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HOW LASER TEMPLATES ARE DONE

HOW LASER TEMPLATES ARE DONE

All Granite & Marble does two types of template: laser and plastic. The laser templator significantly increases the efficiency, accuracy, and speed of templating. However, there are some cases where the plastic is preferable. Please check our blog post about plastic templates (coming soon) for more information. With the laser as a tool, our technicians are able to do measuring over existing and new countertops with great precision. As you will see in the video, all we need to do is position the laser, aim and shoot to scribe* the wall to create the perfect fit. After a few quick clicks a countertop forms on the app. The tech then checks overhangs, corners and adds radius. With a simple tap they draw the back splashes, a precise sink center line and any cutouts that the customer requests. Finally the software automatically draws countertops as points are measured and the template is ready for fabrication! Scribe: A technique that allows us to fit countertop on crooked walls. #agm #allgraniteandmarble #granite #countertops #quartz #lasertemplate #template #measuring #granitecompany #fabricator #granitefabricator #quartzfabricator

2021 COUNTERTOP TRENDS

2021 COUNTERTOP TRENDS

Before you start planning your kitchen, it's very important to take a look at the latest trends. To start, ask yourself what are your goals in picking a new kitchen countertop? What is missing in your current kitchen design and what do you want to see in the future? This is important, especially now that there's so many options to choose from, so picking a material could be a little overwhelming. QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS Although we have seen that various materials for countertops come and go, the popularity of quartz is still not out of fashion, as they remain one of the most frequently requested materials for kitchen surfaces and not without reason. In addition to its excellent appearance, quartz is not as porous as natural stone, so it's a little to no maintenance type of surface. In contrast natural materials continues to decline in popularity and leave our homes, despite the uniqueness of the stones. Natural materials are very porous and can collect bacteria on the surface if you do not care for it properly. All MATTE KITCHENS Who doesn’t like the spotty shade of a matte finish? And, fortunately for all of us, we noticed that showrooms filled with matte mahogany kitchen ensembles that won’t go out of style any time soon thanks to their eternal charm. Worried about cleaning it? Matte quartz countertops are not porous, so there's something you wouldn't need to worry about. DARK KITCHENS The opposite of white kitchens – black and dark kitchens, no doubt they will quickly add an elegant sense of drama to the design. Dark furniture and tops in any home becomes a highlight; it is easy to make such furniture an elegant alternative to standard kitchens. CONCRETE FINISH COUNTERTOPS Recently, a widespread love for concrete surfaces has been observed. Clean, polished concrete surfaces are especially welcome in kitchens. WOODEN FINISH COUNTERTOPS Want to add warmth and traditional character to your kitchen? A few quartz brands like Dekton have options for wooden finish stones. No need to worry about the lifespan of an actual wood countertop. ALL WHITE KITCHENS As we reach the end of this post, we couldn't leave the all the white kitchens behind. As a classic now more than ever we see various customers opt for everything in white. It sure opens and brightens up a space. We find these to be one of the more popular choices to make a kitchen look bigger. These are a few of the 2021 upcoming trends. We are very excited for this new year coming and can't wait to be fabricating more and more kitchen for our dear customers.

HOW PLASTIC TEMPLATES ARE DONE (SHOWER WALL EDITION)

HOW PLASTIC TEMPLATES ARE DONE (SHOWER WALL EDITION)

If you've seen our "HOW LASER TEMPLATES ARE DONE" blog post, you know that in some cases a plastic template is preferred, and if you haven't seen it we would love for you to check it out. We templated a shower wall recently, and thought it would be a good idea to post about it, because why not?! Most of the times a laser template will be our first choice, but in this case we wanted to make sure that our professionals would be able to maneuver the piece on the installation date. This is usually one of our main reasons for choosing a plastic template. Once the customer has completed the prerequisites for templating and scheduled their appointment, a skilled technician will arrive at the house to take the measurements. As you will see on the video, the tech has to first measure the area, then cut the strips of plastic to be able to start creating the template. It looks pretty straight forward, but most of the times the wall is not completely straight, so our professional has to make sure that the piece will be fabricated correctly. The technician will add in additional pertinent details, such as any faucet cutouts, specialty cuts,  or seams that need to be factored into the project. After this, the measurements are double-checked to make sure they are completely accurate. If the measurements are even a fraction of an inch off, it can drastically impact the project. Once the measurements are verified and saved, we will send them to the fabrication facility. At the facility, the template is laid out on the stone’s surface. Following this, the stone can be cut using fabrication machinery.

WHICH TYPE OF STONES DOES ALL GRANITE & MARBLE CARRY?

WHICH TYPE OF STONES DOES ALL GRANITE & MARBLE CARRY?

Stone kitchen countertops have been popular for decades due to their beauty and inherent luxury. With so many different types of stone countertops in the market, though, it can be tough to choose the right one. Here at All Granite & Marble we carry engineered quartz and a few different types of natural stone. Choosing your countertop surface can be tricky and that's why, in this post, we'll take a look at the type of stones we carry, so it can help you pick the best one for your house! NATURAL STONE - MARBLE Marble is a metamorphic rock. It's stellar good looks have made it a popular luxury building material for centuries. It comes with some significant downsides, though. To summarize, marble is expensive both upfront and in the long run. Cheaper variants may contain imperfections such as veining that doesn’t line up. As with most types of natural stone, you also need to reseal marble regularly to prevent stains. Regardless of how well you care for a marble countertop, it will develop a patina over time. Marble is highly absorbent, with one common discoloring factor being the oils on your skin. Depending on how the surface ages, this patina may be uneven. Because of this, if you want a countertop that will look as good as new for the long haul, marble is likely not for you. NATURAL STONE - GRANITE Granite countertops were all the rage not that long ago. They were the go-to surfaces for people designing luxury kitchens. This is no longer the case. Here’s a quick summary. Because granite was so desirable over a period of several decades, it became commonplace. The stone’s limited aesthetic options caused it to eventually fall out of favor with designers and homeowners looking to create unique kitchens. When you combine this with granite’s need for frequent resealing, it’s not hard to see why consumers have moved on. NATURAL STONE - QUARTZITE Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms when sandstone rich in quartz gets subjected to a process known as metamorphism. For the purposes of this piece, however, the important thing to note is that quartzite and quartz as they relate to countertops are two different things. Quartzite is a very hard substance, which makes it resistant to scratches. While looks are subjective, quartzite is also generally considered aesthetically pleasing. However, quartzite is also porous. As a result, you need to seal it as often as twice yearly, which is a costly inconvenience. If you don’t reseal the surface, it will collect stains. This is a common thread among natural stone kitchen countertops (as opposed to engineered stone, which we’ll explore shortly). NATURAL STONE - DOLOMITE Dolomite is a sedimentary rock which is the result of limestone and lime mud coming into contact with groundwater rich in magnesium. That said, the rock is very similar to limestone in composition and also in color scheme. It is also called Dolostone due to the confusion that can be made with the mineral dolomite which is a significant part of the stone’s composition. Dolomite countertops are simply high polished slabs cut from the dolomite rock, and as you can see in pictures they look great. So much that they’re very commonly sold as marble or quartzite Nevertheless, this confusion has to end, since Dolomite is not as hard and resistant as quartzite or as soft and fragile as marble. By choosing dolomite, you can feel safer than with marble, but maintenance will still need to be provided, and caution shall be taken at all times. NATURAL STONE - SOAPSTONE Soapstone is yet another type of metamorphic rock, this time composed primarily of talc. It sets itself apart from other types of natural stone in a few ways, one of which is its nonporous nature. This makes it less likely to stain. You also don’t need to seal soapstone regularly but rather just apply oil to it. Soapstone is very soft, however. This makes it more susceptible to scratches, dents, and chips. You also don’t have a whole lot of options when it comes to colors and patterns. With soapstone, you’re limited to shades of white and black. NATURAL STONE - SLATE Slate is a metamorphic rock that is formed from sedimentary clay and volcanic ash. So, it’s a natural stone like granite or marble. It’s most similar to soapstone. Slate is not a common choice for kitchen countertops. However, It is a highly versatile material with a long history of use for roofing, flooring, gravestones, stepping stones, billiards tables, and more. The phrases “blank slate” and “clean slate” come from it’s very common use as a chalkboard. Not all slate is the same. Care and durability vary a lot. Slate can be super… or a maintenance nightmare. ENGINEERED QUARTZ Engineered quartz has been quickly growing as one of the more popular choices for kitchen countertops. But there’s still a lot of confusion out there about what engineered quartz is and how it performs. As a countertop fabricator that has worked with engineered quartz as well as granite, marble and quartzite for years, we thought it was time to share a breakdown of the most popular engineered quartz brands, and see how they stack up. Manufactured quartz countertops do have natural quartz, but they are also made up of a combination of man-made resins. So they are not considered a natural stone. Care and durability is pretty much none. You do have to seal it, but please don't try and cut your vegetables on it or put your put your hot pot on top of it. Now that you know which types of stone we carry, it's time to give us a call and get your estimate.

WHAT IS A SLABSMITH LAYOUT

WHAT IS A SLABSMITH LAYOUT

Slabsmith layout has been a part of our company for a while now. It makes it a whole lot easier for customers to view the slab that will be used for their job, specially now during COVID-19 times. With this awesome tool clients are able to pick out which part of the stone they would like their countertop to be cut from and here's how it works. First our technician takes a digital slab imaging with Slab Maker™, which allows us to have a high quality picture of the material. Slab Maker™ automatically separates the slab from the background of the photo, giving us the ability to use the image to create your slabsmith. .Then, as the video shows, we place the template of your countertops on top of the slab image with Perfect Match™. From this point on we are able to visualize what the countertop will look like once cut. Beyond the dimensional accuracy, Slabsmith’s color consistency allows even subtle color changes to be detected at a seam during the layout process,  this greatly reduces or even eliminates remakes from those “nearly good” seams. After creating a digital slab, it is saved to the Slabsmith™ SQL database for easy access to your digital inventory by everyone in our company. Here are All Granite and Marble we are always looking for best technology to make our customer happy. Come get your estimate today by giving us a call at 508-248-9393.

HOW TO DISINFECT COUNTERTOPS

HOW TO DISINFECT COUNTERTOPS

The public health and safety organization National Sanitation Foundation International conducted a study which revealed the messy truth about the actual cleanliness of our homes and some of the dirtiest spots are kitchen and bathroom countertops. Now more than ever, it's important that you keep every space in your home clean and disinfected. Your countertops are used every day and are constantly being touched so it's important that they're cleaned properly and regularly. In this blog, we'll take a look at different ways you can keep your countertops clean and free of harmful bacteria. - Make sure your natural stone countertops are sealed Natural stone countertops are a porous surfaces and need to be sealed. If unsealed or not sealed properly, your natural stone countertops can absorb liquids that could cause stains and lead to your countertop harboring bacteria, mold and mildew. The best way to test if your countertops are properly sealed is to leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, your countertops are securely sealed. If the water is soaked into your stone, it's time to re-seal. - Clean up spills immediately One way to prevent bacteria is to eliminate spills as soon as they happen. If you let stains and food residue linger on your countertop, you'll end up having more bacteria around. Clean up immediately and you'll have less disinfecting to do. - Keep your surfaces clean Bacteria, mold and fungus thrive in moist environments. Take extra precaution when cleaning your countertops and be sure to dry them with a clean cloth after washes - How to disinfect your countertops The CDC recommends using warm, soapy water to clean your countertop and other kitchen surfaces before and after food preparations. To disinfect though, we recommend using Granite Gold on natural stone countertops. Granite Gold's Daily Cleaner helps preserve and protect the beauty and durability of granite, marble, and all other natural-stone and quartz surfaces. Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® is a streak-free formula that safely deep-cleans and quickly removes all types of spills and soils.

What are the different types of stone finishes?

What are the different types of stone finishes?

When you are picking your countertop material choosing the right stone finish for your project can be overwhelming. It is such an important part of your process, since it influences directly on the appearance, durability and how much maintenance your stone is going to require. Continue reading to learn about some of the most popular stone finishes and how to maintain their appeal. POLISHED STONE FINISH A polished finish is created by grinding down the surface of the material using fine abrasives until it results in a natural shine. This enables the countertop to reflect light, giving it a glossy appearance. The polished finish enhances the properties and color of natural stone surfaces. Light reflecting surfaces enhance small spaces by amplifying light and making the space look bigger. They also have a rich appearance to them that works well in many formal and traditional-style homes. Polished stone finishes require regular re-sealing to maintain their elegant glossy look. HONED STONE FINISH Honed countertops have an a more organic appearance. This finish is soft, and has a matte finish that feels like satin to the touch. Honed materials will be visibly lighter in color, so keep that in mind. It is recommended for a more rustic looking décor, because of its less formal aesthetic. This is a popular finish choice for both granite and marble, especially stone that has high-contrast veining that won’t be hidden by the matte finish. Honed surfaces are, however, very porous, they require resealing with a penetrating sealer to prevent and delay staining. LEATHER OR SUEDE FINISH Leather and suede textured countertops are sort of the step up from honed counters. This finish style isn’t quite as matte as a honed counter, but it still doesn’t have the gloss of polished stone, either. As a bridge between matte and gloss finishes, leather textures are more of a satin finish. Typically, leather finishes are created by brushing the finish on a honed counter, which gives it the soft look and feel of suede. A leathered stone finish is good at hiding fingerprints, water spots, and smudges. It is more stain- and slip-resistant and requires minimal maintenance. BRUSHED FINISH In order to create a brushed finish, fabricators gently brush the material's surface until it becomes textured. Like the honed finish, brushed countertops dilutes the color of the material making it appear lighter in color. A brushed finish typically has no sheen to it. This finish is suitable for outdoor use, the texture will provide a bit of traction for application around surfaces that will be wet or exposed to the components. Though not recommended for kitchen and bathrooms countertops, because of its porosity, it is also applicable to tops for a rustic look. Brushed finishes also require frequent sealing. They most likely to become stained when they aren’t properly sealed or maintained. Dust and debris tend to accumulate in the uneven surface of brushed finish. So it needs more cleaning and maintenance.

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING YOUR COUNTERTOPS

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING YOUR COUNTERTOPS

Natural stone and engineered quartz countertops could give your space a high-end look that you might be looking for. These stones can also transform a room, depending on what you pair it with and your lifestyle altogether. And, maybe, best of all it could add value to your home once they're installed. These days there's so many options you can go for, so it can definately be overwhelming when you're on the process of picking which countertop you should get. When choosing which material you want to go with, we recommend asking yourself and you installer a few questions first. Do you like maintenance tasks? Your lifestyle has a direct influence on the type of material you should go for. If you are always on the go and don't love housework, go for a low maintenance material that you can you can easily take care of. In that case, the best choice would be engineered quartz. Do you love cleaning, polishing, and don’t mind showing your countertops some love? Your options expand to include porous types of natural stone. Before you install porous countertops, you should note you need to seal them periodically every 3-6 months. Do you love cooking? If you have a family and you love to prepare your meals at home, you need a durable, tough material that is easy to clean. One of the materials to go for would be, again, engineered quartz. Regardless of the material you settle for, remember you have to protect it from heat and hot cooking appliances. Budget Usually, the busier the engineered quartz slab is, the more expensive it will be. Simpler designs could be less expensive. For natural stone its really depends from stone to stone. Give us a call and get your estimate today! We will help you get the countertops the best suits you.

THINGS TO AVOID ON YOUR COUNTERTOPS

THINGS TO AVOID ON YOUR COUNTERTOPS

Natural stones are one of the toughest igneous rocks forged in the depths of the earth, so you'd think you could get away with just about anything on your natural stone countertop. Yes, natural material are usually tougher than nails- but it's not just the material you need to worry about. Here are some things to avoid on your countertop to keep it in good condition: 1. Don't work with raw meat on a granite countertop Common household items that are acidic and can etch the surface and damage the seal on your stone, causing it to stain more easily: Vinegar Citrus Fruits Soft Drinks Perfume Lotions Nail Polish Soaps In the bathroom, put personal care products in a cabinet or a basket with a secure base that won’t leak in case of a spill. And in the kitchen, always use cutting boards for any food preparation and coasters for drinks. 2. Don’t get acidic things on your countertop Common household items that are acidic and can etch the surface and damage the seal on your granite, causing it to stain more easily: Vinegar Citrus Fruits Soft Drinks Perfume Lotions Nail Polish Soaps In the bathroom, put personal care products in a cabinet or a basket with a secure base that won’t leak in case of a spill. And in the kitchen, always use cutting boards for any food preparation and coasters for drinks. 3. Don’t let spills remain on a granite countertop Accidents happen; something oily or acidic might splatter all over the countertop in spite of your precautions. In that case, quickly clean up with a mild, recommended cleanser or hot, soapy water. If you let a spill sit, it can etch the seal and stain the stone. 4. Don’t use knives directly on the stone The granite is tough and can handle the knives; it’s your knives that will be sorry you didn’t use a cutting board. Slicing knives across granite to cut food will quickly dull and damage their blades. 5. Avoid putting hot pans on your countertop Again, the granite can handle the heat; it is igneous rock, after all. Brief encounters with a hot pot will not hurt your countertops. The sealants, however, can weaken from excessive heat. Simply make sure to have trivets and potholders nearby when you’re cooking. Again, wipe up any spills or drips as soon as possible. 6. Don’t sit or stand on your granite countertop Natural stones are rocks with fascinating fissures and stunning striations or veins. But these striations are vulnerable to cracking under excessive weight. So don’t climb or stand on the countertops to reach things, change light bulbs, paint, or anything else. Use a sturdy stool or step ladder; it’s safer anyway. 7. Don’t use undermount kitchen sink as a bathtub for children Even though the undermount sinks are attached securely to the bottom of the granite countertops, using kitchen sinks for giving bath to children may cause loosening of the sink mounting. Granite is tough, but as a natural, porous (in its unsealed state) surface with striations, you need to know proper care techniques and what to avoid. Other than that, it’s a stress-free countertop material. Hope this post helps you guys with maintaining your natural stone countertop well conserved. Happy 2021, and let's hope that this year is better (a lot better) than 2020.

Using stone outside of the kitchen

Using stone outside of the kitchen

It's very common to use granite/quartz for kitchen countertops, both are timeless, elegant and sturdy material. But where else could you use these types of material? On this post we'll be exploring a few different areas around your house that you could consider using these stones. Laundry room There are two areas of the home that have been getting a lot of attention these days, the laundry room and the mudroom. Both have been getting a lot of hype as homeowners realize that these two areas can become great places to organize and store belongings. Every laundry room needs a little counter space where you fold your clothes and store some of your products. For this one, we recommend using quartz, because the last thing you want is detergence, beach or fabric softeners touching a natural stone surface, since those can be very easy to stain. Fireplace surrounding For homeowners looking to make their fireplace stand out, nothing like a natural stone or quartz to help you achieve a jaw-dropping statement area. You spend a lot of time in your living room. And it’s often on display to your guests. Because you utilize this space and have guests always seeing this part of your home, it’s worth taking the time to make it look nice. Granite is an igneous rock, formed when magma beneath the earth’s surface cools and solidifies. Because it is created by extreme heat, granite develops a resistance to it – even a hot pan placed directly on the surface will not damage it. The ambient heat that emanates from a home fireplace will not cause damage, even over sustained periods of time. Shower walls Okay, this is my favorite one. First let me start by saying that if you're looking to do your shower wall, you should probably opt for engineered quartz. Quartz shower walls panels exude the look and feel of luxury. The fact that it is a man-made product means that it can arranged to have the appearance of similar natural stones like granite or marble, allowing home designers and homeowners to customize the design. Not to forget that this material is not porous and it is bacteria free. So you know.. It's a win win.