Approving the stone for your countertops

Approving your material is a critical decision point in your countertop project. Most schedule delays are associated with material procurement. To avoid delays with your project, follow these simple steps to select your stone:

  1. Samples are a good place to start, however with natural stone colors and patterns vary from slab to slab and even within a slab. Keep in mind that granite samples are a representation of the stone and likely not an exact match of what will be installed. Quartz samples are much more consistent and a very close representation of what will be installed. So, start by narrowing your choices with samples.
  2. Make an appointment to view the slab(s) of stone. You want to give yourself enough time to allow you to change your mind if need be, and potentially order material that may not be in stock. If the most important thing is to get the exact stone you want, then extra lead time may be critical. If you have a pressing schedule, you will want to limit your viewing to stone that is available and ready to go. Communicating these priorities is important so that we can help you select a stone that is beautiful and meets all of your needs.
  3. When you are viewing your stone, take your time and look carefully. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to look at and touch the stone – it will be around for a very long time and we want you to enjoy your choice. We encourage careful inspection of the movement, vein and grain of the stone. Pits, fissures and inclusions are normal occurrences and not considered to be defects. If there is anything about your stone that you are unsure of, now is the time to ask and get clarification.
  4. Sign the approval after your viewing – and plan to live happily ever after with your natural stone countertops!

If you have a stone with a lot of variation and movement, you want to consider a Slabsmith viewing. This is your chance to see your kitchen layout on your stone slab before anything is cut. You will see the seam locations as well as how the movement in the stone looks across all of the pieces. Depending on which granite you choose, there may be an extra fee for this – talk to your project coordinator and see if it makes sense for your project!

soapstone for countertop

With Slabsmith each piece is shown on the slabs prior to cutting.

the kitchen layout shows how the grain and movement will flow across the countertop pieces

The kitchen layout shows how the grain and movement will flow across the countertop pieces.

 

Start planning your new stone counter tops at one of our showrooms

We now have two showroom locations to make it easy to start planning for your new stone counter tops! Our original showroom is located at 95A Sheep Davis Road in Pembroke NH. Our new showroom is location at 714 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack.

Both showrooms offer an attractive, comfortable, well-lit environment featuring counter top vignettes, edge profile displays and large material displays. You are welcome to browse the over one hundred 20-inch by 20-inch samples of granite and quartz. Our knowledgeable staff can assist with helping you select the right stone for your project, as well as discuss the necessary details required for a smooth and timely installation. For directions and hours of operation, please visit www.rumfordstone.com/contact-us/locations-and-directions/ .

Planning in advance is the best way to ensure your counter tops arrive when you want them too – and minimize the amount of time that your kitchen is in chaos. The best time to order your counter tops is the same time that you order your cabinetry. The other key factor in your timeline will be selecting and approving your stone. So, don’t delay – plan to stop by soon to start planning for your new natural stone counter tops.

granite countertops, quartz coutnertops, nh

view more than 100 samples of granite and quartz

Colors to Consider in Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are a beautiful, high-functioning feature that will make your kitchen more livable as well as add timeless appeal and value to your home.

Quartz has great functional features that make it an ideal selection for kitchen and bath projects. It is extremely durable with its stain resistance and low incidence of chipping and breaking. It also does not need to be sealed ever. Its increasing popularity can be attributed not just to its performance but just as important are the much improved color offerings available now.

In terms of aesthetics, quartz countertops offer a greater consistency in color as quartz is manufactured and therefore does not have the variation of natural stone. This means what you see on a sample should match what is installed into your home.

We work with quartz in approximately 40% of our kitchen and bath projects. The LG Viatera “Musica” Collection features some popular neutral colors, in particular Aria, Minuet and Rococo. See the full collection here.

And wherever we look we cannot escape the popularity of the white kitchen! Transitional and contemporary kitchen design is dominated by white, and white quartz countertops such as LG’s Snow Storm or White Zeus Extreme from Silestone have tremendous appeal.

Quartz also provides a great option for those who want the look of marble but are hesitant about marble’s softness and incidence of staining. Caesarstone’s new color line up for 2016 is a great alternative to marble, view it here .

Whatever your color palette for your new kitchen or kitchen update, Quartz is likely to have the color options as well at the functionality to meet your needs.

Color Trends in Granite Countertops

We tend to the think of the natural stone countertop in a kitchen as the gemstone in a ring setting. Basically, you are buying a big piece of jewelry for your house! So, it may be of interest to note what we are seeing in terms of popular colors these days. Regardless of what color you pick, it is important that you view and select the actual slab of stone that will be installed in your house. There is too much variation in natural stone to pick based on a representation or a sample. Your granite countertops will last a life time and you should enjoy them every day!

For granite counter tops, three very popular colors right now are Delicatus, Blue Flower and Super White.

Delicatus is a classic looking black and white granite often with grey shades and swirls. What can cause a slab of Delicatus to look very different is the presence of taupe, caramel, peach or rust tones. Depending on your preference and project, you will want to select your Delicatus based on the appeal of the extra coloring. Houzz has a nice gallery of kitchen pictures featuring this granite with a variety of cabinetry and kitchen styles – check it out here: http://www.houzz.com/delicatus-granite

Blue Flower granite is also coming on strong these days – this creamy grey/blue granite features black/gray background with pools of iridescent blue as one would expect. Again here is a nice gallery of this color featured in a variety of settings: http://www.houzz.com/blue-flower-granite

Super White granite is popular granite with gray shades and veining.  Some customers prefer Super White granite to varieties of white marble for kitchen applications due to its increased durability and stain resistance.  We see it being installed in kitchens as well as bathroom vanity applications.   You can see it here: http://www.houzz.com/super-white-granite

 

 

Choosing the Best Countertops for Your Home

So, you’re looking to update your kitchen and are considering what type of Natural Stone or Quartz countertop to choose. What’s the first step? Well, it mostly depends upon which factors are going to drive your decision. When working with customers in our showroom, it’s important for me to understand what interests them so I can point them in the right direction and make the best use of their time. Factors like price, material type, sustainability, functionality, color, maintenance, warranty, quality and delivery time can weigh heavily on the decision making process. Some folks are flexible on price if it means getting the look they want, while others are working within a firm price range and only want to see options that will fit the budget. I know that I like to be informed about a product before making a decision, so let’s start with material options and pricing, then we’ll move onto quality and other considerations.

It seems that there are a dizzying array of material types to choose from, but really, there are two primary categories that account for over 90% of our sales: Granite and Quartz surfaces. The attributes of each are described below.

 

Granite Kitchen Countertop

Granite Kitchen Countertop

Granite

  • A natural stone that is quarried all over the world.
  • Scratch and stain resistant, but must be sealed annually to prevent oil staining.
  • Sealing granite is an easy spray and wipe process that does not require a pro.
  • Highly heat resistant, does not burn or discolor when exposed to heat.
  • Granite is extremely durable and, with normal use, will easily outlive your house!
  • Granite’s surface is available polished, honed (matte) and textured.
  • Granite is normally repairable by a fabricator in the event of a chip, scratch or stain.
  • Warranty: Rumford Stone offers a limited lifetime warranty, but in general, the warranty for granite countertops is limited to what each individual fabricator or retailer offers.
  • Be sure to inquire about the warranty when purchasing a stone countertop.
  • Price: Granite, depending upon the color selected, can be the least expensive option. However, granite pricing varies widely and some colors can reach the highest price ranges.

 

Quartz Surfaces

  • Quartz is an expertly manufactured high performance countertop surface that is comprised of 93% natural quartz and 7% resin.
  • Quartz brands are manufactured by a variety of companies from the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • Quartz is scratch and stain resistant.
  • Quartz does not require sealing, ever.
  • Quartz is the lowest maintenance countertop surface we offer.
  • Quartz surface is primarily available polished. Some manufacturers offer a matte type finish on a few select colors.
  • Quartz is not as easily repairable as natural stone. However, due to its inherent durability and stain resistance, home owner damage requiring repair is rare.
  • Warranty: Each Quartz manufacturer offers a warranty, the terms of which can vary widely, so be sure to inquire with your retailer and visit the manufacturer’s website to view their warranty information.
  • Price: Quartz is affordable, although it is not as low priced as the least expensive granites can be. The price does vary depending upon the manufacturer and color selected.

In addition to Granite and Quartz, there are other materials to consider as well, please visit our website for more options.

 

The Most Important Thing

Now that you have some information regarding material choices, we need to talk about what is truly the most important factor in your decision: Quality. Consider this, if you purchased a beautiful diamond to have placed into a custom made setting, would you go to the local mall jewelry store and hand your precious stone over to the 20 year old behind the counter because they were running a special? Or, would you take it to a local jeweler who has been in business for years and has a great reputation and spend a little more? The choice seems obvious, but people spend thousands of dollars on stone tops, only to have them made and installed by subpar fabricators offering cheap deals on the internet.

Highly skilled tradespeople are required to successfully measure, fabricate and install your countertops. Regardless of the price of the material you select, it’s the workmanship of the fabricator’s staff that will determine if your job will look “fantastic for years” or like you “got what you paid for”. Quality workmanship is what your paying for and should be a paramount concern regardless of the price you pay. This is where the lasting real “value” behind your purchase comes into play. How can you possibly know whether or not your fabricator is going to deliver a quality product before you buy? Consider the following before you hand over your 50% deposit:

  1. Visit their shop and showroom. Is the staff professional and presentable? Is the facility clean, organized, safe?
  2. Look at their proposal? Is the pricing scribbled on a piece of paper or is it presented as a typed, professional looking quotation?
  3. Take 20-30 minutes and check them out online. Go to BBB Online, Angie’s, Houzz,Yelp, etc. and objectively read reviews and feedback from a variety of internet sources. No one is perfect and stone countertop installations can and do go wrong. If they have complaints, do they address them professionally and resolve the issues? Is there a lot if negative internet chatter? Ask the fabricator about any issues you’ve read about.
  4. Do they have a written warranty that you can look at before you buy?
  5. Do they have general liability and workers compensation insurance for their installers? Ask for an insurance certificate. If they aren’t insured, your homeowner’s insurance may be on the hook if one of their employees is injured onsite. You’d be surprised how many undocumented, uninsured and under-the-table folks are out there installing countertops.
  6. Ask for 4-5 referrals of customers who have had installations in the last 2-4 weeks.
  7. Ask about turnaround times and how they handle service issues.

Taking a few of these steps will help to form a picture in your mind of the type of business your about to trust with your kitchen countertop project. Trust your instincts.

 

Why Use Rumford Stone?

We’d love to do your work! Below are some points that I feel separate us from the other providers in our market. If we can be of service, please visit our website and/or our showroom in Pembroke, NH.

  • We’ve been in business for over 20 years.
  • Owners are 4th generation in the stone industry.
  • Lifetime Warranty.
  • Quality work and excellent service are our priority.
  • We’re fully insured.
  • Our staff is trained and authorized by our family before working in your home.
  • All our field personnel have passed criminal background checks. If we won’t let them in our house, we won’t let them in yours.
  • We source our material from the best industry sources and offer a full range of Natural Stone and Quartz surface options.
  • We will assign a customer service rep to your job, start to finish, so you’ll have a single point of contact.