Kitchen Redesign – Learn How to Match your Countertop(s) with the Cabinets and Flooring

So, you’re remodeling your kitchen. If you’re still in the early stages of your remodel, then you’re probably spending a lot of time looking at potential materials and colors, trying to find the perfect match. It’s hard to envision how the many parts of your remodel will come together when everything is said and done.

Knowing how to match countertops with flooring (and match countertops to cabinets) can help make your home improvement project easier and less stressful. Finding the perfect combination of floors, cabinets and counters will also help you feel satisfied with the finished remodel. Here’s what you need to know.

Combine Natural Materials

Natural materials match other natural materials. Even if they’re not the same color, they match each other thematically. If you’ve selected a stone countertop material, like granite or quartz, stick to other natural materials for your cabinets and floors. Explore wood and bamboo cabinet options, and soapstone or marble flooring. Work with your stone contractor to look at a variety of countertop and flooring options.

Match Color Warmth

Stone countertops are usually a neutral color or a combination of neutral colors. Generally speaking, neutrals can be divided into two groups: cool gray and warm brown. Cool gray colors look best when combined with cabinets that are painted shade of green or blue. Cool gray also combines well with colors like rich black and stark white. White is an especially popular kitchen color because of its clean, fresh appearance. As a result, gray and white counters are now a go-to countertop product for homeowners remodeling their kitchen.

Warm browns are best matched with other warm colors like deep reds, burnt orange and mustard yellow. Warm brown countertops are often installed in kitchens where the wooden cabinets have been stained but not painted, and the warmth of the wood is the predominant color in the kitchen.

View Samples

Never choose a countertop material from a photograph in a catalog. Catalog photographs, though helpful when narrowing your choices down to a few favorites, do not give you a good sense for what a countertop will really look like.

Ask your contractor to see samples. When choosing a natural stone (instead of a man-made product like quartz), ask to see multiple samples, because color variations are common in natural stone. Hold samples against your cabinets and floors to get a sense of how the materials will look together in the same space. View samples at different times of day and in different types of lighting.

Avoid Matchy-Matchy Combinations

Too much pattern-matching can be overwhelming. Avoid using the same type of stone for both the floors and counters. Instead, choose two different kinds of stone. Look for stone combinations that share some colors, but have different patterns. Choose at least one stone with a relatively solid pattern.

Work with the Experts

Should countertops match cabinets and floors? Work with expert installers can help you make this decision. Contact Seacoast Stone to view samples of materials that fit your budget. We can help you identify materials that will match your counters and floors, so call today to find out more.

How to Clean Your Stone Countertops / Maintaining Your Stone Countertops

Most stones are very durable and long-lasting, requiring minimal care to look its best. If you own stone countertops or are planning to install stone countertops in your home, knowing how to maintain that stone can help you take care of your kitchen or bathroom, where ever it is installed. Following these best practices, you can keep your stone looking as attractive as it did the day you bought it. Here’s what you need to know.

Maintenance Challenges

Stone can be damaged in the following ways:

  • Stains. Most stones are porous and can absorb liquids. Unsealed stone is easily stained by cooking oils, wine and other products often found in the kitchen.
  • Scratches. Soft stone, like marble, is easily scratched or worn down. Soft stone can be damaged by knife marks and scratches from appliances.
  • Etching. Acidic liquids like vinegar can etch away sealer and hard surface of the stone. Etched stone absorbs liquid easily, is less shiny and can be easily stained.
  • Chips and cracks. Stone can be broken when impacted by heavy objects.

How to Clean

Clean your stone once each day by wiping it down with a damp microfiber cloth. Use mild detergent. Clean up spills when they occur to prevent your stone from absorbing liquid, especially if the liquid is a dark red or brown. Do not use acidic or corrosive cleaning products on your stone.

Maintenance Tips

Although stone is vulnerable to scratches, damage from intense heat and staining liquids, there are many things you can do to protect natural stone from potential damage.

  • Never cut directly on stone. Do not use your stone countertops as a cutting surface. Use a wooden cutting board to prepare food.
  • Use a hot pad when cooking. Never place a hot pot or pan on your counters. Use a hot pad to protect your stone counters from extreme temperatures.
  • Protect your stone counters from gouges and high impact. Use common sense when setting heavy or sharp objects down on your counters, to protect your counters from potential cracks and scratches.

Finally, seal stone as needed. Sealed stone repels water without absorbing it. If water fails to bead up on your stone counters and instead is easily absorbed, then the counter needs to be resealed. Work with a contractor to have your stone properly treated, or use a quality sealing product and apply it yourself. Always check your stone’s warranty before applying sealer, to avoid applying a product that could invalidate the warranty. Not sure what sealer will work with your stone? Contact your stone supplier for advice.

Want a Low Maintenance Product? Try Quartz

Although most types of stone are relatively low maintenance, quartz is even lower maintenance. This engineered stone is scratch resistant and water resistant, and requires no regular applications of sealer. The only regular maintenance required by most quartz is cleaning! With a mild detergent and warm soapy water, you can keep your quartz looking its best for years to come.

Contact Seacoast Today

Want low-maintenance, beautiful stone counters (including granite/marble/quartz soapstone) that look beautiful and last for decades? Contact Seacoast Stone. We sell quality products like natural/engineered/manufactured stone. We’ll also provide you with maintenance instructions, so you’ll feel prepared to take care of your stone counters from the day they’re installed.

Questions to Ask When Shopping For Stone Countertops

There’s a lot more to stone than what you can see with your eyes. Asking questions before making a purchase can help you decide whether the countertop you want to buy is the right product for you. Working with a reputable stone dealer is also important. The better the dealer, the more accurate and thorough the answers will be. Below are some of the most important questions to ask the sales department before making your countertop purchase.

Does this stone need to be sealed?

Sealants are sometimes used on natural stone to prevent the stone from absorbing oils and liquids. This can protect stone from spills in the kitchen or bathroom, and may prevent stains. Sealant also darkens stone, and can give it a shiny appearance. If you’re thinking about sealing your stone countertops, talk to your stone dealer first. Your stone dealer can help you find a sealant that will provide the finish you want for your counters.

Do the samples match the finished product?

Natural stone comes with variation in colors and textures so that one part of the slab might look very different from other parts. A single sample of a stone slab may not show the many colors and textures present in other parts of the slab. The larger the sample, the easier it will be to get a true sense of what the full slab will look like. Take more than one sample tile if you can. If you see a lot of variation and you’re not comfortable with that, a different type of stone may be better for you.

Will there be fissures or chips?

Fissures are weak points in the stone. Fissures can cause the stone to break, either during installation or after it’s installed. If the stone breaks during installation, you’ll have to buy extra stone just to account for wasted product.

Knowing about the natural fissures in a slab you’re thinking about purchasing can help you decide if that stone is right for your counters. Especially if your counters are long and large, fissures will be less avoidable and more problematic. A good stone dealer will tell you about natural defects in the stone, to help you make a more informed decision.

Is it durable?

Some stone is softer and more vulnerable to damage from cleaning products than others. Your personal habits in the kitchen and the durability of the countertops will affect how your counters look after just a few years of use. Marble, for example, is prone to scratching. Limestone can be etched by cleaning products. If you’re hard on your counters, granite or quartz may be the best product for you.

Where does this come from?

Stone is very heavy and requires a great deal of energy to transport from one place to another. Often, the most environmentally friendly stone comes from local sources. If eco-friendly stone is important to you, find out where the stone comes from and how it is produced.

Have More Questions? Contact an Expert

Thinking about buying stone countertops? Do you have more questions to ask the fabricator, or perhaps questions to ask the installer? Contact Seacoast Stone for the answers to your questions about natural stone countertops.

Remodeling Your Kitchen? Choosing Cabinets and Countertops

Cabinets and countertops are the main sources of beauty and functionality in many kitchens. Choosing the countertops and cabinets wisely is important to ensure that your kitchen will be both pleasing to the eye, and useful for everyday cooking. In this article, we’ll discuss the issues to consider when selecting counters and cabinets for your kitchen remodel.

Cabinets

Stock, Semi-Stock or Custom?

Stock cabinets are sold as-is, without customization. Stock cabinets are the most affordable cabinet options available. They’re also the least accommodating if you need something special to optimize your kitchen storage.

Semi-stock cabinets are stock cabinets that can be customized if needed. For example, a cabinet that might come standard in 28-inches could also be available in other sizes if needed. Semi-stock cabinets are more costly than standard stock cabinets, but if you have particular storage needs, semi-custom cabinets are a practical option.

Custom cabinets are made from scratch for the consumer on an as-needed basis. They’re very costly, but if you need a special cabinet for your space, custom cabinets can be made to fit your needs.

Wood Type

Different types of wood have unique grain patterns and colors. Oak is very durable and long-lasting, which makes it one of the most common types of wood to use for cabinets. Cherry is similarly durable, but has a distinctly reddish color. Maple is very flexible and accepts nearly all types of stains.

Painted or Stained?

Just a few years ago, most cabinets were stained instead of painted. Today, homeowners are commonly drawn to painted cabinets. You can choose whichever type you want, but don’t forget that cabinets can never be unpainted once the paint has been applied. Think hard before making your final decision.

Counters

Counters can come in different types, though the most valuable countertop material is stone. Stone comes in many colors, including white, red, green, blue, brown or black. Each type of stone has its own characteristics.

  • Granite is one of the hardest types of natural stone. It is highly scratch-resistant, though it can be stained.
  • Marble is one of the softest types of stone. It can be scratched, worn down, stained or etched.
  • Quartz is a man-made stone created from resins and crushed natural stone. It is very hard, stain-resistant and very low maintenance.

When choosing the right stone counters for your kitchen, consider the appearance of the stone and the wood together. If possible, hold samples of the materials up against one another. This will help you assess how they will look when installed together in the same space. Keep in mind that natural stone can have variations in color and texture. One stone sample may not show all the different colors in the slab. Ask for multiple samples to get a good sense of how the slab will look in your kitchen.

 

Countertop Debate: Natural Stone vs. Man-Made Stone

Countertops are the focal point for both kitchens and bathrooms. The eye is naturally drawn to the counter when you enter either of these rooms. With the seemingly endless possibilities for your countertops, we are here to help you understand the differences between natural stone countertops and man-made stone countertops.

What to Consider When Choosing a Countertop Material

When it comes to maintenance, cleanliness and aesthetics of your countertop material choice, the following considerations need to occur:

  • Maintenance – It you know your family is spill and stain prone, opt for less porous stones. Red wine, oils and acidic fruits can easily stain poorly sealed man-made and natural stones.
  • Cleanliness – Some natural and man-made stones are more likely to harbor bacteria than others. If you often cut on your countertops or have young children, it is in your best interest to go with a countertop that is less porous than others.
  • Aesthetics – If you want to keep with traditional or contemporary styles, consider countertops that only come in a few colors. If you want to go bold, turn to countertops that have a range of colors.

Among all of the things to consider, the biggest decision is to figure out if you want a man-made stone countertop or a natural stone countertop. Natural stone brings beauty, class, and elegance into your home. Man-made stone allows different colors to be brought into your home that can’t be found in nature.

Available Countertop Choices

Let’s take a look at countertop materials:

  • Granite Countertops – Granite is a natural stone that comes in a range of colors, so anyone can find a countertop that goes with their style. With stain- and heat-resistance qualities, it’s easy to maintain your countertop. Granite countertops do require a yearly seal to maintain its luster and anti-staining qualities.
  • Marble Countertops – Like granite, marble is a natural stone, no two slabs are exactly the same. Your countertops will be unique. Marble countertops stain easily and cannot have acidic items laid on them, but it does bring in a modern, beautiful touch to your home, so many homeowners opt for this particular stone.
  • Quartz Countertops – This man-made stone can be engineered in nearly any color, cut, and size. Quartz countertops have high anti-scratch qualities. While it can resist some heat, you should avoid placing any hot pans directly on the countertop.
  • Soapstone Countertops – For those who want an antique feel in the home, soapstone countertops are the way to go. This strong natural stone does scratch easily, but it adds to the antique look and feel over time.

The debate for natural stone versus man-made stone is longstanding, and likely will continue for years to come. Natural stones are easier to clean and do not contain and unnatural materials. However, man-made stones are readily available and often more customization for homeowners.

Is Natural or Man-Made Better?

At the end of the day, there isn’t a right answer. It boils down to your personal tastes, preferences and needs. We offer a range of granite countertops, marble countertops, quartz countertops, and soapstone countertops to meet every style. Be sure to visit our showroom in Seabrook, NH and speak with one of our countertop professionals and view stone selections in person.

 

 

Choosing A Stone Countertop for Your Kitchen: Granite vs. Marble vs. Quartz vs. Soapstone – The Pros and Cons

The countertop material you select for your kitchen is an important decision. You need to consider both functionality and appearance. We want you to be fully satisfied with your choice, which is why we have compiled the pros and cons of the following countertop stones; granite, soapstone, marble, and quartz.

Granite Countertops

Pros

As the natural stone with the widest color range, granite countertops can meet a variety of styles and interiors. Granite offers a hard surface that is highly resistant to heat, scratches, and stains.

Cons

Since granite countertops are considered porous, they should be sealed in order to protect the stone. Liquids that are spilled on a granite countertop can be absorbed by the stone if not properly sealed. While strong, granite can be broken if heavy objects fall on it.

Marble Countertops

Pros

Marble is a natural stone perfect for those with unique taste because no two marble countertops will have identical veining. Marble is considered heat resistant, allowing you to place hot pots and pans on the surface without worrying about damage.

Cons

Some considered marble to be high-maintenance. Mable countertops are considered highly-porous, which means they can stain or “etch” easily and are prone to damage from acidic items, such as an orange or other citrus fruit. Oils can also seep into marble causing stains.

Soapstone Countertops

Pros

Soapstone is a gorgeous natural stone comprised of chlorite, magnesite, and dolomite. Due to the soapstone’s composition, no two slabs are the same. The fact that soapstone is less porous than other stones, you don’t need to worry about liquids seeping into the stone. Soapstone is heat resistant, making it ideal with kitchens.

Cons

Despite the soapstone’s hard surface, it can be susceptible to damage from heavy items being dropped on it. In addition to damage from dropped items, soapstone can be susceptible to scratching from knives, so we always recommend you use a cutting board.

Quartz Countertops

Pros

Quartz is a man-made stone that is available in a large variety of colors (unlike natural stones). The engineered product looks luxurious and offers a strong, non-porous surface. It is resistant to scratches and stains, and it doesn’t require an annual seal. Since this is a man-made stone, it can be custom fit in any shape, size, and color.

Cons

Quartz countertops are not incredibly heat-resistant, so you will need to use caution when cooking in the kitchen. Be sure to have somewhere other than the countertop to put items to avoid any damage to your man-made stone countertop.

Stone Countertop Experts

Ultimately, when you are selecting the right countertop for your kitchen or bathrooms, select the type of countertop that meets your needs and style. If you know you and your family are prone to spills and drops, consider a stronger material. If you usually gentle on your counters, select the countertop that best matches your personality. We have a range of soapstone countertops, quartz countertops, marble countertops, and granite countertops available for you to choose from.

If you have questions about man-made stone countertops and natural stone countertops, stop by our showroom located at 890 Lafayette Rd in Seabrook, NH, where you can speak to an expert fabricator/installer and view countertop materials in person.

 

What Type of Stone Countertop Should I Choose for My Bathroom?

The bathroom countertops you select will have a lasting effect on the room’s appearance and functionality. Knowing the differences between each type of material will help you decide which type is right for you.

When choosing the countertops for your home, consider the appearance, maintenance and functionality of each material. How long will the material last? What kind of maintenance does each require? Answering these questions and others like them will help you choose the countertop material that will suit you best. Below, we’ve listed some of our most popular countertop material types.

Quartz

Quartz is one of the most popular types of countertop material available to consumers today. Some think that quartz is an all-natural stone, but it’s actually a combination of resins and crushed stone powder. Because it’s made from crushed stone, it can be colored to match nearly any homeowner’s tastes. It also comes in a variety of different colors and patterns. Quartz can be made to resemble marble or granite, but it’s more durable and needs less maintenance. Unlike granite or marble, quartz never needs to be sealed.

Marble

Marble is a romantic and beautiful stone with a long history of use in homes and buildings. Marble can be found in mantels and on old staircases. It’s a soft stone, and it can contain iron. When unsealed and exposed to moisture, some marble may turn a slightly rusty color. To keep your marble looking as beautiful as the day it was installed, it needs periodic resealing. Marble is often white and gray, which is very fitting for modern aesthetics.

Granite

Granite was the preferred countertop material for a long time, and it’s still very popular with homeowners. It’s very hard, durable, and scratch-resistant. It also comes available in a variety of colors and patterns. Granite adds value to your bathroom. It’s also very low maintenance, only needing regular cleaning and periodic re-sealing to keep it looking its best.

Most granite comes in neutral colors like beige, cream and brown. Some types of granite come in bolder colors like blue, green and red. If you want granite countertops but don’t want your counters to look like everyone else’s, ask your countertop supplier to show you the more colorful options available.

Soapstone

Soapstone is easily recognizable because of its matte finish and gray or beige coloring. It’s a harder material than marble and less susceptible to etching, but can still be vulnerable to some scratching. Soapstone is known to darken with time. This aging process is natural.

Contact an Expert Countertop Material Supplier

At Seacoast Stone, we sell a variety of countertop materials for homeowners. Our bathroom countertops options are top quality. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, you may find yourself wondering what is the best countertop material for a bathroom? We can answer your questions about our materials and help you through the purchase and installation process, so contact us.

Form vs Function – Things to Consider When Deciding on Custom Countertops

Custom countertops can be a big investment. The right custom countertop design can help your kitchen or bathroom look beautiful for years to come. Investigating different countertop selections and knowing what factors to consider when choosing your countertops can help you decide which products will meet your needs. Below are the factors that you should consider when trying to choose your countertop design.

Everyday Usage

Some people only use their kitchen counters to support their takeout bags, others use their counters to make four-course meals. In the bathroom, some people lay hot hair irons on their counters, while others only use counters for holding shampoos. If you’re hard on your counters, a more durable material is more appropriate. If you use your counters rarely, a more delicate material may suffice.

Durable materials include quartz and granite. These countertops are perfect for homeowners who are constantly subjecting their counters to potentially damaging activities. If your counters are more for looks than for function, then a more delicate material like marble may be for you.

Aesthetic Considerations

Every countertop material has its own look. Granite can come in a range of colors and could be speckled or solid. Soapstone generally comes in shades of gray or beige streaked with white, darker gray or beige. Marble is often a soft white color with hints of gray, while quartz can be almost anything you want. What are you seeking in a custom countertop? What colors and patterns appeal to you? More importantly, what will look good in the room surrounding your counters?

Cost

Cost is always a consideration when trying to decide what type of counters are best for your home. Know what your budget is before contacting a countertop material supplier. Stay within your budget, but work with your contractor to find a material that is right for you. Before you can decide which materials are most affordable, you’ll have to know the cost per square foot of the different materials you’re considering, as well as the square footage you’ll be installing.

Most homeowners only replace their counters when they remodel their kitchen, which means that counters are just one expense in a long list of expenses. If this is the case for you, your contractor likely included an allowance for counters in your kitchen remodel bid. Read the contract to find out how much is budgeted for counters, then work with your supplier to find an appropriate countertop material.

Maintenance

Not all countertop materials need the same level of maintenance. For example, marble may need to be resealed or polished periodically, while quartz does not. Talk to your countertop material supplier to find out which materials require a level of maintenance that works for you.

Interested in what it takes to maintain your stone countertops? We have written several guides:

Removing Hard Water Stains from Marble and Granite

Preventing Stains and Etching on your Marble Countertops

How to Remove Stains from Marble Countertops

Want to Speak to a Custom Countertop Professional?

At Seacoast Stone, we help homeowners like you choose the custom countertop material for their kitchen and bathroom remodel. For more information about our quality products, contact us.

Hello, Elegance

This Portsmouth, NH customer just scored a kitchen remodel for the ages. This gorgeous “all white” kitchen was outfitted with new flooring, new custom cabinets, all new stainless steel appliances (including that double oven, I want that), built-in stove top with custom backsplash and all new lighting.

The new layout includes an L-shaped countertop with available seating along the outer perimeter and a spacious kitchen island with an interior sink. The Qstone quartz countertops in Venice add the clean and elegant beauty that homeowners yearn for. Don’t you just want to glide through this kitchen with an espresso martini in hand? Oh yes.

Closet Envy

We recently had a Middleton, MA homeowner request assistance in turning a spare bedroom into a walk-in closet—which we thought was a fabulous idea. After new wood floors were laid throughout, the custom cabinetry and closet organizers were installed including an oversized, double-sided middle island with drawers for days.

The island is Qstone quartz in Calcatta Laza with a waterfall edge (notice the stone covers both the top and sides) creating a super elegant finish. Add a glass chandelier and you’ve created a dream dressing area.

While this closet is extremely spacious, don’t discount updating smaller spaces (dressing table, bureau topper) with a new stone countertop. We have an extensive collection of remnants that are extremely affordable. Call us or stop by to see what we have in stock!