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Italian Marble and Granite

Call Us: 716-741-1800

Antiqued Granite Countertops

Antiqued Granite Countertops

There are many different natural stone finishes to use on your countertops.  They range from leathered (antiqued), honed, polished, and many more.  These finishes do not necessarily jeopardize the integrity of the granite countertops.  However, additional coats of sealer may need to be applied.  When a stone is leathered it creates a textured finish, which varies depending on the quartz structure of the stone.  Meaning that two different granites can have a leathered finish but one may have more texture than the other.

It is important to try and think of what “look” you are trying to achieve.  Some customers prefer the leathered finish when they are trying to achieve a more rustic or old feel in their kitchen.  Polished granite countertops and leathered granite countertops can bring two different looks.  The picture above shows a leathered granite countertop out of African Tapestry.  The granite countertop below is the same stone, but with a polished finish.  Both granites bring something different to the kitchen.  It is important to see that leathering the stone lightens it as well.

Antiqued Granite Countertops

Countertop Edges-What is the best fit?

Picking your countertop edge can be a little overwhelming for some people, especially when taking specific stones into account.  When our customers are looking for edges we take three main factors into account.

  1. The most important factor to take into account is the type of stone.  A quartz countertop (engineered countertop) can have any type of edge, expect for a rockface finish.  A rockface edge is rough and have a chiseled look.  Many quartz companies will not warranty the stone if this edge is used.  As for the marbles and granites, different characteristics of the stone need to be taken into account.  Some granites and marbles and more susceptible to chipping so an ogee edge, or an edge with a sharp point may not be recommended.  If the granite or marble has a “sugar” charactertistic to it, a rockface will not be recommend as well.  The potential for the countertop to break during fabrication is higher.
  2. The feel of the room/design.  Some edges look more modern, where others have a classic look to them.  A bevel edge can almost have a more modern look to it.  Where the ogee or ogee stepback has a formal look, like a furniture piece.
  3. Lastly the budget is taken into account.  In our company we have four standard edges.  Built-up edges, ogees, and bullnoses are additional money due to the increased amount of labor.

So when picking your edge, make sure your fabricator or sales person helps with the process.  Make sure they go over the characteristics of the stone and you understand what edges are best for the stone.  They can also help you understand which may fit the room in your house.

Built up ogess step back edge on countertop

Built up ogee step back edge on countertop

Antiqued Granite Countertops

Preserving your Countertops During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again!  Everyone is coming over and surrounding your beautiful marble, granite, or quartz countertops.  Food and different beverages will be passed around, but how safe is your countertop.

If you have a marble, you are probably aware of the different factors that can hurt your counter.  Different foods and beverages can stain or etch your stone.  In regards to the granite, it is still a natural product.  Staining is not as much of problem as it is for marble.  However, it is not recommend to let spilled red wine sit there for awhile.  If you have overhang on your island or peninsula make sure no one is standing or sitting on it.  There is not as much support at the overhangs and the countertops can break.

So what can you do to help prevent damage to your countertops?

  1. Check to see if your countertops need to be sealed.  (QUARTZ DOES NOT NEED TO BE SEALED)  It is a common misconception that granite needs to be sealed every couple months.  We use high quality sealers that can last up to ten years, especially on granite.  Take some water and put it on your counter.  After a couple minutes if the water starts to bead then you do not need to  reseal your granite or marble.  If the water in being absorbed into the stone, then it needs to be sealed.  If your counter needs to be sealed call your local granite fabricator.  They have high quality sealers that are easy to apply.
  2. Make sure you have your guests use coasters, especially on the marble.  The last thing you want are marks from everyone’s red wine or food.
  3. Do not allow anyone to sit or stand on the countertops.
  4. If you are using quartz make sure you are not putting hot pans directly on the surface, you run the risk of melting or damaging your counter tops.
  5. Sometime stains happen.  If they do, call your fabricator as soon as possible.  There are different products they can use to try and remove the stain.

We hope this helps during this busy time of year.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!IMG_1388

Kitchen Trend Watch

They just won’t go away! White kitchens continue to be a very popular trend in the industry. There are tons of stones that go great with white kitchens. There are light colored granite stones, marble of course, plenty of quartzites, and many different quartz (man-made) stones that look stunning in white kitchens. Check out this great post from HGTV for some inspiration!

White Kitchens from HGTV

Antiqued Granite Countertops

Porcelain Countertops from Ciot

We recently hosted an event in which we brought in some new materials from one of our suppliers in Toronto. One of the main features of the event were the slabs of porcelain from Ciot.

Many people are unfamiliar with this man-made stone as a countertop surface, but porcelain is actually a great choice for vanities, shower walls, and even kitchen countertops.  Porcelain ciot

The slabs come in a reduced thickness (6 mm) and are fully polished. Porcelain is heat resistant since the countertops are made while going through temperatures upwards of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to countertopguides.com. These countertops also resist scratches, chipping, cracks, and every day wear and tear.

In conclusion, if you love the look of marble but are wary of the downsides marble possesses (being a softer stone) then porcelain would be a great alternative for your project.

(Photo from www.ciot.com)