Quartz or Quartzite? What’s the Difference?

                Quartz and Quartzite are two of the most popular countertop surfaces in the world, and for good reason! Both Quartz and Quartzite have the ability to completely change the look and feel of a kitchen, but despite their similar names, Quartz and Quartzite could not be more different.

                There are three main differences that make Quartz and Quartzite vastly different stones. Those differences are composition, appearance, and the amount of maintenance required.

                To get started, let’s go over composition first. Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone from the metamorphic rock family. Quartz on the other hand is manmade and is composed of 90% quartzite mixed with crystals, resins, pigments, bits of glass, and other materials. Quartz is manufactured in a way that allows for the formation of colors that are not typically found in nature.

Here’s an example of a Quartzite countertop

                Next let’s jump into appearances. Quartz is known for it’s consistent look with little to no variation in color throughout the slab. Quartzite in comparison has almost the same level of depth and detail typically found in Granite.  Because it’s a naturally occurring stone, each slab of Quartzite is unique.

Can YOU tell which stone is Quartz and which is Quartzite?
*hint* Quartz is on the left.

                The last big difference between Quartz and Quartzite is that Quartz does not require sealing, while Quartzite must be sealed to avoid ugly marks and stains. Once sealed, Quartzite can be cleaned using household cleaners, water, and a sponge. Quartz can also be cleaned the same way.

And that’s it! Those are the 3 main differences between Quartz and Quartzite. Now the question remains… Which stone will look better in your kitchen?

And here’s an example of a Quartz countertop

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Top 5 Slabs of Summer 2019

Summer’s really the perfect time to get new countertops. The kids are home and it seems like you’re always entertaining someone or another. So without further adeu, here are our five most popular countertop colors of Summer 2019 so far!

5. Lusso –

Lusso is light gray and whitish with copper and gray veining. The copper has a tiny bit of sparkle and will look amazing when paired with either lighter or darker cabinets. – $66 per square foot.

Lusso by Silestone

4. Blanco Orion –

Silestone’s Blanco Orion quartz delivers a lot of elegance and character to any kitchen due to it’s consistent veining pattern all over the slab. Blanco Orion is ideal to use as kitchen countertops, island countertops or backsplashes. It’s also perfect for bathroom applications like vanities and shower walls. – $74 per square foot.

Blanco Orion by Silestone

3. Blanco Maple –

Silestone’s Blanco Maple is available in a polished finish and offers a warm white hue with pale grey crystals. Since it’s 94% natural Quartz, it is an ideal material for kitchens and bathrooms. – $62 per square foot.

Blanco Maple by Silestone

2. Eternal Statuario –

Inspired by the classic Italian Carrara marble, Eternal Statuario has a white surface with very soft, sparkling highlights in a shade of grey. Colour and harmony are fused in a background that stands out for its remarkable sense of depth. – $74 per square foot.

Eternal Statuario by Silestone

1. Eternal Calacatta Gold –

A color made up of a white background through which elegant, wide grey highlights are interspersed with unexpected golden glints. Eternal Calacatta Gold, with its eternal, distinguished appearance, pays homage to a marble which has been held in high esteem since ancient times. – $78 per square foot.

Eternal Calacatta Gold by Silestone

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5 Reasons why You Should Add Quartz to Your Home

There are so many more reasons to add Quartz to your home, but to save you time we’ve boiled it down to the top 5.

1. Quartz is Easy to Clean

Quartz is one of the easiest surfaces to clean, as well as one of the most hygienic countertop surfaces that you can choose from. Quartz contains a micro-ban built into it that protects the surface from germs. On top of that, it also never needs to be re-sealed!

2. Quartz is Easy to Maintain

Aside from being easy to clean, Quartz is also easy to maintain! As long as you keep the countertop clean, you shouldn’t have problems like natural wear and tear. It’s also weather resistant so it’s a great choice for outdoor kitchens! Quartz is really the type of surface that you won’t mess up unless you’re actively trying to.

3. Quartz Slabs Have Consistent Colors All the Way Through

When it comes to quartz, what you see is what you get. With quartz you don’t have to worry about vein matching, how pits and fissures will look in your kitchen, or other things that you’d have to take into account if you were installing Granite instead of Quartz.

4. Quartz is Stronger than any Comparable stones!

Because Quartz is 93% pure stone with zero air pockets, it’s the strongest countertop surface. Quartz can take the impact of banging pots and pans against it, and it’s scratch resistant as well! As long as you’re not hitting the quartz on purpose with blunt objects, it should be able to handle most forms of impact.

5. Quartz Will Increase Your Home’s Value!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Quartz is IN right now! New homeowners are searching for modern, updated, contemporary kitchens, and one of the easiest ways to achieve this look is with Quartz countertops! Quartz Countertops are the best way to increase the value of your home other than replacing your garage door!

To take the next step and get an estimate for your own set of Quartz Countertops, give us a call at 281-607-6555 or schedule an apointment by clicking this link: https://granitesurfacestexas.com/free-estimate/

Let’s Talk Vein Matching

We here at Granite Surfaces of Texas are happy to announce that we are now offering Vein Matching on all countertop purchases!

Vein matching is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Basically it’s a way to pair your countertop to your backsplash like so:

See the way that the backsplash meets the countertop and it looks like on continuous vein? Let’s take a closer look.

We can achieve this vein matching by planning out exactly which section of the slab is going in each specific part of the kitchen. This is done by mapping out a digital image of the slab so that we can plan out how to make the best use of the material while vein matching. In the end, the image on the computer will look something like this:

From there, the hard part is over! All we have to do then is cut the stone using one of our state-of-the-art machines and then we can install it in your kitchen! By that point, you’ll have a kitchen that you can be proud of for the rest of your time in that house!

You can give us a call today at 281-607-1548 for more information on vein matching or to set up an appointment for new countertops!

GST’s Top 3 Tips for Replacing Your Countertops

For a full guide on all of the things you should consider when remodeling your kitchen, you should read through all of the articles on this blog, but for a quick crash course, look no further than this post right here!

1. Educate yourself about the different stone choices BEFORE selecting a material.

Granite, Quartz, Marble, Recycled Glass, and Dekton all have different benefits and drawbacks that can all seriously affect the functionality of your kitchen? Do you plan on setting hot plates down on your countertop? Well then maybe you should choose Granite over Quartz. Or maybe you’d like something that’s 100% scratch resistant? Then you’re going to want to choose from one of our Dekton offerings. For more information on different countertop materials, you can check out some of our blog posts about it by clicking the following links. Granite vs. Quartz, Introducing Curava, and How is Dekton Made

2. Research the company you plan on working with before visiting a showroom.

The company you choose to work with for your countertop installation can make all the difference between a smooth installation and a multi-month nightmare where you don’t have a functioning kitchen for weeks on end. It’s imperative that you research the company you plan on working with. You should look at their Google star rating; you should read comments from people who have worked with them before, you should check out their website to see if they’ve got any special deals or if they offer financing plans. You’re already on a great company’s website so go ahead and start your research here!

3. View whole slabs before deciding on a color.

Before you decide on a color, you should ALWAYS view the slab that’s going to be put into your kitchen. This is especially true for Granite, as each slab of granite is unique. There can be a vein pattern that you like or dislike that you didn’t see on the sample you were shown as well as countless other small things that can mean the difference between you loving or hating your new countertops. You can schedule an appointment to walk through our slab yard here.

Now obviously, these aren’t the ONLY things you should consider when purchasing new countertops, but hopefully this post serves as a good jumping off point for you. Our goal is that hopefully the rest of this blog will help serve as a guide for any and all questions that you may have about your new countertops, but if you do still have questions, we’ll always be here to answer them!

Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Sink

Before you start thinking about countertops there’s a few things you should consider- one of the biggest choices you’ll make is the type of sink you put in. Sinks are often overlooked, but in reality they’re one of the most frequently used appliances in the house and you should definitely put some thought into what you’ll be using your sink for before picking one out.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a new sink such as how often you eat out instead of cooking. Do you have a dishwasher, or will you be hand washing dishes? Would you prefer having a sink that’s easier to clean if it means it’ll cost a little bit more? In this blog post I’m going to be breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of three different types of sink basins, and weather an overmount or undermount sink is right for you.

Let’s start with the single basin sink. Single basin sinks are good for smaller kitchens as they take up less countertop space and provide more space inside the sink as well. These sinks do not have a divider hence the name “single basin,” which makes them better for cleaning large items like pots and pans.

Then we have the double basin sink. The double basin sink is good for medium to large kitchens since they take up a bit more countertop space than the single basin. The double basin sink has a divider in the middle of it, which makes both sides smaller than the single basin. This could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. On one hand, it makes washing, rinsing, and drying dishes easier if you don’t use a dishwasher very often. On the other hand since it’s divided down the middle, it has less space for washing larger items than the single basin sink does and you may have difficulty washing things like cookie sheets, cast iron, or pots and pans.

Finally we have the Farmhouse style sink. Farmhouse sinks are some of the coolest looking sinks around and are perfect for country style or rustic kitchens, but may not be suited for smaller kitchens as they tend to take up a lot of countertop space. Farmhouse sinks are very deep and have exposed fronts, which make them easy to clean. If you’re re-doing your countertops and you’d like a farmhouse style sink, make sure to let your fabricator know so that they can cut the material accordingly.

In addition to these 3 styles of sinks, you can also choose how you’d like to have your sink mounted. The two mounting styles are overmount and undermount sinks, which each have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s start with overmount sinks, otherwise known as topmount sinks due to the way that they sit on the countertop. Overmount sinks are placed into a sink cutout during the countertop installation and are held up by a rim that runs around the sink. This way, all of the sinks weight is carried in the rim of the sink. These are usually cheaper than undermount sinks, but are harder to clean because dust, dirt, and grime can get under the rim.

Undermount sinks as the name suggests, are mounted under the countertop surface. These sinks are held up from under the countertop which means they don’t have a rim, which in turn makes them easier to clean. Undermount sinks are more popular than overmount sinks due to their visual appeal as well as the cleanliness factor.

If you haven’t already realized this, a lot of thought should be put in to what kind of sink you want sitting in your brand new countertop but don’t worry too much because we here at Granite Surfaces of Texas will be able to walk you through all the options to find the perfect sink and countertop to fit your lifestyle!

Renovating to sell your home? Start with the kitchen!

In this day and age, the housing marketing is more competitive than ever. If you don’t sell your house within a few weeks of listing it online your listing will likely be buried under hundreds of new and nicer listings and your chances of finding a buyer dramatically decrease. That’s why it’s important to renovate your house before listing it, so it can compete with the other listings and sell in the shortest amount of time.

By this point you’re probably thinking of starting on your kitchen, but actually you should start on your garage door first (our friends at Sears Garage Doors out in Houston can help you with that.) But this isn’t a garage door blog, it’s a granite blog and I’m about to tell you all about the benefits of renovating your kitchen before you sell.

A newly renovated kitchen is one of the number one things that people look for when they’re house hunting. An old, outdated kitchen is always going to be a red flag in the buyers mind because it means they’re going to have to spend money renovating it themselves. On the other hand, having a newly renovated kitchen with new countertops and cabinets means you can sell your house for even more than what the renovation cost you! Renovating your kitchen before selling is really a win-win situation.

You don’t even have to spend very much renovating your kitchen as long as the end result looks good. Your potential buyers won’t fall in love with your home because the kitchen renovation cost you an arm and a leg, they’ll fall in love with it because it looks amazing! (If you did it right)

And if you’re looking for a company who will transform your kitchen into something that will impress any and all who enter, look no further than Granite Surfaces of Texas! As you can see from our projects gallery, we make kitchens look GOOD! Our expert staff will hold your hand every step of the way while we help give you a kitchen that will have buyers lining up for miles in all directions!

Why You Should Visit a Showroom Before Choosing Your Granite Countertop:

There are thousands of absolutely stunning photos of granite countertops online, but that doesn’t mean you should select a stone based solely on what you see online. The reason for this is that unlike quartz, every piece of granite is different and one piece of granite may look entirely different than another piece of the same color.

Another reason is that a lot of photos on the internet are taken with the best possible lighting and edited so that the countertop stands out.

The photos that we upload are very minimally edited (cropped with a logo added) but that doesn’t mean that the photos are entirely representative of what the countertop actually looks like. In most cases the final product looks a lot better than what you see in the photos.

But back to the topic at hand, if you fall in love with a unique piece of granite online I guarantee the slab in the showroom will look different. But different doesn’t have to mean bad! If you think about it, would you rather order countertops online without knowing what exactly they’ll look like? Or would you want to walk around a show room, look at different slabs of the same color, notice what make them unique, compare the way different stones feel, and then make an informed decision about what you want your kitchen to look like for years to come?

Luckily for you, Granite Surfaces of Texas has a showroom AND a slab yard! That means you can pick a color you like in the show room and then one of our extremely knowledgeable salespeople can walk you through the slab yard so you can pick out the exact stone that you’re putting in your home! So what are you waiting for? Stop by Granite Surfaces of Texas and let us help you pick out the perfect slab of granite for your new countertops!

How to make sure your cabinets match your countertops.

The key to making sure your new countertops match your cabinets is simple. Just pick out your countertops first! Since granite, quartz, Dekton, marble, or Curava countertops are all very unique it is a good idea to select your stone, color, and pattern first and then try to match your cabinets to your countertops as they are much more customizable.

Basically, once you select and pay for the perfect countertop material, there’s really no way to go back, but so many things can be done to cabinets to change their appearance (paints, stains, different materials) that the options are pretty much unlimited.

Once you’ve got your countertops selected there’s two different ways to pair them to an awesome set of cabinets in the following bullet points.

Contrasting – A contrasting pairing would be when the color of the countertops “contrast” the color of the cabinets. For example, a contrasting pairing would be light countertops and dark cabinets.

 

Complimentary – A complimentary pairing would be the opposite of a contrasting one. This means that the cabinets would be the same color as the countertops such as in a dark on dark or a light on light pairing.

One final tip that should be of some help to you in your kitchen remodeling journey is that it’s better to look at full slabs of granite, quartz, Dekton, marble, or Curava as they are better representative of the final product you’ll see in your kitchen. Luckily for you, we here at Granite Surfaces of Texas have a full slab yard you can browse to find your perfect countertop surface!

Introducing Curava!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’re probably already familiar with granite, quartz, and Dekton, but what if I told you that there’s another stone we offer that isn’t like anything you’ve ever seen before?

I’m talking about this cool new countertop surface development out of San Antonio called Curava. Curava is made of mostly recycled glass shards bound in a cement resin binder. It’s is a very low maintenance stone due to it’s composition and doesn’t require annual sealing. Curava is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. That being said, it’s only heat resistant, not heat proof. Aside from it coming from recycled materials, the best thing about Curava is how COOL it looks! Just take a look at these photos!