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Why Man-Made Stone is More Sustainable Than Engineered Stone

Slab of Man-Made Stone

It isn’t uncommon to hear the word “natural” and take it as a signal of wholesome superiority. However, that isn’t always the case. This is particularly true when you are talking about man-made stone in Milwaukee.

While beautiful, natural stone surfaces are non-renewable resources that form over vast amounts of time. Not only that, but they typically have to be harvested from specific quarries located across the world. That means getting a natural stone countertop is very energy intensive.

Man-made stone, such as quartz surfaces, are composed of large amounts of silica sand with binding resins and polymers. Pigments are then added to customize the look before everything is heated at high temperatures to create impressive-looking quartz slabs. Silica sand—the main ingredient in creating quartz—is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. That means creating quartz surfaces is far less taxing on the planet.

While both options provide homeowners with plenty of benefits, it is vital to stop and consider which of them is most important to you. If you want something that looks beautiful and is much more sustainable, then you are going to want to choose a quartz surface instead of granite or marble.

How Marble Countertops Are Made

Slab of Man-Made Stone

Have you ever wondered how those beautiful marble countertops in Milwaukee, WI, came to be? Well, come and join us as we discuss the sequence of events that transforms natural stone from the quarry into beautiful marble surfaces you want to see in your home.

The first step in the process is for the large blocks of natural stone to be cut from the quarry. These blocks are then cut into thin pieces called slabs. The slabs are then shaped, polished, and shipped for installation. This age-old sequence hasn’t changed much throughout the centuries, but the actual fabrication process has, thanks to modern technology. Today, these steps are performed using state-of-the-art saws, polishers, and routers.

Saws – Saws perform several functions during fabrication. From cutting through the hard stone to create the slabs to the actual shaping of the stone slab to ensure it properly fits your home. These saws make it easy to cut and shape slabs, especially when combined with a CNC machine.

Polishers – Polishers are designed for grinding down the naturally rough surface of the marble to create whatever type of finish you are after. Marble, in particular, can be polished all the way to a mirror finish. Most modern polishers can provide a variety of finishes for homeowners—from smooth and soft to slick and shiny.

Routers – Routers create the edge profiles of the slab. They can also be used to cut designs into larger pieces, including fireplace mantles and hearths. Whether you are looking for something simple or highly decorative, it is the job of the routers to bring out that aesthetic you are after.

How Granite Countertops Got Popular in America

Kitchen with Granite Countertops

When most people are asked what type of countertops they want for their home, a substantial majority will respond with “granite.” But it hasn’t always been that way. Throughout the 1980s, granite was rarely found outside of expensive homes—and even then, marble ruled the roost.

So how did granite countertops in Milwaukee, WI, become the top choice over the next 30 years? There are a few different reasons, including:

Shipping Granite Got Easier – Thirty years ago, people typically bought their domestic granite from local suppliers. As global granite became more easily shippable, it suddenly became much more affordable for builders and consumers. By the mid-90s, it became possible for people to get granite from around the world.

Granite Became Easier to Cut – Granite is solid and durable—which is part of its charm. It was also part of the reason it was so hard to work with in the past. Thanks to advancements in technology, today’s computer-controlled saws are able to make the major cuts and holes needed to get a slab of granite ready to be installed.

These two significant changes made it much easier for regular homeowners to start exploring granite as an option for their homes. As soon as they began to see just how great of an option granite was, its popularity quickly grew.

Why You Should Install Marble Countertops

A Home With Marble Countertops

Granite countertops might be the most popular option for homeowners upgrading their kitchen and bathroom counters, but it isn’t the only option. Many homeowners find that marble countertops in Milwaukee, WI, make the perfect surfaces—especially in smaller kitchens and bathrooms without ample natural light. Here are just some of the different reasons homeowners consider marble when looking to upgrade their counters:

Great for Baking – Marble stays naturally cool and always remains below room temperature. That makes it an ideal working surface for bakers working with dough, pastries, chocolate, and even ice cream.

Easy to Cut & Shape – Since it is softer than other natural stone options, marble can come in a greater variety of edge profiles. These edges don’t just come in the most popular options—including straight and bullnose—but also in an elegant cove bullnose, stair thread, chiseled, or waterfall edge.

Durable – Marble might need more maintenance than other types of natural stone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly strong. Remember, some of the world’s oldest and most recognizable landmarks are made from marble.

Timeless Elegance – Marble comes in various colors and is prized for its beauty and warmth. That means it is easy to find a marble counter that perfectly fits your current style and any future décor looks you might feel like exploring.

Brightness – Marble’s natural glow reflects light in a room. That means a marble countertop might be the perfect option if you have a kitchen or bathroom that is on the smaller side or doesn’t have much in the way of natural light. When installed correctly and regularly polished, your marble countertop can make that small space appear larger and brighter.

Designing Your Home with Granite Countertops

Kitchen With Granite Countertops

When it comes to creating a modern kitchen, the number one sought-after item is granite countertops in Milwaukee. This is true whether the kitchen is in a residential home, apartment, upscale hotel room, or even a break room in an office. Granite is a popular choice for today’s property owners. Here is a quick list of reasons why designing your home with granite countertops is the right choice for your project:

Durability – Granite is one of the most durable stone materials for creating countertops. Thanks to being super tough, you won’t have to worry about scratching or chipping the surface when it comes time for cooking.

Resists Bacteria & Dirt – A sealed granite countertop surface is nonporous. That means things will not soak into it, significantly reducing the amount of dirt, bacteria, and other grime commonly found on countertops in kitchens.

Easy to Fix – While very durable, there is always a chance that some damage can develop over time. If that does happen, it is easy to repair any chipping that might occur.

A Family-Friendly Surface – If you have any little ones in your home then you already know that spills and other mistakes happen. Luckily, granite can take the abuse and still look great.

Perfectly Flat Surface – People that work in a kitchen regularly—including professional bakers and chefs—love the smooth, flat surface of granite countertops. This is because it makes it very easy to roll out dough and perform other cooking tasks that are much more difficult to accomplish on different surfaces.

Choosing Your Bathroom Vanities

Designing Bathroom Vanities

Whether you are looking at renovating an existing bathroom or building a brand-new one from scratch, one of the most important decisions is picking out the right bathroom vanities in Brookfield, WI. What makes vanities so important is that, along with your tub or shower, the vanity is one of the most significant purchases you are going to make during the renovation. Since it will become a major focal point, you want to ensure it suits your space, style, and needs.

So, when you go shopping for a new bathroom vanity, there are a number of different styles that can fit your home’s décor and your personal taste. We have included some of the most common styles and their attributes here:

Modern Bathroom Vanities

  • Features Sleek Hardware & Faucets
  • Monochromatic Color Scheme Usually with Little to No Textures
  • Typically Has a Symmetrical Design of Drawers, Cabinets, & Sinks

Traditional Bathroom Vanities

  • Features Classic Lines & Hardware with a Furniture-Style Quality
  • Usually Have More Detailing, Molding, or Carved Details
  • Color Scheme Is Usually in the Wood Colors (Mahogany, Oak, Etc.)

Transitional Bathroom Vanities

  • Features a Mix of Traditional & Contemporary Fixtures
  • Symmetrical Design
  • Classic & Timeless
  • Can Be Painted or Stained Wood

Rustic or Farmhouse Vanities

  • Features Organic Textures
  • Natural Wood Tones
  • Can Be Made from Salvaged Lumber or Repurposed Furniture

The Importance of Cleaning & Maintaining Your Marble Showers in Milwaukee

Cleaning Marble Showers in Milwaukee

Marble never goes out of style, and for good reasons. It’s beautiful, durable, and lasts forever, making it ideal for areas that see high traffic or consistent use. While marble showers provide Milwaukee homeowners with the classic beauty of ageless stone, maintaining the surface is vital.

Shower Stains

If you have a marble shower, you know that it can stain. The stone’s porous nature means it will absorb water and almost anything else, like minerals, iron, mold, soap, and etch marks. Waiting too long to clean or treat your shower tiles can result in permanent stains, so staying ahead of maintenance will benefit you in the long run.

Marble Sealant

Since marble is porous, sealing it will help prevent damage. You should complete this process regularly because the seal eventually breaks down, and you’ll end up with stains that can be stubborn to remove.

Marble Stain Removers

There are several ways to clean the stains from your marble shower. Some tried-and-true methods include:

  • Commercial Marble Poultices
  • DIY Marble Poultices
  • Soap Scum Removers
  • Professional Mold & Stain Removers
  • Etch Removers
  • DIY Bleach Solutions

Depending on the type of stain and how long it’s been there, you may need to try more than one method. Elbow grease and patience are critical in the process, but the results are worth it.

Why You Should Try Black Granite Counters in Mequon

Kitchen With Black Granite Counters in Mequon

When you want to make a statement in your kitchen or bathroom, consider going dark. Dramatic black granite counters give Mequon homes an incredible upgrade while also providing years of durability as a work surface. Granite leads the way as a counter material for several reasons, including:

  • Doesn’t Damage Easily
  • Simple to Maintain
  • Countless Colors & Patterns
  • Lasts Forever
  • Instant Upgrade

Why Choose Black?

Dark colors add weight to a room, and when you offset light tones with a black granite counter, you heighten the design esthetic. Black can accentuate other colors, increase contrast, and add a wow factor nothing else can match.

Balancing Black

Keep in mind that you can have too much of a good thing. Black surfaces can pull the light out of the room, so finding a balance is critical. If you choose black granite counters, then the floors, walls, and cabinets should be at the lighter end of the spectrum. Doing so will also increase the dramatic effect you’re trying to achieve.

Maintenance

Caring for your black granite requires the same attention as any other granite. Mild soap and polish will help maintain that stunning obsidian surface so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Tips for Choosing Doors for Your Kitchen Cabinets in Milwaukee, WI

A Home With New Kitchen Cabinets in Milwaukee, WI

Your kitchen is the hub of the home. You likely want it to look great while also efficiently serving its function. Your kitchen designer will develop a practical layout for the doors and drawers and show you a selection of cabinet fronts in varying colors and styles. They’ll help you choose your kitchen cabinets in Milwaukee, WI, based on several factors:

Cost

Arguably the most important consideration is how much the cabinets will cost. Different styles, materials, and upgrades can add up quickly, so set a realistic budget and try to stick to it.

Maintenance

Ask yourself how much time you want to spend maintaining your kitchen cabinets. Fronts with lots of detailing catch more grease and grime. Hardwoods like oak and maple stand up to scratches better than painted doors. Satin finishes show fingerprints much more readily.

Styles

If you’ve been to your kitchen cabinet supplier, you’ve likely seen the wall of fronts they offer. It can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices; however, go with your instincts and choose what you like rather than what’s trendy. Some options include:

  • Shaker
  • Craftsman (Mission)
  • Flat-Front (Slab)
  • Beadboard
  • Handle-Free
  • Raised-Panel (Traditional)

Materials

Kitchen cabinets come in various materials, from solid hardwoods to veneers. Budget may limit your choices, but you’re sure to find something you love within your range.

How to Polish Your Mequon Home’s Granite Counters

A Home With Granite Counters

You’ve invested in your home by installing granite counters; now, you need to keep them looking great to maintain their beauty. Give your Mequon granite counters the special treatment with simple polishing tips from the experts:

  1. You’ll need warm water and mild soap to start. You can also buy special granite cleaner or mix a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol instead of soap and water.
  2. Clean the counter thoroughly, removing all the dirt and spills. Microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning granite because they don’t leave behind any lint.
  3. Dry the counter with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. A completely dry counter will prevent the polish from streaking.
  4. You can make polish using three parts baking soda and one part water. Mix a thick paste and ensure there are no lumps. You can also buy brand-name granite polish if you prefer.
  5. Rub a thin, even coat of baking soda paste over the granite counter. If you’re using the brand name polish, follow the directions.
  6. Buff the counter with a soft cloth using a circular motion until you have polished the whole surface.
  7. Wipe off the polish with a damp cloth, and wipe the surface dry.

You now have a beautifully polished granite counter to show off to family and friends!