Category Archives: Kitchen Remodel

4 Kitchen Remodel Must-Haves

4 Kitchen Remodel Must-Haves

Upscale kitchen in luxury home with breakfast bar

A kitchen remodel comes with a lot of options, even if you have a relatively small space. If you’re on a budget, what should you focus on first? The surface areas, including countertops, backsplashes, floors and cabinets, are all big statement pieces.

However, the budget-conscious often can’t redo all these at once — at least not with the style and quality they’d prefer. It’s best to focus on one bigger element, use quality materials and installation, then complement it with smaller upgrades.

By far, the countertops should be your No. 1 priority (assuming the other areas are in good shape and functional). Real estate agents report that granite countertops are consistently the most in-demand kitchen feature, but homeowners are getting savvier. They’re realizing granite might not necessarily be the stone for them, and some are going with marble, quartz, travertine and other stones.

No matter what you choose, start with a natural stone countertop and grow from there. Once you’ve selected the slab of your dreams, other kitchen elements can highlight it. Consider:

1. Stone floors:

A stone floor with a sealant can be nearly as durable as vinyl (but so much better looking!). Some favorite flooring options include travertine and marble. However, marble is prone to staining and travertine can scratch, which is just another reason you should never lay flooring without ensuring it’s protected.

2. Backsplashes:

Backsplashes, even in a gorgeous natural tile, can be pretty affordable when you consider the size. The places most in need backsplashes tend to be behind stovetops and sinks. These are relatively small spaces, so you can splurge. Contrasting backsplash is trending now, too, so you can blend an option like subway tiles with a natural stone for a real knockout.

3. Sinks:

Nothing looks worse than brand-new stone countertops and a boring, stainless steel undermount sink. Get creative. If stainless steel is your style, try an oversized bowl. Check out a porcelain apron sink for a farmhouse look. Sinks come in endless styles, sizes and price ranges, so don’t go with the standard. Choose a sink worthy of your countertop.

4. An island just for you:

Kitchen islands are equal parts functional and stunning. They provide extra space for prep work, cooking (if there’s a stovetop), sitting, bonding and eating. You can choose a contrasting stone or slab for the island, or, if you want everything to match, a plus-sized slab will be large enough to provide countertop space throughout.

Upgrading your kitchen instantly upgrades your home’s value. It’s what most buyers — and owners — are after. Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble for help with all of your kitchen remodeling needs, from countertops to flooring (and everything in between).

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.