Category Archives: Countertops

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.

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.

What to Look for In Bathroom Countertops

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Whether you’re adding a new bathroom or remodeling an existing one, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is selecting your bathroom countertops.

Bathrooms undoubtedly face a lot of wear and tear over the years, not to mention tons of dirt, grime, and germs. Because of this, most homeowners want to choose a countertop for this space that is durable and can stand up to constant use for years to come. 

While functionality certainly needs to be high up on your priority list as you select your counters, bathroom counters do not take the same beating that kitchen counters do — that is, assuming you are not using marble rolling pins or sharp steak knives in your bathroom. 

This is great news since you can let other factors such as colors, look, and feel play a role in which countertops you choose for your bathroom. Let’s take a deeper look into what you should look for when choosing your bathroom counters. 

Continue reading below.

5 Characteristics to Look for in Your Bathroom Countertops

Selecting the finishes in your home can be overwhelming, as there are many things to consider as you make these decisions. And choosing your bathroom counters is no different. To help you along this journey of choosing the countertops for your bathrooms, we will guide you along the way and fill you in on five things to look out for. Here’s what you know:

  1. Durability 

As mentioned above, durability is an important characteristic of bathroom countertops. These spaces are essentially a type of workspace, especially in the primary suite. It is crucial for your counters to be able to stand up to everything, dropping hair dryers, dripping toothpaste, and more!

  1. Easy to Clean 

Maintaining sanitary conditions in your bathroom is critical in keeping your family healthy, which is why an easy-to-clean countertop is important. Not only do you want your counters to be able to stand up to everyday use, but they also can handle regular cleanings and are compatible with your favorite cleaning product.

  1. Cost Friendly 

While budgets vary from one homeowner to the next, it is important to keep the cost of materials and installation in mind as you make your decisions. Depending on the material you choose and where you buy it, prices for countertops can range from $40 to $100 per square foot.

  1. Availability 

Like many things in the building industry, there are many chain supply issues that we are currently facing. Make sure, as you make your decision, to chat with your supplier about availability. Even the shortest delay in delivery or installation can cause a major headache. 

  1. Aesthetics 

Next to durability and cost, aesthetics is usually up there on the list of a homeowner’s priorities. There are many options for countertops; you are more than likely to find something in the material, color, and finish you love. But because there are so many choices, it can be surprisingly overwhelming. So, here is a quick pro and cons list of some bathroom countertop options:

Granite Bathroom Countertops — Granite is a naturally occurring stone that has many beautiful patterns, including dramatic and simple veins of colors.

PROS: 

  • Beautiful and unique
  • Heat and scratch-resistant
  • Affordable 
  • Organic and natural

CONS:

  • Porous material that needs to be resealed periodically
  • Sealer can become damaged if cleaned with acidic products

Laminate Bathroom Counters — A smooth top surface that is glued to a particle board base. 

PROS:

  • Resistant to damage
  • Highly affordable

CONS:

  • Under layers are vulnerable to water
  • Not high-end looking
  • Prone to damage, like chipping and scratching

Concrete Bathroom Countertops — Concrete counters offer a modern industrial look and can be fabricated off-site and installed or poured in place. 

PROS:

  • Very customizable
  • DIY-able
  • Single slab with no seams
  • Wide range of style and color options

CONS:

  • Extremely heavy
  • Very porous and requires sealing to resist stains and other signs of damage
  •  A messy process when poured on-site

Quartz Bathroom Counters — While quartz countertops are dated after a naturally occurring mineral, they are actually a manufactured material. It is comprised of quartz crumbles and powder, and resin and can be cast into a wide range of colors and shapes.

PROS:

  • Heat, stain, and scratch-resistant, making it highly durable
  • Non-porous and does not require sealing

CONS:

  • More expensive than granite
  • It cannot be cleaned with abrasives or bleach

Tile Bathroom Countertops — Tiles can be laid over a basic countertop.

PROS:

  • Essentially countless options
  • Price is flexible depending on tile selection
  • Damaged tiles can be individually replaced
  • DIY friendly

CONS:

  • Tile and grout require occasional sealing
  • Dated look and aesthetic 
  • Grout lines can be challenging (and tedious) to clean

Wooden Bathroom Counters — Wood counters can be fashioned from various types to match almost any style and custom-made to fit any space.

PROS:

  • Flexible in shape and size
  • A modern, rustic look
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Vulnerable to water damage
  • Must be sealed and maintained regularly
  • Can expand and contract in humidity (especially near steamy baths and showers)

Marble Bathroom Countertops — Marble is a rich, natural stone mined from quarries and cut into slabs. It is considered by many to be the Rolls-Royce of countertops.

PROS:

  • Expensive and luxurious look
  • Heat, chip, and scratch-resistant

CONS: 

  • Pricey
  • Naturally porous and susceptible to stains
  • Requires regular sealing

Need Bathroom Countertops? The Pros at Intermountain Stone & Marble Can Help

Finding the right bathroom countertops for your home or business can be stressful. But with the experts at Intermountain Stone & Marble in Salt Lake City, Utah, it’s easy!

Our knowledgeable team is here to help you find the best options for countertops for the kitchen, bathroom, or other space in your property in Salt Lake City, Park City, or a neighboring city in Utah. 

We are dedicated to providing you with the best experience by offering the highest quality customer service and materials, like granite, quartz, and marble counters, at a reasonable price that fits your budget. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble to view our extensive color and style selection and get a quote today.

5 Advantages of Adding Granite Countertops to Your Home

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5 Advantages of Adding Granite Countertops to Your Home

If you want to update your home’s look, feel, and function, adding granite countertops is a great place to start.

There are many choices homeowners must make for their property. Whether you are building a new house or renovating your current space, a decision on what type of countertop material to use throughout the home must be made. Granite counters are at the top of the list among the many options because of their many advantages.

Continue scrolling to learn more about the perks of having granite counters in your home below.

5 Advantages of Granite Countertops

  1. Strong Material — Granite is one of the strongest, hardest countertop materials, scoring between a six and eight (depending on your slab) on the Mohs Hardness Scale. One of the main reasons countless homeowners choose granite for their countertops is because of how durable it is. It is strong enough to resist scratching and chipping under typical wear and tear and everyday use. 
  2. Stain, Moisture, and Heat Resistant — Besides being scratch and chip resistant, granite counters are stain and moisture-resistant when adequately sealed. Granite is a naturally porous material, so sealing is essential to protect against staining and etching. Sealing maintenance is easy and only needs to be reapplied once yearly. Moreover, because granite is formed by heat and pressure, you can place hot pots and pans on its surface without harming it. Though, most homeowners still opt to use trivets or hot pads.
  3. An Affordable Option — Another major perk of opting for granite counters is how affordable they are. Many homeowners are surprised when they learn that a beautiful, high-quality granite slab can easily fit in their budgets. The affordability doesn’t end at the initial purchase and installation cost; granite’s life expectancy is usually 30 or more years, making it an excellent investment.
  4. Unique Piece of Art — Each piece of granite is one of a kind, differing in colors, movement, and characteristics. Each slab is like a unique piece of art, varying in lightness, darkness, veining, and patterns. You can select the slab that most speaks to you and your style and aesthetic.
  5. Adds Value to Your Home — Of course, a homeowner wants to do things to their property that will increase its value and add granite countertops throughout your home, especially in the kitchen. If you decide to sell your house at any point, granite counters are at the top of many buyers’ wish lists.

Want Granite Countertops in Your Property? Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble Today!

Granite countertops are a great, low-maintenance option for your home that comes with many benefits.

If you want to add granite counters to your property, contact the Intermountain Stone & Marble, professionals. Whether you are in the market for granite, marble, quartz, or another fine stone, we proudly offer our customers high-quality, durable, and affordable countertop options. If you are in Murray, Taylorsville, Salt Lake City, or a nearby city, contact our team to get a quote and view our extensive selection of various materials, styles, and color options for your countertops today.

Quartz Countertops: Do They Stain?

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Quartz countertops are a popular choice in most modern-day homes and make a great addition to kitchens and bathrooms.

When selecting the type of countertops you want in your house, there are many things to consider. There’s a lot to think about between look, style, function, and durability! Well, there are undoubtedly many great countertop options available today, but one is especially significant because of its stain-resistant qualities: quartz counters.

Continue reading to learn more below.

Quartz Countertops Are Stain-Resistant, Not Stain-Proof

Natural stones, such as marble and granite, are susceptible to stains because they are porous. This means that liquids can penetrate the surfaces of these stones and get stuck forever, resulting in a permanent mark. 

For this reason, natural stones must be sealed regularly. Manufactured stones, like quartz, on the other hand, are made up of approximately 95% ground natural quartz and 5% polymer resins (give or take a few percentages), making them essentially non-porous. This engineered countertop does not require sealing and is more resistant to stains because of the resin. 

While the resins in quartz counters make it a great option, it does have some downsides. Some cleaners can cause reactions that may result in discoloration or white or bleached-looking spots. It is best to avoid alkaline cleaners, a solution with high pH, and other acid types. 

On top of being susceptible to reactionary stains, these countertops can also be stained by dried-on substances stuck on your counter’s surfaces. Little bits of wax, lipstick, ink and even crusted food can be difficult to remove and could leave permanent stains.

How to Avoid Quartz Countertop Discoloration and Stains

One of the best ways to avoid stains on your quartz counters is to avoid direct contact with liquid and food as much as possible. Your countertops will look much better and last longer when messes and spills are cleaned up right away and should never be used as cutting boards.

You might find that hard water stains appear in areas that are frequently wet, such as around your sink and faucet. Prevent these stains from occurring by quickly drying your countertops with a clean, dry towel. If you have darker-colored counters, you may find discolored spots when exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Never put your hot cookware directly on countertop surfaces. Instead, use potholders and trivets to prevent these issues from happening.

Interested in Quartz Countertops in Your Property? Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble!

Quartz countertops are a great addition to any home, especially homeowners looking for an attractive yet low-maintenance option.

If you want to add high-quality counters to your home, contact the professionals at Intermountain Stone & Marble. Our skilled team of experts will help you find the perfect slab for your home or business that suits your aesthetic, taste, and budget. Contact us today and let us help you make your quartz, marble, or granite countertop dreams come to life. We proudly serve Salt Lake City, Murray, Taylorsville, and neighboring cities.