Whether you plan to build or buy a home, remodel a room or seek ideas to expand your “green” footprint, we are all in the beginning stages of constructing our dreams. Each month, this column will invite you to look beyond the usual ideas and consider alternative cost-effective and eco-friendly options. With so many topics to explore from top to bottom, room to room, inside and out, the goal of a vision is to take a firm step forward and begin living the dream.
The arrival to a kitchen is often a unique experience of delights and surprises. We are drawn to its shape, natural light, colors, and space; yet, there are ways to create a one-of-a-kind appearance through the coloring choice of walls, appliances, cupboards, and counter tops. These decisions help design your definition of the word comfort and style. This may be the year your kitchen receives an upgrade and you may be surprised to discover even countertop options have changed in popularity.
Fitting in with the trend of homeowners seeking the look of a “clean” kitchen, quartz is revered as the most hygienic counter due to its non-porous state and resistance to stains, bacteria, and viruses. (This also implies quartz does not require a resealing process.) Tonya Hunsinger, sales manager from Bloomday Granite of Winston-Salem, has a keen knowledge of countertops and aids clients who seek to construct their dreams, whether they are a designer, architect, or homeowner. Hunsinger writes, “Knowing the stones for their imperfections and beauty is a helpful tool to educate clients, who are selecting the right stone for their home or space. Over the last two years, there has been a shift in the market. More people are moving away from granite, and choosing quartz counters. They offer a subtle color palette and serve as a great option for clients, who may be interested in a white background or a Carrara marble design.” Quartz can be designed with or without polishing to offer different or unique appearances.
For homeowners who are attracted to the rustic look, concrete countertops are a new material that has gained popularity. As a handcrafted surface, the size and shape of the concrete can be customized in an array of colors and finishes. The negative aspect, however, is similar to granite – concrete is a porous substance that can absorb liquids and even bacterial growth; however, the most important means of protection is sealing. This action prevents against liquid and heat stains, as well as scratches.
An unexpected rising option is porcelain. Manufactured from a “kaolinite, or heavy clay comprised of feldspar, silica, and mineral oxides, the slabs are coated with a pigmented glaze and fired, showing a rich, consistent color. The drawing factor is that porcelain has broad color options and sizes to suit a large island without seams. Tonya Hunsinger writes, “We are beginning to receive an increased interest in porcelain style counters. These products fabricate well and are beautiful to look at. They are offered in ½’ thickness but could be mitered to achieve a more typical thickness for this region. While there are great aesthetic advantages to the new porcelain tops, the options haven’t been tested against household products such as dry ease markers, food coloring, and so forth. There are concerns as to whether these types of products could damage or alter the surface. While the material tends to be at a higher price, it could not be easily repaired. At Bloomday, we prefer to meet and discuss the many advantages and disadvantages associated with porcelain tops. We want the counter to be right for everyone in the family.”
Next Month: Apron Sinks and Deep Wells
Bloomday Granite is located at 2810 Indiana Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. Please call (336) 724-0300.