When it comes to kitchen design and decoration, the countertop is often the focal point of the entire space. In addition to being the most noticeable aesthetic choice, your countertops are also the most used area in your kitchen, providing the space where most tasks will be completed.
With so many options available for your countertop, it can be difficult to decide what the best look for your kitchen is. We’ve collected some of the biggest trends in granite countertops for 2017 to help you get inspired for your kitchen remodel.
A Thinner Profile
Modern décor is all about low profile design, which has led to an increase in demand for thinner countertops. Countertop thickness has shifted from 3/4 inch – 1 ¼ inch thickness, to a slimmer, more contemporary ½ inch on average.
As sleek design becomes more popular in the kitchen, and throughout the home this shift towards thinner countertops is unsurprising. Low profile countertops can dramatically improve the perceived space of your kitchen, so if you’ve got a smaller kitchen, slim countertops could be an excellent choice.
To add to the slim, low-profile design of a thinner countertop, integrated sinks are all the rage. Putting the sink into the countertop removes any extra height that would normally come from the sink, giving you a single plane for a sleek minimal design.
In addition to being incredibly stylish, the integrated sink serves a utilitarian purpose as well. Since there is no lip on the sink, you can wipe any little leftovers from preparation straight into the sink for easy clean up. It also eliminates any dirty water and gunk building up around your sink, a common issue with a normal sink.
Tiled Backsplash Replaces Matching Stone
In the past, most homeowners would opt for a backsplash that consisted of a 4 inch high piece of stone that matched the countertop, matched with paint or tile above. Recently the trend has been to leave out the piece of stone opting for decorative tiles all the way down to the countertop.
While countertops have been moving towards a lower profile look, the backsplash has become the new venue for bold colors or interesting patterns. Many homeowners these days are choosing to take their backsplash all the way up to the ceiling, rather than stopping at the wall cabinetry. This creates something akin to an accent wall, creating a powerful visual focal point.
Neutral Countertops Are In
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in the popularity of more neutral colors for countertops. As backsplashes, appliances, and paint colors become many homeowners’ choice for a pop of color, brightly colored countertops have become less popular.
This is unsurprising given that sleeker, more minimal design has started to dominate kitchen décor. White, softer grey, and beige tones are much more popular than heavy black or bright blue countertops.
There is also a shift currently towards kitchens with natural lighting, with skylights and large glass doors becoming more and more popular in modern kitchens. When paired with a lighter tone of granite or quartz, it expands your kitchen’s perceived space and creates an ultra-modern feel.
Quartz Stays On Top
Over the last several years, there has been a shift towards quartz countertops over traditional granite or marble countertops. For many years granite dominated the countertop market because it’s strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, it is also porous, making it easy to stain. On top of staining, the porous nature of granite can harbor bacteria.
The downsides of granite can be avoided by sealing your countertop with a non-porous sealant, but this requires resealing annually, as the sealant wears off with time and use.
Quartz is completely non-porous and requires no extra effort like resealing. It is also incredibly resistant to staining and one of the most hygienic options for a kitchen or bathroom countertop. Quartz is also fabricated to be incredibly strong, making it one of the more durable options for homeowners.
It’s easy to see why quartz has become the stone of choice for many homeowners when it comes to choosing a new countertop. Since it’s available in a wide variety of different color and pattern options, there’s virtually no drawback to choosing quartz over granite.
Keep these kitchen trends in mind when looking for your new countertop, and always remember if you’re having trouble deciding what would look best in your kitchen, talk to any member of the staff here at NEKA Granite Marble Quartz. We’re happy to help you design your dream kitchen and find the perfect stone for you.
Granite countertops are elegant and beautiful, but they aren’t the only way to utilize the magnificent stones found at NEKA Granite Marble Quartz. There are a wide variety of ways that you can incorporate granite or marble into your home or business. Whether it’s in the form of a walkway, wall covering, or fireplace mantle, our stones can add a touch of class to any room.
Let’s take a look at a few uses for stone that go beyond your basic countertop:
Granite Slab Walls
One of the most popular ways to use granite is mounting it on a wall, or several walls, to create a glossy accent wall. With our huge selection of granite and other high-quality stones, you’re sure to find a perfect color or pattern to match any room, whether it’s the lobby of your office building, or a section of your kitchen.
Apply one of our various stone finishes to create the perfect aesthetic for your new accent wall. If the glossy polished look is too much shine, you can go for a matte look. You could even get a more specialty finish, leathered for instance, to create an interesting texture on your wall that will accentuate the stone even more.
To mount granite on the wall, we cut the slab into thin pieces that aren’t too heavy for the wall to support and affix them with specialized epoxy. Once everything is safely in place and the epoxy has dried and hardened, we do a quick polish to make sure everything is looking its very best.
Hearth and Chimney
A polished granite fireplace makes for an elegant touch in any living room. Polished black granite creates a clean and stylish aesthetic, and looks great with a roaring fire. Granite is also much easier to keep clean if you have a traditional wood fireplace. A smooth finish makes it significantly easier to wipe up soot and other mess that would be difficult to clean off of bricks or other rough surfaces.
Outdoor Walkway or Patio
In addition to creating beautiful stone additions to the interior of your home, our stone can also be used to create walkways to your door or through a garden, or even to pave a whole patio area. By using a flamed finish on the stone, we can create a rough texture to keep them from becoming slippery.
With a custom stone patio, you can choose a vibrant color or pattern of stone that will create a beautiful outdoor seating area unlike anything you’ve seen before. In addition to wowing your guests, a custom stone patio can also significantly raise the property value of your home.
Custom benches are another great use for our stone products. A custom stone bench can serve as comfortable seating, as well as an elegant decoration for your garden, patio, or front porch. They can also be a classy addition to an office lobby, or be used to raise your curb appeal by placing them out in front of your business.
We can even use our specialized engraving and sandblasting processes to put custom text or images on your benches.
With our wide selection of beautiful stones, the possibilities truly are endless. If you have a project that you’re considering, but aren’t sure about how to make it work, give us a call and we can try to figure out the best way to make your dreams a reality. Feel free to look through our gallery for inspiration or come visit our showroom to find the perfect slab of granite, marble, or quartz for your home or business.
Granite countertops have become the new standard for any modern kitchen design or renovation, and with so many benefits it’s easy to see why more homeowners are choosing to update their kitchens with granite.
Countertops are an important factor to consider during any kitchen remodel or renovation. Since your countertops are going to be the majority of your functional space for cooking and preparation, you want to make sure you’re getting a surface that will remain useful for decades to come. In addition to utility, you also want to make sure that your new countertops are a beautiful focal point for your kitchen, since they will make up a large part of the visible space as well.
Granite countertops offer numerous benefits in the kitchen, here are some of our favorites:
Granite is one of the toughest materials you can get when it comes to countertops, and when taken care of properly can last for a very long time. Granite’s durability doesn’t just ensure the longevity of your countertops, it also allows you to use them differently than you would a laminate, wood, or even metal countertop.
With granite countertops, you can place hot dishes, pots, pans, and utensils directly on the stone without risk of melting or damaging your counters. You’ll want to be careful to avoid sliding heavy pots and pans around on the surface to keep from scratching the finish, but you won’t need to worry about trivets or hot pads!
With proper care, your granite countertops should be resistant to scratches, dents, cracks, and nicks for years to come.
One of the best features of granite is the fact that it requires very little maintenance on your part. The main task involved with keeping your granite looking great is remembering to apply a fresh coat of sealant each year.
Applying sealant to your countertops retains their shine and makes them far more resistant to stains. Since granite is a porous material, if spills are left sitting on your counter, they can sink into the pores and become embedded in the counter. When this happens it’s nearly impossible to get that stain back out.
Sealing your countertops creates a barrier between the bare stone and the spill, giving you more time to clean up any messes before they become a permanent addition to your home.
The granite we use to create custom countertops is formed naturally in the earth’s crust, which means that no two slabs are alike! Each granite countertop we make is completely unique, even ones that are made with the same style of granite. The natural striations and distribution of colors in each slab make for a different individual look with each different piece of stone.
This is why it’s always important to make sure you look at the exact slab that will be used in your kitchen to make sure you like the unique pattern that you’ll be getting.
These are just a few of the many benefits of having granite countertops installed in your home. The addition of beautiful natural stone can turn any kitchen renovation into a classy upgrade that will increase the property value of your home.
When it comes to different styles, colors, finishes, and custom shapes and sizes, NEKA Granite Marble Quartz is the best choice in Northern VA. Come visit our showroom to see our wide selection of granite and talk with an associate about what kind of granite would look best in your home.
People have been using natural stone as a building material since the dawn of human history. Once used to erect massive temples, tombs, and monuments, it has become the material of choice for homeowners who want a unique touch of natural beauty in their home.
How is Granite Formed?
Natural granite comes in a stunning array of different colors and patterns, making it adaptable to any sort of style or design aesthetic. Granite is an igneous rock, which means it is formed when molten rock cools and solidifies. The colors we see in various granite slabs are a result of different minerals mixing in with the granite when it is still in its molten state. As this mixture of minerals solidifies, different mineral densities and veins form the beautiful striations and patterns that are so highly sought after in today’s granite market.
Where Does Granite Come From?
The granite slabs at NEKA Granite Marble Quartz have quite the journey before they reach our showroom. Granite, Marble, and other types of natural stone, are mined in huge quarries all over the world. The majority of natural stone is imported from Brazil, Italy, Spain, and China. Brazil is known for its granite quarries, while Italy produces a majority of marble and onyx.
The process of mining natural stone starts by cutting a large block of the desired material out of the quarry, making sure that it is solid throughout, without any cracks, fissures, or other imperfections. Even the slightest imperfections can cause problems down the road when the stone is cut into slabs and used for construction.
Once the block has been removed, it is cut into slabs with gang saws. This cutting process can take up to 48 hours to complete. Once the slabs have been cut, they need to be covered with resin and cured in an oven. This resin coating fills any minor fissures or imperfections and seals the stone to make it ready for polishing or one of our other finish options.
After the slabs have been sealed and cured, they are shipped out to distributors like NEKA. When the slabs reach our warehouse, we inspect each one to make sure it is free of imperfections, we may do a quick polish and buff to make them really shine, and finally we photograph each slab to make it easy to show you all of the options when you come in to purchase a new countertop.
How Do We Turn Slabs into Finished Products?
Granite’s journey from quarry to countertop still has a few more steps after it reaches our warehouse as a slab. Obviously, each slab must be cut down to size for the project it is being used for, and in most cases refinished before sending it out for installation.
To cut our slabs down to size we use our specialized CNC (or Computer Numerical Control) routers and saws to make sure the slab is cut down to exact specifications. We utilize our CNC routers to add any special details to your countertop like a hole for a sink or other fixtures.
Once the slab is cut down to size, we use our automated multi-head edge processors to put your chosen edge on your new countertop with mechanical precision.
Finally, we apply your chosen finish to the stone to achieve the exact style you’re looking for. We have a wide variety of exclusive finishes that can help you personalize the look of your new countertop and fit it into your overall design scheme for your home.
After all that processing, your new granite countertop is ready for installation. Our highly trained crew of installation professionals make quick work of removing your old countertop and replacing it with your brand new granite countertop from NEKA Granite Marble Quartz.
Granite countertops are a remarkable feat of human ingenuity when you take the time to look at the whole process involved in their creation. It’s pretty incredible to think that your new countertop was once underground halfway around the world, and here at NEKA we are proud to bring you these high quality building materials from across the globe.
Click here to see more about our fabrication techniques and be sure to check out our gallery of fabrication photos to see the various types of equipment that go into manufacturing our quality stone products.