Wide Plank Wood Floors

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Wide plank wood flooring is gaining in popularity. Styles are constantly changing. This is true when it comes to flooring as well as in other aspects of home decor. Gone are the days of thin planks cut in short lengths. Today’s trends are leaning more and more towards the wider planks laid in long lengths. In fact, wide plank flooring accounted for 55% of flooring sales in 2016 according to the US Floor Report.

Wide plank wood floors are nothing new. Historians have been uncovering this type of flooring in historical homes that date back to over one hundred years ago. Many of these older floors had planks as wide as 18 inches cut in lengths over 12 feet long. The wide plank wood floors currently available have no set standard for their width. Some manufacturers consider anything over three inches to be wide. Most average five inches or more in width while companies like DuChateau offer 7.5 inch wide planks in The Terra Collection and The Heritage Timber Edition.

duchateau heritage timber trestle

The Popularity of Wide Plank Wood Floors

Wide plank wood floors are a new twist on a classic design. NJ home remodeling projects are seeing an increase in the use of wide planks in part because of how this new width gives a room the illusion of more space. Rooms simply feel larger.

Another reason for the spike in popularity is the way wider planks show off the wood’s natural characteristics so much better. The natural splits, knots, and mineral streaks can be seen much more vividly in wide planks as more of the actual board is visible. Narrow planks tend to cut these features short.

Unlike many flooring types, wide plank wood floors fit in with a rustic setting just as nicely as they do in an upscale modern space. This often has to do with the planks a homeowner selects. A consistent, clean, linear look is achieved by using all the same width boards where as a country appearance is easily created by using a combination of widths.

According to the National Association of Realtors, this is a trend that is adding value to homes. Wide planks in lengths of seven to eleven feet long are visually enhancing homes. The appearance of the main room done in wide plank wood flooring is certainly impressive to guests as well as prospective buyers. This is especially true when the softer woods like cork or pine are used in lighter colors that coordinate perfectly with the bright, bold colors being used in home decor.

Applications and Best Practices for a Good Installation

A minor benefit to installing wide plank wood floors is that the install time is quick. Wide planks cover more space per square foot than their smaller, three-inch counterparts. You will be enjoying your new floor sooner, and understanding the basics of installation will take the stress out of the process.

A pre-installation site survey will be completed through your home remodeling contractor before installation begins. Exactly how a wide plank wood floor is installed varies from one manufacturer to another, but one thing remains the same across all brands. This is how the floor will react to moisture.

The extent to which your plank floor will shrink or swell as it gains or loses moisture depends on the width of the boards. This is why each manufacturer will offer recommendations for installation specific to their product. Your contractor will follow them exactly for the best results.

Solid wood floors can be installed successfully on-grade or above-grade, but they cannot be placed below-grade. Your contractor should also be installing the planks perpendicular to the joists or else at an angle for single layer subflooring. It is important to ensure that the environmental conditions and the moisture content of the flooring coincide. There should be no more than a 2% difference in these figures.

The reaction to moisture is additionally handled by leaving a 3/4 inch gap for expansion along the entire perimeter of each plank. The only exception is when the edge of the board sits up against a wall. The length rarely changes. In cases where geographic location, interior climate control, and the time of year effects moisture, your contractor will recommend putting additional expansion features into the subfloor.

Some wide plank wood floors come in a glue down format. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) strongly suggests using a moisture control system for these situations. An adhesive that is approved by your floor’s manufacturer will be used, and your contractor will follow the installation procedure recommended, including any moisture test methods, open time, working time, trowel size, flash time, and use of rollers, straps, and tape.

You can trust the Trade Mark professionals to help you achieve your dream of a beautiful wide plank floor. With the quick install time, you will soon be enjoying a visually appealing look that gives the illusion of a larger space while adding value to your home.

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Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100

Impact Of NJ Kitchen Remodeling On House Value

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If you are looking for a way to increase your home’s value, the kitchen is the perfect place to get started. Potential home buyers view the kitchen as one of the most important spaces within a house. As long as your budget allows, a kitchen remodel will make it easier to eventually sell your home, and in the mean time, you’ll have a beautiful room to work and entertain in.

NJ Kitchen Remodeling Project

There are many reasons why you might remodel your kitchen. In 2017, a Houzz study found that 43% of the homeowners that did tackle a kitchen remodel did so simply because they didn’t like the existing space. Another 40% chose to update their kitchen because they could finally afford to.The cost of a remodeling project is certainly a good reason to wait, but if the investment will eventually pay off for you, it is well worth it.

Will a Kitchen Remodeling Project Make Your Home More Appealing to Buyers?

Almost all kitchen remodeling projects will increase a home’s value to some extent. Potential home buyers are willing to pay more for houses with thoughtful upgrades and high-end finishes. Roughly 80% place the kitchen among their top three most important areas of a house when searching for a new home. This is according to a study done by Realtor.com.

A survey of new home owners done by Realtor Magazine shows that 69% admitted they would have paid a higher price for their house if it would have had new appliances. In addition, 55% would have paid extra for granite countertops.

These studies can give you a pretty good insight as to what people are looking for when buying a new home, and they show you that a kitchen remodeling NJ homeowners invest in will definitely help get their house noticed among the others on the market. This is wonderful to know if you plan to sell in the near future. Your renovation will help your home sell faster and at a higher price, but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will recoup all of your money.

How Much Can You Expect to Recoup on a Kitchen Remodel?

How much of your investment you can recoup depends on several factors such as how much you spend and what type of remodel you choose. According to the national average, your return on investment (ROI) after a major upscale renovation is approximately 54%. Smaller renovations will get up to an 81% ROI.

Where you live also influences the ROI. The ROI percentage can go up to 93% for a minor renovation if your home is located in the Pacific area. On the other hand, if you live in the Midwest, you may only recoup 68%. The ever changing specifics of your area’s market also plays a part in what to expect. You will be able to get a better ROI estimate by talking to your kitchen remodeling contractor.

When Should You Plan a NJ Kitchen Remodeling Project?

When you should remodel the kitchen will depend on your individual goals. If you are going to be selling in the near future, you could invest in a minor renovation that only costs $5,000. Use this money to purchase new appliances, switch out the old hardware, and paint the walls. This will make your house more appealing to potential buyers without losing money.

If you do not plan to sell your home for quite some time, go ahead with the larger remodeling project. You will be increasing the value of your home as well as creating a kitchen that you will be able to enjoy on a day to day basis. A 2017 Houzz study revealed that 33% of those that had remodeled their kitchen felt that it gave them a healthier lifestyle. More family time was experienced by 50%, and 41% found that they cooked and ate at home more often.

After considering all of these statistics, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to remodeling your kitchen. Although you may not recoup your entire investment, a kitchen update can still be a wonderful investment when it comes to you and your loved ones.

Planning a NJ Kitchen Remodeling Project?

Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100 To Get Started.

Various Types Of Built In Microwaves

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Who knew there were so many types of built in microwave ovens? They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with a variety of features that will make you dizzy! Let’s take a look at each of these microwaves below and how they might work into your kitchen design. As a side note, please make sure to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for the optimal installation height for each as it will vary.

Built In Microwave Speed Oven

This built in microwave speed oven is the best thing you have never heard of. As the name implies, it cooks more quickly – how it does it is by adding an electrical heating element, just like you’d find in a full size electric wall oven. This appliance can be installed just above or below the counter but is not able to be installed in an upper cabinet as the flip down door gets in the way. It’s a great alternative to a full size second oven, especially when you’d like a wall oven but don’t have the space.

 

 

Built In Microwave Drawer

As you may imagine, this built in microwave drawer is best installed below the counter so you can see into the drawer from above. With a touch of s button the drawer pops open, ready to receive the goods, with another touch of the button the drawer retracts. This type of microwave is great if you tend to “reheat” more often than not. It’s also great for soups and younger children since the contents are moved in and out by the drawer, spills stay neatly contained in the drawer.


Built In Microwave In Cabinetry

This built in microwave may seem more familiar to you, it’s basically a standard microwave with special accessories (trim kit) that allow for it to be built into you kitchen cabinetry. This appliance is the most versatile in terms of placement,  and be as high as an upper cabinet and does just fine below the countertop as well. Some offer convection and other means of enhancements to speed up the cooking process.

Built In Microwave Over Range

This built in microwave packs all the same features as the unit above with the addition of being mounted above the range. This is a great alternative to having a separate hood and microwave when your either tight on budget or tight on space. It can be set up to be a ventilation device or as a recirculating fan with filters. Most microwave exhaust fans are over 400 cfm which means you will be required to install make up air per NJ building codes.

built in microwave

Built In Microwave Above Single Oven

Last but not least in our line up is the not so obvious built in microwave. Disguised as a double wall oven, the top portion of the appliance is a microwave oven with the added benefit of convection and/or electric element just like the first unit. This appliance will need to be installed where you’d typically install a double wall oven so you will need a fair amount of wall space. It’s a great way to free up other space if you’d prefer to have a wall oven for the convenience of height but don’t need a double wall oven.

 

Need help with built in microwaves?

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Laminate Kitchen Floors

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You’ve probably heard of laminate in the kitchen before, but we’re not talking countertops, this is new and it’s getting a lot of attention for the ease of installation and many other advantages vs other materials, especially when you want the look of wood and the performance of tile.


Laminate floors

Laminate Kitchen Floors Are Pet Friendly

When you want the look of wide plank wood floors but are concerned that your “buddy” may ruin them, perhaps you should consider laminate kitchen floors.  While there are many different types and manufacturers of laminate flooring, in terms of durability, it comes down to the wear rating.  These products have been commercially used for quite some time now so there is no question in terms of long-term durability.  What has really made them so widely popular is how technology is able to make them look so much like real wood.  Laminate floors also perform very well with high moisture depending on the type purchase which is another reason they are perfect for pets as well as basements.

Laminate Flooring Installs Easily

I would consider laminate flooring the perfect DIY project.  Easy to follow directions are printed right on the carton  and very few tools are required for installation.  The pieces snap together one by one so even if you make a mistake on one you can remove it and use it elsewhere.  This also means the project can be done in small areas as you have time.  Laminate flooring is typically installed as a floating floor over the subfloor below it however it can be installed as a direct glue down to the subfloor.  If you plan to use the floating floor installation technique for your NJ kitchen remodel you’ll need to plan to install the flooring after the cabinetry as the  laminate floor needs room to expand and contract –  this would not be the case necessarily with the direct glue down method.  Just be aware to plan the appliance openings for the type of application you choose in advance avoid height issues.

Advantages Of Laminate Flooring

  1.  Can be installed directly or existing tile flooring.
  2.  Replace damaged pieces without removing the entire floor.
  3.  Minimal thickness allows for it to be adopted to many spaces/applications.
  4.  Easily installs in your spare time.
  5.  Get the look of wide plank wood floors tile without the worries.

Need Help Planning Your Kitchen Remodeling Project?

Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100

New Caesarstone Countertop Colors 2018

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New Quartz Colors For 2018

Excava 4046 | Topus Concrete 4023 | Airy Concrete 4044

Flannel Grey 4643 | Cloudburst Concrete 4011

Frozen Terra 4601 | Intense White 6011

 

Excava 4046 Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are really starting to take on a look of their own. Take a look at this beautiful quartz countertop by Caeserstone, Excava 4046. Copper and brown tones appear as rusted and oxidized concrete in an unpolished finish. This is a first for quartz and it is very well done! Whether you’re looking for a show stopping center piece for your kitchen island or a sophisticated addition to your home bar, look no further. If you’re considering concrete countertops vs quartz and have some concerns about how well the concrete will perform under the stress of families needs, Caeserstone is giving you something to consider. They offer many selections of quartz countertops that appear as if they were concrete, and several new additions are now available for purchase including Excava 4046, Topus Concrete 4023, Airy Concrete 4044 and Cloudburst Concrete. These are in addition to over a half dozen concrete type selections that were previously available.

Airy Concrete 4044 Quartz Countertop

The above image is Airy Concrete 4044 – would you have ever imagined this was a quartz countertop? The range of colors and patterns available make it a prefect match for almost any space you can think of. What makes this material ever more interesting is the fact that they are now offering them in various finish types – polished was the standard but now you will see Honed, Concrete and Rough surfaces as well. Please note the manufacturer states that except for the polished finish, Honed, Concrete and Rough surfaces will require additional daily care due to the nature of the surface design. They also state that the design intent of these finishes is to reveal different qualities making each slab unique so it is highly recommended to view the actual slabs for your project before proceeding.

Quick Guide To 2018 Quartz Color Groups

 

Need Help Selecting The Perfect Quartz Countertop?

Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100

 

 

Kitchen Island Lighting

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Pendant Island Lighting

Kitchen Island Trends

Having an island in your kitchen is at the top of most homeowner’s desires nowadays. Depending on the space available there are many options for the type of kitchen island that will work best. Some of these include a pencil island which is roughly 24″ deep and runs about 5 or 6 feet long. If space allows, adding an additional 12″ of depth could allow for seating or additional storage or a combination of the two are even possible when space allows creating an island that is roughly 48″ x 96″. So it’s important to layout the space and design your kitchen island before creating the kitchen island lighting plan – too many variables need to be solidified first.

Kitchen Island Lighting Design

At this point you may be asking yourself if a kitchen island with pendants is right for your layout, whether 2 or 3 pendant lights feels right? The answer depends on a variety of different factors like island size, shape and functionality. Is the island used for cooking, washing dishes or preparing meals? Would the potential lighting elements enhance these functions? Would they block or obstruct the view? There area many tools on the internet that aid the calculations for this purpose but they do not account for the circumstances around the island that contribute to the requirements. Could you imagine an island 48″ x 120″ that does not have any accent lighting? The below image is exactly that and the reason is due to the fact that this huge island has a cooktop with an island hood in addition to seating, the main focal point is the island hood, adding lighting to accent the island in any way would have totally distracted from the hood which is clearly the star of the show here. The point is, if you input this into the lighting tools it would certainly tell you otherwise.

decora cabinets in Ridgewood NJ

So what is one to do when it comes time to design a kitchen island complete with lighting? Call in the experts at Trade Mark Design & Build for your next nj kitchen remodeling project!

Kitchen Remodel Design & Planning Tips

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Kitchen Remodel Design

Planning The Details Of A Kitchen Remodel Design

The most important part of a kitchen remodel design starts with careful planning. There are many moving parts to a kitchen remodel design, keeping all of these details organized is a project onto itself. To help manage the chaos you’ll need to find a way to keep all of your ideas and specifications organized. You may find it helpful to create a kitchen remodel planning checklist with all of your ideas prioritized in the order of importance. Keep the objective for the space very clear and try to avoid over organizing the space, it’s best to keep your options as flexible as possible.

 

What To Look For In A Kitchen Remodel Design Plan

As you start to look at kitchen remodel design plans you may start to doubt whether or not the plan is correct for you. In general, if you have to think about it, chances are it’s not right. The kitchen remodel designer should be able to capture most of what you’re looking to achieve right from the start – the further apart you are on the ideas typically means you have less of a chance of agreeing on the overall goals for the kitchen remodel design. Look for a kitchen remodel design plan that feels right to you and takes care of most of what you are looking for out of the space.

 

Cost Saving Kitchen Remodel Design Trends

Not so long ago everyone liked to brag about how much they spent on their kitchen cabinets, today they like to brag about how much they saved, boy how times have changed! A great cost saving kitchen remodel design trend is to use semi custom kitchen cabinets. They provide many of the same features of custom kitchen cabinets but at about half the cost. Another kitchen remodel design trend that shaves some costs is a minor kitchen remodel – only removing what is needed to update the space like kitchen cabinets, countertops and floor coverings. Major kitchen remodels include full gut jobs and/or wall removals along with all new plumbing and electrical work.

 

How To Create A Kitchen Remodel Design Concept

Creating a kitchen remodel design concept may seeming like a daunting task at first. Not knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Try starting with a color scheme or some textures you like. When you travel have you noticed any of the finishes that catch your attention? Sometimes it’s even helpful to itemize the types of colors and textures you do not care for to help steer you in the right direction. Pull ideas from everywhere and look for the common points in the ideas, see what ties them together and look for the opportunities to do the same in your space. You are not alone, consult the advise of a kitchen remodel design professional, it is very helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of.

Need help planning a kitchen remodel design?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100 to get started!

Do I Need An Architect For My Kitchen Remodel?

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What Do Architects Do?

A residential architect is primarily responsible for the creation of structural building plans that are compliant with local codes and ordinances. In addition, an architect will also create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement to these architectural elements bringing all of the necessary components together in one architectural plan.

 

How Much Will The Architect Cost?

The cost for an architect will vary greatly depending on the level of involvement and the scope of work. In a design build firm, the costs for an architect are typically less for a few reasons; The firm usually works closely with a group of architects, the level of involvement is far less because the firm does most of the design work at a lower rate and the scope of work for the architect is limited because the firm does most of the plans and drafting at a lower rate. If an architect were engaged at the onset of a project and was given the full scope you could expect to receive the highest costs.

 

What To Look For In An Architect

When you begin looking for an architect take a look at his or her work and make sure it matches the overall aesthetic that you are looking for first and foremost. If you live in Glen Rock or Ridgewood New Jersey, you may not have to look much further than your own backyard to find an excellent Glen Rock architect or Ridgewood architect – these architects know the homes and the history that goes along with it and know exactly how to create an architectural plan that fits the style. Then, speak to a few of the architects past clients to get a sense of how their project turned out. Ask how the architects timeline for completion and estimated project costs fared against the actuals. Here are a few key questions to ask the architect:

 

  • Does the architect visit the project once started?
  • Does the architect do their own engineering or higher it out?
  • Will the architect charge additional costs for calls from your builder?
  • How does the architect handle change in plans after the start of the job?

 

When Should I Hire An Architect?

When to hire an architect will vary greatly by job type. If you are doing a kitchen remodel, you’ll want to hire the architect near the end after the kitchen design plans have been completed. If you are adding an addition onto your home he’ll want to hire the architect in the beginning. If you plan to rearrange all of the rooms in your home he will also need an architect in the beginning.

 

Does The Architect Draw Kitchen Cabinet Plans?

If you have ever seen a set of architectural drawings which contain a kitchen I’m sure you have noticed that there is a basic layout included. This basic layout is to satisfy what we discussed in the beginning, code compliance. The architect is only concerned with being able to satisfy the code requirements for the kitchen and as such only provides a basic layout to demonstrate a proof of concept. If your kitchen remodeling project contains elements that requires an architect make structural changes, it is best to have the kitchen design plans and the architect work together to collaborate on the details – just as they would within a design build firm.

Home Remodeling Questions?

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Home Remodeling With 3-Form Products

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Custom Home Bar | Backlight 3-Form Varia Ecoresin
custom home bar nj

When you think home bar, is this the first thing that comes to mind? Usually we think of Home bars as something made from custom cabinets or wood material in a somewhat traditional fashion. The ever changing world of materials allows designers, like myself, to reimagine what the modern home bar may look like. This type of lighting effect can be achieved in several ways, either by using a colored 3-form panel with white led lights or RGB led lights which allow you to choose several colors with the flip of a switch.

Kitchen Remodeling | 3-Form LightArt as Main Focal Point

NJ Kitchen Remodeling

Another excellent kitchen design feature is the addition of a custom 3-form light art ceiling fixture. These types of applications require detailed kitchen remodeling planning. This is constructed from the varia ecoresin series. The idea here is to bring a necessary and interesting feature to this expansive space. This idea can be scaled down into smaller fixtures offered by 3-from/light art to better suit the space.

Custom Wine Room | 3-Form Lighting & Countertops

Wine Cellar NJ

The Chroma countertop in this wine cellar tasting room makes a bold statement with its clean bright lines against the warm wood tones from the floor and surrounding wine cabinetry. The beautiful countertop is made from recycled acrylic, can earn you leed credits and comes in a dizzying amount of colors that are all highly saturated with a few exception like the above and the clear to name a few.

Bathroom Remodeling | Creative Privacy Solutions from 3-Form

NJ Bathroom Remodeling

Having your privacy does not have to mean you have to secluded, the addition of this unique privacy film by 3-form, happily named “Gecko” allows you to apply an adhesive backed textile film to your existing glass window or door panels. It’s a perfect solution for kitchen and bath designers to add an interesting architectural element as an alternative to tradition window treatments.

Home Remodeling | Custom Table Top by 3-Form
NJ Home Remodeling

Looking for the perfect kitchen or dining twble to complete your home remodeling project? Sometimes is hard to find exactly what your looking for when shopping for a table, either the size is right and the color is wrong or vise versa. Creating your own custom table is as simple as choosing a 3-form material like the Chroma pictured above and adding a set of custom legs.

Home remodeling is a fun and exciting process, 3-form keeps a designers imagination running wild with their creations, we hope you have a chance to explore all the options for your next home remodeling project!

Home Remodeling Questions?

Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100

Quartz vs Granite Countertops

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Quartz vs Granite Countertops: Let’s explore the options

There are a myriad of choices out there when it comes to countertops, let’s review some of the quartz and granite options available. Long before quartz countertops were on the market, granite countertops were the most popular premium choice and it was very expensive. As you may already know granite countertops are a quarried product that is sourced from all over the world, imported by countertop distributors and fabricators who turn them into beautiful granite countertops. Quartz countertops are a man made product consisting of a natural quartz material that is combined with colors, fillers and binding agents to create a slab good. The exact formulation, ratios of filler, color, etc varies by manufactures of the quartz countertops but they are all made in a similar fashion and are typically sold by the slab, whereas granite is sold by the square foot.

 

Quartz vs Granite Countertops: Why they may or may not price the same

Quartz countertops price very close to granite countertops on a per square foot basis, as we mentioned earlier granite countertops are primarily sold on a square foot basis, meaning you pay for exactly what you need and quartz countertops are primarily sold on a per slab basis, meaning you purchase an entire slab a for your countertops, the shape you need is cut out of it and the rest is considered waste. Depending on what’s left over you could see a significant increase in price for the quartz countertops vs granite. Granite countertops can be figured out on s per square foot basis with a good degree of certainty. Quartz countertops should be quoted for the exact plan layout. Some of the best quartz countertop prices can be found at fabricators who know how to control their waste and do a large volume of quartz countertops vs granite. Armed with this knowledge you can shop confidently for the kitchen countertop material that’s right for you and your home.

 

Quartz Countertops vs Granite: Durability & Performance

You may have heard plenty of information on how durable quartz countertops are vs granite and that might have something to do with fact that major manufactures are carefully positioning and marketing their products. Does that mean quartz countertops vs Granite is more durable? Well, I’d argue that the granite countertops simply lack an advocate. This is partly due to how granite is acquired and sold, these materials are purchased by local kitchen countertop fabricators and distributors who all do their own importing, no focused marketing seems to exists for the product. There may be a good reason why this does not exist, granite has been around forever, as a matter of fact when the earth was being formed it went thru many cosmic events, the earth was forming and breaking apart repeatedly until an incredibly durable surface was formed, that surface is granite. Granite has been used to clad our buildings and to honor loved ones as monuments, exposed to the elements for hundreds of years, granite has durability hands down. I think it’s too soon the tell if quartz countertops vs granite is equal in terms of durability. For the limited amount of time of the market, it appears that quartz countertops vs granite is holding its own in terms of performance.

 

Quartz vs Granite vs Marble: Selecting the right product for your application

Now that you have a better understanding of what’s out there, how much it may cost and how it may perform, what are you left with? Deciding on color and pattern. Quartz countertops are manufactured with multiple colors (7-10 on average) vs granite countertops that have hundreds of thousands of colors resulting in a unique piece that is not replicated anywhere. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re trying to achieve, if you need a definite color and/or pattern this is where quartz countertops vs granite has a real advantage. In the world of granite there is nothing that looks like a marble countertop, granite countertop composition is variegated and a bit course in its appearance. The quartz countertop manufacturers have done an excellent job of creating a marble look that is durable enough for the kitchen. So if you want a marble look in the kitchen, quartz countertops are your go to solution. The same could be true for a bathroom countertop if it’s s high traffic area or primarily used by younger members of the family. Marble countertops are best used in a master bath or powder room since the are much more susceptible to damage. As a final note, keep in mind that natural stone products can be polished and restored to a like new condition over the life of the product, the same cannot be said for the engineered products.