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Granite vs. Marble vs. Quartz Countertops

Countertops Birmingham

Is marble the right choice for your master bathroom?

When choosing countertops, one of the toughest decisions to make is choosing the material. Below is a quick guide we have put together to help you with your search:
 

Granite

 
Granite has been the #1 countertop choice for years. There are over 500 different colors to from standard to exotic grade. So, you are sure to find something within your budget when choosing granite.
 
Granite is a very durable natural stone that works well in high traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, it is a natural product and can stain. So, the best form of protection is to seal them before installation.
 
 

Design Pros: Works with any budget and offers a huge range of color choices.

 

Design Cons:  Sometimes granite has too much movement. Also, it can be difficult to find pure white coloring that is now popular with design trends.

 

Popular color choices: Gaillo Ornamental, Ashen White and Bianco Antico

Bianco Antico Countertops

 

Marble

 

Marble is a natural stone that  is a very popular choice for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. Known for it’s soft movement and monochromatic coloring, designers absolutely love it. Marble does have a higher starting price point than granite, but you will find colors like White Carrara are still affordable. 

Even though most of our clients love marble for it’s timeless beauty, it is less durable than granite and more prone to staining and scratching.  For instance, a slice of lemon left unattended can etch your marble countertops. 

Design Pros: Marble works great with almost every design trend out there.

Design Cons: Marble can tend to be a hassle with the upkeep.

Popular Color Choices: White Carrara, Fantasy Brown and Calacatta

Calacatta Marble Countertops

 

Quartz

 
In the past year, quartz has become very popular.  Also, quartz is now more affordable with price points starting in the upper 40s.
 
Quartz is a very durable engineered stone countertop that is about 90% quartz and 10% resin.  It is non-porous making it both stain and crack resistant. So, it does not require sealing, but unlike natural stone, quart is not heat resistant.
 
Design Pros:  Quartz comes in many white and light color patterns. If clients love marble but concerned about upkeep,
 
Design ConsQuartz is not heat resistant. Also, seams are more visible in quartz countertops than natural stone.
 
Popular Color Choices: Mariana, Veneto Grigio and Frosted Morning

Veneto Grigio Countertops

Introducing The Vivid Collection – Quartz Countertops

 

 

Premier Surfaces introduces The Vivid Collection. Our very own exclusive line of quartz countertops that caters to all budgets and styles!  

With 16  beautiful colors to choose from, our design team has carefully curated each one based on the latest in kitchen and bathroom countertop trends.

Quartz countertops are quickly becoming the most popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.  Not only can they mimic granite and marble colors, but they are becoming more recognizable for their own colors as well.

Below is a quick preview of a few colors in The Vivid Collection

Veneto Grigio

Veneto Grigio is sure to be a very popular color. It is a perfect blend of whites and grays that will match any kitchen design from transitional to French country.

Lunar Gray

Lunar Gray is a gorgeous color. You have to see it in person to truly appreciate it.  It is a warm gray with hints of mirror flecks that would work fantastic in a transitional/contemporary kitchen or master bathroom.

Frosted Morning

Frosted Morning is not only a beautiful countertop choice, but also budget-friendly.  With flecks of both warm and cool colors, it is very versatile.

Mariana

 

Mariana is a color that offers lots of movement.  It mimics some of the most beautiful marble countertops out there, and since there is no need to seal quartz, it is less hassle.

For more information on The Vivid Collection, please contact one of our four locations and schedule an appointment to view slabs!  You can also email us at info@premiersurfaces.com.

Creating a Luxurious Kitchen Design

quartz countertops

These floors compliment the dark cabinetry and light quartz countertops

 

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but if its design is boring and uninspiring, it may fail in bringing a revitalizing lifeblood to the rest of the home. If you have a home with an uninviting or bland kitchen, consider these luxury kitchen design upgrades that will pump some new vitality into your home.

Flooring

You might not expect that one of the most important parts of your kitchen design would be the floor, but here it is. You and the members of your family walk steps upon steps over it each day, with hours upon hours on your feet preparing food.You might not expect that one of the most important parts of your kitchen design would be the floor, but here it is. You and the members of your family walk steps upon steps over it each day, with hours upon hours on your feet preparing food. The flooring is there to keep you upright, but it can also brighten your day. When you grow weary of the old linoleum floor, you should take it to the next level. Solid hardwood flooring is not generally preferred in a damp space, but stone tiles can be an excellent choice. Slate flooring is incredibly durable, with a color variety that you might not expect. You can make the kitchen look sleek, rustic, or just like a professional kitchen.

 

Countertops

When you start to think about countertops, you realize that you have an almost unlimited variety of colors and materials. From quartz to marble, It might be difficult to choose based on the way you want to use the kitchen that you may have to pick more than one. That is perfectly acceptable, for mixed media countertops are all the rage in modern kitchen design. Many home buyers consider new construction in part because they want the ability to customize their kitchen and the countertops – but it’s actually quite doable to upgrade an existing kitchen to the same degree should the need arise. For example, you might want a butcher block for your new kitchen island for food preparation but different for the rest of the kitchen. With endless choices of granite, marble, and quartz countertops, you can probably find a specific stone that matches your cabinetry and flooring perfectly.

Endless countertop choices to match your kitchen design!

Custom Pantry

Ah, the pantry. It can be your haven of organization in a busy kitchen. The reason to have a custom pantry is as practical as it is delightful. With pantry shelving, cabinets and pull- out drawers that are set to your exact specifications, you can maximize every inch of space, no matter how big the pantry is. Take advantage of swing-out cabinets to make it easier to store the heavier items that you do not use as often, such as small appliances. If you want to go really special and you have the room to do it, consider something like a small wine chiller. That way, you can keep your collection at the perfect temperature for serving, without having to give up a room in the basement for it.

Appliances

Every kitchen has a few appliances in it, but you may not realize how much better your appliances could be. Imagine a refrigerator or an oven that is inset with the cabinetry, so that it fits the smooth aesthetic of the space and provides you with more room for storage. Really, you do not need to stop there. With the right amount of room, the sky is the limit. Install a combination dish rack and dishwasher, so you can keep your dishes in the same place where you wash them. Think about adding an induction cooktop, which will cook food more evenly and heat up faster.

Fixtures

Now, if you believe that you are stuck with the same old kitchen fixtures, you should realize that plumbing has come a long way in the past few decades, too. Who needs to turn on the kitchen faucet when a smart faucet has technology built-in? This will help you to minimize the spread of germs, because you will no longer need to touch the faucet. Smart faucets are often touchless, relying on sensors to know when you want to turn it on and when you are done. As a result, they can also help you cut down on wasted water while cleaning or cooking.

Making decisions about ways to create your ideal kitchen design is a daydream that you may never want to end. Using these five ideas, you might find the plan for your perfect kitchen.

Gary Ashton REALTOR®

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

210 12th Ave South, Suite 201

Nashville, TN, 37203

nashvillesmls.com

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Kitchen Countertops and Selling Your Home

Declutter countertops! http://designtheoryhsv.com/

Summer is upon us and that usually means a hot real estate market!  2017 is no exception with home prices continuing to rise. If you are thinking of selling your home, here are a few tips that will help get it sold. Yes, kitchen countertops make the list! 

Declutter

The best place to start is decluttering.  You want a potential buyer to feel like they could live in the space. Therefore, taking a more minimalist approach to your decor and putting belongings in a storage until will do wonders. It not only makes the home appear larger, but more valuable as a purchase.   If you don’t know where to begin, you can always hire a home stager to assist with the project and below is a check list of things to consider: 

  • Seasonal clothing, blankets, and linens
  • Reduce the number of pillows and throws in your decor
  • Reduce the number of knickknacks on your kitchen countertops and shelves   
  • If your curtains cut out natural light, remove them
  • Keep only a few family photos on display

 

Curb Appeal

First impressions are so important.  Make sure your lawn is freshly manicured and the exterior of your home is clean and inviting. Purchase a planter with flowers and a new welcome mat for the front entrance.

Also, make sure your drive-way is not cluttered with cars, toys, or garbage receptacles.  Take the minimalist approach with the outside just like you do on the inside. 

 Little Details Go A Long Way

Lighting, cabinetry hardware,  paint, hand towels, and yes, even fresh baked cookies all have an impact on on how a buyer views your home.  

Fresh flowers make this already stunning kitchen more welcoming!

With lighting, paint, and cabinetry hardware, make sure you are consistent with the overall look and feel of the home.  For instance, do not purchase an ultra modern light fixture for the kitchen when the home is traditional.

 As for paint, choose a light neutral color for all the rooms of the house.  This not only makes the rooms appear larger and more unified, but enables the potential buyer to visualize their belongings in the space.  A light greige color is a very safe choice!

Little touches here and there like new hand towels, fresh flowers, and baked cookies help to make the house feel more like a home.  You don’t want a walk-through to be hampered with the smell of last night’s dinner or the garbage disposal.

The Kitchen is still the Most Important Room of the House

And lastly, the kitchen is still the main draw for homebuyers.  If you are going to put  money into the home before resale,  focus your budget here.  As discussed,  the little things like paint, new hardware, and lighting can update a room, but the kitchen needs more of an investment.  New cabinetry can be costly so updating the kitchen countertops is more cost effective.

Right now, granite, marble, and quartz are the most popular choices for kitchen countertops in both new construction and home renovation.  Remember to play it safe with your color choices.  You want the countertops to flow with the architecture and style of the space. If you have difficulty making a decision, a countertop design consultant can assist you with the project.

“The most important room in the house is the kitchen. Nothing stands out more to a buyer than the countertops. It is almost always the first thing buyers comment on as they walk into the home. Regardless of the price, buyers expect granite or quartz countertops in the kitchen and master bathroom these days.  I’ve had many buyers declined visiting an otherwise beautiful home because it didn’t have solid countertops.  Matthew Schwartzhoff, Atlanta Fine Homes/Sotheby’s International Realty

Quartz countertops kitchen

Quartz countertops are on the rise in popularity for Home Buyers!

Birmingham Design Consultant Talks Kitchen Countertops and More

Kitchen Countertops

At Premier Surfaces, our goal is to ensure your countertop project is fun and easy as possible.    Our highly-trained design consultants will work with you to pull your vision together and get you the kitchen countertops you want. We understand this is a big decision, and we do not take it lightly. From quartz to granite countertops, your choices are endless and it can be overwhelming. In Birmingham, our Senior Design Consultant, Mary Granberry, discusses the process and how we assist our customers with their overall design:

Finding the Perfect Kitchen Countertops for Our Customers

 

1.) How long have you been a Senior Design Consultant with Premier Surfaces?

 3 years and counting!

2.) Can you walk us through the process of what it is like for a customer when they set an appointment with you?

 I like to start by sitting down with my customers to get to know them and learn more about their overall project. I like to find out what is important to them and why they want to install new countertops. From there,  we go into the design consultation.

We will discuss what other work is being done in the house. For instance, are they getting new cabinets or keeping their existing ones. Also, are they planning on doing a new tile backsplash? I also make sure I find out what color palette we’re working with. What color are their walls? What about the cabinets and the floors? Is everything neutral or are there any fun colors we want to coordinate with? Most of my customers will show me photos of their space so that I can get a good feel for it. I always notate the lighting in the room. Lighting can make a huge difference in how their countertops will appear in their home.

Marble kitchen countertops

marble countertops with a farm sink!

Once we’re on the same page with what we’re working with and what we’re looking for, we will look at materials that fit their needs. This is the fun part! I always know when we’ve found the right material by the look in my customer’s eye. I love seeing their faces light up when we’ve found the perfect material! I always tell my customers, “This is not the kind of thing you need to stare at and convince yourself to like. When you see your stone, you know it!” Once we’ve selected the stone, we will then look at different sink and edge options to compliment the stone and complete the desired look.

We will also discuss backsplashes, faucets, and demolition. I always ask my customers to bring a rough sketch of their bathroom or kitchen countertops (with measurements) to our appointment. This helps me give them an accurate, custom price for their project. To finish up, I will walk them through the pricing and explain our next steps. Most of my customers choose to go ahead and get on our measure calendar!

3.) If you have any of your favorite kitchen and bathroom projects that come to mind, please share! 

Ooh, it’s so hard to choose favorites! We did a Perla Venato quartzite kitchen countertops for Kellie McWhorter that is stunning. I love working with rare stones we don’t see every day! We recently completed a kitchen and bathroom remodel for Patty and Gary Morrison. The Colonial White granite countertops are perfect in their space and Gary kept me laughing throughout the entire process.

marble kitchen countertops

Fantasy Brown marble countertops

4.) What are some of your favorite countertop choices and why?

 I tend to lean towards natural stones like marble or granite for kitchen countertops. They just have a certain depth that manmade products can’t recreate. My current obsessions are Colonial Crème and Fantasy Brown. I’m excited to see more customers incorporating warmer tones into their design again! And, we have a lot of exotic granite countertops to choose from with 

Marble Countertops

Natural stone like the Carrara marble countertop does add depth!

5.) What do you enjoy most about your job?  

The people! I have strong relationships with both my customers and my coworkers. Our culture is relaxed and fun. We laugh a lot around here! Who couldn’t be happy when you’re surrounded by such great people?

Design Consultant Talks Countertops

At Premier Surfaces, we offer complimentary design consultations from our highly-trained countertop designers.  Kitchen and bathroom projects can be overwhelming, and our goal is to make it fun and easy.  Many of our customers have said that after their design consultation with Premier,  they are excited about their countertop choice and feel more at ease with the entire process.  With over 1000s of different choices in countertops (granite, marble, soapstonequartz, wood, stainless), it is vital to have someone there that can help you narrow down your choices and get the exact look you want.  We interviewed one of our Senior Design Consultants, Lise Smith, to learn more about why our customers value the initial design consultation. 

1.) How long have you been a Senior Design Consultant with Premier Surfaces? 

I have been design consulting at Premier Surfaces in Alpharetta Since July of 2014, coming up on my 3 year anniversary.

Marble Countertops kitchen

Get Inspired! Our goal is to give you that dream!

2.) Can you walk us through the process of what it is like for a customer when they set an appointment with you? 

I like to maximize my customer’s time with me right from the start.  Come prepared!  How do we do that?  I often ask for customers to bring in their cabinet plans or drawing with dimensions to ensure I can generate a countertop estimate for them during our appointment .  We have such exclusive stock (Granite, marble, quartzite, soapstone, quartz, and wood) that I want to give them the opportunity to secure their dream stone countertops from  day 1. I don’t want them to miss out! 

I also invite them to bring in kitchen or bath vision/inspiration photos, an actual cabinet door or drawer,  and paint colors of cabinets, walls, etc. If they have not made cabinet, wall, and tile color choices yet, I am more than happy to help them make those decisions.  I have helped design 100s of kitchen and bathrooms so I have seen what goes best with the material they like.  I have paint decks, cabinet and tile samples to help us envision the room right here in the showroom.  

3.) If you have any of your favorite kitchen and bathroom projects that come to mind, please share! 

Conrad Givers bar with Viscount white countertops and Cynthia LeMay’s Monte Cristo countertops at her lake house! Also, I am a big fan of Fantasy Brown countertops. 

Lise is right! Fantasy Brown looks amazing in a kitchen

4.) What are some of your favorite countertop choices and why? 

I am such a fan of natural stone anything from granite to quartzite. I  love the natural beauty and art that the earth has created.  Being able to bring an exotic stone from some exotic corner of the world into a family’s home to enjoy truly brings me joy.  So to answer your question…Exotic stone is my favorite material to sell for countertops and even tub surrounds! 

5.) The majority of your customers come from referrals. People call in and ask for you by name.  What is your secret?

 KEEP IT FUN!! This is a big purchase and not to mention for the most important spaces in peoples’ home, I don’t take that lightly, but I like to keep things fun!  Often times, home remodeling projects can be stressful and overwhelming.  I pride myself on taking time to LISTEN to my customer’s vision, wants, needs and requirements for their surfaces on the front end.  After our consult, I lead  them to 2-3 countertops choices that will work.  It is music to my ears when customers tell me, “That was easier than they thought” or “That was fun!”

When Lise isn’t making dream kitchens come true she is also the baby whisperer at the office!

Customer Discusses his Purchase of Granite Countertops

One of our customers, Van Baird, has graciously taken the time to answer our questions about his experience with Premier Surfaces after he purchased granite countertops and tile backsplash for his kitchen.  You can read all about it below!

1.) Why did you and your wife decide it was time for a kitchen remodel?

We are planning on trying to sell our home on our own in March and we knew that in order to get the most value when we sold, that we had to give our kitchen a face lift.

2.) A kitchen remodel can be overwhelming, how did you begin the process?

We brought in a house staging designer to walk us through the best way to show our home to potential buyers. Clarissa Gibson with The Gibson Co. taught us that we needed to remove as many potential “mental barriers” to buyers as we could. So, along with the entire main level, we made plans to redo the kitchen to make it standout. That included bringing in painters with Three Brothers Painting to give Clarissa a blank slate to stage our home. 

 3.) How did you go about choosing a company for your countertop installation?

Before we called Premier Surfaces, I looked up Eric Tryon since he and I are friends and asked him the best process to get started with Premier Surfaces. He connected us with Lise Smith who ended up asking us so many questions that we hadn’t thought of. She was really incremental to us deciding to chose Premier. There were so many little steps that Premier did that others didn’t and it added up to so much more of a value for us to trust Premier to do not just do the granite countertops but they contracted to do our tile backsplash as well.

4.) There are so many choices in countertops (granite, marble, soapstone, quartzite, quartz). How did you choose the material and color?

Since this particular project was to help sell our existing house, we weren’t as bent on getting the top of the line product like we would for our “forever home”. So Lise walked us through the countertop options that Premier had from the granite that was discounted. We showed her the colors that our staging designer has picked out for the cabinets and walls and she led us to a few options to choose from instead if overwhelming us with all the possible choices. The lighter granite countertops worked great. We ended up with the perfect match for our colors. 

5.) What were the 2 things that mattered most to you when working with Premier Surfaces? 

What ended up mattering the most was:

  1. The quality of the work that we ended up getting. We had to have had THE cleanest demo day in the history of demo days for our existing countertops. The Premier team took such good care of our home by cleaning as they went during the demo, then being amazingly fast with the installation. They consulted with me over any possible concerns and didn’t’ cut any corners. 
  2. The quality of the communication. There was so much attention given to making sure that we were prepared for the install days. If I had a question, I had an install representative that I could call or email that would give me an answer right away or get back to me in a timely manner if they needed to clarify.

6.) The kitchen turned out beautifully. How are you and your family enjoying it?

We are so thankful that we are getting to enjoy it for a little bit of time before we sell in March. I actually worked with Lise to pull off a bit of a surprise for my wife by moving our install up a week while she was on a business trip. We documented the install via a time-lapse video that we put up on our website where we are advertising our home. http://www.vanbaird.com/for-sale/ We were so happy to be able to tell so many people about the great experience that we had with Premier Surfaces.

Before and After of Baird’s Kitchen with freshly painted cabinets,  light colored granite countertops and new backsplash!

2017 Design Trends (Soapstone and Quartz Countertops)

It’s another year and another list of what is in and what is out in 2017! Honestly, like a little black dress, as long as you keep your overall kitchen and bathroom design classic, you are sure to never go out of style. Below is a list of what is hot for this year in design and countertops:

  • Warmth is back
  • Tuxedo Kitchens                                                                                                
  • Mixed Metals
  • Go Geo!
  • Soapstone is Hot
  • Quartz is still on Top

 

  • Warmth is back in! The past few years have been really grey and some designers almost think too grey.  This color is considered a neutral and will never fully be out of style, but this year think griege!  Yes, grey is going to take on a warmer hue along with accent colors like greens, oranges, and reds.  Here are some of our top colors of the new year
  • Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore: One of the most popular colors for designers, you can’t go wrong with this color choice. A true warm grey, it works great in any room.  When in doubt, go Revere Pewter
  • Farrow Grey by Farrow and Ball: Another old world classic greige brought to you by Farrow and Ball. In general, this is some of the best paint you will ever use.
  • Hazy Skies by Benjamin Moore: If you are looking for a lighter greige, then this is a perfect color. Great for rooms that receive less natural light
  • Perfect Greige by Sherwin Williams: I guess you can’t go wrong with this color, because um..well..it is perfect!

 

  • Tuxedo kitchens are in! A classic black and white kitchen never goes out of style, but currently, it is taking over the trend of the stark white kitchen.  White shaker cabinets and a painted black island are a beautiful contrast.  Homeowners are completing the look with marble,  quartz, soapstone, and/or wood countertops.

 

Limestone Countertops Huntsville AL

Black islands are back!

  •  Mixed Metals! No longer is matchy-matchy a must.  Now you can mix it up and have fun. Bronze, brushed nickel, chrome, and even brass can be combined to give you a unique and stunning look to your kitchen or bathroom.

 

  • Go Geo! Geometric patterns are in especially hexagonal tile for kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms.  Also, taking your tile to the ceiling is a thing.  Not only does it make the space look larger, but also more dramatic!

 

  • Soapstone is hot!  Soapstone countertops are on the rise. This nonporous stone requires minimal upkeep. You can wax or oil it depending on the look you would like to achieve.  The most popular colors right now are grey and black with minimal veining.

 

  • Quartz is still on top!  Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone  are all coming out with some beautiful colors for countertops.  You are getting to where you can’t tell if a countertop is marble are not. Check out Brittanicca by Cambria

 

If you would like to learn more about the 2017 Design Trends and how we can help, contact us at http://www.premiersurfaces.com/

 

DIY: Granite Cleaner to Preserve Your Countertops

Granite countertops are the best home improvement options on the market today. They can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home, improve the look of your kitchen and bathrooms, and can last for decades if they’re cared for properly. Making sure that they’re taken care of, however, can be difficult. While granite countertops that are professionally sealed require relatively little maintenance, it is important to clean them with a soap that won’t eat away at the finish.

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Whether you enjoy the thrill of entertaining or simply want to add class and sophistication to your home, new countertops may be the solution. Though tempting to choose a countertop based on appearances alone, it’s also imperative to consider several other qualities, including cost, maintenance and durability. The home design experts at Premier Surfaces can explain the benefits of the most popular kitchen countertop materials and help you choose the best one for your household. Here’s an overview.

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  • Our kitchen looks awesome!

    “I wanted to tell you what a wonderful experience Mike and I had with putting in our granite counters last week. We had never done a make-over before, so when my husband suggested putting in granite counters I groaned.  Little did I know at the time how smooth and painless everyone at Premier Surfaces would make it. Every encounter was extremely professional. Our kitchen looks awesome and I really appreciate having the opportunity to work with such a great group of people. If we ever decide to do anything like that in the future we will use definitely use Premier Surfaces.”

    Mike and Janet

  • Done right the FIRST time!

    “I walked in on a Friday, and was surprised to see just how busy they were — always a good sign of how a business is doing. In the process of waiting my turn, a number of people asked if I had been assisted yet. Customer service isn’t something you get in most places these days. I walked around their facility and really got a different feel compared to how I felt at other granite shops. The selection was great, everyone was friendly, and they took the time to teach me about the differences in quality for all of the chioces of a fabricator out there. The professionalism, friendly and incredibly knowledgable staff set them apart from the other “competitors”. My kitchen looks beautiful and the investment in my home was well worth it to have it completed correctly THE FIRST TIME. I will be upgrading a few bathrooms in the future and can’t think of any other granite fabricator I’d rather use.”

    -Maggie