Calacatta Marble Kitchen Countertop

Granite, Quartz & Marble Concepts For Your Home

Caring for your Granite or Marble Counter Top

Posted by Karen Yuen on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 @ 02:24 PM

 

Think it's time to show your Granite or Marble counter top the love? 

Here are some simple care and maintenance tips for keeping your Granite or Marble counter top beautiful.

Regularly clean natural stone surfaces with mild detergent or with soap and water.  Thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing. Blot up spills immediately to prevent/minimize permanent staining.


DOS AND DON'TS 

DO use coasters under all glassware, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones. 

DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes to prevent thermal shock. 

DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface. 

DON’T place hot items directly on the stone surface.

DON'T use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on granite, marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.

DON'T use abrasive cleaners. 

DON'T mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.

DON'T ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.

Treating Stains

 Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don't wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with mild soapy water and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly. Repeat as necessary. 


Stain Specific Cleaning

 Oil-based (grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics) Clean gently with a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach, household detergent, ammonia, mineral spirits or acetone. 

Paint

 Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off carefully with a razor blade. Paint strippers can etch the surface of the stone; re-polishing may be necessary. Follow the manufacturer's directions for use of these products, taking care to flush the area thoroughly with clean water. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area. Use only wood or plastic scrapers for removing the sludge and curdled paint. 

Water Spots and Rings 

Surface markings due to the  accumulation of hard water may be buffed out with dry 0000 steel wool. 

Scratches and Nicks

Slight surface scratches may be buffed with dry 0000 steel wool. Deeper scratches and nicks in the surface of the stone should be repaired and re-polished by a professional. 


This information is found at: www.marble-institute.com

Topics: Cleaning granite, cleaning marble

Remove Your Laminate Countertop in 5 Steps

Posted by Karen Yuen on Mon, Dec 27, 2010 @ 12:03 PM

A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to remove your own countertops…even for people who are not particularly handy. Always be careful and it’s good to have someone to help you.  

  1. Clear the area.  Remove everything from the top of your countertop and cabinets – enough that you can access the inside back of the cabinets.
  2. Disconnect plumbing. Before you start taking the plumbing apart, make sure you shut the water off using the main water shut off valve (this will shut down water for the entire house so make sure you go to the bathroom before) or shut the water off with the shut off valves that will stop the water to the area you’re working. Do not turn the water on until the sink and faucets are installed.
  3. Score where the backsplash/countertop meets the wall.  Run a utility knife along the back wall where the backsplash or the counter  top meets the wall
  4. Unscrew the countertop.  From the underside of the cabinets, remove every screw that you can find attached the countertop to the cabinet.  Usually, you will find them along the front and the along the back.
  5. Lift and remove the counter top.  Place your hands under the front edge and lift the top using your legs and then arms. The area where the sink is may require a helper. Lift the countertop off the cabinets. Now that the counter tops are off, it is a good idea to make sure the cabinets are level. Unlevel cabinets are a common cause for the seam breaking in the counter top and sometimes may cause the counter top to crack.  Split seams or any damage due to cabinets that are not level are not covered under warranty.

Consult a counter top expert if you have any questions.

Topics: DIY kitchen, Remove Countertop

Staying Green with Countertops

Posted by Colin Ackroyd on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:57 AM

If the goal in your kitchen is to be as green as possible, Latitude offers the best options for countertops.  Our knowledgeable sales people are always on hand to answer any questions that you have about the green qualities of the countertops that we offer at Latitude.

The new environmental craze that is happening, in regards to granite, is the testing for Radon gases in granite slabs.  Many people have asked us about Radon gases in granite, and what effect it can have on your home.  Granite, and other natural stone products, always contains traces of NORMs (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) that produce measureable amounts of radiation and sometimes Radon gas.

Although all granite is tested for radon, it is possible that small amounts of the radioactive material can still be found in the slab.  Not to worry though, as Radon gas usually becomes insignificant when diluted with the quantity of air in your home.  Most Radon gas that is produced in your home is from the actual soil that your house is built on.  I have included a pie chart that shows the most abundant locations for radon gas in your home.

radonsources resized 600 Although granite does not usually have enough radon gas in it to be harmful to your family, you may still be cautious of putting granite in your home.   In that case, Latitude offers 5 Natural Quartz Surfaces that are all leading the charge in safer countertop options.   For your information, I have included links to each of these suppliers “Green Qualities” on their websites.

Silestone

Caesarstone

Hanstone

Zodiaq

Eco by Cosentino

If you have any other questions regarding the green qualities of countertops, please visit our showroom, or showroom locator for a Latitude dealer near you!!

Happy Holidays!!

C

Topics: granite sale, Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, bathroom ideas, Toronto, Toronto, Caesarstone, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Quartz, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Natural Stone, Granite Fabricator, Granite countertops, kitchen design, Granite Kitchen Countertops, granite shower walls, granite table top, unique granite, Granite vs Quartz, Stone Fabricator, Natural Stone Fabricator

Marble vs Granite Part I

Posted by Brett McLennan on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 @ 11:23 AM

Marble and granite materials have been used as kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities for quite some time around the world. Marble typically only comes from a couple of locations on the planet whereas granite can be found on almost every continent.

There are some very obvious pro’s and con’s to both solutions.

Marble:

Marble is a type of metamorphic rock composed mostly of calcite. Marble comes in a variety of colours and patterns, especially in the coveted light colours which people enjoy in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Unfortunately, marble has several disadvantages, it is very porous and can easily be chipped, cracked, or stained. It is recommended that marble is sealed often to maintain it properly.

Granite:

Granite is a crystalline stone that is known for being much harder. Granite also contains a medium to high concentration of quartz, quartz being one of the hardest minerals on the planet. When properly sealed, it is much more resistant to staining as it is less porous.

Conclusions:

Kitchen – Marble would be suited best in a decorative kitchen that does not have high traffic or children. There’s no question it adds elegance to any room but it is much less practical due to how soft and porous it is. Granite would make a much better choice for the average person with the amount of use their kitchen counter tops receive.

Bathroom – This is an area of the house I personally would prefer to put marble, either as a stylish vanity or as unique marble shower walls.

Cost:

There is no real difference in cost between the two of them. If you’re shopping on a level by level basis they are exactly the same price here at Latitude. However, don’t forget to check out our ongoing remnant sale and you may be able to save up to 75% off which ever surface you choose.

Granite Shower Walls

Topics: kitchen countertop, Granite countertops, Marble vs Granite, granite shower walls, marble vanity, marble countertop, granite vanity, granite vs marble, marble shower walls

How Long Does it Take Latitude to Make a countertop?

Posted by Karen Yuen on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 @ 10:43 AM

Latitude fabricates granite, marble and quartz countertops in 8 business days, AND beginning 2011, we will be fabricating in 7 business days. So from template or from when a layout is provided, you only have to wait 7 business days beginning in January 2011.

What’s the catch? There are no catches.  But there are a few things that we need to make this happen.  We need all the details confirmed on the confirmation sheet (we have to know what we are making – the colour, edge profile selection…) and if we are templating, all the cabinets must be secured and installed in their final location.  We create digital templates and they are very exact (within a milimetre!). Have your sink there too so the templator can ensure that it fits in your cabinet. Have a slide in stove? The templator will want to take a look at that too.  Essentially, if it affects the countertop, the templator will want to know about it.

Once the templator has plotted all the points into the computer, he translates everything into CAD. From there, in goes to the sawyers, to the laminators, CNC machines, water polishers, into installers trucks and to your home…in SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS!

 Want us to make it from your drawing? No Problem! Ensure that your layout has the shape clearly drawn, and all sides have the exact measurement that you want us to make the top.  The centre of the sink must be clearly marked since that is how we need that to cut the sink top out.  Edges that need to be finished should be marked with an “o” on the drawing and we need to know how many faucet holes to drill (typically single, 3 hole 4” centres, 3 holes 8” centres drilled either straight or curved.

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We will look over the drawing and let you know if we have any issues with the drawing that you give us.  And again, from there, in goes to the sawyers, to the laminators, CNC machines, water polishers,into  installers trucks and to your home…in SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS!

We do recommend that you have one of our professional templator come to your home to digitally templator your kitchen, since the space tends to be bigger and more complicated.

Topics: Granite, marble, how long to make a countertop

European Design Trends

Posted by Colin Ackroyd on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the monthly chapter meeting for the NKBA, being held at Euro-Line Appliances in Oakville.  It was nice to meet and socialize with the other members of the NKBA, while enjoying a delicious meal and an informative presentation.   The guest speaker at this month’s chapter meeting was Janette Ewen, Décor/Design Expert and Co-Host of “Inside the Box” with Ty Pennington.  Janette has toured Europe visiting many different Design and Decor Shows, gathering new trends that are beginning to be seen amongst their design community. 

BWG4 resized 600

The presentation was very interesting, and I was able to take away a few great ideas that are beginning to be seen in the counter top and kitchen design industry.  Janette mentioned that, currently, the common trend in Europe is to choose basic, simple colours such as black, white, and grey, as the main colour theme in the kitchen.  Use these colours as the central point in your kitchen, such as appliances, countertops, and even sinks.  

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After designing your kitchen around these basic colours, Janette suggests accenting the kitchen with bright colours, such as blue and green.  These accent colours should be seen in smaller, more exchangeable items in the kitchen, such as dish towels, soap dispensers, and centre pieces.  Using accent colours with these items allows you to change the look of your kitchen as trends continue to change throughout the years.

RedSink resized 600

  This helps keep your kitchen in style, without having to spend too much money.  Quartz counter tops can be a great addition to this package, as they are the most durable counter top that Latitude offers.  We currently offer the following Quartz products: Silestone, Caesarstone, Hanstone, Compac, and ECO by Cosentino.

At Latitude, we offer many different styles of black, white, and grey counter tops.  Caesarstone continues to produce the boldest colours in these shades.  I have included a few pictures of what these colours look like, but the best way to get a view of these colours is to visit our showroom, or one of our many dealers that can be found on our Showroom Locator.  Latitude’s showroom is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.  I look forward to discussing these new and upcoming trends in the counter top and kitchen design industry, when you come visit us at Latitude.

Raven resized 600

Caesarstone-Raven(Above)

Caesarstone- Pure White(Below)

Purewhite resized 600

Topics: Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, bathroom ideas, marble, marble, Toronto, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Countertops, Kitchen Renovation, Quartz, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Natural Stone, Granite Fabricator, Granite countertops, kitchen design, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Marble vs Granite, Marble vs Quartz, Granite vs Quartz, Stone Fabricator, Natural Stone Fabricator

One of a Kind Granites and Marble

Posted by Brett McLennan on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 @ 01:09 PM

One of a Kind Material

What is it and why is it so cheap?

“One of a kind granite or marble” is when Latitude has one or two extra uncut slabs from a large job. Typically we always order an extra slab or two when we do a medium to large sized kitchen so we can properly match up the lines so the job looks its best. When we get the slabs on our sawyers table sometimes we are able to match the lines up without having to cut into these extra slabs so they become extra’s that we are unable to send back.

Sawyer Cutting Granite

Sawyer Cutting Granite

Why don’t we use them for our next job in that colour?

Often times these pieces are in unique colours and customers purchasing that colour of granite or marble will tag the piece themselves directly at a stone wholesaler for us to fabricate so these unique granite pieces that we have in our warehouse never get seen by potential customers and designers.

Why not sell it off as remnant?

Remnant is a different pricing model altogether. Unlike remnant pieces these slabs have not been cut and are full sheets suitable for small to medium kitchens or custom side projects such as: granite shower walls, granite fireplaces or even granite table tops. The material is simply too expensive to sell as granite off cuts.

Who should be interested in “one of a kind material”?

The people who are most interested in this type of material are consumers or designers who are looking to complete a job that is too large for our remnant program. This type of customer is also looking to acquire an exotic level stone but would prefer not to pay exotic level granite pricing. Another type of consumer who may be interested in this is someone who is looking for a very unique piece. Some of the granites we are selling under this sale are no longer available, which means you are likely to be the only person on your block, or possibly even your city to have this colour!

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me at brettm@latitudeonline.ca

Topics: Toronto, granite shower walls, granite table top, unique granite, one of a kind, granite fireplace, marble fireplace

Caesarstone Vanity Program

Posted by Colin Ackroyd on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 @ 11:43 AM

We are now a few months into the introduction of Latitude’s Caesarstone Vanity program, and it seems to be off to quite the fantastic start.  I have been making my way across Ontario, approaching Kitchen and Bath dealers with this program, and so far, the reaction to the vanity program has been very well received.  Kitchen and Bath dealers are taking advantage of the ability to offer a quartz vanity top with an undermount sink included, at competitive prices to other, less-sustainable, materials.  Currently, the vanity program is available from Ottawa to Waterloo, with many companies in Toronto offering this great deal.  Latitude will continuously be looking to expand this program, so please make us aware if your company is interested in offering this program to your clients.  We have found that most Kitchen and Bath dealers that mention these vanities to their clients that are taking part in kitchen renovations, have been able to sell the bathroom renovation as well, due to the fact that they can have the bathroom top replaced for under $500.00.

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As I mentioned, these vanities are available from Ottawa to Waterloo, so please contact the following dealers if you are in their respective area.

Durham Region-

 Millwork Home Centre- 1279 Simcoe St. Oshawa. (905) 728-6291

 

Ottawa Region-

West End Bath and Kitchen Centre- 1660 Woodward Dr. Ottawa.  613-226-7701

 

Ajax-

 Dovetail Kitchen and Bathrooms- 35 Harwood Ave. S.  Ajax. 905-231-1117

 

Toronto Region-

 Lampert Renovations and Plumbing- 25 Wingold Ave. #1- 416-787-4921

 

Waterloo Region-

Vanity Mart Bath and Kitchen Design- 90 Frobisher Dr. Waterloo. 519-886-3240

 

If you would like more information regarding the Caesarstone Vanity program, please visit our Showroom Locator to find a dealer near you: Dealer Locator,or feel free to give me a call at 905-999-7574 and I will happily answer any questions that you may have.

Colin Ackroyd

Topics: vanity, bathroom design, Shower walls, bathroom ideas, Toronto, Countertops, Countertops, Quartz, Quartz

Quartz Countertops Vs Granite Countertops

Posted by Brett McLennan on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

Are you thinking of installing a new countertop for your kitchen or bathroom but are unable to decide between a granite kitchen countertop or a quartz kitchen countertop. Don’t worry, this is a common issue that many consumers face when embarking on a renovation journey.

 

Click Here for a Dealer near you

 

Properties of Quartz

 Quartz Slabs Factory

Quartz is found in large quantities on our planet and is a very hard substance even in its crude form. Diamond, sapphire and topaz are the only minerals that are more scratch-resistant than quartz. If we go by the Mohs' Hardness scale, which is used to determine the scratch resistance capacity of a mineral, quartz is ranked 7 on this scale while diamond is ranked 10.

The Properties of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops come in a few different brands (Silestone, Caesarstone, Hanstone, Compac, etc) but they are all essentially the same, 93% Quartz and 7% resins and colours. These compositions make quartz countertops very hard and quite durable. Engineered quartz countertops are when compared to granite are much less porous and caring for them is quite a bit less maintenance. Since the quartz slabs are engineered they do not need sealing and the colours are very uniform throughout the slab. They do however have a ‘manufactured’ look to them which you will either love or hate.

 

Properties of Granite

 Granite Quarry

Granite is a strong and dense material when it’s extracted from the earth. It comes out in large blocks which are later broken down into smaller slab sizes. The granite slabs are polished using a polyurethane sealer which makes the granite more water resistant. Granite countertops are, when not cleaned properly, vulnerable to contamination from bacteria. A mild detergent and warm water can solve this problem.

The Properties of Granite Countertops

The quantity of quartz in granite countertops is about 50-60%. Because of this, granite countertops are not as hard, or as crack-resistant. A granite countertop is only about half has durable as a quartz countertop. The biggest advantage of granite countertops is that they have a very natural and elegant look to the surface and it gives a very rich look to your kitchen.

While installing a countertop, it makes sense to keep in mind that once the countertop is installed, it becomes the centre piece of any room and it’s important to take every measure to ensure that it adds value to the existing look of the house.

For a comparison chart please click here.

 

Visit Our Show Room Today

 

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me at Jonw@latitudeonline.ca and I look forward to seeing you in our showroom.

 

-Jonathan

Topics: Granite, slabs, Silestone, vanity, bathroom design, Toronto, Quartz Kitchen Countertops, Countertops, Quartz, Kitchen Countertops, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Staining, Granite vs Quartz

Top three issues before choosing marble for your kitchen counter top.

Posted by Karen Yuen on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 @ 12:40 PM

 

People love the look of Bianca Carrara marble for their kitchen but how practical is it? 


(Bianca Carrara)

Bianca Carrara (compared to granite) is very soft and porous.  Acidic juices from tomatoes or lemons etc., can etch it, red wine can stain it, and it scratches easily. So in a  kitchen where the counter top meets oils, sauces and chopping regularly, it may not be the most practical choice. 

A good sealer is a must to help stop marble from staining.  Anything that spills on marble will have to be wiped up immediately.

Treat the marble with care

Whether or not the marble is the right material for you is a lifestyle choice. For those busy people that don't have the time to clean messes right away, they may not want to go with marble but a granite or even quartz counter top.  When purchasing a marble counter top, you have to be prepared to take the time to care for it. It is also interesting to note that marble  counter tops have been used in homes and restaurants for hundreds of years and they didn't have the sophisticated sealers that we have now, they let it stain, chip and etch and still consider it beautiful.

When customers come to Latitude for Bianca Carrara or other marbles for your kitchen counter top, we tell our customers that we don't recommend marble for kitchens; that it stains, chips and etches and ask you fill out a waiver to ensure that our customers understand the nature of marble. We want our customers to be informed and to make the best decisions. If you are choosing marble for you your kitchen, ask yourself these three important questions.

  1. Am I ready to seal it every year?
  2. Am I prepared to wipe all spills and messes right away?
  3. Can I continue to love my marble as it ages, even if it does stain, chip or etch? 

If you answer yes to these questions, then go for it! If you answer no or are unsure of your answers, then a granite or quartz counter top may be the better choice for you.

Topics: Granite, Silestone, vanity, Bianca Carrara, marble, marble, Toronto, Quartz, kitchen design, Staining, Marble vs Granite, Marble vs Quartz

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