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.

NJ Kitchen Remodel Design Ideas

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Two tone kitchen cabinets by Schrock Cabinetry

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

There are many ways to do two tone kitchen cabinets in your kitchen design. More commonly you’ll see two tone kitchen cabinets where the island is one color and the main part is another color, it’s very easy to see in this design how and where to separate the colors but it gets more complicated when you are dealing with base cabinets, upper cabinets and tall cabinets that all come in contact with one another – for this type of two tone kitchen cabinets we need to make additional considerations as to where the visual brakes come into play and how the overall space and kitchen design is impacted by the two tone kitchen cabinets. Typically you want to group either upper cabinets or base cabinets together with a different color, next you’ll want to look at how the crown moldings or base moldings connect to the cabinets with the different finish and finally you’ll want to see where elements are attached to tall cabinets, like a pantry, to determine overall flow of the two tone kitchen cabinet finish. Schrock trademark cabinets offer a wide variety of two tone kitchen cabinet painted and stained finishes that pair perfectly together for an array of beautiful options. 

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets: Countertop & Hardware Considerations

When planning your two tone kitchen cabinet layout some additional considerations will need to be made for the accompanying countertops and hardware on the two tone kitchen cabinets. Take a look at the tow tone kitchen cabinet finishes, take note to the colors and textures for each, use this information to marry the countertops to the two tone kitchen cabinets. Having one countertop in a two tone kitchen cabinet design usually works best when the two tone kitchen cabinet finishes are not highly contrasting, like two painted finishes where one is white and the other is a light grey. The option of having two countertops in a two tone kitchen cabinet design comes into play when the cabinet finishes are very distinct like a stained island and painted main cabinets. Decorative hardware for two tone kitchen cabinets can be all the same or different for each finish type, using the same type of hardware in different finishes is a nice way to pull the details together.


Various Layouts For A Kitchen With Island

U shaped kitchen with island refers to s kitchen that has cabinets on three walls with an island somewhere in the middle of the room where as an L shaped kitchen with island layout would have one less wall of kitchen cabinets and that opens up more possibilities as to which direction the island can face – depending on your kitchen cabinet layout you may want the island to be opposite the range wall to provide more prep space or opposite the sink wall if the island is to be used for seating and housing other necessary kitchen appliance like a built in wine fridge or microwave drawer. One extreme could be that you have so much space you decide to have a Kitchen with two islands. Having a Kitchen with 2 islands creates many opportunities for interesting arrangements and will vary greatly for each specific application.  Small kitchen with island is probably far more common and can be an excellent addition to any small kitchen design. So let’s layout for a kitchen with island, in an empty room floor plan you’ll want to measure off the walls where base cabinets are going approx 24” to create the footprint of the base cabinets. From the face of the base cabinets measure 36”out into the room to create a space for a walkway – do this in the remainder of the room and what you are left with is the available space for a kitchen with island. 


White Kitchen Black Countertops 

Want to make a really bold statement with your kitchen remodeling project? Think about White kitchen black countertops, now at first that might sound too strong and plain at the same time, what makes it interesting is the choices that the finishes are on like the white kitchen cabinet doors having a nice contour to them and the black granite countertops will have natural variation and can even have a little sparkle thanks to a little mica flecked throughout the granite. White kitchen cabinets have been popular for years now and over time more and more white kitchen cabinets colors have become available, keep this in mind when planning your kitchen, it does not have to be a stark white kitchen. Black countertops come in all varieties like black granite countertops, black quartz countertops and black concrete countertops just to name a few, plenty of options exist for a white kitchen black countertops. If you’re looking for a clean statement perhaps Grey kitchen cabinets with white countertops would be perfect for your kitchen renovation. Kitchen design trends have pushed the marble looking Quartz countertops to the forefront of the kitchen design scene since actual marble countertops are not durable enough to be used as a kitchen countertop. The big question of granite countertops vs quartz countertops really comes down to personal preference and sometimes costs, quartz countertops can cost more since it is sold primarily as a whole slab which means you will pay for all the waste this is rarely true for granite countertops. The best hint to do is have the kitchen cabinets plans sent to the kitchen countertop fabricator so they can provide you with an accurate kitchen countertop estimate for fabrication as well as installation so there will be no surprises later on in the project.


Average Kitchen Remodel Cost

At some point during your kitchen remodel planning you’re going to wonder how much this kitchen remodel is going to cost you, right? The cost of kitchen remodel all depends on how large or small your room is and what materials you select. The question of how much does a kitchen remodel cost will also depend on where you live, kitchen remodeling costs in Hawthorne NJ will be very different from another state so it’s best to get a few free estimates to find out what an average cost of kitchen remodel will for your specific project. For a general guideline on what others have spent, Houzz and Home Advisor have compiled plenty of data on average kitchen remodel costs, just be prepared for when you get the actual costs to remodel your kitchen, they could vary greatly from what is reportedly being spent. The reason this happens is because the details of what has been included and what has been excluded is not part of the reports so it’s anyone’s guess as to what the specific job details were making it impossible to find a comparable kitchen remodel to evaluate for the purpose of finding an average kitchen remodel cost. The better question to ask your kitchen remodeling contractor what their average cost is to remodel a kitchen and what’s excluded.


Pro Tip:

How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

How to clean wood kitchen cabinets with either a stained finish or a painted finish follows the same process since the kitchen cabinets are manufactured using the same process and have a final protective top coat. First it’s important to note that the painted or stained finish of your kitchen cabinets are sealed by a top coat of lacquer or conversion varnish that seals and protects them, it’s also the reason why the are so durable in the kitchen. Since that is the case using any type of product like a furniture polish will leave an oily residue on the cabinets, those products are intended more for waxed finishes and furnishings that do not have a protective coating. What is recommended is a mild soap and water solution, like a Murphy oil soap. The product comes in a concentrate which needs to be diluted in warm water or in a spray bottle ready to use, no matter which product you choose the same rule applies, make sure to use a damp cloth that is not over saturated. Applying too much water while cleaning the cabinets can cause water damage which is typically not covered under the cabinet warranty.

Need more Kitchen Remodeling Design Ideas?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100

Kitchen Design Trends in 2016

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Many people look at a new year as an opportunity to make changes in their lives.  One improvement that many people will make is to complete projects in the home that they have been putting off. One of the most important improvements homeowners can make is redoing their kitchen.  A kitchen remodel adds value to a home, and often adds convenience and improves quality of life for homeowners.

nj kitchen remodeling
A recent kitchen remodeling project in NJ by Trade Mark Design & Build


Kitchen trends in 2016


  • Shaker style kitchens:  Shaker kitchens have minimalist look with clean lines and an uncluttered feel. Shaker cabinets tend to be simple without as many elegant looking trims that draw the eye.  The natural wood qualities of a cabinet come through, although often these cabinets are painted a simple white.  If molding is included in the cabinet design, they are not ornate.


  • Gourmet kitchens:  As long as food television networks are popular, people will be willing to try more complicated food fare.  Gourmet kitchens can make that process easier.  Kitchens in this style, through ease in the kitchen layout, enhance the process of meal preparation.  Often, these kitchens require more space and higher-end appliances, but people who opt for this style love it. Featuring modern elements with natural earth tones, we have seen a rise in this style over the past year.


  • Transitional style kitchens:  The transitional style kitchen is a new(er) fusion that has been growing in popularity. Featuring the warmth and welcoming feelings of a traditional kitchen paired with simple lines and contemporary elements, this style offers the best of both worlds. When blended together, these two styles have created a stylish space. Lazy Susan’s and open shelving are often incorporated into this style of kitchen so that foods and ingredients can easily be found and accessed.


  • Added work or home office spaces:  One of the most common trends in new-built homes from last year was adding a desk or some other home-office space as part of a kitchen’s design.  This provides children with a great place to do homework while a parent is preparing a meal, and it provides anyone with work to do a place that is quiet most of the time after meals have been prepared.


If a new kitchen is on the to-do-list for 2016, consider one of these forward looking designs.  Even if you don’t fall in love with one particular design concept, we will help incorporate aspects to build the kitchen of your dreams.

5 Reasons To Consider A NJ Kitchen Remodeling

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Most people have at least one thing they’d like to change about their home. Regardless of how content you are with your space, it’s human nature to always crave improvement. One room which we find people often like to see improvements in is the kitchen. The kitchen can be seen as the heart of the home, and a Nj kitchen remodeling job can bring it to life.

nj kitchen remodeling

Let’s look at three reasons why you should consider upgrading your kitchen.

1. Added home value – While your family will see a great deal of positive aspects of a kitchen remodeling job, so will your home’s value. Any improvement to a home increases it’s worth. That’s why investing in home upgrades is such a smart idea. Down the road, if you ever go to sell your home, you can bank on it being worth more than it was previous to the job.

2. People migrate to the kitchen – I’m sure you’ve noticed this. Whether you’re working with a closet-sized space or a grand eat-in kitchen, company will migrate towards that room. Take note at the next gathering you attend and you will see that people love the kitchen. So, why not make capitalize and make it the best kitchen possible!

3. Cooking in a cluttered kitchen is the worst – Have you ever tried to cook meal with family members or friends in a kitchen with a poor layout? If you have, you know that it’s terrible. Undergoing a NJ kitchen remodeling can make group cooking a far more enjoyable experience.

Get in touch today to make an appointment! 973-636-0100

3 Tips to Saving Money on Home Renovation

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Worried you’ll remodel yourself into bankruptcy? Don’t!

Doing research on ways to save money during home remodeling can mean the difference between adding value to your home or spending away your hard-earned equity.

Kitchen remodeling bergen county NJ

Tips for Saving Money on Home Remodeling:

  1. Pay Your Taxes with Trash: Donate unwanted materials to a nearby Habitat for Humanity chapter. Not only will this get your refuse picked up for free and help your environment by saving landfill space, but it will also earn you a charitable tax credit.
  2. Leave the Paintbrush at the Factory: Clapboard siding (wood boards that make up the side of a building) can be purchased pre-primed and pre-painted for roughly 15 cents extra per foot. Short-term this will cost you more, but long-term this will save you on future paint jobs. The factory paint job will last two times longer than a normal paint job. This is because factory paint jobs are done on dry wood under optimal conditions with no precipitation or interfering elements.
  3. Be Your Own Cleanup Crew: Cleanup by a construction crew adds up fast. Handling the cleanup yourself is free! Use the money you save to get nicer countertops installed in your kitchen, or pay for some other service you can’t do yourself.

To learn more tips about cost-effective NJ home remodeling, visit us at www.trademarkinteriors.com.

Range Hoods: Choosing The Right One

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Upon taking on a NJ kitchen remodeling job, many aspects come into play. In addition to the design of the room and fixtures such as cabinets, additional pieces of hardware have a big role in both the functionality and appearance of your room.

Today we’d like to take a look at one fundamental piece of the kitchen which can really pull the room together, the range hood.

Now, the range hood serves a very important purpose. It works as a ventilation system to clear the area in which you are cooking, and to consolidate grease and smoke from those actions. Besides being a staple to your kitchen hardware, the range hood can serve as a beautiful focal point.

Let’s take a look at some different types of range hoods:

The Wall Mount Hood

nj kitchen remodeling


Pictured above is a distressed mantle wall mount hood we used in a recent kitchen remodeling job. The wall mount hood is perfect if your stove is placed adjacent to your wall and you have ample space for storage in other sections of your kitchen. This also allows for an easy method of ventilation, either straight above or back through the wall.


The Under Cabinet Mount

kitchen cabinets in new jersey

The under cabinet mount allows you to maintain some storage above the range hood. This is useful if you are tight on space. Choosing an under cabinet mount also takes attention away from the cooking area as it blends in with the rest of the kitchen fixtures quite well.

The Ceiling Mount

kitchen cabinets in new jersey

If you decide to go with an island stove, this is a must, and a beautiful option for a range hood. The ceiling, or island mount, is the go-to modern kitchen choice.

Thinking of a NJ kitchen remodeling job? Get in touch! 973-636-0100

3 Easy Ways to Upgrade your Kitchen

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Many people’s kitchens have become the focal point of their homes. From socializing to cooking to spending the mornings together, the kitchen is the perfect meeting spot. But what about an old kitchen, or perhaps one that is cluttered? Is there a way to improve the feel and look? Absolutely, and it starts with simple renovations.

nj kitchen remodeling

Give your kitchen floor a makeover

The floor in your kitchen is one of the first things to endure lots of wear and tear, so it’s no wonder that you’ll want to give it a makeover as part of your NJ kitchen remodeling project. We highly suggest cork flooring material. This resilient flooring material is available in an assortment of colors as well as different textures, so you can rest assured that there’s a cork floor to match your kitchen.

Paint your kitchen cabinets

There are many homes have kitchen cabinets in New Jersey that are in need of new paint. In fact, sanding down cabinets and painting them a new color is an excellent way to bring life into any kitchen without actually replacing the cabinets; this can save a lot of money. Best of all, there are many paints available that can result in the appearance of neat characteristics, such as looking like real cherry or maple.

Install a dishwasher

One of the easiest ways to keep your kitchen clean and make it look better than ever before is by using a dishwasher. If you don’t have one, there’s no need to fret. Here at Trade Mark Design & Build, we offer full kitchen remodeling services, including the installation of dishwashers. We can rearrange your current kitchen set up so that a dishwasher will easily fit.

If you would like more information on the many kitchen remodeling services that we provide in New Jersey, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

5 Tips To Help Keep Your Kitchen Nice and Clean!

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The kitchen, whether we intend or not, is where people tend to gather. Think about it. Regardless of it’s size or shape, when guests come to the home, they migrate to the kitchen. That being said, maintaining a clean kitchen is very important for both social and sanitary reasons. Whether you’ve recently had some NJ kitchen remodeling work done or just need to spruce up your existing space, these tips should help you out:
nj kitchen remodeling

1. Constant-Cleaning: While this sounds like we are recommending you stay cleaning all the time, it’s much less demanding. Adopting a clean-as-you-go model when it comes to kitchen cleanliness philosophy is a must. As you cook, clean up your messes step by step. This will prevent a large mess pileup, and also help prevent the “Company will be here in twenty minutes, what do we do”?! feeling.

2. Clear Countertops: Take advantage of your cabinets and drawers. Only leave what you absolutely need on your countertops and leave the rest stored away. This will enable easy quick cleaning and maintain a far neater appearance as a whole.

3. Stock up on cleaning supplies: Make sure under your sink is stoked up with the essential cleaning materials, so when it comes time you’re not scrambling.

4. Smart Garbage: Keep your trash receptacles either under the sink. If this is impossible, ensure you have a clean looking can with a lid. This will prevent smells from spreading and also keep a neat appearance.

5. Clean Your Stovetop Frequently: Your stovetop can become the source of some nasty buildup. Try cleaning it after every use to avoid having to partake in a deep clean with impossible grease buildup.

We hope these tips help! When you’re ready for that NJ kitchen remodeling project you’ve been dreaming of, you know where to find us.

Kitchen Countertop Options: Choosing One that Works for You

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One of the most visible elements in your kitchen is the kitchen countertops, and they have to do much more than simply look good. They have to stand up to the daily wear and tear that often includes hot pots, sharp knives and foods that like to stick or stain.

As a NJ kitchen remodeling company that has worked with various kitchen countertop materials, we’ve outlined several of the most gorgeous and durable options that function as beautifully as they look.

NJ Kitchen Remodeling

Granite, Natural Stone

Granite has long been a classic countertop material that never goes out of style. Like all natural stone, granite is durable, heat-resistant and comes with individual patterns that will be unique to your own kitchen. While natural stone is one of the more expensive choices for countertops and requires an initial seal plus regular re-sealing, its elegance can be well worth it. Marble, limestone and other natural stone options offer the same sophisticated look coupled with incredible durability.

Quartz, Cultured Stone

Quartz countertops mimic the look of natural stone but with a lower cost and lower maintenance level. Because quartz-surfaced countertops are not porous like natural stone, they don’t require initial and subsequent sealing. Also known as cultured stone, quartz countertops still stand up to heat, scratches and stains but without any specialized care. Cultured stone is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, although the patterns will not be unique like their natural stone counterparts.


Composite countertops are eco-friendly countertops made out of recycled materials. They often contain paper or wood pulp mixed with a water-based resin. The durable surface resists scratches, heat, stains and even bacteria. Available in a wide range of grains and colors, they are a highly affordable option that’s extremely easy to clean and maintain.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends – Just In Time For Memorial Day!

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As Memorial Day approaches, many people start thinking about making improvements and changes to their home. Summer is a popular time for this because many people choose to sell their home during this time and more people have free time available to put into these projects. If you are thinking about making some changes, it pays to look at the current trends. Consider these top kitchen remodeling trends and you can decide if one of these may be the perfect way to add appeal and/or value to your home.

nj kitchen remodeling

  • Go Gray – While wood, white and black continue to be the most popular colors for cabinets, a new color is gaining in popularity—gray! Consider this option for something a bit out of the ordinary yet still neutral.
  • Automation – Ovens you can control from your smartphone and dishwashers that automatically run when full are just a couple of the ways you can automate your kitchen. High-tech options abound today!
  • The Deep Sink – Deep sinks are both appealing and highly functional. A deep sink makes it easier to wash dishes and it is one of those added features that makes a kitchen feel high-end.
  • Unique Countertops – While granite is still very popular, more consumers are trying something new in terms of counter. Quartz is especially hot and it comes in a number of colors and styles.
  • Flooring – Hardwoods and tile continually top the list of most desired flooring; however, these do not have to be the same-old, same-old. Bamboo is an economically friendly alternative to traditional hardwoods and tiles are coming in more styles and colors than ever before.

Whether you want to embrace all the latest trends or you just want to add a touch of spice to your classic kitchen, some of these trendy additions may be something you want to keep in mind. For NJ kitchen remodeling and other home improvement projects, visit us at https://www.trademarkinteriors.com.