What is the good and bad of buying marble countertops?

Imagine you have come to the point in your project when you’re ready to pick stone. You’ve seen some impressive pictures of marble in a design magazine or book and are all set to commit.

I won’t lie, I love working with marble, it has the most appealing glimmer in kitchens with natural light. Marble projects are always stunning in a unique way, thanks to the swirling patterns and nuanced changes in shade. Used in the palaces of royalty for centuries, marble is truly an upscale, luxurious option for low-impact interiors.

This material has good and bad things to consider, like anything. Let’s talk through those and get a better idea if this attractive stone is right for you.

Pros

Color

This gorgeous stone comes in a variety of colors including white, beige, grey, pink, and green. White marble is famous for brightening up spaces. No two counters will be the same because the veins running through them create unique patterns.

Properties

The stone is heat-resistant and has cooling properties. This is ideal if you like to put hot pans directly on top of the counter or knead bread dough against the marble.  This softer stone allows you to have the counter refreshed every few years with minor refinishing.

Price

A countertop will always be an investment, but some varieties of marble are quite affordable.

Cons

Because marble is a relatively soft and porous stone, it is more fragile than, for example, granite. Over time, even the best cared-for counter will accumulate some damage. You may see:

  • Chips where something heavy was dropped.
  • Stains from spilled wine or tomato sauce.
  • Etching on the surface from splashed lemon juice.
  • Scratches after chopping vegetables against the bare counter.

You can minimize these problems by:

  • Choosing a matte finish or a distracting pattern.
  • Having the stone sealed.
  • Using a cutting board.
  • Wiping up spills immediately.

Is Marble Right for You?

Like I tell my customers, if you require a completely pristine countertop, you may be better off with a harder, stain-resistant stone like quartzite. Yet, many homeowners and home cooks like to watch the marble change over time, telling the history of the family in the home.

Folks who rarely cook in the kitchen or prioritize keeping stone surfaces clean can also enjoy marble’s incredible beauty without much wear and tear. This stone wouldn’t work well with high-impact traffic and isn’t a good choice for a family with kids or larger pets.

If, after reading through these pros and cons you feel you need a more durable stone, definitely check out my post on granite. You might find what you’re looking for in that versatile stone.

Want to come see some marble slabs in person? Give us a quick call to coordinate a visit to our showroom. 

Infographic: Which Countertop Stone is Right for You?

You decided it’s time to replace your kitchen countertops. You’ve seen plenty of pictures of other gorgeous houses highlighted in Memphis by now that your creative juices are flowing. Sure, you’ve taken color scheme, design, and layout in mind. But have you actually thought about what material is right for you?

Tips For Maintaining Your Granite Counters

Granite counters are an elegant addition to your kitchen. You can keep them looking great by following a few tricks. Proper granite counter maintenance will guarantee your kitchen counter looks gorgeous for many years to come.

How To Determine Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

If you own your home, it’s likely that you’ve considered a kitchen remodel for some time. Many homeowners will start with scrapbooking their ideas before they’ll finally have the money saved to perform the actual remodel. It can be tough to go from dreaming about the perfect kitchen to the reality of figuring out your actual budget. A kitchen can make or break a home’s future sale too.

1. Actual Kitchen Remodel Costs

It really helps to understand what a kitchen remodel can cost on average. While you may be thinking that a budget of approximately $20,000 will be enough for a major remodel. There are many factors that can impact your budget. Items like moving walls, plumbing, and electrical, or the age of your home. It might help to know that the average cost of a major kitchen remodel is actually closer to $40,000. For $20,000, you might not get all the upgrades you’d expect.

2. List of Priorities

Once you realize that you can’t have everything you dreamed of in your kitchen, it’s time to list your priorities. If you absolutely need stainless steel appliances, make sure that’s on the list. You might have to make sacrifices on other items to keep the priorities. For example, instead of having high-end counters, you might have to settle on a cheaper option to afford your appliances.

3. Clear Expectations

House with for sale sign out frontWhen setting your budget, it helps to understand the motivation. If you plan on selling in a few years, you should be making upgrades that will allow your home to be competitive with others in the area. You might visit some open houses while you’re in the planning stages to see what others are doing when their house goes on the market.

4. Know Prices

If you have no idea how much granite costs per square foot, you will not understand how it impacts the kitchen remodeling budget. The same can be said for appliances, flooring, cabinets and hardware. It helps to take your priority list and add prices as you do research. Not only will you have to pay for the appliances, flooring and other expenses, you’ll need to factor in the labor costs unless you plan on doing some of it yourself.

5. Unexpected Costs

While you’re figuring out your kitchen remodeling budget, it’s vital that you add a cushion to the end result. You don’t want to end up going over budget and having to come up with extra money while you’re in the middle of your renovation.

Along with all these ways to figure out your kitchen remodeling budget, you can also ask a contractor to help you with the final budget. Often, a contractor can help you put a budget together much more quickly than you could on your own. Their quote will include their labor and other costs that you may not be aware of as well.

Designing in Memphis: Natural Stone

Memphis, Tennessee values the use of natural stone throughout their city with the most notable area being their riverfront. The city boasts the only cobblestone boat landing in the United States that is still usable. The Chicksaw Bluff along the Mississippi river was paved in the 1880’s with a 12 inch layer of cobblestone quarried in Illinois. As a result, Memphis soon became an important river port and commerce was greatly increased. While much of the original cobblestone has eroded, the City of Memphis has worked to preserve the landing for use by local boaters and visitors.

Natural stone is popular in many areas of the southern states, and stone counter tops and tiles are the material of choice within area homes. Over the past couple decades, granite counters in bathrooms and kitchens are features that prospective home buyers look for. Granite is a desirable type of Memphis natural stone that is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Granite slabs that have been polished are typically available from which clients can make their choice. The slabs are generally large enough that all the counter surfaces in the average kitchen can be cut from the same one.

While granite has traditionally been the first choice for high end kitchen renovations, the material does have some drawbacks. Granite must be carefully maintained and it can be stained or discolored by acidic liquids or hot pans. New granite counters are usually sealed, but may need to be resealed within 5 to 10 years.

Quartz is a material that is highly resistant to stains and damage, but the material is not mined like other varieties of Memphis natural stone. The slabs are manufactured with the primary ingredient of ground quartz making up about 94 percent of the material. Since quartz is created it is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. In addition, the resins this product contains make it highly scratch and stain resistant. This means the counter will never need to be sealed, and any small scratches that occur can be easily repaired.

Memphis homeowners and residents of the southern states enjoy weather that is relatively warm most of the year. These homes often feature outdoor living areas that also include kitchen areas. In addition to having natural stone counters indoors, homeowners may also choose Memphis natural stone for their outdoor cooking area. Slate is one of the most durable stone surfaces available, so this product may be the best choice for an outdoor kitchen.

Do Quartz Counters Need Sealing?

Quartz is a popular alternative to stone like marble and tile, and for many homeowners, it’s an ideal aesthetic choice. However, most homeowners don’t really know how to care for quartz properly once they have it installed.

Some types of natural stone like marble and granite have tiny pores that can absorb liquids and stain them. In some cases, stains can go away naturally, as is often the case with a little bit of water that dries on a sealed countertop. Other stains, like wine or soda, can damage your counters badly if they’re made of a porous material.

Quartz CountertopWhen you choose quartz, you don’t have to think about having your counters sealed every few years like you might with granite or marble. You also don’t have to worry about wine stains and other liquids or foods damaging your counters if they’re cleaned relatively quickly. That’s not always the case with marble and granite, even if you get to a spill pretty fast. When you choose quartz, all you really need to do is take care of your counters on a day to day basis to keep them looking their absolute best.

Unlike marble and granite, quartz is very hard to damage. Many homeowners wonder if they’ll have to deal with chips and damage after having their counters for a few years. While you certainly can damage quartz, you’d have to do it intentionally or drop something very heavy on your quartz counters. Quartz is also less likely to mark when you place hot or cold items on you counters.

LG Viatera Care & Maintenance

Countertops made of LG Viatera Quartz are incredibly durable. They’re seamless and non-porous. Grime and grease can’t leak into crevices, causing the growth of mold and other bacteria. They do not require sealing, making Viatera countertop care easy and inexpensive.

LG Viatera Care

Taking care of LG Viatera Quartz countertops is simple. They are naturally resistant to scratches and common kitchen stains.

Clean spills immediately with a damp cloth and a mild detergent. If you do manage to stain them, use a mild non-abrasive cleanser. For tougher spots from gum, grease or food, use the edge of a razor to scrape off the area.

Always use a trivet for hot pots and pans. High heat will damage Viatera countertops.

Although scratch-resistant, items harder than quartz will damage them. For example, the bottom of iron, or ceramic dishes are rough enough to cause real damage.

According to LG Viatera, there are several non-abrasive commercial cleansers recommended:

  • Lysol
  • Simple Green Lime Scale Remover
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend
  • Formula 409
  • Greased Lightning

No, these countertops are not indestructible. But, with regular care and maintenance, they will keep their good looks for years.

Why Choose Granite for Outdoor Counter Tops in Memphis

Many people who have outdoor kitchens struggle to decide what type of countertop they should use. You have a variety of options, and they all have their advantages. However, granite is something you should definitely consider. Read more

What Makes Our Stone Fabricators the Best in the Memphis Area

For many families, the kitchen has always been one of the most important rooms in the home. Whether it’s having the family sit down for a evening meal or having an important conversation around the kitchen table, there’s little doubt the kitchen is the heart of the household. However, as time goes by, every kitchen finds itself in need of a makeover. When this is the case, one of the top renovation projects involves using stone fabrication to redo kitchen counters. When it’s time to pick stone fabricators in Memphis area residents choose Architectural Stone Works, which for years has made numerous Memphis kitchens look like new again.

What is Stone Fabrication?

Using the finest natural and manufactured stone, stone fabrication involves creating kitchen countertops that are unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Inspected by sight and touch, each stone used is hand-polished before installation to ensure any cracks or imperfections have been incorporated into the design to be part of the countertop’s natural beauty.

A Variety of Materials

How to Choose the Right Materials for Your New CountertopsWhat makes Architectural Stone Works the first choice of Memphis customers is not only the superb craftsmanship, but also the variety of materials used in creating their countertops. Among the most common materials used in most jobs are:

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Slate
  • Travertine

In many kitchens, granite and marble are popular choices due to their durability, easy maintenance, and timeless beauty. By choosing Architectural Stone Works as their stone fabricators in Memphis area residents can ensure the countertops being built for them will be unlike any they have ever seen anywhere else.

Free Design Consultation

Of course, prior to beginning any job for their customers, Architectural Stone Works offers a free design consultation in order to get a better idea of the customer’s goals, style ideas, and budget. After meeting with a consultant, we can offer some potential ideas and provide a no-obligation estimate of the project to our customer, along with answers to any questions they may have. By doing this, we’ve been able to establish a reputation for excellence that no other stone fabricators in Memphis area jobs can begin to compare with on a day-to-day basis.

Contact Us Today

If your kitchen is in need of a makeover, contact Architectural Stone Works to ensure you get the best results for the best prices. By visiting our contact page and filling out the free consultation form, you’ll be taking the first step toward getting the kitchen of your dreams.