One of the most common questions our countertop shoppers ask is, "What's the difference between granite and quartz?" Both are beautiful, high-quality materials, but there are some differences that are helpful to know before deciding which is right for your home.
Perhaps the biggest difference between quartz and granite is that granite is a natural stone that is harvested from the earth, cut, and polished. Quartz is man-made from a process that combines ground quartz and polymer resins. Since quartz is man-made, it's usually going to be more expensive than granite because of the production process it undergoes, unless you choose a high-quality exotic granite. Quartz can be manufactured in a wide variety of monotone and variable shades; however it's no match for the unique colors, variants, and striations mother nature bestows upon granite.
While neither material requires a great deal of maintenance, there are some things of which to be aware. Both surfaces are easy to clean with soap and warm water or a mild household cleaner. Quartz is a solid, non-porous substance. Therefore, it does not harbor germs or bacteria, nor will it allow stains to seep in. Granite, on the other hand, is porous and must be sealed and resealed, usually every year. If not sealed properly, bacteria and stains can seep into granite, thus compromising its beauty.
Another thing to consider is that granite can tolerate heat, so there's no need for pot holders; however, granite can chip or crack if heavy impact occurs from large pots or other objects. Quartz can be damaged by heat, but the production process makes it harder and less susceptible than granite to impact damage. In addition, if you're planning countertops for an outdoor space, granite is a better choice than quartz because it won't fade from the sun's rays.
Now that you know the difference between granite and quartz, we hope this makes your shopping experience a little easier. As always, we're here for you to answer any questions and help you decide which is best for your home.
Today we’re talking with Southern Kitchen & Bath showroom manager, Lynay Armbrester, getting to know a little more about their business and customers, as well as current kitchen and bathroom trends. Southern Kitchen & Bath is the showroom for Southern Pipe and Supply, which for the last 30 years, has been helping people in the Anniston area outfit their kitchens and bathrooms with custom plumbing fixtures, tubs, toilets, and appliances. They have many items in stock but can pull from a large warehouse in Mississippi and special order from many major vendors such as Kohler, Delta, and Brizo. Southern Pipe is also the only dealer in the area of the high-end luxury Viking appliance brand.
What types of services and supplies do you offer?
We sell almost anything plumbing related—toilets, tubs, faucets, sinks. We do sell a few brands of appliances too.
Who is your typical customer?
We deal with a lot of builders and plumbers, but of course walk-in customers too. Typically, either a builder or plumber will send in their customers to pick out what they want—faucets, toilets, tubs, etc.
What do you see trending in bathroom and kitchen design?
Definitely free-standing tubs. Everybody wants one of those at least in their master bath. Finish wise, we’re seeing a lot of chrome, shiny finishes. Even gold is popular again, kind of getting more contemporary, away from old, traditional looks. People will put different finishes in every bathroom. As for showers, lots of people want rain heads. Custom showers in general are pretty popular, with people putting in multiple shower heads, hand-held showers, and body sprays.
For kitchens, mostly people are going towards farmhouse sinks and anything undermounted. People are going with solid surface countertops like granite and quartz. They also tend to put the same plumbing finish throughout a kitchen.
We’re also a big seller of Viking appliances, the only dealer in the area. Their ranges and appliances are really nice for people that like to cook a lot. Their ranges have higher BTU’s, so they cook things faster. They also give a nice industrial look to a residential home.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
When people come in here with an idea of what they want, I like to be able to help them put all of that into real life. I can help them choose everything that’s going to coordinate and match. I like being able to help people get what they want and see it come together.
The customers that bring in samples and pictures are really easy to work with because they already know what they want. It’s not a lot of staring at faucets, for instance, and trying to decide what color they want and what style they want. A lot of people, because of things like Houzz and Pinterest, they get on there and know what they want. The hard thing sometimes is though when they come in with a picture of something I’ve never seen before, and they want you to find it. For instance, I had a customer wanting a satin brass finish for her kitchen-sink, vegetable sink, pot filler, and butler pantry sink. She wants all those to match in a bridge-style faucet. I was able to find it, but we’re not sure if it fits in her budget.
What are the most important points for your customer to remember about their project?
Think about everything you’re putting in your house and make sure it’s something that’s going to last. If you plan on staying in the house any length of time, be sure you’re getting good quality products so that you’re not having to replace things.
If you’re getting ready to have Abbey Carpet remodel your bathroom or kitchen, don’t forget about your fixtures and appliances! Go see Lynay at Southern Bath & Kitchen at 800 Gurnee Ave., Anniston (256.237.5415), for the latest styles, highest quality products, and personalized service.
Granite continues to come out on top as the preferred choice for kitchen and bathroom counter surfaces. The most obvious reason for granite’s popularity is its visual appeal. Granite is a unique natural stone with wide variations in color and pattern. There is a granite to suit any home décor. A slab can boast rich earth tones like vibrant shades of green, blue, and yellow, to more basic black, white, and beige tones and anywhere in between. Granite encompasses so many colors and also patterns vary from bold with veins or color flecks, to more neutral, clean lines.
Aside from the unmatchable beauty of granite, it’s also very practical because of its durability. Granite is tough, resistant to staining and etching, and won’t scorch if you happen to place a hot object on it. Maintenance is also easy. Once the granite is professionally installed and sealed, it only requires a wipe down with a damp cloth and gentle, non-abrasive cleaner.
Another aspect of granite that makes it a popular choice is its longevity. Granite countertops will last a lifetime or more when properly taken care of, including being sealed every two to four years. Man made surfaces are not as durable, and though the initial cost may be cheaper than granite, they may have to be replaced or show signs of wear long before a granite surface. In addition to style, durability, and easy care, granite will add lasting value to your home, making it a good investment for years to come. Visit our website to find out more!
People love natural stone for bathrooms because it’s perfect for flooring, wall Mosaics, vanity tops, and tub surrounds. One natural stone that is particularly popular for bathrooms is travertine. Many home owners choose travertine for its visual features, but it's also popular for its low maintenance and durability. Today we’ll be looking at the design options of DW Tile’s travertine line.
When you think of travertine, your first thoughts might be of the typical beige color scheme, but this natural stone comes in more colors and variations than you may realize. DW Tile’s travertine comes in colors like Walnut, a neutral beige and tan colored travertine similar to distressed wood, and a silver, gray-toned travertine perfectly colored for today's modern gray trend in home décor.
DW’s Leonardo travertine is one of our favorites. Its slight orange, beige, and even gray variations make quite a visual statement. DW Tile has these and several more travertine styles and options perfect for any décor. All DW’s travertine tile comes in a variety of sizes and finishes for tile used anywhere from showers to vanities. DW Tile also offers beautiful vessel, deep-v, and drop-in sinks, not to mention finishing touches like ledger stone and other beautiful travertine trims.
Natural stone continues to be a favorite in homes for its beauty, value, and durability, and DW Tile has a excellent variety of travertine for any project. We also carry many other lines of natural stone and tile to customize your design. Our professional installers can help you build your dream bathroom, including personalized walk-in showers. Call us today to schedule a free measurement and estimate for your renovation. 256.231.0008
Today we’ll begin a series of blogs in which we’ll explore a decor style or theme and offer ideas to help you achieve that look in your home. Let’s get started by looking at modern oriental design and how you can achieve this with Daltile flooring and wall tile.
Modern and oriental designs are often clean, simple, and streamlined. Oriental décor shares some of the characteristics of modern but is more intricate, encompassing elements of nature using wood and earthy colors. Combining these two looks makes a beautiful balance of intricate design and streamlined style.
Daltile offers several tile series that can transform your space into a modern oriental oasis using wood-look, fabric patterns, and mosaics. We’re going to focus on Kimona Silk linen-look tile, City Lights Mosaic tile, and Forest Park wood-look tile and showcase two different color scheme combinations from each series of tile to give you just a few examples of this oriental/modern look.
With either color scheme, Kimona Silk tile could be used to border the room, combined with the Forest Park wood-look tile throughout on the floor. Conversely, Kimona Silk creates a delicate, modern look when used as a floor tile and could be combined with Forest Park on the wall as a wood accent. Either combination lends itself to a traditional tea house feel. For a more delicate touch, reminiscent of nature and Oriental screens and decor, several of the designs in the City Lights mosaics series are ideal for an Asian-inspired backsplash or even a focal wall.
You can add to this look by using earthy neutrals for wall colors and decorations, adding little touches like decorative vases, candles, jars, paintings, sculptures, and plants. Blending colors of the walls, furniture, and accessories is key to creating balance in a room. Use natural colors found in natural elements such as stone, wood, and soil. Colors such as red, white, gold, brown, and black will give an oriental touch of elegant and exotic. Complete your look with curtains and pillowcases featuring oriental patterns.
Visit daltile.com for more ideas and inspiration.
One of the best ways to update your home and increase its value is to remodel the kitchen and/or bath. Usually at the forefront in these areas is tile. An update to outdated tile can take your space from drab to fab, especially with today’s stylish choices in materials, colors, finishes, and patterns. Today we’re going to take a look at what you can do with our newest selections from Lungarno Ceramics.
Lungarno has a wide variety of wall tiles ranging from classic to super unique styles. The Brushstrokes line is a 1” thick wall tile with a beautiful wavy surface. Colors available are latte, rust, and a stunning turquoise blue. Brushstrokes is a unique, vintage tile that feels warm and looks great with contemporary rustic designs that utilize worn textures.
Finish Line features an array of porcelain and mosaic tiles with white, gray, and black color schemes for a unique modern design. On the more simplistic side, Finish Line features subway tiles and thin, interlocking rectangular tiles with a unique subtle texture making them perfect for walls, floors or backsplashes. In mosaic tile, Finish Line has a unique 1”x4” newspaper print wall tile that comes in white, gray, and black. This newspaper print backsplash tile is perfect for modern looks and adds a chic, city feel to your modern space. Finish Line also has hexagon tiles in black and white with beautiful and subtle metallic textures.
Natural Elements is mosaic waterjet wall tile with unique styles and organic looks. This series of tiles comes in a variety of neutral combinations in beige, taupes, gray, and cream. Themed by natural shapes, they are simple, beautiful, and calming. Natural Elements features designs like hexagon leaves, teardrops, lace leaves, chevron, and 3D cubes. These tiles are unique and perfect for neutral spaces with a need for Feng shui.
These are just a few of our favorites from the Lungarno collection. There are many more styles to suit just about any décor and add a fresh, unique flare to your kitchen or bath.
Stop by our showroom today to see our selection, or learn more at lungarnoceramics.com.
Contrary to popular belief, any kind of stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile isn’t waterproof, and neither is grout or mortar. If tile is installed in an area with heavy moisture, like the shower, it can take in moisture and develop mold and mildew. This is one reason why you can't install tile directly on your shower form. You need a shower bed. Let’s look at the traditional mud bed versus the Schluter Shower System.
Mud beds have been used for a long time, and they have some pros and cons. With the mud bed method, you can build your shower any size you want, but installation can be complicated and requires a lot more materials than Schluter shower kits. Cement board is generally used as backing and is relatively heavy and often harder to install. When forming the shower bed, a slope toward the shower drain must be made. If your installer doesn’t form the slope well enough, you can have issues like water collection and leakage, leading to mold and even rotting.
Schluter shower kits completely waterproof your space and are much simpler to install. The Schluter System uses Kerdi, a thin polyurethane sheet that's bonded between two sheets of polyester fleece, known as backing. Kerdi is much lighter and easier to handle when installing than cement board backing. The best thing about Kerdi is that when water soaks through your tile and mortar, it hits the Kerdi backing and slides right down to the drain. This keeps water from building up and causing mold and damage. With the Schluter System, you can customize your shower to any size with the Kerdi-Shower St fabricated foam tray. This tray has its own slope, leaving little room for installer error.
While the Schluter Shower System is more expensive than the mud bed method, it’s less expensive than replacing your shower in a few years because of water damage. Using the Schluter System will protect your investment and keep your bathroom beautiful.