Over the last few years, many different finishing options have come to market for granite and quartz countertops. Before these last few years, we had only been able to see Granite and Quartz in polished finishes. Now that the industry has grown and quartz and granite are hugely popular in modern design, we are beginning to see a variety of available finishes for stone countertops.
Leathered and honed finishes are often related to each other, but do have specific differences between the two. Honed finishes were first introduced to give stone a softer look compared to that of polished stone. One of the only problems to consider with using a honed finish is that it can affect the overall performance of the stone when it comes to staining. Leathered finishes have advanced the honed look to allow for better performance. Leathering closes the stone pores, which make it much more difficult to stain than a honed finished. Leathering also retains the natural stone colour while honed finishing tends to cloud out the natural colour of the stone.
Silestone has been offering quartz countertop colours in a leathered finish for a nearly five years. Coming very soon, Silestone will introduce a new texture to the market that has not yet been approached: Volcano. This new Volcano texture is said to give the feel of an orange peel, while continuing to offer the same performance standards as their leathered and polished finishes. Silestone expects to release this finish, along with a variety of new and exciting colours this summer. Silestone is able to offer their remarkable 15 year warranty with these new finishes as well.
If you are interested in learning more about leathered, honed, or Volcano finishes to your granite or quartz products, please visit Latitude Countertops or speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly sales team members.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As I mentioned, these vanities are available from Ottawa to Waterloo, so please contact the following dealers if you are in their respective area.
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.
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.
Properties of Quartz
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 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.
Friends, rennovating their bathroom, came to our Toronto showroom last week.
We chatted about design options and I showed them our factory with our extensive remnant inventory of granite, silestone and caesarstone.
We discussed the use of Silestone slabs on the shower walls. Silestone has microban technology which inhibits the growth of mold and mildew and odor causing bacteria. It's a great product to use, particularly in a shower or as a bathroom countertop. In addition, the use of granite or quartz for shower walls and backsplashes eliminates or minimizes the need for grout. Cleaning becomes dream work!
When I showed them pictures of large slabs of granite or Silestone on fireplaces and quartz shower walls, that was all it took. They were impressed with the beauty of the large pieces and immediately decided to have their bathroom finished this way. It really does show off the beauty of quartz or granite.
In addition to picking silestone for the shower, they chose granite for a seat and a shelf in the shower. Mixing these two materials can produce a very unique and appealing result. All of the materials came from our remnant inventory at incredible savings.
The whole project will be completed in a few weeks and I'll have pictures to share when the project is done.
If anyone has used large pieces of granite, silestone or caesarstone in a project please share with us pictures of your project. Of course, if someone has other unique design ideas that they would like to share with us, we greatly appreciate it.
Granite or Quartz slabs for shower walls and vanities gives your bathroom a unique and stunning look.
Granite and quartz really lets your personalize the look of your bathroom. You can be as unique or exotic as you like. It really depends on the material you chose.
Best of all, slabs eliminate grout lines and if you are using Silestone with Microban, it will be mildew and mold resistant also!
At Latitude we are seeing more and more designers choosing quartz or granite slabs over tile. Designers are finding that the slabs are cost competitive with tiles while offering an individual look to their customers