainless steel, stone, and laminates.

The floor has a slight grade from corner to corner, allowing all water into one or more central drains, often nearest to the shower. There will be an absence of enclosures around the shower and/or tub. In the absence of a tub (more and more people prefer just a shower), the shower will simply occupy a corner of the room in a rather unceremonious way.

Something you will notice straight away is that most wet bathrooms are on the smaller side, and this is for a few good reasons, which we’ll talk about now, with the pros and cons of this concept.

Pros and Cons of Wet Bathrooms


There are advantages to a wet bathroom, the primary one being that, obviously, water damage isn’t an issue with these, provided everything is sealed and placed correctly. Gone are the days of worrying about dripping water hazardously across delicate surfaces, and the claustrophobic nature of enclosures and shower curtains can be done away with as well.
This also adds some convenience. If you forgot something on the counter, or find yourself, mid-shower, in need of the commode (it happens to us all), you needn’t worry about the water mess this would usually create.

The absence of that enclosure also provides better light, which is always good. Shaving in the shower – especially a regular struggle for women or athletes who go beyond just facial grooming – is much easier in an open environment like this.


Of course, this is a tradeoff, because this does have its downsides. Implementing a wet bathroom in a larger space brings the problem of a chillier showering experience, as the steam isn’t contained. Anyone who’s had to shower in a more open, spacious environment (such as open-air stalls at campgrounds, or when the shower curtain is broken) can vouch for the fact that the contained steam is pretty integral in the warm experience we all take for granted.

Even in a smaller space, you may notice it being less warm for most of your shower, though in these small spaces, the difference is mild enough you’re likely to acclimate within a week or two.
Another issue is, this provides far more surface to clean soap scum, mildew, and hard water deposits off of. Imagine if the whole bathroom was like your shower walls.

Finally, this can produce more risk of slipping and falling, as the whole bathroom is slick with steam condensation and temporarily-pooling water. Bath mats aren’t very practical, as the environment would destroy them quite rapidly.

Is a wet bathroom right for you? Only you can tell, but weigh the benefits and downsides carefully before making the definitely not cheap investment in this idea, and be sure your space isn’t too big for it.

How To Clean Quartz Countertops

How To Clean Quartz Countertops

If you are considering adding quartz countertops to your home, it is critical that you know the best way to take care of them. Whether you want the counters in your bathroom or your kitchen, you will find that quartz countertops are extremely low maintenance but they do require the proper care to remain beautiful for many years to come.

Mild Dish Soap and Soft Rag

The first step in cleaning your quartz countertops is to use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Use the cloth or sponge to firmly but gently wipe down the countertops. You can and should wipe them down as often as possible. It is also important to wipe up spills because, even though quartz resists staining, some substances could cause stains if they are left to dry on the counter.

Dried Substances

If something dries on your countertop, use a putty knife to gently pry the hardened material from the counter. It is suggested that you purchase a putty knife just for this use and keep it in a kitchen drawer so you can grab it when you need it.

Grease Splatters

No matter how hard you try not to, you will get grease splatters on your counters. It could be from cooking bacon for breakfast or a spilled plate filled with grilled meats. Choose a degreasing agent made specifically for quartz counters and spray it generously on the countertops. The spray should also be free of bleach which could damage the surface of your countertops. After you spray, wipe the area quickly with a soft rag or sponge. You may then want to polish the counter with another soft cloth to avoid any streaks.

Gooey Stains

If it appears something has stained your countertop, use a cleaner like Goo Gone directly on the stain. Allow it to stay for five or ten minutes before wiping. Once you have wiped the cleaner off, wipe the area again with a clean cloth with warm water. Another option if you do not have Goo Gone is to use caramel. Although this sounds unusual, caramel has qualities that may cause the other gooey stain to release from the countertop.

Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Some stains on quartz counters may be removed using isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Use a wet rag with alcohol added and rub the stain. Once the stain has been removed, rinse it again with warm water. You can do another application if the stain does not lift immediately.

Glass Cleaner

There are mixed thoughts on whether you should use glass cleaner on quartz. Some manufacturers believe that it is fine to use on the surface. The best option is to speak to your quartz installation company to see if glass cleaner is recommended on the type of quartz you choose.

If you are considering quartz countertops in your home, contact us today to learn more. You can reach us by calling or filling out the easy form online.