Category Archives: Countertops

A Maintenance Guide To Granite Countertops

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Many homeowners opt to put granite countertops in their homes because of their beauty and low-maintenance characteristics.

It is an excellent natural stone that holds up well against everyday wear and tear and looks beautiful in the process. Despite granite requiring little maintenance, there are still a few things you will need to keep your countertops looking good for years to come.

Continue reading to learn more about maintaining these fabulous countertops below.

 

A Maintenance Guide to Granite Countertops

The best way to ensure your granite counters stay in tip-top shape is to avoid bad habits that can cause damage. Eliminate potential problems by utilizing proper countertop care. Here’s what you should do:

Clean Up Spills Immediately — While granite is not susceptible to etching due to acidic substances, they can become stained by them. Additionally, oils can leave stains. Whatever the spill, it’s best to clean them up right away.

Wipe Surfaces with a Soft Cloth or Sponge and Granite-Specific Spray — To keep your countertops in their best condition, use mild granite detergent and a sponge or soft cloth every day. Hot water can also be an effective method for cleaning your counters.

Utilize Coasters — While coasters are not 100% necessary on properly sealed granite counters, this good practice will protect your counters and help keep them looking brand new for decades.

Use Trivets or Hot Pads — Avoid the chance of thermal shock and use trivets or hot pads under hot pots and pans.

Always Use Cutting Boards — While granite countertops are very hard and are resistant to chips and scratches, it’s best to avoid chopping things without cutting boards. Besides, cutting items directly on your granite can dull and ruin your knives.

Polish Your Granite — Polishing your counters is not necessary to maintaining your granite. It does, however, enhance your stone countertops shine. Using a conditioning polish can help keep fingerprints away, improve cleaning, and offers a bit more protection. It is suggested that you polish your counters no more than once per week. Many people choose to make polishing their granite a monthly practice.

Sealing Your Counters — To ensure your countertops last for years and years, it’s important to seal the stone at regularly scheduled intervals. Easily control and prevent stains by sealing your counters.

Repair When Necessary — Finding a crack in your granite is not ideal, but it is not the end of the world. It’s best to address the crack right away, before it worsens, by contacting an experienced and knowledgeable stone repair specialist.

 

Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble Company

Granite countertops are an excellent, low maintenance choice for your home. Following a good maintenance guide will keep your counters in great shape and looking perfect for years and years.

If you are considering adding granite counters in your house, contact the experts at Intermountain Stone & Marble. We are proud to offer our customers high-quality, durable, and affordable granite options. If you are in Salt Lake City, Taylorsville, Murray, or the surrounding cities in Utah, contact us today to get a quote and to view our extensive selection of color and style options.

What Is Honed Marble? 

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Polished and honed marble are usually the top two choices when it comes to the finish of your natural marble stone countertop. While “polished” is relatively self-explanatory, “honed” is different.

honed marble

What is honed marble, and is it the right choice for your countertop finish? We are here to explain!

Natural Stone Changes Over Time

When you’re choosing natural stone for your countertops, it’s important to understand that it changes with use and age. For marble, this is truer than any other stone. As it ages, it develops a patina. This could be a pro or a con, depending on your expectations. If you’d like a counter that looks the same in five years as it did the day you installed it, this stone probably isn’t for you.

However, if you’re open to embracing the look of a natural product and you appreciate how this stone changes with age, you’ll enjoy every stage of its life.

Choosing Between Two Types of Finishes

Marble countertops can receive either a polished or honed finish. How the stone reacts to wear and tear depends on which you choose.

Honed Marble: The Pros and Cons

There are two main threats to marble countertops: stains and scratches. With honed marble, you don’t have to worry about scratches. Since it lacks a glossy surface, scratches don’t show up even when the light hits it.

On the other hand, since honed marble lacks a polished, protective finish, it is more susceptible to staining.

So honed marble can sustain wear and tear, but you must wipe up acidic spills right away to avoid the need for more in-depth cleaning later.

Should You Stick with Polished Stone?

A polished finish offers a countertop more protection from stains, increasing its absorption-resistance. However, due to the glossy finish, any scratches or dents will be easily evident, especially in a well-lit room like a kitchen. When you clean a polished finish, you can’t use an abrasive cleaning agent or a hard-bristled scrub brush, or you could make it look much older than it is.

Get More Information

In general, marble countertops are a high-end design statement that will instantly elevate the look of your interiors, regardless of the finish you choose. However, you may still benefit from an expert opinion.

Our team at Intermountain Stone & Marble Company makes thoughtful recommendations for marble counter finishes based on where the marble will be installed and how you intend to use it. When you’re deciding between polished and honed marble, call us. We can help you make the right choice.

Myths About Stone Countertops

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Stone countertops are beautiful — it’s no wonder everyone wants them in their home. Well, almost everyone! If someone starts believing one of these falsehoods about stone countertops, they’re probably highly likely to change their mind.

We wouldn’t want you to fall prey to misinformation. That’s why we’ve created this list of myths, along some truths that you should believe.

Myths About Stone Countertops

Check out the top seven myths about stone countertops:

Myth #1: Granite Is So Expensive

Granite isn’t as pricey as you’d think. It’s commonly thought of as a luxury upgrade, one that’s out of your price range. You may be surprised to learn that this is a myth! You can find affordable granite counters that fit your style and your budget.

Myth #2: Stains Are Permanent

Under most circumstances, this is false. Even the toughest granite stains can be extracted with a poultice, even oil-based stains. Quartz is slightly more susceptible to stains, but given normal use, most stains are removable. If you decided to use your stone countertops as a workstation and exposed the stone to chemicals and solvents, those could cause tougher stains that may leave remnants behind.

Myth #3: Sunlight Will Damage Quartz

Sometimes quartz isn’t seen as the durable stone that it is. While you shouldn’t install quartz outside in direct sunlight with constant exposure to the elements, quartz can be installed in any room in the house, even if there is plenty of sunlight streaming in.

Myth #4: Granite Is Heat-Resistant

Many people believe you can put hot pans and trays down on granite without any repercussions. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule though. High temperatures can damage the granite seal, which can mar the surface. It’s better to use potholders and keep your stone safe.

Myth #5: Granite Harbors Bacteria

Have you ever heard someone tell you that your granite countertop is a trap for bacteria? It might make you scared to even eat off your counters. While it’s possible for any counter to have bacteria on it, the idea that granite is somehow more susceptible than other stones or other material types is nonsense. Keep your counter clean and you won’t have an issue with bacteria!

Myth #6: Stone Countertops Can’t Be Repaired

Can you fix stone? Some people might tell you no. Once a stone countertop cracks or breaks, that’s the end. This isn’t true. It’s exceedingly rare for a stone counter to break, so you probably don’t see many professionals advertising their services, but if it does happen, it is possible to fix it, depending on the extent of the damage.

Myth #7: Granite, Marble or Quartz — It’s Just a Trend!

Here’s the craziest myth of them all — that stone counters won’t be desirable 10 years from now. This isn’t true. Natural stone adds beauty and class to every design, and that will always be in style.

Have a friend or family member who believes one of these false statements? Share this list with them so they can understand their hesitation over installing stone countertops is unfounded! They can also call Intermountain Stone and Marble Company. You can too — we know everything about quartz, marble and granite countertops, and we can offer a custom quote for your home.

Types of Granite Edges ​

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Granite Edges

Selecting the perfect edge for your granite countertop is just as important as the slab itself. You’ve picked the color, the thickness and the finish, but the edge is the icing on your stone cake.

Right now, a popular trend is a waterfall edge, where the granite extends from the counter/tabletop over the edge and all the way to the floor. It’s an added expense because you need bigger slabs for the effect, but it’s a focal point and showstopper.

Plus, even though it’s trendy, it has a timeless quality so you don’t have to worry about it becoming outdated.

For most homeowners, a traditional one-quarter round edge is ideal. It’s a soft rounding, taking a bit of the harshness out of an otherwise straight edge.

As an added bonus, if your granite is hip height, you’re less likely to hurt yourself should you accidentally bump into it. Softer edges are also desirable for anyone with small children in the home who might hit their heads on sharp corners.

Get an Edge

The practical straight cut, with sharper corners, is also popular, particularly in spacious homes without small children. It offers a clean look and is favored by in-home chefs. The one-quarter bevel option, which cuts off corners for a half-round look, is also a way to give your kitchen or bathroom a slightly different appearance without choosing a wildly different edge finish.

However, if you do want to make a bold statement, consider the ogee edge for your granite. It’s what you’ll find in ancient castles and palaces, with a swooping design dripping with richness. With just the right amount of ornate, it gives your room that extra oomph and pairs perfectly with all types of granite. Give a more subdued, solid granite something special with an ogee edge, or really go all out with your unique high-end slab.

Round Granite

If you want a rounder edge than what a one-quarter provides, perhaps the half bullnose, demi bullnose, or full bullnose is for you.

The full bullnose wraps the round edge completely, so you have a rounded edge on top of your slab and below. The half bullnose, aptly named, is only rounded on the top edge of the slab. The demi is also only rounded on top, but the slope is wider than a traditional bullnose, which can add an extra touch of softness to your granite.

For homeowners who love the look of the demi bullnose for granite but want something a little more attention-grabbing, a full 1-inch bevel might be the answer. You get 1 inch of a sharper slope, which is a great opportunity to show off the colors and swirls of a high-end granite piece. This option is especially great for slabs with rich hues, swirls and contrasts.

From waterfall to classic straight edges, the quality of your slab, edging and installation make all the difference. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble for your complete granite countertop needs from start to finish.

4 Tips for Stone Countertops

4 Tips for Stone Countertops

Modern kitchen with cozy lighting, and food ingredients on the counter top.

Not all stone countertops are created equally — even if they are the same material. For example, granite comes from many places around the world, boasts different levels of quality and is cut into a variety of standardized thicknesses. Granite from regions where the stone is more beautiful can come with a higher price. The uniqueness of the slab (like if the granite has a lot of bright blue coloring aspects, which is rare) can also affect the cost. Of course, the thicker the stone, the more it will cost, too. You can snag fantastic deals on granite, however, by choosing remnants over custom-cut pieces or going with a thinner slab.

No matter what your budget, you need to understand the best tips for saving money and preserving your investment, because that’s exactly what stone countertops are: an investment. Whether marble, travertine, granite or quartz, these countertops can last a lifetime, but only if you treat them right and choose the best product for you.

Here are some must-know tips before you begin shopping:

  • Different stones have different pros and cons: Granite is by far the most desirable of countertop materials, but quartz is much more durable, nonporous and heat resistant. If you only use your kitchen for show, you can go with a delicate stone. If you’re gearing up to audition for Chopped, you might need to go with one that’s thicker and tougher.
  • Sealants are your friend: Every stone but quartz needs a sealant as soon as it’s installed. Stone is porous, eager to absorb debris, grease, bacteria and everything else it comes in contact with. Don’t assume your stone countertops come with a sealant — many don’t, and not all manufacturers are upfront about sealants. Always ask.
  • Let your counters dictate flooring and cabinets: Kitchens and bathrooms have three main real estate areas: countertops, cabinets/vanities and flooring. Countertops and cabinets battle for the title of biggest investment, but if you really want quality countertops, then they should win. Choose your countertops first, then match or contrast your floors and cabinets to them.
  • Maintenance is key: Cleaning your countertops with stone-friendly agents on a regular basis helps keep them free of bacteria, even if they are sealed. Plus, some sealants only last a few years, so make sure to schedule a re-sealing in a timely manner. Just like any natural product, stone needs a little pampering for a long shelf life.

Stone countertops certainly aren’t maintenance free, but they bring value and beauty to your home that’s unparalleled. Kitchens are dubbed the biggest ROI in your home, so give them the attention they deserve. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble today to start creating your dream home, featuring natural stone countertops.