Countertops

Why You Need to Hire A Professional To Install Stone Countertops

 
Why you need to hire a professional to install stone countertops
 

If you are looking at your countertops and you decide it is time for an upgrade, you might begin to wonder if you have what it takes to personally install your new kitchen countertops. Hiring a professional for the installation will cost money, but doing it yourself is not in the question. Here at Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, when it comes to granite countertops, we want you to have beautiful countertops and that requires you to hire a professional stone manufacturer to install the countertops.

DIY Can Be Done, Sometimes

First off, the only time you can install your own countertops is if it is a small job that does not have any seams and is a very small piece of stone. This is usually only for countertops on small bar tops or coffee tables. You can not cut the stone yourself, but you may be able to install the small piece of stone on your own with the help of a couple of friends. You will need to ask a few friends or family members for help. Remember that a slab of granite can easily weigh more than 200 pounds. Since granite slabs can be brittle, you want enough people to pick it up and place it gently into place.

Step 1: Choose you Granite

The very first thing to consider is the color. There are a lot of different types of granite. For more information on selecting your granite countertop, visit our design studio in Cranbrook.

Step 2: Measuring

The old adage to measure twice and cut once is extremely important when working with stone. You will need to take a lot of measurements. The last thing you want is to get your slab and have it be the wrong size. Your walls are not level. There will be a lot of variation in lengths. You might want to consider creating a template out of cardboard. DIY can be fun, but you might want to consider having us do the measuring.

Step 3: Preparation

You need to insure that your cabinets are strong enough to hold the weight of your stone countertops. Visiting with the design team at Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry is a great way to determine if yours will be adequate. You will also need to be sure that your cabinets are level across the entire surface. Unlevel countertops could cause your stone to crack and things to roll off the surface.

Step 4: Installation

If you are installing your own small piece of stone you will need to follow these suggestions. First off, you will want to set the countertop into place. Make certain everything fits. If the stone does not fit perfectly, you will need to bring it back so we can make the necessary cutting adjustments for you. You want the stone to fit nice and snug, but it should not overhang more than you had planned on it. Finally, you will need to glue your countertops down, install your sink and add a bead of silicone caulk. For more complex jobs, you will need to hire Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry to come and install the countertops so they look correct and can withstand the wear that a normal countertop does.

Gipman Design Studio

When you think granite countertop professionals, think of Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry. If you do not have the tools or the expertise, then you can count on us to install your granite countertops. We have all the tools and the techniques necessary to get your granite countertops installed properly. One of the best benefits of using our professional installation team is the quality assurance. If we make a mistake, we fix it.


Quartz FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

 
Quartz FAQ: Everything you need to know
 

If you are considering new countertops, you have a lot of options and one of them is quartz. These frequently asked questions will give you all the information you need to make a decision about using quartz in your home. For your information, here are FAQ’s about quartz:

What is quartz?

Quartz is a crystalline form of silicone diode and second most common mineral found on this planet. It is found typically in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, colored by impurities found within it, such as in amethyst, citrine, and cairngorm. Quartz is both plentiful and durable, used in production in diverse ways from electronics to building materials.

Where is quartz found?

Quartz is found all over the world but, Arkansas and Brazil are two places with the largest natural quartz mines. The largest natural quartz crystal was found in Brazil and weighed 44 tons. Mountain tops, beaches, rivers and deserts contain high quantities of quartz on their surfaces. Even though quartz is a widely occurring mineral, pure, high quality quartz crystals are rarely found. The Spruce Pine Gem Mine in North Carolina is one of the few locations where you can find highly pure quartz mined. India also has huge quantities of clear quartz deposits.

What are the uses for quartz?

Quartz is extensively used in glassmaking and also an essential ingredient in fiberglass. Due to its hardness, quartz makes an excellent option as an abrasive and is used in sandblasting and sandpaper production. It is widely used as a filler in paint and rubber substances as well as for traction purposes in the railroad industry. Many electronics such as watches, televisions and cellphones contain quartz. This mineral is the most varied of any other mineral as it comes in a variety of colors and forms, making it one of the most useful natural substances.

Why are quartz countertops so popular?

Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” is one of the hardest minerals on earth, thus when used as a countertop option in homes, it is arguably the most durable choice. Unlike other mined natural stone slabs, quartz is produced in a factory. Here are some other reasons people love quartz countertops:

  • They can be made in a variety of colors from bright red to lime green, as well as a popular brown, black and cream neutral colors.

  • Quartz is less likely to crack or chip in compared to granite or marble since it is stronger.

  • It is a non-porous material so it will not harbor bacteria in tiny cracks like other countertop materials.

  • It is resistant to stains so oil, juice, wine, tomato, coffee and more have no effect on the color.

How are quartz countertops produced?

The primary ingredient in this type of countertops 93% ground quartz, which is combined with polyester resins to bind it together. Pigments are added to give it color. Quartz is an attractive look in kitchens and some designs even incorporate small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks into it.

Do quartz countertops stain easily?

Due to the durability and special type of resins mixed within the quartz during production, quartz countertops are resistant to stains. They are a nonporous surface, which means staining substances do not settle in small pores, causing discoloration.

Do quartz countertops scratch easily?

Quartz is among the most durable counter surfaces you can purchase, and they are scratch resistant under normal usage. It is not indestructible, as any surface can be damaged with extreme abuse, however quartz is durable and withstands well in normal usage. To keep its shine and luster, a cutting board is recommended when using knives.

Are quartz countertops easy to maintain?

Quartz is a low maintenance countertop, unlike granite which typically requires a new protective top coat at least once a year. These surfaces never need to be sealed, unlike some natural stone options.

Are quartz countertops porous?

No. Quartz countertops are nonporous, thus bacteria and other substances cannot get into the surface.

Is quartz resistant to heat?

Quartz is better at resisting heat in comparison to laminate surfaces like Formica, but when compared to granite or other stone countertops, quartz is not as heat resistant and care should be used. The resin component of the Quartz surfaces makes it vulnerable to direct heat like placing hot pans directly from the oven etc. Trivets and hot pads should be used for hot pans or hot hair tools in the bathroom to keep quartz looking its best.

Is quartz expensive?

In comparison to other high end countertop materials such as granite, slate and marble, quartz is very comparable.

Are there any chemicals or cleaners to avoid on quartz?

We recommend using cleaning products with a pH between 5-8, as products outside this range may damage the surface. Cleaning products such as oven grill cleaners, floor strippers, toilet bowl cleaners, oil soaps, tarnish removers, furniture cleaners, drain products, etc. could be damaging to your countertop. If your surface accidentally is exposed to any of these potentially damaging products, rinse with water immediately.

In what areas of the home should quartz be used?

Quartz is perfect for kitchen counters, bathroom vanity tops, fireplaces, shower edges, window sills and coffee tables. Using quartz in businesses for food service counters, conference tables and reception tops is also a popular choice. It is not recommended to use quartz for exterior purposes as too much exposure to ultraviolet light can discolor it.

Are quartz countertops seamless?

Similar to granite, quartz slabs also come in certain maximum sizes. The jumbo sized slabs are usually 125” x 65”. If countertops are longer than these sizes, they need to be seamed. It is similar to granite in this aspect. We try and make this seam as inconspicuous as possible.

Will any type of sink fit with a quartz countertop?

Yes, all types of sinks fit and will be measured and sized prior. Sink sizes are determined by the size of the sink cabinet. The sink needs to be on-site during installation to ensure proper fitting and sealing.


Butcher Block Countertops

All about Butcher Block Countertops
The popularity of wood looks – especially as countertop surfaces – is on the rise
— Tiffany Warner

Are you looking for a unique countertop material to complete your kitchen? Butcher block is the answer. This beautiful wood product can be used in rustic-inspired kitchens to add that old-fashioned farm feel or can even be used in sleek, modern kitchens to offset metal surfaces and appliances. At Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, we can create and size custom butcher block countertops for your Kootenay home. All of our countertops are produced locally. 

What is Butcher Block?

Photo by Buckminster Green LLC

Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are then glued together into a thick slab. The material and construction of these countertops make them a very stable and sturdy working surface for your kitchen. Butcher block can be constructed from nearly any type of wood. While maple is the most popular due to its sturdiness and clear grain, cherry and black walnut are also used for their rich colour.

There are two main ways of finishing butcher block to choose from. These include:

Lacquered Finish

A lacquered butcher block finish is very popular due to its strength and lower maintenance. This finish is not food safe, which means that it is recommended you use a cutting board and do not directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish is quite durable, and you should not be cutting directly on it, it has a lower maintenance requirement than oiled.

Oiled Finish

Photo by Jenny Baines, Jennifer Baines Interiors

An oiled butcher block finish is very popular due to its beauty and function. This finish is food safe, which means that you can forgo a cutting board and directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish does not seal the wood in the traditional sense you must be careful of what you set on the surface and regularly oil it to keep it from drying out.

Caring for Your Butcher Block Countertop

Wood countertops do require a few maintenance tasks to keep their beauty over time. Unlike some other countertop materials, wood is a very porous material, so it has to be sealed properly. Without sealing, germs are able to easily get into the material through the surface. Once inside, germs will continue to grow, making your countertop unsafe and destroying its beauty. Once your countertop is installed, you will want to have it sealed and you should maintain the surface with mineral oil or another protectant. Countertops will also have to be refinished after about 10 of use depending on how heavily they are used by your family.

You must also not allow moisture to sit on the surface of your wood countertop for an extended period of time. Spills and other moisture should be cleaned up and dried from the surface quickly. Otherwise you could notice water damage, which will make the surface more susceptible to germs.

Because wood is a soft material, you may notice dents, dings or scratches developing over time. While some may not like this look, many choose wood countertops for this exact reason, as they like the appearance of the rustic patina wood acquires over years of use.

Benefits of Butcher Block

Wood countertops are an excellent option for kitchens as they make a strong and sturdy work surface. If you choose, you can cut food directly on the countertop as many of the styles will disguise small scratches and cuts. The soft material of wood is also much easier on the blades of your knives than granite or stone would be. 

Butcher block countertops can bring warmth to your kitchen, not just in the warm tones and appearance of the wood. The surface is much warmer to the touch than that of granite, tile or stone. If you are planning to use the countertop as an island that people can sit around or eat at, wood is a great option since placing your arm on a cold granite countertop can be quite a shock.

 

Alternatives to Butcher Block Countertops

Something many people do not consider when deciding on solid wood countertops is the amount of wear and damage that they can take on. A great alternative to constant worry and maintenance is going with a laminate countertop with a high definition printed wood pattern.  You maintain the cost effective nature and high durability of the laminate, but can achieve the high end look of wood!

Best of both worlds

All these images are of laminate countertops with the high definition wood grain patterns!

Formica Wood Laminate Countertops.jpg
Wilsonart Wood Countertops.jpg
Formica Wood Countertops.jpg
Formica Wood Countertops 2.jpg

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All about butcher block countertops

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New 2018 Countertop Collection

Brand New 2018 Countertop Collections

We have been busy over the last few weeks prepping our showroom for 2018 and we are so excited for you to come visit our showroom this year! During our preparations we are updating our countertop collections and today we are giving you a sneak peak of these beautiful designs!

Great Style doesn't have to be Expensive

At Gipman Kitchen's and Cabinetry, we manufacture our own line of laminate countertops. From a beautifully wrapped postform style that is easy on the bank account to a high end custom bevel, we have thousands of combinations that will make your countertops unique!

Laminate Countertops

What we love so much about laminate countertops is that they are NOTHING like the countertops from even a couple of years ago. The laminate industry is changing and evolving so much that the quality, durability and color/pattern options actually fool people into thinking you splurged hard on granite! Laminate tops provide the ultimate design and budget flexibility.

Why? Because companies like Wilsonart, Formica, and Pionite, actually take high definition photographs of stones like granite and marble, then compress them into a high pressure decorative laminate (HPDL). Laminate is 70% paper and is regarded as the most environmentally friendly countertop surface available.

These new colors are perfect for refreshing a dated kitchen. If you love the look of marble but are not interested in the high maintenance and potential to stain, opt for one of these new light laminates that will easily fool your guests to think you splurged big for marble!

Don't believe us? The photo to the side is a marble look-alike made by Formica.

 

 

 

1 | The Lights

Cote D'Azur

Polar Cap

Marmo Bianco

White Cascade

Pearl Sequoia

Sierra Cascade

Serrania

Arabescato Marble

Arabescato Marble

 

2 | The Mid-Tone

Moon Dust

Moon Dust

Pebble Piazza

Oyster Sequoia

Benjamin Gray

Cipollino con Panna Laminate

Potters Clay

Galactic Dust

Santa Cecilia

Santa Cecilia

 

3 | The Dark

Lario

Dusk Cascade

Andorra Fog

Andorra Shadow

Toffee di Pesco

Cote D'Azure Noir

Man on the Moon

Saint Laurent Marble


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Brand new 2018 Countertop collections (3).png

We strive to prove quality, relevant content for homeowners to make educated decisions during the renovation process. Drop us a line in the comments if you have any questions or share this link with your friends if you found this helpful.

 

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