Granite: From Selection to Installation – 8 Simple Steps

For many understanding, any process can help in decision-making.  So in the case of bath or kitchen design in Sioux Falls, the process of selecting granite to its installation is explained below.

 

Mining

 

Granite is a naturally occurring stone created by molten rock within the earth’s surface.  It is mined from quarries in various parts the world and then transported to various granite vendors.

 

Selection

 

Many vendors have large warehouses or showrooms where actual granite slabs are available for viewing.  Actual samples are often previewed rather than just choosing from a catalog; this is because no two pieces of granite are the same.  When choosing a piece of granite, it is best to know the desired thickness in advance (usually available in 1 and ¼ inch or ¾ inch thickness).  With the thickness in mind, it is possible to preview the warehouse considering those choices available with the dimensions required.

 

Consider a Sink

 

Both overmount and under-mount sinks are options in both bathrooms and kitchens.  Undermount sinks tend to be more stylish and result in additional counter space.  Sinks come in numerous finishes, shapes, and sizes.  It can be beneficial to determine how many sinks will be required for each space as some vendors will charge for each sink cut out.

 

Choose the Finish

 

Granite can be finished polished, honed (more matte) or rough (most natural).  To choose the finish, giving thought to the style of the overall space can be helpful.  Also speaking to the sales professional about the benefits and disadvantages to the different finish types can expedite this decision.

 

Choose the Edging

 

The profile of the edge of the granite adds another feature of granite.  Of primary importance, rounding the edges somewhat can help prevent unwanted chips and prevent anyone from bumping a sharp surface.

 

Consider Faucets

 

In addition to cutting for the sink, an installer will also need to cut holes to accommodate the faucet and taps.  When keeping the existing hardware, it’s best to let the installer and vendor know.  When choosing new hardware, it’s best to choose the hardware in advance so the installer has noticed and can ensure that the hardware will work with the selected granite.

 

Consider the Scrapyard

 

For smaller projects, granite suppliers often have ‘off-cuts’ which is granite left-over from other projects.  These off-cuts are often available at discounted rates while providing the same quality piece.  Always consider the scrapyard first – there may be a diamond in the rough.

 

Installation

 

Some installers will visit a home in advance of installation to draft a template to be used for cutting the granite in the shop.  In other cases, the installer will bring equipment and cut the appropriate holes for the granite on-site.  In both instances, discussing installation day with a supplier can help set expectations and reduce stress.

 

Once a piece of granite has found its way from a mine to a supplier, a buyer then has to choose a slab (keeping thickness and color in mind), choose a sink, the finish, the edging, and the faucets.  For great bargains remember to check the scrapyard.  And, finally, communicate with the installers to get a sense of expectations.

Choosing a Back splash – Here are Five Backsplashes Ideas to Consider

A kitchen back splash is meant to allow for easy clean-up of food when cooking or prepping food.  The back splash can also add a touch of style when chosen correctly. As there are endless choices of back splash, a few of the top choices are listed below helping to make one’s ultimate decision a little bit simpler.

 

Brick

 

As one can imagine, adhering full brick to any wall is challenging due to weight and loss in overall depth to the room.  A brick alternative is a brick veneer which is often only ¾ inch thickness while still offering the feel of a full brick.  Brick is a great selection when seeking a historic look and creating a warm feeling space.  A brick surface, while not required to be sealed, simplifies the cleaning process.

 

Glass Tile

 

Glass tile can be a stylish, yet cost-effective, and easy-to-clean, choice for many.  Available in endless color options and patterns, glass tiles are simple to install, and easy to wipe clean.  For allergy sufferers, glass tiles are also mildew resistant.  Options for glass tiles includes subway tiles, mosaics, and tile borders.  Additionally, more transparent tiles can be adhered to a painted wall creating yet a different look altogether.

 

Granite

 

While granite can be used as a countertop surface, it can also be used as a backsplash.  Where custom countertops like those in Sioux Falls are possible, so too are granite tiles.  One option includes using the chosen countertop granite as a backsplash.  To create a new texture, breaking the surface into tiles can add unique dimensions.  Alternatively, choosing an entirely different granite, with various colors, and finish can add a pop of styles.

 

Painted

 

A painted backsplash is predominantly selected for budget constraints.  That being said, it can still add style, when carefully selected, and when using the right paint, will still wipe clean.  Consider adding a contrasting color to make the wall pop.  Additionally, consider wall quotes or stencil to add unique dimensions to the paint itself.

 

Chalkboard

 

Also considered a painted backsplash but unique in purpose is the chalkboard backsplash.  In addition to providing a low-cost backsplash, a chalkboard backsplash consists of black paint which can be written on with chalk.  The benefits are leaving a space for writing lists or a place for chalk art.  Finally, a chalkboard backsplash will be dynamic in that it will likely never look the same.  A chalkboard backsplash is a great choice for busy families.

 

Finally, once the type of backsplash has been selected, also needing consideration is the color, size, and pattern of the product.  If wavering in any way, leafing through magazines can be a great way to find a picture representing the finished look.

 

Love to Cook? Here are Five Necessities for Any Home Kitchen

For those who love cooking at home, walking into any cooking store can be completely overwhelming as there are so many items one could and should have in their kitchen.  There are a few essentials that will create the foundation for any at home chef before getting started.

 

Granite Countertops

 

Granite countertops are a chef’s dream.  Aside from looking luxurious, the characteristics of granite are meant for cooking.  Ready to handle hot temperatures, there is less need for the delicacy of a countertop like laminate.  Also, granite is known to be durable and therefore resistant to cracks and scratching.  Finally, once granite is sealed, it is less porous and therefore resists bacteria. Be sure to connect with a reputable supplier in Sioux Falls when seeking a new granite kitchen countertop.

 

Knives

 

It goes without saying that knives are crucial in any kitchen; therefore it’s to splurge on good knives.  Consider purchasing a few core knives, and adding on as the budget permits.  Inexpensive knives dull quickly, where more expensive knives hold their sharpness for much longer.  Also, where more inexpensive knives are difficult to sharpen, costlier knives often include a sharpener for real longevity.  Good knives may never need replacing.  To get started consider purchasing a chef’s knife, slicer, utility knife, and a paring knife.

 

Cutting Board

 

A requirement for any chef is a reliable cutting board, making a bamboo board a suitable choice.  Bamboo is a very sturdy wood, making scarring from cutting challenging.  Scarring does impact the appearance of the board, but most importantly makes it more challenging for bacteria to sit in cracks and grow.  In addition, bamboo tends to ward off the water, further enhancing its longevity in the kitchen.  Of course, putting a wooden cutting board through a dishwasher will only reduce the water-resistant nature of the board, so ensure to clean the cutting board by wiping with a cleaner – never through the dishwasher.

 

Gas Range

 

If the choice is available, a gas range is a necessity for any professional kitchen.  When compared to electric cooktops, gas cooktops provide instant adjustment in temperature.  As they don’t require the need to heat up or cool down, any change in the dial is instantly transferred to whatever is being cooked.  A gas range provides a consistent cooking temperature.  Finally, a gas range heats instantly when compared to an electric cooktop which takes time to reach temperature initially.

 

Appropriate Cookware

 

The availability of cookware choices are endless.  The reactivity – how the food reacts chemically to the food is being cooked in; the conduction, how the cookware transfer the heat from the cooktop to the food; all contribute to the type of cookware necessary. Giving careful consideration to what is being cooked including the type of cooking apparatus (gas versus electric) can dictate which cookware is best.  While cookware can costs thousands of dollars, great cookware can be purchased without breaking the bank.

 

For any at home chef, consider installing a granite countertop, a high-end knife collection, a bamboo cutting board, a gas range, and appropriate cookware.

Unique Uses for Granite Every Savvy Home Designer Should Know

Granite is known for its presence as kitchen and bathroom countertops, but granite can be considered in other areas too.  Below are five other uses for granite that can suit any household.

 

Tiling

 

Granite can be cut into tiles creating a look unique for a giant granite slab.  Granite tiles can be used for shower tiling producing a spa-like result.  Also, granite tiles can be used for the kitchen backsplash.  Rather than installing a solid piece of granite as the backsplash, using the same granite as the countertop but tiled rather than a slab, can also result in a look of luxury.

 

Sinks

 

Granite sinks are unique for the granite used for countertops in that they’re a blend of stone and resin.  This combination results in an incredibly durable product that looks and feels like pure granite.  The result is much more uniform than naturally occurring granite. Because granite sinks are a composite, they are available in many shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations.  Granite sinks are beneficial because they are resistant to heat, scratching and staining.  And, for those who like consistency, can be made out of the same material as a countertop for a truly seamless appearance.

 

Tabletops

 

Since granite acts as an excellent decorative and functional surface for kitchens and bathrooms, tabletops are another essential consideration for granite.  Whether creating a dining table or desktop, granite can be placed or any most types of bases.  Keep in mind custom granite countertops, like those available in Sioux Falls, are possible for nearly any project.  Carefully choosing the thickness, color, and edging can add a pop of luxury and style to any room.

 

Fireplace Mantle

 

A fireplace mantle is a great place for creating a feature in any home.  Fireplaces can be a feature by just adding a contrasting paint color or wood stain, but adding a sense of luxury comes from adding a stone finish.  Granite is the perfect finishing touch to a gas or electric fireplace mantle.  Both granite slabs and granite tiles can be suitable options for a fireplace mantle.  Choosing the most appropriate color can be an incredible finishing touch to one’s home décor.

 

Pillars

 

Pillars can be made from granite and offer a remarkable first impression.  Either shrouding the entrance to a long driveway or the pillars in front of a home, consider granite pillars for a bold entry to any home.  Pillars can be in any shape with the granite finished in a polished, honed or rough look.

 

It’s clear that granite has diverse uses.  When one is looking for a touch of luxury, consider adding granite to any home through tiling, sinks, tabletops, fireplace mantles, or pillars.

Best Methods for Increasing a Home’s Value

It’s quite simple to expend loads of cash on home improvements, but any savvy investors know to be cognizant of the improvements that truly result in cash back.  Below, five tips guide the best areas to spend both time and money.

 

Declutter

 

Making a regular habit of removing unused items can help create a sense of spaciousness.  Setting a reminder in a calendar for a monthly or quarterly ‘stuff’ clean-up can keep excess stuff at bay.  Use a three pile system to sort items – those for donation, those for disposal, and those to sell or consign.  Consistent decluttering will create an airy space, leave room for needed storage, and will lessen the overwhelm of any future sale.

 

Clean Inside and Out

 

Developing a healthy home cleaning regimen is beneficial in not allowing grime to build over time.  While day-to-day cleaning is often the easiest to tackle, deep cleaning is often overlooked. For example, consider washing windows, wiping blinds, and cleaning baseboards less regularly, but a few times throughout the year.  Also, the exterior is easy to neglect and also should be tended too.

 

Tackle First Impressions with Fresh Eyes

 

For those who drive down a street repeatedly, only to see a home bulldozed, then wonder what was there in the first place, it’s easy to understand why after a lengthy period of looking at the same things, we don’t see it anymore.  For this reason, it may be beneficial to engage a third party to offer their first impressions from approaching the home to walking through the front door.  Noted might be tired paint, thirsty plants, a lawn that needs mowing or edging, leaves that need raking.

 

Upgrade the Kitchen

 

If a budget permits upgrading the kitchen is a great way to add value to a home.  Consider the installation of a higher end stone, like the granite supplied in Sioux Falls.  While new cabinets are desirable, often the cabinets boxes are in good enough shape, but a reface of the drawers and cabinets fronts is required.  Additionally, consider replacing the kitchen appliances with a more modern choice.  Finally, if considering a large kitchen overhaul, give thought to a new layout and new finishes too.

 

Upgrade the Bathroom

 

Similar to a kitchen remodel, the counter and cabinet refacing is a great start to a renovation.  In a home where there are two bathrooms, it is a good idea to upgrade them, but for the home with one bathroom, money might be best spent on adding a second if space and budget permit.

 

In conclusion, be sure to declutter, clean up, get fresh eyes for a new first impression, upgrade the kitchen and bathroom to increase a home’s overall value.

4 Perks of Working With a Professional Stone Installer

They’ll Take Care of the Weight

 

This is definitely the most notable perk of working with a professional stone installer. Although they might seem innocent when laid flatly as a kitchen surface, stone countertops tend to come in at an incredible weight per square foot. Indeed, a large enough piece of stone can weight hundreds of pounds – in just one piece. Needless to say, most homeowners appreciate avoiding the critical step of carrying the granite into the home. Aside from the heaviness of the lift, carrying a stone into a house without the help of a professional can lead to incredibly injury as well as damage to the home if the stone is dropped. It’s best for homeowners to avoid going through the nightmare of DIY stone installation, instead contracting the work to professionals who are well used to hauling the stone.

 

Absolute Precision

 

Granted, stone countertop installation isn’t rocket science. However, in order for it to be done properly, it does require precise measurements and acute attention to detail. Indeed, when a stone countertop is installed by an amateur, their guests can usually tell the difference if they look closely enough, whether it’s because the stone is offset with the walls, or the cabinet caulking could have been avoided with a little re-adjustment of the stone. The joints of the stone, too, are a big factor. If there is one or several joints connecting your kitchen together, it’s important that these joints be attached and finished properly, with precision. Perfection on the installer’s part will be mostly unnoticeable, though imperfection will be discernible much more quickly.

 

Adaptation to Obstacles

 

Even if a homeowner manages to haul the stone into the house, there’s likely to be a series of obstacles that get in their way. For instance, a crooked wall can be meddlesome in ensuring that the countertop is installed in a mis-aligned manner. A homeowner, unable to identify and resolve the issue, might give up early at this point, saying that the misalignment is “good enough” however, a professional stone installer knows that the only way to proceed when facing a crooked wall is to cut it just enough for the corner of the countertop to slide into it. A crooked wall is only one of the examples of what could go wrong in a countertop installation. When issues arise, experience is the main thing needed to get things back on track.

 

A Reliable Installation

 

Most importantly of all, whether it’s for a kitchen or bath design in Sioux Falls, homeowners who work with professional stone installers are guaranteed a reliable installation, one that will last well into the decades to come.

How to Choose the Right Stone for Your Kitchen

Many Materials to Choose From

 

When it comes to picking a stone material for your kitchen countertop, there are several options to choose from. Natural stones are found throughout the planet – basically, when an individual looks at a mountain, they’re looking at a potential quarry containing thousands upon thousands of stone tons, and there’s no telling what vivid variations of material lie beneath the mountain’s surface. While there are likely many more stone materials to uncover yet, homeowners currently have the option of choosing from the variety of popular stone countertop materials, including granite, marble, engineered quartz, limestone, and onyx.

 

Taking Kitchen Design Into Account

 

Even if a countertop material strikes homeowners as entirely irresistible, it’s important to factor in the other elements of the kitchen design before making a decisions. After all, since the countertops will be the visual focal point of the rest of the kitchen, the overall impression can really be thrown off if the choice of material isn’t right. Before even looking at their options, homeowners are advised to take all attributes of their kitchen design into consideration. Ensure that the choice of stone will flow smoothly with the flooring material, cabinets, wall colors, and even the appliances. Although the material provides a clear aesthetic boost, stone countertops are best used (in the visual aspect) when blended perfectly with the other elements of the kitchen design.

 

How Will the Kitchen be Used?

 

Homeowners should also consider how they intend to use their kitchen. Of course, it’s a given that the countertops will be used as working surfaces for cooking, but some families cook more than others. Indeed, some families only cook a few times per week in their kitchens, and in this case, it’s totally permissible to use a fragile, beautiful material as a countertop, since it’s likely not to get damaged as long as the homeowners are careful. On the other hand, if the homeowner cooks several meals per day on the working surface, it might be best to use a strong stone like granite. Still, differences between some material are trivial – in general, homeowners can choose any stone for their kitchen as long as they maintain it well and use it safely.

 

Get the Most From Providers

 

When finalizing their kitchen design in Sioux Falls with beautiful stone countertops, it helps to choose the right provider, and get the most out of them. There are a number of services providers can offer their customers, such as a meeting with the stone cutter to outline which sections of the material will be used in which areas of the kitchen. There’s a lot that a provider can do for their customers if they ask for their help.

 

Do Marble Counter tops Work In a Kitchen?

Not All Stones Are Made Equally

 

From marble to granite to onyx to limestone, there is an incredible variety of stone materials out there, and the bulk of them can be made into kitchen countertops. Homeowners don’t exactly have an easy job of choosing between the various materials, and for good reason. Each unique stone brings its own advantages and disadvantages to the table. It all depends on what the homeowner’s needs are and how their kitchen is designed.

 

The Allure of Marble

 

It’s easy to see why homeowners would be attracted to marble as a potential kitchen countertop material. In terms of its history along, marble adds an incredibly attractive element to the kitchen. After all, the material was used throughout the ages of the past, in beautiful ancient Greek and Roman statues and buildings. Of course, homeowners don’t need to be versed in history in order to appreciate the aesthetic splendor of the material. In general, marble is less forgiving a material than granite, though it also has a certain visual fragility that brusque granites don’t.

 

The Demands of a Kitchen

 

It’s important to consider the pressure being put on the material being used as countertop surface. Indeed, some designers would say that the kitchen countertops are among the most high-traffic sections of a home. Because of children doing homework, the countless coffees and meals eaten over the kitchen island, and, of course, the hours and hours of cooking that the countertop will serve as surface for, it’s important to choose a material that will last through all this. The truth is that marble, although not quite as durable as granite or engineered quartz, is a hardy material when compared to the range of available materials for countertops. It is a stone, after all, so it’s going to take some impact (or neglect) to penetrate. Ultimately, granite is ideal, since it is more likely to resist damage. However, if the homeowner has fallen in love with a particular type of marble, then the choice should be clear to them.

 

The Choice is Yours

 

Ultimately, when choosing between marble or granite in Sioux Falls for a kitchen countertop, the choice really comes down to which material enamors the homeowner. Since these are all stone materials anyway, the differences between them can definitely be seen as subtle. Experiments will reveal differences in the durability of marble and granite, with the advantage probably being given to the latter. However, if the homeowner puts the time in to maintain the countertop (cleaning daily, sealing bi-annually, etc.), and they keep an eye out for dangerous impacts, it’s likely that they’ll enjoy their marble kitchen surface for decades to come.

4 Benefits of Having Granite Countertops Installed

Living With Pure, Natural Beauty Every Day

 

By investing in granite countertops, homeowners treat themselves to the absolute highest aesthetics that home design has to offer. Granite comes in countless colors and patterns, each of them wholly unique. Depending on the homeowner’s tastes and their home’s decor, there’s a perfect choice of material waiting in a local Sioux Falls granite countertop store. Waking up every morning to that same brilliant surface never gets old, and it’s an aesthetic pleasure that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

 

A Strong Working Surface for Daily Use

 

Aside from aesthetics, granite provides as solid a working surface as any natural slab has to offer. As its own material, granite is incredibly difficult to penetrate. In most cases, it would take a heavy, sharp impact from a great height to crack the surface of the material. However, it should be noted that granite is not indestructible. Indeed, if a sharp, heavy, metallic object happened to fall on the material with enough impact, it might result in surface chipping, in which case the homeowner would have to put in a call for a service repair. Furthermore, granite in general is reliably strong, though not all granite materials are built alike. Some stones, for instance, are much less porous than others. Black granites have their pores bunched up much more closely together than sandier, veinier granites. Depending on how strong the specific type of granite is, it will be more or less resistant to the challenges presented in a kitchen.

 

An Investment That Will Last Decades

 

Another clear perk of granite countertops is their incredibly longevity. A countertop of any material will likely last a homeowner a decade if they tend to it well, though granite countertops can easily last three decades, or much more than that. It’s important to remember here that granite, before ever being installed in a home or put into a production line, acted as a section of a mountain for millions of years. If the material lasts that long before the homeowner ever uses it, a few more decades is surely no trouble at all for granite.

 

Raising the Value of Your Home

 

As if all of the above weren’t enough, granite is also a solid, reliable investment that is sure to add an attractive perk to a real estate listing should the homeowner ever decide to sell. Even after its long history of widespread, varied use, granite is still in incredible demand today. Although it might sound too good to be true, the truth is indeed that granite countertops, even after providing utility and beauty to a family for decades, can retain a significant portion of their value.

 

Top 5 Things to Consider When Installing New Countertops

How to Remain in One’s Budget

 

One of the most important things a homeowner can do when visiting a countertops company in Sioux Falls is inform them about their budget. Many people feel as though keeping their budget a secret is a necessity, but in all actuality, this can be a nuisance. It is important for contractors and companies to know how much their clients are willing to spend on their countertop installation, as this can help them point them in the right direction. Once a budget had been discussed, professionals can show their clients which materials are ideal for their budget, and which ones are not.

 

How to be Cost-Effective

 

It is a common occurrence for homeowners to have a budget but want to overstep their means due to their love of a certain material. While sticking to one’s budget is a must, there are certain ways that homeowners can try and get what they want at a lower price — or at least a variation of it. Should homeowners have fallen in love with onyx countertops only to be surprised with how expensive they can be, they can always choose to have marble countertops installed instead. Marble countertops resemble onyx ones but are sold for a cheaper price. Find cost-effective solutions for one’s needs is definitely a priority. One thing to be wary of, however, if hiring an independent contractor to install stone countertops, however, as it is best to hire a team of professionals to take on this task. Should the piece be broken for whatever reason, this company will replace it while the other may not.

 

If Spending a Little More can be Beneficial in the Long Run

 

When planning a kitchen countertop replacement, many homeowners are going to stress over their budget and remaining inside of it. A good thing to remember, however, is that selecting rich materials like marble for one’s countertops can actually make one’s home more valuable. This can cause homeowners to make a large return on their investment when they sell the house.

 

If Hiring a Designer is Needed

 

Not everyone has an eye for style, which is why some people choose to hire a designer for their kitchen decor needs. If selecting a certain stone is something one needs help with, hiring a designer and bringing them along to countertop stores in Sioux Falls can be beneficial.

 

If any Kitchen Renovations are Needed

 

When having new kitchen countertops installed, it can be a good idea to make some small changes around the kitchen. Changing the color of the walls, or also replacing cabinets can help welcome the change with open arms.