CUTTING – virtually all the countertops we sell for kitchens will damage your kitchen knives. There's a chance that cutting or chopping can affect the surface of your countertops – so we highly recommended that you use a cutting board to cut food items in your kitchen.
HEAT – most of the countertop surfaces we sell have a surface that has been coated with a resin that can scorch when extremely hot items are placed on them. Both natural and manufactured products we sell can and will take a lot of heat – but we highly recommend that you place heat-mitigating pads under hot cookware.
CARE – the natural stone we install is sealed with Dupont's Stonetech sealer upon installation. You can read about warranty and sealing your natural tops here. Manufactured quartz is far less porous so it doesn't require sealing.
MOST CARE PRECAUTIONS APPLY TO BOTH QUARTZ & NATURAL STONE: Water with a mild soap and a microfiber cloth is still the best way to clean your countertops. When that doesn't cut it, please don't use any industrial cleaners (bathroom/toilet cleaners, abrasive cleaners, vinegar, bleach, or ammonia. Consult with us before experimenting with “hacks” you find on the internet. Some of the most common complaints:
#1 COMPLAINT: Dark stains on your white quartz. Your seam is visibly darker or a spot on your tops that rubbed off of something? Try a Magic eraser. If that doesn't do it, try a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on a soft cloth (available at most Walmarts).
#2 COMPLAINT: Water stains around sink. It's your water, not the countertop. You can seal the countertop regularly and clean the stains using a mild descaler approved for stone, but you will have to do it regularly and there is a risk that it will affect the surface of your countertop. Best option: treat your water.
#3 COMPLAINT: Oil/wine/chemical stains. The single most effective way to prevent these stains is to wipe-up spills right away. In many cases, we can suggest a poultice that can be applied and help minimize the stain in the countertops, but unfortunately in some cases, the stain is there to stay, and efforts to remove the stain often damage the surface of the countertop. We have customer service support for every product we install. If you have a stain, please consult us before experimenting on your tops.
CONTACT US FOR A COMPLETE GUIDE ON CARING FOR YOUR COUNTERTOPS.
We supply, fabricate and install the following materials: quartz, granite, marble, Dekton, porcelain, onyx, soapstone, limestone, travertine, slate and semi-precious stone. All of these have an application and are wonderful products.
THE CHALLENGE IS MATCHING APPEARANCE & SUITABILITY.
UNIQUE & BEAUTIFUL:
Natural stone: Onyx, quartzite, soapstone, marble, limestone, travertine, and granite is largely one-of-a-kind. To date, it is impossible to mimic the beauty of many natural stones in a manufactured product. There are natural stone options for virtually any budget. MUCH OF OUR “SHOWCASE” WORK IS OF NATURAL STONE.
Pros: large slabs, signature and unique products, large variations in color options, extremely durable.
Cons: Few white color options, some have surface imperfections, some materials are more porous than manufactured alternatives, and require specific care.
*** Many of the kitchens you see on INSTAGRAM and HOUZZ that look like marble, ARE actually marble. No manufactured product is able to replace the beauty of natural marble. Can you use marble in your kitchen? Absolutely – BUT, marble will etch, scratch and stain far more easily than alternatives. It hasn't stopped many people around the world to use marble for centuries!
SLEEK & MODERN:
Manufactured QUARTZ products such as silestone, caesarstone, vicostone, LG, and many more brands are all very similar in composition and application (yes Cambria, you too are much more similar than unique). Each manufacturer varies in ability to achieve a pattern that corresponds to what the world of interior design is calling for and creating a cost effective network of supply for fabricators. For the most part, people seeking a simple, monochrome and uniform color or a pure white or marble white color for their project will find that quartz has the best solution. WELL OVER 50% OF THE COUNTERTOPS WE SELL ARE MANUFACTURED QUARTZ!
Pros: uniform and pure white colors, durable and stain resistant, uniform gloss and surface consistency, standard and large-sized slabs. Many are available in thin formats. Many cost-effective options.
Cons: Die-lot variations, smaller color selection, many are not suitable for outdoor applications. Many of the marble-patterns are not interlacing (difficult to match exact grains on large pieces).
THIN & EVERYWHERE:
New materials known such as DEKTON and LAMINAM for example. The materials are sold in a very similar format as manufactured quartz but are different in composition. They are manufactured using a high-tech process called sinterization, which is similar to an accelerated version of the metamorphic process (pressure and temperature) that natural stone experiences during formation.
Pros: uniform and pure white colors, durable and stain resistant. Many marble-like patterns. Repeatable and interlacing slab patterns. Great for outdoor applications. Thin slabs are available making it lightweight and suitable for cladding on many surfaces.
Cons: Die-lot variations, smaller color selection, many are not thru-body so the pattern is only on the top surface.
CNC makes an enormous difference – and it is worth considering this as a factor when selecting a fabricator. Don't be afraid to ask questions about fabrication – it is too late to ask after the countertops are installed and you've compared to the countertops your friends purchased!
We are among a select few fabricators in town that are CNC fabricators (click here to learn about how we started). What this means is that we convert your surface shapes to digital files and use computer driven machinery to cut and polish the exact shape we have captured.
CNC SEAMS – Many jobs require seams for safety of installation and because of slab size restrictions. One of the most pronounced differences a CNC machine makes is in the seams. Each side of the seam is treated by the CNC - removing all the surface chips from the saw and machining the stone so that when seamed together, the stone can virtually touch the adjacent stone, achieving a near-seamless product. We utilize a specialized 2-part adhesive with a phenomenal bonding strength for seams. The glue is non-porous and is color-matched to your countertop. Our installers also use specialized equipment with suction cups to level out the seam and ensure a truly uniform union at the seam. Ask us to show you some examples of seams in our showroom!
CNC THICKNESS – Even manufactured slabs vary in thickness by several mm throughout the slab. If either side of a seam is thicker than the other, it is visible at the seam. A CNC will gauge the stone by machining down the front edges to uniform thickness – creating a smooth underside and a perfect seam!
CNC SINKS – The sinks are cut out on the CNC using a specialized tool like a router bit – allowing us to perfectly match the contour of your sink template provided by the sink manufacturer. The undersides of counter tops are also machined by CNC for sink adhesion. We use a combination of methods to attach sinks: from silicone and adhesive, to reinforcement with banding or integrated sink mounting clips. After several 1000 sinks, we've pretty much got the sink adhesion figured out!