The Latest Trends In Stone Countertops That Lead To Dream Kitchens And Elegantly Detailed Bathrooms

Posted on | January 21, 2015 | 1 Comment

The right countertops can be a kitchen’s crowning glory, and there’s nothing quite like stone for dressing up the heart of the home. The colors, veining, texture, and movement of stone can add wonderful detail, artistry and character to a kitchen’s décor, and provide a beautiful complement to the flooring and cabinetry.

Pete Lane of Ivey Lane, Inc. in Greensboro is an expert in stone. His discerning eye and thorough knowledge of products has helped countless clients create their dream kitchen. North Carolina Design recently talked to Pete, getting his take on the different types of stone, and what people are looking for in today’s countertops.

Images Courtesy of Ivey Lane, Inc. ©

Pete notes that preferences have changed considerably in terms of appearance. “Over the last couple of years we have seen more cool tones than warm,” he notes. “We have especially seen a lot of whites and light grays. The finishes have also changed; beyond the glossy, shiny surfaces, homeowners have become interested in honed and textured tops. Leathered, river-washed and brushed tops have all become popular.”

Images Courtesy of Ivey Lane, Inc. ©

Engineered stone, also known as quartz, has also risen sharply in popularity. “There has been a huge increase in demand,” Pete affirms. “Engineered stone is made up of 93 to 97 percent quartz chips, which are bound together with pigment and resin. It’s really durable and scratch resistant, and it’s available in colors you can’t get in natural stone, like blues, greens, and pure white. Quartz does have a more contemporary look, although they are manufacturing new varieties that mimic granite and marble.”

Once dismissed as impractical, marble has made a comeback in kitchen countertops. “There are some disadvantages to marble,” Pete concedes. “It’s a softer stone than granite, and it can stain and scratch. It also reacts to acids, so spilling something acidic on it — like wine or juice — can cause damage. That being said, nothing else really comes close to the look of marble. It’s just a beautiful, classic and luxurious stone to work with. If you don’t have a high-traffic, high-use kitchen, it can work.”

When it comes to stone, Pete’s personal favorite is quartzite. “It’s very, very beautiful, with color variations and graining that you can’t get anywhere else,” he notes. “It really is nature’s artwork. It’s also ultra-durable, like a very hard granite, and it’s resistant to acid, scratching and heat.”

Pete concedes that some people have reservations about stone countertops. “They’re afraid that they will stain or scratch easily, and require a lot of maintenance,” he notes. But, he says, this isn’t necessarily the case.

“First of all, some products wear better than others. You have to choose the right product and finish for your lifestyle and the amount of traffic in your kitchen. Second, you can and should seal marble and granite countertops to prevent stains. There are sealers on the market today that guarantee against staining for 15 years.

“You should always use the proper cleaning supplies for your product. And even with highly durable products, you should use appropriate caution and care. For example, you should avoid putting hot items on engineered stone, as the resin can scald. In the end, with the right knowledge and just a bit of care stone countertops can look beautiful for years to come.”

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One Response to “The Latest Trends In Stone Countertops That Lead To Dream Kitchens And Elegantly Detailed Bathrooms”

  1. Bloomday Granite and Marble
    January 21st, 2015 @ 1:08 PM

    Marble and Granite are absolutely the way to go. Countertops can really tie a kitchen together and give it the touch it needs. Great post and thanks for sharing!

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