Q: Which is better- granite or quartz countertops?

A: Both are great choices for beautiful, long lasting countertops. The main difference between the two is uniformity. Granite is a natural stone, and as such has colour variation from one end of the slab to the other. For some customers, this is its beauty. Quartz is an engineered product, made of 93% stone and 7% polymer resin which is formed into slabs under tremendous heat and pressure. The resulting quartz slab is the same colour and pattern from one end to the other. This type of consistency is exactly what other customers are seeking. Some kinds of granite are more expensive than quartz, some are less expensive. So which is better? It really depends on what kind of look you’re after!

Q: What is the square foot price of a granite countertop?

A: Some companies advertise a square foot price for countertops. Often, finished edges, sink cutouts and mounting, installation, templating or some other necessary steps are added on afterwards. Because granite costs vary based on the rarity of the stone and where it comes from, and because no two jobs are the same, we like to give our customers an accurate, all inclusive price right at the beginning. All we need to get started is a rough sketch of the space along with your favourite quartz or granite colours – we often price two or three options for our customers so they can consider different choices without obligation.

Q: I’ve heard that granite requires a lot more maintenance than quartz. Is that true?

A: Granite countertops are usually sealed when they’re new (a 5- 10 minute process wherein sealant is applied with a soft cloth) and some customers will re-seal every year or two. Sealing gives your granite additional protection against difficult stains, although with normal maintenance (ie wiping up spilled oil or wine rather than letting it sit on the counter overnight) stains on granite are not a problem. Some customers never re-seal their granite countertops. At most, granite owners might spend 5 – 10 minutes a year on countertop maintenance.

Q: I need to choose some backsplash for my new countertop, but I’m overwhelmed by all the choices – can you help?

A: Absolutely. Once you’ve decided on a countertop, our on-staff designers can help you coordinate beautiful tile, stone, glass or a combination of tile and accent pieces to complete your kitchen or bathroom. If you wish, we can arrange professional installation of your backsplash as well.

Q: What’s the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?

A: Porcelain tile is made from more refined and purified porcelain clays, which are fired at higher temperatures than their ceramic counterparts. This results in denser, less absorbent tile which is very resilient and hard wearing. Ceramic (non-porcelain) tile is generally made from red or white clay with a glazed on colour or pattern. Ceramic tile is suited to wall and floor use, and in residential settings with light to moderate traffic. Usually the sample board will indicate if the tile is for wall use only. Porcelain tile is well suited for floors and heavy traffic areas, as well as areas where there may be exposure to moisture or stains. Many full-bodied porcelains may be installed indoors or out.

Q: I would like to have a wood burning pizza oven as part of my outdoor entertaining area, but I’m only planning to stay in this home for about another year. Can I get an oven that I can take with me when I move? Also, my partner is concerned that we don’t eat enough pizza to justify getting the oven.

A: The portable outdoor oven may be easily moved from one home to another. It has two pull out handles on the front (not seen when not in use) and wheels on the back, which allow it to be moved like a wheelbarrow. There are three different kinds of wood burning ovens, and they all do a fantastic job of cooking much more than just pizza! Anything that can be cooked in a conventional oven may be cooked in a wood burning oven. We’ve cooked tender, flavourful roast beef in our brick oven in the showroom. See the different types of ovens under Wood Burning Ovens.