Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fixing Pits in a Granite Countertop

Granite counters are beautiful, natural, and full of variation. It’s not uncommon to find counters that not only have unusual markings, veining, or coloration, but that also have small pits or fissures as well. For the most part, these small pits and fissures are just natural parts of the stone that don’t detract from the beauty or their function. Occasionally, however, a small pit or fissure does become larger over time, particularly if the stone has sustained a sharp impact or a thermal shock. In this case, a larger pit could be cause for concern, simply because it may compromise the integrity of the stone, as well as become a catching place for dirt and debris. Thankfully, these pits can be filled.

Kitchen

Very large cracks or fissures may be best filled by a professional using a color-matched epoxy, particularly if the crack goes right through the stone. Small pits and fissures, however, can be easily filled at home usually within a few minutes.

The key is to use a light-curing, clear acrylic filler. Light-curing acrylics require no mixing and usually come in pre-packaged syringes so you can easily apply them right to the crack or pit. Because the substance is clear and remains clear even as it dries, the natural color and variation of your stone will be visible through the repair. This means you don’t need to try to match the color or the veining of your stone. The acrylic also dries to a high-gloss finish, which also makes the repair less noticeable, because light simply reflects off of both your granite and the repair. This is different than the way that light may hit an epoxy repair, where the fill is not as reflective as the stone surrounding it.

Light-curing acrylic fill should only be used on horizontal surfaces such as countertops, because it is fluid and does run. Used sparingly, however, it can help extend the life and beauty of your granite counters if a pit or fissure should occur.

Granites to Consider for Modern Kitchens

More homeowners are turning toward contemporary kitchens than ever before. And with these contemporary spaces comes a need for countertops that can help complete the space. Some homeowners choose to use manmade materials such as ceramic or quartz counters to complete their contemporary design, but many more still turn toward natural stones such as granite to get the look they want. There are several different granites that work particularly well in contemporary kitchens, any of which is sure to get the modern look you’re after.

Palos 
Park Kitchen Renovation

For white contemporary kitchens, one of the most sought after stones right now is Bianco Romano. This very light-colored stone includes gray, cream, and burgundy veining and accents, but keeps the kitchen very light and bright in color and in feel.

For homeowners that want more of a contrast in their kitchens, Absolute Black granite makes an impressive choice. Absolute Black looks particularly good in contemporary kitchens when honed to give it a more made and subtle appearance. With no veining or additional colors to work in, Absolute Black granites is perfect for the very stark, clean contemporary space.

Many contemporary kitchens make great use of bold color to help them stand out. And while most people associate bolder colors with manmade products, there are a few granites that can truly stand out in a modern space as well, including Hidden Treasure, a black stone that has thick gold veins and lots of movement, Stone Wood, which is an incredible stone with a cream to tan background and lots of heavy black veins, Dynamic Blue, which is a bright blue stone with waves of lighter color moving through it, Seacoast Green, which is a bold green stone with yellow undertones and lots of movement and veining.

Also popular in modern spaces as stones that have a lot going on; these stones work best on island counters where they can become the focal point of the room. Rainforest Green and any color of Mariachi work well here.

It is possible to have a contemporary kitchen and the beauty of granite together; simply work with the room to find the right look for you.

 

Maintaining Your Stone Floors

Stone flooring makes a beautiful addition to many homes. A lot of homeowners get nervous about using it, however, knowing that stone requires more maintenance than things like porcelain or vinyl do. While natural stone does require some care, maintenance does not have to be difficult or time consuming. Done correctly, you can easily maintain your stone floors, keeping them looking as beautiful as they day there were installed with very little effort.

OKANAGAN LOG HOME

Scratches are one of the biggest issues with stone floors, particularly those that are polished. Help cut down on scratches by placing rugs near entry ways to help stop the tracking of sand and other abrasive elements. Removing shoes before walking in high traffic areas can also help cut down on scratches.

Sweep or damp mop the floor regularly to help pick up sand, grit, and other dirt that could leave scratches on the floor. If you vacuum, turn off the beater bar to avoid unnecessary friction against the stone.

Stains are the other biggest issue surrounding stone floors. To help prevent stains, make sure you seal your floors with a silicone-based impregnating sealer on a regular basis. A well-sealed floor will bead water up like a waxed car; if your floor stops beading water, it’s time to reseal.

Always wash stone floors with a PH neutral cleanser to avoid etching and to help preserve the sealer. Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them to help impede stains as well.

If you’re truly nervous about using stone, consider investing in a material that is more variegated in color and texture, such as slate, which can help disguise a lot of dirt and scratch marks.

If your stone loses some of its shine or appears duller in color, apply a shine or color enhancing topical sealer once yearly to help maintain its original appearance.

Natural stone is not difficult to maintain, and does not become extremely scratched or discolored easily. Get the beautiful stone floor you’ve always wanted, and rest assured that its maintenance is not nearly as difficult as you may have believed.

Add Color with Crushed Stone

Natural stone frequently gets a lot of attention when used on floors, walls, and countertops, but these aren’t the only places where it can be used. In addition, stone can be used as a loose “fill” around landscaping, bathtubs, and window boxes. Sometimes this stone may be polished and smooth “river rocks”, while in some areas crushed bluestone is popular. A newer trend sparked from areas surrounding companies that use mosaic stone is to use leftover or crushed colorful marbles, granites, and limestones as fill.

coastal influence

Mosaics are pieces of tile that measure 2-inches or smaller in size. They are frequently cut and pieced together to form pictures and patterns, and often small pieces are leftover when the work is done that can’t be reused. Those small pieces mixed together can form a unique and colorful fill for driveways, landscaping, or loose bathroom or hot tub room floors.

The popularity of these types of “crushed” stone has led more homeowners to begin using leftover stone pieces in similar ways. This may include taking leftover pieces of tile or slab, and breaking, cracking, or tumbling the stone until small chips or pieces result which can be used in this way.

It’s now becoming more common for people to use polished stone mosaics or leftover pieces to bring additional color or interest to their homes and landscaping. Because the loose stones can be pushed, moved, turned, and otherwise interacted with, it brings a new level of interest to the areas as a whole.

Using the small broken pieces of more “luxury” stone doesn’t have to be done on its own, either. It is possible to mix in pieces of polished marble or granite with more common crushed bluestone. Used this way, the more polished, colorful pieces will stand out more against the gray background, giving the fill a more subtle look that is still filled with interest.

If you’re looking for a way to add a little more depth to your crushed stone landscaping, consider adding some unique stone pieces to the mix.