Granite or Quartz? What’s Right for Me?

We field this question a lot, so we thought we’d dedicate a quick blog post to demystifying what seems to have become a rather popular debate in the world of countertops and fixtures!

Here’s the deal…a lot of people are routinely wondering what the distinction is between granite and quartz and whether one is better than the other. We hope we can shine a lot on some of the differences are between these two stones and help you make the most informed choice that suits the needs of both your space and your aesthetic desire.

To begin with, granite is a 100% natural stone that is cut and polished without much adulteration of the original rock. Because of this, you’re unlikely to ever encounter two granite countertops that are exactly identical. They’re a bit like fingerprints in that they carry their own unique identity.

On the other hand, quartz is a little less natural (some polymer resins are included in the final slab) which makes customization a little bit more pragmatic. Quartz has its own individual shine and appearance, but is fully customizable, so (generally speaking) homeowners can make an easy selection when it comes to quartz surfaces.

A key difference to note between Granite and Quartz is the extent to which they are and are not porous. Granite is a very porous stone, and so it’s necessary to keep it sealed and stay on top of the cleaning with soap and water because stains can be absorbed much more easily. Keep in mind, also, that bacteria can invade the porous surface of a granite countertop as well.
Differentially, quartz is a very solid and dense stone. Therefor, you would have no reason to worry about sealing or resealing on annual basis — though you’ll still want to stay on top of those stains!

Because of the fact that quartz is not porous, it’s very solid and essentially indestructible. This also makes it heavier than granite and less prone to damage from solid materials. However, one advantage that granite has is that it’s virtually immune to thermal shock (damage or discoloration because of hot or cold items placed on it) whereas quartz will certainly be damaged by extreme heat.

When it comes down to it, making a decision between granite and quartz is going to depend largely on two things — 1) the maintenance time you’re wanting to invest in your countertops, and 2) the aesthetic goals you are trying to achieve in the space that you are building or upgrading. It’s worth looking at pictures of both granite and quartz countertops to get a sense of how distinct they are at an aesthetic level.

At Fireplace and Granite Distributors, we are offer both granite and quartz fabrication and installation. We encourage you to get in touch with us today and learn about our amazing services in the Charlotte area. Please give us a call at 704-721-0001.

Over 75% Of Homeowners Planning Remodel Want Granite Countertops | Charlotte NC

“Granite Countertops or We Walk!”

This has been the tone for most house hunters in the Charlotte NC and surrounding areas. New homes are being built all around NC with granite as a standard option. It only makes sense that if you are upgrading or remodeling your kitchen that you add granite countertops.

Recent reports show that over 75% of homeowners planning a kitchen remodel want granite countertops. And they aren’t shooting for Level I Uba Tuba granite anymore — granite consumer has become more knowledgable and are planning to purchase exotic granite stone colors for their kitchen or bath. This survey shows that no matter what the economy may look like, homeowners are recognizing that granite countertops will enhance the value and visual appeal of their home.

Per a survey taken by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Marble Institute of America found that homeowners agree with the following statements about the natural stone:
• 93 percent said granite countertops are beautiful
• 91 percent said granite countertops are durable
• 89 percent said granite countertops are safe

And 93 percent of homeowners who intend to remodel their kitchens in the next two years
agreed that granite countertops are safe, reflecting the findings of several comprehensive
scientific studies conducted during the past several years.

Some of the most popular colors trending right now in the Charlotte NC areas are: Kashmir White, Magna Sedna, and Millienium Cream.

Kashmir White Granite Countertops
kashmir white granite kitchen resized 600

Magma Senda Granite Countertops
DSCF5060 resized 600

Millienum Cream Granite Countertops
DSCF8520 resized 600

We custom cut and install granite countertops in Charlotte NC and surrounding areas. 
Are you looking for granite countertops for your home? Call us at 704-721-0001 for a Free Estimate.

Granite Countertops vs Formica Countertops

Granite Countertops Charlotte NCWhat is the best material for countertops? What is better – granite or formica? Why upgrade to Granite? Should I replace my current formica countertops with formica again? 

These are just some questions we hear daily when customers are investigating their countertops options. One of the biggest factors are their own budget, the actual cost of the installation and what the finished product will look like.

Durability
Formica countertops are not as durable as granite countertops. Formica has chipboard to its core and then it is laminated with formica on the surface of the chipboard. Granite is litterally a solid rock – created deep within the earth. Before the granite is cut to fit your kitchen countertops, it is most likely already a few hundred or thousands of year old. It has already outlasted all of earths elements and will easily be able to handle the abuse of children, pets or even poor maintenance.

Granite Countertops Charlotte NCCost
Granite countertops do not cost as much as they did 20 – 30 years ago. Even in the early 2000’s, a typical granite kitchen could cost you up to $10,000 – $30,000. Now, complete granite countertops in an average size kitchen costs only $1599 – $2600 (including your sink, edge treatments and plenty of color options.) Laminate countertops will always be less expensive or even comparable in price, but the materials and life expectancy will always be lower than granite too. Granite Countertops are a natural stone – the life expectancy of granite countertops are 100 years+ while the life expectancy of laminate countertops are only up to 15 years. If you have to replace your laminate countertops just once, you could have already bought granite countertops instead, therefore saving you money over time.

The truth of the matter is that although formica has a low initial cost, it will cost you more money in the long run when you replace it once or twice over again. Once granite is installed, it does not have to be replaced. It has already outlasted all of earths elements and will be custom cut to fit your kitchen perfectly. Having granite countertops in your home is also a great selling feature should you choose to sell your home, while formica is not. 

I hope this article helps you choose between granite countertops and formica countertops — if you have any questions about granite countertops, let me know in the comments below for an answer!

Natural Stone | Engineered Stone

Are you a “natural stone person” or are you an “engineered stone person”?
Written By: Bob Faust

Granite Rock
Actual Photo of a Granite Boulder Rock

Many people have asked me the differences between natural and engineered stone. Both are great choices for your kitchen countertops as they are both hard durable surfaces that should give you a Lifetime of service. Compared to other options, such as Formica or laminate tops, which may only last has little has a couple of years. Even “solid surface ” tops do not last long. Solid Surface countertops are easy to hide the countertop seams, but will appear dull or plastic like and do not hold up to heat and or cutting (which last I checked happen quite often in a kitchen).

Quartz Countertop

Quartz Countertop

Between the  premium surfaces, (Granite or engineered stone and quartz), the costs can be a non issue as some engineered stones are both higher and in some cases lower then exotic granites. The maintenance aspect ,which is almost always highlighted by the engineered and quartz people, can easily be neutralized by the addition of “Lifetime sealer” application which makes both materials comparable.

The biggest difference between the materials is the cosmetic differences. While all engineered materials are uniform in appearance and are manufactured to engineered specifications, natural stones are almost always different. Even from the same block of  granite stone, you will have many different shades and patterns as well has colors.

So when selecting the crowning glory of your kitchen, decide first “What kind of person are you?” If you want uniformity and consistency then perhaps the engendered stone or quartz materials best suited for you. But if you embrace the diversity that only Mother Nature can provide, feel free to consider natural stone, such as granite, for your countertops.

Granite Charlotte || How to sell your charlotte home

Next time you think of it, pick up a newspaper or magazine advertising homes. Take a look for a phrase you won’t find: ‘Synthetic Stone countertops’ or ‘Engineered Stone countertops’. Why not? You’ll certainly see the words Granite Countertop or Marble or Natural Stone. I wonder why?
Oh, that’s right. They add value to your most expensive investment.

I often get phone calls from people selling their homes; they want to do something to make their Charlotte home sell quickly! This market is difficult for anybody to sell and sell profitably. Are you in the right location is one of the questions to ask yourself. If you are lucky enough to answer yes to that question, than will granite countertops be the key to selling their Charlotte House?

Granite Countertops are “in” and people love to see that you have taken care of your Charlotte house by updating a kitchen or bathroom. To help you sell your Charlotte home quicker granite would be a perfect upgrade and it help to increase your asking price by as much as 10%.  Quick and easy upgrade, granite countertops can be installed in your existing Charlotte home in 1 day. The decision on color, edge treatment and sink configuration will be an easy choice with pictures of current jobs recently completed as well as taking a good look at the entire slab of granite to get your perfect piece of the earth.

If you want to put your hard earned money into giving your Charlotte home an edge over the competition on the housing market than kitchen and bathrooms are the places to get the biggest bag out your buck. And Granite Countertops will help you go that extra mile towards selling your Charlotte Home.