If you are interested in green building materials that have minimal impact on the environment and won’t harm the quality of the air within your home then natural stone meet both of these standards.
Granite, marble, slate and sandstone surfaces are mined from solid rock. The hunks of stone are sawn into slabs using diamond-tipped blades and are often polished. There is little else done in the manufacturing process. The amount of energy used to craft stone countertops is far less than used in the production of laminates and engineered stone. Relatively few carbon emissions are produced in the process.
Natural stone countertops may be the last countertops you ever need. Their average lifespan is 30+ years, and even then, they may be changed du to the changing tases of homeowners rather than because they are not in good condition.
Quartz composite is a man-made rock that is blended with 93 percent pure quartz with resin and dyes. Advanced manufacturing processes give rise to a very homogeneous and hard material. The specific properties of the quartz composite are similar to those of granite except for heat resistance.
Granite is an excellent choice for kitchen counter tops, floors and other heavily used surfaces. Granite and granite-like rocks are plutonic rocks that were formed more than 500 to 800 million years ago. Granites are characterized by their extremely high hardness.
They are scratch-, acid-, and heat resistant and easy to clean. Depending on the variety, the surface structures will show different porosity and will be more or less shiny. Pores and inclusions are typical for granite.
Granite is ideal for the growing demand of hard surface counter tops. We offer polished, brushed, flamed/brushed and sandblasted/brushed as well as honed/satin surface finishes.
Marble, Limestone & Travertine
The gentle and pleasant mediterranean appearance of Marble, Limestone & Travertine is based on its fossil origin. Veins, cracks or open spots are considered typical for this wanted antique surface. A special sealer and repetitive cleaning and maintenance with a specially formulated cleaner will help to protect the stone from staining. However, Marble, Limestone & Travertine are sensitive towards some liquids that occur in every household. Fruit acids, vinegar, wine etc. should be cleaned up immediately. The patina and wear, the counter tops will show after a while, will give the surface a special antique Mediterranean character.
Unlike natural stone countertops that are cut from pure granite, marble or sandstone, engineered stone counters are made from quartz crystals held together with a resin binder. They have a similar appearance to natural stone, but they possess benefits not available with natural materials.
Porcelain is quickly becoming a popular choice for tiles in kitchens and bathrooms. Already widely used across Europe, porcelain is a denser, less porous and harder option that offers greater stain and water resistance. It has a smooth and resistant surface and will not absorb grease, odors or bacteria. Due to its through-body composition, it is considered more durable and better suited for heavy usage. Porcelain tile tends to last better over the years and are a top choice for business use or in rental properties because of just how durable it is. Large-format porcelain has become more popular in recent years because of its clean look and ability to make a space feel bigger. These large tiles come in rectangular and square shapes and can be used on both floors and walls to make an impact.
When it comes to designing bathrooms or kitchens, most people immediately think of granite. However, in recent years quartz is becoming an increasingly more popular choice. Quartz is a synthetic engineered stone. Raw quartz is abundant in nature. It is common like sand but harder than steel and is one of the strongest minerals in the world. The immense strength and durability of quartz make it a prime choice for countertops. Quartz is nonporous, non-toxic and require no sealants to wax or retain the rich colors.
Custom designs come in a wide array of colors from neutral grays, off-whites, and subtle tans to bold blues, bright yellows and striking solid blacks. In addition to shade, you can choose from quartz made from small particles for a smooth appearance, or from larger grains for a flecked look. The surface can be sleek and glossy or feature a flecked, pebbled, embossed or even suede appearance.
Ultra Comact Surfaces (UCS)
One of the latest developments in hard surfaces is ultra-compact surfaces or UCS as they are commonly known. UCS is an umbrella term for a wide range of surfaces. This group of surfaces are also known as ‘sintered stone’. They are available in standard surfaces including countertops, floors, walls and facades. Common brands of UCS include Dekton, Neolith, Lapitec and Laminam.
Like porcelain, UCSs are tough and resilient. They are made in large sheet sizes so the horizontal or vertical surfaces made from them will have a minimum number of joints – or none at all in some cases. UCS is available in many different finishes from honed, polished, semi-polished, satin or river-washed. UCS is resistant to high temperatures and UV light rays. They are scratch resistant and waterproof and are easy to clean.
UCSs can be made to look like many other materials such as stone or wood, either by the choice of materials to form them or, like porcelain, by printing on the surface after the sheets have been manufactured. Add to this the vase selection of textures and colors available and it is east to understand why UCSs offer such an attractive solution for contemporary designs.