How to Tell the Difference Between Marble and Quartz

How to Tell the Difference Between Marble and Quartz

New countertops have the ability to make any kitchen remodel project stand out, no matter if it is a full upgrade or a partial makeover. Your countertops are the natural focal point for any kitchen as well as one of the most used spaces in a kitchen. So, when it comes to choosing the style, design, and material for your new countertops, it can be a difficult task. 

When it comes to countertop materials, the most popular are natural stone products such as marble and engineered stone products such as quartz. Each product has its own benefits, but one benefit quartz has is that it can be made to resemble natural stone products such as marble.

So, how do you tell the difference between marble and quartz? 

1. How They Are Produced

Marble is a 100% natural stone product that has undergone several processes, such as quarrying, slicing, water blasting, buffing, and polishing to produce the shinning slabs used to make countertops. Quartz on the other hand is a manufactured product made from a mixture of natural quartz, resins, polymers, and pigments. Quartz comprises 93-97 percent quartz and 7-3 percent synthetic materials. 

2. Appearance

Marble has natural elegance and beauty. Its natural colour and veining will differ from one slab to another. When marble is pure and free of imperfections or other natural stone, it is a stark white colour. Being a manmade product, quartz can be manufactured into any pattern or colour combination that comes to mind. Quartz often has consistent colour, pattern, and texture. For this reason, at times it may be easy to spot quartz countertops that have been made to mimic marble as the pattern and veining is consistent, where you would be hard-pressed to find this uniformity in natural marble countertops. 

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3. Durability

As a natural stone product, marble is porous and requires additional maintenance to ensure it remains in pristine condition. It can be damaged or stained by acidic substances, especially if it hasn’t been sealed on a regular basis. On the contrary, quartz is non-porous and resistant to stain, it does not require regular sealing, even with everyday use. Quartz countertops are also more durable, and wont damage as easily as a soft stone such as marble.

4. Heat Resistance

When it comes to putting a hot pan on your counters, quartz is more resistant to heat than marble. The resin composition and quartz’s hardness make it stronger and able to better withstand the heat better. On the other hand, marble has been known to crack under high temperatures, so be weary of placing extremely hot pots and pans directly onto your marble countertops.

If you are looking at a countertop and are not sure if it is marble or quartz, take a look for signs of wear on the surface such as scratches. If you find scratches and other wear marks, you are looking at natural marble. If you don’t see any marks, you can always perform a scratch test. Take a knife and gently rub it across a discreet area of the countertop or even its underside. If it doesn’t leave a mark, you know it’s quartz.

At KBC Solutions we are experienced with kitchen remodels of all types and sizes. Our designers will work with you to help plan out and design the kitchen of your dreams and our professional installers will bring it to life. Call us today at 647-258-4170 to book your consultation.


What are the Advantages of Quartz Countertops?

What are the Advantages of Quartz Countertops?

Quartz has quickly become one of the most popular countertop materials used in the new home build and kitchen renovations across North America. Even though quartz is a fairly new countertop material, they have been widely accepted and utilized because of their numerous advantages.

If you are currently planning out your kitchen remodel, here are some key advantages of installing quartz countertops in your new kitchen.

  • Durability

One of the main reasons quartz countertops gained in popularity so quickly is the durability of the material itself. Quartz is extremely difficult to scratch or crack, meaning it will last a long time while still looking great. This doesn’t mean quartz can’t sustain damage, but with the proper precautions, it is easily avoidable.

  • Appearance

Apart from the intended functionality, countertops are able to add beauty and character to your kitchen. Quartz countertops achieve both. They are known for their array of modern, sleek, and beautiful designs. The wide range of designs and colours also sets quartz apart from granite and other natural stone countertop material that is only available in their natural designs.

Quartz manufacturers have been coming up with different approaches and means to creating new and different colour and design patterns. They can integrate metal shavings, recycled glass, and other materials to add pigments to the countertops. If you are looking for a kitchen remodel that matches your style, you are sure to find a quartz countertop that will match your style and the rest of your kitchen and home’s design.

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  • Non-porous

Quartz countertops have various non-porous compositions. As a result of this, they don’t allow any liquids to get under their surface or to seep into the material leading to discoloration or damage. Additionally, since the material is non-porous, you can be certain that bacteria, germs, and other microbes cannot get into your countertops and infect other items on them.

  • Stain-resistant

Because quartz countertops are made with non-porous materials, it is difficult for stains to be absorbed under their surface. This means that you don’t have to worry about irremovable stains that are often associated with marble and granite countertops. Its ability to resist stains makes quartz the perfect option for households with kids that can spill juices, sodas, oils, and other liquids on the countertops.

If you have ever had natural stone countertops in your home previously, you know how difficult it is to clean a red wine or grape juice spot that had been sitting there for some time.

  • Extended warranty

Because of the confidence that most manufacturers have in quartz countertops, the manufacturers often provide extended warranties on their products. Most manufacturers provide warranties of around 20 to 25 years, a few others offer a limited lifetime warranty for an original customer.

  • Low maintenance

Maintenance is an important element that must be considered when choosing any items for your remodel. Luckily, quartz countertops don’t require much maintenance. Unlike natural stone, there is no need to seal quartz as it is a non-porous material. Quartz resists stains and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. If you want your countertops to shine like new, you can use specially formulated degreasers as well as other specialty cleaners and polishes that are formulated for quartz. 

In fact, there aren’t many negatives to choosing quartz for your kitchen remodel. The cost of having quartz installed in your new kitchen is roughly in line with some natural stone products, but higher than some other countertop options, such as laminate. Quartz countertops should be considered as an investment in your kitchen and home, as they have a very long life span. 

At KBC Solutions we are experienced with kitchen remodels of all types and sizes. Our designers will work with you to help plan out and design the kitchen of your dreams and our professional installers will bring it to life. Call us today at 647-258-4170 to book your consultation.


How Do I Update My Small Kitchen?

How Do I Update My Small Kitchen?

There is no sugar coating it, small kitchens can be really difficult to update or remodel. The limited space makes it challenging to come up with and design a variety of layouts. Incorporating enough space for the essential kitchen appliances, countertop small appliances, and meal prep is always a task. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on the idea of updating your small kitchen. There are plenty of tactics you can take that will have the finished project feeling more like your dream kitchen versus the cramped small kitchen you previously had.

To help out with your remodel, we asked our designers to provide their top tip on how to remodel a small kitchen? Here are the tips to remodelling a small kitchen they came up with:

Open Concept Design

Overhead cabinets, clustering appliances, and tight spaces can make small kitchens unattractive and even uncomfortable. By using the free space on your walls or under your cabinets you can open up space in your kitchen. Consider incorporating some magnetic spice or kitchen knife holders, hanging pot racks and in the cupboard, organizers to free up space in your kitchen. Floating shelves can also provide additional ‘open’ storage.

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Proper Lighting

Using the same principle from smaller spaced bathroom renovations, a small kitchen update requires good lighting. Therefore, you should think about adding both atmospheric and task lighting fixtures. Incandescent lighting can be installed below your cabinets to provide more lighting to the countertops. Hanging pendant lights can also be used to beautify your kitchen while still providing enough illumination for the entire space.

Update the flooring

Your kitchen floor has the power to change the entire ambiance of the room, the floor is also one of the first areas that most individuals notice when entering a kitchen of any size. So, updating your flooring is a must with any kitchen renovation as it helps highlight the renovation. Choosing vinyl as a cost-effective flooring option for your small kitchen is a great way to save on your budget, but still get a luxurious look as vinyl can be made to look like any natural flooring material. Choosing a lighter colour floor will also help make your space look larger and brighter.   

Keep Only the Important Appliances

That industrial-strength mixer may look great on your counter, but if you are only using it a few times a year, find a hidden storage space for it. Counter space is at a premium when you have limited space, keep only the important items out. This includes fruit bowls, coffee machines (you only really need one), and other decorative pieces. Investing in multipurpose appliances may also be a great option, you can get a toaster over that doubles as a small convection oven and an air fryer will help save space. 

Choose a minimalistic design

Another excellent update for your small kitchen is minimalizing it. What is the benefit of a minimalistic design on how to remodel a small kitchen? Foremost, it makes the kitchen look refined without being too flashy. Also, it is modern and easy to maintain or upgrade. So, consider using a minimalistic design for your small kitchen. Notably, minimalistic designs also work for living room and bathroom renovations.

Choose the Same Colour Walls and Cabinets 

By choosing a light colour for your walls and cabinets, you create a space with no boundaries or defined lines helping space look larger. You can go for any colour or hue you like, but lighter colours will make space feel more open, where darker shades will have the opposite effect, leaving the room feeling tighter.

At KBC Solutions we are experienced with kitchen remodels of all types and sizes. Our designers will work with you to help plan out and design the kitchen of your dreams and our professional installers will bring it to life. Call us today at 647-258-4170 to book your consultation.


5 Kitchen Renovation Ideas

5 Kitchen Renovation Ideas

At some point or another, we have all heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is because friends and family tend to congregate in or around the kitchen and many memories are made and experiences had in the kitchen. When your kitchen begins to feel dull and outdated, it can affect the ambiance of the environment as well. This is why having an upgraded kitchen is one of the most sought-after attributes that new home buyers are looking for in a home, and one of the top listed renovation projects on homeowners wish lists. 

If you are planning a kitchen renovation, be it as a Do It Yourself project or with help from contractors, learning from the experiences of others can help make the process more successful. We have reached out to our designers and asked them to share their top ideas/tips for renovating a kitchen. Outlined below are 5 of these tips:

Don’t Underestimate a Fresh Coat of Paint

Sometimes, all your kitchen needs is a refresh, and the fastest way to achieve a fresh new look and vibe is by repainting your kitchen walls. Your kitchen’s identity can be completely updated and or redefined by simply painting. Choosing to go with light neutral colours is a safe bet for your kitchen, and is one that more people will be comfortable with. However, if you want a more vibrant colourful option go for it. The goal is to create a visually appealing space that you will enjoy spending time in. Just know that if you go with vibrant or bright colour, you will probably need to repaint if you plan on selling your home, to appeal to more buyers.

Update the Lighting

No matter if you have a small kitchen or a large chef’s kitchen, having varying lightning solutions is important to include as part of your kitchen renovations. The right lighting can not only make your space feel welcoming but can be used to accent different areas of the kitchen. Our experts recommend using warm lights and ensuring that all key areas around your kitchen are well lit.

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Incorporate Sufficient Storage

Having plenty of space in your kitchen can help you move smaller appliances off your countertop and keep clutter out of the field of view. This will keep your kitchen open with a clean feel. Using different storage options is important for any kitchen, you can maximize space with floor to ceiling cabinets and utilize wall space to include shelves.

Appliances

Every kitchen renovation should include new appliances, especially since they face a lot of use and wear and tear over the years. New appliances can add a modern touch to your kitchen, or they can be incorporated into the cabinetry with matching facades. Whatever your style, new appliances will make your kitchen renovation more enjoyable and more than likely more energy-efficient.

Plan the Flow Carefully

With any kitchen renovation, a lot of time will be spent on choosing colours, materials, and finishes. Don’t forget to think about the flow of your kitchen. The sink, stove, and refrigerator are the highest used areas in a kitchen and can cause a ton of frustration if they are not easily accessible or if there isn’t enough space to move around these areas freely during meal preparation. Also, consider storage relative to the stove and prep areas.

Achieving the kitchen of your dreams is just a renovation away. But. To ensure that renovation stands up to your expectations, you need to prepare and plan for every aspect of your dream kitchen. A gorgeous kitchen that flows well and offers room for friends and family to gather around to share stories and share a great meal is essential in making any house a home.


What Is The Difference Between Granite And Marble Countertops?

What Is The Difference Between Granite And Marble Countertops?

When it comes to kitchen renovations replacing your countertops is almost always at the top of the priority list. There are many different materials that can be utilized for your kitchen countertops, butcherblock has become popular in the past couple years. But, two of the most popular options have always been marble and granite, and a question which we get asked very often is “which material should you go for“?

Both granite and marble are natural stone and have their own distinct beautiful designs. When it comes to selecting the right slab for your countertops, it can easily become a really tough decision. However, before you can decide which one is best for your kitchen, you should understand the difference between the two types of stone.

1. Origin of Granite and Marble

Granite is igneous rock that is formed deep within the earth due to solidification and cooling of Magma. It takes millions of years for this rock to be formed and it becomes hard due to heating and then slow cooling over a large period of time.

Marble on the other hand, is a metamorphic stone that is formed by transformation of sedimentary stone. The sedimentary rock was buried under soil for a long period of time. There it remained under intense heat and pressure and thus was transformed into marble. Due to in addition of different impurities you can find marble slabs with different tints and shades of colours.

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2. Appearance

Both marble and granite can have a similar appearance, in most cases granite will have darker shades and more variances in patterns, and more differentiating identifiers due to impurities. There is a natural color variation that is different in two stones, marble tends to have colourful veins that flow through it, while Granite has colors that are spaced out throughout the stone.

3. Strength and Durability

The strength and durability of each of these stones depends greatly upon the process they were formed. Both granite and marble will withstand the use and wear thrown at them as a kitchen countertop, but they still differ from each other. Granite is technically the harder of the two stones, and better resists any scratches that may occur from cutting and working on the countertop. Marble on the other hand may not be able to resist some hard strokes and wear that granite can withstand.

4. Stain Resistance

As natural stone both marble and granite are porous materials, and will require periodic sealing to prevent any staining of your countertops. Marble has metamorphic features and thus it is a more porous material compared to granite.

Ultimately, the choice between granite and marble is up to your design and style preferences. Both materials are gorgeous and can be cut to fit pretty much any kitchen counter style. They are both hard natural stone that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. They both also require minimum maintenance such as periodic sealing to ensure you get the most out of your countertop. So, when it comes to choosing between marble or granite, go with the material that best meets your style, budget, and timeline.


What is the Best Countertop Material for a Kitchen?

What is the Best Countertop Material for a Kitchen?

A question we receive very often is what is the best countertop material for my kitchen renovation? This is a tough question to answer without first understanding your needs and wants for your new kitchen. With that being said, below we will highlight the key factors you should consider when choosing a countertop material for your kitchen renovation.

Let’s start by reviewing the most common countertop materials used in kitchen renovations today:

  1. Granite 2. Marble 3. Quartz 4. Soapstone 5. Tile 6. Laminate 7. Recycled Glass

Each of the above countertop materials has its own pros and cons. With so many great options available, it is easy to see why some people have a hard time choosing the right option for their new kitchen. 

Here are the factors that should be considered when choosing the best countertop material for your kitchen renovations.

1. Functionality

A major factor that must be prioritized when choosing the best countertop material for your

kitchen renovation is what purpose you need your countertop to perform. If you do a lot of cooking and or baking in your kitchen you will need a material that will provide a surface that compliments your work in the kitchen and stand up to the heat from pots and pans, allow for food preparation and so on. After all, you don’t want to be looking for accessories to protect your countertop when you are in the middle of preparing a feast.

2. Aesthetics

Countertops are a backdrop for the kitchen. As a result, the material should contribute to the

overall appeal and ambiance of your kitchen. The material you choose should help enhance the new look you are trying to achieve with your renovation.

3. Durability

The kitchen quite often becomes the gathering place for families and for guests alike. The countertop should be able to not only withstand wear from cooking and food preparation but also from the additional use as a gathering place.

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4. Heat Resistance

This one can fall into functionality, but it is so important that we needed to call it out again. Being able to place a hot pot or tray directly onto your countertop is a big benefit in the kitchen. You don’t want to be looking for a heat resistant trivet to protect your new countertop every time you are in the kitchen. 

5. Ease of Maintenance

Some countertop materials require more maintenance than others, for example, any natural stone product is porous, so a countertop made of stone will need to be sealed annually to prevent discolouration and stains on the material.  Choosing a material that meets your maintenance expectations will help alleviate any potential frustrations with the material later on. Choosing a material that is easy to clean and keep in top condition without the fear of damaging it easily, should be a priority.

Choosing the best countertop material really does depend on your kitchen renovation needs and wants. There isn’t one material fits all, however, there is one material that is wildly popular, and that is Quartz. For many, it is considered the best countertop material as it is very attractive, available in a wide selection of colours and designs, has the natural stone look but without the annual maintenance required by sealing natural stone materials. Quartz is made from quartz, resin, and polymers to create a nonporous surface that can withstand the busy kitchen activities. This easy to maintain, beautiful and durable material also costs less per square foot than marble, granite, or soapstone making quartz the number one choice for many planning a kitchen renovation.


What is the Difference Between Refacing and Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets?

What is the Difference Between Refacing and Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets?

Are you planning a kitchen renovation, and considering upgrading your kitchen cabinets? Do you want to change your cabinet style without replacing the entire cabinet? Are you contemplating between cabinet refacing and cabinet refinishing? This article aims to share details on both options to help you make an informed decision.

When it is time for a kitchen upgrade, you will have multiple decisions to make. When it comes to setting a budget, separating your needs and wants prior to meeting potential kitchen renovation contractors will help you prioritize what’s important for the new kitchen.

Cabinets are a major component of your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetics. They can also take up a large part of your renovation budget, if replacing them. There is a potential to save some money upgrading the existing cabinets. Your options here are cabinet refacing or cabinet refinishing.

Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing involves replacing the external surfaces of your current cabinets. This includes all cabinet doors, drawer fronts, hardware, face frames, and end panels. Laminates or wood veneers are usually used to reface the cabinets. A key aspect of refacing your cabinets, is ensuring that all the refaced components match with each other. This is a great option, especially if you have damaged cabinet doors and drawers.

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Cabinet Refinishing

If your kitchen cabinet doors and drawers are still in great condition, but you would like to change the look of your kitchen, cabinet refinishing may be the best option for you. Cabinet refinishing involves changing the color or finish of existing cabinets by painting or staining them. All the original materials are reused, so you must ensure that your cabinets do not have any cracks, dents, chips, cuts, or gouges before choosing this option.

To sum up the above, the difference between refacing and refinishing your existing kitchen cabinets is that refacing involves putting new pieces on the existing frames and changing
the doors and drawer fronts. Refinishing on the other hand focuses only on updating the
existing finish or color of the cabinets. No parts are replaced.

Refacing your cabinets is a great way to save money on your kitchen renovation when there is minor visible damage, refinishing is the more affordable solution, as long as your cabinets are in good condition.

Choosing between refacing or refinishing your existing kitchen cabinets, is based on your specific situation. Your desired look, budget, and the condition of your existing cabinets will all play a role in your decision.


How to Tell the Difference Between Granite Marble and Quartz

How to Tell the Difference Between Granite, Marble and Quartz

Your kitchen is one of the most important parts of your house. Beyond cooking and eating, it is the comfort zone for some people and as such, choosing the perfect countertop replacement for your kitchen should be done with careful consideration.

The most popular options for countertops are granite, marble and quartz, and to the inexperienced eye, they all look the same. While it may seem like there is a special skill for identifying which is which, there are some tell-tale signs that can help you tell the difference between these highly valuable materials for your kitchen countertop.

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1. Stone type

Yes, they are all stones. But there is a difference in their types and modes of creation. While they all occur naturally, granite and marble are only slightly refined to be used as countertops, quartz, on the other hand, is combined with resins and polymers before it can be used. Also, due to their completely natural form, granite and marble tend to have a non-uniformed pattern while quartz usually has a uniformed colour and pattern consistency.

2. Sealant Application

The next difference between these rocks comes in the form of the sealant for the final product, which is the countertop. Marble, unlike granite, requires a lot of sealing to avoid scratching and etching while using. Granite also requires sealing but only as a necessity, not an ultimate essential while quartz doesn’t require a lot of sealing. Also, you need to reapply sealant for marble countertops more often than for granite or quartz.

3. Heat Conduction

When it comes to their conduction of heat, these three also differ. Granite and quartz are very much heat resistant, granite so much so that you can take a pot off the stove and place directly on the countertop. Marble, however, is not as resistant to either granite or quartz in comparison and may etch if a mat is not placed between the pot and its surface.

4. Longevity of Use

Finally, the quality of use becomes the last line to draw across these stones. Marble, because of its porosity and likelihood to stain is usually ranked lowest when it comes to longevity while quartz is ranked highest. Another factor is the fact that quartz is nearly indestructible and easier to keep bacteria free, and at such can be used for longer periods.

5. Cost of Installation

As with most things, money also becomes a determinant of the difference between these countertops. While the prices range closely to each other, quartz is considered more expensive to install with very little difference to marble. Most often, it is cheaper to go with granite. On the other hand, because of the minimal maintanence on quartz, it could potentially be the cheaper option in the long run.

Now that you know the differences, you can make an informed decision about your kitchen countertop choice!