tag : bathrooms, counter tops, kitchen design, kitchens, Robin Siegerman, semi-precious stone, Sieguzi Kitchen & Home
comment : 8
When I first started designing in the kitchen & bath business 22 years ago, the number ONE counter top pick was granite. People went CRAZY for granite in their kitchen. Kitchen dealers loved selling it because they were sure that it was a headache-free product, unlike laminate which is good value for the money, but you get what you pay for, so it doesn’t stand up to family wear and tear for too long, it scratches easily, gets scorched if a hot pot is set down on it and will lift if water seeps under a seam.
Today, granite has been used so much, it’s lost a bit of its luster, and many people are looking for something “different”, so marble sometimes comes up as a possibility.
But marble! YIKES! Don’t even get me started about what kitchen dealers said (and some still say) about marble! They practically break out in hives when a client suggests that’s what they want!
- It’s too porous and will stain.
- It’s surface is easily etched by acidic compounds like citrus juice or vinegar.
- It’s too soft and will scratch.
- It’s unstable and will crack if you put a hot pot on it
- Yadda, yadda, yadda.
And although some of that is true to a point of both marble AND granite, I can tell you that I’ve had marble in my own kitchen for 13 years…
…I’ve never sealed it, and I would do it again in a heart-beat! I can tell you all about it one day (or in the comments below the post, if you want to ask me a question), but right now, I need to tell you about something that knocked my socks off!
Semi-precious stone counter tops! Yes, you read that right!
Since many kitchen dealers don’t want to even think about marble, can you imagine the hair-pulling that would result if you asked for semi-precious stone for your counter top? Most dealers, would tell you it can’t be done, it doesn’t exist, and even if it did, it would be financially out of reach.
Well, it certainly is not a budget material, but it CAN be done and DOES exist and it’s called Prexury by Cosentino.
Cosentino is one of the world’s foremost surfacing manufacturers. (In case you didn’t see my post on visiting their marble quarries, you can read it here.) And among the surfacing products they manufacture, is a slab product made from semi-precious stone. When I saw these slabs in their showroom in Spain, my jaw just about hit the floor!
CLASSIC QUARTS AND ROSE QUARTZ!
To a certain extent, worries about performance is true, even though this material has a resin coating which is very sturdy, but guess what? Even granite is not indestructible, and you can’t spill red wine on it and leave it overnight and expect that it won’t leave a mark in the morning. And where did we get this idea that we could buy a product, ANY product and it would look as good 25 years from now as the first day we put it in? Unless you’re OCD and clean religiously all day every day, everything is going to show wear after some period of time. And contrary to what most people believe, it’s the liquid sealer that you apply to natural stone that protects the stone from staining (with the exception of SenSa® Granite by Cosentino, which I’ll tell you about another day) And the sealer only sits on the surface so it doesn’t last forever, and it should be re-applied once a year to maintain the stain protection.
But with Prexury, since it can be back-lit, if you’re worried about it, it can also be used as an accent on a vertical surface.
Because these slabs are a high end material, and have such high visual impact, my inclination would be to use them sparingly and not in the area that is going to get the heaviest use. So, as in the photo above (courtesy of Cosentino) as accents, they have enormous visual appeal and will last for many years.
If you do want to use them on a horizontal surface, a back-lit eating bar — like in the kitchen below — would be a great application.
If you’re ready to have a real gem of a kitchen, I’d be happy to set up a consultation in person if you live in the Toronto area, or online if you don’t. I can then help you determine what would work best for your budget, home and family lifestyle. You can find out more about my services here.
And if you want my weekly blog posts right to your in-box without having to search the world to get it, you can sign up here and as a thank you, you’ll get a free kitchen e-planner which will give you lots of great information so you’ll know what to expect and how to avoid renovation hell!
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I love comments, so if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we’ll “tawk”! Ta-ta til then!