Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cleaning Granite and Quartz

Granite and Quartz are fairly easy to keep clean. I recommend using a mild dish soap, put a little on your cloth, wipe the countertops, and then go back with a rinsed cloth. Do not use soaps with citrus as it can strip the sealer off the tops. If you want some added shine, there are several products sold over the counter. Make sure the product says safe for granite and marble. One I really like is "Method", I have found it at Target stores. This product will safely shine your tops.

If your tops are getting dull, try using a strait edge blade to scrape off the water deposits and soap scum, then clean and shine. If it is granite, you may need to re-seal depending on the color and sealer that was originally used on your stone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Budget Kitchen Remodel

I love before and after photos, but can't get my guys  to remember to take enough of them :)!

Home remodel is a huge part of our business, and it is my favorite! It is so fun to go into a home and change the kitchen and baths to modernize the home, or just to change it up!

One option when remodeling the kitchen is to simply change the countertops. This kitchen had a white solid surface countertop, and we changed it to a beautiful Juparana Bordeaux Granite countertop. This customer kept her original cabinets, floor, and even her sink! She was able to save thousands and still dramatically change the look and feel of her kitchen! She is very happy with the end result.

This can be done in baths as well, where granite remnants can be used saving money on stone, and re-using sinks and faucets save hundreds of dollars.

This small re-model takes less money, less time, and less stress. We took out her old countertops, installed the new ones, and even hired the plumber to re-hook up the plumbing! The install only took one day, so she was only without the kitchen for 1 day!

Large remodels are also fun, but they take more money, time and planning. If you have a budget, but want to make a dramatic change, countertops are a great way to do this! It also has been shown to increase the value of the home when changing laminate or solid surface counters to Granite, Marble, or Quartz.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cutting on Granite

Many clients ask me if it is okay to cut on granite. Granite is very hard, and will not scratch when using it to cut on. However, it will dull your knives. I have a drawer full of dull knives from being a little lazy and not getting out the cutting board, but my granite looks fantastic! In fact, the fabricators use razor blades to clean off the excess glue and debris on the stone from fabrication.
Marble, however, does scratch. Not only does marble scratch, but it will etch if bowls or cups are left on the surface for an extended period of time. I love the look of marble, but I would not put it in my kitchen because the upkeep is much more difficult with marble.
Quartz is also fine to cut on, and will have the same effect the granite has, which is to dull your knives, but not scratch the surface :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Outdoor Kitchens

This is a spectacular outdoor kitchen that we just finished in Hurricane, Utah! This kitchen was done in 2cm Red Dragon with a 4cm chiseled edge. We custom built the kitchen to encircle the metal posts that hold the ceiling structure in place. Two highbars allow for friends and family to eat right where you are cooking and enjoy the atmosphere. This is a covered area, completely outdoor. The customer has added a spectacular outdoor theater close to the barbecue area. Also, a full bathroom is available in a room right off the covered barbecue area. The bath is adorned in travertine tiles floor to ceiling, with granite countertops. This outdoor kitchen area is made with the ease of entertaining many guests in a comfortable outdoor setting.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Choosing the Right Color!?

How to choose the right color is so important when remodeling kitchens and baths. With hundreds of colors to choose from, this can be a very stressful and daunting task! I want to share a few ways that I help my customers choose the color that is right for them. For this blogs sake, we will focus on the color of kitchen countertop.

First, look at your area and envision the shade: light, dark, or medium. This is a good first step. If you have light counters and want a dramatic change, you may want to switch to dark. If the room is small and not many windows, you may want to brighten the area with light cabinets. Look at the lighting, consider adding under-cabinet lighting if you do not have it. All these items can help you decide if a light or dark shade will look best in your kitchen.

Next, take a cabinet door with you shopping! And, if possible, also grab a piece of your flooring if you have an extra. When you are at the granite store and looking at all the slabs, it is very difficult to picture this in your home. It is extremely helpful to bring a piece of your kitchen with you and see how it looks with the stone. If you want to bring a paint sample you could .... but I don't find matching the paint as important. My reason is that paint is cheaper, and most people change the paint color several times before replacing the counter, cabinets, or floor. Therefore, paint can be changed simply and easily, and it is more important that you get the granite you want and if needed, change the paint color to enhance the stone!

Now that you are looking at colors that you like, you may consider price between your 3 favorite colors. Price is important, but realize that you could potentially have this stone in your home for the life of the home. A common question that I ask when it comes to price, is what is this home for. If it is a vacation home, or a home that you are preparing to sell, I have some fabulous basic colors that are inexpensive and often increase the value of the home. If it is a vacation home, and money matters, I may recommend a medium priced stone. However, if it is your home that you live in and you do not plan on moving soon, I recommend getting the stone you want, and cut costs elsewhere. Realize, as a granite fabricator, my money is made on the fabrication, and not on the stone, so whether the customer buys an inexpensive stone, or an expensive stone, I make the same amount of money. It is just so important to me that when the product is finished, the customer is happy. If they scrimp on the stone, when they were in love with another color, they almost always regret the decision.

Some last things to consider would be what you want to accent the stone with. For instance, if you love to accent in red, you may want Typhoon Bordeaux, which has light red veining that would be a lot of fun to decorate and bring red accents out!

Typhoon Bordeaux

Exotic Forest

Green Eucalypto

Typhoon Bordeaux


Tan Brown
Also, remember that a very dark stone will show dust and dirt easier than a light stone. But if you love dark stone, don't let this scare you away, as it is very easy to keep your stone clean :)

These are some colors of stone that are in our slab yard today :)