COUNTERTOPS & WALLS
aesthetic value to every space.
When it comes to designing your kitchen and bathroom one of the most important elements are the countertops. Countertops see a lot of action; in the kitchen they take some abuse from hot pans, chopping knives, and spilled liquids and in the bathroom they are the resting place for hot curling irons, hair dryers, spilled make-up and much more.
Countertops are functional but they also offer an aesthetic value to every space. They provide the perfect opportunity to enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen and bath. Other design opportunities include backsplashes in kitchens and baths and eye-catching materials for your shower walls and tub surrounds.
There are a variety of materials available today for countertops and many times no one material is best for all surfaces. This is especially true from a design perspective; combining different materials in creative applications always makes for a show stopper space!
In this section on Countertops and Walls, you learn about the multitude of products available for these surfaces such as ceramic and porcelain tile, natural stone and slab, solid surfacing, Quartz and specialty products including soapstone and paperstone. We will cover everything you need to know before you make a purchase and how to maintain your new countertops to provide lasting durability and beauty.
This beautiful stone comes from mother earth in a unique display of color and pattern. Granite is the top choice for high-use areas, such as kitchen countertops and backsplashes because it is dense and durable. These slabs are also highly resistant to scratches and heat. Granite does require additional preventative maintenance of sealing over time but will deliver long-lasting beauty to your home.
Make a Statement
Nothing makes more of a statement than a beautiful granite slab. Known for their durability and longevity, granite slabs come in an abundance of colors, pattern or movement and finishes.
Different types of stone are better suited for different uses due to their degree of hardness and porosity. Granite is one of the top choices for high-use kitchen countertops since it is one of the hardest stones available.
Natural stone slabs begin as giant pieces of rock that are removed from large quarries and cut into slabs. Each slab has its own characteristics. Veining, crystallization, irregular markings, and shading are all considered normal aspects of natural stone and add to the beauty. Every slab of granite stone is unique.
“Stone is not perfect, it is original.”
Go With The Flow
Veining is a natural part of the beauty of stone. It adds character and interest to any surface and may vary in consistency throughout the slab creating visual “movement” or pattern.
If the area where you are installing slab requires more than one piece, seaming is necessary. The placement of seams is dictated by the size of the slabs, density of the stone and the layout of the area. Granite slabs with more pronounced movement and veining may increase the visibility of the seams.
Even after the polishing or honing process, no granite slab will have a perfectly smooth surface. There may be small chips or pits that are sometimes apparent in different lighting conditions. Different lighting can also cause faint “cloudy spots” to become visible when viewing your countertop or wall from different angles.
Seal The Deal
Sealing your granite slab after installation will protect the stone’s original beauty and provide additional stain resistance. There are different types of sealers depending on the type of stone.
Quartz counters are manufactured with nearly 100 percent quartz which is one of the hardest minerals found in earth, even harder than granite. The mixture is comprised of approximately 95 percent quartz with the remaining from polymer resins.
Quartz is ideal for kitchen and bath countertops as well as bar tops, and wall and flooring applications.
Beauty & Beyond
Naturally hard and scratch resistant, quartz is as tough as it is beautiful. Extraordinary styling makes this countertop a show stopper with the wide variety of colors and tempting textures. OOh la la! Neutral tones to vivid colors, plain to small grain to veining, every decor will find its perfect complement.
The finishing touch comes from a selection of edge treatments which range from a simple straight edge or bevel to an elegant bull-nose or ogee.
So Long To Stains & Sealing
Unlike granite, which can permanently stain from cooking oils and grease or etched by acid found in many common household products and foods, quartz is impervious to these hazards. It resists stains, is non-porous and non-absorbent to water, moisture and bacteria. Say so long to your worries about lemons, spilled coffee, wine and makeup.
What’s more is that quartz is virtually maintenance free. No sealing and no polishing. Just wipe it down with warm water and a mild soap. Voilà! You’re done.
Before You Buy
While Quartz countertops are superior in stain resistance, strength and durability, prolonged exposure to heat may cause damage, so use a hot pad or trivet. Strong chemicals, harsh cleaners and bleach should be avoided. Also, seams may be present depending on the slab size and application. However, seams are often less noticeable than with granite. These slabs are extremely heavy and can crack if not properly handled so only use certified installers to get the job done right.
Many manufacturers offer warranties so be sure to check with your design professional for details.
Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with stylish and high performing quartz.
Dekton Kitchen Countertops
Limitless innovation in design and performance
Dekton is the ultimate surface for kitchen countertops: it is highly resistant to stains, scratches, and heat, and available in a wide range of colors.
Dekton countertops benefits:
Dekton Natural Collection is inspired by the most unique natural stones. This collection is the perfect choice for classic and elegant environments or Scandinavian styles. This collection also features dark tones, such as Kelya, with a strong visual impact, or Bromo, a dark blue slate shade.
The Industrial Collection has an urban style inspired by the imperfections of metals and stones their different aging stages. This collection features neutral and smooth colors, such as the cement-inspired Kreta and Luna, and colors with strong contrasts and nuances, such as Trilium and Radium.