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Picking the Perfect Kitchen Island Countertops

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Picking the perfect kitchen island can be a daunting task. There are many choices when it comes to the materials, size, and functionality of your kitchen island. We’ll break it down in this article so that you can find the absolute best kitchen island for your home. 

Materials

With so many different materials to choose from, it can take time to know which one is the best fit for your home. In this blog, we will go over the different materials that are commonly used for kitchen islands and the pros and cons of each.

  • Granite is a popular choice for kitchen islands because it is durable and has a timeless, elegant look. It is also heat resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on it without damaging the surface. However, granite is a natural stone that is prone to staining and scratching. It also requires regular sealing to protect it from spills and stains.
  • Marble is another popular choice for kitchen islands because of its elegant, refined look. It is a softer stone than granite, so it is more prone to scratching and staining. It also requires regular sealing to protect it from spills and stains. Marble is also more expensive than granite, so it may not be a practical choice for everyone.
  • Quartz is an artificial material that is becoming increasingly popular for kitchen islands. It is made from crushed quartz mixed with resin, which gives it a similar look to natural stone. Quartz is more durable and easier to maintain than granite or marble. It is also resistant to scratching and staining and does not require sealing. However, it is more expensive than granite or marble.
  • Wood is a classic choice for kitchen islands and can add warmth and character to a kitchen. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. However, wood can be prone to scratching and staining and requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. It is also not heat resistant, so you will need to be careful when placing hot pots and pans on it.
  • Stainless steel is a popular choice for modern, industrial-style kitchens. It is durable and easy to clean, but it can show fingerprints and scratches more easily than other materials. It is also relatively expensive compared to other materials.
  • Laminate is a cheaper alternative to other materials and is made from layers of paper or fabric coated with resin. It is available in many colors and patterns, making it a versatile choice. However, it is less durable than other materials and can scratch and chip easily.

Ultimately, the best material for your kitchen island will depend on your personal style, budget, and needs. If you want a durable, low-maintenance material that is heat resistant, quartz or granite may be the best choice for you. Wood might be the right choice if you prefer a classic, warm look. Stainless steel might be the way to go if you want a modern, industrial look. No matter which material you choose, consider all the pros and cons before making a decision.

Size

When it comes to the size of a kitchen island, there are several different options to choose from. Here are some common sizes and the pros and cons of each:

  • Small: A small kitchen island is typically around 2-4 feet wide and can be as short as 2 feet or as long as 8 feet. Small kitchen islands are a good choice for smaller kitchens or those who only need a little extra counter space. They are also more affordable than larger kitchen islands. However, they may not provide enough space for all of your storage and prep needs.
  • Medium: A medium kitchen island is typically around 4-6 feet wide and can be as short as 4 feet or as long as 12 feet. Medium kitchen islands are a good choice for those who need a little extra counter space and storage but don’t have the space for a large island. They provide more space than small kitchen islands but are still relatively affordable.
  • Large: A large kitchen island can be as short as 6 feet or as long as 15 feet. Large kitchen islands provide the most space for storage, prep, and seating. They are a good choice for those who have a large kitchen and want to create a central gathering spot. However, they can be expensive and may not be practical for smaller kitchens.

Overall, the size of your kitchen island will depend on your kitchen size and needs. Be sure to measure your kitchen and consider your storage and prep needs before making a decision. It’s also a good idea to leave enough space around the island for comfortable movement and to create a visually balanced look in the room.

Functionality

There are many different functionality options that you can choose for your kitchen island. Be sure to think about how you will use your island and what features will be most convenient for you before making a decision.

  • Built-in sink: A built-in sink in your kitchen island can be convenient for food prep and cleaning up. It can also provide an extra sink if you need more in your main kitchen. However, it may take up more space on your island and be more expensive to install.
  • Storage cabinets: Storage cabinets on your kitchen island can provide extra space for pots, pans, and other kitchen essentials. They can also help to keep your kitchen clutter-free.
  • Seating: Adding seating to your kitchen island can turn it into a central gathering spot for your family and friends. You can choose from bar stools or chairs, depending on your preferences and available space.
  • Appliances: You can also add appliances to your kitchen island, such as a cooktop, sink, or built-in grill. This can be convenient if you have a smaller kitchen and need more room for these appliances elsewhere. However, it may take up more space on your island and be more expensive to install.
  • Counter-height seating: If you want to create a more casual atmosphere in your kitchen, consider adding counter-height seating to your island — this allows you to sit and eat on the island rather than at a formal dining table.
  • Lighting: Adding lighting to your kitchen island, such as pendant lights or under-cabinet lighting, can help to create a warm, inviting atmosphere in your kitchen. It can also make food prep and cooking easier by providing better visibility.

Intermountain Stone and Marble

If you’re looking for the perfect countertops for your home in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a nearby city in Utah, look no further than Intermountain Stone & Marble. Our team of countertop experts offers a wide selection of granite, marble, quartz, and porcelain options that are sure to fit your budget. We pride ourselves on providing top-quality materials at prices that won’t break the bank. 
Contact us today to view our extensive color and style options and get your free quote.

Are Granite Countertops Easy To Clean?

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Granite countertops have long been hailed as the best choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and any other surface that needs a durable countertop. Granite is beautiful and elevates any room it’s placed in. It is heat- and scratch-resistant, too. But many people shy away from granite because they fear it will be too much maintenance.

Here’s the truth about granite counters: they are exceptionally easy to clean and require very little maintenance. That’s why this natural stone is such a popular choice for homes and buildings all around the world. So if you’re wondering what it’s like to clean and maintain granite in your home or business, here’s everything you need to know.

Daily Cleaning

Cleaning your granite countertops daily is easy as long as you use the right cleaning solutions and materials. All it takes is wiping them down every day with a soft cloth and a gentle, nonabrasive soap. Dish soap and warm water make a perfect soapy mixture for this task.

If you choose a different cleaner, stick with something that has a neutral pH balance. Cleaning solutions that are too acidic (lemon juice and vinegar) or basic (ammonia, bleach, and baking soda) can etch the stone or dull the finish over time.

Another option for cleaning granite is using a stone-specific cleaner. These can typically be found at your local grocery or home improvement store, but they aren’t really necessary. Warm, soapy water cleans granite just as well as – if not better than – a $7 bottle of granite cleaning spray.

There are a few things you should avoid when cleaning granite. Never use harsh cleaners like full-strenth bleach, ammonia, or vinegar. You should also stick with a soft cloth and leave the abrasive sponges and scrub brushes for more heavy-duty jobs.

Sealing Granite Countertops

The part about granite counters that scare many shoppers away is the idea that it needs to be resealed frequently. This is only partially true. Some granite may need to be resealed every year, while others might last several years without needing to have a sealant applied.

How often your granite needs to be resealed will depend on a few factors. This includes:
1. manufacturer recommendations
2. type of sealant used
3. how heavily the countertop is used

It can be difficult to tell when your countertops need to be resealed just by looking at them. Try this easy test to see if it’s time to add a new layer of sealant. Simply pour a small amount of water onto your countertops. Wait for about 10 seconds and watch what happens to the water. If it stays beaded up, there is no need for sealant.

If the water begins to seep into the countertop during your test, reseal your countertops as soon as possible. Sealing your countertops can easily be done by yourself. It just takes a little bit of time. Find a bottle of granite sealant and follow the label directions. Many sealers require several applications for maximum effectiveness.

Granite counters that are properly sealed are extremely easy to maintain. They are stain-resistant, heat-resistant, and scratch-resistant. They are extremely durable and hold up well to heavy use. This is why granite is such an ideal countertop material for homes and businesses.

How To Remove Stains From Granite

Sometimes stains can develop on granite that hasn’t been sealed properly. Act promptly if this happens to you. The faster you can treat the stain, the more likely you will be able to lift it completely.

The first step to removing stains from granite counters is identifying the type of stain. Oil stains require different cleaning methods than food or liquid spills. Follow these steps to remove various types of stains.

Oil stains – Scrub the stain with a soft cloth soaked in dishwashing liquid and warm water. Repeat this step several times. A multipurpose cleaner can also be used.

Food and liquid stains – Diluted bleach can be a great stain-lifter but use caution. Mix ⅓ cup bleach with a gallon of warm water. Adding more than ⅓ cup of bleach can damage your granite. Use a sponge to apply the bleach solution to the stain and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

Stubborn stains – For more persistent stains, try making a thick paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly to the stain and cover it with plastic wrap with a few holes poked. Allow the paste to sit overnight, then gently remove the paste and wipe the stone clean the next day.

Granite Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts

It’s not difficult to keep your granite counters looking beautiful for years to come. Follow these do’s and don’ts for maintaining the granite in your home or business.

1.Do clean your countertops every day with gentle soap and a soft cloth.
2.Do protect your countertops from drink stains by using coasters.
3.Do use hot pads to keep your counters safe from heat damage.
4.Do follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for resealing your countertops.

5.Don’t wait to clean up spills from your countertops. Clean them up right away.
6.Don’t use abrasive brushes or sponges to clean granite.
7.Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice, or undiluted bleach to clean your countertops.
8.Don’t cut directly on your countertop. Always use a cutting board.

Intermountain Stone & Marble Can Help

Granite countertops offer a beautiful and lavish feel to any home or business. So if you’re ready to upgrade to stunning and long-lasting countertops today, call Intermountain Stone & Marble. Our countertop experts offer the best selection of granite, marble, and other natural stone countertops at a budget-friendly price.

Our knowledgeable crew can help you find the best countertop materials for your home in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a neighboring city in Utah. We proudly offer top-quality granite, marble, quartz, and porcelain counters at a price that fits your specific budget. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble to view our extensive color and style options and get your quote today.

5 Things No One Tells You About Marble Countertops

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Marble countertops are well-known for being a timeless and luxurious addition to any kitchen or bathroom. But that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses. Marble is somewhat high maintenance for a natural stone and may be susceptible to scratching and staining. Learning to care for marble can take time, but it’s well worth the effort.

Marble isn’t as carefree as granite and quartz, but it has plenty of benefits that may outweigh the drawbacks. Here’s a look at five things nobody tells you about marble counters. 

1. Each Marble Slab Is Unique

Marble is a metamorphic stone that’s found in mountain ranges all across the world. It takes millions of years for marble to form. It starts as limestone, and then over time, intense heat and pressure chemically change the stone into something much more rigid and denser. This process is known as recrystallization

Since it’s a natural stone, no two marble slabs are exactly alike. Each slab has its unique pattern and hues. This uniqueness is one of the reasons marble countertops are so desirable – you’ll never have to worry about someone else choosing the same countertop as the one you’ve chosen. 

2. Marble Is Available in a Large Variety of Colors

Most people picture kitchen marble counters in white and gray. That’s because white marble countertops are very popular in kitchens. But did you know that marble comes in a wide variety of colors? Marble can be found in hues of pink, green, yellow, gray, white, and black. Within these color families, there can be significant variations in the depth of the color. For example, dark veins may run through lighter-colored slabs and vice versa. 

Even though there are plenty of color options for marble counters, many people choose white marble countertops or other light colors because they blend well with different color choices. This makes it easier to change the colors of cabinets, walls, and flooring surrounding the countertops. Light-colored marble also works well with other materials like wood, brick, stainless steel, and tile.

3. Marble Countertops Leave a History

Despite the recrystallization process, marble is still a very porous natural stone. That means that sealing marble counters is an absolute must. However, even with a sealer applied, marble is known for soaking up stains from cooking and other kitchen activities. Bathroom countertops may absorb stains from heat or makeup as well. 

Some people may see this as a drawback, but others choose to see it as a beautiful patina that shows a history of the life being lived around these kitchen marble counters. Of course, this history might not be for you if you’re a perfectionist. But plenty of people consider it a benefit of marble.

Resealing your countertops properly and frequently may help fight against staining. Two different types of sealant are commonly used for marble counters: 

  • Topical sealant is a surface coating that completely covers the stone. This helps prevent etching and staining, but it may alter the physical appearance of the marble. The topical sealant doesn’t do much to avoid scratches or heat damage and needs to be reapplied more frequently.
  • Most marble slab suppliers recommend penetrating sealants. This sealant penetrates deep into the surface of the marble and helps prevent liquids from seeping into the stone. This makes the countertops remain water– and stain-resistant. Unfortunately, they don’t do much to fight against etching from acidic liquids like lemon juice.

4. Careful Maintenance Will Keep Marble in Good Shape

Maintaining kitchen marble counters might sound like a lot of work, but if you follow a few simple steps, you’ll be a professional marble caretaker in no time. Here are a few tips to keep your marble looking better for longer:

  • Wipe up spills right away. Coffee, oil, and tomato sauce spills should not be allowed to sit on marble for more than a few seconds, especially on white marble countertops. Removing the spill immediately will stop the stain from penetrating and allow the marble to keep its natural color. 
  • Use a mild soap for cleanup. Harsh cleaners have no business being near marble. Avoid anything with chemicals or abrasive materials inside. Opt for a mild soap, like dishwashing detergent, and gently clean your countertops with a soft cloth. 
  • Protect the countertops during food prep. Using a cutting board is a must when you have marble counters. Always place something underneath hot pans and hair tools. If you have marble in your bathroom, don’t place your makeup directly on the countertops. Preventing spills from reaching the countertop surface is the key!
  • Reseal your countertops every year. Sealing once a year is usually enough if you use a penetrating sealant. Topical sealants may need to be applied more frequently. Be sure to follow your supplier’s recommendations for sealing your marble counters. 

5. Marble Can Be Affordable

Marble slabs can vary significantly in cost depending on how rare they are and where the stone originates from. Carrara marble, mined in Cararra, Italy, is plentiful. Its availability makes it one of the lowest-cost natural stone countertop materials. This type of marble is typically light gray with gentle veining throughout the stone.

Rarer marble types, like Calacatta marble, are a luxury choice and will cost significantly more than Cararra marble. The good news is that marble counter options are available for nearly every price point and budget. 

Intermountain Stone & Marble Offers the Best in Marble Countertops

Marble countertops offer a beautiful and luxurious feel to any home or business. So if you’re ready to upgrade to stunning and long-lasting countertops today, call Intermountain Stone & Marble. Our countertop experts offer the best selection of marble and other natural stone countertops at a budget-friendly price. 

Our knowledgeable crew can help you find the best countertop materials for your home in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a neighboring city in Utah. We proudly offer top-quality granite, marble, quartz, and porcelain counters at a price that fits your specific budget. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble to view our extensive color and style options and get your quote today.

The Dos and Don’ts of Caring for Your Quartz Countertops

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Quartz countertops are among the most common materials used in homes, and knowing how to take care of them is essential.

Quartz is one of the most reliable materials used for countertops and other features throughout countless homes and businesses. This engineered stone is designed to be resilient, durable, and resistant. Despite that, there are still things you should and should not do when caring for and maintaining your quartz counters.

So, what exactly are these dos and don’ts? Continue reading to learn more.

What is Quartz?

It’s best to know a little about quartz, the mineral itself, so you can completely understand the fundamentals of maintaining your quartz countertops. We briefly touched on this above, but to start, despite the organic look of quartz counters, it is not a natural stone.
Of course, quartz is one of the earth’s most common minerals and can be found worldwide. In its raw form, quartz looks very similar to crystals. But that final countertop material is not completely composed of that mineral.

The fabrication process for quartz countertop slab consists of crushing quartz crystals and other forms of highly resistant stone particles before adding bonding resins and coloring agents. This mixture is made up of 90 to 93 percent quartz crystals. After that, it is put into a high-temperature vacuum chamber to form a super durable slab. It is then polished, finished, and sold.

Many types of materials are used for kitchen countertops, but quartz tops them all in terms of durability. Between the unique stone mixture and the hard resin, quartz counters are elegant and highly durable. While this countertop is tough and can withstand wear and tear, it is not indestructible. 

Proper care is crucial to ensuring they last for their entire lifespan. Lack of regular maintenance or a thoughtless accident could damage even the heaviest-duty slab. Today, we are filling you in on everything you need to know.

The Dos and Don’ts of Maintaining Your Quartz Countertops

DO NOT Let Spills Linger — Spilled liquids (even water!) can seep through tiny, undetectable scratches in your countertops, leaving stains below their surface. Acidic foods and liquids, like citrus fruit, wine, vinegar, and more, are especially fast-acting and strong staining agents. 

Keep your countertops in excellent, stain-free condition by cleaning up all spills the moment they occur. Don’t forget to dry the area thoroughly with a clean, soft microfiber cloth when they happen or as soon as you notice them.

DO Gently Clean Quartz Countertops Regularly — Going along with what we mentioned above, a great way to keep your countertops looking pristine is to wipe them down as often as necessary throughout the day.
A soft, dampened washcloth and, if necessary, a bit of mild dish soap should do the trick. Wiping away the crumbs and other messes as needed should keep your countertops free of grime, germs, and dust, and should stop stains in their tracks.

Check your countertops at eye level to ensure you get a thorough clean and have not missed any crumbs and other particles. If you want to use a store-bought cleaning solution, make sure the product is specifically made for quartz counters.

DO NOT Do Projects on Your Quartz Countertops — The kitchen countertop might be a convenient place for your kids to do their homework or work on an art project. However, it is not wise to let them work here, especially if they are using ink, permanent markers, or paint.

These and other substances can adhere to your countertop surfaces and be extremely tricky to remove. Water-based products at the counter are okay, though you might want to consider covering them during art time, no matter what they are using — just to play it safe.

DO Utilize Trivets and Hot Pads — Quartz counters can withstand extremely high temperatures; after all, they were fabricated in a super hot oven! Despite that fact, drastic and sudden temperature changes can alter the color of quartz or split it right down the middle. It is also critical to remember that the smooth polish on the surface of your slab is not nearly as heat resistant as the stone underneath it. 

Homeowners should always place trivets and/or hot pads between the quartz counter and hot pots and pans. Always use caution when using countertop appliances, such as a toaster oven or an air fryer. Moreover, hot hair tools, like straightening or curling irons, should be used carefully and put down gently on the counter.

DO NOT Scratch Your Quartz Countertops — Quartz counters are scratch-resistant; however, they are not scratch-proof. It is essential to remember that despite these countertops being durable, they are not meant to be used as a cutting board. Do not cut directly on them. Doing so can scratch the finish and make the stone a lot more vulnerable to stains.

If you do scratch the stone surface, make sure to address the problem area right away. There are ways to fix the damage yourself; however, the best way to deal with scratches is to call a professional.

DO Get Your Quartz Countertops at Intermountain Stone & Marble 

If you want quartz countertops in your property, Intermountain Stone & Marble in Salt Lake City is the best place to get your materials.

Our team of professionals is ready to help you find the best countertops for your home or business at a price that fits your budget. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is invested in your project and is here to help you find the best options for your kitchen and bathroom countertop needs.
We strive to provide our clients with a fantastic experience by offering top-tier customer service and high-quality materials like marble, quartz, granite, and other luxurious stones. 
If you live in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a surrounding area in Utah, contact us today to check out our extensive selection and receive a quote.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops: Which is Superior?

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Today we’re looking at one of the greatest counter material face-offs and diving into the pros and cons of each: granite vs. quartz countertops. Which is it going to be?

Few things are as luxurious and timeless as stone counters in your home or business. But finding the right material that meets your wants and needs can feel overwhelming!

Granite and quartz slabs are among the most popular kitchen and bathroom countertops options. Each has its own advantages, disadvantages, pros, and cons. 

So which material should you go with? Continue scrolling to find out.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops: Which is Superior?

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

Before diving into the ultimate battle, let’s do a mini-lesson on each of these materials to ensure we’re all on the page.

Quartz Counters — Quartz is an engineered stone often used for countertop surfaces. They combine the best of natural stone with modern manufacturing processes. Quartz countertops are made by combining roughly 90% loose quartz, and the remaining ~10% are resins and pigments.

Granite Counters — Unlike quartz, granite is an entirely natural stone mined directly from stone quarries. It is then cut into slabs, polished or honed (or finished in another way), and fabricated into countertops.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops: Which is Better?

Granite vs. quartz countertops is one of the biggest battles and controversies in the home interior and design world. Quartz and granite countertops are arguably the most popular countertop materials on the market today. But which reigns supreme? Many homeowners disagree about which is the premium surface for residential and commercial applications.

While quartz and granite countertops are similar in some ways, there are many differences between the two. Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

Pros of Quartz Countertops 

Here are a few benefits that quartz offers that granite cannot:

Unmatched Durability: Quartz is naturally nonporous, unlike natural stones, like granite. Because of its nonporous nature, it is more resistant to stains and bacteria buildup. It is also more resistant to cracking and chipping.

Extremely Low-Maintenance: One of the biggest perks of quartz countertops is that they do not require any maintenance like marble or granite. Outside of regular cleaning, you won’t need to do anything special to care for your quartz counters.

Appearance: Quartz mimics the look of a natural stone but is a bit more uniform in its appearance. When homeowners choose this material, there is a broader selection of design options in terms of colors and patterns.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

Here are a couple of disadvantages of quartz counters:

An Engineered Stone: The fact that quartz counters are not natural stone is only considered to be a “con” to some homeowners. Some homeowners are set on wanting a natural stone on their property. Quartz is manufactured – not the real deal.

More Heat Sensitive: Because of the resin found in quartz counters, it does not hold up as well to extreme heat because of its resin content. Quartz countertops are best used indoors since outdoor kitchens are subject to extreme temperatures.

Pros of Granite Countertops 

There are some areas where quartz counters fall short. Here are some of the benefits of granite:

Natural Material: Some people prefer granite over quartz because it is a natural stone.

Heat Resistant: Granite can withstand high temperatures. After all, it is an igneous rock — also called magmatic rock — which means that it forms through the cooling and solidifying of magma.
You could place a hot pan right on top of it without causing severe damage (though many homeowners still opt for trivets). Granite is often used for outdoor kitchen countertops because it can tolerate exposure to the sun and UV rays.

Versatile Look and Aesthetic: Granite comes in various colors and patterns. Each slab is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Cons of Granite Countertops 

Granite is a great countertop option, but it’s important to note its disadvantages:

Required Maintenance: Granite is porous and requires periodic maintenance, such as sealing. You can do this task yourself, but a professional will do it more effectively and efficiently.

Carbon Footprint: A lot of energy is used to harvest granite from the earth. Moreover, slabs imported from other countries leave a larger carbon footprint.

Irregular Design: If your design requires complete uniformity, granite countertops may not be your best choice. Granite is a natural stone, so no two slabs are the same.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops: Where They Tie

In other aspects, quartz and granite are neck and neck:

Real Estate Value: Quartz and granite are superior countertop materials and sure to impress prospective buyers. Compared with other types of counters, especially ones like ceramic tile or laminate, both granite and quartz can improve the real estate value of your property.

Comparable Costs: When it comes to granite and quartz countertops, the costs are very comparable. Both of these materials are high-quality and, because of that, neither is much more expensive than the other. The prices of each will vary from one slab to the next. Make sure to research and find a company that offers quality options at a reasonable price.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops — Intermountain Stone & Marble Can Help!

Granite vs. quartz countertops is a face-off we love to dissect. But if you’re still not sure which route you should go for the countertops in your home or business, the professionals at Intermountain Stone & Marble in Salt Lake City are here to help!

Our team of experts is invested in your project and is here to help you find the best option for your kitchen and bathroom countertop needs. We are dedicated to providing you with a fantastic experience by offering the best customer service and high-quality materials, like granite, marble, quartz, and other luxurious stones, at a reasonable price that fits within your budget.
We are ready to serve those in Salt Lake City, Park City, and surrounding areas in Utah. Contact our knowledgeable team to check out our extensive style and color selection and get your quote today.