Calacatta Marble Kitchen Countertop

Granite, Quartz & Marble Concepts For Your Home

Leathered, Honed, Volcano Finishes with Granite/Quartz

Posted by Jonathan Wheller on Mon, May 30, 2011 @ 11:28 AM

Over the last few years, many different finishing options have come to market for granite and quartz countertops.  Before these last few years, we had only been able to see Granite and Quartz in polished finishes. Now that the industry has grown and quartz and granite are hugely popular in modern design, we are beginning to see a variety of available finishes for stone countertops. 

 

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Leathered and honed finishes are often related to each other, but do have specific differences between the two.  Honed finishes were first introduced to give stone a softer look compared to that of polished stone.  One of the only problems to consider with using a honed finish is that it can affect the overall performance of the stone when it comes to staining.  Leathered finishes have advanced the honed look to allow for better performance.  Leathering closes the stone pores, which make it much more difficult to stain than a honed finished.  Leathering also retains the natural stone colour while honed finishing tends to cloud out the natural colour of the stone.

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Silestone has been offering quartz countertop colours in a leathered finish for a nearly five years.  Coming very soon, Silestone will introduce a new texture to the market that has not yet been approached:  Volcano.  This new Volcano texture is said to give the feel of an orange peel, while continuing to offer the same performance standards as their leathered and polished finishes.  Silestone expects to release this finish, along with a variety of new and exciting colours this summer. Silestone is able to offer their remarkable 15 year warranty with these new finishes as well.

finished piece leather silestone resized 600

If you are interested in learning more about leathered, honed, or Volcano finishes to your granite or quartz products, please visit Latitude Countertops or speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly sales team members. 

Topics: Granite, slabs, Silestone, bathroom design, bathroom ideas, Toronto, counter tops, counter tops, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, counter top, Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Quartz, Quartz, Cleaning granite counter top, difference between granite and quartz, kitchen countertop, Kitchen Countertops, Natural Stone, Granite countertops, kitchen design, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Cleaning granite, Granite Kitchen Countertop, Staining, care for Granite, cleaning quartz counter top, unique granite, Granite vs Quartz, Stone, Stone Fabricator, Natural Stone Fabricator

I can’t believe its not granite…or is it?

Posted by Karen Yuen on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 01:03 PM

Granite and Silestone
I can’t see the difference, can you see the difference?

Ok, enough taglines from old commercials…or is it?

Many people ask me what the difference is between Quartz and Granite counter tops.  And the answer is this:  Granite is natural and mined from the earth.  Quartz counter tops are man made in that quartz is ground up in to a powder, resins and binders added and processed so it’s like a rock. Granite is porous, which allows for liquids and germs to penetrate the surface, and thusly, requires sealing every few years.  Quartz on the other hand is non porous and does not need to be sealed, ever. 

Spills on granite should be wiped up right away and with quartz, it’s ok if you leave it there for a few hours or a couple of days before you clean it, it wouldn’t stain as easily as granite can (I've left red wine on a white quartz and was able to clean it off). Simply clean it with soap and water or a light abrasive cleaner…It’s that easy.  Quartz counter tops really takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Less time cleaning and worrying about your counter top means you have time to do more. 

So why do people still want to get a piece of the rock a.k.a. granite? Because up till now, quartz tended to look too uniform and too, well, man made.  While some people love the uniform look of CaesarStone’s Concrete, Silestone's Grey Expo or Hanstone’s Blanco Canvas, there are still people looking for that unique granite look.  Every piece of granite is unique, you can almost see a moment of earth’s history in a slab of granite, what created that red spot in the stone, or that green swirl? Many different minerals make up a slab of granite and how delicate or strong a particular piece of granite is depends on these minerals.  So care for the granite becomes paramount in maintaining the beauty of the stone. 

Is it possible to combine the look of granite without the maintenance? As you can see from the above pictures, the answer is a resounding “yes”.  Finally, through research and the miracles of science, CaesarStone, Silestone and HanStone are rolling out their uniquely patterned quartz surfaces made to look like granite and are durable like quartz. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature, but if it means you don’t have to worry about your counter top, then may be it’s worth it.  Quartz durability with the look of granite makes it hard not to love it for life.

(Can you spot the taglines? Put your answers in the comment box)

Topics: Quartz, Quartz, Cleaning granite counter top, difference between granite and quartz, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Cleaning granite, care for Granite, cleaning quartz counter top, Granite vs Quartz

One Bowl or Two? And we’re not talking about Pasta

Posted by Karen Yuen on Wed, May 11, 2011 @ 05:32 PM

Because if we were, the answer for me is always 2. Mmmmmmm, Pasta. 

But since we are talking about sink bowls, the answer is a little more involved.  Most commonly, we see single or double bowl sinks.  There are some 3 bowl sinks available, but the selection is relatively small.

There are many reasons why someone would select one type over another:

ONE BOWL: They are usually larger sinks that fits large pots and baking sheets.

TWO BOWLS: If someone would like to install a garbage disposal, it might be nice to have a little bowl dedicated to that in addition to a large bowl. Some people like to put the dish drainer directly into a bowl and use the other bowl for washing dishes. My mom like 2 bowls because one is for washing with dish detergent and the second one is for rinsing.

THREE BOWLS: People may want to dedicate one small bowl to garbage disposal, and have two large bowls, one for accumulating dirty dishes and one for prepping food, which would come in handy for large dinner parties.

If we are looking at current design trends, Single bowls are the way to go.  Large rectangular ones like Blanco’s Precision U Maxi are very design forward.  This look is in line with the clean, minimalistic trend seen in today’s kitchen and bath designs. Appliances are hidden, Countertop thickness (see my blog on What’s “In” in Counter Top Thicknesses), handles, etc. are minimized and now, so is the look of the sink.  

precision maxi U 1

Blanco Precision Maxi U 1 Stainless Steel Sink

 

In the end, It comes down to functionality and how you like to wash your dishes.  Do you have a dishwasher and like a large single bowl to wash the pots that you can’t put in the dishwasher? Are you the type, like my mom that likes to have one bowl for washing and one for rinsing?  Some people believe that they tend let dishes pile up if they have double bowl sinks since they still have a bowl to use and a single bowl sink forces them to wash the dishes every day. The one or two sink decision also depends on a lot of what you are used to.  When I went from a double sink to a single sink kitchen, I had to almost relearn how to wash dishes.  Then going back to a double sink, I found that I was only using one sink, and still used a bowl of soapy water on the counter top.  Now, since I have experience in both single and double bowl sinks, I would make the choice according to functionality and look.  Do you have a lot pot and pans? Do you bake a lot? Do you have a dishwasher?  I bake a lot, and hate washing cooking sheets in double bowl sinks.  I also have a big slow cooker and when I have to immerse in water, I can’t do it in a sink.  So for look and functionality, I would go for something like the Blanco Radius 10 U Maxi.  It’s big, stylish and the corners of the sink are rounded for easy cleaning.  Food would tend to get caught in tight corners.

400469 glam

Blanco Radius 10 U Maxi

Topics: counter tops, Kitchen Sinks, Kitchen Sink, kitchen design

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