Comparing Quartz to Solid Surface Countertops: Knowing the Differences

Comparing Quartz to Solid Surface Countertops: Knowing the Differences

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]When it comes to remodeling your kitchen or creating a custom kitchen, three of the top projects in this space involve the floors, cabinets, and countertops. Selecting the best countertop not only provides you with the right amount of space for prepping meals, but it also gives you a beautiful, functional surface that can withstand daily wear-and-tear while lasting for decades.

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Quartz vs. Solid Surface?

Two popular countertop materials you’ll encounter are quartz and solid surface. Both are manmade materials that have the amazing appearance of natural stone, yet each possesses certain qualities that can affect the longevity and functionality of the countertop. Take a look at the differences between these two materials to decide which one to place in your kitchen.

Solid Surface Countertop Qualities

Solid surface countertops are created by using dust from minerals, such as quartz, that is combined with resins and polymers. When combined with different colors, the surface has a smooth look and matte texture throughout without any variations. The seams nearly disappear into the surface when bonding adhesive is used to give a smooth appearance.

One of the top advantages to solid surface countertops is that they do not have to be sealed to prevent stains. Another advantage to solid surface materials is their strength due to the polymer and mineral dust used throughout the material. Solid surface countertops can be scratched, but the scratches can be sanded out. You should also be careful of placing extremely hot items on the surface as the material can be scorched.

These countertops are priced moderately as costs can range from $35 or more. Once installed correctly by a professional, they can last ten years or more.

Quartz Countertop Qualities

Quartz countertops are manufactured by taking ground quartz and combining it with plastic resin. This engineered material creates a rock-like solid surface. It also has a smooth look, unlike certain natural stone materials that can have varied textures, designs, and colors. The surface is buffed to a smooth, glossy appearance.

Unlike solid countertops, seams are more pronounced on quartz countertops although professional installers can hide them better. A quartz countertop is extremely hard and can withstand scratches. It is virtually maintenance free as it also withstands stains without the need for the surface to be sealed. As with solid surface counters, homeowners should avoid placing hot items on the surface.

Quartz countertops can last for a long time — the life of your home — if taken care of properly. Most manufacturers will offer a 10-year to 15-year warranty. Prices for quartz are more expensive than solid surface countertops as you could pay anywhere from $60 or more.

When debating between quartz vs. solid surface countertops, the best way to determine which to use is to think about the functionality, price, and maintenance of these two types of materials. Then pick the right one that fits your preferences.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Upgrade to the Custom Luxury Shower You Have Always Wanted

Upgrade to the Custom Luxury Shower You Have Always Wanted

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Is your shower everything that you have always wanted? Are you looking for a bigger space so you can have a separate bath and shower area?

For some homeowners, their ordinary shower just isn’t providing them with a pleasing experience. You may want to transform your shower area into a luxury bathing place with body spray jets and rainfall shower heads. Also, you may simply be thinking about making it more convenient for all members of the family with a shower bench, recessed lighting, shower bars and storage areas.

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If you and your spouse love to take showers together, you may consider having a double shower with shower heads on opposite walls.

[/blockquote][vc_column_text]Creating a luxury shower like the ones you see in interior decorating magazines and on home improvement shows can be achieved. All you have to do is take the time to plan out space, invest in the right materials for your budget, and have it professionally installed to avoid future repair nightmares. Use the following tips to create the ultimate luxury shower that your entire family will love.

Understanding Your Home Needs

Before moving things around to expand the shower area, you first need to think about what you want in a shower space. If you and your spouse love to take showers together, you may consider having a double shower with shower heads on opposite walls. If you have a multi-generational home where everyone will take advantage of the same bathroom, you have to consider accessibility for older parents and nonslip surfaces for younger kids.

Talk with your spouse and family about your luxury shower needs. Then narrow down your choices so that the luxury bathroom has everything it needs.

Planning Out Space

One of the great things about upgrading to a custom shower is that there are numerous configurations to select from to fit into your space. So your design possibilities are increased if you are working with rooms of different sizes and shapes.

You’ll want to take into consideration the present plumbing, ventilation, electricity, and heating and cooling systems in the space. They will affect the placement of the shower, toilet, cabinets, bathtub, and vanity sink. You don’t want to make the mistake of placing your toilet line too close to the swinging glass shower door as you won’t be able to open the door fully without banging into the toilet, or having a cultured marble vanity sink and cabinet in front of a heat register.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2="Not sure where to start?" h4="We're ready help you." txt_align="center" style="custom" add_button="bottom" btn_title="Click Here" btn_size="lg" btn_align="center" btn_button_block="true" custom_background="#ffffff" custom_text="#006a51" btn_link="url:https%3A%2F%2Ftowercountertops.com%2Fcontact-us%2F|title:Contact%20Us||"]We have a number of shower experts on staff, and a showroom full of showers.  Let’s work together to get you into your dream shower.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Consider Materials for Functionality and Durability

There is a wide range of shower materials out on the market to appease almost any budget. So you will be able to pick out shower bases, wall panels, showerheads, safety bars, lighting, seats, and storage cubbies. Keep in mind that most of your choices shouldn’t just be based on the price tag. Consider the ease of cleaning the materials, durability, functionality, beauty, and lifecycle.

While it may seem economical to select the lowest priced material on the market, such as fiberglass or tile, some of these materials may be prone to cracking, staining, and water leakage. You may actually end up spending more on replacement costs. Instead, select materials that can handle the rigors of daily use — especially if you have a large family —  such as Meridian solid surface shower bases, wall panels, and shower accessories. The material is water-resistant, inexpensive to install, strong, and beautiful.

You can have the custom luxury shower of your dreams. Carefully plan out all the details and get advice from professional plumbers, shower installers and electricians so the shower space will fit your needs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Impress Your Guests: How a Custom Conference Table Can Set Your Business Apart

Impress Your Guests: How a Custom Conference Table Can Set Your Business Apart

If you’re like many business owners, then you take great care and feel an immense amount of pride in the way your business and your brand is displayed to the world. Every product or service provided speaks to who you are, as does every advertisement or piece of marketing. This can also include your office space itself, especially the conference or meeting room, where important deals are closed, contracts are signed, and hands are shaken.

Of course, you’re conducting your business every daythere too, so in addition to impressing prospective clients and helping to close deals, you want to feel good about showing up to the office every day. A custom designed conference table can help all of this and more, ensuring your business stands apart from the crowd with a beautiful, eye-catching aesthetic that is sure to impress.

There are a number of ways to customize a conference table. One of the best is with custom solid surface conference tables. With solid surface, you get a durable and easy to maintain solution, but also one that truly looks the part, and offers near limitless opportunities for customization.

One popular choice is to create inlaid conference tables. Here, you can select different colors, perhaps opting to match your brand’s color scheme, with dozens of options available.

Different designs can also be created and imprinted in your conference table. Many companies opt for logo conference tables, having their logo itself proudly emblazoned on a beautiful, expansive table. It looks great for clients, customers, and partners, and it will make you proud every time you pull up a chair for a meeting or presentation.

Inlaid conference tables can also be further customized in a number of ways. You can choose different table sizes and shapes, as well as several different edge profiles. So whether you want a commanding boat-shaped conference table with room for 20 and a brightly inlaid logo sprawling across its surface to showcase as the centerpiece of your conference room, or a simple, yet custom design, it’s all possible.

Tower Industries has over two decades of producing custom conference tables for a wide range of clients. Our Meridian Solid Surface conference tables offer a beautiful and unique way to stand apart from the crowd and impress in the boardroom. Explore our custom conference tables gallery or call us at 800.807.8889 for further assistance.

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7 Benefits of Solid Surface

7 Benefits of Solid Surface

We’re not going to claim that solid surface is the answer for EVERY institutional, commercial, or residential project. However, we can certainly share the benefits of solid surface when it comes to university residence hall showers, commercial countertop applications, bathroom sink vanity tops, and many other situations.

From its safety and durability to its beauty and flexibility, solid surface just might be your best bet. Check out the infographic here to see if solid surface will work for your project.

Universities & Healthcare

For institutional settings, like universities and healthcare facilities, its safety, longevity, and low maintenance make solid surface a strong option to consider. Whether a retrofit scenario, a brand new hospital wing, or a residence hall expansion, solid surface practically eliminates many of the concerns that typically arise from other choices, like:

  • Porous material (allowing bacteria build-up)
  • Hard to clean
  • Difficult to repair
  • Lack of flexibility in design and functionality

Solid surface is the opposite of each of these, which makes it a great selection for your next project.

Commercial & Hospitality

Hotels, restaurants, and offices often use solid surface because of its durability and beautiful, custom design options. In fact, we recently created a 100 percent custom-fabricated countertop solution for national eatery Dean & DeLuca that included 70 linear feet of undulating hills and valleys of Meridian Solid Surface material to immerse the consumer into the food experience.

Residential

Homeowners, home builders, and remodelers choose solid surface for its durability, easy cleanup, and beauty, often selecting from a variety of textures and colors that can mimic granite, marble, and stone, at only a fraction of the cost of these other materials.

Clearly, you’ll need to consider all the specific factors of your project; but in looking at the many benefits of solid surface highlighted here, it should likely be one of your top choices.

If you have questions about how our solid surface material can be customized to fit within your project, please give us a call at (800) 807-8889 or click here to request more information.

 

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Natural Stone or Solid Surface: Choosing Your New Kitchen Countertops

Natural Stone or Solid Surface: Choosing Your New Kitchen Countertops

Looking for a way to update the look of your kitchen? While new cabinets can go a long way toward transforming your space, nothing beats replacing your old countertops with something new. You have quite a few choices when it comes to material, though, so it pays to know a bit more about those options in order to make an informed decision. Two of the most popular materials are natural stone and solid surface countertops. What are the differences, and which is better for your needs?

Solid Surface Countertops

Let’s start the discussion with solid surface countertops. If you think laminate counters are the only choice, you need to dig a bit deeper. We’re not talking about low-quality plastic here.

Modern solid surface counters go well beyond laminate in terms of durability, lifespan and even color options. For instance, our Meridian Solid Surface is bold, beautiful and eye-catching. It’s also nonporous and incredibly durable. In fact, we back it with a 10-year warranty, which is not something you will find with most other materials.

We manufacture your Meridian Solid Surface countertops in house, right in our own facility. We also customize the counter to your specifications, including size, thickness and colors. If you’re worried that the seams will stand out (like older laminate types), rest easy. They’re inconspicuous and sometimes completely invisible. And, because this material is stronger than stone, you’ll have a beautiful countertop that will last almost forever.

Natural Stone

When it comes to natural stone countertops, granite is the number one choice (note that quartz counter tops are not considered natural stone, so they don’t come into this particular discussion). You can also find marble and soapstone countertops on the market, but we do not recommend these. Both are softer than granite, and will require considerable maintenance over time. They’re also more easily damaged.

Granite is indisputably beautiful. It’s also available in a range of colors and patterns. No two granite countertops will be identical, either, because each piece of stone is unique. Of course, this also means that if your counter requires two pieces of granite joined together, there will be some difference in grain and pattern where they meet at the seam.

Stone is also very durable and will last for a long time. However, there are some drawbacks here. For instance, the seams are actually more visible with a granite kitchen countertop than with Meridian Solid Surface.

Another consideration here is the fact that granite must be resealed every few years to prevent staining. Unsealed granite is porous, and any liquids spilled on it will seep into the stone itself. Of course, there is also the fact that granite, while very durable, is susceptible to temperature fluctuations. That means setting a hot pan down on the counter itself is a very bad idea, as the heat can crack the stone, leaving you with a damaged counter in need of replacement.

Making Your Choice

In the end, choosing between Meridian Solid Surface and natural granite can be tough to do. Both are beautiful and durable. Both offer a long lifespan (when properly cared for). Solid Surface is the more affordable option, but both can be customized to fit your design needs and sense of style, too.

We offer both granite and Solid Surface countertops to fit your home’s design, and your budget. To learn more about the options available to you, get in touch with us today.


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How to Select the Right Countertop Material

How to Select the Right Countertop Material

As you begin planning for your next kitchen or bathroom build or remodel, there are many factors that play a role in the project, such as design, labor, timing, and budget. And, one of the biggest areas is sure to be the question of materials.

Focusing specifically on countertops, we all know we need to look at the expected use of the countertop and the needs of the user. As a result, an imperative question to ask is: what is the right countertop material for this project?

Because there are a plethora of options available, let’s take a deeper dive into countertop material options to be able to best answer.

Natural Stone

Natural stone, such as granite, is heat resistant, long lasting, and durable. Sealing is generally required, as well as regular maintenance, to uphold the appearance through the years. Granite is available in a large variety of colors and patterns giving a custom look to every installation. Because granite is cut into long slabs, there are very few seams. Tower Industries has sophisticated software allowing us to digitally select the placement of seams to keep the look flowing nicely.

Quartz Surfacing

A blend of quartz and added pigments creates quartz surfacing, which has the look and feel of natural stone. Available in a variety of color and texture options, quartz also offers uniformity in color, unlike natural stone. Quartz is heat and stain resistant, easy to clean, and does not require sealing.

Stainless Steel

A modern choice, stainless steel is resistant to heat, bacteria, and stains. The material can be susceptible to dents, which could be difficult to repair. Additionally, very regular cleaning is required, as the surface is susceptible to smudges, streaks, and fingerprints. An analysis of the end user and frequency of use would be best advised when selecting this material, which could work quite well in the appropriate kitchen.

Solid Surface

Available in hundreds of colors, textures, and patterns, solid surface countertops are resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture. Solid surface is durable, repairable, and virtually maintenance free. Any potential scratches can be sanded away. With solid surface countertops, the design possibilities are endless. This beautiful material can be made to resemble stone or concrete, and can be manufactured to create almost any custom countertop imaginable.

Laminate

Made with a thin plastic resin covering plywood, laminate is durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean. The lowest cost option, this material is available in hundreds of colors and patterns, and can be made to mimic stone, metal, and wood. Scratches and cracks, though, cannot be repaired.

Tile

A great-looking option, tile is classy and available in a variety of colors. Unfortunately, the installation is more complex due to grouting, and regular maintenance is required with re-grouting, deep cleaning, and sealants. Tile is also susceptible to chips, cracks, and staining in the grouting area. An option is to utilize this material in a secondary area, such as the backsplash or on a kitchen island.

Wood

Wood is a natural beauty and is always striking in appearance. The material must be sealed or oiled regularly, though. Wood can also be vulnerable to stains, heat, and moisture, so like tile, might be better suited for a secondary area.

Concrete

Made to resemble natural stone, concrete is available in a variety of colors and is cured and finished to provide a smooth and flat surface. Concrete requires regular maintenance, must be sealed, and is extremely heavy, so is often times saved for projects where the customer specifically requests it.

In the end, the final countertop material decision weighs on the amount of tolerable maintenance by the user in comparison to the desired appearance and durability. All of these materials have pros and cons that must be analyzed, yet solid surface countertops have a tendency to rise to the top of the list. Being virtually maintenance-free, offering many beautiful and custom options, and providing long lasting durability, solid surface is a countertop material that just might solve all needs for your project.

Wondering which material is right for your next project? Contact us today to discuss all the options Tower has to offer!

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How Does Custom Fabrication Work?

How Does Custom Fabrication Work?

Sometimes a project requires standard solid surface, quartz, or granite. Other times, a project might need a completely customized approach. When this is the case, you need to know you’ll get what you want without a lot of hassle. Working with Tower Industries to create a completely custom solution for your specific project is just as easy.

For projects, large or small, custom fabrication is an option to fit your unique requirements when a standard product just won’t do the trick. So how does custom fabrication work? Let’s cover the Who, When, What, and How of custom fabrication.

Who

Custom fabrication services are offered to provide surfacing for those who may have already selected a brand or color of product that Tower Industries does not regularly stock. Generally, architects, designers, general contractors, and construction managers tend to be our largest customers in this area, though homeowners have been known to utilize custom fabrication services, as well.

When

For commercial projects, in particular, products and colors are typically selected before the bid stage with little opportunity to change those particulars after-the-fact. By offering custom fabrication services, we are able to provide the desired product to architects and designers, regardless of whether the product is in stock or not. In other words, whatever the product or unique specifications, Tower Industries will work with our customers to provide the needed custom solution.

What

You asked for it; you got it! At Tower Industries, we will do whatever it takes to provide the products that our customers request. Sometimes challenges do exist, but we will work with you to meet the ultimate needs of your project.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific materials offered.

  • We are able to provide most brands and color choices of Solid Surface, including Corian, Hanex, Avonite, Formica Solid Surface, LG Hi-Macs, Staron, as well as many other national brands.
  • In need of quartz countertops instead? We can provide almost any brand or color of Quartz, including Caesarstone, Silestone, Hanstone, LG Viatera, Zodiaq, and many other national brands.
  • Regarding granite, Tower Industries can offer any color; and, given enough lead-time, we can special-order slabs in custom sizes, directly from the quarry. Custom granite countertops do have a tendency to become fairly expensive, but regardless of color selection, we will be able to obtain the material for your project!

Even different thicknesses of quartz and granite may be available, such as a 2cm thickness instead of the standard 3cm. In this area, though, supply can be inconsistent, as not all colors are available in alternate thicknesses, or might not be readily available in the immediate or nearby market.

Custom edge profiles are available in both stone and solid surface. It’s important to note stone costs are increased when using a custom profile as a result of the diamond bits required. Solid surface custom edge profiles, in contrast, use carbide router bits typically used for woodworking, which are easier to obtain.

Although custom fabrication services tend to be geared towards large volumes of similar products, for such projects as countertops for hotels or hospitals, we can absolutely produce individual countertops in unusual shapes or with out-of-the-box details.

How

So, how does this work exactly? Tower Industries’ state-of-the-art digital fabrication offers the precision of CNC and waterjet technology for stone fabrication, and the accuracy of CNC technology for solid surface. Better yet, we will consult with any architect or designer who needs additional information regarding the best fabrication techniques to achieve the desired design.

The bottom line is this: Tower Industries will work with project planners to create a custom solution that will meet the specific needs of your project. Our custom fabrication capabilities include designing, producing, and manufacturing just about anything your project requires.

Whether your project requires solid surface, quartz, or granite, sometimes a completely custom approach is necessary. Our Custom Fabrication capabilities mean we can design, produce, and manufacture just about anything you need. From custom edge profiles to unique logo inlays, we can help bring your vision to life. Contact us and let’s discuss how our custom fabrication services can help

 

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