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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Black Granite – sleek and sophisticated, or pain in the bum?

Posted by ExquisiteStone on June 5, 2014

We hear both sides: some folks love black granite, and some loathe it. Of course there are pros and cons to the color of every surface. Black cars show salt in the winter, white cars show dirt in the summer. A black shirt shows lint and is a target for bleach spills in the laundry room, while a white shirt attracts orange soda and spaghetti sauce.

I personally love black granite. Sleek and sophisticated, it looks fantastic with everything, and leaves the plan for décor wide open. Orange walls, purple walls, beige walls, why not! Black coordinates with it all, and looks amazing with any pattern or finish you throw at it.

It does have its cons, however. Just like the hair from my white cat clings to my black sweaters, black granite can show dust, crumbs, and fingerprints. I put up with these little nuisances because of its durability. Black granite is rock solid (pardon the pun). It is an incredibly dense material, and a very hard material. It rarely needs to be sealed when compared to lighter granites, and is very scratch and chip resistant.

There is always a chance that black granite will betray you into looking a little slovenly if a visitor were to show up unannounced, but it also has a classy side that makes any space look like a million dollars.

What’s Your Finish?

Posted by ExquisiteStone on June 5, 2014

Traditionally, granite is generally expected to have a glossy, smooth finish.  While the majority of what we see in natural stone countertops fits this description, there is a yearly increase in the popularity of granite with alternative finishes.  Satin, Leather, honed and brushed finishes are becoming more and more available, and add an interesting dimension to a granite installation. Our preferred granite vendors often have a variety of materials in stock with these custom finishes.  A custom finish can also be applied to any material that is polished.

Visit Exquisite Stone today to see what finish is right for your home.

Benefits of digital templating

Posted by ExquisiteStone on June 5, 2014

We are living in a world that appears to become more entwined with technology by the minute.  This reliance on phones and tablets seems to make life both easier and more complicated as we move away from phone books, the #2 pencil, and even desktop computers.

In working towards incorporating more digital technology into the countertop production process, Exquisite Stone has set aside the glue gun and graph paper, and is now using a digital templating machine for every project. Instead of manually building a pattern of the countertops or creating a drawing using a tape measure and a notepad, Exquisite Stone now uses a state-of-the-art templating machine to gather all the information that is needed to build the countertops.  This computer enables the template technician to quickly and accurately collect all the relevant data for the project, including not only the locations and dimensions of each cabinet but also sink and cooktop centerlines, subtle inconsistencies in elevation and many other details that can be easily missed.  This step towards a more digital process has allowed Exquisite Stone to become faster, more efficient and more accurate with the way that countertops are made.  While conversion to digital production has its challenges, every day it makes our jobs easier, our work better, and our customers happier.

There are still a few #2 pencils and graph pads floating around the shop, but not many!

The look of…St Paul

Posted by ExquisiteStone on June 1, 2014

Maintaining “the look” is very important to any remodeling project. Many projects in the St Paul, MN, neighborhood are attempting to revamp the original look of these older homes. Many have existing combinations of white subway tile, white cabinets, and white marble countertops. White Carrara marble is the traditional material that is found in many of these older homes, but the sensitive nature of this marble makes it impractical for some families. Quartz alternatives are a great option where marble may fall short. Caesarstone has a great “carrara-look” color that is a very realistic duplication of the classic marble. Quantra, Silestone and Hanstone also have some good options in a more economical price range. These quartz alternatives that strive to replicate the classic White Carrara look are gaining in popularity, and make creating turn of the century look easier and more user friendly.