Tag Archive for: granite

Quartz vs. Granite Countertops: Which One is Right for You?

Quartz vs. Granite Countertops – Choosing the right countertops for your home can be a challenging decision. With so many options available, it’s hard to know which one is the best fit for your needs. Two of the most popular choices are quartz and granite countertops. In this article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of both materials to help you decide which one is right for you.

PROS and CONS:

  1. Silver Lennon from Arizona Tile. quartz vs. granite countertopsDurability: Both quartz and granite are extremely durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. However, granite is more prone to chipping or cracking than quartz.
  2. Maintenance: Quartz is a non-porous material, which means it doesn’t require sealing like granite does. Quartz is also easier to clean and maintain than granite, which can stain or etch if not properly cared for.
  3. Appearance: Granite has a natural, unique look that can add character to your home. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Quartz, on the other hand, is a man-made material that can mimic the look of natural stone but offers more uniformity in appearance.
  4. Cost: Granite and quartz are similar in price, with granite being slightly more expensive. However, the cost can vary depending on the specific type of stone you choose.
  5. Installation: Both quartz and granite require professional installation, which can add to the cost. However, quartz is easier to install than granite, as it’s lighter and doesn’t require as much support.

In conclusion, both quartz and granite are excellent choices for countertops, and the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a natural, unique look and are willing to put in a little extra maintenance, granite might be the way to go. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, uniform appearance, quartz is the better option. Consider your lifestyle, budget, and design preferences to determine which material is right for you.

For more information about quartz countertops, click here.

For more information about granite countertops, click here.

If you have additional questions or would like to receive an estimate, call or text Valerie at 714-528-3789

 

For additional information about quartz vs. granite countertops, click here.

Common Problems with Granite Countertops and How to Prevent Them

  • Staining can occur if granite is not properly sealed

  • Cracking and chipping can occur if granite is handled carelessly

  • Etching can occur if acidic substances come into contact with granite

Silver Lennon from Arizona TileGranite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, like any natural stone, granite can be prone to certain problems. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common potential problems with granite countertops, as well as what you can do to prevent or address them.

One of the most common issues with granite countertops is staining. Granite is a porous material, which means that it can absorb liquids if not properly sealed. To prevent staining, it’s important to seal your granite countertops on a regular basis, and to wipe up any spills or stains as soon as they happen. Another way to prevent staining is to use coasters or place mats under any items that may leave a residue, such as wine glasses or vases.

Another issue that can occur with granite countertops is cracking or chipping. Granite is a strong and durable material, but it can still be damaged if something heavy is dropped on it or if it is exposed to sudden temperature changes. To prevent this, it’s important to handle your granite countertops with care, and to avoid placing hot items directly on the surface.

A third common issue that can occur with granite countertops is etching. Etching is when the surface of the granite becomes dull or discolored due to acidic substances coming into contact with it. To prevent etching, it’s important to avoid using acidic cleaners on your granite countertops, and to wipe up any acidic spills as soon as they happen.

In conclusion, granite countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any home, but it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that can occur. By properly sealing, handling, and cleaning your granite countertops, you can help prevent staining, cracking, chipping, and etching.

For more information about granite countertops, click here.

Dekton Porcelain Countertop - Color: Curo

Are Porcelain Countertops Cheaper Than Granite?

Dekton Porcelain Countertop - Color: Curo

Dekton Porcelain Countertop – Color: Curo

Are porcelain countertops cheaper than granite? This is a question that many homeowners are asking these days. The answer, however, is no – porcelain countertops are not cheaper than granite.

So why would someone choose to install porcelain countertops in their home instead of granite? There are a few reasons: durability, aesthetics, and price. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Durability

Porcelain is an extraordinarily strong and durable material. It is resistant to scratches, staining, and heat. This makes it an ideal choice for areas that see a lot of use, such as kitchens, BBQ Islands, and bathrooms.

Granite on the other hand is scratch and stain resistant but is NOT resistant to staining. Granite countertops require a sealer to help protect from staining and water absorption.

Aesthetics

Porcelain countertops come in a wide variety of colors and styles. This gives homeowners the ability to create the perfect look for their home. Granite tends to come in medium to dark colors and lack the veining that is so populate today.

Price

The cost of porcelain countertops is higher since they take longer to make and install. During the fabrication process, porcelain is a difficult material to work with. To guarantee beautiful edges, tight seams, and precise fit and finish, special methods must be employed.

Granite costs have decreased in recent years since they are no longer as popular, resulting in a cheaper slab.

While porcelain is not cheaper than granite, they can be more desirable because of the more popular designs and colors. Also, porcelain countertops do not ever need a sealer keeping them looking beautiful for years to come.

Conclusion

So, there you have it – porcelain countertops are not cheaper than granite. But they may be the right choice for you, depending on your needs and preferences. Talk to a countertop specialist today to learn more about porcelain and whether they are right for your home.

 

For more information about your next countertop project, contact Valerie at Olive Mill.
Call or text (714) 528-3789 | valerie.olivemill@gmail.com | Contractor’s License #823217

Granite Countertops – Can They Burn?

Besides its stunning, long-lasting beauty, one of the top advantages of granite countertops is their durability. In fact, granite is one of the hardest materials on Earth. Natural stone is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. One of the most frequent questions homeowners ask is: Can granite countertops burn? Granite Countertop – Can they burn?

The simple answer is no, granite as a natural porous stone will not burn. Because it began as a liquid magma deep within the Earth, and over millions of years is cooled and compressed, it has a natural resistance to heat damage.

Unlike other natural or synthetic products that require trivets to avoid marring their surface from hot pots and pans, heat does not damage these counters. Pots and pans heated to nine hundred degrees will not scorch their lustrous finish, and even a direct flame applied to its surface will not leave burnt or scarred marks.

However, the long answer is that, while it is safe to briefly set hot cookware directly on top of your countertops, there are considerations that may make use of a trivet or hot pad wise.

Epoxy Resin Sealants

If your slab has been treated with epoxy resin sealants, the epoxy may soften with exposure to high temperatures. However, according to Stone World, small cracks and fractures will not be affected, and any visible patches of epoxy glue will soon revert to their original state once the surface temperature cools.

Surface Sealers

If you have applied a topical sealer to your counters, check the product label for any warnings about interactions with heat and damage to the finish. Some sealants, especially those with a wax base, may burn and become difficult to remove.

Burns

Granite, especially darker varieties, retains heat. Placing a flame-hot pan directly onto a counter will heat the surface. If someone touches this spot immediately after the pan is moved, there is a risk of injury from burns. Because the stone’s color does not change when extremely hot, there is no warning that the surface could be potentially dangerous.

Staining

Placing a hot pan directly onto an improperly sealed countertop can result in oily stains if the bottom surface of the pan is dirty. While the pan may look clean to the naked eye, metals in the pan may react with the burner, causing a residue that may stain.

Thermal Shock

While a granite countertop will withstand hot cookware, it is smart to allow pots and pans to cool before placing them on the surface. When heat is applied to a cold surface, the rapid shift in molecules can cause cracks, and over time may compromise your counter’s integrity.

Always check with your fabricator to avoid damaging the granite. To be on the safe side, consider using trivets and hot pads to absorb heat, prevent stains and protect your investment.

Granite Countertops: What Are Resin-Impregnated Slabs?

Resin Impregnated Granite Countertops Slabs

  • When it comes to residential countertops, granite slabs are often a popular choice.
  • Many homeowners may not be aware, though, that there is an alternative to traditional granite slabs: resin-impregnated slabs.
  • Here’s what you need to know about them.

Granite’s beauty stems from its individuality, but granite’s character and appeal extend well beyond aesthetics. With so many various kinds of granite available these days, the most frequent homeowner interest is performance: how well does it resist stains, scratches, and etching?

However, when it comes to purchasing any type of granite for your house remodel, you must know what epoxy resin treatment is and how it affects durability and performance.

Granite is available in a range of colors, forms, and textures. Unfortunately, many slabs have natural imperfections such as fractures, pitting, and superficial surface holes. While polyester resins have been used to fill and strengthen travertine and other varieties of marble for over 50 years, epoxy resin is a more recent technique.

Another reason epoxy resin is used for granite improvement and repair, according to Stone World, is that it can be utilized to repair cracks in the stone. In addition to the option of saving as many slabs as possible, there are additional benefits to using epoxy resin for granite restoration and improvement, including:

  • Natural micro-fissures in many kinds of granites reduce the beauty of the material by compromising the final polished effect.
  • Fissures (cracks) passing through the granite slabs decrease the slab strength, and pose a hazard under some applications, such as outside paneling.

What are the benefits?

Epoxy resin is a powerful adhesive that can be used to fill minute cracks and pitting on granite. The high bonding strength repairs structural faults, resulting in a solid stone with a long-lasting finish. This extremely strong and highly elastic adhesive flexes to the thermal strain of the stone, allowing it to endure a wide range of temperatures indoors and outdoors

Safety and durability

One concern many homeowners have is epoxy resin treated granite’s durability and safety as a material for kitchen countertops – will the finish sustain damage if a homeowner places hot items on the surface? Because granite treated with epoxy resin must comply with the latest FDA rules for food contact, the material is safe for kitchen use.

While epoxy tends to soften in the presence of high temperatures, small fractures are not affected by heat application, and visible epoxy glue will return to its original state when normal temperatures resume.

This recent epoxy resin bonding technology improves the qualities of natural granite, ensuring that beautiful stone is now available on a larger scale at an affordable cost, and virtually free of defects.

Magnifica Porcelain Countertop

Most Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

Bianco Venatino Quartzite from Arizona Tile

Bianco Venatino Quartzite from Arizona Tile

 

There are many types of countertops on the market for kitchens. The most common types are quartz, porcelain, quartzite, solid surface, granite, and marble. They all have their own pros and cons. For example, some materials are scratch resistant, while others can be scratched or marred easily. And some materials are more expensive than others.

Here are the most popular kitchen countertops materials.

Quartz

Quartz is a manufactured stone that contains as much as 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals, molded into slabs, and bound with resins, making it a type of engineered stone. These aren’t real quartz slabs quarried from the earth.

Quartz was designed as a more adaptable and better-performing substitute to granite and marble by firms such as DuPont and Cosentino. It is available in a wider range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratching and staining. Some types are convincing imitations of natural marble with comparable veining. Engineered quartz does not require annual sealing, unlike natural stone.

Porcelain

Porcelain is a type of ceramic with properties such as hardness, longevity, heat resistance, and color fastness. While porcelain may be used for kitchen countertops, there are certain drawbacks. There isn’t much depth in surface designs, so if a porcelain countertop is scratched, the pattern will be disrupted/damaged, and the fact that it only runs surface deep will be revealed. When compared to other more substantial-appearing materials like granite, marble, or quartz, porcelain counters are usually very thin.

Porcelain is scratch-resistant and has a long-life span. It is also resistant to heat and stains. Counters made of porcelain are available in assorted colors and designs. They’re also simple to maintain and keep clean.

Quartzite

Quartzite is metamorphic rock. It develops naturally when sandstone or chert with a high quartz content is subjected to tremendous heat and pressure. Quartzite, which usually has a quartz content of more than 90%, can reach 99%. It is heat and scratch resistant but is susceptible to staining.

Quartzite has a glassy sheen and, in some cases, resembles marble. Quartzite is one of the most popular countertop materials for its beautiful look.

Solid Surface

Solid-surface material, also known as Corian, Staron, HI-MACS and Avonite, is a man-made product consisting of a blend of acrylic particles and resins pressed into sheets and other forms. Solid surface countertops and sinks have been around for almost 50 years, but when they were first introduced, they were space-age alternatives to natural stone, which they sought to imitate.

Solid-surface material is stain scratch resistant. Keep heat away from solid surface as not to damage the surface. The main advantage is the ability to repair and refinish, along with a seamless appearance.

Granite

Granite has long been the go-to countertop material when there were no financial concerns to consider. Granites are elegant in a kitchen. When granite worktops are utilized, even tiny kitchens seem like luxury apartments.

Granite has long been an expensive material, although its expense has dropped as supplies have grown and engineered stone has become more common.

The material is resistant to heat and scratches. Granite surfaces require special attention because they are susceptible to staining.

Marble

Marble is a popular stone for kitchen countertops. Because no two pieces of marble are identical, each marble countertop is one-of-a-kind.

Marble has the advantage of looking beautiful and being exceptionally durable, but it may stain and scratch easily. Marble’s sensitivity to stains and scratches makes it a less desirable material for kitchens than granite or soapstone.

Quartz, Porcelain and Granite Countertops Seams – Top 10 Tips

Quartz Seam

Poor Seam Quality

Many homeowners are interested in quartz, porcelain, and granite countertops for their homes. Both types of countertops offer a durable, elegant finish that can last for many years with proper care.

However, one thing to consider when choosing between these two materials is the seams. Seams are where the countertop material is joined together, and they can be more visible on certain types of stone than others.

Here are our top tips for making your quartz or granite countertop seams as inconspicuous as possible.

  1. Realistic Expectations – Have realistic expectations of the material. Although a good seam should be inconspicuous, do not expect it to be invisible. A seam in granite and quartz countertops will always be something that you can both see and feel. (Seam quality in picture to right is unacceptable.)
  2. Color and Pattern – The color and pattern selected can make a difference in the appearance of the seam. Light colors (white, beige, light grays) with a solid or small pattern will have more conspicuous seams than a material with multiple colors and patterns.
  3. See a Sample – Be sure your fabricator shows you a sample of their seam quality. A fabricator should either have a showroom that you can go to and view a seam, or they should provide a list of past clients willing to let you come to their home and see the quality of work installed.
  4. Seam Location – There is some controversy about whether a seam should be put in the middle of a sink or cooktop cut out. Some fabricators feel the seam is more vulnerable to breakage in those areas. However, if you prefer to have a seam in one or both locations, ask your fabricator if the material can handle such a small seam.
  5. Seam Layout – Seam layouts should be done before cutting material. Your fabricator should know the length and width of your material and should determine the exact position prior to cutting. If you prefer, discuss the seam location when the fabricator is making the pattern (template) for your countertop. Be sure to be present while they are doing final field measurements, so you can discuss seam location.
  6. Epoxy Seams – Countertop deck seams should be bonded with an epoxy similar in color(s) to the granite / quartz material. Deck seams should not be bonded with silicone.
  7. “Industry Standards” – This is a fancy term used to say the seam is “Good Enough”. Industry standards recommend deck seams can be up to 1/16” wide with a +/- tolerance of 1/64”. Veteran fabricators work to achieve a much tighter fit.
  8. granite seam lippage

    Quartz Seam Lippage

    Lippage – A good seam should be level. Many times, fabricators encounter un-level cabinets, varied slab thickness, and bowed or warped material. This requires the fabricator to shim the countertops or modify the material to get a quality seam. Even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable and sometimes unavoidable due to permanent warp in the material.

  9. Final Positioning – When your fabricator installs your countertops, it’s not typical to have the seam fit perfectly the first time. Most fabricators will layout the tops and do a “dry fit” the first time, and then take the tops out of the house to make slight modifications. This may need to be done multiple times to achieve a great fit. This is normal, and you should not be alarmed.
  10. See It Yourself – Be sure to be present on the day your fabricator installs the countertops. If you have any concerns about the appearance of the seam, it can be addressed immediately before countertops have been permanently set in place.

Quartz, porcelain and granite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners. When selecting a countertop, it is important to consider the seams. These are our top 10 tips to help you choose the best quartz or granite countertop for your home.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or text today. Our team would be happy to help you find the perfect countertop for your home.

Water Absorption Test

Is Granite Porous

Lemon Test – The lemon test is to determine the ability of your granite to resist etching. Follow the steps below:

  • Place a wedge of lemon or lime, cut side down, on the sample overnight.
  • Wipe the sample in the morning and hold it at an angle to the light.
  • Check for a rough spot where the lemon was placed.
  • Etching will appear dull and rough.

Etches normally occur where calcium or calcite is present in the make-up of the stone. If your sample reacts to the lemon wedge, we DO NOT recommend this for your kitchen.

Water Absorption Test – Test the suitability of your granite to resist water absorption. The tighter the grain the less absorption.

Follow these steps:

  • Place a few small drops of water on the sample.
  • Let stand for about 15 minutes.
  • Wipe excess water.

If the granite sample absorbed the water as soon as you put it on, DO NOT use this granite. A quality sealer would help prevent some absorption but would require constant maintenance.

If there is still a bit of water left on the surface, it will be suitable for your kitchen. We recommend a sealer for all granite.