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Common Misconceptions About Natural Stone

When it comes to maintenance, having the right information on your particular natural stone will help your countertops look beautiful for a lifetime.

A marble island in the kitchen in the style of Infinity Countertops of Portland, Oregon

Dark Emperador Marble Island – Street of Dreams -Dornbecher house


The internet is a great tool for learning what we don’t know. Just “ask Google” and you can convert cups to ounces or find out via Shazam what piece of music is playing. Unfortunately, when it comes to natural stone, there can be as much misinformation as there is good information on the internet. In this blog, this covers most of the common misconceptions about natural stone.

Marble is a poor choice for kitchen worktops: FALSE
Not only is this false, but when it comes to baking, the exact opposite is true: marble is a great choice for kitchen worktops! Because the surface stays cool, marble is an ideal surface for rolling out dough for pies and pastries. For many bakers, marble countertops are a must. It’s true that you’ll want to frequently clean your marble surface, especially if you want your countertop to always have a “pristine” look to it. Even though marble is soft and will scratch – some people actually prefer the “lived with” look that’s been popular in Europe for ages. 

Granite and Quartzite require a lot of maintenance: FALSE
Granite and Quartzite are among the hardest countertop materials available and is not easily damaged. Both are resistant to stains, scratching, heat, and chemicals so as long as you clean up any spills in an appropriate amount of time, no harm should come to granite countertops. 
It is important to keep granite countertops clean. You’ll want to dust and wipe it on a daily basis and wiping up spills as soon as possible is a must to avoid stains. But in general, granite and quartzite doesn’t really require that much extra work to look great. 

Natural stone needs to be sealed constantly: FALSE
In general, all natural stone countertops should be sealed whenever they are installed and then once a year, thereafter. But it all depends on the particular stone you’re using.  Talk with your stone supplier to be sure you understand the appropriate maintenance for your stone. There are some sealants available that offer a lifetime warranty against staining with just one application. Plus, regular cleaning and the use of potholders and trivets will also help to extend the life of any seal job. Also, understand that it IS possible to seal a stone countertop too much. This can lead to a white haze that seems impossible to get rid of.  Our benchmark to re-sealing – if your stone is not beading like the wax on your car – it is time to reseal – but use the same sealer as mixing different sealers may add a haze to your stone.

You don’t need to seal your natural stone countertops at all: FALSE
Conversely, the blanket statement that a marble or granite countertop NEVER needs to be sealed is also false. All stone has some porosity, therefore it’s incredibly likely that sealing will be part of regular maintenance. The best course of action is to always ask your stone provider and follow their instructions for increasing the longevity of your particular countertop selection. 

If I have natural stone countertops, I can’t ever serve coffee or red wine: FALSE
Of course, staining is a concern with any natural stone countertop, but the truth is if you’re a red wine drinker or coffee lover, there is no need to give them up. Sealers help buy you time to clean up spills. So as long as your countertop has a proper seal, and any spill is cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time, no staining should occur. 

Granite and Quartzite is so out of style: FALSE
These countertop materias have been a staple in today’s homes for quite some time, and for good reason. Both Granite and Real Quartzite is strong, sturdy, durable, and beautiful. There has been a visible shift toward manmade engineered quartz surfacing. Advancements in technology mean more options in manmade surfaces like engineered quartz, plus since granite has been popular for so long, some folks are looking for something a little different. But granite is hardly a passing fad. Granite’s popularity has spanned the decades and will likely last a lifetime and Quartzite has become very popular of recent.

Oiling soapstone and slate several times a year will help them resist staining: FALSE
The application of oil or wax is not a “must” for soapstone or slate. It’s purely an aesthetic choice since it darkens the appearance of the stone. These materials are soft and will scratch and all that oiling won’t stop it. But, over time, these scratches will blend into the patina of the stone. They’ll become part of what makes these types of stone so appealing. There is no set “schedule” for when you should apply mineral oil to soapstone or slate. It’s all about personal preference. 

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to talk with your stone supplier. Be sure you know the ins and outs of the required maintenance for your individual natural stone selection. Our team of experienced stone professionals at Infinity Countertops. are on hand to answer any questions you might have about natural stone and natural stone maintenance. Give us a call at 503 287 6877 or come our showroom. We’re happy to show you everything you need to know to take care of your stone and ensure it brings you a lifetime of happiness. 

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Engineered Quartz Island

Engineered-quartz-islandENGINEERED QUARTZ – one solid slab with incredible marble look. Beautiful bold veins gray and beige transformed this island with elegance. 

The engineered quartz will also give the homeowner durability.

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BEAUTIFUL ENGINEERED QUARTZ THAT LOOKS & FEELS LIKE EXPENSIVE CALACUTTA MARBLE

dsc01891Infinity Countertops was hired by Michelle Ruber from Encircle Design to create the custom countertops she designed. Her design transformed this kitchen renovation with an elegant expensive Calacutta marble appearance using Polarstone Engineered Quartz for both the perimeter counters and full height backsplash. Michelle added a splash of a Coastal Gray Pental engineered quartz for the Island and Tabletop to pull together her elegant design.

The homeowner is enjoying maintenance free quartz countertops – plus – because of the diamond like hardness of engineered quartz, has durable counters with stain and scratch resistance attributes that is not possible with soft natural marble.

Call Infinity Countertops 503 287 6877 or contact us to transform your home today.

 

dsc01896

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Monolithic Desk

IMAG0404Check out this incredible floating receptionist desk!

Beautiful, clean white engineered quartz monolithic desk custom created by Infinity Countertops’ talented fabrication and installation team.

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Infinity Countertops

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MONOLITHIC DESK – CAESARSTONE QUARTZ REFLECTIONS – ENGINEERED QUARTZ

MONOLITHIC DESK - CAESARSTONE QUARTZ REFLECTIONS - ENGINEERED QUARTZIBM designers selected Caesarstone “QUARTZ REFLECTIONS” embedded with tiny mirror chips that dazzle!

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Creama Bordeaux Granite

Creme Bordeaux 3cm Lot 5693

Photo Credit: Elemar Oregon

Creama Bordeaux Granite is a natural stone and it’s stunning beauty will warm your heart even on the coldest of days. Thousands of cubic meters are quarried out of the Brazilian mountains, it is famous for its amazing colors and is often remarked to resemble the planet Jupiter with its swirling pink and cream patterns. Crema Bordeaux has an exceptionally high mineral content which produces a higher level of variation than most granites – which creates a complex dramatic flair with busy colors. The feeling of warmth comes from its amazing red / pink / burnt orange / burgundy tones. 

There is no standard predominant color for Crema Bordeaux – despite the name! The prominent creamy almost light brown tones – combined with pink and red areas range in color from soft and light pink to almost golden orange – to almost dark and rusty burgundy. Some slabs can be light – whereas other slabs can have such a high mineral content that they are almost completely covered in dark earthy rusty red or burgundy tones. Two slabs of Crema Bordeaux placed side by side, one with high amounts of the greyish blue mineral, one with low – and you would almost certainly say they were different types of granite. However – it makes this stone so great – the slab that you end up purchasing will be unique 

Due to this color variation – if you choose Crema Bordeaux for your project –it is important to inspect the actual slabs before delivery to your fabricator Infinity Countertops. We also recommend that you participate in the slab layout with Infinity Countertops technician after he templates your project for production dimensions. Creama Bordeaux granite is best used as a durable beautiful countertop. Infinity Countertops recommends pairing with understated monochromatic light or dark cabinets and floors. This stone is slightly less durable than average and while it is still super strong (it is granite after all), it will require a little bit more care during fabrication, as the veins may separate. These slabs are occasionally supported with a mesh fiberglass backing – however, after installation, the mesh will not be visible. 

crema bordeaux slab layout

This client chose oak cabinets to pair with this block of Creama Bordeaux. The result is not overstated and has a beautiful warm and welcoming feel. You will find online that reviews of Crema Bordeaux granite are nearly always positive.

creme bordeaux 3cm granite kitchen with Oak

Contact Infinity Countertops to plan your dream kitchen. We offer complimentary site visits and quotes. 

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Stunning Dining Room Pass Through

20151118_175624This homeowner chose stunning ICI Bordeaux Cream Engineered Quartz for their kitchen pass through countertop. This delightfully beautiful ICI Engineered Quartz countertop will outperform other materials in durability. The diamond like hardness of Quartz resists heat, scratches and stains. These functional attributes compliment the natural beauty of the stone’s artistic character and depth. Call Infinity Countertops at 503 287 6877 for your free quote or contact us to increase the value and beauty of your home.

20151118_175640

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Transform Your Bathroom Vanity with Natural Granite

Bathroom Vanity with Natural Granite Our client updated their bathroom that had a plastic laminate countertop. To keep it affordable – they selected  a small Giallo Rio specialty granite remnant from our scrap pile that was left over from another project Infinity Countertops.

Call Infinity Countertops 503 287 6877 to update your bathroom inexpensively.

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Fading Granite

A common question about black granites is “Why is the deep black in my granite seem to be fading?” The best way to prevent this is to go through a reputable supplier that only buys first-quality material, which means they will not be doctored in any way. It is important to view the slabs in person and not purchase based on price alone.

Some vendors buy the cheaper blacks with more “white graining,” and they dye them to hide the defects. Chinese Blacks are becoming very popular due to their low prices, but can be prone to “shakes and vents.” They may also have a grainy appearance, but are oiled or dyed to hide the defects, which will eventually fade, slowly revealing uneven color.

If you suspect it is dyed, you can perform two tests:
1) Take a clean white cloth with acetone on it, and wipe the stone to see if any residue comes off.
2) Take acetone and apply to a different section and wipe the stone with a white cloth – if there is any color transfer, the stone is dyed

Black Granites from India such as Absolute Black, Absolute Black Premium, and Absolute Black Super Premium, are all first-quality, dense black granites, not dyed or oiled. Black Galaxy has an extremely dense black background with bright gold specks which are due to the presence of Bronzite. This is very important to view in person so you can see the quality of the black to make sure it was not dyed.

South African Blacks, common name Zimbabwe Black, have a tight “rice-grain” effect, but are not as dense as Indian Blacks. Nero Impala is also from Africa, but should be categorized as Gray, not Black due to the coloring and grain structure.

Canadian Blacks such as Cambrian Black and Mesabi Black have a “rice-grain” effect with a silvery reflection. Atlantic Black has a slightly larger pattern also with a silvery reflection.

Call Infinity Countertops 503 287 6877 or email us for any further questions you may have regarding countertop materials.
countertops@infinitycountertops.com

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