Calacatta Marble Kitchen Countertop

Granite, Quartz & Marble Concepts For Your Home

3 Money Saving Ideas for you Kitchen Renovation

Posted by Bob Gilson on Wed, Oct 03, 2012 @ 07:32 PM

Tip 1: Keep It Simple!

The kitchen pictured below looks amazing and I know the homeowners love it. However how much did it cost? How could they have saved money on this beautiful design?

First off, look closely and you will see that the customer picked an expensive edge profile.  A square polished or eased edge profile isn't considered an upgrade at Latitude whereas the edge profile in the picture costs $45 per linear ft.  If you have 30 feet of edge, that beautiful scuplted edge profile just added $$1,350 to the cost of your counter top. 

Don't get me wrong, if you like the edge profile and you can afford it, go for it.  I did and I love how it looks in our kitchen.  However, if you are looking to save money, then stick to a square polished or beveled edge.

 

Granite countertop tips

 Tip 2: Size and Shape Does Matter!

Different materials come in different sizes.  Some products are only available in 120" X 56" whereas other products are available in "Jumbo" slabs 130" X 63". 

When we cut your counter top, we lay the counter top pieces out to get the best yield from the slabs.  If you picked a directional granite (a granite colour with lots of movement and veins) then we need to try and book match your counter top wherever two pieces meet.  This can lead to a lot of waste which you will be paying for. 

That beautiful arc on the island in the kitchen above looks great but is expensive to fabricate and also creates additional waste.

If you have a large island or want fewer seams, then an extra man charge to install that large heavy piece in your home.  Extra man charges start at $200 and up depending upon the installation.

Your counter top is priced by the square foot. If you stick to rectangular pieces as much as possible, then you will save material and money.  If you have the budget and you want the look of flowing curved lines, then definitely do it. We can create any curve you want.

Tip 3: Avoid Exotic Granite and Marble

Now this is a really tough piece of advice for a counter top fabricator to give you.  Why? Because we make so much money on these counter tops!  Boy oh boy, our accountant just loves it when you buy exotic granites and marbles.  

Exotic granite and marble are like a piece of art.  Exotic granite is truely a work of nature at its finest! No man made product can come even close to matching the work of mother nature.

However, fabricating these materials is difficult.  They are usually soft and brittle.  Exotic granite counter tops can easily break in the manufacturing process or in installation. Every manufacturer in the world has a whole yard full of beautiful pieces that broke. Now that's great if you are after a remnant piece.  (My wife found a beautiful piece of Cosmos 9' long hidden amongst our remnant pieces.  It now sits in our ensuite bathroom and we love it.)  However, it is unlikely that you're going to find enough material for a standard kitchen.

Because of manufacturing and installation problems, every fabricator increases their profit margins and their waste factors when calculating the price of your counter top when you select an exotic or difficult to work with material. In fact, we won't even manufacture some extremely high end products.  Instead, we will refer you to an artisan who specializes in fabricating exotic granite or marble counter tops.

If you are on a tight budget, then these high end materials aren't for you.

There it is! My top three tips for saving money on granite counter tops!

If you are looking for more information on planning and designing you kitchen, I suggest you visit Kitchen Design Tips for some great planning advice and more on Granite Counter Top Pricing or you can visit one of our dealers located across Ontario.

Topics: counter tops, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, quartz countertop prices, granite countertop, Granite counter top prices, how to save on granite granite counter top costs, estimating kitchen renovation costs, estimating the cost of a granite countertop, granite countertop installation, Granite Kitchen Countertops, how to estimate the cost of a granite countertop, Caesarstone countertop prices, granite countertop prices

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.

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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

Latitude Countertops-- See our new video

Posted by Kevin Brooks on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 @ 01:34 PM

This video highlights projects at commercial sites, our showroom and real Kitchen and Bath countertops from a few of our clients homes in Granite, Silestone Quartz and Caesarstone Quartz and Marble.

Topics: Silestone, Caesarstone, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Granite Kitchen Countertops, marble vanity, marble countertop

Staying Green with Countertops

Posted by Colin Ackroyd on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:57 AM

If the goal in your kitchen is to be as green as possible, Latitude offers the best options for countertops.  Our knowledgeable sales people are always on hand to answer any questions that you have about the green qualities of the countertops that we offer at Latitude.

The new environmental craze that is happening, in regards to granite, is the testing for Radon gases in granite slabs.  Many people have asked us about Radon gases in granite, and what effect it can have on your home.  Granite, and other natural stone products, always contains traces of NORMs (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) that produce measureable amounts of radiation and sometimes Radon gas.

Although all granite is tested for radon, it is possible that small amounts of the radioactive material can still be found in the slab.  Not to worry though, as Radon gas usually becomes insignificant when diluted with the quantity of air in your home.  Most Radon gas that is produced in your home is from the actual soil that your house is built on.  I have included a pie chart that shows the most abundant locations for radon gas in your home.

radonsources resized 600 Although granite does not usually have enough radon gas in it to be harmful to your family, you may still be cautious of putting granite in your home.   In that case, Latitude offers 5 Natural Quartz Surfaces that are all leading the charge in safer countertop options.   For your information, I have included links to each of these suppliers “Green Qualities” on their websites.

Silestone

Caesarstone

Hanstone

Zodiaq

Eco by Cosentino

If you have any other questions regarding the green qualities of countertops, please visit our showroom, or showroom locator for a Latitude dealer near you!!

Happy Holidays!!

C

Topics: granite sale, Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, bathroom ideas, Toronto, Toronto, Caesarstone, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Quartz, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Natural Stone, Granite Fabricator, Granite countertops, kitchen design, Granite Kitchen Countertops, granite shower walls, granite table top, unique granite, Granite vs Quartz, Stone Fabricator, Natural Stone Fabricator

European Design Trends

Posted by Colin Ackroyd on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the monthly chapter meeting for the NKBA, being held at Euro-Line Appliances in Oakville.  It was nice to meet and socialize with the other members of the NKBA, while enjoying a delicious meal and an informative presentation.   The guest speaker at this month’s chapter meeting was Janette Ewen, Décor/Design Expert and Co-Host of “Inside the Box” with Ty Pennington.  Janette has toured Europe visiting many different Design and Decor Shows, gathering new trends that are beginning to be seen amongst their design community. 

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The presentation was very interesting, and I was able to take away a few great ideas that are beginning to be seen in the counter top and kitchen design industry.  Janette mentioned that, currently, the common trend in Europe is to choose basic, simple colours such as black, white, and grey, as the main colour theme in the kitchen.  Use these colours as the central point in your kitchen, such as appliances, countertops, and even sinks.  

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After designing your kitchen around these basic colours, Janette suggests accenting the kitchen with bright colours, such as blue and green.  These accent colours should be seen in smaller, more exchangeable items in the kitchen, such as dish towels, soap dispensers, and centre pieces.  Using accent colours with these items allows you to change the look of your kitchen as trends continue to change throughout the years.

RedSink resized 600

  This helps keep your kitchen in style, without having to spend too much money.  Quartz counter tops can be a great addition to this package, as they are the most durable counter top that Latitude offers.  We currently offer the following Quartz products: Silestone, Caesarstone, Hanstone, Compac, and ECO by Cosentino.

At Latitude, we offer many different styles of black, white, and grey counter tops.  Caesarstone continues to produce the boldest colours in these shades.  I have included a few pictures of what these colours look like, but the best way to get a view of these colours is to visit our showroom, or one of our many dealers that can be found on our Showroom Locator.  Latitude’s showroom is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.  I look forward to discussing these new and upcoming trends in the counter top and kitchen design industry, when you come visit us at Latitude.

Raven resized 600

Caesarstone-Raven(Above)

Caesarstone- Pure White(Below)

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Topics: Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, bathroom ideas, marble, marble, Toronto, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Quartz, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Natural Stone, Granite Fabricator, Granite countertops, kitchen design, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Marble vs Granite, Marble vs Quartz, Granite vs Quartz, Stone Fabricator, Natural Stone Fabricator

Quartz Countertops Vs Granite Countertops

Posted by Brett McLennan on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

Are you thinking of installing a new countertop for your kitchen or bathroom but are unable to decide between a granite kitchen countertop or a quartz kitchen countertop. Don’t worry, this is a common issue that many consumers face when embarking on a renovation journey.

 

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Properties of Quartz

 Quartz Slabs Factory

Quartz is found in large quantities on our planet and is a very hard substance even in its crude form. Diamond, sapphire and topaz are the only minerals that are more scratch-resistant than quartz. If we go by the Mohs' Hardness scale, which is used to determine the scratch resistance capacity of a mineral, quartz is ranked 7 on this scale while diamond is ranked 10.

The Properties of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops come in a few different brands (Silestone, Caesarstone, Hanstone, Compac, etc) but they are all essentially the same, 93% Quartz and 7% resins and colours. These compositions make quartz countertops very hard and quite durable. Engineered quartz countertops are when compared to granite are much less porous and caring for them is quite a bit less maintenance. Since the quartz slabs are engineered they do not need sealing and the colours are very uniform throughout the slab. They do however have a ‘manufactured’ look to them which you will either love or hate.

 

Properties of Granite

 Granite Quarry

Granite is a strong and dense material when it’s extracted from the earth. It comes out in large blocks which are later broken down into smaller slab sizes. The granite slabs are polished using a polyurethane sealer which makes the granite more water resistant. Granite countertops are, when not cleaned properly, vulnerable to contamination from bacteria. A mild detergent and warm water can solve this problem.

The Properties of Granite Countertops

The quantity of quartz in granite countertops is about 50-60%. Because of this, granite countertops are not as hard, or as crack-resistant. A granite countertop is only about half has durable as a quartz countertop. The biggest advantage of granite countertops is that they have a very natural and elegant look to the surface and it gives a very rich look to your kitchen.

While installing a countertop, it makes sense to keep in mind that once the countertop is installed, it becomes the centre piece of any room and it’s important to take every measure to ensure that it adds value to the existing look of the house.

For a comparison chart please click here.

 

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Questions or comments? Feel free to email me at Jonw@latitudeonline.ca and I look forward to seeing you in our showroom.

 

-Jonathan

Topics: Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, Toronto, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Staining, Granite vs Quartz

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