• Counter Tops •
The Kitchen industry has seen a shift in counter top standards. For decades laminate tops were the standard, currently hard surface tops such as granite and quartz are taking over in popularity and quality. We have many tiers of both types and have various edges, colors, and styles that we offer.
There just nothing more beautiful than the colors and movement in natural stone.
Granite is a natural stone, each slab different to the other with no two pieces exactly alike. Some being more unique and harder to obtain or rarer than others have caused price levels know as Tiers. There are typically 3 to 5 tiers stocked at your local stone yard. Tier 1 is the easiest to obtain and most common therefore the least expensive and the difference in tiers have little to do with quality. Tier 1 tops can be purchased in today's market completely installed for not much more that a custom High Def laminate tops with a custom edge.
Granite is porous and not stain resistant and will require sealing. In past years top sealing was required yearly and even more often depending on cleaners being used. This not only a pain but the application cost can add up after a few years. Today we treat all of the granite tops we sell with "Dry Treat Stain-Proof Plus" countertop impregnator. It is the only sealer of its kind that carries a 25year warranty. The cost of this sealer when applied during the top installation is approximately $2 Per square foot.
Granite may have natural hidden defects or fissures within it that may cause the top to be unstable and crack when exposed to heat such as a hot frying pan or even a crock pot. That is one of the reasons there is no warranty on granite tops except for on the installation labor.
Granite being cut from large rocks is characteristically not consistent in thickness or perfectly flat. Most granite tops will require some shimming even when applied to perfectly level and straight cabinetry.
Granite being stone (some harder than others} the softer stone may chip more easily especially on uneased edges. Luckily most chipped edges are generally repairable. Even though these tops are very hard and durable using them for a cutting board is not recommended.
Granite seams are not invisible to the eye or the touch, they are typically glued together with color matching epoxy and should be the same level. Depending on the colors and movement in the stone some seams may be inconspicuous.
Quartz is a manufactured material from 90% quartz and 10% resin compressed into sheets, and display the following characteristics.
Very consistent in color and is easily matched from slab to slab as most are very similar.
Quartz Seams should be almost inconspicuous to the eye and touch as both slabs can be polished together simultaneously.
Non Porous and will not promote or harbor bacteria, mold or mildew. Never
needs to be sealed.
Scratch Resistant, registers a 7 on Mohs hardness scale. But not recommended to be used as a cutting board.
Stain Resistant, Quartz is non porous and impermeable to liquids.
Being a manufactured product it is consistent in thickness and shape. It is flat but may become warped as it sits in the stands before fabrication and may need shimming upon installation.
Our fabricators offer several Quartz lines:
HanStone Quartz/ manufactured in Canada.
Vicostone Quartz/ manufactured in Vietnam.
Silestone Quartz/ manufactured in Italy.
Cambria Quartz/ manufactured in USA.
Laminate tops commonly called Formica because they were the pioneers of the product, are a much better than those of years past. Today's laminates are very durable, up to 7 times more scratch resistant, stain resistant, and heat resistant. They currently have modern textures, edges, and under-mount sinks, and some could pass for real granite. These tops as always make safe food prep areas and are available in hundreds of designs and colors. They also are priced in levels and the most expensive encroach on the starting tier of granite.
We custom fabricate tops using most of the major brands of laminate but mostly from Formica and Wilson Art as they are readily available.