We work in the medium of natural and engineered stone. The specific products we work with are:
Granite is the most common material we work with given its hard density and wide variety of stone colors. Granite is recommended for use in any application, and can vary greatly in both look and price. The lesser expensive stones are more granular and speckled, and are the more typical stones people thinks of when they think of granite. As granite increases in variation, movement and rarity, it also increases in price.
Granite's density, strength, durability, and look make it an ideal surface for kitchen countertops. Some of the perks to using granite above other materials are that you can set hot items on it, have a virtually seamless feel, and even cut on it (it makes great cutting boards as well). Being a natural stone, we try and educate our customers that inherent in granite are variations, flaws, fissures, and other imperfections. It is essential that our customers physically select and approve their slabs prior to fabrication and installation of their project.
Used for millennia, marble is a great material for people wanting to achieve a look only it can provide. However, marble is a much softer material than granite, and therefore, is not recommended for use as kitchen countertops or other highly utilized areas. Inherent in most marbles is veining running throughout the material. Due to this, be cautious of veins that have become fissures in the stone when selecting your slabs.
There is not the variety of marble available by comparison to granite, but you may still find the whitest whites and the blackest blacks as well as everything in between. And just as with granite, marble can vary greatly in price depending on its origins, popularity, availability, and rarity.
Limestone & Travertine
While limestone and travertine have become a highly popular flooring material, not as many people realize it is available in slab form as well. Being much softer than most other stones on the market, these are not recommended for kitchen countertops. However, as you'll see from our gallery, limestone and travertine slabs make wonderful surfaces for less used spaces such as, bathroom vanities, fireplaces, pools, showers walls, tub surrounds, etc.
Limestone and travertine are typically available in earth tones such as beiges, browns, golds and grays. They are more often found in a honed finish, meaning that the polish has been taken off, but it is still smooth not textured. Travertine in particular can come both vein-cut and cross-cut. These terms refer to the way the quarry cuts the stone. Vein-cut will be very linear in appearance, while cross-cut will not have a directional flow to it. In this case the material is cut against the veining. These materials will usually require sealing on a bi-annual basis.
Onyx is a soft and typically opaque stone. This quality makes it ideal for back-lighting to provide a source of light and add drama to a space. Onyx is definitely too soft to use in a kitchen, but it can be a wonderful material to use in a bathroom, bar, fireplace, water feature, etc.
Onyx is really only available in a handful of colors, and is sold at a higher price point on average than other stones.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock derived from sandstone. Due to this process, and the fact that it's quartz-based, it has incredible strength, density, and durability that open it up to a wider variety of applications, including kitchens. Quartzite's availability is more limited than that of granite or marble, but it has a gorgeous one-of-a-kind appearance unlike that of any other stone on the market.
Engineered quartz is a man-made material taken from ground quartz and other natural minerals, and then poured into an epoxy and recast as a composite. Its durability and consistency are the reason it's gained so much popularity in the last several years, particularly in commercial and modern-style applications.
Manufacturers are widely expanding the color and pattern options to keep up with the demand. The price-point widely varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it tends to be higher on average than granite. Some of the manufacturers/lines we work with are:
- Cambria (Wilson Art)
- Premium Natural Quartz
- Quartz One
- Radianz (Samsung)
It is important for our customers to keep in mind that all the materials we work with are natural and have inherent flaws and imperfections. We require our clients to approve their slabs prior to cutting, fabrication and installation. For more information on the various stone types, the Marble Institute of America is a great resource: http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/varieties.cfm