The Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

One of the most overlooked countertops materials in the Nashville area is quartz. As more people learn about them, and the things that they do very well, more quartz countertops are being installed in homes all over the Nashville area every year. Read on to discover why!

The pros and cons of quartz countertops

The pros of quartz countertops

If you learn one thing about quartz countertops at all it must be about their incredible strength. Quartz countertops are the strongest available natural building material. If you break yours, call us up and tell us about the first earthquake to hit Nashville!

Other pros for quartz countertops include:

  • They’re easier to install than granite.
  • Quartz countertops are non-porous. This means that you will never have to seal them. Ever.
  • Their non-porous nature also make them stain resistant – even the gnarliest BBQ sauce in Nashville can’t hurt quartz!
  • Maintenance during their lifespan adds up to the same wiping that you’d do anyway to clean up after a mess.

The pros of quartz countertops are exactly what many homeowners in Nashville are looking to get out of their countertops.

The cons of quartz countertops

If you think that you can DIY a quartz countertops install, sorry! They require specialized tools, and experienced installation experts.

Other cons for quartz countertops include:

  • Slight discoloration when exposed to direct sunlight.
  • They’re even heavier than granite, meaning your cabinets need to be very sturdy.
  • The seams will be visible where two slabs meet.

Sunlight is only really important if half of your quartz countertop is exposed to sun and the other half isn’t. Over a decade you may notice the exposed surface to be lighter. A curtain can solve that problem!

Should you choose quartz countertops for your home in Nashville?

Quartz countertops are a bit of an unknown here in Nashville. For all of your questions and concerns, call up the team here at Stone World!

Quartz Countertop Trivia you Don’t Know!

What is there to know about a quartz countertop? It’s a rock or something dug out of the ground, and homeowners all over Middle Tennessee love to install it in their homes. That’s it…right? Read on to discover five new things we bet that you didn’t know about that quartz countertop that your neighbor in Middle Tennessee has!

5 quirkyquartz countertop facts

1. Quartz was invented – What? How do you invent a stone? Quartz was invented in the 1960s by an Italian company, far away Middle Tennessee! Europeans have been using it for many years, decades even, but we’ve only started picking up on it here in our region of Tennessee in the last ten years. That distance did matter, if Italy were next door we may all have a quartz countertop in our home.

2. Quartz usually comes with a warranty – Since a quartz countertop is made with predictable outcomes, some manufactures offer a warranty on the quartz countertop that they ship to you. You can even find a few lifetime limited warranties out there too!

3. A quartz countertop isn’t all stone – A quartz countertop is usually 90 – 95% quartz, and a mix of pigments and resin. The pigments give it the color you’re trying to match in your home in Middle Tennessee, the resins give it the strength that it’s famous for!

4. It is incredibly strong – I wouldn’t recommend testing this, but a quartz countertop is resistant to almost all forms of common abuse. It is non-porous and won’t get waterlogged, heat resistant and won’t melt the moment you set a hot pan down, and knives can not scratch it.

5. A quartz countertop can resemble other stones – So you want quartz’s famous strength, but the look of marble? It is possible to get a quartz countertop that looks like marble, but you’ll never get a 100% reproduction. For most people in Middle Tennessee, they’ll never be able to tell the difference.

Installing a quartz countertop in your home

If you are looking to install a quartz countertop in your home, contact the team here at Stone World. They’ve helped people understand the points above and how they apply to home’s across the Middle Tennessee area, and can help you out as well.

How to Care for Marble Countertops

Anyone in the Nashville area looking to buy marble countertops had better know how to care for marble countertops properly. Caring for marble countertops is nothing like other lesser materials, but is similar to granite. Here are the things you’ll want to do.

How to care for marble countertops

Maintaining that high polished look is possible. They’ll never look as good as the day you installed them, but these how to care for marble bathroom countertop tips should help:

Regular sealing: They will have been sealed once by the manufacturer, but they will still need regular sealing to maintain their look. Sealing your marble countertops closes up the many pores that allows stains to set in, and makes them look shiny and new! Be sure to seal them at least once a year.

Clean them gently: Caring for marble countertops is a delicate process. You’d think that this stone could take anything, but this isn’t the case. Use mild soap and warm water for most general purpose cleaning. You can find specialty marble countertop cleaners in the Nashville area, but even they aren’t meant for daily use. The key thing to note on a daily basis is to be sure that all soap residue is cleaned up with a soap free cloth, and that all water is soaked up.

Remove all harmful cleaners: So you’re reading this list and you’re a responsible marble countertop owner. Great. But is everyone in Nashville who comes to your home one too? Remove temptation by removing all harmful cleaners which contain bleach or harsh chemicals. This will make it so someone trying to clean up a spill doesn’t cause damage to your marble countertops by accident.

Never set hot objects on them: Mable is a stone, but it can burn. Caring for marble countertops can also mean always having a pad ready to set hot things on. This goes for pans in the kitchen, and curling irons in the bathroom. Protect those marble countertops every day to care for them properly.

Remove burn marks gently: If a burn does happen, start with gentle household cleaners with low bleach content. A very softly textured sponge can help. For more aggressive burns, try the lightest grade of sandpaper that you can find in your local Nashville area hardware store.

More care tips for marble countertops

For more care tips for marble countertops, and to ask specific questions about them, call up the design team at Stone World. They’ve seen it all from Nashville area residents who own marble countertops, and can help you get yours looking better, or help you decide if you want to buy them for your home.

The 5 Main Finishes Used on Stone Countertops

Next to choosing the actual stone itself, the finish that you choose for your stone countertop is the next most important decision. Each one of the five below are being utilized by design experts in the Middle Tennessee area to help homeowners achieve a certain feeling or design idea within their home. Read on to discover what stone countertops look like with these finishes, and how to use them.

Stone countertops: The five main finishes

Polished stone countertops

Shiny and polished stone countertops are the most common ones which you’ll find in home across the Middle Tennessee area. A highly polished look is what most people turn to when they begin their quest for stone countertops, but this doesn’t mean that it is always the best choice. There are still four others to consider!

Honed stone countertops

A honed finish on stone countertops is a bit of a softer look. It doesn’t reflect as much light due to it being a lower gloss. It will still be smooth to the touch, but the lack of shine lends to it being more of a traditional surface, like in the country kitchens found across the Middle Tennessee area. Another name for honed that you may come across is matte.

Antique stone countertops

This finish is meant to give stone countertops the look of old wear and tear on the surface. The feeling of it under hand will be more textured, but regular sealing will leave it as protected as any other stone countertop finish.

Flamed stone countertops

Just as you’d expect, stone countertops with this finish are treated with intense heat. The finish is rough and is often used for outdoor purposes in the Middle Tennessee area.

Leathered stone countertops

For completeness sake I’ll include this stone countertop finish, but it is only available with marble. The slip-resistant finish is often compared to suede in that it is still smooth, but with slight bumps.

Which finish will work best on your stone countertops

For help choosing finishes for your stone countertops, contact the Stone World design team today. They’re here in the Middle Tennessee area for all your questions about stone countertops, and help you from the start to the finish of your design process.

How to Clean Outdoor Granite Kitchen Countertops

An outdoor granite kitchen countertop is a wise investment for all those in Nashville who love a good BBQ – and that’s pretty much all of us! These summertime outdoor tables help make an outdoor space more inviting than any plastic table ever could. The problem, of course, is that Mother Nature isn’t so clean, and your friends may make a mess or two!

Outdoor granite kitchen countertops can not be cleaned with the same cleaners as are used on formica, or other similar kitchen countertops. Here is what you need to do to clean your outdoor granite kitchen countertops properly.

How to clean outdoor kitchen countertops

Cleaning your outdoor kitchen countertops after a big Nashville style BBQ party is easier than you think:

  1. Take a plastic bowl or pail and fill it with 1 quart of warm water. Then add 1 tsp of any mild liquid detergent. Make sure that this detergent doesn’t contain any bleach at all. Mix these two together and get them nice and sudsy.
  2. Take a microfiber rag and dip it in the water. Wipe the surface of your outdoor granite kitchen countertop in an effort to take off the bulk of the dirty materials. Rinse the rag repeatedly, change the water if it gets dirty. This method is looking to disinfect by removing pathogens, dirty water puts those pathogens back on again.
  3. Rinse the rag out thoroughly with warm water, getting out all the soap. Wipe your outdoor granite kitchen countertop with fresh water – no soap. This is when you’re trying to remove any soap residue that will dull the shine of your countertop.
  4. Use a dry terry cloth towel to completely dry off the countertop surface.
  5. Periodically replace step one above with a soap that is meant specifically for cleaning outdoor granite kitchen countertops. You can find these at nearly any hardware store in the Nashville area.

What not to use on your outdoor granite kitchen countertops

The following three items are acidic, anything acidic should not be used on outdoor granite kitchen countertops:

  • Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach

All three of these are equally harmful to an outdoor granite kitchen countertop as they can etch the surface and dull the shine!

To learn more about outdoor granite kitchen countertops, including what is available right here in Nashville, contact the team here at Stone World.

Dos and Don’ts for Marble Countertops

New and old marble countertop owners in the Nashville area could stand to read this list of marble countertop dos and don’ts. For new marble countertop owners, it can be tacked up somewhere in the room with the marble countertop in it to gently remind those in your home what to do.

Those who have had marble countertops for a while can still benefit. Attach this list to a party invite to let your guests know that you own marble countertops, or tack them up before the party where people will see them. Hopefully you know all this already, but your guests won’t!

Marble countertop dos:

  • Clean spills up immediately, the longer they sit the more they stain
  • Use mild soap and water to clean it
  • Dry it off with a soft cloth and soak up all moisture
  • Use cutting boards in the kitchen
  • Use pads for hot items in the bathroom like curling irons
  • Put down drink coasters, especially for acidic drinks like fruit juices
  • Regularly seal your marble, if it is starting to darken it is starting to stain and should be immediately cleaned and looked after
  • Give your marble countertop a polish

Okay, those are all the good things you should be doing to care for your marble countertops. Get your family familiar with them and your marble countertops will last for years longer in your Nashville home.

Marble countertop don’ts:

  • Let wine, mustard, oil, or anything acidic sit on the marble countertop
  • Use abrasive cleaners, or cleaners with chemicals in them
  • Place hot pans on marble countertops
  • Place hot curling irons or hair dryers on marble countertops
  • Put heavy objects on them for long
  • Ever stand on them, especially the corners
  • Cut directly on the countertop surface as knives can scratch it easily
  • Neglect your yearly, or more often, sealing regime

Having marble countertops in your home

The dos and don’ts above should show you that a lot of what can harm marble countertops can be easily avoided if you just make people aware of what is a problem for them. Not everyone in the Nashville area has marble countertops, but you can help people protect your investment with a list like this one around at key times.

To have marble countertops installed in your home, contact the design team at Stone World. They know all the dos and don’ts of home design, and can use marble countertops as part of your bathroom or kitchen design scheme.

What’s Better for my Kitchen Countertop: Granite or Marble?

Homeowners in Nashville trying to decide between granite and marble for their kitchen countertop are trying to make a choice between two equally incredible kitchen countertop materials. Both materials are great choices, but one may be better suited as a kitchen countertop material for your home in Nashville than the other.

What’s better for my kitchen countertop: Granite or marble?

Comparing the durability of marble and granite countertops

Marble countertops: This porous stone will stain easier, and show dirt more readily. The porous nature of marble countertops also makes it weaker and more prone to chipping and scratching. It’s more durable than plywood kitchen countertop materials, but not as strong as other stones.

Granite countertops: Granite is a very durable kitchen countertop material. You can cut right on it without scratching, set a hot pan down for a moment without melting or burning it, and it takes a really hard hit to chip it.

Comparison the looks of marble and granite

Marble countertops: Everyone loves the look of a marble kitchen countertop. They have been the height of kitchen design since long before you were born, and will remain as such for long after you are gone. A marble kitchen countertop could outlive you thanks to their style!

Granite countertops: With their flecks of color and sparkles of flaked quartz, a granite countertop certainly isn’t fugly! They are also available in a much wider variety of colors than marble, helping them incorporate into the edgier kitchen designs that you see in Nashville lately.

Comparison of the maintenance needs of marble and granite

Marble countertops: Small scratches and chips can be repaired with a color matching epoxy, most hardware stores around Nashville carry them. They are relatively inexpensive. Larger problems may require a professional.

Granite countertops: Repairs are much less frequent with a granite kitchen countertop. Epoxies can hide any of the very few scratches they will get during their lifespan. Annual resealing will minimize any stains.

Comparing the price of marble and granite kitchen countertops

Contacting us here at Stone World will be the best way to settle this difference. Both marble and granite are available at a wide variety of price points for your kitchen countertop. It is unfair to say which is cheaper or the better value as each one, as you’ve read above, has its own unique strengths. A great value for one person in Nashville may be worthless to another with different needs!

Contact us today for help making the decision, or to order the kitchen countertop material that is perfect for your home.

How to Make Red Granite Countertops Work

Red granite countertops are not the most popular choice here in the Middle Tennessee area, but that’s only because few people have been exposed to the incredible designs that red granite countertops can offer.

Here are three kitchen designs that can work with red granite countertops in any home around the Middle Tennessee region.

Country kitchens with red granite countertops

Using red and white is a standard in the country kitchen styles of old Middle Tennessee. This red is used more often as an accent, or isolated on the kitchen island. You can, however, seriously amp up your red country kitchen with red granite countertops.

You can go a number of directions with this:

  • red granite countertops, red backsplash, white walls and cabinets
  • red granite countertop, one red wall, white cabinets
  • red granite countertops, wood floors, white cabinet frames with red doors, white walls

The design options are limitless, and can still fit a traditional country kitchen theme of the Middle Tennessee area.

Retro kitchen with red granite countertops

1950s hot rod your kitchen with lots of red! The 1950s loved color, and so can you. Try this design idea out:

  • red granite countertops, light wood floors, white cabinets, pale blue walls

This classic retro kitchen design is made all the more eye catching thanks to the red kitchen countertops that you have installed. We’ve seen a few kitchens in Middle Tennessee pull this off and you’re free to add your own little twist to it.

A fall palette of colors with red granite countertops

Fall and red granite countertops go together perfectly as the red of the countertop is more of a natural rusty red than a bright one. Working with the reds, oranges and yellows of fall you can create an incredible kitchen. Given how much people in Middle Tennessee love fall, after a hot summer, this could be a perfect choice.

Try out these color schemes:

  • red granite countertops, off-white to yellow cabinets, light brown backsplash
  • red granite countertops, off-white backsplash, rusty red cabinets

To complete either of these looks use a medium toned floor that mimics the dirt of the outdoors exposed after a harvest in the Middle Tennessee area, and neutrally colored stainless steel appliances.

Using red granite countertops in your kitchen design

If you’re inspired to use red granite countertops in your kitchen design, and want to get it right, contact the design team at Stone World today!

Outdoor Granite Countertop Design for Perfect BBQs!

We all love a good BBQ here in Nashville, and the right outdoor granite countertop can make it happen. These safe to use countertops look great, catch fire MUCH less often than plywood, and look amazing.

Follow some of these outdoor granite countertop design tips to help your BBQs go perfectly all summer long.

Outdoor granite countertop design tips

Keep the area ventilated

If you are putting up any kind of walls, a chimney over your outdoor granite countertop cooking surface can lead that harmful smoke away from you and your guests. Yes, we know that you’re outside, but on a clam day in Nashville that air can just sit on top of you.

If you’d rather not do this, try and keep at least one outlet handy to plug in a fan. This can keep the air moving even when Mother Nature doesn’t want it to.

Installing an outdoor granite countertop near a wall

Many people choose to install an outdoor granite countertop on a wall of their home to take advantage of the protective overhang of their home, or garage. Protect the wall from the heat of the BBQ by installing:

  • stainless steel sheets
  • ceramic tile
  • bricks
  • thin granite slabs

If you’re already installing an outdoor granite countertop, why not continue that look and put up a granite slab that matches the countertop? You just may create the most talked about new BBQ space in Nashville!

Do you place the BBQ lip over on under your outdoor granite countertop?

This is both a design issue, and a practical issue. For BBQs with controls knobs mounted right to the BBQ, you will have to mount it higher than your outdoor marble countertop. If not, you’re free to choose which location better suits your design ideals.

A special note on your BBQ and your outdoor granite countertop is that your BBQ will likely not last as long as the countertop itself. Choosing a design that allows for differing height BBQs can save you from renovating your outdoor BBQ area later on.

Choose a design for your outdoor granite countertop

For help designing your outdoor granite countertop, from start to finish, contact the team at Stone World. No matter what kind of party you’re looking to throw outside in the Nashville area, they’ll be able to help you with the design that will best suit your space, budget, and needs.

Versatility in Your Kitchen or Bathroom

Granite goes with metal, glass, wood, and other stones

Choosing materials that are diverse, in a design sense, for your kitchen or bathroom countertops will help you as you change up your look from time to time. Choosing a bathroom countertop which only looks good with one type of material will limit your choices when you renovate – avoid purchasing another bathroom countertop by choosing granite the first time.

Versatility in Your Kitchen

Versatility in Your Kitchen

Granite works with your support structures

When you’re taking a kitchen from a modern look to a country or rustic look, the wood support structures are commonly exposed. It’s hard to change a support beam to match a countertop. But if you have a granite bathroom countertop you won’t have to – they’ll already work well together.

If you had chosen an all metal countertop, and then decided to remodel to a more rustic look…you’d have to buy another bathroom countertop! Granite countertops work with all of your support structures no matter how much you decide to show.

Granite works with your fixtures

A quick way that most people remodel a room, either to give it a new look, or to update it for a quick sale, is to change out the fixtures. This quick change can be made more difficult if you chose a poor countertop material when you installed your kitchen or bathroom cabinet countertop to begin with.

Granite is a natural element which lends to its ability to work with a wide range of fixture types – stainless steel, brass, cast iron, and copper all look great with a granite countertop.

Granite countertops look great with your cabinets

You can paint your cabinets a perfectly complementary color, or stain them as natural wood, and your granite countertops will always work design wise.

Choosing a granite countertop with a distinct color, such as our Red Dragon, may limit your color choices a bit more when it comes to paint, but not as much as you’d think as even this particular stone features other flecks of color that can be brought out with the right paint choice.

If your looking for versatility in your kitchen or bathroom, contact us at Stone World today. Our team in Nashville will help you get the most out of your countertop choice, giving you the ability to change up your style every now and then without buying a new countertop.