Kitchens are often the focus of a home remodel, and the materials with which to update your kitchen have expanded. Granite used to be at the forefront, but quartz is a strong contender now. There are seven things you should know about quartz countertops when the time comes to upgrade or remodel your kitchen.
- Engineered Stone
To start with, what are quartz counters made from? Many people assume it is a natural substance, as the name suggests. In fact, many people also have difficulty distinguishing between granite and quartz due to the visual similarity between the two materials. However, it is actually an engineered composite made specifically for the decorative-stone industry. Essentially, it is a combination of crushed quartz and polymer resin.
There is between 90-94% of quartz in this composite, while the resin acts as a binding agent that holds everything together. It also seals any gaps in order to create a more durable product. The end result is a hybrid between synthetic products and natural ones.
If you are trying to decide what material to choose for your kitchen counters, consider a quartz kitchen countertop. For starters, it is one of the most durable materials on the market due to the unique structure of it. That durability doesn’t mean you lose any aesthetic appeal, either. Instead, what you end up with is a beautiful piece of flawless engineered stone that holds up under intense situations.
- Heavy Resistance
The kitchen is an area that goes through a lot. It has food, cooking instruments, pots and pans, and even machinery that helps prepare your meals. To get the most out of your kitchen countertops, quartz may be the best option, as it has heavy resistance to:
- Heat: Many surfaces bubble and warp when in contact with heat. However, quartz is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 399 degrees Fahrenheit without bending or warping. Even if the quartz becomes burned, the surface can be sanded down to remove the scorch marks. Other countertops would need to be replaced entirely.
- Impact: Due to the engineered quality of the material and the resin that binds it together, quartz is heavily resistant to impacts. The resin acts a shock absorber that takes the impact and distributes it evenly before the stone can crack. It’s similar to Kevlar. While it is not a natural stone, quartz can withstand heavy impact without cracking, unlike other materials.
- Scratching: Countertops made of natural stone can be chipped and scratched easily. Quartz is different thanks to the polymer resin mixed in with the crushed stone. This makes it resistant to scratches. In fact, knives will actually be blunted before any true damage is caused to the quartz.
- Low Maintenance
Do you want a kitchen countertop that is relatively low maintenance? Then quartz is a good option. Materials like granite need to be sealed at installation and resealed on a regular basis. However, a quartz kitchen countertop doesn’t require as much upkeep, lending to the assumption that it is nearly maintenance-free.
As an added bonus, it’s easy to clean and keep clean. That means you can be absolutely sure that you are removing the harmful germs that usually cling to other surfaces. There are also not as many rules regarding the type of cleanser you can use on it. Instead, you can use the following to clean these countertops:
- Mild soap and water
- Glass or surface cleanser
- Degreaser for tough cooking-grease residue
- Nonabrasive surface cleaners
As with any countertop, regular cleaning can go a long way in keeping surfaces looking and feeling nice. While a quartz kitchen countertop is less susceptible to stains than a granite countertop, it should still be cleaned on a regular basis to remove spills and germs.
A common problem with popular natural stone countertops is that they are porous. This means there are tiny pores in which particles, liquids and germs can sink into, thereby causing stains and pigmentation. In essence, the natural stone degrades over time. Quartz doesn’t have that issue.
Instead, the polymer resin that binds the crushed quartz together also functions to fill in any microscopic gaps. This leads to less bacteria sinking into the surface and prevents stains from appearing. Spills are easy to clean up without worrying that the material has somehow suffered damage.
- High Price Tag
As with most products of high quality, quartz comes at a higher price than alternative options. Certainly, quartz countertops have become increasingly popular lately and are neck-and-neck with granite counters.
In general, solid surface counters are about 54 percent less expensive than quartz, as are laminate options that are priced about 270 percent cheaper than quartz counters. When compared to granite, it really depends on the size, color and type. However, granite is still slightly more expensive, but not by much. By square foot, quartz can range from $80 to $140, while granite begins at $80 and goes up to $175.
- Best for Indoors
Although quartz is a great option for indoor countertops, such as in your kitchen, you might want to rethink adding it to your outdoor space. Quartz is ultra-durable in your kitchen, but the elements of the outdoors can wear down the material and degrade the surface. This is due to a combination of sun, wind, rain and fresh air that react unfavorably with the crushed quartz and polymer resin.
Prolonged exposure to these elements can have a degenerative effect on the surface and cause warping and cracks. While it is a beautiful material for counters, there are other materials better suited to an outdoor environment, such as concrete or stainless steel.
This article was originally posted here.
There are few things more daunting to a homeowner than a kitchen remodeling projects. After all, there’s much to consider and many decisions to make. We’ve put together this kitchen remodeling guide to help assist you in planning your kitchen remodel, making key decisions, and finding the right materials and installation team for the right price.
Start by making a plan
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- How well does your kitchen function now?
- How do you use your kitchen?
- How much storage do you need?
- What kitchen style works for you?
- What’s your budget?
Write down the answers on a piece of paper. You might find this helps clarify what you’re looking for going into a full kitchen remodel. Of course, you may have some difficultly with the fifth item. After all, how should you budget for such a project?
Put together your budget
How much should you spend? Well, that’s really up to the size and scope of the work involved. If you’re working on a small remodel with just a few upgrades, you might have the cash-on-hand to complete the project. However, if your project is far more ambitious, a small home-improvement loan from the bank might be in order.
Using the answers you wrote down above, consider what your “line” is. This line is how much you can afford to spend. You don’t want to exceed this, so you’ll want to stick to it as much as possible, and work backwards from there.
Do your research
Now that you’ve determined your budget, it’s time to dive into some research to know just how much you need to budget for this kind of project.
Here’s some things to ask about:
- Return Policies
While you’re at it, you should also look at, or ask, how durable the products are. One cabinet or countertop might be slightly cheaper, but if it is less durable, you may end up spending more money down the road to repair or replace it.
Again, this depends on your needs. If you’re a property manager, some wear-and-tear on countertops and cabinets may be expected and therefore acceptable if it means you’re getting the expected return-on-investment out of the project. Homeowners, on the other hand, are less concerned with ROI and more concerned with things that last.
Your guide to cabinets
Cabinets are the center point of focus for your new kitchen. There are many different styles, colors, and options for your kitchen cabinets. It’s important to have done your research and know what your tastes are.
Consider your space when picking cabinets. Dark cabinets will make a small space feel smaller. Conversely, too much white in your space may make your kitchen feel sterile. Some color contrast can be appealing, but make sure your cabinets, flooring, backsplash, and countertops will complement each other.
Selecting cabinets for your space
Consider your space and what you can do with it.
- How many cabinets will you need?
- Do you plan to keep the same floorplan?
- Do you need a new floorplan?
- Do you need both upper and lower cabinets?
If you have some ideas on the answers to these questions in advance, that’s great for our team to know. If not, no worries: when we meet for your free in-home estimate, we can help you figure things out.
Once these issues have been resolved, it’s time to move onto some questions regarding aesthetics:
- Quaker style vs. Modern
- Wood vs Veneer
- Glass doors or solid panels
- Color vs stain
- Finished vs unfinished
Having old cabinets removed
If you are replacing your cabinets with new ones, you’ll need to remove the old cabinets. This is a big project and will create a lot of mess. Here’s some things to consider if you’re removing your own cabinets:
- Start with wearing the appropriate safety gear.
- You may want to rent a roll-off dumpster for the project. Factor that cost into your overall budget.
- Cabinets are generally screwed into the wall, the floor, the countertop, and to each other. You’ll need to locate all the screws and remove them before attempting to remove the cabinet. This will prevent damage to your floors and walls.
- You may be able to preserve the cabinets enough to donate them as well.
Having new cabinets installed
For your new cabinets, you’re probably going to want a pro to help you. Have one of our installers install your new kitchen cabinets.
Choosing cabinet hardware
After installing new cabinets, you may be in the market for new hardware. When picking new hardware it’s important to consider the colors or your kitchen, your whole home, and the style of your cabinets.
Traditional cabinets may not look as appealing with modern hardware and vice versa. Also, keep in mind that a kitchen with chrome finishes will clash with brass hardware on the cabinets.
Likewise, a home with outdated or gold-colored door hardware may clash with a chrome kitchen. If you’re investing in a new style, you should consider updating the rest of your home (especially adjoining rooms!) to match your new kitchen.
Everything to know about countertops
Selecting your new countertops
As with new cabinets, don’t lose focus on the size of your kitchen—or your budget—when choosing countertops. An already-small kitchen may feel even tighter and more restraining with dark countertops installed. More kitchen, more problems, too: if you have a lot of counter space, it’s going to take up more of your kitchen remodeling budget.
Consider your family’s lifestyle and needs when choosing a countertop style. Certain countertops are stain-resistant, while others stain easily. Likewise, some countertops are more hygienic compared to others.
Let’s be honest: flooring is an afterthought for some kitchen remodeling projects. For some, it’s essential. For others, they want to keep their current tile, or have already replaced the flooring. If you’re in the former camp, choosing flooring can be a challenge, no matter which category your project falls into.
The first step is deciding which flooring will work best for your space and your family. Hardwood floors are in style right now, but in families with children or in high-traffic kitchens, the hardwood may be quickly damaged. Also, watch that water-resistance: spilled drinks and water from the sink are big problems in the kitchen.
Who will be using your kitchen?
We know that hardwood floors throughout your home may be your dream, but that may not be very reasonable. Hardwood floors are especially susceptible to water damage, so putting hardwood floors in a kitchen is not the best idea for families with young children.
Families with older children or couples with no children may be better candidates for hardwood flooring in the kitchen. Bear in mind, water damage can happen to anyone.
High traffic kitchens may also be poor candidates for hardwood flooring. Families that spend a lot of time in their kitchen may want to consider a more durable choice.
Selecting the right flooring for your kitchen
After considering your family and your habits, it’s time to choose the right flooring. If hardwood flooring still sounds like an unbeatable option, you may consider a high-traffic and waterproof laminate alternative.
Moulding and trim
Depending on the age of your home, moulding, trim, and millwork may be things to think about. Moulding and trim add a finishing style that makes your home look more elegant and polished. Consider purchasing moulding or trim to make your kitchen feel finished.
Of course, this greatly depends on the style and age of your kitchen. Many of the homes here in Phoenix have simplified moulding and trim; you may not need a lot of work or investment in this area unless you own a historic home. (Even then, be sure to check with local ordinances and laws regarding what you can change about the interior of a historic property here in the Valley!)
Lighting can turn a drab and dreary kitchen into something far more exciting and invigorating. Here’s how you can find the perfect lighting for your home and kitchen remodel project:
Picking your light fixtures
When choosing lighting for your home, consider the size and style of your kitchen and your home. Large light fixtures can make a small kitchen feel smaller, while a small light fixture can make a large kitchen seem dark.
Farm-style kitchens work with iron, bronze, and glass light fixtures. In contrast, modern kitchens make good use of combinations of chrome, steel, and glass.
Replacing your light fixtures as part of your remodel
After picking your new light fixtures, it’s time to install them. The first step is removing the old light fixtures. If you’re nervous about this, please don’t hesitate to hire a licensed electrician. However, if you’re forging ahead, ensure that all the electrical for the circuit is turned off. Remove the lightbulbs from the fixture and carefully remove everything.
Anything that requires major rewiring should really be done by a professional electrician, who will have the training and equipment needed to make the changes you’re seeking.
Adding some extras that go a long way
Some projects feel incomplete without the cherry-on-top to tie the kitchen design together. Let’s dive in:
Wallpaper is making a big comeback in home design, and some Valley homes are now returning to the styles popularized in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s. Whether you’re adding or removing wallpaper, make sure that your plans fit in with what you’re doing for the rest of the home.
More modern than wallpaper, backsplashes are now popular in kitchens, where they can add a pop or color or style to a space. In fact, it’s the final decorative item to match your countertops and your cabinets. Of course, it’s not just for the eyes: a backsplash will prevent food and water from damaging your walls.
To choose the right backsplash, again consider the size, style, and color of your kitchen. A plain kitchen may look good with a brighter and more decorative backsplash, while a festive kitchen may become overwhelming with a busy backsplash. Also, a small kitchen may feel smaller with a dark or busy backsplash.
Consider also the style and color of your countertops, flooring, and cabinets. Take samples of your colors and materials when picking your backsplash to see how the colors, styles, and textures will look together.
Keep in mind, tile is not your only option for a backsplash. You may also consider glass, aluminum, or stone.
How to install a backsplash
When you have chosen the perfect backsplash for your new kitchen, it’s time to install the backsplash. Installation may vary based on the material you chose for your backsplash. Aluminum backsplashes may require only some glue and a few screws, while glass, stone, and tile require grout and tile cement.
You’ll need a level, tile spacers, and patience to complete this part of the process. You may also need a tile cutter to complete your backsplash depending on the style of backsplash you chose.
If installing a backsplash seems overwhelming, you may need to do more research or hire a contractor to complete this part of your kitchen remodel. The backsplash may take a few days to complete depending on the style of your kitchen and backsplash you chose.
It’s time to get started
As we mentioned at the start: a kitchen remodel is a big project. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take a pause. It’s time to call in the professionals.
Have you seen a ton of moving trucks around lately? That may be because Superior Stone & Cabinet moved to our new location at 3479 E. University Drive last week. While our team will certainly miss our old warehouse, this new facility is much bigger, has more space for our showroom, and will allow us to carry a far wider selection of the countertops, cabinets, floors, and fixtures you trust Superior to provide.
Room to grow
Even as one of the largest wholesale suppliers of granite, quartz, flooring, and cabinetry in the Phoenix metro, we were beginning to feel a little cramped in our old place. Our new building is twice the size and contains space for a much larger and more detailed showroom. This is important: our customers need showrooms in order to envision how different flooring styles will look in their home, business, or office. Now, with more overall showroom space, you’ll be able to see a wider variety of our products.
New products in the showroom
On the warehouse side, the extra space allows us to carry a larger inventory, including some new products. We’re now showing and installing quartz slab countertops, along with our original quartz countertops. In the near future, we’ll be bringing in granite slab countertops. Our new space allows us to take on more custom projects. One area of emphasis—in addition to our residential countertop, cabinetry, and flooring products—is on commercial and office products and setups. When you stop by our new location, you’ll find an entire section of our store dedicated to flooring and kitchens for modern workplaces.
Same quality, same low prices
We may have upgraded to a new space, but our approach to business has not changed. We still offer great counters, cabinets, floors, and wall tile at wholesale prices—our larger space means we can continue to directly import products in great quantity from the source instead of going through a middleman. Superior Stone and Cabinet remains your one-stop-shop for home and commercial improvement products.
Want to check out what we’ve been up to? Be sure to swing by our new convenient location at 3479 E. University Drive in Phoenix, AZ. We’re right off the I-10, just minutes from downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport, and Arizona State University. Our showroom staff is ready to introduce you to our wide selection of counters, cabinets, and floors.
Tired or your old kitchen, but do not have the budget to remodel it? No problem, there are some kitchen updates which can improve the look of your existing kitchen without straining your budget. Sounds good? It is; you will not be spending much, but your kitchen will look stunning when done.
Instead of remodeling your kitchen completely, you can just change a few things. For instance, you can paint your walls or buy a new countertop, and then leave the rest as it is. There are many companies which also renovate kitchen cabinets in AZ. Should you avail their services, they will manage the task quite well and charge reasonably.
Here is a detailed look at some affordable kitchen improvements.
Wall paint can completely change the look of your kitchen and does not cost a lot of dollars, which makes it a really great choice. You can go for neutral colors or bright, vivid shades. Whichever color you opt for, make sure that your exiting design will complement with it.
A recent trend is to use neutral colors like light browns and light grays and accent them with beautiful shades of blue, green and orange.
Accent shelving is a popular redesigning concept these days. Some of the doors on your existing cabinets are removed, which creates an open shelf. You can use this for showing off your crystals dishes and other delicate kitchenware. If you want, you can paint the back of this shelf in a bright color or add lighting to it.
Talk to a company that designs kitchen cabinets in AZ, and they will guide you more about renovating your existing cabinets.
At times, you can change your cabinet appearance with a coat of paint or some other finish touch. You can choose any paint, but we recommend a washable finish so that cleaning is easy.
Get some new hardware for your kitchen. Simple accessories like a new handle or new knobs can change the look of your kitchen.
Want your kitchen to be brighter and warmer? Install a new lighting fixture. You can brighten up your corners with puck lights. These are often installed beneath the top of your kitchen cabinets. You can even go with rope lights for a trendier look. These will be installed at the base of your cabinets and will create a nice ambiance in your kitchen.
A faucet is another simple way for updating your kitchen. Just make sure that you will easily be able to install it with your existing sink.
So did you like our ideas? Now you should act on them and we are sure, you will not be spending significant amounts.
Granite is a hard stone, which is produced naturally by volcanic magma. The stone is available in many colors, which give it a beautiful appearance. Plus granite is durable and can resist heat. This is why granite countertops are quite popular.
So are you interested in a granite countertop? There are many companies that offer granite countertops in AZ at affordable prices. But before choose this material for your countertop, you should consider its cleaning.
The Basic Cleaning Method
Granite countertops are durable, but you can preserve their life only when you keep them clean. A soft cloth can be used to remove dust from the surface. Do this on a daily basis. You should also wash your countertop with water once in a while, or at least wipe it off with a damp cloth.
If you want to use a cleaning agent, just use a mild solution with a neutral pH value. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and other hard chemicals because they will scratch the surface of your countertops. At times, granite countertops are stained with oil. You can remove these by making a homemade cleaning solution. Take flour, about half a cup in quantity and add about 5 tbsp of a baking soda in it. Now add some water and make the mixture consistence with yogurt or sour cream. Apply this paste over the stain, cover it with plastic and leave it for the night. You can wash your countertop the next day, and there will be no signs of the oil stains.
Granite countertops have to be sealed n a regular basis. As a rule of the thumb, you should seal your countertop if water, which falls on the surface does not bead any more. Also examine your countertop and make sure there are no cracks, scratches or shifted seams. If you come across any damage, you will have to contact a company that sells, installs and repairs granite countertops in AZ.
Substances that Can Damage Your Granite Countertop
There are certain substances which can spoil the surface of your granite countertops. As such, you should keep all these away.
- Soda and coffee make the surface of your countertop dull.
- Granite can bear excessive heat, but while you are placing a hot pot or another cooking utensil on it, you should not slide them; this will cause the surface to scratch.
- Ammonia, vinegar, citrus solutions and any other chemicals that are acidic should not be used for cleaning.
- Avoid sitting on your countertops. As hard as granite may be, it is still can crack if excessive weight is applied at one point.
So do you want a granite countertop in your kitchen? Contact a company that offers this prodigy, and they will install one for you.
Granite countertops and kids
Have you ever wondered if kids and granite countertops would be a good fit? When people think of granite countertops they think of luxury, elegance, and style. They don’t however think of granite countertops as being kid friendly, easily cleaned, and difficult to destroy. Some families feel that granite countertops in a home with children just don’t mix. Well that is not the case. Here are some top reasons why you SHOULD have granite countertops in a house with children.
Granite is a natural stone that is extremely strong. Where other countertops scratch or dent easily, granite stays solid and can handle being treated a little tougher than other materials. Which is excellent with children as they are not known for being extremely careful with household items.
Stains don’t soak in
This stone is also very stain resistant. If your granite is properly sealed by a professional, stains from sauce, juice, markers or whatever else it might come in contact with, will easily be removed without permanent damage to the stone. And anyone who has kids knows that cleaning up spills or accidental artwork without a stain is always a success!
Heat is no problem
Granite countertops will also resist heat. Hot cookware in kitchens or hair appliances in bathrooms when in direct contact with granite, will leave your countertops unharmed. Hopefully, unless you have teenagers, your children won’t be handling hot pots and pans too often, but being able to set hot cookware right on the countertop while little ones are at your feet hungry for dinner, is a valued convenience!
Keeps bacteria out
Kids encounter enough germs and bacteria, countertops should be a safe zone. Granite in general, does not absorb substances easily, and when your granite countertops are properly sealed, the stone doesn’t allow for unwanted bacteria to soak into its pores at all, creating a safer and healthier home for your family.
Granite is the way to go!
Granite adds so much beauty to a household and can brighten up an entire kitchen or bathroom, but it also is a phenomenal choice for a home with children. With its long lasting capabilities, and advantages over other materials, your granite countertops will remain in great condition, even after your children are grown.
- Come in over 3,000 colors each one with its own unique pattern and movement.
- When properly sealed and maintained, are virtually scratch, stain and chip resistant.
- Are great for making cookies, candies, bread dough and other foods that are best prepared on a cool surface
- Are heat resistant. If you forget to grab a heat pad for that pan of lasagna, it won’t matter if you set it on your granite countertop.
- Are a very hard surface. The only surface that is harder than granite is a diamond.
- Add a minimum of 10% to the re-sale value to your home.
Of course, like anything else, there are some disadvantages to having granite countertops installed.
- Are expensive due to the labor for its removal from the quarry, the work involved in cutting it and the work necessary for installation
- Will dull your knives if you use it as a cutting board
- Should be installed by a qualified professional-it is not a do it yourself project
- Need to have the sealant re-applied a least once a year to prevent staining or fading.
Even with the disadvantages, granite countertops are making strides in kitchen, bath and patios. They are a beautiful way to add style and personality to your home. So, take your time and select the granite countertops that will make your living space all you want it to be.
If you decide to measure your kitchen or bathroom for new cabinets or granite here are some tips to help you out.
Always draw your room from a top view to get an accurate view of the room. Make sure to measure all walls from one end to another. Write down measurements as close as possible at least to the 1/2″. In the drawing be sure to indicate locations of your appliances and sink. Also measure these locations to ensure they are put in the correct spot in the new design. If you are keeping your existing appliances measure their height, depth and width. If you are getting new appliances then bring model numbers or specifications. Don’t forget to measure all window and door locations. This includes the width of windows and distances from both sides to the walls. It is also a good idea to measure the height of the window from the floor as well. Finally always measure your ceiling height from the floor to ensure the uppers and crown you select will work. If you have all of this information when you show up at the cabinet shop it will go much smoother for you.
Measuring for granite is not as hard as measuring for cabinets but still requires accurate measuring. When you measure granite always do a top view drawing as well. Measure all areas that you are wanting the granite to go. Mark all areas on the layout that require a bull nose end by using a “O” symbol on the line. Draw a parallel line along the back edge of all the areas that you would like a back splash. If you are thinking of doing a full back splash then you must measure the distance between the counter top and the bottom of the upper cabinets. It is also important to look at your overhangs if you have a sitting area. When using most granite tops 10″ is the maximum overhang you can have without having additional top support. If you have a wall behind your island or peninsula be sure to measure the thickness of the wall. If you have any questions call your granite company for instructions. When in doubt measure it.