Great Kitchen Counters Can Add to the Holiday Experience

Holiday Experience with Granite Counters

With the holidays fast approaching, many people start to think about one thing – cooking. It seems that cooking and the holidays are forever intertwined, as all of the holidays have specific foods which are part of the common tradition. No matter which holidays and traditions are celebrated in your home, there is a good chance that food has something to do with the event.

Of course, celebrating the holidays with your favorite foods is going to be much easier with a great kitchen at your disposal. One of the reasons many people look for a large, functional kitchen when shopping for a new home is because they want to be able to cook with friends and family at the holidays. Specifically, it is kitchen counters that play a big role in how well your kitchen works this time of year.

Room for Everyone

The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, so you don’t want to have to kick people out of the kitchen because of a simple lack of space. When you have large kitchen counters with room to spread out, you can invite others to share in the cooking experience with you. Even if the others in the room aren’t lending a hand to the cooking process, having plenty of counter space will allow your guests to set down a drink while you chat about the holiday season and the year ahead.

The Right Surface

It is no secret that life tends to get a bit hectic around the holidays. If that is the case in your home, having a solid stone surface for your kitchen counters is a great advantage. Most stone surfaces can handle hot items without a problem, so you don’t have to hunt down a pot holder each time something comes off the stove (assuming your stone counter is heat-proof). Also, stone is incredibly tough and durable, so it can stand up to the pounding that might occur when you have large numbers of people over for parties.

Less Stress, More Fun

As mentioned above, stone counters tend to be tougher and more durable than the other options on the market today. What does that mean for you at holiday time? You won’t need to spend time during your parties trying to make sure every treats your counters nicely. Knowing that there isn’t much that can happen which will damage a solid stone surface, you can relax and spend time with your family and friends without stress in the back of your mind.

You probably aren’t going to want to invest in a great kitchen counter specifically for the holiday season, but the benefits that great counters provide during this time of year are another reason to consider having a beautiful stone surface added to your home. Contact Stone World today to learn more about the amazing products and installation services that we offer!

Laminate Counters – and Why Stone is Better

Laminate vs Stone Countertops

One of the biggest choices you will need to make while remodeling your kitchen – or while building a new home – is whether you are going to go with laminate or stone counters. If this is the first time you are going through a kitchen project, you may not know much about each of these choices, making the process a bit more difficult. Fortunately, with just a little education, you can quickly understand the major differences between these two kinds of products.

The Price Issue

There is no way around this point – laminate counters are significantly less expensive to install when compared to their stone counterparts. If you are looking around for quotes on counter materials including laminate, granite, marble, and more, you are sure to find that laminate is the most affordable of the bunch. However, it would be a mistake to make your choice just on this point alone. Sure, you can reduce the cost of the project upfront by opting for laminate, but what will that mean for your kitchen in the long run? As the saying goes, you do ‘get what you pay for’.

Looking Deeper

If you allow yourself to look past the cost issue, you will soon see that laminate counters come up short of stone in nearly every other category. In other words, there is a reason that stone counters are more expensive – they are better across the board. For one thing, almost every homeowner would agree that a natural stone counter looks far more impressive in the kitchen (and bathroom) than a laminate product. Laminate counters are man-made, and will simply never offer the depth of color and design that is created by Mother Nature. Picking the right stone counter can give your kitchen a stunning appearance that stops visitors in their tracks – that isn’t going to happen when laminate is used.

Performance Characteristics

Stone counters aren’t only about great looks, although that is one of the major selling points. In addition to impressive looks, stone also provides high-end performance characteristics that aren’t seen with laminate. Most stone countertops are heat-resistance, which is not true of laminate. Also, the durability of stone is a huge advantage, as a new granite or marble counter top is likely to be one of the longest-lasting elements of your entire house. Laminate counters will show the wear and tear of use relatively quickly after they are installed, but you can count of year after year of performance from your stone counter with almost no wear to speak of.

To put it in sports terms, the battle between laminate and stone counters is a blowout. Sure, laminate counters offer a lower price point, but that is about it. In nearly every other category you can think of, it is going to be stone that comes out a winner. To find out more about what makes stone counters so attractive, please contact that team at Stone World today. Thanks for visiting!

Continue reading A Stone Countertop as an Investment

Is Your Kitchen Ready for a Stone Countertop?

Is your kitchen ready for those heavy stone countertops?

Is your kitchen ready for those heavy stone countertops?

Here is some breaking news regarding stone countertops – they are heavy! Okay – so that probably isn’t really breaking news after all. You could have guessed that a solid stone countertop would be extremely heavy, which is why they require a team of professionals to get them installed properly. Before you ever get to the point of installation, however, you need to make sure your kitchen is ready to handle a heavy counter from a structural perspective.

Cabinet Pressure

In almost every case, the counter you install in your kitchen is going to be placed on top of some cabinets. Are those cabinets able to safely hold all of the weight you are going to force them to deal with? If they are new, the answer is probably yes. Old cabinets, on the other hand, may not be up to the task. Before you invest in a new counter and schedule a time to have it delivered, it would be a good idea to have a professional countertop installer inspect your cabinets to confirm their structural integrity.

Beyond just having to bear the weight of the counter, your cabinets also need to be square enough to have the counter fit properly on the day of the installation. If you are dealing with old cabinets that have warped over time, it may be a serious challenge to fit a counter securely on top. Again, this is an issue that should be dealt with ahead of time. Make sure everything with regard to your cabinets is in place before placing an expensive order for a beautiful stone counter.

Under the Counter Concerns

Even if your cabinets are in good repair, you also need to be concerned about the status of the floor beneath them. Of course, the weight of the counter will be pushing down on the floor just as it is pushing down on the cabinets, so an old or damaged floor may be unable to support this new load. This is another point that usually won’t come into play with a new home, but is very often a concern in an older structure.

Again, it comes down to planning ahead to make sure this issue doesn’t become a major problem. Have your floor checked out by a professional, and have the floor reinforced if there is any doubt as to its ability to hold up under the weight. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on a great counter only to find that it is doing damage to the structure of your kitchen. When it comes to a project of this magnitude, it is always better to be over prepared than to be caught off guard at the last minute.

As professionals in the counter business, Stone World has seen it all before. If you have any questions about the structural integrity of your kitchen prior to purchasing your stone counter, feel free to contact our team for assistance. Once the groundwork has been laid for this project, you can then turn your attention toward picking out the perfect stone. Thank you for visiting!

Have Kids? Consider These Countertop Points

Considerations when designing your countertops

Considerations when designing your countertops

As a parent, you already know how important it is to think about your kids when it comes to designing and decorating your home. You want your house to be as ‘kid friendly’ as possible, both from a functionality and a safety perspective. Knowing your home is safe for your kids will help give you peace of mind, and designing features that work well for kids will make it easy to enjoy your time at home as a family.

Your kids certainly need to be considered when picking out the countertops that you will install in your kitchen. Counters are a significant investment, and they will likely be one of the most expensive (if not the most expensive) thing that you purchase for the kitchen project. Choosing countertops that don’t work well for a family with young children could prove to be an expensive mistake.

Kids Spill!

One of the things that you need to think about when picking counters for a house with kids is the fact that children are prone to spilling while eating or drinking. If you plan to set up a place for them at the counter, you want to make sure your counter is ready to hold up to the punishment that might be coming its way. For instance, marble counters are prone to staining when they experience regular spills. If your kids may be dropping juice cups on the counter from time to time, that expensive marble may quickly lose its brilliant white appearance. Opting for a stone choice with better stain resistance would be wise in this case.

In keeping with the point about kids spilling things on your counters, make sure you also pick a color of stone that won’t show spills as easily. Using dark stone for your counter will be much more forgiving to any spilling that takes place, enabling your counter to look its best for many years to come.

Shape is Important

Sharp corners are never a good thing when kids are around, so think about the shape of your counter in addition to the type of stone and color that you pick. By using rounded edges wherever possible, you will take away dangerous points that could cause harm to your kids. In addition, think about the overall design of the counter when it comes to where your kids are going to sit and eat. If you would like to be able to have them sit at the counter to eat breakfast, for example, there needs to be a safe and comfortable place for them to do just that.

One of the best things about owning a home rather than renting a property is being able to make changes as you wish. With kids in the picture, many of those changes will need to be designed around their needs. To learn more about how you can tailor your countertops to the needs of your children, please contact Stone World today. We look forward to working with you soon!

How to Budget for Your New Kitchen This Summer

Summer time - New Kitchen Remodel - Stone World TN

Summer time – New Kitchen Remodel – Stone World TN

Updating the kitchen in your home this summer is certainly an exciting proposition, but it is also an expensive project to undertake. You will likely love the finished product when all the work has been completed and the mess is gone – however, you don’t want to check your bank account at that point to see that you have drained away all of your savings in the process. Budgeting is a crucial part of any renovation project, as you need to arrive at the end of the work knowing that you haven’t blown every last penny on the job.

With that in mind, thinking about how to budget your job should be one of the first steps in a kitchen rebuild. After the math has been done, you can then move on toward the fun parts of the job such as picking out a design, selecting materials, choosing colors, and more.

Big Items First

It is the big, expensive items that are going to go most of the way toward determining your budget for this project. Sure, there are countless little expenses that can also pile up along the way, but those will seem rather insignificant in comparison to the big ticket items. Specifically, there are four items that you should carefully consider from a budget perspective right from the start of the job –

  • Labor
  • Countertops
  • Appliances
  • Cabinets

These four points are going to make up the majority of your budget for any given kitchen remodel (you may need to add flooring to this list as well, depending on your specific plans and the size of your kitchen). Labor often accounts for about half of the overall job, depending on whether or not you are going to do some of the work yourself. Countertops, specifically stone counters, can become expensive in large sizes, so you want to ballpark that expense early on as well. The story is the same with appliances and cabinets, each of which can run well into the thousands and beyond.

Contingency Fund

Very few construction projects go exactly as expected from start to finish, so you shouldn’t be expecting your project to include nothing but smooth sailing. Unexpected costs are a standard part of the construction business, and you need to be prepared accordingly. When budgeting for the job, plan on having between 10% and 20% of the total project cost available for overruns. Hopefully you won’t actually need to use this money, but it should be available just in case. Having a contingency fund for the project will allow you to relax a bit and enjoy the process.

If you are getting ready to start with a kitchen remodel, feel free to contact Stone World at your convenience to get an estimate on the cost of a stunning stone countertop. We will be happy to work with you right from the start of your project so that you know exactly what kind of a bill you will be looking at for your counter. We believe that no new kitchen is complete without a beautiful stone surface, so call us today to get started!

A Stone Island Countertop is the Perfect Finish to an Island

Stone Island Countertop

Stone Island Countertop

One of the best ways to add functional space to a kitchen is through the addition of an island. If your current kitchen doesn’t have an island, or some form of peninsula, you are probably wasting floor space that could be better used through the addition of an island with some cabinets. There are two things that no kitchen can ever have too much of – counter space, and cabinet space. Adding an island addresses both of those issues, so you should strongly consider this kind of addition if you need to enhance your kitchen functionality.

Subtle Storage

The cabinets that rest under your new kitchen island are a great storage addition because they seamlessly fit in with the rest of the kitchen – in fact, you will hardly notice that they are there until you need to use them. Unlike cabinets which are hung from the wall, which have a tendency to make the space feel smaller, your island cabinets will do nothing but enhance the space. Rather than having to get rid of some of your cooking equipment or extra dishes due to a lack of space, you will suddenly have a great landing spot for countless items.

Working Space

Even in a nice kitchen, it can sometimes be difficult to find enough open counter space to work on your food preparations. The ‘main’ portion of the counter has a cut out for a sink, a spot for the oven and stove top, and more. Also, you probably have a toaster, a knife block, and other pieces of gear on the counter, even further cutting into your work space. Therefore, it is great to have an island that you can keep clean and free from clutter. With a big open workspace in the center of the kitchen, cooking will be more enjoyable than ever before.

Top It Off Right

Pretty much any kind of countertop can be used to finish off your island, but a great looking stone counter is naturally the best choice. Something like granite or marble will look stunning in the middle of the room, and it will provide you with all of the great functions that stone counters are known for providing. Remember, this piece is going to be right in the middle of one of the most important rooms of your home, so you want it to look great. It may require a rather large upfront investment to have your kitchen island stone counter installed, but that cost will quickly be justified when you see how stunning the final product looks in person.

If you would like to learn more about the options that you have available to you for a stone island countertop, please contact Stone World TN at your convenience. We have plenty of beautiful stone options available, and most of them would work perfectly as an island countertop. Don’t settle for a man-made product which will lower the appearance of your overall kitchen when you can get an impressive stone counter from Stone World for a great price.

Take a look at our Kitchen Countertop Photo Gallery

Has Quartz Been Overlooked in the Countertop Wars?

Are you overlooking QUARTZ? We've got your countertops covered!

Are you overlooking QUARTZ? We’ve got your countertops covered!

Marble and granite are long-standing staples in the kitchen countertop world. Each is incredibly beautiful, and their cost is often offset by the resale value that they add to a house. Most homeowners don’t need any convincing when it comes to installing a marble or granite countertop – in fact, the only debate is often over which one of these two wonderful options to pick.

However, those are not the only two stones in the game. Quartz is a material that has gained in popularity in recent years, and for many good reasons. Countertops made from quartz offer wonderful durability, they are available in an incredible number of colors, and there is very little maintenance involved in keeping them in tip-top condition. If you are looking for a drawback to quartz, you are going to have to look for a while, because there isn’t much bad to say about this option.

Color Matching is Easy

If you have ever shopped for a natural stone counter, you know how difficult it can be to find exactly the shade you are looking for to match the rest of your kitchen. Mother Nature doesn’t take orders, so granite counters come in whatever shades the earth decided to create. On the other hand, quartz counters are engineered using mostly natural stone along with a resin which can be tinted to nearly any hue. When you visit a showroom to check out quartz counters, you will quickly notice just how easy it would be to select a look that matches up nicely with your needs.

Keep It Clean

One of the great benefits of using quartz specifically for a kitchen counter is its non-porous composition. You don’t need to worry about bacteria working its way into the counter, so they are more sanitary for a kitchen counter option than many of the other options you could pick from. If you are someone who likes to keep a spotless kitchen and you like to know that the surfaces are clean and germ-free, quartz will be your friend.

Long-Lasting Performance

Once installed, you can expect a long and useful life from your quartz counter. In fact, there is a great chance that the quartz counter will still be in place long after you have moved on from the home. As a testament to the durability of this product, many manufacturers of quartz countertops stand behind them with a warranty, which is not usually the case with other stones. This is a counter that can take what day-to-day life has to throw at it with relative ease.

At Stone World, we feel that it is about time that quartz got the attention that it deserves. Of course, we also love marble and granite countertops, so you should weigh all of the options before you settle on one for your home. There is a lot to be said about the advantages of quartz, and the list of drawbacks is rather short to say the least.  Even if you walk into the showroom with your mind focused on marble or granite, don’t be surprised if you walk out having placed an order for a beautiful quartz product. Call our office at 615.350.7000 to schedule a visit to our showroom located at 6150 Cockrill Bend Circle, Nashville, Tennessee 37209. We look forward to seeing you!!!

Consider Your Entire House When Picking a Countertop

Kitchen Renovation - Countertops

Kitchen Renovation – Countertops

When you are in the middle of a kitchen renovation, it is easy to focus in on the kitchen alone. That project can quickly become your whole world, and everything outside of the kitchen seems to take a backseat while you are in the middle of the process. Of course, ignoring everything outside of the kitchen would be a mistake, because what is going on in the kitchen needs to work nicely with the rest of your home.

Coordination is Key

If you have one type of countertops throughout the rest of your home – in the bathrooms, and maybe on a wet bar in another room – you don’t want to totally conflict those counters with the choice you make in the new kitchen. Consider these primary countertop locations:

  • Kitchen Countertops
  • Bathroom Countertops
  • Outdoor Countertops
  • Wet Bar Countertops

Of course, they don’t need to match perfectly, and matching perfectly might not even be an option if you are talking about a natural stone product. However, you want to at least make sure to think about the other surfaces in your house when choosing a counter for the new kitchen. You may decide to sell your home one day, and you don’t want prospective buyers to be put off by the confusion collection of counters that you have assembled.

Color Scheme

Do you have a common color scheme that is carried throughout your home? If so, keep that scheme in mind and pick a counter that carries on that style right through the kitchen. If necessary, you might even decide to enlist the help of a designer to allow you to pick out a countertop that makes sense for your colors. Since materials like granite often have more than one shade within them, you might find that the help of a trained eye is beneficial in this process. There is a significant time and money investment made in installing a new counter, so you want to be sure to pick out the perfect one for the job.

Don’t Overdo It

The investment that you make in your kitchen, including the counter that you select, should make sense within the context of your home from a financial perspective as well. If you own something that would be considered a ‘starter home’, you don’t want to purchase the most expensive counter on the market to install in your otherwise affordable home. The people who will be interested in buying your home when it goes up for sale are not going to be able to afford a luxury counter, so you aren’t likely to recover that original investment. There is nothing wrong with putting a nice kitchen into a ‘starter home’, but make sure you don’t go too far or you will wind up wasting money in the end.

As you are working on completing your kitchen renovation, make sure to keep the whole house in mind while making design and materials choices. You don’t need to match everything else in the house, but you certainly don’t want to create a kitchen that stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of your décor. If necessary, work with a professional designer to get the finishing touches picked out just right.

Stone World of Tennessee can help guide you in the right countertop choices for your home! Beautiful countertops is what we love. Let us make your idea a reality – contact us today for a free consultation.

Three Great Ways to Complement Your Beautiful Countertops

Complimenting Countertops in Your Home

Complimenting Countertops in Your Home

Countertops are an integral part of any kitchen design. Obviously, at Stone World, we take countertops very seriously. Whether you are looking for a granite counter, a marble or quartz option, or just about any other stone, we would love to help you bring your vision to life. However, while countertops are obviously important, there is more to a great kitchen than just a great counter. It takes an overall vision of what you want from your kitchen if you are going to be thrilled with the final product.

One of the reasons kitchen renovations can become such a costly endeavor is because all of the various elements that need to be purchased in order to complete the job. Fortunately, when the project is complete and everything is in its place, you are likely to love cooking and spending time in your new kitchen. Following are three important elements that you want to make sure are present in your design, along with a stunning counter.

Beautiful Cabinets

This one is probably the most obvious of all. Adding great cabinets to your kitchen is a perfect way to compliment your new counter and the rest of the décor. Cabinets come in a wide-range of styles and sizes, and they can be finished in just about any color under the sun. Picking the right cabinets can be something of a painstaking process simply because of the number of options involved, but you need to commit yourself to sorting through the market until you locate just the perfect look. Also, the cost of cabinets can rival your counter in terms of the most expensive part of the project, so you want to leave nothing to chance with this part of the job.

Stunning Appliances

Installing great looking appliances that also are highly functional is one of the best things you can do to raise the overall level of your kitchen. More specifically, using cheap appliances in an otherwise upscale kitchen will quickly lower the appeal of the space from a visual perspective. You want to make sure that you are picking appliances that fit your décor, whether you are going for a modern look or something more traditional. Just as there are plenty of cabinets on the market to consider, there is also an incredible number of appliances available depending on the budget you have in mind.

Lighting Matters

As a nice break from the expensive elements of appliances and cabinetry, lighting is something that you can add to your kitchen for a modest price tag which will have a major impact. Pendant lights that hang down over counters are increasingly popular, but lights which are recessed into the ceiling remain popular as well. Good lighting will not only give a wonderful feel to the space, but it will also make it easier to prepare food when your work spaces are well lit. You might not wind up putting as much time or effort into lighting as you will the other elements, but it certainly is going to have a major impact on the final appearance of the project.

A Stone Countertop as an Investment

Invest in Stone Counters for Your Home

Invest in Stone Counters for Your Home

Everything you do in your home is an investment. Very few people live in their homes for the rest of their lives, meaning that some day you will sell your house and the return that you get will be largely dictated by the choices you made along the way. All of the changes that you make to your house will affect its market value, so you can either add or take away from what you will receive when that ‘Sold’ sign finally goes up.

Kitchen renovations are one of the biggest projects that you can take on in a house, and the countertop that you select is a big part of the work. Adding a new counter can give your whole kitchen a new look, and it can give it added functionality as well. Chances are, if you are going to renovate your kitchen, you are going to think long and hard about the countertop that will be the centerpiece of the project.

It’s Not Cheap

There is no getting around the fact that adding a stone countertop to your kitchen is a costly investment. Whether you are going with granite, marble, or any other option, you are going to have to write a serious check in order to make this great addition to your house. The bill will likely be in the thousands, as the cost of installation can quickly add to the cost of the material itself. So, the question is simple – is it worth it?
In almost every circumstance, the answer is yes. Stone countertops are a great addition to a kitchen, not only for your own enjoyment, but also for the resale value of your home. Given two otherwise identical homes next to each other, the home with a quality stone countertop in the kitchen will always be considered more valuable.

Performance Over the Long Run

One of the reasons why stone counters are such a good investment is that they last over the long haul. That means that even if you aren’t going to sell your house in the near future, those counters should still be offering value many years from now. That point stands in contrast to something like carpet, which will wear out and not have the same value down the line. If you go with a good stone counter, you can count on it to look and perform great long into the future.

Understanding Marginal Cost

When pricing out granite or marble options, remember that you shouldn’t be comparing those prices to spending nothing at all. If you are renovating your kitchen, you are going to need to put in some form of countertop, and that counter will have some specific cost associated with it. So, even if you go with a cheaper laminate option, that option will not be free. It is the difference between the cost of stone and the cheaper alternative that you need to be concerned with. More times than not, that difference will be more than worth it when you consider the value that you are adding to your home.

Adding value is only one reason to go with stone counters – there are many others! Contact Stone World today to learn more.