Calacatta Marble Kitchen Countertop

Granite, Quartz & Marble Concepts For Your Home

Granite Countertop Thickness: 1cm, 2cm or 3cm?

Posted by Nelson Wong on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 @ 04:50 PM

For many years, 2cm Granite and quartz was the “go to” thickness for counter tops.  Many times, especially in kitchens, the edge is laminated to a 4cm edge. This size edge is perfect for framed cabinets since that thickness edge can cover the gap between the top of the cabinet and the cabinet door.  Even as cabinets became frameless, 4cm edging is still popular.

 

Image Courtesy of http://bit.ly/kTaFfD

But what about people on the cutting edge? What thickness of counter tops are they interested in?  For the last few years, thick counter tops with 6cm – 20cm mitred edges was popular. On islands, the thick edge and material would also go down the side of the cabinets to the floor to create a thick side panel. This gave the counter top a thick and substantial look.  This is still very popular in North America.

Caesarstone - Blizzard 2141 (Image Courtesy of www.caesarstone.ca)

 

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In Europe the emerging trend is to go with super skinny counter tops – 1 cm thickness material. This look is sleek and modern.  It goes along with the whole integrated kitchen/home idea that is so popular right now.  Appliances are built to be hidden from plain view or its appearance as muted as possible. Likewise, counter tops are becoming more subtle in terms of material thickness.  Latitude currently has various 1CM Silestone and Caesarstone materials in stock and acrylics such as Corian and Staron come in 1CM  only (traditionally, Corian and Staron edges are built up to that thicker looking edge).  It is a new look that is making its way into modern designs.

Image Courtesy of www.bolli.com

I love the clean look of the thin counter top, but whether or not I would decide to go with that or another look would depend on the overall look of the house.  The styles in the home would have to work together.  Thinner counter tops would look better in smaller kitchens to make the space seem bigger and as you can tell from the picture above, will look good in a larger space as well. Thick, 4cm – 6cm” counter tops may make a small kitchen feel more closed in.

- Nelson Wong

2cm granite with a 4cm edge

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Topics: Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, tips for counter tops, Granite Fabricator, Granite countertops, Kitchen design tips, kitchen design, rennovation, renovation

4 TIPS WHEN SHOPPING FOR A KITCHEN OR BATHROOM COUNTERTOP

Posted by Nelson Wong on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 @ 11:17 AM

You’ve decided that your kitchen and bathrooms are ready to be revitalized. You have an idea of the style and colour for your kitchen or bathroom and now you’re ready to begin your shopping.  What are the key things, that an informed shopper must be prepared with, to make their buying a smooth experience?

kitchen renovation

1. Determine the right surface material to meet your lifestyle and budgetary needs

 We’re going to presume that you’ve done your homework, surfing the web, and found the right material for your home project, from the low maintenance and inexpensive laminates to the high-end granite, quartz and marble stones.  Let’s assume that you think, quartz, best fits your needs because it looks like natural stone without the deficiencies found in granite or marble. Quartz products are brilliant for busy individuals who do not have time to worry about spills and other messes on the countertop. Unlike its granite counterpart, quartz never needs sealing and almost any household cleaner is appropriate for wiping down stains. Granite is best suited for individuals that consider their countertop a kind of home "show piece". Considered a high maintenance surface, spills must be wiped up right away and a granite cleaner is recommended for daily upkeep. 

 Through research, you’ve become acquainted with well-known brands like Viatera, Caesarstone and Silestone, for quartz countertops, and that prices may vary between $80 and $150 per square foot, depending on the quality and detail work.  The first thing you notice is that prices are based on square footage.  This means you must know the “square footage” of your project in order to get an accurate read of the estimates against your budget.

Formula: Square Footage of a countertop = “length” x “width” of the countertop

Kitchen sketched diagram.JPEG

In fact, you may want to make sure your linear footage measurements are converted into inches when you shop around for your estimates. A good idea would be to diagram your countertops with the exact dimensions to help eliminate the guess work in getting your estimates done quickly and accurately.

2. Things to keep in mind when seeking estimates

 When shopping around, another good idea would be to bring with you flooring samples, paint chips or cabinet colour to help select a countertop that works with your decor. By narrowing your countertop colour selection, your kitchen and bathroom dealer/designer will be able give a more accurate cost for the job you have in mind. 

Also, consider the material thickness of the countertop design for your home project. Prevailing industry standards had granite and quartz countertops made to be ¾” in thickness. It then follows, to make the ¾” thick countertop edge to be laminated to have a 1 ½” edge profile. Why this size of edge? This size was perfect for framed cabinets since that thickness edge can cover the gap between the top of the cabinet and the cabinet door. Even as cabinets became frameless, the 1 ½” edging is still considered a popular size.

Edge Profiles

 

 

 waterfall edge countertopThe trends, over the last few years, had thick counter tops made with 2” to 3” mitred edgings. The "waterfall" style edge, gives a dramatic look, by flowing down the side of the cabinets to the floor to create a thick side panel.

As you shop, you may become overwhelmed with the various options available for your counter top. By having the basics, the countertop measurements, your home decor samples and diagrams of kitchen or bathroom lay-out; you’re better equipped to deal with the leg work of getting an estimate done a lot easier and quicker.

3. Think about the sink

You’ve planned for new counter topsBlanco Silgranit Sink but have you thought about adding a new sink to the kitchen or bathroom design? Sinks not only accents the new look of your kitchen but it happens to be a focal point for your day-to-day activity at home. Initially, you may struggle with the decision to do it all at once, but consider the savings on the extra time and costs, by not having to search for a new sink and then finding a plumber to install your afterthought. Some of the popular brand names include Blanco, Kindred and Kohler. 

 

4. Making the installation process a smooth and easy operation

You’ve completed the leg work of getting your estimates and now you’re ready to choose the countertop company who will make your project a reality. By and large, you can expect to get your table made within two to three weeks, from the time the countertop company send its templators to measure your kitchen or bathroom. By industry standards, a one week (seven business days) turn-around time is considered excellent. There are a couple things that you can do to make this happen. 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two scheduled engagements that you will be needed to be available for, the first is the templating appointment and the second will be for the actual countertop installation.

The first appointment is important because it starts the production process. When the templators arrive at your home, make sure all the cabinetry are secured and installed in their final location.  The templators will create digital blue print of your kitchen or bathroom. These are exact measurements that will require having your appliances and sinking to be present on site to be factored into the final dimensions of the countertops. Basically, if it affects the countertop, the templator will want to know about it. This initial meeting most likely involves a six hour window which factors in arrival time to the completion of the task.

The second meeting will be the installation of your countertops and is the “home stretch” to the completion of your revitalization project. This appointment may require you to be at home for the entire day but consider this a small investment in time for a beautiful kitchen that will add enjoyment, value and longevity to your home.

Ultimately, the more information you have at your finger tips, the less time you will spend on the little nitty gritty, and the better your shopping experience becomes. 

Topics: counter tops, Caesarstone, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, quartz countertop prices, counter top, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Sinks, Kitchen Sink, how long to make a countertop, Counter top thickness, Quartz, bathroom design; Installing; installation; install

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.

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

What’s “in”, in Counter top thicknesses?

Posted by Karen Yuen on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 @ 11:03 AM

For many years, ¾” Granite and quartz was the go to thickness for counter tops.  Many times, especially in kitchens, the edge is laminated to a 1 ½” edge. This size edge is perfect for framed cabinets since that thickness edge can cover the gap between the top of the cabinet and the cabinet door.  Even as cabinets became frameless, 1 ½” edging is still popular.  But what about people on the cutting edge? What thickness counter tops are they interested in?  For the last few years, thick counter tops with 2 – 3” mitred edges was the story. On islands, the thick edge and material would also go down the side of the cabinets to the floor to create a thick side panel. This gave the counter top a thick and substantial look.  This is still very popular in North America.

describe the image

www.caesarstone.ca

 

In Europe the emerging trend is to go with super skinny counter tops – 1 cm thickness material. This look is sleek and modern.  It goes along with the whole integrated kitchen/home idea that is so popular right now.  Appliances are built to be hidden from plain view or its appearance as muted as possible. Likewise, counter tops are becoming more subtle in terms of material thickness.  Latitude currently has various 1CM quartz material in stock and acrylics such as Corian and Staron come in 1CM  only (traditionally, Corian and Staron edges are built up to that thicker looking edge).  It is a new look that will definitely make its way to North America.

Thin 1 resized 600

www.boffi.com

I love the clean look of the thin counter top, but whether or not I would decided to go with that or another look would depend on the overall look of the house.  The styles in the home will have to work together.  Thinner counter tops would look better in smaller kitchens because they make the space seem bigger and as you can tell from the picture above, will look good in a larger space as well. Thick, 2” – 3” counter tops may  work better in a larger space will give it a more substantial look without compromising the clean and modern look of the space

 

Karen Yuen

Topics: counter tops, Caesarstone, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, counter top, Counter top thickness, Quartz, kitchen countertop

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. 

BWG4 resized 600

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.  

BWG3 resized 600

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)

Purewhite resized 600

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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