Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on May 24, 2023
Renovating your kitchen is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Replacing your countertops is a huge part of that process and can add more value than you realize. Therefore, it is important to know what the installation process looks like and how to prepare yourself and your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your kitchen for new countertops.
Prepare Your Space
Replacing your kitchen countertops is a construction process. Creating a clear path for easy access to your kitchen and laying down drop cloths or tarps will protect your flooring and minimize any mess. We also recommend covering the construction area’s entryway and vents to contain any dust, as well as covering any furniture in the adjacent areas.
After we have confirmed your installation date, we suggest you schedule a plumber and electrician for the day afterwards so they can reconnect any plumbing and wiring. Installing countertops is a construction process, and there will be some dust and noise.
For areas directly affected by installation:
- Create a clear path through your home for easy access to the installation area
- Cover furniture and floors along this path
- Remove all items from cabinets
On installation day, our professionals will be kind, courteous and efficient. Ensure an adult over the age of 18 is present to make installation decisions, and that children and pets stay away from the area for their own safety
Your countertop will last for years and add value to your home if properly cared for. Please review the following recommendations for what to do following your countertop installation:
- For granite countertops we recommend a high-quality long lasting sealer. If you purchase a 25 year sealer do not use your countertops for at least 2 hrs.
- If you haven’t already contact a professional to reconnect your plumbing and electrical.
- We recommend in most cases using warm water, soap and a non-abrasive cloth to clean your countertops. Please take care and use a cutting board and trivets so you don’t cause any lasting damage.
The most important thing throughout this entire process is communication. If you have any questions feel free to contact us via email or phone.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on August 7, 2023
Starting a new countertop project can be stressful. When looking for a new countertop material, it’s important to understand the steps of the installation process to prepare for what lies ahead. Our experienced experts, will make the process smooth and easy and will help you choose the perfect countertop for you!
Selection of Countertop
We have a large selection of countertop products to choose from such as granite, marble, quartz and quartzite. We will help you find the perfect countertop that is just right for your style and budget. We have a large amount of in-stock materials and have new materials arriving daily. After choosing the material that best suits your space, we’ll work with you to create an estimate for your unique project. Upon review, you’ll sign a contract that guarantees your materials, products and installation scheduling.
Templating is the process of creating a guide that has the exact measurements of your countertop. Without a template, the fabricator cannot accurately manufacture your countertop. In order to cut your selected slab to the right size that will fit perfectly on top of your cabinets, we first have to create a template. During your selected template date, our skilled technicians will come to your home to precisely measure and create the template for your new countertops.
After templating is complete, you can make an appointment to come layout your template on the exact slab you have chosen. Our customers can choose where to place the template depending on a few restrictions. Not all countertop fabricators allow their customers to do their own layout. Many companies choose to place the template where they can get the maximum countertop cut per slab. We want our customers to be able to choose that “sweet spot” of the slab they have chosen.
The stone is cut out using the template and the specific measurements of your countertop by a highly skilled technician. Your selected material is cut to ensure precise detail and accuracy. Once cut, the countertop material is edged, polished and quality checked.
Preparation for Countertops
Make sure the path is cleared from your doorway to your kitchen. Before our installers arrive, be sure to disconnect and remove any appliances or decorative items that you have sitting on your countertops. Make sure any chairs, tables, or anything close to your countertops are pushed back to allow room for our installers.
The day you have been waiting for is finally here! Our highly experienced installation team will arrive at your home during the specified time to safely install your countertops. If your countertops still need to be removed our installers will take care of that. Our professional installers work hard to make sure your countertops look amazing. Your countertops are an investment that deserve quality installation.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on April 13, 2023
New countertops are the most important and largest investment of the kitchen remodeling process. They can radically transform any space and add significant value to your home. However, before your countertops are installed, you must go through the templating process. Here is a guide that will go through the countertop template process including what it is, why it is important, and how to prepare for your template appointment.
What is Templating?
Templating is the process of creating a template that has the exact measurements of your countertop. Without a template, the fabricator cannot accurately manufacture your countertop.
How Can You Prepare for Your Template Appointment?
There are a few things you will need to do before your template appointment:
- Make sure your cabinets are level and secure
- Make sure all appliances are on site
- Remove any objects on and around your countertops
- Locate your water cut off valve before the technicians arrive
- Set up a temporary workspace and prepare meals ahead of time
- Ensure an adult over the age of 18 will be present to make decisions
How is Templating Done?
On the day of your appointment, a skilled technician will arrive and remove any existing countertops to take the measurements of your cabinets. There are two options countertop fabricators use to create a template: the stick method and the digital method. The stick method entails using plastic material and hot glue or acetone to create a template. This gives the fabricator a physical outline to place on a slab and cut out your countertop. The digital method involves using a high-intensity laser that records the dimensions and sends information to a computer. At the fabrication facility, a technician adds any overhands and cutouts, the template is laid out, and the stone is cut. We use the stick method because it allows our experienced technicians to quickly customize the template on-site and add any pertinent details that the customer desires.
|HOW COUNTERTOP TEMPLATES ARE CREATED STEP-BY-STEP|
|Step 1||A technician arrives to take measurements|
|Step 2||They remove the existing countertop to measure the cabinets|
|Step 3||A physical template is created using plastic material and hot glue or acetone|
|Step 4||Any pertinent details such as overhangs, cut-outs, or customizations on the template|
The template will be laid out on the slab. Our customers can choose where to place the
template depending on which material you choose.
|Step 6||Lastly, the stone is cut out using the specific measurements of your countertop|
Can You Make a Countertop Template on Your Own?
For stone countertops, you must have a professional complete the templating and installation process. Having an experienced professional complete the job will ensure accuracy, which is particularly important in such a large investment. If the measurements are even a fraction incorrect, it can cause issues with your project.
What Happens Next?
After the templating process is complete, you can set up an appointment to select where to place the template on the slab. Then the stone will be cut to reflect the exact measurements drafted during the template appointment. Lastly, you can set up a day for our team to deliver and install your new countertops.
Stone countertops can add visual appeal, increase the functionality of your space, and add value to your home. If you have any questions, please consult our team of experts or another design professional. We have everything you need from countertops to cabinets. With over 15 years of experience, we’ve mastered multiple kitchen styles. When you’re ready to design the kitchen of your dreams, contact us for a free in-home estimate!
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on March 30, 2023
Quartz countertops are the modern way to take your kitchen countertops or bathroom vanity to the next level. The clean and elegant flow throughout the surface will make any room shine. Another factor other than the beauty of the material is the durability. Quartz countertops are hermetically sealed during the manufacturing process. Quartz will withstand daily use and abuse while remaining easy to maintain and resisting stains and bacteria growth. Let’s take a look at the various levels of Quartz countertops and weigh the pros and cons of having this material as a kitchen countertop.
The level or the grade of Quartz countertops is determined by the Quartz material used in the manufacturing process. The Quartz stone that is chosen to go into any particular batch will be classified in one of the following classifications;
This grade of Quartz will have numerous veins and could possibly include discolorations throughout the stone. The upside to this is that most of the defects are not visible once the Quartz is crushed and married with the resin.
Also known as “commercial” grade, this is the standard Quartz level. This level of Quartz will offer average color depth and quality.
This level utilizes the most premium Quartz. With this Quartz grade the countertops will offer rich colors and very minimum veins.
We carry a multitude of Quartz slabs ranging the spectrum of styles and looks. The three main brands we carry are Cambria Quartz, Zodiaq by DuPont and Cosmos Quartz.
Composed of 93% Quartz, resin and pigments. Cambria Quartz countertops are engineered to feature zero emissions and to be free of Radon. Cambria offers a fully transferrable lifetime warranty.
Premium quartz products produced with high-quality materials in a wide variety of colors and designs. MSI offers a lifetime warranty to the original homeowner.
Cosmos offers a 10 year warranty on their Quartz surfaces. They also use the perfect blend of polymeric tech combined with Natural Quartz. The results are stunning and extremely durable while remaining easy to clean and maintain.
No matter the brand or level, Quartz kitchen countertops are stunning. The grade of the Quartz will strictly depend on your taste, style and budget. Quartz will give you the custom and unique kitchen you have always dreamt of. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, another great aspect of Quartz counters is that they will never have to be sealed.
Quartz Countertop Maintenance
No matter the brand, color or pattern, Quartz counters are a breeze to maintain. The vast majority of the time a sponge, hot water and elbow grease is all that is needed to clean up any spill that occurs on the countertop. Using any soap for cleaning can build up a film like residue and leave your surfaces dull and hazy.
Our best recommendation is to use a high quality stone cleaner, such as a Granite or Marble cleaner, to keep your counters clean. These cleaners not only clean your surfaces, they are mild enough as not to damage or discolor your countertops. As a bonus, these cleaners have an optical brightener to keep your quartz countertops shining brightly.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on March 30, 2023
Even with Quartz’s rise in popularity, Granite is still one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. Why is granite a top choice for kitchen countertops?
A major reason granite is chosen for applications in the kitchen is its strength and durability. It is a material that will last you a lifetime. Marble is very unique in its visual appeal, but the softness of the stone can create issues in high-traffic applications. Granite is a great all-around choice for any space you choose to install it.
Since granite is so strong, it is perfect in any application in your home. Large kitchen, high-traffic bathroom vanity tops, and outdoor living areas/kitchens are a perfect pairing with granite.
Granite contains a number of different minerals. Every slab is different, so any piece you select is sure to be unique. The composition of the mineral deposits dictates the unique colors and patterns. Granite contains quartz, feldspar, mica, and many other materials. The balance of these minerals always varies thus leading to beautiful individualistic kitchen countertops.
Granite colors can range the color spectrum. Currently, the popular stones have a White or Gray background color. Neutral palettes compliment just about every decor and house style.
Granite is also known for the possible exotic tones available. Some look like artwork, with bold colors forming the veins and flakes. These slabs normally range in the higher prices but are well worth the money if you are looking to have a custom designer look in your space.
Easy To Maintain
Most natural stones are porous and require a sealing treatment to fill the pores. Marble is notorious for staining if not sealed, especially the lighter varieties. Some homeowners still select marble because it is a timeless stone with stunning beauty. There are high-quality sealers that can last for many years.. This sealer is applied after installation and will protect your surfaces for years to come.
Granite definitely has many great qualities. This is why it is one of the most used natural stone materials for kitchen countertops. Granite adds beauty and durability your kitchen and any other space that you use it in. If your style is a modern, contemporary, or even a traditional style, there are a multitude of granite colors to choose from.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on June 2, 2023
If you are design-savvy and are looking to add an upgraded feel to your kitchen, you should strongly consider Quartz for your kitchen countertops. Quartz counters add a striking visual appeal and durability to your kitchen surfaces. Due to its near infinite design options, quartz has become the most popular alternative to natural stones such as Granite and Marble for countertop material
1. (The Obvious) They Are Very Trendy
Since Quartz countertop manufacturers are constantly innovating new sophisticated patterns and colors, Quartz offers many style options that fit all kitchen design types. You will find a material to match your style; from farmhouse to traditional, modern to rustic, any style is covered. When you travel down the Quartz color options, there are dark colors to pair nicely with White/light cabinets and White/light Quartz countertops that match well with dark cabinets. Are you looking for a style that possesses more cohesion through the surface? You will love the colors of the consistent patterns Quartz can offer your kitchen countertops.
The consistent nature that manufacturers can give to Quartz will allow your entire surface to have even patterning throughout your space. This is a great option if you want to avoid the unwanted inconsistencies that can be found in natural granite and marble. We believe the “natural occurrences” in Granite and Marble are beautiful, however, we understand this does not fit all desired motifs. A predictable pattern is great because you can match up seams. The ability to hide seams gives your surfaces a great pattern and color flow throughout the space.
2. Easy Maintenance
Now lets talk about functionality. We know that visual aesthetics and the cost are important, but the functionality and low-maintenance will pay for itself in the long term. Since Quartz countertops are among the most durable surfaces and are hermetically sealed during manufacturing, an easy-to-maintain countertop material is readily available. Quartz countertops rarely chip, heat and stain resistant, and nearly impossible to scratch. These characteristics make for the perfect kitchen countertop surface. As we mentioned above, since Quartz is hermetically sealed during the manufacturing process, there is no need to continually seal your countertops. One thing to note, we do recommend to use a natural stone cleaner when you clean your kitchen counters.
3. The Manufacturing of Quartz is Eco-Friendly
We have outlined many benefits that come with “manmade stones”, now we will discuss the environmental perks Quartz countertops offer.
Quartz is a very common element found throughout the United States. Although mining practices have evolved and improved through the years, mining is not entirely eco-friendly. A great thing about Quartz countertops is that the process uses Quartz that has already been mined. So, manufacturers recycle the “scrap” pieces from other mining that has already been completed. No natural Quartz is mined just to make Quartz countertops.
Quartz countertops are manufactured by introducing crushed quartz with resins and pigments. All brands use basically the same method. The positive of this process is, there is the little-to-no impact on indoor air quality, which should help you keep your peace of mind where health matters are concerned. As always, manufacturing, mining, and transportation can have a negative impact on the environment. These processes are constantly reconfigured to ensure the environment is taken care of as best as they can. The point is that quartz countertops are proving to have less impact than the other most popular surfaces.
4. Design Options are Virtually Infinite
While you are planning your new kitchen design, do you like having a wide variety to choose from? If you just answered, “Yes!”, Quartz countertops are probably a great fit for you and your project. Prepare yourself to have to choose from a large variety. As we spoke earlier, The selection of colors and patterns are almost endless. Even if you have the most precise taste or design idea, there is a Quartz to match your style. Albeit, Granite comes in a plethora of colors you could make the argument that there are more color options with Quartz.
As with all natural stones, the earthy tones, speckles, veining, and colors that have melded together. It is truly a magnificent feat that Mother Nature creates these stunning works of art in natural stone. Quartz offers the cleanliness of pure colors and patterns that are orchestrated and consistent. This creates a clean visual landscape in your space. If you are considering a kitchen remodel, there is a perfect quartz countertop for your project out there. East Coast Granite can help coordinate the quartz color with your cabinets and flooring ideas and then design a backsplash to match. Or we can simply install the same quartz you choose as a 4-inch backsplash.
5. Quartz Countertops Are Perfect For All Household Types
Due to its durability, affordability, functionality, and low maintenance, quartz countertops perform well in a wide variety of kitchens. A quick summary of the highlights of Quartz countertops:
- Quartz countertops offer a modern style and versatility for anyone looking to add long-term value to their home.
- The durability of quartz makes it perfect for families with children. We all know that children can be rough on a home, and your kitchen countertops need to withstand frequent spills and accidents.
- Quartz countertops are strong, durable, and low-maintenance. This makes them an excellent match for anyone who wants a countertop that will last and does not require upkeep or annual seal treatments.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on May 4, 2023
As quartz countertops have climbed to match the popularity of Granite, more people are asking, “What is the best way to clean quartz countertops?” Today, we will discuss the proper cleaning methods to use on your quartz counters.
The number of quartz countertop installs will continue to rise due to the materials durability and beauty. Quartz is a manmade product and constructed with resins and recycled materials like glass and other materials. This production process not only creates a durable surface, it allows for endless beautiful designs and colors to be created and repeated. Also created in this process is a hermetic seal, this seal keeps bacteria and other bad elements from seeping into your beautiful surfaces. This is a nice advantage over natural stones, as these natural materials need to have a seal treatment to help stop staining and possible bacteria seeping down into your countertops.
Although we have touched on a few basic perks of choosing Quartz countertops, we need to establish that a consistent cleaning routine be put into place. This is the only way to ensure that your quartz counters stay in pristine condition. Below, we will walk you through, our guide on how to clean quartz countertops, and the best practices for keeping your quartz surfaces clean and brilliant for years to come.
Our recommendation is that you clean your quartz countertops on a daily basis. Creating this simple habit will help ensure that spills will not stain and food will not become stuck to your beautiful quartz surface. For cleaning, all you will need is a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. The process we suggest to use is as follows; Fill a medium size bowl with warm water, then add a generous amount of the mild dish detergent. Gently combine the two ingredients until the detergent is dissolved in the water. From here on it is wetting a towel and wiping the surface in a circular motion until the entire surface has been wiped. To dry, just grab paper towels or a fresh towel to wipe away the excess water and detergent solution.
Sometimes accidents happen and you might run across a tougher spill or stain on your quartz countertops that warm water and mild detergent will not remove. There are some other cleaning methods that you can try. Although these are generally safe to use on quartz surface, always refer to the owner’s manual or your installer to avoid any permanent damages while trying to remove these tough stains.
If you come across needing to remove a pen mark or the accidental permanent marker marking isopropyl rubbing alcohol could help remove these marks. Since the rubbing alcohol is a solvent it should break down the inks and marker and make wiping away easy. Start by pouring a small amount of the rubbing alcohol on the mark, with a clean towel rub the surface in a circular motion to remove the stain. Once you have accomplished this pour a small amount of warm water on the area and dry with a clean towel.
Let’s say your surface develops a soap stain or hard water deposit, well we have a solution for those situations. To help remove these types of issues we recommend a vinegar and water solution mixed 1:1. In a medium sized bowl mix one part warm water and one part vinegar, stir the mixture, then pour a generous amount on the affected area. Wipe the area down with a clean towel. After you have removed the trouble spot wipe again with warm water to remove the to mix solution from completely from the surface. End by drying with a clean towel or paper towel.
Now the dreaded grease residue, you can use a degreaser cleaning product. However, only use such a product designed specifically for quartz countertops. Please head all of the instructions laid out by the products manufacturer as product is different. After using one of these products rinse thoroughly with warm water!
Again, please exercise extreme care while using any of the aforementioned methods. DO NOT leave your surfaces unattended while working with these methods. Always, rinse your quartz countertops thoroughly after using these cleaning processes. Above all else, reference your quartz manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning your particular quartz surface.
Cleaning Methods To Avoid
The majority of quartz countertop manufacturers provide their recommended cleaning methods and supplies to use on their surfaces. A quick summary of their products to avoid are sponges, pads, and abrasive cleaners. These products can cause irreversible damage to your countertops. Also, harsh scrubbing will lead to a dull finish on quartz countertops. Concentrated bleach should be avoided while cleaning your quartz as this product can leave stains. Any cleaner that have a high pH level should be avoided, examples of these cleaners are grill cleaners, oven cleaners, dishwasher detergent and paint removers. Most of these methods will void any product warranty you have on your quartz.
Now we will discuss other good habits to incorporate with the cleaning habits we began with. We have a few tips that will help with the longevity of your quartz countertops. Quartz is a very resilient material, however, it is not indestructible.
Always place a protective barrier between hot pots and pans. Heat damage can be a scary topic as quartz does not stand up to heat as well as its natural stone counterparts. If you do not use a trivet or pot holder under a hot pot or pan you can create discoloration on your surface. Avoid placing hot items directly on your quartz countertops.
Another tip, do not cut or chop anything directly on your quartz. These motions will add cuts and scratches into the resin leaving your countertops vulnerable to stains and other issues.
Finally, we will end with where we began. Creating a daily habit of wiping down the quartz surface with a mild detergent and warm water solution will help keep your countertops beautiful and help in their longevity.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on March 30, 2023
Perhaps you are mulling over updating your kitchen countertops as a part of a home remodel project. You come across this beautiful White Carrera Marble surface and your heart has settled on that will be your new kitchen surfaces. Then you find out the effort that has to go into protecting and cleaning marble and decide you want something a little less high maintenance. There are several beautiful White granite materials that are more durable, less maintenance, and just as beautiful as marble.
Granite has always been a popular choice for many surfaces in homes. While Mother Nature produces a wide variety of granite colors, white is one of the less common. We do not want to mislead you in that there is a “pure” white granite material as one does not exist. We are referring to the overall “background” as White. You will see below are images of White granite. Let’s discuss the beauty and characteristics of the most popular white granites on the market.
River White Granite Countertops
Example of River White Granite Slab
River White granite countertops have been a popular material choice for kitchen countertops for quite some time now. The beautiful neutral color palette with deep red speckles runs throughout the material. The veins are normally quite small giving a soft and overall consistent look to River White granite.
Kashmir White Granite Countertops
Example Of Kashmir White Granite Slab
Kashmir White granite countertops are one the most popular white granites on the market. This material has a very consistent pattern consisting of brilliant white and flecks of red. Since Kashmir White granite is a low-variation material there are not significant veins or large mineral deposits making for a steady grain.
White Galaxy Granite Countertops
Example of White Galaxy Granite Slab
White Galaxy granite countertops display a wide range of beautiful hues and patterns. The brown veins and black flecks mesh perfectly over a brilliant white background. White Galaxy granite goes well with many kitchen themes and decors in modern kitchen design
White Springs Granite Countertops
Example of White Springs Granite Slab
White Springs granite countertops are a beautiful gray with cream and rust-brown veins. This material is a great selection for kitchens and bathrooms alike. White Springs granite should make your countertop list during your kitchen remodel.
Viscon White Granite Countertops
Viscon White granite countertops offer a beautiful neutral palette full of swirling white, black and gray veins. This material is the perfect contrast for any space. Viscon White granite goes well with many kitchen decors and themes.
Filed Under: Countertops By: East Coast Granite & Tile on March 30, 2023
One of the most common questions we get asked as a fabricator is “What are the different grades of granite.” Sometimes people ask specifically for “commercial or contractor grade granite countertops." Let's take a look at the difference between granite grades and levels and explain what you need to be aware of as a homeowner looking to upgrade your countertops.
Although commercial, builder or contractor grade countertops exist, few reputable granite fabricators sell those to homeowners. Lower quality granite is often prefabricated and used for apartments, prefab remodels or furniture. A low grade granite slab is a thinner cut, around 3/8 inch, and usually requires a piece of plywood backing for more strength. These granite slabs have a very simple pattern and common colors. Some may have noticeably different sections in the stone that do not match the other areas. Lower grade granite is usually imported from China and sold through granite liquidators, big box stores, or cut into tile.
The more common term you will hear as a homeowner shopping for granite countertops is level. A granite's level has nothing to do with the quality of the granite. A level 1 granite is the same quality as a level 8, what sets the two apart is the price. Granite level is determined by how rare and unique the stone is.
Although it is common to equate price to quality, for granite slabs, it is more a function of supply and demand. Level 1 granite will be more common, there will be more quarries that can supply that stone and therefore the price will be less than a stone that is rare with few places on earth where it can be found. Levels can go from one to as high as eight and nine. One being the lowest cost and nine the highest due to limited supply and expense to produce and import that stone.
Level 1 granite usually has a common pattern or “movement” as it is called in the industry, and more common colors like brown, cream or black. For many, the consistent color and pattern is appealing as apposed to other granites that have a busier look with big sweeping swirls and color changes. The fact that level one is also the least expensive also makes it a very popular choice in the home.
Examples of Common Level One Granite Slabs
Some of the rarest granites, often referred to as “Exotic Granite”, will also be the higher levels. These granite slabs have rarer minerals that seldom find their way into the natural stones formation. Red, green, and light blue granite is made up of different kinds of feldspar. They’re rather rare, often coming from specific quarries where conditions were right for these minerals to form. Natural pure white granite is also very rare.
Granite with a unique pattern can also increase the level and price of the slab. Granite is created by intrusive magma flow. This means that magma intruded on other rocks and minerals binding them into an extremely hard and uniquely grained composite rock formation. The size of the grains inside your granite are determined by how quickly the magma cooled while other minerals settled within the molten mass. This is what gives granite its unique look and why no two slabs will be identical. A pattern that nature created in only limited amounts and can only be found in one area will be a higher level and demand a premium price.
Examples of Upper Level Granite Slabs
As you can see there are many different levels of granite. The higher level granites can have uncommon colors and patterns. The level of granite can be determined by colors, veining. marking, rarity, and where it is quarried. Granite, no matter what level, brings a striking natural beauty that cannot be replicated by marble or quartz. Granite is highly resistant to scratches and chips, and is one of the hardest materials on Earth. A perfect choice for a kitchen countertop!