What’s the Difference? Granite Vs. Marble Countertops

What’s the Difference? Granite Vs. Marble Countertops

If you’re installing an exotic stone counter top, chances are, you’ll probably be comparing granite vs marble countertops, two of the most common stone counter top materials that are found in most households. 

They both have the ability to enhance the look of your home, but when it comes to maximizing your investment, which of the two should you choose? 

There are differences that these two countertops styles possess. From style to functionality, here are some comparisons that will help you differentiate between granite vs marble countertops. 

Granite vs Marble Countertops: Their Origins

Both are beautiful exotic stones. So what’s really the difference between the two?

Marble is metamorphosed limestone. It is often the product of when limestone goes through intense heat and pressure. The limestone that recrystallizes, transforming the texture of the rock. This stone has a multitude of uses  – from ornamental fixtures to everyday tiles, marble provides a level of elegance and functionality, making it a great option for households. 

In contrast, granite is composed of a granular igneous rock. It’s durability makes it a great stone for a multitude of different things. From construction to everyday household elements, you’d be surprised with the amount of granite that is found everywhere. 

Durability

As an igneous rock, granite is known for its distinctive properties in durability. It is highly resistant to scratches and stains in comparison to marble. Homeowners must take great care in using knives or sharp utensils, as it can easily dull and be damaged when used on granite countertops. 

Both granite and marble are heat-resistant. However, proper maintenance and sealing is required to ensure the integrity of the surfaces are maintained. 

Price

Granite and marble require professional installation and the price is relatively similar between the two. The price point of both are similar as well. Ultimately, the difference in cost is often due to the quality and availability of the slab. Naturally, the higher the quality of the product, the higher the cost. 

Style

The colour and style of granite can vary from product to product. However, the one thing that is constant is the freckling style that appears due to meddled stones like feldspar and mica. In contrast, the patterning of marble is unique, offering smooth long lines. Marble is often associated with high-end styles and elegance. In contrast, granite is often notable for its functional and common-day uses. 

Maintenance

Both granite and marble require some level of maintenance in order to ensure their longevity. The porous qualities of marble means that it requires more maintenance and care. Homeowners must be prepared to apply sealant to their marble countertops at least twice a year, whereas maintenance for granite countertops can be done once every two years. 

So between granite vs marble countertops, which one is the best option for you? Ultimately, the choice would be dependent on your lifestyle needs and design preferences. Both are fantastic options and additions to your home. Speak to one of our Specialists today, and we can assist in finding the right choice for you. 

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5 Things to Look for When Buying New Countertops

5 Things to Look for When Buying New Countertops

New countertops are a fast and easy way to refresh the look of your kitchen. New countertops can transform a space without having to make many extra changes anywhere else.
 
While the initial thought may be that of excitement, it’s also natural to feel overwhelmed. With so many choices, variations, and styles, how can you find a countertop that is right for you and your lifestyle needs?
 
You might have a lot of questions about the process. Luckily, there are a few simple considerations that can narrow down your choices.
 
Here are a few factors to consider when you’re selecting new countertops. 
 

Think about the Function of your New Countertops

 
Your new countertops will serve as a flat surface-area for all your kitchen belongings, but it’s good to think beyond this basic purpose. Would it be ideal if you had new countertops that could withstand heat from pots and pans that you place down?
 
Perhaps, you’re going through an extensive renovation and want a new countertop that enhances the sleek look of your new space.
 
Some countertop styles perform better than others when it comes to function. So it’s essential to think about this factor during your research! 
 

Look at your New Countertops’ Warranty

 
New countertops go through a lot of wear and tear. After all, it’s the most exposed part of the kitchen and is used round-the-clock! 
 
A good countertop is made of high quality products, and should come with a reliable warranty in the event that it is in need of repairs or replacement
 
Purchasing a new countertop is a big investment! Make sure that your investment is protected by the manufacturers. 
 

Don’t be Afraid to ask for Samples!

 
Going to a showroom or browsing through Pinterest are great ways to generate ideas. But it falls short when envisioning your new countertops in your actual existing space
 
Samples give real-life examples on how countertops will look in conjunction to your actual kitchen. It alleviates any guess-work that may happen during the research stage, and eliminates the old-age question of, “will this look good in the kitchen?”. 
 
Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample! While it may come at a small cost, it’s worth the peace of mind knowing how it will look in your home!
 

Take Your Time

 
Investing in a new countertop is a big investment. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to make the switch. Don’t feel pressured to settle on the first thing you see due to aggressive sales pitches! Shop around, take your time, and make a decision that’s right for YOU!
 

Get Help from an Expert

 
With so many styles, brands, warranties, and choices, the process of choosing new countertops can feel overwhelming. Don’t feel discouraged! It’s all a part of the process and something that many homeowners experience. 
 
Luckily, you don’t have to struggle with the process. There are experts in the industry (like us!) that can narrow down your choices, providing the best insights and recommendations that fit your expectations and lifestyle needs
 
Exotic Stone is proud to offer an incredible range of different products, perfect for your new countertops! Get in touch with our team to learn more

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5 Benefits of Exotic Granite Countertops

5 Benefits of Exotic Granite Countertops

There’s nothing quite like the look of exotic granite countertops. It’s timeless, unique and can infuse a sense of charm and character in any home.

But a lot of homeowners are wary when it comes to investing in this style of countertop. There is often a misconception that exotic granite countertops are hard to maintain and the products are expensive to buy and install.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are a multitude of benefits to be had when it comes to exotic granite countertops. Make sure to consider these five factors before you entertain other countertop options for your home improvement project or kitchen renovation.

  1. Highly Durable
    Exotic granite is comprised of hard minerals that make it an incredibly durable surface. It can also withstand extreme elements like moisture and heat. Gone are the days of having to awkwardly find a pot coaster! With exotic granite countertops, you have the ability to place hot pots straight from the element to the counter. In fact, exotic granite is one of the most heat-resistant countertops on the market.
  2. Ultimate Freedom
    Its ability to be manufactured means that you have complete freedom to customize your exotic granite countertop. Exotic stones are also made so that the patterns, colours, and textures are consistent both inside and out. Because of this, you won’t ever have to worry about your countertop’s appearance, in the event of it chipping!
  3. Enhances Innovative Design
    Exotic granite countertops can enhance solar passive designs of your home in a clever way. Bright and polished countertops can help reflect natural light, resulting in a brighter and more open kitchen. This is a hidden bonus for those who are looking for small (but impactful!) ways to incorporate sustainable design.
  4. Cost-Effective
    A lot of homeowners immediately rule-out exotic granite countertops as an option – there seems to be this assumption that these products are incredibly expensive to buy and install. There are a multitude of ways to incorporate exotic granite into your home without breaking the bank (make sure to ask our team about what options are right for you [https://exoticstone.ca/contact/].
  5. Increases the property value of your home
    With its durability, easy installation, and look, exotic granite countertops are a fantastic option for property investors looking to spruce up their home for prospective buyers. It gives the home a level of allure and luxury that is hard to replicate. It can ultimately work to increase the property value of your home!

Without a doubt, exotic granite countertops offer a multitude of different and unique ways to refresh your kitchen spaces. With a variety of styles and cost-effective options to choose from, it’s almost a no-brainer to use this for your next home renovation.

We offer a comprehensive variety of different stone products, from exotic granite, marble, quartz, and everything in between! If you’re considering a comprehensive home renovation, make sure to think about us! Get in touch with our team to learn more about our products

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Victoria Kitchen Countertops Trends  (2019)

Victoria Kitchen Countertops Trends (2019)

Homeowners often come into our Victoria countertop showroom and ask us “What’s new in kitchens?” Trends change by the season and by the year, but here are a few of the ones we expect to stay for a while. Today we’re talking about Countertops Kitchen Trends in Victoria 2019.

Kitchen Style Trends | Victoria Kitchen Countertops Trends

Victoria Kitchen Countertops Trends is always an interesting topic around here. There are many things to consider. We see and help build the most beautiful kitchens in the area.

Natural stone countertops: We’re getting more and more Victoria countertop orders made from natural stone as people are veering away from manufactured surfaces for their kitchen countertops. Natural stone adds a unique texture to the room and can be used as countertops, accent walls, bar countertops, and cabinet and drawer doors. (As you can imagine, this trend makes us at Exotic Stone very happy because this is our bread and butter!)

Coloured cabinets: We’re seeing more and more kitchens with painted cabinets. The old “standards” in white, brown, and black cabinet colours are being replaced with colours that provide a more personalized touch to the room. Another colour trend to look for is two-toned colour schemes. Contrasting a darker one with a lighter one is a great way to add interesting dimension to your room.

Clutter Free: We’re all looking to declutter and simplify the decor throughout our homes, thanks to influences from celebrities like Marie Kondo. This applies to the kitchen too as where we’re seeing more people hiding away appliances, gadgets, and decor items in favor of clutter-free countertops in Victoria, BC homes.

Hidden range hoods: Along with the clean and clutter-free designs, we’re seeing more hidden or concealed range hoods. They’re being designed to blend into cabinetry or other design features of the room so they’re a little less in-your-face!

Open shelving: Modern kitchens are using open shelving for storage in the kitchen and as long as you don’t clutter them too much with stuff it can look quite attractive and provide easy access to your kitchen supplies. They also help a smaller kitchen look bigger since there is minimal use of clunky cabinets.

Matted Textures: Appliances surfaces are no longer white, black, or stainless steel silver. We’re seeing more matte black appliances. It’s proving to be a stark contrast to whiter or lighter colour kitchen cabinets and flooring.

Decorative hardware: There are so many choices for hardware for your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Even the “clunkier” ones are becoming quite popular. It’s yet another way people are starting to personalize their homes and kitchens to their unique sense of style.

Bonus sinks: More kitchen designs are including a smaller secondary sink, sometimes called a prep or bar sink. These allow you to wash vegetables closer to where you’ll be prepping them, or make room for someone to be doing the dishes while another meal preps or can wash hands in the second sink.

Reclaimed Wood: For a farmhouse feel, we’re seeing more people choosing reclaimed wood for cabinets and kitchen floors. Just another way to add a unique, one-of-a-kind look to your kitchen.

Technology in the kitchen | Victoria Kitchen Countertops Trends

Technology for the kitchen has come a long way in recent years. Smart kitchens are growing in popularity. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Smart Fridges: Fridges have had screens in them for a few years now, but they have recently improved the technology dramatically. Many have wifi connectivity and touch screens allowing you to access recipes and websites on the internet, control other smart appliances in your home, and even see what’s inside your fridge (via cameras embedded inside) when you’re at the grocery store! Some can even inventory your fridge contents for you so you know when to buy more milk!
  • Smart faucets: We’ve seen motion controlled faucets before, and at CES 2019 this year Kohler introduced the Kohler Sensate Faucet. This faucet uses both motion and voice commands to operate, or even dispense an exact measurement of water.
  • Smart countertop appliances: Technology doesn’t have to be built-in to the kitchen. The ever-popular Instant Pot will be available with smart Wifi and Google Assistant so you can use voice commands and wifi to cook dinner in a snap!
  • Smart Vacuums: Never manually vacuum again with a smart vacuum like the Roomba. While not a new product, we still love it as it can clean up crumbs in the kitchen (and throughout your home) while you sleep or when you’re not home.

The kitchen is often the social hub of your home. Current trends in kitchens are not just about style, but also focus on functionality and purpose. If you are looking for the right functional Victoria countertops for your unique style, contact us for a timely estimate.

Best Stone Countertops for a Kitchen Remodel

Best Stone Countertops for a Kitchen Remodel

As a Victoria-based countertop company, we may be slightly biased, but there are few things more fun than a kitchen remodel! Why? You get to start with a clean slate and design a kitchen that suits you and your lifestyle 100%. Your countertop choice will help set the tone for your kitchen so choosing the right ones is a good place to start.

Here are a few things to help you pick the absolute best stone countertops for your next kitchen remodel.

Your kitchen Theme:

Your theme or colour palette will help you narrow down the choices of counters, cabinets, and hardware for your kitchen remodel. We often recommend lighter-coloured counters if your kitchen tends to be darker, with less natural light. However, if natural light is often in abundance, you can consider some darker materials. You could also choose light counters and dark cabinets (or visa versa) for more contrast.

  1. Consider uniqueness: With natural stone countertops, no two slabs of stone are exactly alike so you benefit from the unique qualities of each piece, and with it come some variation in patterns. However, if you prefer a more solid, uniform appearance, look for man-made quartz countertops which often have more uniformity in patterns.
  2. Consider the cost: Costs often play a factor in your countertop choice, so be sure to budget for everything from the materials, shipping, and installation of your countertops. An expert can help you figure this out and we’re more than happy to help. Just ask us, we’re your Victoria countertop experts!
  3. Consider varying counter heights: Are you an avid baker or prefer a lower countertop for easy access? The latest in kitchen remodel includes a small “baking center” with a lower height than the rest of your countertops for ease when baking, cutting cookies, and even kneading or rolling dough.
  4. Consider edging: If you want more than a straight edge or corners on your counters (like if you want beveled, or unique cuts) consider marble as it’s easier to sculpt than other natural stones. It’s also an excellent choice for your baking center as it’s great for rolling dough and pastries.

Ultimately, make sure that the material choices for your kitchen remodel complement, not compete with, each other and the space you have. If you are looking for more guidance on choosing the right countertops for your project, bring pictures of your current kitchen space to Exotic Stone in Victoria, BC and we can recommend some great natural stone counters to complement your designs.

 

Bathroom design trends for 2019

Bathroom design trends for 2019

What’s on your 2019 bucket list? If renovating your bathroom is on your list, here are a few bathroom design trends for 2019 that you can incorporate in your renovation:

Angled bathtubs: Placing a standalone tub at an angle (ie: not flush or parallel to a wall) is an up-and-coming bathroom design trend design in 2019 trend we’re already starting to see this year.

Artwork Displays: Let’s face it, some people spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Give them something nice to look at with some stunning statement art pieces on the walls.

Brass finishes: Brass edging, lighting, fixtures, and details add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. These pair well with white bathrooms with marble countertops or floors.

Frameless Shower Walls: With more shower stalls using natural stone on exterior walls, it’s not surprising to us that we’re seeing more bathrooms installing clear walls so the beautiful stonework is not hidden behind frosted or solid glass.

Marble: Marble stone is a popular bathroom design trend for 2019. Its versatility makes it work well in countertops, statement walls, shower enclosures, and flooring.

Matted black or grey surfaces: Lighter-coloured bathrooms work well with dark grey or matte black accents, cabinets, hardware, and fixtures, providing a sophisticated texture.

Mirrors: Gone are the days of large, plain rectangle mirrors behind your bathroom countertops. This year, we expect to see more statement mirrors in bathroom renovations and decor projects.

Wetrooms: We’re starting to see entire “wetrooms” for bathrooms, where there is no distinction between the bathroom floor and the shower, creating a larger, spa-like space with tiles spread across the entire floor and walls.

There are so many exciting ways to redecorate, or renovate your bathroom! If you incorporate a few of these bathroom design trends for 2019, you’ll have a bathroom space that is not only stylish but also beautiful and functional.

Ask us how to incorporate natural stone in your bathroom remodel today!