How to Care for a Marble Fireplace

How to Care for a Marble Fireplace

Marble may be one of the most recognizable natural stones available and the fact that it has been used as a building material for thousands of years attests to its durability and beauty. Marble fireplaces can be found in homes built hundreds of years ago but they have made a comeback in recent years. Although marble is durable, it is very porous and much softer than granite or other types of stone. It is prone to staining unless it is maintained properly. These tips will help you keep your marble fireplace clean and looking as stunning as it did the day it was installed.

Oil-Based Stains

If you have noticed dark stains on your marble fireplace, you may be seeing the results of an oil-based stain. This could be grease, tar, cooking oil, milk or cosmetics, some of which may be the result of burning the fireplace and others due to spills from people near the fireplace. Oil-based stones need to be cleaned quickly to avoid staining. Use a soft, liquid cleaner and bleach, household detergent, ammonia, mineral spirits or acetone to pull oil-based stains from your marble. You can also create a poultice of baking soda and water or purchase a commercial poultice material that may be mixed with mineral spirits.

Organic Materials

Your fireplace can be stained by organic materials as well. Coffee, tea or food spilled on the fireplace or the use of tobacco near the marble can lead to staining. The color of the stain may depend on what type of substance caused it. Food like tomato based sauces or wine may leave a pink-colored stain while coffee, tobacco or tea will leave a stain that with brown coloring. Create a solution of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide, water and a small amount of ammonia to remove the stain. The hydrogen peroxide should be the same strength as that used in hair dye.

Water Stains

If someone leaves a glass sitting on your fireplace or spills water across the surface of the granite, it can leave a stain. The stain will look very similar to a water stain on wooden furniture. You can remove the spots with a dry 0000 steel wool pad. Be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid scratching the surface of the marble.

Markers and Ink

If your child decided to decorate your mantle using felt-tip markers, Biro pens or other types of ink, your marble may still be salvageable. If your fireplace is of light marble, use bleach or hydrogen peroxide in small quantities to prevent stripping the color. If your marble is dark, you can use acetone or lacquer thinner to remove the ink.

Paint Drips

No matter how careful you try to be when you paint, you inevitably drip paint from the brush or roller. If you neglected to see the paint in time to wipe it up while it is wet, you can still remove it from your marble fireplace. You may be able to simple scrape the dried paint with a blade or a small amount of acetone. If the spill is fairly large, you will need to use commercial paint stripper with lye or caustic soda. Never use acid or flames to remove the paint from marble. You may want to seek the help of a professional if the paint spill is significant, especially if it is oil-based paint as this may cause an additional stain even when the paint itself is removed.

Soot and Fire Residue

Burning a fireplace causes soot and other fire residue to be dispersed throughout the room. Black or gray streaks could mean your marble has soot stains. These can easily be cleaned using mild soap and warm water on a regular basis. If you had an incident with your fireplace that has led to burns in your marble, you will need to seek the assistance of a professional who may use special smoke and burn removers to bring your fireplace back to its original beauty.

Rust or Other Metal Stains

Decorative fire tools look beautiful sitting next to the fireplace, but they can lead to staining. Metal can lead to rust from iron, copper or stainless steel. Nails and screws near the fireplace can also lead to rust stains. Iron and rust appear to be orange or brown while copper and bronze have a green or muddy brown tint. To remove metal stains, create a poultice using a liquid cleaner mixed with a white absorbent material to form a paste. Copper stains can be removed using a poultice of commercial poultice powder mixed with ammonia while iron or rust can be removed using a poultice made from diatomaceous earth and rust remover. It may take several treatments to completely remove the stain although a deep stain may require a professional to remove it.

Mold and Mildew

If the room where your fireplace is located is damp, like in a basement, you may notice powdery brown or green substances on the surface. This can be mold, mildew or fungi. You can create a solution of ½ cup ammonia, bleach or hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water to remove the stains. Never mix ammonia and bleach as it can create a lethal toxic gas. Choose only one of the three options for your solution.

Regular Cleaning

You can keep your marble fireplace looking beautiful with some simple tips. Always use a soft microfiber cloth to remove dust and dirt. Only use warm, not hot, water and lightly rub any stains with the cloth, increasing pressure if the stain is difficult. Rinse the cloth often to prevent streaking. If possible, use distilled water as impurities can lead to staining as well. Once it is clean, dry with a soft cloth as air-drying can lead to streaks or water spots. Do not use white vinegar or limescale removers. These products contain acids that may damage the surface. Baking soda should be used carefully as it is abrasive and could damage the finish. Marble wax can be added to bring out more of the shine as well.

Using a Poultice

Your poultice should be the consistency of peanut butter or toothpaste. Dampen the stained area with warm water and spread the poultice over the stain. You will want it to be about a half-inch thick and overlap somewhat over the sides. Cover the poultice with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and seal with tape. Let it dry for between 24 and 48 hours. You can lift a corner of the bag and wipe a small spot to see if the stain is still there after 24 hours. If it is, replace the small amount of poultice and cover it again, waiting another 24 hours. Once you feel the stain is gone, remove the poultice and clean the area with warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process as it may take several attempts to get stubborn stains out.

If you need assistance getting stains out of your marble fireplace, contact us today. We can help guide you through the process and get your marble fireplace back to its beautiful condition. Call or fill out the easy online form today.

What Makes Calacatta Different from Other Stones?

What Makes Calacatta Different from Other Stones?

Marble countertops have grown in popularity over the past decade, creating rooms that make a statement. Marble sends a message of luxury and sophistication, but with so many options to choose from, you may be confused about what is the best option. You may even wonder why a marble countertop is a better choice than other types of natural stone. Understanding marble, especially calacatta marble, and knowing its advantages and disadvantages can help you choose the perfect stone for your kitchen.

About Calacata Marble

When you are looking at some types of countertops, like Corian, Silestone or Caesarstone, a sample gives you an idea of what your counter will look like once it is installed. It is much more difficult with marble, however, as every slab of marble is different. Nature creates a wide range of patterns and colors so veining in one slab of marble could look completely different in another slab, even if they are quarried at exactly the same time. Marble is quarried in many different parts of the world but the marble found in Carrara, a town in northern Italy, is one of the most readily available in the United States. Italian marble is found in three different types which include Calacatta, Carrara and Satuary.

Differences from Other Types of Marble

The first thing you need to do is to compare the three types of Italian marble to decide what will work best for you. Carrara marble is the most commonly found in this country. It has a gray background, or field as experts call it, with light gray veining. Often, the stone leans toward blue-gray and the veins are soft and feathery. Statuary, also quarried in Carrara, has a bright white background with little color variation. Veins are normally dark gray, giving the stone a distinct contrast between light and dark. Calacatta also has a bright white background but it offers a wider range of vein coloring. The veins in Calacatta are thick and dramatic, ranging in color from golds, browns, beige and dark gray.

Pricing Differences

Carrara is normally less expensive than the other types of marble quarried there. The average cost is $75 to $100 per square foot and it is plentiful. Calacatta and Statuary are much rarer and the supply is not as plentiful as Carrara so the cost is higher. There are slabs that cost as much as $250 per square foot. It is important to remember that costs vary by supplier as some are considered exclusive so they will charge more. They may also have more distinctive marbles to offer than the big box outlets who offer fewer options. Thickness also has an impact on how much marble costs. Countertops are cut to one or two centimeter thickness with one centimeter the most popular option as it is much less heavy to install.

Maintenance of Marble

The three stones require the same amount of maintenance as they have the same porosity. It is important to note that marble is not low-maintenance like quartz or granite. It is not acid-resistant, requiring the surface to be sealed when it is installed and then resealed periodically. This prevents it from being stained or etched by substances like red wine, tomato sauce, fruit juices or citrus fruits. Marble is also not as hard as granite which means it will chip if struck by a heavy skillet or other heavy object. It is also softer so it is prone to scratches or cracks if you don’t use a cutting board to protect het surface.

Choosing the Right Marble

As mentioned before, each slab of marble is different even if it has been quarried together. You will want to go to a showroom to compare colors and patterns on each slab to find those that fit what you need. If you have a small countertop, you may not need to worry about the differences in the slabs but large counter areas will require you to work with the experts to blend the slabs that work best together. It makes it difficult to shop around because showrooms often only have three or four slabs on premises. Most companies that work with natural stone will show you photographs of additional slabs to let you see what options you have.

What About Your Kitchen?

Because it is much less expensive, Carrara is probably the best option for the kitchen. It offers darker backgrounds and veining which will help you hide food stains, discolorations and marks from hot pans. The natural markings will be more obvious. However, if you have a larger budget and you’re a stickler for cleaning up any spills, Calacatta or Statuary may be the right option. Keep in mind that if you enjoy baking, marble is the perfect choice for a kitchen countertop. Pastry dough works well on the coolness of marble counters which is why many cooks now install marble insets in other types of countertops simply for pastry work.

Why Choose Marble?

Marble has been used as a building material for centuries and the fact that buildings with marble flooring, stairs, railings and more still look as stunning as they did when they were installed is a testament to the sophistication, beauty and durability of marble. Homes in Europe often have stone countertops due to their durability and cooking benefits. Even though marble can stain easily, many people like the patina that develops over time and find the slight stains to make their counters unique from other marble counters.

If you are considering marble countertops, it is important to understand the difference between marble and other types of stones, including quartz, granite, soapstone and more. We can help you choose the right natural stone for your family’s needs. Contact us today by giving us a call or filling out the easy form online to speak to a customer service representative who can guide you through the process and help you select the perfect natural stone.

Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?

Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?

As the title question asks, “Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?” Well, the answer is actually, no. Geologically speaking, Fantasy Brown consists of calcium carbonate which makes it akin to marble. It’s also related to quartzite, which is a natural metamorphic rock that is derived from quartz sandstone. Heat and pressure below the surface of the earth compacted this sandstone and transformed it to quartzite. Both marble and quartzite are metamorphic stones; whereas, granite is an igneous rock.

Confusion Abounds

Confusion abounds with Fantasy Brown’s name, calcium content and its relationship to marble, though this stone’s consistency leans more towards a quartzite type of rock because of its extreme hardness and resistance to stains and etching. So, with those points in mind, many in stone fabrication consider Fantasy Brown to be categorized as quartzite. This duel combination of minerals in marble and quartzite seems to have brought about a separate geological creation that is an entity unto itself and is, ta-da, Fantasy Brown.

Fantasy Brown Analysis

A more concise analysis of Fantasy Brown is in its direct relation to its mineral content, which affects its density. It consists of both quartzite minerals along with calcite. Calcite is a softer mineral while quartzite is a harder one. Durability of Fantasy Brown depends on the percentage or proportion of quartzite and calcite. If quartzite is dominant, durability is significantly increased.

A predominance of the softer component in calcite, which is the main mineral found in marble, will give a Fantasy Brown piece or slab a softer consistency. As Fantasy Brown is technically categorized as marble, it may likely be more susceptible to scratching and etching over time, particularly when exposed to acidic liquids and foods; however, the hardness factor with this type of marble that makes up Fantasy Brown may offset most of the negative effects associated with a softer marble.

Relationship to Granite

As far as the alluded to association with granite, Fantasy Brown does have characteristics similar to granite, in the sense of its mineral content. The stone has a one hundred percent Indian marble origin yet it continues to be identified with a granite name recognition. This is all in spite of the fact that its consistency is a very hard marble. The inconsistencies in name recognition with Fantasy Brown can be confusing and mind boggling to the average consumer, but Fantasy Brown is a conglomeration of minerals compacted in various degrees.

Both quartz, mica and other minor minerals are present in granite as well as with the mineral content found in Fantasy Brown. Hardness, strength and durability along with certain patterns and variegated colorations are other features that are similar in nature to granite. Both granite and Fantasy Brown are hard yet they can be porous, which means that liquids are able to penetrate them. Sealing will be necessary with either one of these stones to prevent any type of damage.

Popularity of Fantasy Brown

Fantasy Brown has risen in popularity and appears to have become a top favorite among homeowners and home renovators. Not only does its durability attract consumers, but its more neutral color combinations bring an updated, fresh and modern presentation to most any kitchen counter space.

The stone is characterized by diagonal swirls in gray and brown hues that are showcased within a white backround. Striking mineral configurations define the stone as do other faint shades of rose and green. Some slabs even contain specks of black. Every piece is, of course, varied and unique, and the neutral color coordination allows for use with light or dark cabinetry, and most any design scheme. Fantasy Brown countertops can become one of the main focal points of a kitchen, yet their distinct appearance won’t create diversions from the other areas of a kitchen.

How Fantasy Brown is Classified

To avoid some of the continued confusion associated with Fantasy Brown, the slabs or pieces produced are classified and distinguished according to their percentage of mineral content and durability. As Fantasy Brown does functionally deliver or perform like a quartzite or granite, and also has the mineral makeup of marble, each piece should be judged on its performance outcome. As these different types of Fantasy Brown consist of a multitude of minerals, there are going to be inconsistencies in their hardness and long-term durability. So, whether geologically categorized as a marble, quartzite or even a granite, the proof will be in how the stone will endure and withstand normal everyday use, along with any wear and tear.

Fantasy Brown is a hard working, lavish and adaptable stone that is an excellent and beautiful countertop choice. Whether the slab you choose is classified or given a quartzite, marble or even granite label, its overall hardness, durability and extended usability are the features to look for in any of the stone offerings. Research the possibilities with Fantasy Brown, whether the stone is called quartzite, marble or granite. You won’t be disappointed in what you find. Sealing will likely be necessary to preserve the beauty of the stone as well as to prevent etching, staining or scratching but, overall, you will find its performance unbeatable. If you want to know more about Fantasy Brown, complete the online contact form. A Fantasy Brown expert will return your inquiry as quickly as possible. You just may find Fantasy Brown to be a part of your kitchen fantasy future.

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.

How to Clean Marble Floors

As beautiful and elegant as a marble floor is, it’s easy as a homeowner to be very intimidated by such expensive materials. After all, if you damage linoleum, tile, carpet, or hardwood, while it does incur some cost, it’s not that severe, and the repairs generally localized to the place where it was damaged. With something like marble, granite, or travertine, there’d be a whole lot of remediation involved in many cases, and even if not, the cost would be dire.

This makes most people very nervous about cleaning their marble. Cleaning products have so many various potent chemicals in them, the nature of which escape people whom have had only high school chemistry. Who knows what these things might do to marble?

Well, it’s time to put these fears to rest, once and for all. In all reality, cleaning a marble floor is very easy to do, and we’re going to take a look at it today. You’ll be surprised how easy this is.

Understanding Damage

Marble can scratch, which is what leads a lot of popular stone sites out there to warn against vacuums, though the truth is, unless it’s a several-hundred-pound device with really chewed up wheels, it’s not going to scuff or scratch your marble. Scratches tend to occur from heavy furniture dragging across it, or cleated shoes, or other heavy, abrasive things assaulting the surface.

However, there are other forms of damage that can be a little easier to cause, such as stains and etches. Stains are the result of the porous stone absorbing substances such as liquids. Makeup, lotion, some foodstuffs and drinks can cause stains in marble, though in general, it takes a decent amount of time. Cleaning these up quickly usually means the marble’s going to be fine. Stains tend to take the form of dark discolorations.

Etches are caused by corrosive chemicals eating away at the surface of the marble. These look more like what you’d expect a stain to be, a blotchy loss of the glossy uniform surface. Acidic compounds can cause this, such as some vinegars, citrus, caustic cleaning supplies, and the like.

Obviously, then, you don’t want to use astringent cleaners, or abrasive ones (such as Ajax or Comet) on floors like this!

Recovering from Damage

So, if you’ve had some of this damage happen, or fear that something you’re going to try may, albeit unlikely, cause this, let’s take a moment to talk about how to deal with them. Stains are actually not permanent, and the invasive substances can be drawn out by poultices which can be purchased from hardware stores.

Etches are a bit more complex, unfortunately, and will require a professional marble restoration company to handle.

How to Mop your Marble

So, now we come down to it – you can mop your marble, and you in fact should, as it will remove the layers of dust and dirt that can weaken the polished surface. You simply need to avoid highly-acidic or potent cleaning products. Simple multi-purpose soaps with a low pH level, or simple warm water should suffice.

For additional care of marble floors where calcium or lime deposits are a problem (which tend to need stronger cleaners to remover), softening the water can combat this.

Changing your mop water as soon as it discolors, and using a low-microfiber mop, as well as an astringent/acid-free detergent will clean a marble floor just fine. Don’t be afraid of water – it will not stain marble.

To learn more reasons why you shouldn’t be so afraid of your marble countertops and floors, fill out our contact form today!

What’s the Difference Between Travertine and Marble?

Choosing new countertops, flooring, walls and backsplashes for a new home or remodeling project can be exciting. Stones like marble have been used for centuries, giving rooms a luxurious rich look but another stone that is growing in popularity, travertine, can provide a look that is just as sophisticated. Although both are types of limestone, each has its own advantages and disadvantages that you need to be aware of before choosing one or the other.

Differences in Looks

Marble has very distinct veining, even when it appears to be one solid color. A close look at the stone will reveal streaks of other colors, such as white, gray or black. Some marbles may include streaks of pink, blue or green. Marble is smooth with either a satin honed finish or a glossy polished finish. Marble may also have a glittering appearance.

Travertine has a more natural, textured look and may appear more porous than marble. It can be sanded to a smooth surface that is perfect for flooring or shower walls. Because travertine is more porous than marble, it requires additional sealant to protect the service. Travertine colors range from white to golden browns. Travertine tiles often have a varied pattern so they don’t have a completely uniform look. They are available in polished, honed, brushed, saw cut or tumbled finishes.

Best Uses for Each Type of Stone

Most often, marble is used in a bathroom because it provides a crisp, clean look. Marble is found in bathroom flooring, walls and counters although it does need to be sealed periodically to prevent damage to the surface.

Travertine is often found in tiles and used for bathroom or kitchen flooring. However, it is possible to use travertine on counters, in outdoor spaces as well as for backsplashes and walls. Because travertine can have a honed appearance, they are best used in areas where slipping can occur, such as around pools or hot tubs. They should be sanded, however, as the tiles can be rough. Travertine also needs sealing in order to protect the surface.

Cost of Travertine vs. Marble

Natural travertine is normally more expensive than cultured marble although natural marble is slightly more expensive than natural travertine. Costs vary widely depending on the quality of the stone and can range from $2 to $50 per square foot. Both types of stone are heavy and can be difficult to lift so it is recommended they be installed by a professional which can increase the price.

If you are considering natural stone for your remodeling project or new home, contact us today by completing the simple form online or giving us a call. We can help guide you through the process and help you choose the perfect stone for your needs.

The Ultimate Guide To Marble Countertops

The Ultimate Guide To Marble Countertops

Marble has a classic look that is very familiar to anyone as it has been used for building materials for centuries. It is luxurious, stunning and brings a sense of sophistication to any room. However, marble does have disadvantages over other types of natural stone.

It is susceptible to staining as it is porous and, because marble is a soft stone, is prone to cracking, scratching or chipping. It also develops a natural patina over time. Many people like a counter that reflects that it was used, however, so if you are one of those types, these tips can guide you.

What is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic stone found in many areas throughout the globe. The stone is created through heat and pressure that causes chemical alterations that create veins of mineral deposits. It also has a crystalline nature that allows it to take a polish.

Unlike granite, which develops deeper in the Earth so it is exposed to more heat, marble is porous, although not as porous as soapstone. It is prone to scratching as it has a low abrasion rating and is very sensitive to acidic materials like lemon juice or coffee.

Marble Colors

No two slabs of marble are alike and are available in shades of white, black, gray, yellow, green or pink, some with dark veins and some with subtle veining. Many designers recommend marble because the irregular veining can be a contrast to the stark lines that appear in most kitchens.

Most people choose white marble backgrounds because it is adaptable and blends well with other colors. It can be purchased in a honed finish, sometimes called matte, that is created when the marble is sanded. It can also be polished to give it a high-gloss. You can also find marble with a leather finish which is created when a leather-like texture is added to a honed surface which hides fingerprints and other imperfections well.

Maintenance of Marble

Marble requires sealing to protect it from staining, but even with protective sealants, marble will eventually develop a patina and can still absorb stains. There are two options for sealants. A topical sealant covers the stone and can slightly change the look of the stone, but protects it against etching.

Topical sealants wear off after time and can be scorched if a hot pan is placed directly on the surface. Penetrating sealant seeps into the stone so that there is less chance of staining, but they do not protect the stone from acidic materials. Penetrating sealants also must be reapplied, usually once each year. Some of the best maintenance tips for marble include:

  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Avoid abrasive or harsh chemicals when cleaning. Mild dishwashing liquid and warm water is enough to clean marble.
  • Use cutting boards to protect the surface.

Buying Marble Countertops

The first step to buying marble countertops is to know your size needs. Most slabs are between 0.75 to 1.25-inches thick, although you can get thicker slabs if necessary. Marble is a natural product so what arrives after your order may not look exactly like what you saw in the showroom.

Marble slabs also are not priced by the slab as there are many variables that go into installation, cutting and more. Most dealers will have a price range that will help you narrow your search. In some cases, marble may be one of the lower priced options, but this is not true of all marble, so it is important to discuss price points with your dealer.

If you are considering marble countertops for your home, contact us today to learn more. You can speak to one of our knowledgeable sales staff by calling or completing the easy query form online. We can help you choose the perfect marble for your home.

6 Quartz Alternatives To Carrara Marble Countertops

6 Quartz Alternatives To Carrara Marble Countertops

Carrara marble is a stunningly beautiful option for your countertops and many designers recommend it highly for all types of kitchen and bath styles. There is no question that the marble has stunning aesthetics and its origination in Carrara, Italy, also gives it an exotic connotation. However, the marble does have disadvantages. Because it is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock, it is prone to etching should acidic materials come in contact with the stone. It is also porous, making it prone to staining from substances like red wine and some spices. If you love the look of Carrara marble but are not pleased with some of its characteristics, you may find that these alternatives work much better.

Ariel by Silestone

Ariel by Silestone

The dominant color of Ariel, manufactured by Silestone, is off-white but the veining gives you the classic look of marble. Like all Silestone products, Ariel is 94 percent natural quartz so it is strong and durable. It is resistant to scratches and chips. Unlike Carrara marble, it resists staining from coffee, red wine, olive oil and other acidic materials. Ariel is available in jumbo formats and in polished finishes. It is also available as flooring.

Calacatta Nuvo by Caesarstone

Composed of 93 percent natural quartz, Calacatta Nuvo by Caesarstone is a very close match to natural Calacatta marble. It has wide, cascading gray veins on a white base. It makes a strong impression in any room, providing a rich, elegant look very similar to marble. Unlike marble, the stone is very durable, resistant to scratches and will not etch if acidic materials are spilled.

Frosty Carrina by Caesarstone

Frosty Carrina by Caesarstone

Another Caesarstone product that is a good substitute for Carrara marble is Frosty Carrina. The stone also contains 93 percent natural quartz, but has longer veining that gives more of an appearance of real marble. It provides a sense of depth and luxury to any room. It will be difficult to notice any difference between marble countertops and the Frosty Carrina engineered stone countertop.

Lagoon by Silestone

Lagoon by Silestone

Lagoon brings a softer feel to your room than other types of countertops, including Carrara marble. It also gives your room more depth and is much more durable than marble. It resists scratching, chipping or cracking and requires very little maintenance. Unlike marble, it does not need sealing on a regular basis.

London Grey by Caeserstone

London Grey by Caeserstone

The white background with subtle black lines of London Grey gives your room a striking look that is so close to marble you may not be able to tell the difference. However, you will notice a difference in the durability as the engineered quartz countertop will not scratch or chip as easily as marble. Spills of coffee, tea or tomato sauces won’t stain and you will not need to perform the regular maintenance required for marble.

Lyra by Silestone

Lyra by Silestone

Many designers say that Lyra is the closest match possible to Carrara marble with its white base and gray veining. It is a stunning product that contains 94 percent quartz. Lemon juice, wine or makeup will not etch or stain the counter as it is non-porous. Because it is made of quartz, one of the hardest stones available, it also resists scratching, chipping or cracking.

If you are considering Carrera marble, contact us today by phone or by completing the simple form online to learn more about other options that may work better for your home or business. Our friendly customer service staff will guide you through the process and help you select the perfect natural stone for your countertop or flooring needs.

Is Quartz More Expensive Than Marble?

Is Quartz More Expensive Than Marble?

One of the most commonly asked questions asked during kitchen or bath remodels may be “Is quartz more expensive than marble? Because kitchens and baths can be the costliest to renovate, you want to be sure you choose the right surfaces for your countertops. This means that you want to look at more than just the sticker price of your new counters and also compare other differences between marble and quartz.

Quartz and Marble Countertop Construction

The first thing to consider when determining “is quartz more expensive than marble” is to understand how quartz countertops are created. Quartz is actually engineered stone with the countertops created from approximately 90 percent quartz and the remaining ten percent resin mixed with dye. It is very durable and can be found in a wide range of colors due to the dyes that are added. Marble, however, consists of either limestone or dolomite rock and is completely natural. It is known for its elegant beauty and, because no two slabs of marble are the same, your countertops can have a unique look from different angles.

Countertop Price Tags

If you are looking only at the cost of purchasing and installing countertops, quartz is less expensive initially as the cost for quartz ranges from $40 to $100 per square foot while marble ranges between $50 and $150. Although that may not seem like much of a variation, the entire project could cost you from $2,200 to $5,600 for quartz while marble could range between $2,800 to $8,400 for the same square footage of countertop.

Other Factors

It is important, however, not to only focus on the price of purchase and installation of your countertops. Quartz provides a more uniform color and pattern. It can also mimic the look of natural stone, even marble. There is no question that marble adds a touch of elegance and timeless beauty to your kitchen or bath. You also know that the countertops are unique since different slabs of marble have different patterns and colors. However, quartz also offers lower maintenance and better durability than marble. It is non-porous so there is less concern about bacteria. It does not need sealing or waxing, is virtually stain resistant and resists cracking, scratching and scorching. Marble does resist heat fairly well but it can be stained. Marble also requires regular sealing so you should factor that into the cost when determining your budget.

Overall, the answer to “is quartz more expensive than marble” is “no” for many reasons. Quartz requires less maintenance, has a lower price tag and is more stain-resistant than marble. However, marble offers a more timeless, elegant look which is why some people prefer it as a countertop choice. If you would like more information on the differences between marble and quartz countertops, contact us today by calling or completing the simple query form online.

Choosing the Perfect Stone Tiles For Your Home

Choosing the Perfect Stone Tiles For Your Home

When you are trying to pick the flooring type to install for your home renovation, choosing natural stone can add elegance, durability and beauty. You’ll want to make certain to choose the stone that will fit best with your home.

Part of this is understanding what types are available as well as the characteristics and features of each.

There are several different natural stone options that can work well in different rooms of your house.

Travertine Tiles

Travertine tiles are formed out of calcite, and they are a bit softer than limestone. These tiles come in several different earthen hues and come in either polished or porous forms. Because of the porous nature, these tiles do require professional sealing to prevent them from being stained, especially if you have children or pets.

Marble Tiles

A classic choice dating back thousands of years, marble tiles are truly one-of-a-kind. Marble comes in several different shades and is characterized by its veins. The veining of marble occurs while the stone is being formed, making each stone completely unique. Unfortunately, marble is highly porous, making it susceptible to staining and scratching.

Granite Tiles

Granite is a terrific choice for flooring, both when you use it inside as well as outside. Highly lustrous, granite can make your floor shine with a high polish. It is one of the strongest stones available and is just below diamond in hardness. It repels water and can be trusted to stand the test of time. It is a cold stone, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you are considering it for your flooring.

Slate Tiles

Formed out of metamorphic rock, slate has a very rustic appearance. It is great for providing traction and resistance to slipping. Slate tiles do come in a fairly limited range of darker hues, making that one of its downsides.

Limestone Tiles

Formed from calcitrate, limestone shows the natural striations when it is formed into tiles. This gives it a similar striated appearance to wood flooring. It comes in lighter colors and is very durable, but it does absorb water, making it a better choice for indoor renovations.


Yet another metamorphic stone, sandstone provides terrific traction and is very durable. It is a good choice for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways alike. One limitation is that it lacks much color choice.

With better familiarity with the available types of stone, here are some additional factors you should consider so you can choose the one that’s right for you and your home.

1. Expense

Installing stone flooring tiles requires the use of qualified professionals. Cutting these stones is much more complicated than cutting wood. Installing stone on your home’s subflooring also requires a lot of additional work. You’ll also need to think about other materials that you’ll need, such as grout, plaster or cement. Thinking about where in your home and how large the space is is important, as natural stone flooring is one of the more expensive choices.

2. Purpose

While stone blends beautifully into almost any room in your home, you’ll want to consider how the room is used. For example, slate may be a better option for bathrooms. Children’s bedrooms may not be the best place for most types of natural stone tiles since most are rather hard or prone to staining.

3. Lifestyle

You’ll want to think about the lifestyle you have when you are choosing stone flooring. Pets may not like them. They may also take a longer period of time for installation.

If you are wanting a terrific choice for flooring in your home, choosing stone tiles is definitely a good option. By keeping your tastes and needs in mind, you are sure to find the stone tile that will best fit you and the room in which it will be installed. To learn more about the different options, give the professionals at Flemington Granite a call today. You can also complete your information in our provided contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.

Are Your Kitchen Countertops Ready For 2016?

Are Your Kitchen Countertops Ready For 2016?

One of the busiest room in your house is your kitchen. There, you may enjoy getting together with friends and family while you share conversation and meals. For such a focal room, making it look beautiful and inviting is important.

If your kitchen needs remodeling, it is important for you to think about the best type of countertops for the look, functionality and durability that you want.

Natural Stone Countertops

There is a reason that natural stone countertops are a lasting favorite for kitchens. Beautiful and durable, natural stone countertops can last for many years, bringing beauty to your home in a timeless fashion. Among the most common natural stone choices are marble, granite, soapstone and slate.

1. Marble

With classic elegance, marble brings a beautiful look to your kitchen. Marble is very porous, however, and may be better to choose for your bathroom project.

2. Granite

Extremely durable, granite can stand up to exposures of acid and high temperatures. When it is professionally sealed, it will also resist stains.

3. Soapstone and Slate

Soapstone and slate are both classic and timeless, but they offer fewer color and design choices. Very durable, soapstone will require very little maintenance. You will need to keep it clean so that it continues to look great, however.

Durable Engineered Stone Countertops

Quartz counters are manufactured and engineered out of 93 percent ground quartz combined with pigment and resin to give you a very durable and beautiful surface. They have become increasingly popular, and will continue to be so for 2016 and beyond.

The reason that people like quartz countertops so much is because they are very durable and beautiful. These counters are resistant to high temperatures, stains and scratches, and they are virtually maintenance-free.

1. Silestone

Silestone countertops are non-porous and stain-resistant, and they are extremely durable. Silestone also has a variety of different styles and colors from which to choose.

2. Caesarstone

Caesarstone comes in fewer colors than Silestone. Caestarstone does offer more edge options, however.

3. Cambria

Cambria countertops are highly durable and come in a wide array of colors and styles. They rival granite in beauty and are almost completely maintenance-free.

4. PentalQuartz

Non-porous, PentalQuartz countertops are very easily cleaned using a soft kitchen cloth. They are offered in different designs and textures and will not need professional sealing.

Classic Butcher Block and Wood

A photo posted by Ginger Hussey (@gingerhussey) on

Some homeowners and designers prefer wood for coutertops. Wood brings a sense of home into the kitchen and is good for chopping and cutting. Wood countertops are not as longlasting or as durable as ones made from stone, but they may look good and provide the type of feel some people want.

Upscale Laminate

Laminate countertops are less expensive than other types, but they do not withstand heat and are much less durable. Still, some people are choosing upscale laminate as the material for their counters.


Another kitchen trend is using concrete as the material for countertops. Concrete is highly porous and must be re-sealed. They may also crack over time, making stone or quartz countertops a better option.

Stainless Steel

Some people are using stainless steel as their chosen countertop material. They will withstand heat, but they may end up going out of style and making a kitchen dated when they are no longer popular.

Tile and Backsplashes

People often choose to complement their chosen countertops with tiled walls or backsplahses. Tile is versatile and can come in different colors. People can also choose different tiling patterns for a creative look. People who choose to use tile for their backsplahes will want to regularly clean the grout so it doesn’t mildew or stain.

Current Design and Style Trends

Current trends include thin, textured countertops, open floor plans and two sinks installed in different areas to create two work areas. Kitchen floorplans that are a mixture of modern and traditional design are popular, and most include kitchen islands. Current color choices include neutrals such as white, black and gray often chosen. People may add splashes of color with their backsplashes or other items.

Contact Flemington Granite For Your Project

When you are ready to start your renovation project, the professional design team at Flemington Granite is ready to help you. You can stop by our showroom to see the variety of different countertop and design options we offer. You can also call us or fill in your contact information to schedule your consultation.

How To Remove Stains From Marble

How To Remove Stains From Marble

Understanding marble cleaning techniques is essential if you want to maintain your investment in the natural stone as long as possible.

Even a simple water spill should be cleaned immediately because the porous surface will absorb any liquid. If you end up with lasting marks from drinks, sauce, or grease, consider following one of theses techniques (depending on the application) to remove stains from marble to restore the best appearance.

Rubbing Alcohol Solution

In a clean spray bottle, create a mixture using a few drops of dish soap, 1/8 cup of rubbing alcohol, and water. Shake the bottle until well blended and then spray directly onto the stained surface.

Corn Starch and Water

Use a spray bottle of distilled water to lightly wet the spot before applying a solid layer of corn starch to cover the area. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours before checking the stain, and then repeat the process if needed. If the stain is caused by grease, use the cornstarch immediately so that it can lift the stain. After 15 minutes have passed, use a mild soap and water mixture to cleanse the marble.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Avoid this tip or test a hidden area if you are working with a dark stone because it could cause the color to noticeably lighten.

Begin with a piece of gauze close to the size of the stain, and saturate the cotton with hydrogen peroxide. It’s important that it is wet, but be sure to squeeze out the excess so that it isn’t dripping.

Place the pad onto the stain and seal it with plastic wrap and tape.

If possible, place a weighted object onto the cotton pad to put pressure on the area as it sits. Check the stain in 24 hours to decide if you need to repeat the process.

Baking Soda Paste

As soon as a liquid has spilled on your marble surface, blot the area to absorb as much fluid as possible.

Create a poultice using baking soda and water until it has a consistency like sour cream. Spray the area of the stain with water before placing a layer of paste on the surface.

Cover it with plastic wrap for a minimum of 24 hours so that the baking soda has a chance to dry. This should cause it to pull up the stain as it is removed, but the process may need to be repeated for best results.

Liquid Soap and Flour Paste

Using a full cup of unbleached flour in a bowl, mix in 3 tablespoons of a gentle liquid soap, and enough water to form into a thick paste. This mixture needs to be applied in a thick layer that completely overlaps the stain.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the paste and leave it for 24 hours before washing with soap and water.

This will effectively remove stains from marble, but the poultice might need to be reapplied at least once.

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

If your countertop has taken on some wear and tear, there might be a good solution to improve the appearance and durability without going through the trouble of replacement. Minor issues like removing stains and making other damage less noticeable is easy with the right information, but keep in mind that hiring a professional is always a good solution.

If the issues are simple enough, you might feel confident handling the job yourself with a do-it-yourself remedy.

Stains and Etching

Staining to marble or any natural stone can happen, but is rarely permanent. It’s not unusual for someone to confuse staining with more common etching. This usually occurs because the homeowner simply was never educated about the properties of marble, marble maintenance and protection or how to clean marble the right way. If you have dull spots or a glass ring appearance from exposure to acidic liquids or cleaners, you may have etching. The best solution for etch marks depends on the type of surface finish: polished, honed, etc.

There are products that remove etching on polished marble, but a honed surface has to be restored professionally. Sealed granite should have plenty of protection against stains, but any discoloration can be removed with mild dish detergent or a paste made from baking soda. Since soapstone and quartz are non-porous, the regular upkeep and maintenance should be very easy.

Chips, Pits, Scratches, and Cracks

Blemishes that are small and shallow are much easier to repair regardless of your countertop material. Marble paste is great for restoring the polished look if surface scratches are noticeable, but deep separations need to be filled by a marble repair professional.

Harder surfaces, like granite, are more susceptible to actual cracks than scratches because all natural stones can fracture from impact. If you have a broken edge or a deep pit, it might seem like the best thing to do is replace the entire countertop. It’s best to get a professional opinion to decide if a repair is possible depending on the size and severity of the damage.

A little chip or minor scratches in your countertop might not seem too bothersome to overlook. However, if you feel that the damage is severe and unsightly, you should give us a call at Flemington Granite. We are experienced with all types of countertop materials and want to help you with repairs if possible. If your surface damage is too severe to fix, we also have plenty of new countertop slabs available in the showroom.

Top 5 Questions About Marble: Answered

Top 5 Questions About Marble Answered

It’s obvious that marble countertops will always be in style because it’s such a classic and versatile material. Marble provides exceptional style in any kitchen, but it does have a few downsides you should consider. This natural product is very susceptible to scratching, etching, and stains if not properly cared for after the installation.

If you have your heart set on marble, consider the facts about the material before you decide if high-maintenance is agreeable for you.

What exactly is marble?

The unique marble slabs are actually a porous metamorphic stone that becomes more dense from the heat and pressure in nature. Mineral deposits take on a unique veining pattern throughout each piece, making every product a genuine one-of-a-kind.

Due to the calcium carbonate element, it is very sensitive to acid and will etch from exposure. However, it does have an advantage with the strength, heat resistance, and natural durability against dents and chips.

Which colors are available in marble?

Physical appearance is the biggest advantage to marble, with guess in a wide array of colors. Neutral gray, white, and black are popular marble slab colors and are great for a more classic style, but marble countertop colors can also be found in pink, green, or yellow.

The veining is natural and may be more prominent and contrasting in some slabs. White is one of the top choices for countertop installations because it hides etching, adapts easily to surrounding decor, and it opens up any space with the brighter shade.

What kinds of finishes are available for marble?

Polished – A high-gloss surface is created through a buffing and grinding process that enhances the intricate details of the slab. Although it is the most susceptible to damage from acidic substances, it is the least porous option.
Honed/Matte – The process of sanding the surface makes the surface appear more smooth so that it does not show obvious flaws. It does make the surface more susceptible to stains because the pores are opened up, and the color will be slightly muted.
Leather – Dark marbles are the most common option when choosing to give the slab a leather-like texture. It isn’t reflective but it will have a soft sheen to conceal imperfections like fingerprints.

Should marble be sealed?

Considering the vulnerability to acids and general porousness of the marble, you should consider sealing absolutely necessary. A topical sealant is going to provide a moderate level of protection, but can be damaged by heat and scratches.

If your marble is used in a kitchen application, it is smart to use a penetrating sealant to increase stain resistance. It might not protect against all acidic liquids, but it does add some degree of resistance against water and dark liquids.

What are the best cleaning and care practices for marble countertops?

Maintenance is easy if you know the basics of taking care of your marble, such as always using a cutting board. With such a fragile stone, do not use any acidic or abrasive cleaners that could cause damage.

Use mild soap and warm water for daily cleaning, and always wipe up spills the moment that they happen to avoid letting color soak in. Always have your countertop sealed professionally once a year, or more frequently if needed.

The History of Gravestones and Memorials

The History of Gravestones and Memorials

Memorializing the our loved ones with a unique gravestone is very common. Some prefer a conservative slab that simply displays the name, birth, and death date of the individual. Others go above and beyond with large, ornate carvings featuring a full bible verse.

Believe it or not, the modern markers that we see in our cemeteries today have evolved over centuries from very rugged origins.

Early Grave Markers

Dating back somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 B.C., the earliest grave markers were actual monuments. It marked the boundaries of the grave and help to keep the occupant securely beneath the ground.

These dolmens or chamber tombs were formed using large stones or a pile of stones. Wood was also used to cover some burial plots, but it was not as durable as stone. Rather than placing the deceased in cemeteries, the earliest burial plots were created near the home of the family.

From Gravestone to Headstone

The original gravestones used their weight to protect the body from rising to the surface. They would feature surface markings to indicate details regarding the name, age, and death date of the deceased.

Although the terms “headstone” and “gravestone” are often used interchangeably, the size of the grave covering has decreased over time. Rather than cover the entire plot with the weight of wood or stone, a smaller headstone would be placed as a grave marker.

Origin Stories

There is evidence suggesting that the Celtic and Roman cultures were among the earliest to memorialize the deceased with special headstones. The Romans provided a name and title of the deceased with stories of any battles they fought.

In Scotland, the old headstones would typically describe the profession practiced by the deceased person.

In Celtic culture, it was more normal to keep the headstone very simple until Christianity was introduced to Ireland. The Celtic cross shaped headstones started to gain a lot of popularity from this point forward.

Trend of headstone in the United States

Stones or wood piled on the grave site was considered a traditional headstone in the US. Once technology and transportation made other options available around 1650, headstones were usually created with thin Metamorphosis Shale.

Brownstone and sandstone were other popular headstone materials, but there was a need for longer-lasting solutions.

Marble was typically used for royalty and high-class individuals, especially in the color white. Limestone was also used, but the problem with these materials is the gradual wear that would make inscriptions illegible.

Granite emerged as the most popular material in the United States starting from 1860 until our current date. It’s the strongest headstone material available, and it does not deteriorate from weather exposure. There are some cemeteries that do not allow the installation of grave markers if they are not made of granite.

How To Choose The Perfect Natural Stone

How To Choose The Perfect Natural Stone


Adding the timeless charm of natural stone to your home is a smart investment, even if it’s only incorporated into small details.

Granite is one of the most recognizable and common stones, but there are so many other material options that you should consider.

If you prefer a more unusual option, onyx could provide a very unique feature in your interior design. As long as you do the research regarding maintenance requirements, it will be easy to find the right product among the vast world of natural stone types.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Try to find your natural stone locally if possible by touring different design centers and showrooms in the area.

Most companies allow you to browse samples so that they can order a stone similar to your preferred style. However, you need to understand that the slabs are each unique and it might be more of an advantage to actually visit our showroom. This ensures that you will get the exact slab that you want to use in your home design.

Not everything is about looks, but it’s a great place to begin narrowing the choices. Consult with an on-site expert to discuss the qualities of the stones you are most interested in using.

Once you have picked out a stone, decide on the finish that best suits your installation plan. A high polish is unsuitable for a bathroom floor, but it looks great as a countertop.

Some stones hold up better with specific finishes because they mask scratches that are likely to accumulate on softer surfaces. Matte or honed stones look the most natural, but a distressed stone offers the charm of an aged appearance. Discuss your preferred style and always ask to view samples to help you choose the perfect stone.


Granite is a valuable option in areas that require hardness, such as a kitchen countertop or fireplace surround. It can take on damage if you are careless, but it’s pretty difficult to create stains or scratches.

Granite Kitchen Countertop


Limestone is exceptional as a bathroom surface or kitchen floor if you choose a quality piece. Maintaining the unique texture is easy if you take care to have it resealed as often as needed.

Limestone Bathroom


Marble is best for tub surrounds, a vanity top, backsplash, or flooring if the conditions of the area permit installation of a softer stone. It is absorbent, but take precaution when adding protection because lighter slabs may darken if a sealant is applied.

Marble Countertops


Onyx is a translucent stone that features striking colors, such as jet black and bright white. Once sealed and polished, the stone can take on a very high gloss that is great for a vanity top or bathtub surround.

Woodland hotel - onyx bar countertop


Sandstone is naturally dense, but the actual level of durability may vary greatly from one slab to another. If you do intend to use as a bathtub surround or kitchen floor, consider having it sealed every few months to maintain the surface.

Sandstone Bathroom


Slate features a typically matte surface with unique clefts that offer an unusual appearance in flooring and countertops. Preservation does involve sealing, and you should limit cleaning to very neutral products.

Slate Kitchen Countertop


Soapstone is ideal for kitchen countertops and fireplace surrounds because it is very resistant to heat. Sealing is not recommended, and you can remove most scratches by lightly sanding or applying mineral oil.

Soapstone Countertops


Travertine is very porous and actually has an appearance similar to a sponge, but the holes can be filled before installation. Otherwise, expect to make a constant effort to keep the countertop clean and dry.

Modern colorful Travertine bathroom tub area.

You are welcome to reach out through the contact form to schedule a tour of our natural stone showroom.

What are the latest styles in commercial restrooms?

What are the latest styles in commercial restrooms?

There are people with actual phobias of public restrooms because they have a reputation of being unsanitary and ugly. Consider the ambiance of the bathroom in your business to recognize the need to complete some important updates. It should be easy to find solutions that will make employees and customers feel comfortable and safe. You may decide that a few small updates are sufficient, or it might require an entire remodel to achieve your ideal modern design.

Touch Free Fixtures

Think about how many restaurants you avoid simply because they have a disgusting restroom. No one wants to feel that they are being exposed to filth and bacteria that could potentially cause a serious illness. The usual culprits are contaminated toilet seats and floors, but your greatest risk of exposure is actually during the process of hand washing. A total of 19 different bacterial phyla were identified by University of Colorado scientists collecting samples from public restroom surfaces. It’s not even safe to touch the exterior of a soap dispenser because it’s being contaminated regularly throughout each day.

Commercial restrooms are implementing touch-free soap dispensers, flushing mechanisms, hand dryers, and faucets to help visitors avoid contact with germs. It’s also easier for facility owners to maintain cleanliness with these innovative features.

Sustainable Materials

Public restroom products are put to the test each day by enduring frequent use during business hours. Manufacturers are beginning to recognize the value of using sustainable materials to improve the overall lifespan of their products. Engineered stone used as countertop surfaces is created from recycled materials to ensure a more durable final product. In fact, most recycled and renewable materials are suitable for heavy usage in an environment that is often damp or humid. High Density Polyethylene plastic is another recycled product found in most modern commercial restrooms.

Luxurious Design

Visitors are more likely to visit an establishment that offers a sophisticated and updated restroom. Stainless steel, granite, and other stone products are becoming trendy because they offer exceptional bacteria resistance and cleanliness. It’s easy to sanitize natural stone flooring, especially if you compare it to the grimy reputation of traditional laminate. Granite countertops are sleek, non-porous, and have the ability to make every business feel like a high-end establishment.

Get in touch with our team of designers by completing the contact form to find out about our commercial restroom solutions and products that we offer.

How To Choose The Perfect Edge Profile For Your Countertop

How To Choose The Perfect Edge Profile For Your Countertop

Adding granite countertops to any remodel project is not as simple as picking a natural stone slab and having it professionally installed. Choosing the edge profile is an important decision that deserves more consideration that choosing the best looking option. A smooth edge is more durable than projected corners, but it may not be worth sacrificing the silhouette that you truly desire for strength. Get to know the basics of each option so that you can make an educated decision based on which edge profile suits both your style and needs.

  • Classic Ogee – A very classic look that is more ornate than a smooth edge, typically featuring a dramatic curve. The appearance of a clean, rounded silhouette is perfect for adding a focal point to an otherwise standard kitchen island.
  • Basic Bullnose – Sleek, rounded edges at the top and bottom edge are a very popular edge option. It is ideal for use in slabs that extend beyond the edge of the cabinet or surrounding an island.
  • Triple Bullnose – Featuring a more regal appearance, the waterfall edge features a look of stacked bullnose edges. This style is a great highlight to a small space, but it does require more complex cleaning in the details.
  • Polished Standard – A squared shape is one of the most popular for thicker pieces of engineered stone because it is elegant, yet easy to maintain. With a common application as kitchen countertops, is incredibly durable as the edges are perfectly smooth and flat without any ornate details.
  • Half-bullnose – The top of this edge is rounded the same as a standard bullnose design, but the bottom is squared. Homeowners prefer this selection near sinks because the square bottom would prevent any water from making contact with the cabinetry.
  • Double Bevel – A specialized cut that emphasizes the thickness and beauty of the natural stone slab with an angular cut edge. This premium selection is generally created by layering two pieces together for enhanced visual interest.
  • Dupont Apron – This custom design option appears similar to the classic ogee placed atop a classic edge, featuring a cove-like curving. It is popular for use with granite, but homeowners also use it frequently for bathroom marble applications.
  • Dupont Bullnose – An ornamental version of the bullnose is comparable to the waterfall appearance of a triple bullnose. The major difference is that the edge appears similar to a staircase for a stylized take on the classic design.

Call to set up an appointment so that our experts can help you decide on the best edge to complete your natural or engineered stone countertop. It’s important to feel satisfied when renovating a kitchen or bathroom in a style that reflects your own.

Kid Friendly Countertops

Kid Friendly Countertops

Families that want to install brand new countertops in the bathroom or kitchen have a lot to consider if there are children in the house. A simply art project or accidental juice spill can cause major surface damage if the material is unable to handle such exposure. Rather than strictly limit activities on a fragile surface, choose a countertop material that can withstand the normal wear and tear of your family.

Granite Countertops Perfect for Kids

Granite Countertops Perfect for KidsIt is tough to commit to an expensive countertop with kids in the house exposing them to potential damage. Teenagers tend to treat their bathroom counters with little regard as they expose them to the heat of hair styling tools, nail polish, cosmetics, and facial cleansers on a regular basis. With a proper sealing treatment, stains, heat, and household chemicals no longer pose a threat to granite surfaces. Parents can feel confident in their countertop investment knowing that dropping a heavy glass or spilling a cup of juice is not going to cause any real damage.

Marble Countertops the Imperfectly Perfect Solution

Marble Countertops the Imperfectly Perfect SolutionCarrara is on the lower expense side of marble, but it comes at the risk of staining and scratches. It’s not recommended for homes with small children because it is highly porous and can scratch easily. However, parents that do not mind a little added character could love the imperfections accumulated over years of owning. Proper sealing and polishing marble every couple of years is a great way to prevent stains in the soft, porous surface as much as possible. Keep in mind that etching is almost unavoidable with this type of countertop and it is smart to use a cutting board anytime food is prepared.

Engineered Stone the Child Proof Option

Engineered Stone the Child Proof OptionPerhaps the best choice in countertop surfaces in homes with children is engineered stone. This material is nonporous and so durable that scratches and chips from heavy wear is a rare occurrence. Various colors and textures can mimic the appearance of other countertops with the advantage of avoiding vulnerability in daily use. Maintenance is as simple as wiping down with a mild soap and warm water, and it does not have to be resealed at any point after the installation.

Feel free to give us a call if you would like to compare the advantages and prices of our kid-friendly countertop options. We look forward to finding a solution that matches the demands of your home decor, budget, and lifestyle.

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Granite vs Marble Countertops

Granite vs Marble Countertops

The similarity between marble and granite is undeniable, which can make it a difficult decision for a homeowner in the market for new countertops. Marble is more commonly used in bathrooms than kitchens simply because it is less durable than granite. On the other hand, there is so much more to consider than the durability alone, especially for people that may find other factors more important. Compare all of the differences and similarities to help make an educated decision about your countertop surface.


Granite is so popular because it has a natural look that looks great in traditional and modern style homes. A high-end home can benefit from the elegance and luxury of sleek marble. People that appreciate the veining of marble may also look to the appeal of a wide array of patterns and colors available in granite. Determining which stone is more attractive in appearance is truly up to personal taste of the buyer.


Both options are notably porous, especially without the protection of a sealant preventing stains from seeping in. Marble is a bit softer and more susceptible to accumulating damage and stains, especially if exposed to heat or acidic substances. Granite is more durable and does not dull over time, especially with the use of polish and sealant as maintenance. Marble is going to gradually dull over time, even with the use of maintenance products, and the process is irreversible.


Although marble has a unique look, it is usually not suitable for use in high traffic areas like a kitchen. In this type of area, the homeowner must be able to appreciate gradual appearance changes or willing to perform constant maintenance. It is typically used as a bathroom floor, vanity, shower walls, or a tub deck because this area is easier to maintain with only light use. Granite is more versatile because it is durable enough to handle high traffic with a floor or kitchen countertop application.


Sealants are necessary, whether using granite or marble, especially if the stone is lighter in color. Spills should always be cleaned immediately to prevent stains and etching on the surfaces as much as possible. It is recommended to have granite resealed every 2 years, but marble typically needs resealing every 6 months.

Stain Removal

Deep damage may cause a permanent and irreversible change to the surface of either stone countertop. Marble is almost completely stain-resistant if it has been properly coated with sealing polish. Etching that causes visible corrosion can be repaired with some products, but it is a very involving process. Granite is non-absorbent and resistant to etching so most stains can be easily removed with a surface cleaner.

We are happy to help you compare the differences of our stone countertops so that you feel confident making a long-term decision that suits your home. Give us a call today, stop by our showroom, or fill out the contact form.

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