White, black and gray continue to be very hot in kitchen & bath cabinets and countertops. While this neutral backdrop is timeless, it also allows one to change out accessories with the season to give the space an ever changing look. As spring is here and buds and leaves are starting to sprout out everywhere, I think of fabrics and wallpapers designed by architect & designer Joesef Frank. As everything old becomes new again, Franks designs add a fresh whimsy to all spaces.
Frank's wallpaper shown above could be paired with Silver Cloud granite, white cabinets and iron hardware for a crisp, clean look. Another great gray and white countertop option is Super White shown below. Another of Franks designs in a neutral palate of whites and grays could be paired with vibrant colored dishes or towels and fresh cut flowers.
For those who are a little more adventurous with color- Try something like Brunello or Red Dragon granite paired with a bold/dynamic accent paper.
Whether your design preferences are bold or subdued- be creative, but most of all- HAVE FUN! Happy Spring Everyone!
No one wants a seam in their quartz or natural stone countertop, but sometimes a seam is inevitable. If you are doing new construction, to help avoid a seam, keep in mind the average sizes of materials when planning a large island or long run of cabinets. The average size of a natural stone slab is about 118" x 70". This will vary, however, from lot to lot and color to color. Slabs of engineered quartz on average are about 120" x 60". This size varies slightly from one manufacturer to the next. By selecting your countertop first, cabinet sizes and layouts can be planned accordingly. If you have a long run of cabinets, appliances can be strategically placed to create a natural stopping point for your countertops. In the image below, the granite stops on either side of the range.
If it doesn't make sense to place an appliance in this area, some other options include adding a butcher block feature or a drop down desk. The cabinet height/depth can also be adjusted to create a natural break. In my kitchen, I switched from the regular counter depth to a buffet depth and dropped down from a standard cabinet height to buffet height. This not only created a natural stopping point for the granite but also added visual interest.
In the above example, the butcher block is inset below the countertop.
Another option is to use a thick piece of butcher block which sits slightly higher than the countertop. The desk top shown below creates both visual interest and function.
Despite the best pre-planning, there are some situations where seams can not be avoided. One such situation is simply the logistics of getting the material into your home. Quartz and natural stone are heavy and do not bend. If countertops need to be brought in via a stairwell or elevator, the size of these spaces will dictate the size of top that can be passed through them.
Another common reason for needing seams is when a slide-in range is used. A typical slide-in does not sit back all the way to the wall. Because of this, a small strip of about 2-4" wide needs to be put between the range and the wall. As it is not possible to transport the countertop in one piece with a 30" long by 2" strip between the two sides of the countertop without snapping it, a small seam will be on either end of this strip at the back of the range as shown in the picture below.
A similar situation arises when installing a farm or apron front sink. The countertop around these sinks typically have a center seam in the back. This can visually be minimized by placing the faucet hole at the location of the seam.
A final consideration when determining whether or not a seam is needed is the logistics of handling the countertop in a safe manner to prevent damage to cabinets and/or walls. There are times when installing the new tops in a tight space would not be possible without damaging items in the surrounding areas. We would rather be safe in this situation than sorry. Bottom line- it is best to discuss countertop options prior to final cabinet selections and to discuss any potential seams with the countertop fabricator prior to making any final decisions.
I've always felt that looking at granite is kind of like looking at clouds. If you use your imagination, you can see all kinds of shapes and images. Just in time for the Christmas seaon we got in this slab of Avalanche Quartzite. Is it just me or can you see the image of the Grinches head in the photo below?
Apple cider, cinnamon doughnuts, color tours, a nip in the air- it must be fall in northern Michigan! I am always amazed at Mother Nature's creativity, from the seasons changes to our ever changing stone inventory. For those of you who love the fall colors as much as I do, I am featuring some of our current stones comprised of fall colors. Enjoy!
Below is an image of Magma Gold. This would look fabulous on a large island to show off the pieces dramatic veining.
Betulaire Granite shown below beautifully contrasts its white background with black striations and splashes of rust. Similar to this, but adding in touches of yellow and green is Baricatto granite below.
A more subtle color with soft gray and peach striations, Vyara, matches the colors of this tree bark and adjoining mushrooms. The gentle pattern movement is reminiscent of wind swept sands.
Once again our customers got creative! This time it was an outdoor flame table to help extend those outdoor evenings as long as possible now that fall is here. Granite was a great option for this project as it is resistant to heat. .
To start the process, the color Macho Persa Verde was selected for its organic, free-form look. The outside dimensions were marked out on the slab using painters tape. Next, the position of the firebox was determined. The goal at this stage was to balance the amount of green on the opposite corners and to give the brown areas the appearance of flowing over the top of the piece.
Pieces of log with the bark removed were used to make the table legs and bracing.
A steel top was fabricated to evenly support the weight of the stone as well as the fire box.
Wedge shaped pieces were notched out of the table legs to secure the frame in place.
All ready for the new top!
With the new granite top in place, the firebox was installed. Note the detail of the rockface edge on the perimeter of the table.
While this table looks gorgeous during the day.....
Just look at it at nigh! Definitely a job well done!
Like the look of marble but want something maintenance free? Try one of the new quartz colors made to mimic the look of marble but without the worry of etching, scratching or staining. The image to the left is a sample of Zodiaq's Calacatta Natura Quartz.
Here it is shown on an island with a drop down miter to emphasize its veining.
If you are looking for a little more subtle look, Zodiaq's Cashmere Carrara, London Sky and Neve are all great options. Shown below on a vanity, Cashmere Carrara offers soft patterning for a soothing spa look and feel.
A popular trend right now is to use complimentary colors on the island and perimeter. In this kitchen, London Sky quartz is shown on the island and black soapstone is used on the perimeter to add some contrast and visual interest.
Shown above is Zodiaq's Neve. Be creative with your use of quartz, but be cautious of any stray sparks with this type of application.
For more quartz options, check out our other suppliers at:
It seems there is a lot of misinformation out there on how to clean natural stone countertops. We recommend following the guidelines shown below that have been set up by the Marble Institute of America.
DON'T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these substances will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.
DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.
DO: Use warm water and a mild or gentle dish soap. (I put water in a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap and simply spritz the counters.) Follow this up with drying and buffing of your countertops with a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth to prevent streaking.
A well-sealed granite countertop is relatively impervious to bacteria, however, to periodically disinfect your granite countertops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
A commercial product which we have found to work really well for cleaning and which actually contains a little bit of sealer is Revitalizer by Dupont. Simply spray this on your countertops, then wipe off with a microfiber cloth. This can be used on either natural stone or engineered quartz..
While at the home show, I was amazed at the number of people who tend to shy away from natural stone because they have been told by engineered quartz and corian dealers that they need to seal it frequently. Just to set the record straight- Sealers have come a long way in recent years. Here at Cadillac Cut Stone we apply sealer on your stone for you at the time of installation. We use a high quality sealer which is more durable than over the counter products. We recommend resealing your stone every 8-10 years. An easy way to test whether or not your stone needs to resealed is to put a few drops of water on the surface. If the water does not bead up, you need to reseal. If we installed your stone, Cadillac Cut Stone will be happy to reseal your stone for a minimal charge. An average kitchen takes about 15-20 minutes.
As a child, my grandmother (who was a wee bit irish) used to tell all of us grand kids that she would give us a dime for each four leaf clover we could find in the clover patch behind her house. (I think it was a way to keep us busy for hours and out of the house.) We used to think we could fool her by carefully splitting one of the leaves to give the appearance of four. Grandma of course always knew better.
I may not have ever found a true four leaf clover, but I did learn to appreciate mother natures beauty. As a tribute to that- See below for the variety of green stone slabs we currently have in our inventory and some suggestions of cabinet colors and hardware to go with them.
Either of these stones would really pop against white cabinets.
Edge profiles are a little detail but can do a lot towards enhancing the overall look of your space and creating a more custom look. An easy way to select which edge profile will work best in your space is to match it to the lines of your cabinet door style. If you are interested in clean lines with a more contemporary look, the eased or standard edge is a great option.
Note the squared detailing on the face of the above shaker cabinets and how the eased edge profile mimics this look.
If you are looking for a more rustic look, the rockface edge gives a more organic feeling. This is a great option for fireplace hearths and outdoor kitchen countertops.
For those interested in something a little more traditional, the ogee, half bullnose or full
bullnose profiles work well.
Finally, we offer either a small or large beveled edge. This offers a more transitional look.
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