Category Archives: ES Process

You Have Natural Stone Countertops, Now You Should Seal Them

Posted by ExquisiteStone on March 19, 2024

Natural stone countertops such as granite, marble and quartzite are porous materials, meaning they have tiny openings and capillaries that can absorb liquids. Sealing is an essential protective measure to prevent damage due to daily wear-n-tear.

It sounds like an inconvenience, but treating natural stone with a penetrating sealer creates a protective layer that repels liquids, preventing substances like red wine, oils, and acidic foods from penetrating the stone and causing stains.

Steps to Properly Seal Natural Stone Countertops

1. CLEAN THOROUGHLY:  Before sealing, ensure your countertops are clean and free of any stains, dirt, or debris. Use a pH-neutral stone cleaner for the best results.

2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SEALER:  Select a sealer based on the type of natural stone you have. Check out recommendations from Exquisite Stone here.

3. VENTILATE:  Adequate ventilation is essential when applying sealers to minimize exposure to fumes. Open windows and doors or use fans if necessary.

4. APPLY SEALER:  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the sealer. Typically, this involves evenly applying the sealer in small sections and allowing it to penetrate the stone for the specified time.

5. BUFF & REMOVE EXCESS:  After the sealer has had time to penetrate, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towels to remove any excess sealer from the surface.

6. CURE:  Give the sealer ample time to cure and create a protective barrier. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, so be patient.

7. MAINTAIN:  Reapply the sealer as needed.  Exquisite Stone recommends every 3 to 5 years for most materials but please contact the sales team with any questions.

Sealing natural stone countertops is a vital part of preserving their beauty and longevity. By taking the time to follow proper sealing procedures, you can ensure that your countertops remain a stunning focal point in your kitchen or bathroom for years to come. A little maintenance now will go a long way in protecting your investment and maintaining the timeless elegance of your natural stone countertops.  Contact Exquisite Stone for information about sealers and helpful tips.

Are These Countertops Made of Soap?

Posted by ExquisiteStone on December 13, 2023

Curious about this stuff called Soapstone?  Well, it is absolutely a stone, but it is not made of soap.  Soapstone, also known as steatite, is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc. Its rich history dates back thousands of years and spans across various cultures and continents. The use of soapstone for countertops can be traced to ancient civilizations, where its unique properties made it an ideal material for culinary and decorative purposes.

Soapstone’s story begins in ancient Egypt, where it was revered for its heat resistance and durability. Egyptian artisans carved soapstone into intricate statues, amulets, and sarcophagi.

During the Viking Age, soapstone gained prominence in Scandinavia. The Norse people recognized its exceptional heat retention properties, using soapstone to construct stoves, fireplaces, and, eventually, countertops. Soapstone countertops provided an ideal surface for food preparation, as they could withstand the heat of cooking fires.

As exploration and trade expanded in the 16th century, soapstone found its way into different parts of the world. In North America, Native American tribes used soapstone for various purposes, including cooking vessels, pipes, and artistic carvings. The Inuit people of the Arctic also employed soapstone for creating cooking pots and lamps.

Fast forward to the 20th century when soapstone experienced a revival in popularity. The Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements embraced soapstone for its aesthetic appeal. Architects and designers began incorporating soapstone countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, appreciating its unique veining, soft texture, and resistance to stains.

In recent decades, soapstone countertops have witnessed a surge in demand among homeowners and interior designers. Renowned for their natural beauty and practical benefits, soapstone countertops add elegance and charm to any space. They are heat-resistant, non-porous, and require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for both modern and traditional homes.

Interested in exploring Soapstone for your next project? Contact Exquisite Stone today for more information!

Quartzite Countertops Want to Bring Some WILD into Your Kitchen

Posted by ExquisiteStone on November 14, 2023

Glamour! Class! Sophistication!  How about some new quartzite countertops?  Quartzite is a natural stone that is often mistaken for marble, but it is a completely different material.  While marble is formed from limestone, quartzite is a metamorphic rock that is formed when sandstone is subjected to high heat and pressure.

One of the main benefits of quartzite is its durability. It is a hard, dense material that is resistant to scratches and heat.  Some varieties of this natural stone can be more porous than others, so regular cleaning and sealing is recommended with use.

Quartzite is also a visually appealing option for countertops and other surfaces. It is available in a range of colors, from white and cream to shades of gray, blue, green, and even pink. It also has a unique, marble-like veining that adds character and interest to any space.

If you’re considering quartzite for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, quartzite is a natural stone and the pattern can vary wildly from slab to slab.  This feature adds to the individuality and beauty of the material.  Your neighbors will never have the same quartzite as you!  It is also a good idea to seal the quartzite to protect it from stains and moisture.

Quartzite is a specialty countertop material that can be higher in price than some other options, but its character is unmatched compared to other materials.

Interested in seeing some quartzite slabs?  Check in with our showroom to find the perfect material for your project!

Tired of All That Grout? Time for a New Shower Surround!

Posted by ExquisiteStone on October 23, 2023

When it comes to designing a stylish and functional bathroom, one often overlooked but highly valuable addition is porcelain shower panels. These versatile and beautiful panels offer a range of benefits that can transform your showering experience and enhance the overall aesthetics of your bathroom. Let’s explore the advantages of porcelain shower panels and why they are becoming increasingly popular in modern bathroom design.

1. Elegance and Aesthetics

Porcelain shower panels exude elegance and luxury. They are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, making it easy to find a design that complements your bathroom decor. Whether you prefer a sleek, contemporary look or a more traditional style, porcelain panels can provide the perfect backdrop for your shower space. The high-quality finish and rich, timeless appearance make porcelain a popular choice among homeowners and designers.

2. Durability and Longevity

One of the standout features of porcelain shower panels is their exceptional durability. Porcelain is a dense and hard-wearing material, which makes it resistant to scratches, chips, and stains. This resilience ensures that your shower panels will maintain their appearance and structural integrity for many years, even in high-traffic bathrooms. Unlike other materials that may wear or discolor over time, porcelain panels remain as beautiful as the day they were installed.

3. Easy Maintenance

Porcelain shower panels are known for their low-maintenance requirements. They are impervious to water and moisture, preventing the growth of mold and mildew, which is a common issue in bathrooms. Cleaning porcelain panels is a breeze – a simple wipe-down with a mild cleaning solution will keep them looking pristine. The minimal maintenance makes porcelain an excellent choice for busy households or those who simply prefer a hassle-free bathroom.

4. Hygiene and Cleanliness

The non-porous nature of porcelain is a boon for hygiene. Because it doesn’t absorb water, it won’t harbor bacteria, making it a safe and sanitary choice for your shower walls. Additionally, porcelain’s resistance to staining means that you won’t have to worry about soap scum or mineral deposits tarnishing your beautiful bathroom surfaces.

5. Versatility in Design

Porcelain shower panels offer versatile design possibilities. They can mimic the look of natural materials like marble, granite, or wood, giving you the aesthetic you desire without the maintenance and cost associated with these natural materials. Porcelain also allows for intricate patterns and textures, providing a unique and customized look for your bathroom.

6. Eco-Friendly

For environmentally conscious homeowners, porcelain shower panels are a great choice. Porcelain is a natural material that can be recycled, reducing waste and minimizing its environmental impact. Furthermore, the long lifespan and easy maintenance of porcelain panels contribute to sustainability by reducing the need for replacements and harsh cleaning chemicals.

7. Resale Value

Investing in porcelain shower panels can increase the resale value of your home. Potential buyers are often drawn to the timeless beauty, durability, and easy maintenance associated with porcelain. Therefore, upgrading your bathroom with porcelain panels can be a wise decision, not just for your daily comfort but also for your home’s market value.

Porcelain shower panels offer an array of benefits that make them an attractive choice for any bathroom. Their elegance, durability, low maintenance, and versatility in design provide a compelling case for their inclusion in modern bathroom renovations. If you’re looking to enhance the aesthetics, functionality, and value of your bathroom, consider incorporating porcelain shower panels into your design. These panels are more than just a cosmetic upgrade – they are an investment in the comfort and longevity of your home.