The Heart of the Home
Updated: May 14, 2020
Often the heart of the home and where people tend to gather, kitchen islands, have become the focal point of most homes. Not only do they serve as a functional element, but also a chance for the homeowners to add their own unique style with sleek countertop finishes and pendant lighting. In the home pictured here, homeowners can enjoy the extra-large counter space for dining, entertaining, and socializing with family and friends.
Kitchen islands continue to increase in size, sometimes exceeding seven feet in length. The optimal goal would be to keep the size of your island within the range of available materials to create a seamless look in your countertop. Rectangular islands are most common in today’s homes. In years past islands were multi-level, but today they are usually single level to create large gathering places that family and friends can enjoy.
Another way to create a unique look is with waterfall edging, a seamless countertop edge that continues down the sides of the cabinetry to the floor, which has become popular in all vernaculars including Transition, Modern, Contemporary and Mid-Century designs.
Photo courtesy of Terri Polimeni Interiors
Using contrasting colors in your countertops adds warmth to your kitchen creating a cozy space for you and your family. In previous years granite was the main material used for countertops for durability, but today popular choices include Quartz and Quartzite, which offer different looks. Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock created when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate compression in the crust of the earth. The stone is mined and sawn into slabs then polished and sealed for beauty and durability. Quartzite is harder than granite making it a very durable choice. It withstands heat very well and is usually found in white to gray colors with pink and red hues as a result of the iron oxide in the stone. To maintain Quartzite properly it should be re-sealed one or two times per year. Without this sealing, stains can penetrate the natural stone. In comparison, Quartz countertops are engineered countertops; they are fabricated from natural silicon dioxide and synthetic material blended with loose quartz and pigment and then formed into countertops. Since pigment can be added, Quartz is available in a wider range of colors than the Quartzite. The way it is formulated gives Quartz the appearance of natural stone such as granite or marble. The resin used in manufacturing quartz countertops is a plastic, making it prone to melting in heat above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Since Quartz is more flexible it is less prone to denting and chipping than Quartzite. It’s easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Abrasive cleaners should never be used. The bottom line is both Quartz and Quartzite countertops are two great options and deserve consideration when selecting tops for your kitchen and bathrooms. It’s up to you to decide if you prefer a man-made product like Quartz or a natural product like Quartzite. A word of caution though, make sure you use a reputable Builder when building or remodeling your home. Reputable Builders can save you money with their expertise in installation as countertops can be very complex and materials can be very expensive, especially if you have to repurchase and start over after a botched installation.
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