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Marble Countertops 101

Marble is one of the most versatile materials that you can adorn your house with. Marble countertops are no exception, as they are easy to cook on, they’re bright and elegant, and they can be the envy of everyone who visits your home. However, some people aren’t sold on marble yet because they are under the impression that marble is difficult to maintain; this only holds true if you don’t routinely clean your countertops. Here are a few basics you need to know about marble if you’re interested in selecting marble countertops for your home. 

What is Marble? 

You’ve certainly heard of marble by now, but can you explain what marble is? For starters, marble is a metamorphic stone that is formed when sediment crystallizes under great heat or pressure to form hard rock. Marble is also not the hardest of stones, but this works to its benefit because it is smooth compared to other stones. It is important to note that marble is porous, which makes it susceptible to staining. However, with basic care, you won’t even have to worry about staining your countertops. Even if your countertops do stain, the stains can easily be cleaned off. To keep the marble in its best condition, you will have to do some routine maintenance. Although this might be a deal-breaker for some busy people, those who are invested in marble know that cleaning it every once in a while is worth it. Some homeowners even favor the look of gradually aged surfaces with stains that blend in with the veining over time. This can give marble a unique, organic character. 

What Types of Finishes Does Marble Come In? 

There are two types of marble finishes a homeowner can select for their countertops, which are either a honed finish or a polished finish. Honed finishes are created by sanding the surface so that your countertops have a matte, soft finish. One of the main benefits of honed marble is that scratches won’t appear as easily. Sealing your marble will help keep staining to a minimum. Consider sealing your marble every year so that your countertops stay in top shape. This process only takes one hour so you don’t have to worry about spending too much time sealing, and it can easily be done on your own. Polished surfaces will give you a shiny countertop, and this finish doesn’t stain as easily as a honed countertop does. On the flip side, polished surfaces can wear out more easily than honed surfaces. As mentioned earlier, there are some people who don’t mind the aged look of marble countertops; if you’re one of those people who prefers a more organic looking countertop, then polished surfaces might be for you. 

What Can I Do to Clean My Marble Easily? 

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning your marble countertops is actually simple. All you really need to clean a marble countertop is water and dish soap, which works like a charm for regular maintenance. Lifting stains isn’t tedious work either and there are several home remedies that you can follow to remove stains from your countertop. Mixing baking soda with water into a paste and leaving it overnight on a stain will help lift it. 

Interested in treating your home to new marble countertops? Intermountain Stone & Marble has you covered. If you’re a resident of Salt Lake County, give our experts a call today to learn more about the wonders of marble. 

6 Things You May Not Know About Quartz

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Quartz products are taking the spotlight in all the most stylish homes, and you may be feeling left out if you don’t have any quartz to show off in your home.

You’ve probably heard a multitude of wonderful comments about quartz that have piqued your interest in the igneous rock, and we don’t blame you.

Quartz is easily one of the best countertop options for your home because of the multitude of colors it’s available in, its patterns, durability, hygiene, and its sustainable origins and manufacturing processes.

Thinking about decorating your abode with quartz? Here are six facts that you may not know about quartz. 

1. Quartz Is Not a Natural Stone Countertop

Don’t panic! This isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually a positive for your home. These countertops are made using pieces of quartz that are held together using non-porous resin. For this reason, quartz is considered a manufactured countertop, which is beneficial to your home because quartz can be molded into unique shapes. You can create eye-catching curves and dimensions without all those unsightly cuts and seams.

2. Quartz Is Comprised of Natural Minerals

Although quartz is not considered a natural stone product, almost the entirety of a quartz countertop is comprised of natural minerals. In fact, the average slab of quartz contains 97% minerals. The remaining 3% of quartz slab is resin, which holds the slab together.

3. Quartz Is One of the Most Abundant Minerals

Here’s where the sustainability factor of quartz comes into play. Unlike other countertop materials, quartz is not mined, nor is it only available infinite amounts. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found in the earth’s crust, so it is nearly impossible for quartz to be extracted in noticeable amounts.

4. Quartz Is Low-Maintenance

Quartz is one of the toughest minerals, making it resistant to cracking, chipping, and breaking. Since resin is non-porous, quartz never needs to be sealed, thus making it impervious to staining and etching. Bacteria, grime, mold, and mildew don’t stand a chance against quartz.

5. Quartz Is Made in the USA

Almost all other countertop products that rival quartz are mined and fabricated in other countries, then shipped to the vendor after weeks of waiting. Fossil fuel resources and overhead shipping costs are a thing of the past when you select quartz.

6. Quartz Is Evolving

Years ago, quartz was wrongfully criticized (we know, it’s hard to believe). People cynical of quartz claimed that quartz was lackluster and that it lacked interesting designs. Present-day, quartz can be embossed, or even sandblasted. These strides in the quartz industry now make quartz a top contender for bathroom and kitchen projects. 

Ready to give your home a facelift? If you’re a resident of Salt Lake County, contact our friendly experts at Intermountain Stone and Marble for a free estimate. We offer hundreds of countertop options, which includes quartz. You can’t go wrong with our expansive selection of countertops. 

10 Tips For Remodeling Your Bathroom

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In a remodel, we all want a final product that reflects our personal style and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Bathrooms are the number one room homeowners choose to renovate. This is because bathrooms are usually quite small and don’t cost too much money to renovate. Even the smallest of details can make a huge impact in such a small space.

Here are ten tips for remodeling your bathroom to end up with your dream space.

1. Have a Plan.

It may seem obvious, but too many homeowners forget to have a concrete plan for what they want their space to end up looking like. Establish a plan for your budget, design, and timeline. Talk with others who will be using the space. Imagine your day-to-day in this space. What are your priorities? When establishing a timeline, keep in mind that a bathroom remodel is typically 30-90 days long.

2. Don’t Mess with Plumbing.

Using the existing plumbing, if possible, will save you a ton of money in the long run. Relocating plumbing fixtures such as the bathtub or toilet is no small task!

3. Toilet tips.

Consider replacing the toilet seat and lid instead of the entire unit. Just replacing these parts will give your toilet a fresh look without breaking the bank.

4. Ventilation Systems.

Proper ventilation is the key to making your remodel last for many years to come. A bathroom that is not properly ventilated could contribute to a number of problems including mold and mildew buildup.  

5. Maximize Space.

Use all of the space in your bathroom as much as possible. Utilize glass doors for showers and tubs to open up space. Pedestal sinks take up much less space than those with cabinets. Use creative storage solutions if your space is small.

6. Pick Timeless, Durable Flooring.

Choose durable flooring that is properly stained and sealed. Beautiful, water-proof flooring options include porcelain, ceramic, and stone.

7. Design with The Future in Mind.

If you plan to move within the next few years, consider options that will increase the value of your home. Otherwise, think about your style preferences and make decisions that you know you will love for many years to come.

8. Protect Your Walls.

Durable baseboards are crucial for protecting your walls. You may also want to consider adding beadboard to the lower half of your walls. This will help protect your walls from water damage.

9. Small Things Make a Big Impact.

Don’t look over the little details. Usually, it’s in the finer details that the greatest impact is made. Grout not only seals out dirt and water, but it can make all the difference in the appearance of your tub. Add a frame around your mirror to make it stand out. Switch out standard lighting for a modern statement piece.

10. Don’t Skip Over Storage.

Storage is crucial in any bathroom. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, consider installing cabinets above the toilet, adding free-standing shelves to a corner, or hanging a towel rack on the back of the door.

Remodeling a bathroom is exhausting work, but the finished product will be more than worth it. Begin with the end in mind and this will ensure that your renovation ends in success.

5 Reasons To Try Granite Countertops

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One of the first things you notice when you walk into a kitchen is the countertops. If you’ve ever seen a kitchen with granite countertops, you know that their beauty cannot be beaten. Granite remains one of the most popular options for countertops today. Not only are they stunning to look at, but there are also many other benefits to choosing granite for your countertop needs. Here are five reasons to switch to granite countertops today.

1. Granite is Tough and Durable.

It is nearly impossible to scratch or chip granite countertops. This is because granite is second only to diamond on the hardness scale. However, if you do manage to scratch or chip your granite countertops, it is a relatively easy fix. Unlike materials such as laminate, Granite is heat resistant. You will never have to worry about hot pots and pans damaging your countertops. Granite is also immune to freezing, thawing, mildew, and mold. No other material is more durable or longer-lasting than granite.

2. Maintenance is Easy.

Once the countertops are properly installed and sealed by a professional, granite is very easy to maintain. Because granite is resistant to staining and bacteria, it is effortless to clean. You can easily clean your countertops with soap and water, or with a special, granite-specific cleanser. Keep in mind that you should never use vinegar or bleach to clean granite countertops.

3. Granite Boosts the Home’s Value.

Granite offers a nice curb-appeal to your home. Not only do they add beauty to your kitchen, but granite countertops also have up to 100% of return investment value. This means that you can potentially get back the entire cost of your countertops in the resale of your home. Because granite is so durable, no matter when you decide to sell your home, your countertops will always look brand new. When deciding between two homes to buy, it is not uncommon for prospective buyers to pick the home showcasing granite countertops.

4. Granite is Cost-Effective.

Because of its durability, granite is a very cost-effective choice for your countertops. Lower-quality materials, such as laminate, will need to be replaced within a decade. With granite’s long-lasting track record, you can expect these countertops to last a lifetime. Intermountain Stone and Marble offers customizable granite countertops in any size and shape to fit your unique needs.

5. Granite is Made of Natural Material.

Granite is an environmentally-friendly choice. With today’s trend of “going green”, these gorgeous countertops are a great choice because they are made of entirely natural material. This also adds to its beauty. Each piece of granite is individually unique, making your kitchen special and distinctive. The natural appeal of the stone is unsurpassed by any other countertop material.

Granite countertops will set your home apart from any other on the market. It is the most popular countertop choice because it is both attractive and affordable. These countertops are also very durable, easy to clean, and will boost the value of your home. Contact Intermountain Stone and Marble for your free quote today!

Creating a Beautiful Granite-Themed Outdoor Kitchen

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While many of those who haven’t utilized our services might assume they’re only meant for indoor remodeling projects and renovations, the staff at Intermountain Stone & Marble is here to tell you that this isn’t the case. Not only do we provide numerous outdoor fireplaces and related fire features in customized natural stone, but we can also create custom countertops and other kitchen areas using our quartz, granite and marble products.

Part of the reason some folks don’t consider these areas when they think of stone countertop providers like us is that they aren’t sure whether materials like granite are meant to thrive in outdoor environments. And while a little care is needed in the proper areas, let’s be clear: It absolutely is. Let’s go over how granite survives and even thrives in outdoor circumstances, plus some themes you might consider for implementing granite in your outdoor design.

granite-themed outdoor kitchen

Granite and the Outdoors

Granite is known as one of the hardest materials on the planet, and its durability is one of its top qualities. At the same time, those who know a bit about it might be concerned about resistance to staining and ensuring its seal always remains strong when put up against wind, rain, snow and other elements.

And while it’s indeed true that granite placed outdoors may need to be sealed more often than the same product indoors, the gap here is generally small – and this is the only real difference. Granite is naturally resistant to even extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, plus does just fine with things like direct sun and rain. It’s also naturally resistant to staining; so long as you wipe up any acidic spills quickly and ensure the seal is always updated, you’ll maintain a clean and gorgeous surface even during the wettest seasons.

Outdoor Granite Design Themes

Here are just a few basic themes or ideas to consider when utilizing granite for an outdoor kitchen or design areas:

  • Tucked Close: The one weather circumstance we will warn you about with granite outdoors is hail. While it’s very rare, if you live in an area where hail falls regularly, you might consider tucking your granite up against the home. Large, strong hail may chip or crack even strong granite in some cases. If you don’t tuck it away, keep a heavy blanket around to drape over the countertop in case of a hailstorm.
  • Sweeping Countertops: For outdoor areas with plenty of space, sweeping granite countertops allow plenty of space for socializing and food preparation. They also often leave plenty of storage space available.
  • Roofed Designs: If you want to be able to utilize your materials even during poor weather, consider roofing to protect yourself and others. Remember that even if you use a roof for your outdoor design, you still have to clean the countertop properly and seal the granite appropriately.

For more on utilizing granite kitchen themes outdoors, or to learn about any of our stone counters, speak to the staff at Intermountain Stone & Marble today.