Types of Stone Countertops
Stone countertops will transform any space almost instantly. A stone installation will change the look and feel to your kitchen or bathroom, adding something stylish that will last a lifetime. Not all stone countertops are the same though. Some are more durable than others. You may want something that is easy to maintain, or maybe you want to see what the best option is for a budget. There is a stone countertop option to suit all styles.
Quartz is a great choice for someone who wants the natural stone look in their kitchen or bathroom but not the prices that come with it. If you want a bit more choice in style and color, then quartz countertops may be the option for you.
About Quartz and why it is used
Quartz countertops are newer choices compared to the other two types, but an excellent choice at that. It is growing in popularity in Calgary homes. The luxurious appearance keeps its polished qualities even after years of use. This is without evening needing to be sealed unlike other types of stone. This makes quartz countertops in Calgary an economical choice over natural stone installation. It is made with one of the hardest minerals found on earth, making it extremely durable. Although quartz is very, very strong, you should still use a cutting board to chop ingredients and keep heat away to keep the countertop looking its best.
Quartz countertops are made with around 94% ground quartz and polyester resins to bind it all together. Pigments are added to achieve your desired color, making this a very versatile countertop. Sometimes very tiny pieces of metal or recycled glass can be added to give a sparkling touch. It can be as detailed as you want, from a smooth, easy look with single or multiple tones of similar hues, to a multi-colored speckled look or a crystallized appearance.
The versatility of quartz is outstanding. Added polyester resins give it a bit more flexibility, perfect for areas like a curved island. It can even be cut into tiles and used on areas like the floor and walls.
Advantages & disadvantages
Quartz countertops are made by hand, so if you wanted a distinguished pattern, then it is a good choice whereas natural stone can be a bit random. This also means you get a wide choice of colors to suit any kitchen. You can also opt for patterns that mimic that of granite and marble.
Quartz countertops have a nonporous stain and scratch resistant surface. It also won’t harbor bacteria, mold, or mildew. It’s so easy to clean and maintain too.
The added resins allow cleaner cuts than natural stone choices. This makes seams a lot less obvious.
While quartz is a great, all-around choice for countertops, there are a few other things to consider. First of all, it is pricey when compared to materials like laminate and roughly the same price as granite. However, it doesn’t need to be sealed and re-sealed like granite and is cheaper in the long run.
Quartz countertops can’t take extreme heat very well. While technically it should be able to withstand high heat, quartz doesn’t do well with sudden changes in temperature or high temperatures for a long period of time. So instead of leaving that hot pot on the counter, use a trivet to be safe.
Indoors, quartz countertops are virtually indestructible, but if you are looking for an option for an outside barbecue area or impressive patio, quartz is not a great choice. Direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions can cause the quartz to warp and the colors to fade. No manufacturer recommends using quartz for an outdoor area.
How to maintain quartz countertops
Quartz countertops are the easiest to care for out of all the countertop options. You only need a to wipe regularly with mild soap and water. You can keep surfaces 99.9% bacteria-free thanks to the nonporous surfaces. Use trivets or hot pads for pots and pans straight from the stovetop and over, and use a chopping board when cutting up food.
With quartz countertops, you get the look of natural stone but in the way you want and without the added maintenance or cost that comes with it, making it a very tempting alternative to natural stone choices.
Marble countertops have a classic elegance about them, which is why they are a very popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. You will get a clean, pristine look for years to come with proper maintenance.
About marble and why it is used
Marble countertops have created gorgeous, unique spaces for many years. Any space can get a complete transformation with a marble installation. It isn’t just countertops that are sought after too. Backsplashes and floors are also popular.
Marble is a metaphoric rock that has crystallized limestone, which gives the unique swirls. It comes in a variety of shades of white, gray, black, and even pink! Marble slabs come in a range of thickness from ¾-inch to 1-inch ¼. There are different types of marble: Carrera, which is a white or blue-grey veining in the marble and Calcutta is more of a light brown veining.
It is also a naturally cool stone, great for busy kitchens since it is not a heat conductor! It is heat resistant, but it is still recommended to use trivets for those hot pots and pans to avoid dulling.
Marble is considered top of the line when it comes to stone installation. If you’re looking for luxury and willing to put in the effort of maintaining it, then marble countertops can be an excellent choice.
Advantages & disadvantages
Marble countertops add something special to kitchens and bathrooms, which is why they add value to your home.
Marble is completely natural and no two slabs look exactly the same. Your space will be completely unique! This is a quality that makes it very appealing to many Calgary homes.
Marble countertops are an expensive choice, but they do add something special to the home. It also pays off as marble installations add value to your home.
Marble is beautiful, but not as durable as quartz and is prone to etchings. Acidic liquids can cause damage, even orange juice! Extra care needs to be taken when pouring drinks, and be aware of what cleaners you use.
How to maintain marble counter tops
Marble is porous and can stain easily, but that also means the wrong cleaners can damage the surface. The best thing to do is use preventative measures. When spills happen, wipe them up right away, so they don’t have time to seep into the surface, and always use a soft cloth or sponge. Anything abrasive will just dull the surface. Regularly clean with warm water and mild soap to keep the marble shining and looking its best and reduce the risk of dulling. Never use vinegar to clean, or cleaners like bleach or window cleaner. They are incredibly acidic and will only damage your marble making it dull looking even after just one use. Avoid using oils as well as they can stain.
To protect marble countertops from stains, it is recommended to use a spray-on sealant every month or get them professionally resealed. You still need to act on spills right away, but it will give a bit more time before stains occur. There are cleaners on the market that are specific for marble surfaces which are always handy to have, but if you can also use hydrogen peroxide with only a few drops of ammonia and not anymore. Gently rub the surface until the stain disappears. If it is a stubborn stain, then a professional can help.
Of course, use trivets for hot pots and pans, chopping boards, and coasters for drinks as well to keep your marble’s shine.
Marble countertops inject a timeless, sophisticated look in kitchens and bathrooms, adding value to your home and an enjoyable, relaxing space you can be proud to show off.
Granite countertops can really make a statement. In the kitchen, it adds a touch of class and turns bathrooms into spa-like sanctuaries. It is a very popular choice for homes in Calgary due to versatility and durability.
About granite and why it is used
Granite is one of the strongest stone types available. It is a mixture of hard materials like quartz and mica forged together by extreme pressure and heat from magma, and this natural phenomenon can really turn a dull space into something kind of magical.
Due to how hard it is, it is near impossible to scratch. Hot pots and pans can be put on the surface without damaging it, unlike the other stone options. It can even be used for outside.
There are many colors and patterns to choose from for granite, and you’re sure to find something that suits your style. Go for a darker hue with dark cabinets for a contemporary look or choose light for a clean and roomy look. The edges can also be customized, from straight edges to rounded, to steps going up or down. You don’t have to go for the traditional glossy look too. Granite can also be honed, flamed, or brushed.
Granite comes with a whole world of choices perfect for any Calgary home. Choose your space, color, edging, and finish and make this a piece of your home that reflects you. It will add the “wow!” factor and impress friends and family, as well as potential home buyers in the future if you ever wanted to sell.
Advantages & disadvantages
Even though granite is super strong and won’t scratch, you should use a cutting board nonetheless because it will actually dull your knives! It won’t etch like marble.
Granite is an incredible stone, but it is porous, unlike quartz, and is not totally immune to stains. Seals can help give you time for spills but always tend to them right away to avoid staining. Not all granite types require this, and it is best to ask the professionals if your granite requires it or not.
Granite countertops need to be resealed every one to three years to keep it looking great. With proper maintenance, it can last a lifetime.
How to maintain granite countertops
With the right care, granite countertops will look as fabulous as the day you installed them for years and years to come. First of all, a sealer should be applied and fully dried before using your new countertops if your type of granite needs it. You only need to regularly wipe them down with warm, soapy water.
While granite is super strong, it is still not recommended to use any harsh chemicals because of the damage it can do to the sealant and therefore expose the raw surface, making it susceptible to stains. Any spills should be cleaned up right away with a soft cloth without the use of bleach, degreasers, or even special kitchen or bathroom cleaners.
Avoid acidic liquids and even foods directly on the countertops for the same reason of eating away at the sealant.
Don’t use oil on the surface, including placing olive oil bottles down on it if it has any oily residue on the bottom. This can stain the surface of your granite countertop. Keep oily products, creams, hair products, perfumes, and other such items in a cabinet. Stains are actually not common since although it is a porous surface, it is not as porous as marble. Stains occur when something is exposed for long periods of time.
Complete your home’s look with a granite countertop installation that is totally unique to you. It is easy to maintain, strong, and will really look gorgeous in your Calgary home.
Want to learn more? The Calgary Granite Pros can help! We are experts in stone installation and can give advice as to which will be the best to match your style, budget, and space. Our stone experts take pride in the work already done in Calgary and the surrounding area. Bring something special into your home with stone countertops by the Calgary Granite Pros.