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Our five-day kitchen remodel involves a total tear out and remodel in five days depending on the scope of work. That’s why we say “demo to done in five days”.
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The Latest Kitchen Trends To Look For In 2019 Are you looking for the latest kitchen trends for 2019? Capitol Granite Design Center has put together this article with the top trends to look for in 2019. Kitchen trends are always shifting & evolving. Remember back when all white kitchens were what everybody wanted? Well, for 2019, we have compiled predictions for kitchen trends and design that the top influencers in the industry swear by! A lot of the top kitchen design experts are expecting a shift into more traditional and classic styles with a modern twist. Trend Number One: Expose Wood Cabinets Kitchen design experts expect to see a lot of rich cabinetry and countertop styles with natural finishes. This means a lot of navy cabinets & laminate surfaces may potentially not be as common. Wood cabinets are making a huge comeback in 2019 which signals that homeowners are searching for more longevity in their kitchen design choices. Trend Number Two: Earthy Colors It is predicted that earthy colors or tones are going to be a huge hit in 2019 when compared to brighter colors like blues, blacks, and whites, which will go really well with natural wood surface colors. Alo t of people will be embracing taupe, off-white, and gray paint colors. These colors bring a warmth into home spaces and it brings a more modern feel and look to your environment. Trend Number Three: Smart Kitchen Technology It’s quite crazy to think that we will be entering the year 2019 already. Time truly does fly. With so much advancement in the world, technology is a trend that will gain much popularity in this upcoming year. A lot of handy technology items that can be used in the kitchen and bath have the cool voice control integration. Smart home technology products that aid in conserving energy and water is going to be a major staple in the years to come, especially with Alexa making her presence all over. Trend Number Four: Black Stainless Steel Black stainless steel or metal appliances and finishes like drawer pull, faucet finishes, and handles etc. are going to replace the ideal white or silver finishes that are ideal for every home. Black stainless steel home appliances are going to gain tons of traction. Matte black appliances & other home detail products are going to also gain popularity. A lot of home design and kitchen trend specialists believe that this wave will gain momentum and soon enough, homeowners will also be looking at fixtures in these colors. Black stainless options bring a beautiful modern and fresh look to any condo or any house. 2019 Kitchen Trend Experts If after reading this article on the 2019 kitchen trends you should look for, you still have questions or concerns, make sure to contact one of our quartz countertop experts for more insight. For related content, make sure to visit the flooring
How To Clean Marble Counters Are you wondering how to clean marble countertops the right way? Capitol Granite has put together a detailed guide walking you through everything you need to know about taking proper care of your marble countertops. With its wonderful feel and very rich coloration, natural stone is a beautiful gift for our homes from Mother Earth. This common kitchen and bath countertop option can be quite pricey. Marble is an incredibly durable stone with a delicate side. This is the reason why it is important to protect this investment by taking care of your marble tops the right way. Marble is mainly composed of calcium carbonate and is sensitive to acidic cleaners. Any liquid that is acidic such as lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar etc. and has the capacity to eat away the countertop’s surface thus creating etches. Etches are dull spots. Many people see etches as a part of the countertop’s character and others want the top layer to get grinded down anytime that too many etches occur. What You Need When Cleaning Your Marble Countertops To get started, you are going to need to stay far away from acidic and abrasive cleaners. Below you will find a small list of products you are going to need before you start to clean your marble counters. Warm Water Marble Stone Solution Spray Bottle Mild Dish Soap Soft Towel Dish Cloth or Sponge Step One: Non-Abrasive Marble Cleaner If you have chosen to not use a marble cleaner then that is okay! You can use a small squirt of mild non-abrasive soap and mix it with warm water inside a spray bottle. Take this soapy water mix and begin to spray down the marble countertop surface generously. Now, grab the soft sponge or cloth of choice and begin to gently scrub down the natural stone surface. Continue repeating this process until the soapy residue is completely gone. Step Two: Buffing Marble Countertops Grab a soft absorbent towel and buff the countertop after you have already rubbed down the surface until dry. Stain Removal And Supplies Getting rid of stains found on marble countertops can be a very tricky task. It is very helpful to identify the initial cause of said stains on your counters. This enables you to find the right cleaner to use for that type of stain. The sooner you tend to the stain the easier it will be to remove it. You should never mix chemicals or other cleaning agents with each other. Not only can they be toxic but they can also be lethal. Before you clean you should always test out the cleaning agent of choice on an inconspicuous area so you can determine the suitability and be sure that it will not damage the countertop surface. You also want to be sure to use the right clothing like protective eyewear, gloves, and be in a well-ventilated area. Materials you may need are as follow; Mineral Spirits Ammonia Acetone Soft Liquid Cleanser 12% Hydrogen Peroxide Bleach 20% Hydrogen Peroxide Lacquer Thinner Razor Blade 0000 Steel-Wood Pads Soft Sponge Gloves Flour Protective Eyewear Pre-Mixed Commercial Poultice Oil Stains Oil-based stains such as cooking oil, grease, makeup, or milk will cause the stone to darken the countertop and will have to be dealt with using chemicals. Gently clean the surface using a soft sponge or towel, a liquid cleanser w/ bleach, ammonia, acetone, and mineral spirits. Biological Stains You can battle mildew stains using a 3-part household bleach with 1 part water and a small dash of dish soap all mixed together inside of a spray bottle. Take the spray bottle and spray the countertop surface thoroughly & repeat until the stain is gone. You can then rinse the area with water. Finally, dry off the surface using a dry soft cloth. Organic Stains Tea, paper, coffee, fruit, wine, tobacco, & other similar food stains can be cleaned using a 12 % hydrogen-peroxide solution with a couple of ammonia drops. Now, wipe over the stain using a clean cloth. Take a damp cloth and rinse off the area. Dry the surface using a chamois cloth. Ink Stains When you are wanting to remove ink-based stains from dark countertops, take a cotton swab and dip it in acetone. Using the cotton swab, apply the acetone directly onto the countertop surface. If you have lighter countertops, then you’ll want to use a 20 % hydrogen peroxide solution. You will also need a soft sponge or cloth dampened with H20 to wipe off the residue after the stain removal. 9 1. Take anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 of a cup of flour in a bowl and mix it with either acetone (dark colored stone) or twenty percent hydrogen peroxide (light stone) to form a paste. 2. Take flour poultice and apply it to the area with a spoon or plastic spatula. Now cover the area with some plastic wrap and press down firmly. Take a toothpick and poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and let the poultice dry up for about 24 hours. 3. Remove & discard the wrap & let the poultice to continue drying. After it is completely dry you can remove it and discard of it. If you still see any marks left then all you have to do is repeat the process. 4. After the stain is completely gone, you’ll want to apply a little bit of neutral pH soap like Dove. You will use this to clean the surface off. You will also need a soft sponge or cloth dampened in water. Clean off the area where the soap was & remove any leftover residue. Paint Stains You can start by removing a small drip using lacquer thinner by dabbing it on using a cloth or you can also scrape it off with a razor blade but you have to do this carefully to prevent any potential scratches on the surface. For large paint stains, you will need to use commercial paint stripper which may cause etching & require the need for repolishing after the removal. See back instructions when using these products. After you finish using any of the mentioned products you should always clean the area off using a clean cloth or sponge dampened in water and ventilate the area afterward. Regardless of whether you own your own condominium or your own house, countertops can get dirty throughout time so make sure you know how to properly clean them! Water Rings And Spots You are going to want to buff away any watermarks using a dry 0000-rated steel wool pad. This particular pad may potentially do the trick for any small scratches and nicks you may find. Bigger issues will probably require a need for repolishing. You can prevent such damages by using trivets and coasters. Metal Stains Metal stains are caused by rust or iron and may range from orange to brown color while bronze or copper stains normally will appear muddy brown or green. All metal stains are stubborn. You can tackle metal stains using poultice: Take premixed commercial poultices and mix it in with water until it reaches a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. Take the mix and apply it over the stain to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. Take a plastic or wood spatula and spread the paste evenly over the stain. You can cover the metal stain with plastic wrap & secure the sides all around using painter’s tape. Let it sit for 24 – 48 hours. Take off the plastic wrap and let the poultice dry as to pull the stain off of the natural stone countertop. After the poultice has dried to the touch, you can remove it with the plastic or wood scraper and then rinse off the area using distilled water. Buff using a soft cloth. For more related content make sure to visit our quartz blog or contact us today by calling a solid surface expert. 804-379-2641 kitchen
How Do You Clean Granite Countertops Are you searching the web for the proper ways on how to clean granite countertops? Then look no further because the Capitol Granite specialists will show you how! This short guide will walk you through all of the necessary steps you must take when cleaning granite countertops. A lot of people say Windex is the best way to clean your granite tops, unfortunately, this is not true! Do not use Windex to clean off your countertops, you must use a special cleaner made specifically for granite surface tops. For a deeper look into the proper ways to clean granite countertops, keep reading below. Do’s And Dont’s For Cleaning Granite Do: Seal Granite Countertops Although granite is known to be an extremely hard surface that is also less porous than marble, unsealed granite will soak up spills, oils, and stains. If you are not sure whether your granite countertops are sealed, drop a small amount of water on the surface. If the water drops bead up then this means you do in fact have sealed countertops. If you see that the water soaks into the granite then you should consider resealing the stone. Do: Be Very Gentle When you are going to wipe off your countertops, all you have to do is take some warm water, mild dish soap, & and a washcloth. Dampen the washcloth in the warm soapy water mix and gently wipe off your granite countertops until they are clean. Don’t: Use Abrasive Or Harsh Sponges And Cleaners Stay far away from acidic cleaners such as lemon, lime, vinegar, and anything that may contain bleach or ammonia. When these chemicals are frequently used, will cause the sealant to weaken and dull. Sealants break down much faster when you use harsh chemicals. The harsher the cleaner, the faster the sealant breaks down. Disinfecting Granite A granite countertop that is sealed correctly, is impervious to germs or bacteria. Dish soap and hot water are adequate for day to day sanitizing. If you are looking for something a bit stronger than consider mixing water and isopropyl alcohol. Mix together a 50/50 solution using those two liquids and then spray it on the granite countertop. Let the solution sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse the countertop with water & dry it off with a microfiber cloth. Stay away from ammonia and bleach-based cleaners. Using A Safe Granite Cleaner There are so many different granite cleaner options in the market today. A lot of cleaners claim that they are safe to use on granite. If you’d like, you could use those cleaners that are made specifically to clean granite countertops or you could also follow the next few steps below to clean and disinfect your tops. What You’ll Need Gentle Dish Soap Warm Water Dish Cloth Isopropyl Alcohol Clean Microfiber Cloth Spray Bottle Directions Dampen the dishcloth with warm soapy water: Fill up your sink with warm water and add mild dish soap. Then take a clean dishcloth and wet it in the water. Wipe the granite countertops: Simply take the damp dishcloth and wipe down your counters as you mean it! Wipe away crumbs and spills. Dry off your tops: Now dry & buff the granite with a soft terry cloth towel or a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Make an isopropyl alcohol and water solution: To disinfect your countertops, remove any soap residue, restore shine, you’ll want to mix a 50/50 solution containing water and isopropyl alcohol. Disinfect & shine: Take the solution and spray it on the granite surface and let it sit for 3 – 5 minutes. Rinse the countertop with water and then dry it off with a clean or new microfiber cloth. Now enjoy: Now you have shiny and clean granite countertops! Enjoy For more related content make sure to visit our countertop blog. If you would like to speak to a granite countertop installation expert, then contact us today by calling 804-379-2641. You can also check out our countertops FAQS page for
Want to decorate your kitchen for fall without minimizing your counter space? We have a guide for you! Check out these fun fall decor tips for your kitchen countertops. Mini Pumpkins Metal Tins Glass Cake Dome Tops Tiered Stands Wood Slices Need new granite countertops for your fall decor? Update them with Capitol Granite! Click here to browse our countertop selection. Check out more of our kitchen trends on the blog. kitchen
Did you know October is kitchen and bath month? Well, it is! Believe it or not, now is the best time to upgrade your countertops before the holiday season. To help you prepare for your countertop installation, we have developed this handy dandy guide to ensure you know what to do and expect in a countertop remodel. 1. Budget One of the most important items to develop in any home project is to establish your budget. Knowing what you are able to spend, or even having an idea of what you would like to spend, will give you a realistic expectation of what you will be able to accomplish in any project. 2. Plan Plan, plan, and plan some more. It is important to plan around your families schedule. Being without a kitchen or bathroom for any amount of time is stressful. Even though a countertop installation is a quick process, it is good to plan ahead and be prepared for extra time and space. 3. Know Your Space If you are changing the layout of your kitchen, it is a good idea to know the ins and outs of your existing space to ensure you know what you want and don’t want in your new space. Some things to take into account are your home’s traffic patterns, plumbing, and electrical. 4. In-Home Measure Before you head off to the showroom and slab house it is important you gather some measurements and dimensions of your current and future space. These don’t have to be exact, but they will help give us an idea of your home. Later on, a team member will make a home visit to template once you have selected your countertop. 5. Select Your Slab Capitol Granite Design Center is here to help you choose the right products for your project. We carry a variety of countertop materials, including granite, marble, quartz, solid surface, recycled glass, butcher block, and more. With our Demo to Done program, we can help you tackle your entire renovation project. Click here to browse our countertop selection. 6. Measure & Template This is when things get real! It is time to plan and schedule a team member to visit your home to template your space and gather all of the necessary information about your installation. No one wants to be surprised with extra charges or unforeseen problems. That’s why we take extremely accurate measurements. We are a fully digital fabrication shop and use state-of-the-art technologies for a streamlined production process. Your kitchen or bath will be measured using laser precision, resulting in much greater accuracy for the final product. We also offer a rendering program that allows custom layouts to be fed to our machinery. This will give you peace of mind that your project design will meet your expectations. 7. Prepare Your Home On the day of your installation, it is important to clear pathways and entryways and remove items from existing counters to ensure a smooth removal and installation. 8. Leave The Rest To The Pros It’s time to sit back and relax. Your new countertops will be installed and ready for you to enjoy in no time. Once the work is complete, our installers will review the job with you and answer any questions you may
This past week we searched high and low for design trends at this year’s Design Chicago event! As we walked the halls of The Merchandise Mart, we noticed that design inspiration was everywhere. From countertops, tile, appliances, rugs, and more, here are our top picks from the Midwest’s best in residential interior furnishings, architecture, and interior design. Smart Appliances The number one misconception customers have about smart appliances is that they are too complicated. At the Experience & Design Center, we learned that Bosch, Thermador, and Gaggenau appliances are well aware of this claim and are changing the game in smart home appliances. The days of having to download multiple apps to manage your different branded appliances are over! The Home Connect app brings added value to your smart appliance experience by giving you the freedom to manage, discover new recipes, diagnosis/troubleshoot and store all of your appliance manuals in one place. Tile In the Ann Sacks showroom, we saw a glamorous array of prints, making it loud and clear that having fun with tile, and going bold with print is definitely in style. Carpet & Rugs In the world of Stark Carpet Corporation, we learned two things, bold colors and animal print are a tried and true way to show some personality in your space. The options are nearly endless with carpets and rugs. They make great statement pieces and aren’t permanent so are easily changed out over time to introduce pattern or color to a room. Solid Surfaces & Compact Surfaces At almost every panel we attended, solid surfaces and the newer category of compact surfaces were consistently a topic of discussion. They each offer their own specific benefits when it comes to countertops as well as a huge array of designs to catch any eye. Do quartz surfaces have a new competitor? Click here to shop our selection of solid surfaces. Faucet We discovered a lot of beautifully designed fixtures from the event, but Brizo’s Charlotte collection has our heart. The design is infused with clean lines and elegance bridging the gap between traditional and modern design. Hardware Hardware is the jewelry to the home and Belwith Keeler had several new collections that create the perfect accents to your cabinetry and furniture. Jewel-tones, mixed metals and industrial details are all the rage when adding hardware to your space. We can’t wait to see these trends make more of an appearance in residential and commercial design in 2019. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for design inspiration. Original content curated by
It’s October and it’s officially the start of the kitchen and bath season. If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathroom now is the time! Just think how perfect it would be to have your newly remolded space ready for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned because all month long we are celebrating with the season’s latest design trends, cleaning, and organizational tips, and exclusive promotions just
Marble has a timeless appeal, providing an elegant and sophisticated feel. Available in a polished or honed finish, it is many people’s choice for a high-end look. Marble also has two popular variations, Carrara and Calacatta. Both are beautiful, and unique in their own ways. Want to know the difference? We’re breaking it down so you can find the perfect marble for your countertops. History of Marble: Marble is generally formed from limestone undergoing metamorphism. When exposed to extremes of pressure or heat, limestone turns into calcite or dolomite crystals, which are the primary materials in marble. Marble has a famous history. The ancient Greeks built their architecture, cities, and sculptures often from Pentelic and Parian Marbles, quarried in Greece. The Romans later used marble in their buildings as well, quarrying in the Greek spots and finding Roman marble quarries of their own. Marble is, in a lot of ways, what the classical and Hellenistic age was built from. This is one of the reasons people are drawn to marble for countertops and flooring. Carrara Marble: The easiest way to tell the two apart is to look at the veining. White Carrera marble tends to have “softer” veining. Another factor that differs between the two stones is the base color. Carrara marble tends to look less “true white” compared to Calacatta. In fact, White Carrara can be greyish when compared to Calacatta. Calacatta Marble: Where Carrara has soft veining, Calacatta marble contains very sharp and thick veins. Calacatta marble also tends to be whiter than Carrara marble. This is an important factor to note, because the whiter the marble the more valuable it is, which also means the more it may cost. Nevertheless, a great choice for countertops, flooring, and backsplash. In conclusion, depending on your budget and style preferences both variations of marble will make an excellent statement to
There is a reason why white kitchens have been a classic look for many years. The timeless look of a simple white kitchen connotes cleanliness and brightens rooms that can be naturally dark. It can also make smaller spaces appear larger. However, some all white kitchens have a tendency to appear a bit stark, or quite frankly…a little boring. The kitchen is the heart and soul of your home, and it should make a statement, not just blend in with its surroundings. Here are a few tips to warm up and personalize your white kitchen and create a look that will never go out of style! Add metal accents. Metals such as copper, bronze, brass or polished nickel can definitely warm up an all white kitchen. Look beyond your cabinet hardware for metal options and consider adding a combination of metals with your lighting, fixtures and possibly open shelving? Source: Chilton Development Add real wood elements. Real wood adds a warm organic feel to a white kitchen. Islands/countertops, floating shelves and flooring are great areas with the potential to add a real wood look. Source: MALI AZIMA Accessorize to bring in your personality and flavor to your all white kitchen. Consider displaying your cookbook collection in your open shelving units. If you have a garden, rotate in fresh flowers for a pop of color. The options are endless to add depth and interest to what could otherwise be a bland space. Source: My Amazing Things Add a statement hood and/or backsplash. A large striking range hood and dramatic backsplash could be the only major design statement you need in an otherwise all white kitchen! Source: Lauren Albanese With an all white kitchen, it’s all about adding contrasting elements and shades of color that will blend seamlessly with the white space and create a more inviting space for your family and guests.
What you need to consider when buying Granite Because it is a natural stone, granite, has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty that has captivated humans throughout the ages. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability that sophisticated architects and designers celebrate. Consumers who are less acquainted with the material expect the granite ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they were shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry’s product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing an element of nature into human-designed spaces, whether residential or commercial. Granite FAQ How is Granite formed? Granite is an igneous rock of visible crystalline formation and texture. It is composed primarily of feldspar, quartz, and mica. It starts off as liquid magma deep within the earth’s core where it is cooled and compressed over millions of years under tons of pressure. It is then quarried, cut and polished. After that process it can be applied in various ways like kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplace surrounds as well as Jacuzzi surrounds and other custom designs. Does granite have any pits or fissures? Yes, granite has natural pits and fissures that are part of the stones natural structure. Some types of granite have more of such characteristics than other types, and pits can be minimized by applying sealer to the surface of the counter. What does “pitting” mean as it pertains to Granite? Granites are made up of many materials with differing hardness. Pits occur naturally in granite and are a characteristic of stone. Some colors of materials have more pits than others. Biotites are quite soft and make up the black minerals in granite. Because of its softness, the first few layers are removed during the polishing process which leaves the void, or pit. The varying amounts of pits will depend on the number of biotites, muscovite, and phlogopite in polished igneous/metamorphic rock. This does not affect the quality of the material but instead may provide a positive or negative personal preference for the end user. What is the typical amount of Radon in Granite Countertops? Normally a granite countertop will emit 7.4 x 107 pCi/l of radon in the air. OK, what does that mean? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope in the earth that is continually being emitted at some level, known as the ‘background’. Some areas of the country have more background than others, hence the required testing for Radon in homes in some areas of New England to sell/buy the property. Post 9/11, all containers of material are screened for radioactivity through Customs anyway, which would prevent a ‘hot’ slab from existing. All reputable quarriers and suppliers and fabricators who buy from them can be rest assured they are free of any Radon beyond typical ‘background’ levels. At Capitol Granite, we have a Geologist on call to perform actual testing of slab(s) as requested by the client to clear of any potential emissions. This is a 48-hour process and costs approximately $250 for this service. Please contact us for more details. Are there any types of enhanced granite consumers should be cautious of? Yes. Caution should be in tinting, epoxy filling, and resin filling. Tinting is a short-term “fix” because eventually, the color will bleed out. With epoxy (polyester) filling is sometimes used to fill Granite Dimension Stone that does not meet ASTM criteria and therefore is not suitable for wet or exterior applications. Resin filling is in granite to reduce the appearance of “pits” in granite and must be properly labeled as such so the Producer and End User are made aware. Most slabs are enhanced in today’s market with resin (prior to polishing at the producer level where the massive blocks are converted to polished slabs). What role does “rodding” play in granite countertops? The MIA (Marble Institute of America) conducted a series of tests to verify that rodding granite countertops at the weakest point (i.e., at cutouts) will greatly reduce the amount of breakage when moving and installing the countertop. The principle is similar to putting rebar in concrete. The steel is flexible, granite is not. Rod limits tension, which stone does not like. The combination of the two is better than the individual components. Many shops down-play the importance of rodding as a safeguard for the homeowner because of the time & expense of doing it correctly. We rod all sink & cooktop front/back rails in the kitchen environment. At a minimum, the rod will typically keep the piece from catastrophic failure (two pieces from one) and limit the breakage to a crack that may be repaired vs replaced. Should I use marble or granite for my kitchen countertops? Although typical application of marble is for the bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops, and fireplaces, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. However, due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and is affected by acidic substances, such as vinegars, ketchups etc, we don’t usually recommend it. Moreover, the high-gloss of the marble countertop can be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface. Granite, in turn, is considered the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans. Historically, marble has been the material of choice for centuries prior to the discovery and ability to quarry the wide variety of granites available today. Does granite stain? In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity relative to other materials. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. This is an indicator you sealer needs to be re-introduced to your countertops. Can granite countertop stain or burn? No. You can’t burn it with ordinary use. Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust. It can not be affected by heat from a cooktop or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks. Capitol Granite recommends the use of a trivet to prevent the potential for ‘thermal shock’. This phenomenon can occur when high heat sources from a large mass are introduced to an area where the expansion/contraction creates a stress. A hot cookie sheet or lit match does not contain enough mass, regardless of temperature. A crockpot cooking on high temp for several hours may. Can granite chip? Only in cases of abuse, i.e. hammer/impact tool. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. Super-glue can also be used, as the clear glue will take on the appearance of the stone, and can be scraped to the same luster with a razor blade set on edge. Can granite crack? Not typically. Granite will not crack with the ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation, and when excessive force is placed on the material, like stepping on the sink rail to change a light bulb over the sink. Granite is very, very strong in compression, and normal use will not overstress this durable material. Can granite be repaired? It is very hard to damage granite. If any damage occurs it can be sealed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of granite for larger areas, or Cyanoacrylate A glue for small, minute areas. Cyanoacrylate A glue dries fast to a glossy finish, making it suitable for granite repairs. Flowable epoxies are another option for deep penetration and stabilization of ‘cracks’. Call us for more detail, if you need a repair. Do granite seams show? Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks usually no more than 10′ long, you will most likely end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in an ‘L’ shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color, and pattern. A small, uniform grain (such as Ubatuba) will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain (such as Typhoon Bordeaux). A dark color (Platinum) will be less apparent than a light color (Imperial White). A dramatic pattern with swaths of color (Kinawa, Paradiso) will show more seams than a uniform pattern (Dakota Mahogany). Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams. We utilize special digital photography and layout software to create ‘virtual seams’ to ensure veining will mate at seam locations. This is an activity we encourage the client to participate in if their material is variegated (veined), and is a service at no charge. How are seams made? Seams are done where the two pieces of stone are put together. The seams are joined with epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then the joined area is smoothened, leaving only a very thin line visible. Can I cut on my Granite countertop? Only if you want to ruin your good knives. Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board. Can my granite countertop be damaged? Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances. How to clean granite countertops. Polished granite is a very durable stone. It is also much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry. Some of the obvious applications have been panels on the outside of buildings, walls, and floors of “high-traffic” areas. Granite will withstand almost any element it comes up against including heat and cold. Granite itself is approximately 95-98% stain resistant but, we use a silicone impregnator on all our natural stone products. This will ensure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, soap flakes or powder which contains no aromatics. Follow with a thorough rinsing and drying with a cotton-flannel or chamois. Ready to Shop Know that you know more of this wonderful natural stone, you can visit us today to get your project completed in just 5 days with our
Countertop installation isn’t something that should be DIY’ed. Especially when it comes to installing granite and natural stone. There are safety concerns and technical details to take into consideration. It is best to leave this job to the pros. Choosing Granite Countertops Granite comes from mother nature, making each slab unique with different shade variations, fissures, cracks, chips, pits, and pores. Don’t let this scare you away! This is what makes natural stone so beautiful! Not only does granite make a great countertop surface because of its beauty, it is also a great choice because of its qualities. Granite countertops are resistant to scratches, bacteria, stains, and heat, and can also be used for both outdoor and indoor spaces. Now that you have selected one of the most popular and durable countertops for your space it is important to get them professionally installed. Professional Granite Installation Benefits Damage: Even though granite is a strong and durable surface, it can easily be damaged in the transportation process if the right precautions aren’t met. Insured: Installing your natural stone countertops with a professional installer will eliminate a great risk of damage, not to mention the installer and the stone are insured if things go wrong. This is not always the case with a handyman who would leave you with the bill and the damaged product. Time: There is a lot of work that takes place in the fabrication and installation of your granite countertops. Measuring, cutting, sanding, polishing, and sealing are just some of the steps that take place before your countertops are installed in your home. Countertop installation can be a lot of work for a DIY handyman to handle. Our team of installers are trained professionals that have the proper knowledge and tools to get your countertops installed perfectly and in a timely manner. So sit back and relax and let the professionals create an enjoyable experience for you and your family. If you are needing new countertops installed in your home consider Capitol Granite for your project. For nearly 15 years we have built a reputation for craftsmanship and customer experience within the industry. We stand behind our work and are confident that we can provide you with the BEST countertops, cabinets, flooring and more for your design project. Contact us today to get started on your installation.
Quartzite is the latest craze in countertop materials because of its beauty, coloring, and often translucent, 3-dimensional effect it has to the eye, giving the surface a ‘depth’. Quartzite is used in many sectors – architecture, manufacturing, and construction. It is also used commercially for decorative purposes. Over time, Quartzite countertops have grown in popularity and is a great favorite with interior designers and homeowners. Its durability, stylish appearance, luster and color make it ideal for countertops and even feature walls. An expensive option perhaps, but its elegance and appeal make it an all-time favorite. So what is quartzite you may ask? We have you covered. What Is Quartzite? You’ve often heard of sandstone but did you ever connect it with Quartzite? That’s what Quartzite was originally known as. Rightly so perhaps, because the life of Quartzite begins with sand grains, which closely adhere to each other to form sandstone. Compressed and buried between layers of rocks, the sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. Sand grains are made up of primarily two minerals, silica, and quartz. It is in these pockets around the world where the sand grains are mostly quartz, and subjected to extreme pressures over time; tectonic plate pressures are what come to mind, but not always the case. Consequently, the sand grains in the sandstone lose their identity, fuse with each other and become hard metamorphic rock- Voilà, Quartzite is formed. Quartzite is chiefly made up of quartz- sometimes to the extent of 99 percent of quartz and is present in quarries. Quartzite is different from the quartz that we know in the sense that Quartz is synthetically obtained by fusing resins, pigments and quartz stone chips together, whereas Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that began its life as sandstone primarily consisting of quartz mineral. The main characteristics of Quartzite are: Pure form is usually white or light in color Presence of iron oxide and other minerals makes the color vary from pink, green, blue to red Hard and durable Smooth with a lustrous and grainy appearance Appears to superficially resemble marble, but unlike marble, Quartzite is not scratched by metal and is resistant to acids Differs from sandstone in that when it’s broken, Quartzite suffers a smooth fracture unlike sandstone Unaffected by chemical weathering It has varying degrees of porosity- ranging from dense to very porous Very often the term ‘soft Quartzite’ crops up but the term is a misnomer because Quartzite is not a soft material. As marble and Quartzite look very alike, one is often mistaken for the other. So ‘soft Quartzite’ is in all probability only marble. Given the properties of Quartzite, it’s easy to find out how authentic a piece of Quartzite actually is. Quartzite will scratch glass easily, whereas other quartz-like stones will only leave a ‘powdery trail’ or a scratch mark that rubs off very easily. Pros of Quartzite Countertops The hardness of Quartzite is a testimony to its durability because it’s unlikely for Quartzite to develop any problems even over a long period of time. Looks like marble, but is easier to maintain than marble. Ordinary soap and water is a great cleanser – Quartzite doesn’t require any fancy cleaning material! UV resistant and even if used outdoors, chances of fading are nil Common colors of quartzite are what the market currently demands. Cons of Quartzite Countertops Although Quartzite is formed under great heat and pressure, it cannot withstand heat – Dishes from the stove or oven should not be placed directly on Quartzite countertops! Knives and sharp objects can make a mark – you need to use a cutting board while chopping on Quartzite countertops. Quartzite countertops need sealing much like granite. No two pieces of Quartzite are alike and you are sure to get a product that is unlike any other. In its purest form Quartzite is white, and in its pristine state, no other stone can equal it in sophistication and elegance. It resembles white marble and has the quality of white granite- but is more durable than either of them. The impurities in Quartzite work to its advantage as they produce inherent patterns that are very unique. When the stone is polished, the designs stand out, adding to the natural luster of the stone. Although marble and granite have been around for a very long time, Quartzite is superior to both because of its hardness. Quartzite is resistant to chemicals, immune to abrasions, suitable for all climatic conditions and low on maintenance, it’s being regarded as a great stone to have in homes and commercial buildings. Capitol Granite now stocks various colors of Quartzite that you can view online and in our showrooms. Visit us today and together we can add this beautiful surface to
When you remodel your space with Capitol Granite in Richmond VA, you are receiving more than just a job well done. At Capitol Granite, we take great pride in our work and our customer’s satisfaction. That is why it is our mission to provide our clients with the highest quality kitchen and bathroom countertops, cabinets, and flooring, with an unmatched level of workmanship to ensure a precise and beautiful finished product. How we do this you may ask? It’s no secret. When you remodel with Capitol Granite you will receive: A One Stop Shop Our customers have told us that they want a one-stop-shop for their kitchen or bath renovation. They don’t want to spend weeks on end thinking they are close to finishing their project only to be let down by issues or miscommunicated timelines. Remodeling with Capitol Granite allows you to shop for your countertops, cabinets, flooring, backsplash, and fixtures. Click to shop Granite Countertops Richmond VA. Education We believe an educated customer is a good customer. Our team is here to help with your construction process and ensure your project is an enjoyable one; from concept to completion. Quick Lead Times Managing a remodel can take a lot of time and many frustrations can arise. That is why we control ALL aspects of the kitchen remodel! The subcontractor variable is removed, allowing us to capitalize on a shorter time frame which brings us our Demo to Done program. Demo to Done Since we control all aspects of your kitchen remodel, we can complete the task at hand in just 5 days with our Demo to Done program. For a complete kitchen remodel, the typical time between the cabinets being permanently set to the installation of the countertops is typically about a 2-week process. Making kitchen remodels lasting an average of 30-35 days to complete. Our Demo to Done program allows us to do all of the work subcontractors would normally do in a streamlined scheduled process. Click to shop Granite Countertops Richmond VA. Trusted Source We are the only Natural Stone Institute Accredited fabricator in the Richmond area. Receiving this Accreditation means we exemplify best practices in all facets of our business, but what it really means for YOU is: Our facilities are clean and we operate under strict safety standards. We have exceptional technical knowledge and product expertise. We are dedicated to ensuring you are well educated on your options. Our materials and projects undergo rigorous quality control inspections. Having a great experience with your countertop or remodel project is our top priority. Peace of Mind For nearly 15 years we have built a reputation for craftsmanship and customer experience within the industry. We stand behind our work and are confident that we can provide you with the BEST countertops, cabinets, flooring and more for your design project. We have two showrooms and fabrication facilities, in Midlothian and Glen Allen, just minutes from Richmond, VA. We invite you to come visit us and speak with one of our customer service representatives and experience the Capitol Granite Design difference. Click to shop Granite Countertops Richmond VA.
FAQ- Facts about Marble Countertops & Marble Surfaces: Marble is any limestone or dolomite that can take a high polish and still be usable. Marble is generally formed from limestone undergoing metamorphism. When exposed to extremes of pressure or heat limestone turns into calcite or dolomite crystals, which are the primary materials in marble. Marble has a famous history. The ancient Greeks built their architecture, cities, and sculptures often from Pentelic and Parian Marbles, quarried in Greece. The Romans later used marble in their buildings as well, quarrying in the Greek spots and finding Roman marble quarries of their own. Marble is, in a lot of ways, what the classical and Hellenistic age was built from. This is one of the reasons people are drawn to marble for the countertops, flooring, and bathroom vanities. Please contact Capitol Granite if you wish to discuss in detail the pros and cons of marble surfaces for your kitchen, bathroom, or flooring. You can also view Capitol Granite’s Marble Countertops Color Collection Here. Most Common Uses for Marble: The uses for marble are almost endless. Marble is used in flooring, kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bathroom vanities, bars, pillars, staircases, colonnades, paneling, and facing stone in architectural structures. It can’t, however, be used outdoors, since water would corrode its crystalline structure. It is also very smooth and therefore tends to be slippery, which makes it unfavorable to use in high traffic areas. Marble is one of the most beautiful stones, with a highly polished smooth face and a wide variety of colors. These various colors are due to impurities, such as iron or carbon, getting caught in the marbles structure during formation. They often appear in stripes which makes the marble, especially when cut, very beautiful. This is why marble is very popular for high-end countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. It can turn an average kitchen into an extraordinary one that will leave visitors speechless. However, Marble is not ideal for use on kitchen countertops because it scratches easily, and not as strong as granite, and is primarily used in bathroom vanities. People do still use marble in high-end kitchens that are more for show than common usage. It’s these properties that make marble suited to some of the more delicate arts. It can be crafted into beautiful home furnishings, and it has been the material used in many of the worlds most beautiful sculptures. It is one of the most beautiful, elegant, historically prevalent stones that can be used. This is why so many people choose marble countertops, marble flooring, and marble for their bathroom vanities. Marble is primarily used in other settings than kitchen countertops. This is because marble countertops are not a durable as other surfaces such as granite and quartz. Marble countertops will easily damage due to the different properties that marble possesses. Marble is primarily used in bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, hearts, and tile stone. This is because, marble is a beautiful surface that people love in their homes; however, marble is not the ideal surface for heavily used surfaces. Marble fireplace surrounds are gorgeous and marble is capable of sustaining the heat without getting damaged. Marble tile in yellow marble, white marble, or other marble colors give a smooth expanse of warm earthy color to a room, lifting it out of the doldrums. Marble vanity tops and marble bathrooms work incredibly well and dazzle the eye. Marble is applicable in many suggestible places, giving environments a clean, pure, and graceful look. Please contact Capitol Granite to learn more and see where marble might be the best fit in your home. Maintaining Marble Countertops & Marble Surfaces: Be very careful whenever you place anything on top of your marble countertops as it can get scratches pretty easily. • Consider using acetone or clear ammonia to remove stains off marble tiles. • You can use a clean cloth to apply the cleaner and later on buff dry your marble countertops and marble flooring. • Every time you place a cold beverage on your marble countertops, use coasters because marble countertops will easily stain and develop rings. • Always wipe marble floors/countertops/vanities with a damp cloth; you can also buff dry once a week. If you wish to lay inexpensive marble for your kitchen floors or bathroom countertops, go with white marble. It really lights up the entire place and looks really attractive. However, you need to be careful with any kind of marble stone because marble is delicate and can scratch fairly quickly. Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops and Marble Surfaces Pros of Marble Countertops and Marble Surfaces: Marble Countertops are Beautiful: Marble is well known for its beauty. Most people associate marble with luxury due to its uses inexpensive royal historical buildings. Marble is also a prized material for kitchen countertops. The fact remains that the beauty of marble is still greatly appreciated. Being a natural stone with a distinctive look, marble will most likely remain popular for a long time to come. The delicately ‘marbled’ surface has an elegant simplicity to it. Marble Surfaces are Heat Proof: Marble resists damage from heat which is a good thing in a kitchen. Cons of Marble Countertops & Marble Surfaces: Marble Surfaces are Porous: Being porous means the potential for staining. If liquids are spilled onto the marble surface, the longer the spill is left the more the potential for staining. Spills must be wiped up promptly. Sealers are necessary to maintain the look and may need to be reapplied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Professional sealing is recommended for marble surfaces. Marble Surfaces are Softer than Other Stones: Marble can be damaged by scratches because it is a relatively soft stone. On a surface such as a countertop, scratching is a real possibility. More care must be taken to prevent scratches on marble than on other harder stone surfaces. Marble Countertops and Marble Surfaces are Expensive: One of the reasons that marble is relatively rare in entire kitchen counter scenarios is the price. Marble is very costly compared to other materials. More often you will find certain areas of the kitchen with marble, such as a kitchen island. If the maintenance necessary seems prohibitive, consider an alternate stone counter material such
When choosing natural stone for countertops there is a lot of choices to make. From what type of stone to color, to edges and finishes. Something that seems simple, such as the finish, can drastically change the appearance of the stone and overall look of your space. We have had a lot of questions in regard to what finish to choose when adding marble to your home, so here is the low-down on polished vs honed marble. The Basics: The definition of Honed is when the stone slab has been grounded to a smooth, flat consistent surface. This finish is created by stopping short of the last stage of polishing, leaving the stone with a non-shiny, matte look and velvet-like touch. The definition of polished is, well you guessed it, the opposite! A polished surface creates a beautiful glossy shine from the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Honed Characteristics: Since honed marble is a matte finish it is more resistant to scratches. Even if honed marble does get scratched, it is less noticeable because the scratch won’t be as easy to see when light reflects off it, like with a polished surface. On the other hand, honed marble is more susceptible to stains, so it important to clean them up spills immediately. Since it is matte, when the surface gets wet, it is less slippery than polished making it a great choice for flooring. Polished Characteristics: Polished marble is coated which acts as a protectant, making it less susceptible to stains. Consequently, the highly reflective surface means more visible scratches. Since polished marble is very smooth, this makes it a dangerous option for flooring in high traffic areas because or bathrooms because it can be very slippery when wet. It is, however, a classic choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Honed Recap: Looks: Matte Feel: Velvet/Satin Durability: Scratch resistant, but easily stained. Maintenance: Regular wipe down with water and mild detergent, clean up spills immediately, re-sealing suggested over time. Suggested Application: Countertops and high traffic areas, such as floors for the bathroom, foyer, or living room. Polished Recap: Look: Glossy & Shiny Feel: Smooth Durability: Scratch and etch easily, but more stain resistant. Maintenance: Regular wipe down with water and mild detergent, clean spills immediately. Suggested Application: Kitchen and bathroom countertops, fireplace surrounds, and walls. Whether you chose honed or polished as the finish for your marble, it will make a luxurious addition to
When planning a new kitchen, or major kitchen remodel, pairing countertop and backsplash materials presents an age-old dilemma. Many designers swear by hard fast rules regarding how to make the perfect pairing, while others will say all the rules are meant to be broken! It makes the most sense to start with your countertops. The countertop is the main hub of your kitchen and will most likely take up the bulk of your budget (other than cabinets!). Your desired style, budget and the way you plan to use it will go a long way in determining the best material for your countertop. Generally speaking, there are more limited color/texture options with countertops whereas backsplash options are virtually unlimited. Nail you countertops first, then you can get creative and make a statement with your backsplash. Many homeowners desire the look of a natural stone material like marble, but either don’t have the budget or are turned off by its high maintenance nature. This is one of the main reasons many opt for engineered quartz for their countertops. Quartz is a non-porous material which makes it virtually maintenance free. No worries about staining from spilled red wine or highly acidic liquids. Based on advancements in the engineering process, quartz closely mimics the beauty of natural stone and is available in a large variety of colors. It is also more consistent in pattern than the natural stone making it versatile for both traditional and modern styles. As mentioned, this would allow you to get creative with your backsplash and have it define the ultimate style of the space. Why can’t you have the beauty of natural stone and the ease of maintenance and versatility of quartz? You can, by pairing a natural stone backsplash with your quartz countertops. It’s all about combining different colors, textures, and patterns to project the style statement you desire. For instance, pair beautiful vein cut limestone tiles with a limited pattern quartz countertop. Or add more texture by going with a stacked stone accented backsplash with quartz. To help inspire you to create your own unique combinations, let’s take a look at some examples: Black quartz countertops with white and gray marble chevron tiles for a stunning look; feasbyandbleeks.com LG Viatera Snow Strom Quartz countertops paired with gray polished marble subway time for a timeless look; lgviaterausa.com Vein cut limestone tile kitchen backsplash with quartz countertops; Designer, Carla Aston; Photographer, Tori Aston A freckled charcoal gray quartz countertop paired with an opulent gray marble mosaic tile;
Have you seen our top colors? We’re introducing our semi-annual color round-up of our most popular countertop colors purchased by our customers. Scroll through to see what they’re loving. Found something you like? Visit our showroom to shop our customer’s favorites
The spring and fall are usually heavy seasons for contractors and designers with projects, but that may not be the best time to remodel. It’s finally summer and we’re giving you four reasons to renovate your kitchen this season! 1. Enjoy the Outdoors Remodeling a kitchen can be hard on your family mealtime routine. Being without a sink and appliances can be challenging, and eating out costs money. The good news is, summertime is grilling season! Spend some time outdoors and try some simple grilled meals. 2. Open Schedules & Vacation Kids are out of school and are free from most extra-curricular activities, which can greatly open up your schedule. Now you can meet with contractors and designers without having to juggle around PTO meetings, baseball practice and the many other activities your children are involved in. Vacation and summer camps can also create ease during a remodeling period. How nice would it be to return home from vacation with a beautiful new kitchen? Pretty nice, right? 3. Lighting Picking out your countertops, cabinetry, and paint in natural light is key during any renovation. Summer is full of bright days to ensure you are making the right choice. Open the blinds and draw in curtains to fill your kitchen with natural light. Also, days are longer in the summer, allowing more daylight for work to take place. 4. Ventilation While a renovation is taking place, ventilation of dust and odors are important. During the summer, you can be worry-free and open windows and doors for ventilation without the cold and moisture of the other seasons playing effect. All in all, summer is a great season for many things. Add a kitchen renovation to your summer plans with Capitol Granite. From small upgrades to full updates, we can assist with your
According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75% of all U.S. households include an outdoor grill or smoker. Outdoor cooking has been a popular pastime in the U.S. ever since Weber introduced their now classic kettle charcoal grill. Today, more and more families are expanding on that trend by creating true outdoor living areas as part of their home with fully functional outdoor kitchens. The idea of the kitchen being the heart of the home is now expanding to the outdoors. As a result, grill, cabinet and accessories manufacturers are offering more products and add-ons than ever, within a wide range of budgets and styles. Depending on where you live you may be thinking about designing an outdoor kitchen for the summer months, or perhaps for year round use. You can now customize your outdoor living space to meet your personal interests and extend the look and feel of your indoor décor to the outdoors by incorporating a variety of styles and design elements such as tile, granite, concrete or stone. Here are some key areas to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen. One of the most important questions is what kind of cooking appliance(s) do you want? If, like most people, you’re interested in using your outdoor kitchen consistently for entertaining you’ll want to include many of the features of an indoor kitchen so meals can come together seamlessly. Consider appliances that can handle a number of different cooking styles by including options such as side burners, built-in griddles, smokers and even an outdoor pizza oven! Duel-hybrid grills have the convenience of gas grilling and the ability for smoking or charcoal cooking on the other side. To get the most enjoyment out of your outdoor kitchen give yourself the ability to cook in a variety of ways. Really think of your outdoor kitchen the same as you indoor, because the less running back and forth you have to do, the more you’ll enjoy your new space. A bar or beverage center is crucial to any outdoor entertaining space. This could include a section of your outdoor countertop to make drinks or a full bar with seating. Nearly every appliance that’s available indoors is now available outdoors: wine coolers, outdoor kegerators, ice makers, undercounter refrigerators and freezers…and even a dishwasher (introduced from ASKO last year). And don’t forget the sink, which is great for both dinner prep and drinks. A true outdoor living space will include more than just the cooking area. You want it be a communal area for gathering and mingling. Comfortable outdoor furniture, side tables and a dining area help create this extended living area. For chilly nights, a fire pit or heating element is ideal, while a misting system to cool everyone off during hot, humid days will keep guests coming back. The longer you can extend the season, the more value this investment will have. Don’t forget entertainment options such as outdoor televisions for watching the game or movie night…and an audio system for music throughout the day and evening. As outdoor kitchens become more elaborate and the need for storage space increases, many homeowners are adding higher quality stainless steel exterior cabinets. Stainless steel is ideal for outdoor applications as it resists weather, rot and insects. Further, they are now available in multiple door, drawer and pullout combinations. Viking now makes outdoor cabinetry that is proprietary to their line of outdoor grills, and Danver makes cabinets that sized for their grills and outdoor appliances. They have also recently released a line of stainless outdoor cabinets with a powder-coated finish that closely approximates wood grain. As you can see, the sky is the limit when designing an outdoor living
As classic as an old Hollywood movie, designing in black and white remains a timeless go-to for both traditionalists and modernists. This monochromatic scheme is layered in history, offers a multitude of tonalities and feels both crisp and inviting at the same time. The most successful designs balance out the contrasts between these two hues by using a mix of materials and finishes for the most striking effect. Consider these ideas when creating this type of space: Contrasting high gloss cabinetry with a matte white countertop. Pairing modern black stainless steel appliances with simple white cabinetry. Using encaustic tiles to blend with natural stone surfaces. Blending onyx and carrara marbles to create high drama. Adding accessories like metal task or pendant lighting for an industrial look. Combining classic white—or black—subway tile with a contrasting grout color. Adding brass hardware to add warmth or nickel for a contemporary feel. Painting the ceiling in a high gloss lacquer black or white paint. Creating checkerboard floors by painting over hardwoods or laying black and white tile. Installing oversized pendants in a powder coated finish over the island to play with scale. In Celerie Kemble’s design book, Black and White (And a Bit in Between) she used ten words to describe this combination: elegant, versatile, practical, inclusive, classic, playful, creative, orderly, calming and liberating. She called the pairing unfussy, while simultaneously eliminating the “paradox of choice” that can so often overwhelm a homeowner when it comes to major design decisions. With such a limited palette, the design becomes about textures and materials that ultimately create this irreverent
It is often said that “The kitchen is the heart of a home”. It’s where families and friends gather to cook, eat, mingle and entertain….truly enjoying each others company. For busy families, kitchen design is critical, as it needs to accommodate everyone that will be using the space—from parents who organize meals and activities to children that need to do their homework or fix themselves a snack—even the family pet that needs access to their food and water! Think about how each family member uses the kitchen and what their role is? How many people cook in the kitchen at the same time? Do you entertain often and host family holidays? Basically, think about a day in the life of your kitchen, both during the week and weekends. Easy cleaning surfaces are key for busy families. Reduce maintenance and clean up time by installing quartz surfaces which resists stains and is more forgiving with impacts. Look for surfaces with a little texture, like honed quartz or concrete which will also resist fingerprints! If you have younger children consider ordering your countertops with gently rounded edges instead of sharp corners. And, stick with semi-gloss paint for your kitchen walls rather than flat to easily wipe away spaghetti sauce and dirty fingerprints. An accessible pantry is a family’s best friend. A walk-in pantry? Even better! An organized pantry helps reduce countertop clutter and organizes food and paper goods into specific locations, making it easier for shopping inventory and putting groceries away. Designate lower pantry drawers for children to make it easier for them to access their favorite snacks. If you have the space, combine a walk-in pantry with a laundry room and utility sink to make it easier to power through your laundry while you cook! A large kitchen island can multi-task as a meal prep station, dining area, homework spot, etc. So why not consider two islands? One in the cooking zone can be exclusively for meal prep, while the other can be for dining, homework or a general gathering spot for family or guests. If you don’t have room for a second island, go with a banquette or breakfast nook. With a bench and chairs, you can fit more people into a smaller amount of space. An organization center can act as the family hub in your kitchen. Whether it’s a built-in desk or hidden within a cabinet, a spot for a laptop, tablet and other electronics will go a long way in keeping your family organized. Also, include a family calendar and an area for sorting mail and paperwork. Parents can use this area to plan menus with their children in view. Also consider incorporating charging stations hidden away in a cabinet or drawer, which will keep clutter off the countertops. When planning appliances, add areas (away from the cooking zone) where family members can help themselves instead of bothering the cook. Some ideas to consider: Separate refrigerated drawers (at kids height) for easy access to snacks and drinks A wine refrigerator to simplify entertaining A food warming drawer to keep side dishes hot, warm plates and cook food in batches Double dishwashers – simplify cleanup (especially when entertaining) by having two dishwashers in separate areas. Kids can empty one dishwasher while mom is loading the other! Pet food storage bins incorporated into cabinetry. Also, consider a pet feeding station built into the side of your island! Hopefully, these tips can help you design a family friendly kitchen that is not just beautiful, but also functional, practical
IDEA FILE: FLOOR TO CEILING CABINETS A design trend we’ve noticed recently is floor to ceiling cabinetry. While not a new concept, it’s becoming more popular in homes today because it addresses both aesthetic and practical issues. Floor to ceiling cabinets provide a clean, uncluttered look and help create the illusion of a higher ceiling and larger space. They also provide multiple storage opportunities for families with lots of “stuff” that needs to be close by, but out of sight (hence, the uncluttered aesthetic!). They can be integrated to match other cabinetry within a room and offer many options for flexible storage such as drawers, pullouts, cubbies, etc. Floor to ceiling cabinets are not just for the kitchen, they provide storage solutions for bathrooms, mudrooms and family/living rooms. Here are a few creative ways to incorporate floor to ceiling cabinetry in your next room makeover. Here, a wall of floor to ceiling cabinets adds height to the low end of a sloping kitchen ceiling. The cabinetry also conceals the kitchen appliances. It provides ideal storage for items that may not be everyday essentials, but are still needed within the kitchen space. A rolling library ladder is added to reach the upper cabinets and adds an old world rustic feel to the kitchen. In this bathroom, a floor to ceiling cabinet and drawer combo creates an efficient utilization of limited space. This is also a great solution when multiple kids in a household share a bathroom, as it by provides individual space for towels, laundry, etc. White floor to ceiling cabinets and shiplap create a classic coastal feel in this mudroom. The tall cabinets can also be designed as individual lockers with cubbies and hooks inside for keeping kids shoes, coats and other items out of
What is the right countertop material for your kitchen? When designing your dream kitchen, or remodeling your current one, there is no shortage of tough decisions to make and with one decision impacting another, it can all seem quite overwhelming. Many find it easiest to first focus on countertops. Unfortunately, that raises even more questions! Specifically, what material and design do you want? What’s the right countertop material for your lifestyle? Do you need an easy to maintain, stain resistant surface? Or is style most important to you? For most people, the primary question comes down to which material is going to strike the best balance between beauty, style, and maintenance. Luckily, there’s a vast range of options available that address durability and maintenance, and all importantly, the style factor. However, with so many materials ranging from natural stone, quartz composites, stained concrete and even natural wood available, in practically any color, pattern or texture you could want, making the right choice can be tricky. And you might want to incorporate two materials into that space. Here’s the basic 101 on deciphering what’s what in surfaces. Here’s a quick look at some of the top countertop materials available today to help you choose the right options for your kitchen. GRANITE While it now has more competition than in the past, granite is still a top choice among homeowners. Granite countertops offer both a high-end look and durability. With granite being a natural material, it has variation in color and pattern which adds to its appeal. Granite is comparable in cost to manufactured quartz but does require more care and a regular sealing routine. QUARTZ With quartz being a manmade product it is practically maintenance free and far tougher than natural marble or soapstone. It has a pre-sealed, non-porous surface, making it stain, scratch, heat, and impact resistant. It’s also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, giving perennial top choice granite a run for its money in recent years. CONCRETE A thick concrete countertop can be the focal point of a modern kitchen design. Concrete is highly customizable with many stain and texture options available. It can also stand high heat very well and is scratch and stain resistant if sealed properly. Concrete on its own can feel overly cold or architectural, so it’s often mixed with other materials and accents like glass, tile, and marble to create a soft, one of a kind look. WOOD A butcher block style countertop can create a warm, cottage style look and when properly sealed is highly heat resistant and ideal for food prep. While you may have one vision of this style countertop, there are many species of wood, including teak, acacia, cherry and American walnut, that can be used for this purpose. It is also common for wood countertops to be mixed with other surfaces like natural or engineered stone to bring in the cozy element of natural wood while still providing a variety of prep surfaces. MARBLE Marble has a timeless appeal, providing an elegant and sophisticated feel. Available in a polished or honed finish, it is many people’s choice for a high-end look. Marble is highly porous so staining can be a problem without regular sealing and care. If you go for marble, expect it to weather with time. It will also stain, but it lasts forever. Think of the great marble facades in Europe. If you love those, then you’ll love this as a countertop. SOAPSTONE Soapstone is a non-porous natural stone that doesn’t require regular sealing, making it highly stain and bacteria resistant. Soapstone is more specific in its color variations, available in a range of gray tones from light to dark with subtle veining. It is a soft, natural material and is more prone to a variation of light and dark spots, as well as scratching. That said, it’s often a farmhouse favorite. STAINLESS STEEL Stainless steel countertops are a popular choice for homeowners looking for that commercial kitchen look. Stainless steel provides a modern, industrial feel that coordinates with any color. It is also one of the easiest countertop materials to clean as well as the most hygienic being impervious to heat and bacteria. ULTRA-COMPACT Ultra-compact surfaces are composed of raw materials that include marble, quartz, porcelain, and glass. This countertop option is extremely durable and can be used both indoors and outdoors without the risk of fading. Ultra-compact products are available in many colors and looks, including that of other materials such as marble, wood, and
No longer relegated to dingy basements, laundry rooms are becoming the next “it” room of the house. They’re now designed as an extension of your home, using premium fixtures, low maintenance surfaces, and high-end appliances. When you’re creating your dream wash and go room, think about what will make you want to be there and add those high-end finishes…but don’t neglect the utility of the space. The more organized and accessible things are, the more likely you are to stop dreading laundry day! Create Space A front-loading washer and dryer allows room to create a countertop that runs the full length of the room. An added benefit is creating custom storage next to the units with pullouts for ironing boards and bins for dirty clothes. Have dedicated drawers for supplies like sewing kits for repairs on the spot. No more lost buttons or loose hems. Large Sink Add a large laundry sink into your countertop design for prewashing, soaking or handling delicate clothing, like cashmere sweaters. A simple drop-in sink works well, but consider a farmhouse sink for added character. For a decorative look use, a wall mounted faucet, but consider a side sprayer as well for getting concentrated amounts of water on hard to treat spots. Easy Access Incorporate floating shelves for often reached for items like laundry detergent and fabric softener. Having a closet rod or drop down rod in the room to hang clothes right out of the dryer. (And remember to leave hangers there so you don’t have to run back and forth to your closet.) Place an adjustable drying rack on a wall to dry delicates and other items that are hand-wash only. Design It Don’t forget about the pretty. Add an unexpected pendant or chandelier overhead and task lighting near the sink. Paint and wallpaper add major drama! Whether you paint your cabinets a deep blue, your walls a lavender, or have your walls papered in a beautiful damask or floral print—the goal is to create a space you actually want to be in. Use a durable surface on the floors, a large format tile can withstand spills or leaks while keeping the room feeling fresh and modern. Remember, the prettier it is, the less it will feel like
Before you begin your remodel, remember it’s all in the details and quality. You first need to choose a color scheme, the selection of woods, the type of countertop you want and its quality and make. No matter which contracting expert you go with, every detail of your kitchen remodeling should be presented to you for approval. You should always feel like you’re in complete control. Here are some design ideas that started out as hot trends but have now become remodeling must-haves: Traditional Wood: If you are a fan of a natural finish then this is the design theme for you. Traditional wooden remodeling ranges from the South American ‘country kitchen’ right up to the dark wooded and intriguing, low-beamed ceilings of northern Europe. Solid, polished wooden counter-tops are classic and demure, and draw the eye to a sleek finish that you’ll desire to run your fingertips along. Traditional wood is a finish you are unlikely to forget – or ever regret. Polished Steel: If cooking is your passion, then the solid and durable steel of professional kitchens might be what you need for your counters. The clean lines and easy-to-clean surface help create a state-of-the-art environment that beckons the most skilled chefs to indulge in creating dishes to defy imagination. So, if this sounds like you, then polished steel counters might be just the remodeling theme you’re looking for. The Quartz effect: Quartz is a beautiful stone that is very durable. The style of cabinet used and the flooring purchased will all be matched to the beautiful shimmer found in quartz. It comes in a variety of colors, but generally quartz is matched to a monochromatic black and white theme. This look allows quartz to glimmer. The Island: A kitchen with a free-standing island offers a range of flexibility. For instance, if you wanted to, you could have your oven or stove in the center of your kitchen. Regardless of style, countertop design, cabinet doors or flooring – having an island is a great utilization of space, optimizing even small kitchens to make use of what is there. Non-slip Flooring: It might sound silly but consider that the kitchen is the place where you are most likely to spill water or oil and slip. Introducing some non-slip flooring to your kitchen could save you from an accident, and is essential for parents with young children. Open Air: There is an increasing trend for an open airy feel. This look helps keep your kitchen feeling open and less crowded. Start with white countertops and cabinets, while keeping accessories colorful. Try moving wall cabinets to the floor and adding extra windows for that added pop of light. Light wood flooring will finish the look, and a splash of foliage will give it a ‘garden kitchen’ type feel. This is an ongoing trend unlikely to end any time soon. If you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen give one of the above themes a try. And remember, At Capitol Kitchens, a division of Capitol Granite, we make sure you control ALL aspects of the Kitchen Remodel process! The subcontractor variable (with all its uncertainties) is completely removed, and YOU the customer capitalizes on it. Our unique process moves very quickly, so give us a call today to get started! Capitol Kitchens is a division of Capitol
Whether you just moved into your new home or are simply tired of looking at a bland and dated kitchen, now may be a great time for a full kitchen redo. A fresh kitchen can change your life (and home) for the better! But, which should you go with – a remodel, redesign or renovation? Or is there even a difference between the terms? Read on to learn more. What’s the difference between remodeling versus redesigning or renovating? Remodeling your kitchen is different from redesigning or renovating it. Redesign refers to the act of changing the color scheme and adding touches like fresh curtains. A renovation usually refers to the process of improving or repairing the space where kitchen damage has occurred. A kitchen remodel is where the whole room is stripped back to its bare bones, a new layout is decided upon and a whole new kitchen is built. Everything is changed – from countertops to light fixtures; from faucets to cabinets. Remodeling is a preferred go-to for most people since it allows you to plan your kitchen space in a way that better incorporates to your ideal vision of form and functionality. A full remodeling of your kitchen allows you to maintain complete control over every option of its new design. When you decide it’s time to remodel, the key is to first find a knowledgeable and trustworthy contractor able to partner with you on your vision. Below are some tips and tricks to getting started. Tip 1: Know what the process will look like In a typical kitchen remodel, the contractor will begin by demolishing your existing kitchen. They will almost always begin by installing flooring followed by installing all the cabinets. After cabinet installation is completed the contractor schedules a countertop templator to come to your home and template the countertops. This process can take up to a week depending on season, location, and size of job. Tip 2: Understand who owns what part of the process No contractor wants to take responsibility for final fit and detail – that responsibility shifts to the countertop manufacturer as soon as the template occurs! Since that’s the case, countertops are usually scheduled AFTER the cabinets are permanently set. The time between measuring and the actual installation of your new countertops takes about two week. And that’s two weeks out of a typical 30-45 day kitchen remodel that has no scheduling issues or missing/late materials. Can you imagine being without a kitchen for 30 days or longer? Tip 3: Know if it’s better to go with a general contractor Primarily, remodelers are General Contractors who subcontract the various trades (plumbing, electrical, flooring, cabinets & countertops) and are subjected to the schedules of the sub-contractors that they use. Completion of your new kitchen could be extended past 45 days depending on the availability of the sub-contractors. Tip 4: Disregard tips 1-3 and go with a leader in whole kitchen remodels At Capitol Kitchens, a division of Capitol Granite, we control ALL aspects of the Kitchen Remodel process! The subcontractor variable is completely removed, and YOU, the customer, capitalizes on it. The ‘mobilization’ day (the day we begin to demolish your kitchen) is established when we have an inbound arrival date on your cabinets. And because we are a full-stop shop (cabinets, flooring, countertops, knobs, trim, plus so much more!), our templator will already have the dimensions of your new countertops based of the cabinet measurements – there is no need to wait an extra week or two like in a typical kitchen remodel. You are able to use your kitchen up to the day we receive your cabinets. Only once the cabinets are in and your countertops are completed do we begin to demolish your existing kitchen. Our exclusive process moves very quickly! The Capitol Kitchens process is as follows: Day 1: Demolish old kitchen and begin flooring installation. Day 2: Finish flooring and set cabinets. Day 3: Set countertop stone and finish trimming cabinets/set uppers Day 4: Backsplash tile/paint, hook up plumbing & electrical Day 5: Punch List/knobs/trim/appliances At Capitol Kitchens, what would take a remodeling company 30-45 days, takes us only 5-7 days depending on the size of your existing kitchen. Ready to get going? Capitol Kitchens is a division of Capitol Granite, LLC Next Article: Designer details you should start thinking about for your
You’ve often heard of sandstone but did you ever connect it with Quartzite? That’s what Quartzite was originally known as. Rightly so since Quartzite begins with sand grains, which closely adhere to each other to form sandstone. Compressed and buried between layers of rocks, the sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. It’s composed primarily two minerals, silica and quartz. It is in these pockets around the world where the sand grains are mostly quartz, and subjected to extreme pressures over time; tectonic plate pressures are what come to mind, but not always the case. Consequently, the sand grains in the sandstone lose their identity, fuse with each other and become hard metamorphic rock- Voilà, Quartzite is formed. Quartzite is chiefly made up of quartz- sometimes to the extent of 99 percent of quartz and is present in quarries. Quartzite is different from the quartz that we know in the sense that Quartz is synthetically obtained by fusing resins, pigments and quartz stone chips together, whereas Quartzite is metamorphic rock that began its life as sandstone primarily consisting of quartz mineral. During the Stone Age, it is believed that Quartzite was often used instead of flint when the latter was not available. Because of its hardness, it has been used to make stone tools including chopping and cutting tools. What makes Quartzite a standout choice: Its appearance is a pure form of usually white or light in color. The presence of iron oxide and other minerals makes the shades vary from pink, green, blue to red. The material is hard and durable. It’s smooth with a lustrous and grainy appearance. It appears to superficially resemble marble, but unlike marble, Quartzite is not scratched by metal and is resistant to acids. It differs from sandstone in that when it’s broken, Quartzite has a smooth fracture (unlike sandstone.) Quartzite is unaffected by chemical weathering. It has varying degrees of porosity – ranging from dense to very porous. Very often the term ‘soft Quartzite’ crops up but the term is a misnomer because Quartzite is not a soft material. As marble and Quartzite look very alike, one is often mistaken for the other. So ‘soft Quartzite’ is in all probability only marble. Given the properties of Quartzite, it’s easy to find out how authentic a piece of Quartzite actually is. Quartzite will scratch glass easily, whereas other quartz-like stones will only leave a ‘powdery trail’ or a scratch mark that rubs off very easily. Quartzite is the latest craze in countertop materials because of its beauty, coloring, and often translucent, 3-dimensional effect giving the surface a feeling of ‘depth’. In fact, Capitol Granite showrooms now stocks various colors of Quartzite. Benefits of going with Quartzite The hardness of Quartzite is testimony to its durability since it’s unlikely for Quartzite to develop any problems even over a long period of time. It looks like marble, but is easier to maintain. Ordinary soap and water is a great cleanser – Quartzite doesn’t require any fancy cleaning material! It’s UV resistant and even if used outdoors, chances of fading are nil. Common colors of quartzite match the current trends in kitchen design. Cons of Quartzite Although Quartzite is formed under great heat and pressure, it cannot withstand heat – Dishes from the stove or oven should not be placed directly on Quartzite countertops. Knives and sharp objects can make a mark so you need to use a cutting board while chopping on Quartzite. Much like granite, Quartzite requires periodic sealing. Quartzite is used in many sectors – architecture, manufacturing, and construction. It is also used commercially for decorative purposes. Over time, Quartzite has grown in popularity and is a great favorite with interior designers and homeowners. Its durability, stylish appearance, luster and color make it ideal for countertops and even feature walls. An expensive option perhaps, but its elegance and appeal makes it an all-time favorite. No two pieces of Quartzite are alike and you are sure to get a product that is unlike any other. In its purest form Quartzite is white, and in its pristine state, no other stone can equal it in sophistication and elegance. It resembles white marble and has the quality of white granite- but is more durable than either of them. The impurities in Quartzite work to its advantage as they produce inherent patterns that are very unique. When the stone is polished, the designs stand out, adding to the natural luster of the stone. As a raw material, Quartzite is invaluable because of its high silica content. It’s used widely in the manufacturing of glass, silicon metal, other silicon products and other materials. It’s very hard to break but if you do have any intentions of taking it apart, you need to be careful and protect yourself adequately. When the metamorphic rock breaks, the impact poses tremendous risks- sparks are produced and sharp bits of rock moving at tremendous speeds can hurt, or cause injury. Although marble and granite have been around for a very long time, Quartzite, is superior to both because of its hardness. Quartzite is resistant to chemicals, immune to abrasions, suitable in all climatic conditions and low on maintenance, it’s being regarded as a great stone to have in homes and commercial buildings. We invite you to visit our showrooms to see all the beauty and variety in appearance Quartzite has
Once purely a functional part of the kitchen, the countertop backsplash has become an integral part of a kitchen’s aesthetic design. In fact, a backsplash is currently required by code in all counties of Virginia. The idea behind the backsplash – found mainly behind your kitchen sink and other potentially wet areas, sitting on top of your countertop and spanning the entirety of your wall, was designed to simply protect your walls from stains and splashes. Today, the choices of materials available have grown exponentially. This has had an interesting effect on kitchen design. From pure function, to a way of heightening your kitchen’s appeal, the humble backsplash can be the perfect finish to a flawless kitchen design. What are some of the options you can choose? In this article, we’re going to go over some of the many diverse materials available on the market today. We will look at some of the pros and cons of each option and hopefully, help you decide on the best kitchen countertop backsplash for your kitchen. Stone Backsplashes that Offer a Touch of Class If you are looking for a sophisticated high-end option for your kitchen, stone is an excellent choice. The different varieties of stone offer a large range of individual options, and if you are already installing a fitted stone countertop, then a stone backsplash can add an extra level of sophistication to your design layout. This, coupled with under-counter lighting creates a dramatic effect. A granite backsplash is a favorite option for many people and is versatile enough to work in many kinds of kitchens – from traditional to contemporary. They are also very durable, and like most stone options, are heat resistant. Cleaning is simple, but granite does require proper sealing, since it does have the potential to stain. The main concern would be oils behind the range, as water staining on vertical surfaces in minimal. Granite is also very heavy, and must be professionally fitted. Because of the characteristics of natural stone, you will be able to find backsplashes that are one-of-a-kind. Marble is another stone option that many desire for a high-end kitchen. Like granite, marble offers naturally occurring patterns, which can fit beautifully into your brand new kitchen. On top of the individual patterns that can be found with marble, it is also available in different colors. This offers a greater range of options when deciding on your overall kitchen color scheme. Marble does require some maintenance with professional sealing being the most important part, especially in grout joints. Without proper sealing, your backsplash could stain. You may also need to take extra care when working with around marble, as it has been known to chip or scratch easily. Quartz is a stone material that’s become prevalent in kitchen backsplashes. Quartz, unlike granite or marble is non-porous, which means it does not require special sealing and will not stain! Cleaning quartz is extremely easy and it comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Quartz is a very strong natural material and lasts a long time. Because Quartz is so resilient it is much harder to damage (unlike marble.) Whether it’s quartz, marble or granite – stone backsplashes can give your kitchen a high-end feel and, with proper maintenance, most natural stones will last for a very long time. They can be heavy, so professional installation is always recommended. These backsplashes can add an amazing finish to your kitchen that friends and family will admire for years to come. Alternative Backsplash Options that Can Fit Any Budget Backsplashes don’t have to be only stone though. There are many more materials to choose from when you deciding which backsplash will be ideal for your kitchen. For instance, stainless steel as an option could work very well if you have a contemporary styled design. This material is affordable, as well as very easy to clean. Cleaning should only be done with warm water, as chemical cleaning products can have a negative effect over time. Stainless steel will also not stay pristine forever. Minor scratches can build up, and unlike stone options, may dent in places, which can be noticeable. Overall, stainless steel can bring a special quality to certain kitchens, creating a lighter room and a smooth finish. When including stainless steel in your kitchen design, less is more. Be careful not to have too many surfaces in stainless steel since it could leave your kitchen looking too commercial. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are also popular and common choice for many people. This is due to their versatile nature, as they can be fitted into any size kitchen with relative ease. Because of the nature of tiling, if your backsplash does become damaged in any way, all it takes is replacing the one tile, rather than an entire fitted backsplash. Tiles also come in many styles and colors and can even resemble other materials. When installing tile, make sure to keep a few extra pieces in a safe place just in case. Laminate backsplashes are the ideal choice for low budget kitchens. They come in many different styles and are easy to clean. It should also be noted that laminate is not very heat resistant. When using laminate, keep hot pots, pans and dishes from directly touching the surface. Laminate doesn’t give off a high-end feel, but is an affordable alternative to natural stone. Other lesser known kitchen counter backsplashes are available on the market today, including glass, mirrored glass, wood and composite. Each having their own unique traits. Mirrored glass requires more polishing than normal glass, and if you live a busy lifestyle, then you just may not have the time required to maintain the original look of mirrored glass. Finding the glass backsplash that fits with the décor of your kitchen, as well as lifestyle, can end up being a major decision. Backsplashes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials. No longer are they just a functional piece of the kitchen protecting your walls. A well-chosen and fitted backsplash can make a statement, and even add value to your kitchen. They can elevate a kitchen from a simple place of cooking, to a room you can be truly proud of. With all the options out there, from stone to stainless steel, you are bound to find one that meets your needs. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff know what makes a great kitchen (or anything else you can dream up!) Give us a call and we’ll help you find something that’s perfect for your next project. As always, our estimates are free! Contact us at 804-379-2641. Schedule a FREE
The myriad of kitchen appliance styles and choices can seem overwhelming. When shopping for a stove, which one is right for you? Which are more popular? Are the features of higher priced models worth the cost? Before you throw your hands up in frustration, we’re here to help demystify the shopping process for you. When you break it down, there are really only four main styles of stoves to choose from. Each has its benefits and disadvantages. Below is a list of those four styles. Freestanding We’re all familiar with the traditional stove. The controls are typically on a vertical back-guard at the rear of the stove. This style comes in the greatest variety of options and finishes. You can get gas, electric, convection, or dual fuel. The cooking surface can be coil, gas, induction, and a variety of burner quantities and layouts. You can choose between various colors of enamel or stainless steel. This style is the easiest to install and is placed between a variety of cabinet patterns. For some models, it is simply a matter of plugging it in, pushing it into place – level it and your cooking! As a rule of thumb, freestanding models are the least expensive style for comparable models and options. There is, of course, always the exception in cost. 48”-60” high-end gas ranges can exceed $13,000. Slide-in A slide-in stove is similar to a freestanding, but there is no back-guard and the stovetop has an overhanging lip which blends with your countertop. The dials that would be on the back-guard in a freestanding stove, are instead located at the front. This is an added safety feature since you don’t have to reach over hot burners to adjust the controls. Today’s front knob design usually has safe-guards for accidental bumping or children who like to ‘see how it works’. This is significantly more important for gas type ranges. This style typically does not have side-walls (although available as an option in some models) so it must be installed between two cabinets. This provides a clean, integrated, high-end esthetic. Slide-ins are more complicated to install since they need to fit properly between the cabinets and a strip of countertop needs to typically be installed at the back of the stove. Slide-ins are available in most of the styles available with freestanding models. Drop-in Many consumers are unaware as to what a drop-in oven truly is, and often mistakenly refer to either slide-ins and built-ins as drop-ins (even most appliance salespeople!). Drop-in ovens are basically a burner top only…..no bottom drawer (ovens). Whereas slide-ins stand on the floor, drop-ins will typically sit on the lip of the countertop. To install a drop-in, they are literally “dropped” into their base cabinet box after countertop installation. This creates a streamlined look, but you lose your drawer or warming oven found on the bottom of a slide-in. This style is for the most part more expensive than freestanding or slide-ins, when you consider that a separate oven would need to be purchased, and there is additional countertop square footage required, as it is merely a hole in countertops, where the other styles are a ‘break’ in the length of material needed. Built-in Built-in ovens are built into the cabinetry with no attached stove-top (all the previous mentioned styles have attached stoves). Built-ins are often installed higher than traditional stoves. This makes it easier to access your cooking without requiring bending down. This style of oven allows the greatest flexibility for style and format. Think of it as a completely disassembled stove mounted however you like. People install single or double ovens, oven plus convection, oven plus microwave, oven plus warming drawer or any combination of these. The separate stove top can be placed anywhere but is usually located on the counter where a regular oven would go, or on a kitchen island. Built-ins give the entire kitchen a sleek, fully integrated, high-end appearance. Built-ins are much more complicated to install and should be left to professional installers. As a rule, the more integrated into a cabinet an appliance is, the more difficult it may be to perform repairs. Built-ins may need to be completely disassembled to perform a repair that would be simple on a freestanding model. In conclusion, you know your kitchen is central to your home. And for home value considerations, a kitchen is the most important room in the house. A high-end kitchen renovation is one of the few projects that will most often increase the value of your house. It is still the #1 return on investment for home improvement projects. You’ve probably watched a home buying show where one of the homes featured showed a newly renovated kitchen. If the kitchen is newly renovated but the appliances are low end units offering a coil element stove top, a fridge that’s plain white and undersized for its’ space – the buyers are usually completely turned off from the purchase. A concerned real estate agent is often heard saying “buying new appliances should be easy”. But to no avail, the client has emotionally moved on. It is also safe to say that replacing a free-standing appliance is easier than a modification on the holes or notches for a drop-in or slide-in with existing countertops, and is as standard as a refrigerator. When considering a renovation of your kitchen, you must think comprehensively, as often replacing appliances after-the-fact can be a problem if not considered now. And, while on the subject, if replacing countertops with appliances is your consideration, also remember it is tough to replace the cabinets after the new tops with appliances have been installed. We have an old adage – show me a pressboard construction cabinet, and I will show you water damage somewhere. Spending a little more in the short run can earn you dividends later. Whenever you renovate a kitchen it’s important to consider resale value, and the most popular are standard free-standing. However, most popular for appeal are built-ins if your budget allows. Slide-ins are in the middle of both categories. This is a trend that is likely to stay around for a long while. Most real estate agents now consider stainless steel appliances as a minimum kitchen expectation, and adding a gas cook top appeals to the home chef. While attending a recent design trend seminar, industry-word is that black stainless appliances may be the ‘next thing’ in appliance finishes; durable and easier to maintain its clean look. Until next
Ah, the satisfaction of having a new kitchen countertop installed. It’s smooth, clean surfaces beckons you to start cooking. Nothing beats a beautiful countertop, but have you ever thought about the accessories to complement and make everyday tasks simpler? There are many types of add-ons and add-ins, plus accessories that you can integrate into your counter to increase its function. Other additions can be installed that will help extend the life of your countertop. You can even have little accents fabricated into your new countertop for a unique look. Here are some options: For the cook who’s all about function. If you’re someone who cooks, bakes, and generally makes great use of their kitchen, then you should consider adding these convenient and practical add-ons. Drain Slots There’s nothing worse than standing water on top of a counter, whether it’s from washed veggies or drying plates. With these slots, you have integrated grooves to channel water down to the sink for a no-fuss dry countertop. Many people find that drain slots help keep a countertop cleaner. Trivets/Cutting Board While the previous item was for the sink area, this one is for around the cooktop. Trivets already exist as free-standing metal bars for cooling hot pans, but you can also have them set into your countertop. Brass, copper, and aluminum give you a varied color scheme to choose from that will match any kitchen design, and prevent accidental heat damage to the surface. Naturally, this is most useful for wooden countertops. Ask your fabricator to make one out of matching material. Make sure they attach rubber feet, since tone can scratch stone. Storage There is a plethora of options for keeping your kitchen neat and tidy that can discretely sit in your countertop. Soap and spice holders can be sunk into the counter, with a simple lid to hide them from view. This option also keeps your spices accessible whenever you need them. There are larger holders for knives and tableware, too. To keep cooking utensils out of the way without housing a bulky container on your counter, you can have storage holes built in for them as well. There’s even the option of having a drainer set into your counter. Waste disposal button While you can have an electrical button placed on your kitchen wall or next to your cabinet, having a switch on the counter is safer and much more convenient. This switch can’t be easily confused with a light switch because it’s not only in a different location, but it also displays a distinctive design. A countertop disposal button is also easier to reach when moving between the sink and the stove during cooking. Safety is the number one concern here because a countertop disposal button is safer to use, even near water, since it uses air pressure rather than electricity to function. It’s the same system that’s used in hot tubs. Pop-up Outlets A counter cluttered with appliances and cables is both unsightly and annoying. With a pop-up outlet, you have a safe and discreet place for all your cords, and your appliances can be stored out of view. There are various designs, but the most common design comes in a tubular shape. It’s slim, and takes up very little surface area on your counter. The pop-up outlet is designed to plug in multiple electronics such as mobile phones and tablets. It’s sleek and beautiful, and can even come with USB chargers for your gadgets, and even a hard-wire option for ethernet. Inductive phone chargers Another subtle way to charge your gadgets is the inductive charger. Consider having an inductive charger installed for easy stress free charging. While they’re not readily available for countertops right now, the idea is gaining momentum. We have done research, and are working with LG to test some of the components in natural stone and quartz. The technology is placed on the underside of the counter, so all you need to do is to place your phone on the appropriate part of the top. Your phone can charge and play music while you get on with cooking, eating or cleaning nearby. More to follow in future blogs on this subject matter. Here today, here tomorrow. If you’re investing in a quality countertop, you want it to last for a lifetime if possible. Here are a few ways to ensure that it does. Chip minimizer Some countertops, such as stone, can chip if knocked too hard by cookware, knives, or utensils in the sink cutout area. Having a chip minimizer, like a rounded edge on the sink, reduces the chances of this occurring. Safety Corners Have toddlers from 36″ -60″ tall, who run around too fast? Consider asking for safety corners on your profile. These profiled radius corners will soften the impact. Permanent sealers Materials such as granite, marble and quartz can be prone to staining. Temporary seals last for a while, depending on the brand, but will usually need re-applying every 1-3 years. A permanent seal only requires one application, and one expense. There are three main options: buy a countertop with a seal included; hire a professional; or do it yourself. You can buy a quality sealant that uses nanotechnology that will get into all the cracks, and is simple to use. Just check if your type of counter actually requires sealing first, as some types of granite are very low absorbency and staining is usually not an issue. Extended warranties Opinion differs on the necessity of a warranty, but for a countertop it’s probably a good idea. Ask questions at your place of purchase to decide whether you need one. Find out what the warranty covers. Always take proper care of your countertop, i.e. use stone-safe cleaning products, test the seal every 1-3 years. Making your kitchen a statement piece. Your kitchen can be practical and beautiful, and your countertop can be the statement piece. Corbels This fancy detailing adds a creative flourish that might remind you of grand pianos, antique cabinets, and picturesque dressing tables. Hidden Brackets The latest fashion is metal bracing that uses the inside of your cabinet for attaching “L” brackets, so your overhangs are strong, yet no visible corbel while walking around your kitchen, and no ‘knee bump’ when seated. Whether you want utility, longevity, or beauty, countertop add-ons can help you make the most of your kitchen. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff know what makes a great kitchen (or anything else you can dream up!) Give us a call and we’ll help you find something that’s perfect for your next project. As always, our estimates are free! Contact us
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It needs to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly tough enough to stand up to a variety of daily uses. If you build your own home, you have the unique opportunity of designing your kitchen from the ground up. Or maybe your current kitchen and appliances are outdated and need to freshen up. In either case, being familiar with today’s kitchen trends will help add timeless value to your home while getting you the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. These 5 tips will help you achieve that goal. Tip 1: Know your materials Let’s take a look at some of what’s in and what’s out with today’s kitchen designs. According to the Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), quartz is the most popular countertop right now. Part of that is probably due to color choices, consistency, and its tendency to be non-porous compared to other stone countertops. Quartz offers an extremely hard surface that doesn’t require regular sealing unlike other natural stone surfaces. Also, because it’s manufactured from clear quartz material, the variety of colors and patterns far exceed those of quarried stone. If you love the look of granite, there is no substitute, however, if a specific color is required, you cannot avoid quartz. Tip 2: Sleek up your appliances Induction cooktops are extremely popular right now. If you’re not familiar with how these work when compared to conventional stovetops, keep reading. Induction cooktops heat your cookware using an electromagnetic field versus radiant heat. As a result, they cook significantly faster than radiant element stoves. Additionally, they only heat the cookware in contact with the element. That means spills don’t get scorched which makes cleaning the cooktop easier. You will need to check your cookware to make sure it will work properly with an induction cooktop. You can do that by holding a magnet to the bottom. If it makes a strong connection, it should work well on an induction range. Convection ovens are also big sellers. If you’ve never had a convection oven, you don’t know what you’re missing. Conventional ovens apply heat from the bottom up by way of the heating element. Depending on what you’re making, that doesn’t always provide the best results until you learn how to get along with your oven. A convection oven uses a fan to circulate heat evenly throughout the entire oven. This eliminates soggy casseroles with burnt bottoms. While stainless in appliances is still definitely the strongest trend at the moment, appliance makers are experimenting with brightly colored finishes as well. The latest trend is blackened stainless steel (oxidized look). If you can only make one change to an otherwise drab kitchen, this might be a direction you want to go. Choose opposing colors that make the most of any contrast will dramatically change the look of your kitchen. Tip 3: Cool down on cabinet colors Traditionally styled kitchens are currently on the way out. People are instead choosing more transitional and contemporary designs for their new or remodeled kitchens. This can be a tough one to adapt to if you’ve always had traditionally designed kitchens and prefer that look and feel. These trends tend to fluctuate so take that information with a grain of salt. Unless you’re remodeling with the intent of modernizing your home for the market, it’s all about personal preferences anyway. If you’re just looking to maybe change up your color scheme, the NKBA says that, “Gray and white painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Black and blue toned cabinets are gaining popularity.” The beauty of painted cabinets is that traditionally designed kitchens can be easily and affordably updated with a simple coat of paint. Mixing materials and metal surfaces to create two toned kitchens is also gaining popularity. Tip 4: Turn up the lights The way you light your kitchen is also changing. LED rope and cove lights are being used more and more for a variety of reasons. They can be used under cabinets for lighting countertops, under toe kicks as nightlights and above cabinets to provide indirect, soft lighting in your kitchen. LEDs are ideal for these locations because they give off zero heat that would make them otherwise dangerous against a wood surface. They are also far more energy efficient than almost all other types of lighting. We mentioned earlier that transitional and contemporary designs are by far the most popular right now. There is one exception and that’s the farmhouse style. Using a combination of natural materials like wood, to include reclaimed wood, rustic fixtures and cabinet hardware, it’s easy to see the appeal of this style. When combined with other rustic furnishings such as Amish made hardwood tables and chairs, it’s almost like stepping back in time. Tip 5: Don’t sacrifice function for style Under the counter cabinets often have the potential to turn into the Bermuda Triangle. They can be dark, deep and hard to reach. One trend that is long overdue is using that space for drawers instead of cabinets. If you’re watching costs, know that these will run a little higher due to the extra hardware and construction required. With that said, it is a more than worthy investment to have that space easy to access and use. The last trend we’ll discuss is the uptick in smart storage for smaller spaces. With people continually downsizing, the need for smart storage has exploded and with it some exciting innovations. Pull out shelves are perhaps our favorite as they allow you to see every inch of storage space available and what’s in it. Have a pantry where things go to die? There are tons of smart systems for rollout shelves and accordion style shelves that will help you tame that monster. In conclusion, allow the purpose for your kitchen design guide your decisions. If you’re prepping a kitchen to raise the market value of your home, consider implementing these top trends. But, if the design is to get the kitchen of your dreams, let your heart take the lead. Either way, our specialists are here to help expertly guide you in achieving your
We use it daily, but when it comes to redesigning our homes, the shower is often sadly neglected. It waits, in the corner of the bathroom, for someone to swoop in and remodel it. With so many options to choose from, how do you know where to start? A lot goes into picking the perfect design. Most of us think it’s simply a case of seeing one we like and opening our wallet. But getting it right is about more than looks alone. What tile size and shape work with the size of your room? Do you live in a hard water area? Does the look you want, compromise the safety of your shower? All of the above and more can factor into your final decision. As a durable, waterproof, and hygienic option. It is well established that porcelain is an ideal choice for any shower interior. But it comes in a number of different forms. Below are some of the different things you’ll want to look at when making decisions about your next redesign. The size of the tile A one-piece shower wall Basically, a durable, waterproof wall covering. One of the most recent developments in shower design. Good for: A modern innovative look It offers something a little different to a traditional, tiled, shower appearance. And can make your bathroom look sleek and sophisticated. Easy cleaning The grouting between tiles is always harder to clean than the tile itself. One piece means no grouting to contend with. A simple wipe should keep showers clean. Easy to fit When compared with smaller alternatives involving hundreds of tiles, a one-piece wall is much easier to handle. Not so good for: Longevity OK, so they still last a good long time (around 15 years), but tiles live longer. If it gets damaged the whole shower wall will need replacing as oppose to just one small tile. Large format tiles Standard square/geometric shaped tiling A timeless choice, popular since the dawn of tiling. Good for: Ease of use Square tiles are easy to work with, and it’s easy to calculate how many you’ll need. And geometric patterns fit together seamlessly, by their very nature. Variety They come in all shapes and sizes, from large format to tiny mosaic tiles, meaning you can choose your look. Price Being the most available option, the price point is often lower than when going for a more unique or ‘fashionable’ alternative. Not so good for: Interesting design This one is more of a stereotype. Standard square tiles have really come a long way in the design stakes and can offer a versatile range of options. However, you can’t go far wrong with a classic, and they do still have a reputation for being boring. Those who want a real eye-popping design may look elsewhere. Non-standard tile shapes Many designers are now experimenting with all kinds of shapes from stars to ovals. Good for: Interesting, eye-catching design Great if you want your bathroom to look a little different to the bog standard checkerboard design. Not so good for: Being universally suitable You’ll need to figure out if the design you want works with your space. It may not. The finish of the tile Gloss finish Tiles that sparkle and shine Good for: Easy cleaning The smooth surface means that just a quick wipe will suffice. Small rooms With light bouncing off of the tiles and around the room, it will appear much bigger and brighter. Not so good for: Safety The glossy finish can be very slippery when wet, adding an extra unwanted risk element to your morning routine if used on the floor. Matte finish A clean and simple alternative to gloss. Good for: Safety They have much less slip risk than glossy tiles. A modern look They have the potential to up the style factor in a room. Maintenance Matte tiles keep their new look for longer and need cleaning less often. Not so good for: Sturdiness They can be more susceptible to scratches and stains than their shinier alternative. Last but not least… Custom tiles Providing the freedom to do exactly what you want with your bathroom. Good for: Bringing your design dreams to life Custom tiles are the best way to design a real life shower that’s as close as possible to what you wish for. Freedom from restraints You will be free to choose the design, size, finish, everything in fact, to suit your needs. Not so good for: A tight budget The word custom always comes at a price. That’s the cost of total freedom. Once you have perused over the options and worked out which styles definitely wouldn’t work for your room. The rest is down to personal preference. Happy