Category Archives: ES Process

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.

Quartz – The Unexpected Heavy Hitter

Posted by ExquisiteStone on July 13, 2023

Thinking of new countertops for your house?  Quartz is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops due to its durability, low maintenance, and wide range of colors and patterns. It is a man-made material that is made from natural quartz crystals, resin, and pigments.

Montauk Hanstone Bathroom Top

One of the best features of quartz countertops is their durability. Quartz is a hard, non-porous material that is resistant to scratches and stains with reasonable use. It is also easy to clean and maintain, as it does not require sealing like natural stone countertops.

Hanstone Slab

In addition to its easy maintenance, quartz also looks great in a variety of installations. Its wide range of colors and patterns allows for endless design possibilities, and it can mimic the look of natural stone such as granite or marble.  The value of installing a marble-look material without the care requirements of natural stone is very exciting.

Quartz countertops can range wildly in price, but they are a durable investment that will likely last for the life of your home.

Stop by the Exquisite Stone showroom today for a free estimate!