Posts Tagged 'silestone countertops'

Granite, Marble, Quartz or Laminate – Which countertop is right for you?

With our great nation’s holiday now behind us, did you take time to pay special attention to your cooking habits as we suggested in our last blog post? Cooking, at any time and for any occasion, is a necessity that is as simple or as extravagant as you wish to make it.

couple preparing a meal in their newly designed kitchenHaving a well-planned space, enough storage and decent work areas to prepare meals makes any cooking experience more efficient and enjoyable. Your countertops are also an important factor in how you use your kitchen for meal preparation. Do you slice and dice fruits and veggies right on the counter or do you use a cutting board? Using a cutting board will protect your countertop from scratches and stains, especially if your countertop is made from porous materials such as granite, marble or a laminate material that can be damaged from cutting.

Untidy kitchen table

Take extra care to prevent stains and scratches on your countertop

Do you tend to make big splashes when you’re cooking? Something to consider if you like making your own homemade tomato sauce, turkey dinner or roasting a delicious prime rib with an au jus sauce, is the possibility of splatter, drips and spills. This is where having a solid design plan for the specific needs of your future kitchen  will make a world of difference. Like cabinetry and decorative hardware, countertops also come in a wide variety of material, colors and textures, styles and capabilities.

Some of the most beautiful and decorative countertops are granite and marble. Both are natural resources and offer an abundant array of visual aesthetics with their color striations and patterns created by the environment over time. One caveat with these materials, however, is the fact that they are both porous and can absorb elements that will leave a stain on your counter. Be sure to take extra care during your kitchen activities to avoid damaging your countertop.

A great alternative to the natural beauties mentioned above is engineered stone known as quartz. The engineering process includes natural materials and man-made materials. The colors and patterns can be bold and vibrant for a fun and active kitchen, or more neutral for a space that is more traditional in caliber. Quartz countertops are becoming more widely known for durability against heat, stains and scratches. SileStone has just expanded their product line and now offer more vibrant colors and new collections that more closely resemble true granite. Speaking of scratches, solid surfaces, such as products made by Corian can be renewed if they are damaged.

silestone countertop sample tiles

Let our professionals here at Kitchen Views at National Lumber help you decide what type of countertop will work best for your home, your budget and your family!

Silestone Nebula Engineered Stone Countertops and Surfaces

Silestone Nebula Series Countertop

If you’re looking for marble countertops, but don’t have the space in your budget, you can always turn to the new Nebula series surfaces from Silestone. While nothing will ever quite be the real thing, Silestone’s veined engineered stone comes close, but even more importantly, gives you a marble-like look without the bother of staining or chipping. With prices starting from about $65 per square foot (somewhat more if you include the integrated sink), it’s very affordable and worth checking out.

There are six available colors: Altair, Cygnus, Lyra, Doradus, Merope, and Lagoon. All colors are available in either leather and polished finish. Check out the Silestone Nebula Series webpage for information about colors and more:.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

What Countertop Materials Are Best For You?

Lisa Zompa, Kitchen Views at National, Warwick, RI

Lisa Zompa, Kitchen Views at National, Warwick, RI

With 8 years of experience in kitchen and bathroom design, and an interior design degree, Lisa joined Kitchen Views in early 2010 to serve the Rhode Island area. Lisa is currently working out of the new Warwick, Rhode Island showroom, which opened in May 2010.

What Are Your Choices in Countertop Material?

IceStone Countertop at Kitchen Views Showroom, Newton, MA

IceStone Countertop at Kitchen Views Showroom

Today, there are so many types of finishes to choose from, when determining what to put into your project.  Laminates are a great inexpensive way to update any area as they have come a long way from the boomerang patterns of the past.  They have come up with patterns to mimic metals, granite, and marble.

You can purchase pre-made countertops and install them yourself; or you can purchase sheets from a variety of sizes and have custom tops made on-site, or use it as a backsplash.

Solid surface countertops are another option to consider.  It is a soft material that is easy to clean, and appears to have no seams.  You have the option to have a stainless steel under-mount sink; or a seamless integrated sink.  Typically, the purchase of this type of material will include having a company to come to your house, make a template of the area, then come back and install it.  There are a variety of manufacturers to choose from including DuPont Corian, Wilsonart, Formica, and LG Viatera, just to name a few.

Quartz is becoming the popular man on campus.  It is a man-made material consisting mostly of quartz, and epoxy.  It is similar to granite in that it is a hard material, cool to the touch, heat resistant, and comes in slabs.  It is superior to granite in that it is 4 times stronger than granite, easier to maintain, and colors are more consistent from slab to slab.  Colors are offered in a range from solids to mimicking granite and marble. Some brands in this category include glass in the mix to give a reflective value to the countertop.  Brand names include, but are not limited to:  CaesarStone®, Cambria, Silestone®, and Zodiaq® from DuPont.  Pricing will vary and include having the fabricator to come to your home, take a template, and install it.  Material warranty will vary by product.

Granite and marble are natural products.  Granite in the past used to be expensive, but has drastically come down in price.  Granite comes in light to dark colors and can come in wild and exotic patterns.  The beauty of granite is the natural pattern flow in the product.  Some have described as “works of art.”  Granite and marble are mined both locally and all over the world.  A simple sealant is required to be applied to the tops every 6-12 months, while some brands will include a sealant impregnated into the stone to help repel stains.  Fabricators will purchase large amounts of popular colors to keep the price down and pass those savings along to the end consumer, while exotic patterns will be more expensive.  Pricing will include the fabricator to come to your home, take a template, and install it.

Concrete is popular for outdoor kitchens in general, and inside the home in the South West and Western part of the United States.  Concrete is custom-made for your project.  You can choose the colors, and even add metals and other materials into the top to create different patterns and visual flow.  Pricing will vary and will include the installation.

If you want a more sustainable and green product, then recycled glass may be for you.  Recycled glass is mixed with cement and other additives to create the perfect countertop.  Manufacturers take recycled glass from beer bottles, sea glass, and even traffic lights to name just a few examples.  Depending on the manufacturer, you can get points towards your LEED certification.  Some brand names include IceStone, Vetrazzo, and EnviroGlas.  Pricing is in the high range and will include template, and installation.

Wood tops are a great way to add warmth into any kitchen project.  Typically customers will put them on islands for an accent.  Butcher block is great for cutting, while smoother surfaces offer a table-grade beauty.  Familiar wood tops would include maple or oak butcher block, but there is so much more out there.  You can now get wood species like: Cherry, Beech, Black Walnut, Canary Wood, Hickory, Iroko, Padauk, Purple Heart, Sapele, Teak, Wenge, and Zebrawood.  Pricing will vary, as you can purchase straight stock of Maple and Oak butcher block and install it yourself; or have custom tops made. If you want a “green” certified wood, Bamboo, Lyptus, and reclaimed woods are available.  As you can see, there is something for every project.

Lisa Zompa
Kitchen Views at National
3356 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: 401.921.0400
lzompa@kitchenviews.com

With so many beautiful choices, Kitchen Views designers will help you select the product that works best for your particular requirements. You can find more information on the benefits and limitations of various countertop materials in the Kitchen Views Design Guide (PDF).


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