Butcher Block and Stone have both been around in the countertop world for a VERY long time. They are both wonderful products, and most of the time they’re in competition with each other… But why!? In my opinion, they go better together than alone.
Here are a few reason why using the two together can help turn your kitchen into a versatile, timeless, and beautiful place.
We’ll start with stone. Granite, Marble, Soapstone, and Quartz are all popular products used in kitchens around the world. They are strong, durable, and have their own sets of pros/cons. One thing they all have in common is, they are not ideal for cutting on. Some are too soft, and damage when used for a cutting surface (marble and soapstone), the other is so dense that it will dull your knife so fast you’ll have to sharpen it before you can chop up a bundle of carrots! Either way, you will most likely be pulling out a cutting board every time you cook.
Now if you’re like me, washing multiple cutting boards on top of the dishes is not my idea of fun after I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen... Wouldn’t it be great if there were a solution to this dilemma? Luckily for you and me, there is!
One of the newest trends making a big comeback is, in-laid butcher block. This provides the best of both worlds, a beautiful and permanent cutting board that you can wipe off with ease, while still having all the durability and beauty of stone.
Another option, if you’re not interested in permanent butcher block, is a semi permanent slide in butcher-block slab. These can be found online, and are usually a little more cost friendly than the traditional wood tops. These can be placed in different spots around the home depending on where you need it.
If this is something you might be interested in please give us a call, stop by, or send an email with your dimensions! We would be happy to help plan this project for you. All bids are free of charge.
In the last decade concrete countertops have really started to make an impression. The do it yourself appeal, and sheer strength of the material has a lot of people ready to take on their own project.
But, it may be harder than you think. As a granite shop we’ve heard many concrete nightmares from inexperienced folks who thought they would make a mold, pour in some concrete, and voila! Here are a few pros and cons if you’re trying to decide between concrete and granite:
Concrete is certainly a lot less expensive than granite, there’s no denying that. But, it’s for a good reason. The process for quarrying granite is extremely difficult. People dedicate their lives to finding the most beautiful slabs of granite from literally all over the world. Then, teams consisting of hundreds of workers come in and spend years cutting/use dynamite to get the material free from the mountain, then transporting it to local ports for sale. Not to mention all the work that goes into fabricating and installing the stone once we get it.
Granite has the largest variety of patterns and colors. Concrete can be died and acid etched in order to make the coloring different, but it just doesn’t hit the nail on the head when it comes to replicating granite. I can always tell when I see imitation granite made with concrete, or the real deal. If you can spare the expense, granite definitely trumps concrete when it comes to look. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the real thing if I could, and not something that looks like it.
Concrete and Granite both need to be sealed. To seal Granite it takes about 20-30 minutes on an averaged size kitchen, and last for 5-10 years. With Concrete, the sealing process can take up to an hour and needs to be repeated every couple years. Even with the sealant, Concrete is one of the most unsanitary surfaces to use for countertops. This is because it’s so porous. Concrete has a much better chance of absorbing bacteria, and staining.
I would consider this to be the biggest Con of Concrete. Because concrete is SO heavy, it’s extremely hard to remove once installed. The tops have to be hammered and chiseled out with jack hammers, often damaging the cabinets and walls. Now, you’re not only replacing the counters you just removed, but also the cabinets and sheetrock that were damaged in the process.
As for granite, it is adhered to the cabinets with a thin bead of silicone. This makes removal much easier. If you have a seam in your granite, the person taking it out should torch the epoxy in the seam, causing it to come right apart. Then the granite can be removed safely and easily in sections.
Which brings us to the difference in weight; Granite is heavy, but nowhere near the weight of Concrete. This is another plus that makes installing and removing Granite easier.
There are many other comparisons we could talk about when it comes to the two stones. But for now we will leave it at these few simple Pros and Cons. If you have any other questions, or you’re thinking about doing Concrete in your home, please do some research first! Granite may be notoriously expensive, but not even close to replacing walls and cabinets due to a botched Concrete job. Please come by the shop and see us for your free quote! Or if you’re not in the area, you can always email your dimensions to us at email@example.com.
Soapstone has been used for hundreds of years in old farmhouses across the world. It’s personally one of my favorite materials, aside from marble. It has a lot of spectacular features, but it’s not for everybody. If you’re someone who needs everything in your home neat and tidy, and with no surprises, then Soapstone may not be for you. If you’re considering Soapstone as a material for your home project, be sure to check out these helpful tips.
When it comes to Soapstone, the pros definitely outweigh the cons! If you would like to see the Soapstone we carry, stop by our shop on K-Beach in Soldotna or visit our soapstone supplier, Crocodile Rocks. Anything they carry, we can custom order for you!
As we know, history often repeats itself. It’s best known for happening in politics, but we also see it in the fashion and décor world as well.
One decade the trend may be forest green and mauve floral, with plastic hardware, and white appliances. The next may be stark white everywhere and stainless steel. Luckily, there is one element in the design world that seems to remain a constant. Black and White. We’ve been seeing this contrasting duo for decades, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
In the quartz and granite world, we are often asked to do some combination of contrasting materials, the majority being black, white, and gray. The most popular version of this would be black cabinets with white countertops (quartz, granite, marble) or vice versa. Some are even taking it a step further and doing four contrasts in one kitchen. For example, you might have a black island with a white countertop, and then do white surrounding cabinets with a black top.
The other great aspect of this look is that you are able to change up the entire look of the room by just changing the paint color. Because both hues are neutral, the possibility for paint color is virtually limitless. You can go from having a soft yellow French country feel, to a white/cream wall color with gold hardware for a trendy/chic look.
No matter how you choose to personalize and accomplish this look, it will stay current and on trend for years, even decades, to come. This goes to show; a safe bet definitely doesn’t have to be a boring one!
Picking out a material for your countertops can be daunting! There’s quartz, granite, soapstone, marble, and more! Not to mention, you have to pick out your edging, finish (see Ali’s post about leathered finishes), backsplash, and color matching it to your cabinets and floors (sometimes even your sink). It can all be a bit overwhelming, so below is a guide to help you pick the right material for your home!
Leathered or Brushed Granite is something that has been around for several years. It’s created when stone fabricators use diamond brushes and machinery to aggressively rub off any soft/loose minerals from the slab. This creates a semi matte finish, as well as a soft texture to the material. The photo below shows a nice comparison between gloss and leathered surfaces.
Our team of stone fabricators and interior designers can help you find the best stone or natural materials for your home improvement projects.
Saturday: By Appointment
44067 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Ste. 1
Soldotna, Alaska 99669