Remodeling with Granite, the Good and Bad

The Quick Low-Down on Granite

Granite is a very hard rock, much harder than Travertine tile. It is even more durable than marble, but we'll get into the differences with marble later in the article. 

Granite is a go-to choice for many people because it is costs less than many other high end natural stone choices. It is also great for counter tops in the bathroom and the kitchen because it doesn't stain or scratch as easy as other stone. The resistance to staining makes it a particularly good choice for stove back splashes, too. 

Granite is made up of 3 things, Quartz, Feldspar and Potassium. The amount of each varies between types of granite. It usually comes in dark colors and has a granular appearance from this mixture and sparkly appearance due to the quartz. 

In this Article:

Granite vs Marble

Granite vs Quartz

Granite vs 3 Other Natural Stones

Granite vs Man Made Options

Granite vs Marble

Granite

Cost - Granite wins

Usually when people are considering granite, they are courting the idea of marble, too. If I had to make a quick metaphor I'd compare them to considering a really nice high end car with a super luxury car. Granite, right out of the gate is usually cheaper. This is comparing high end granite to high end marble. Also, the upkeep time and the average person's ability to maintain the stone itself declares granite as the easier stone to deal with over time.

Durability for Countertop use - Granite Wins

Marble is porous, it is as simple as that. Porous means it can stain easier. It also means you really have to be on top of keeping the natural stone sealed. Granite is not 100% stain resistant (like Quartz is) so it has to be sealed once a year. Because of these traits granite is the best for countertops and bathrooms, by far.

Granite is harder than marble to scratch, too. So high-use areas like counter tops are better off being tough. Granite counter tops can handle cutting on them, abrasion and heat, too.

Impact? Neither stone is that great for big impacts. Edges chip, they get gouges and cracks. It isn't the absolute end of the world when you get a gouge or crack though. It can be filled with epoxy that matches the color and it isn't noticeable to anyone who isn't looking for it.

Marble

Pure Luxury - Marble Wins

Marble costs more, it has tasteful and understated patterns and it is not as commonly used as granite. If cost isn't a concern and you are aiming to have a more unique interior design then Marble is probably for you. American kitchens use granite counter tops much more often than marble counter tops. Anything seen less, such as marble, will bring a level of uniqueness to your remodel that even high end granite can't match.

The Look - Granite Countertops compared to Marble

Granite can be pretty busy - and dark. Marble comes in more subtle patterns and brighter hues that bring a sense of airiness. A lot of people consider granite a more 'comfortable' look. Ultimately though, it comes down to what appeals to you and is your style. You just might like the "little shiny" (quartz) pieces found in granite much better.

There are somewhere around 26 individual types of marble in the world, defined on the region they are quarried from. Trying to get a hard number on the types of granite has proven very, very difficult for me personally. The internet, at this point, just says "many". The colors and names of granite very often, but not 100% of the time, also based on the region it is collected from.

Granite vs Quartz

Quartz

Cost - basically a Tie

Consumer reports, in 2013, puts the price per square foot for Quartz and Granite as $40 - 100. This tie, once you understand that Quartz isn't even a natural stone, may seem baffling. Quartz is manufactured! You'll understand why after the next few sections of this article. 

Pure Luxury - Granite. It is actually stone!

Quartz is a copy. A Great copy, no lie, but still a copy. While being mimicked is a sign of popularity and a big compliment, it is granite that came first and lends inspiration to Quartz.

Durability for Counter top use - Quartz wins? I think

Granite does have some pores. Granite has to be sealed, while Quartz does not. This makes granite counter tops not as stain resistant or easy to maintain as Quartz.

Granite and quartz are harder than marble to scratch. They also can take heat and normal cutting of food directly on them. Granite takes heat better. 

Just like marble and granite, quartz can chip and can crack. But, both granite and quartz are more impact resistant than many, many other choices. 

The Look - Granite Countertops compared to Quartz

Quartz wins I think. It can look like granite OR marble! Quartz is offered in more colors and patterns than granite has.

Also, Quartz insures that every single piece matches what you want. With granite you really must look at each shipment before buying because there is huge variations within the same type. For many people the charm of natural stone is the variation, but it does mean there are tiles you just don't like.

Granite Countertops compared to Other Natural Stone

Here is the super quick comparison:

Granite verses Soapstone: granite is harder, but soapstone doesn't need to be sealed and hides small scratches really well. Granite has more color choices, but soapstone is usually very uniform in color and pattern. 

Granite verses Quartzite: really pretty similar. They are a tie for scratch resistance and chips. Quartzite can be attained with colors and patterns that are extremely similar to more expensive white marble. Granite does come in more colors, though. 

Granite verses Slate: these are similar, too. Both are heat resistant, scratch resistant and stain resistant, too. Slate doesn't have the color and pattern choices but it costs less for great looking natural stone.  

Soapstone

Granite compared to other Man-made Choices

Here is the super quick comparison:

Granite verses Engineered Granite & Marble: Winner is undecided. Engineered granite and marble doesn't need sealed and it is stain resistant. It is created to be better as far as strength and durability. It is uniform in color and pattern - that being good or bad is up to you. It is cheaper than the real thing if you are going after high-end more rare types of granite. Prices are comparable otherwise.

Granite verses Solid Surface (also called Corian): this is comparing oranges and apples. Corian is actually one manufacturer of Solid Surface, but just like many Southerners calling all soda "coke", lots of people call all Solid Surface "Corian". Granite looks like stone. It has patterns. Corian looks totally artificial, but in an extremely elegant and upscale minimalist way. Corian is not as heat resistant but when there is damage you just sand it out! Granite is going to have grout and all the issues with grout. Corian is One Solid Sheet. No grout, no 'between" tiles that gets dirt and grime and can mold. You can even get the sink as a part of the solid sheet - now that looks really cool. Solid Surface also can come in any color and most patterns you want. (Pst... we make Solid Surface countertops on site!)

Solid Surface kitchen with seamless sink

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Is Travertine Tile for You… or Marble?

Great Insights on using Travertine Tile in Your Remodel

Indoor or outdoor, travertine tile is worth looking into. Stone is a great choice of material for your building projects, as long as you pick the right stone for the area you are remodeling. While granite and marble immediately come to mind, for many home and business remodels travertine tile is the best choice. 

Much of the ancient Roman Empire was built with ivory travertine limestone tile. The most famous building made entirely out of it is the Coliseum. It stands as a testament to the durability of this stone. The only drawback the Romans met has been fixed by modern techniques. Due to the Roman’s heavy grinding, unseen pockets of air inside the stone could be exposed. Today, we think of it as its signature aged look. If the Romans had our technology the Coliseum would still look smooth. 

Any space that these Roman Empire favorites grace is instantly more luxurious. The versatility of travertine tile allows it to reflect the cultured style of Italian spas in bathrooms and around outdoor pool areas. Used in large tiles, on walls and floors at the same time, in the same color, gives a clean modern appeal. Warmer colors on smaller tiles, put in patterns, make great backsplashes to bring warmth to a kitchen. 

Ivory Travertine Tile
Philadelphia Travertine

Travertine Tile or Marble?

Both travertine and marble tile make excellent upgrades to a home or business remodel. The main considerations should be look and budget, of course!

Comparing Marble and Travertine Look

Marble is solid stone and does not have the naturally occurring "holes" (more like large pores and pocks) that travertine has. This is because it is a metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rock undergoes huge pressure that pushes all the holes out. Marble also comes in a wider variety of colors, many of them very vivid. Marble is a lot harder than travertine, too.

Travertine is a sedimentary rock, created by layers being pushed down on top of one another but not at the pressure that metamorphic rock goes through. This means you will have small holes and the texture in general is not as hard or smooth. In general travertine has a warmer look. While ivory travertine tile is the most common, it comes in a full rage of rustic colors such as brown, yellow, red, gold and green.

 

Marble
Red Travertine - Vein Cut

Comparing Marble and Travertine Price

Some kinds of travertine tile are cheaper, some actually cost more than certain types of marble. Color is one of the considerations, also the grade. By "grade", for travertine, we mean the number of holes. Whether the travertine stone is honed and the pores filled affects the price, too. Honed means to be ground smooth. Some people will actually get their stone tumbled to have a really rough look! This is excellent for a dramatic wall.

Where Can You Use Travertine?

Honed travertine tile can be applied in many different indoor and outdoor uses. Envision them in your foyer, hallway, dining room, or living room. Patios and outdoor countertops are perfect for sealed travertine. It stays cool underfoot and is very durable. Filled Travertine tiles are waterproof. This makes them safe to use anywhere in your kitchen, bathroom, or garden. Use them on walls, countertops, backsplashes, floors, and ceilings. They have more grip than many other stone surfaces making them a go to choice for many designers. If you have children that will be running on it, travertine is perfect.

Another Consideration between Marble and Travertine

Travertine pavers aren't slippery. This makes them much more ideal for outdoor purposes and for bathrooms in remodels for the elderly.

Remodel Decisions - Vein or Cross Cut

After you decide to use natural stone, you'll need to pick whether to use Vein Cut or Cross Cut. Vein cut looks like it has lines going across it, or layers showing. Travertine was created by layer of layer being added and compressed on top of each other. Vein cut lets you see these layers. Cross cut is on top of the layers. 

Next, you need to decide if you will make a pattern with your stone tiles or line them up to flow. Just remember that every stone is different. No matter what some will be darker, some will have more of a pattern. It is the uniqueness of each that makes using it so much fun. 

Vein Cut Travertine Tile
Cross Cut Travertine Tile

Not just Beautiful

The travertine tile that is honed and filled, then sealed is extremely easy to care for on a daily basis. Sweeping and mopping is a snap. Because the stone is sealed, it will not stain like unsealed stone. 

Our Suggestion for Natural Stone

Every two years these honed filled travertine tiles should be sealed to protect the surface of the tile and insure each tile’s unique beauty is preserved. If properly cared for, the beautiful natural look of this stone is going to retain the exact mood you envision for generations.

Cross Cut Travertine
Vein Cut Travertine

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What is Solid Surface Countertop

What is Solid Surface Countertops?

It's the CLEAN counter-top!

Solid Surface Countertops are non porous. It has National Sanitation Foundation (NSF/ANSI Standard 51) approval and is made with FDA approved materials. Solid Surface is the most sanitary of all counter-top materials, and will withstand disinfection solutions with zero damage to the material. Solid surface can be installed with no visible seams, the only material capable of this, regardless of the size of the countertop. No visible seams is more sanitary and more beautiful.

Solid Surface affordable at any shape and size. Customize without breaking the bank.

Sinks are fused seamlessly into the counter-top leaving no caulk to maintain, no crevices for bacteria to breed, and no chance for the sink to sag over time. The adhesive used is a two part polymer, the same as the top itself, so it is like welding the sink into place. Sinks can be replaced if needed.

Solid surface countertops are renewable and repairable. Almost any damage can be fixed easily to like new condition, entire sections can be cut out and replaced seamlessly if needed. If it is time to sell the home, the top can be re polished back to new condition if needed. Only Solid Surface is capable of this renewal.

Clean it with just about anything. No special cleaners are needed, soap and water, 409, Windex, whatever is at hand.

Solid Surface is easily worked and shaped into almost any imaginable shape is affordable. This makes special edges economical since it is worked with common woodworking router bits. Sink cutouts are usually included in the price of the top, unlike other materials where it costs hundreds of dollars to cut and polish a sink or cook-top.  Lamination is done easily.

Solid Surface is more economical than granite or quartz after the edge profile and cutouts are figured in. On granite and quartz tops, edge profile charges can cost over a thousand dollars for an average kitchen, plus sink cutouts at $250 or more, adding as much as $15.00 per square foot to the cost of the countertop for a simple bullnose edge.

What is solid surface countertop?  Well, it is NOT radioactive like other materials, nor does it contain asbestos like some natural stone products. The NSF rating means continuous inspection of materials for quality. And it needs to be pointed out, that people who choose Solid Surface are known to be generally more intelligent and better looking as well!

We make solid surface countertops on site.

Fabrication & Installation

At I&E Solid Surfaces we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the type of service they dream of having. To us, that means taking the extra steps that set us apart from the crowd. Insightful planning and execution with attention to detail are part of the formula for success. Having a professional staff that initiate follow through, from concept to completion are also key to providing the best service. That's why I&E has a staff who have a breadth of industry experience which you can rely upon.

Solid Surface Countertops are custom made and installed with no seams.

 

Enjoy premium service for your next home remodeling or
commercial building project with I&E Solid Surface!I&E Solid Surface employs a team of professionals who are specialized in Solid Surface fabrication. Having the right tools to perform certain tasks or jobs is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do we make sure we have the best tools for our trade, but we also employ the most skilled and trusted craftsman in the industry. We do this in order to help foster a long-lasting professional relationship as well as the best performance from the quality products we offer.

When it comes to renewable Solid Surface products we are Tops in the business. So, give us a call today and find out why our customer service is unparalleled.Our installation team has decades of experience in the counter-top, cabinetry, and remodeling industries. This offers us the ability to provide you a level of customer service that few companies can match. Solid Surface products installed by I&E have a fit, finish, and gave a look that is distinctive in nature. The details are where the competitors come up short and get left in the collective dust.

What is solid surface countertop?  It's what your kitchen remodel needs to make it affordable, sanitary, and beauty.