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Lessons in Stone Part 3 – brought to you by Grantech Ltd, the leading supplier of Granite and Quartz work surfaces in Cheshire, Flintshire and North Wales.

Why choose Marble as your worktop of choice?

Marble is something of a connoisseur’s choice and is therefore generally chosen as a worktop for its impact – its amazing appearance.

Marble’s key characteristics are the veins that are found throughout. Up to 50 or so variations can be found and are typically sourced from Spain and Italy.

Marble is perhaps not as serviceable as Granite. It’s easier to scratch and chip but in the right location can be very impactful. Farmhouse style rather than ultra-modern is the application of choice.

Lessons in Stone Part 2 – brought to you by Grantech Ltd, the leading supplier of Granite and Quartz work surfaces in Cheshire, Flintshire and North Wales.

Why would you choose Granite for your kitchen worktop?

Granite is a popular kitchen worktop choice for most customers. So why is it so popular?

  • Colour choice – Granite is available in more than 100 different colours – almost anything is possible.
  • Granite is available in single, plain colours but very often has a natural mottle effect.
  • Granite is immensely strong and difficult to scratch and has a stain resistance if treated prior to installation.

Lessons in Stone Part 1 – brought to you by Grantech Ltd, the leading supplier of Granite and Quartz work surfaces in Cheshire, Flintshire and North Wales.

Confusion abounds when attempting to differentiate between Marble and Granite. Both of course are natural stones, however, they are entirely different animals when it comes to installing them as worktops.

Both have their merits and indeed have their place. Either will make your Cheshire or North Wales kitchen look beautiful – especially if you trust Grantech to the work http://www.grantech.ltd.uk.

OK, so what is Granite?

Granite is an igneous rock and for the sake of the definition, this means that it is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Structurally, it is very dense and therefore very strong and solid.

Being so tough, it is ideal when used as a worktop. It does still have the chance to crack however if treated badly. Most granites composite and are made up of at least 20% quartz and up to 65% alkali feldspar. These minerals impact on the colour of the stone.

What is marble?

For the archaeologists, Marble is a metamorphic rock formed from the metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks in the very high temperatures that are experienced deep underground. Calcite is the primary composite material but it may have clay, graphite and iron in and amongst its make-up.

The density of Marble makes it not quite as strong as granite overall.

OK Lesson over – look out for regular pieces on Grantech’s specialities!

LAUNDRY ROOM REVEAL

With the housing market continuing to climb and the economy being cautiously optimistic, many homeowners are looking into ways to improve the value of what is likely to be the biggest investment of their lives. Ask any estate agent, and they will tell you the homes that sell the fastest and command their asking price are the ones that goes the extra mile in upgrading all the rooms in their homes. You may think that once you have conquered the kitchen and bathroom, your job is gone. But have you looked at your laundry room lately?

Stand back and look at your laundry room objectively. If you were a potential buyer, does it have the ‘wow’ factor? It might seem insignificant, but if a buyer is looking at multiple homes that tend to blur in their minds after a day of viewing, a stunning and functional laundry room may very well set you apart from the rest. Here’s some ways to make a big bang in a little room:

Appliances:

Even if you are taking your washer/dryer with you, having modern appliances in your laundry room will leave a great impression with potential buyers. Rusty, old avocado-green appliances from the 70’s are bound to leave a bad taste in a potential buyer’s mouth.

Fix the storage problem

If you have bottles of detergent, fabric softener, bleach and other household cleaning products are prominently displayed on DIY wire shelving units, you might want to think about storage that keeps these eye-sores out of sight. A cupboard with doors is ideal, but you can also grab pretty woven baskets to store your laundry and cleaning products that will still be within reach but out of the way.

Pretty it up

Who says you can’t have an attractive laundry room? It’s amazing what a lick of paint can do for the room. If you are really adventurous, you might want to consider colour blocking or striped walls to give the room some depth. What does your floor look like? Some inexpensive lino or peel & stick floor tiles can make a big difference. If you have a window, put café curtains or new blinds up.

Ironing space

Ideally, if you can wall mount an ironing board, do it. It forces you to iron your clothes in your laundry room instead of somewhere else in the house. And once the ironing board is out, we tend to leave it out. Potential buyers might think you have poor storage if they have to dance around your ironing equipment in your bedroom or dining room.

Of course, a new kitchen is the best way to add value to your home. Call the experts at Grantech for advice on how to make the most of your kitchen.

How to remodel your kitchen remodel: what to remember

Updating your kitchen is not only a great way to invest in your home, it can help you enjoy time with your family and friends. This is where we tend to gather, after all. There are numerous things to remember during this process:

Taking advice from designers

Unless the person is a close friend and knows your personal style, don’t feel pressurised to go with their preferences unless you are absolutely thrilled with their suggestions. You may regret it later.

Don’t be afraid to ask for swatches or samples of materials to take home to investigate how it reflects the light in your home. How it looks on the tin will NOT be how it translates in your home. It really matters!

Don’t rush decisions

If you rushed into a decision about one area in your kitchen, don’t compound the problem by making another rash decision to rectify the first faux pas. Chances are, you will be throwing good money after bad and ending up with a new kitchen that you don’t enjoy. Take your time and choose wisely.

Hardware

It’s surprising how much of a difference great hardware makes. Again, choose carefully as you may end up splashing out a large sum of money on seemingly inexpensive cabinet and door knobs. They can add up quickly if you have lots of storage space.

Functionally and practicality

Try to envision your kitchen as a triangle, where you can move smoothly between oven, sink and refrigerator. If you cook or entertain often, you’ll know how important this is.

Style

Everyone has their own personal style, but unless you are not planning on ever selling your home, it’s best to stick with classic styles and materials for flooring and countertops and express your personality in paint, wallpaper, window dressings, decor and furnishing. It may be detrimental to the value of your home when it comes to resell if you’ve chosen layouts and materials that don’t appeal to the masses.

For help with your countertops, call the experts at Grantech.

Let’s Talk Painting

Not many people are in a position to remodel their entire kitchen when they get a little bored with the look of this vital room. And it’s the most instant-impact DIY project you can attempt, so here are a few shortcuts and tricks to make it a bit easier.

This can prove to me a daunting task to do at the end of a hard day painting, so in between coats, put your paintbrush in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. The cold temperature keeps the bristles soft, even for several days. And it also means you’ll only have to clean the brush once at the end of the project.

Invest

As they say, rubbish in, rubbish out. Cheap paint is cheap for a reason. Buy quality paint and brushes. They cover beautifully and don’t leave streaks or brush marks.

Patience

It happens to the best of us. Impatience can kick in after a few hours of monotonous painting, so you may be tempted to take short cuts to get the walls covered as quickly as possible. For the best results, you should apply several thin layers of paint. It takes a bit longer, but the end result will mean no puddles of paint in crevices, and less brush marks in the end.

Prepare

It might seem like a waste of time to wash your walls prior to painting, but it is probably one of the most important steps. Your walls need to be free of oils and dust for primer and paint to adhere properly, so don’t skip it.

Taping

If you are too impatient to tape off the trim in the room you are painting, simply keep a wet rag on hand at all times and wipe the wet paint as needed.

Some people change the paint in their homes twice a year to reflect the seasons. Consider rich, dark colours in winter and bright, cheery colours in the summer. And of course, if you are looking to invest in a total refurb of your countertop, Grantech can help. Stop in to browse through our beautiful showroom and ask for expert advise.

Granite v Marble

Picking the perfect counter top stone for your house depends on a number of considerations, the top two being how much money you have to spend as well as your own personal style preference. There is certainly is no shortage of design choices. But looks aren’t everything, and something that should be at the top of your priority list is which type of material to use. Many homeowners think there is little difference between granite and marble; some mistakenly think they are the same thing. But different stones have different strengths. Every natural stone has a strength ranking which professionals call the Mohs hardness. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was established to classify the strength of any natural mineral. For example, if a stone has a Mohs hardness of seven, then that stone is strong enough to leave an abrasion on a stone with a six (or lower) rating. The following will hopefully give you a better idea of the characteristics of each stone and their respective Mohs hardness ratings.

Granite
If you are concerned about nicks, scratches or chinking of counter tops, you may want to contemplate the use of granite. It’s an extremely hard stone and can hold its own against many types of damage. Even though it comes in a multitude of colours and variations, granite is largely made up of quartz, feldspar and a mix of different minerals, which gives the stone a somewhat gritty look. The Mohs hardness rating of granite is seven.

Marble
Made up of limestone, marble is the result of millions of years of the stone being compacted and heated. Because of this complex process over such a long period of time, marble is slightly stronger than limestone, but cannot compare to granite in sturdiness. Although there are some exceptions in rare types of marble, most varieties only rank an average of 4 on the Mohs hardness scale.

If you are considering a new countertop, contact the professionals at Grantech or come for a visit and walk around our showroom.

What Is Granite Made Of?

You’ve seen it in kitchens, bathrooms and floors probably more times than you can count, but have you ever wondered how the beautiful, naturally-formed is made? Granite is naturally formed through the cooling and solidification of molten rock like other igneous stone. Unlike other stones that are heavily concentrated is specific areas of the world, the formation of granite is a fairly global occurrence. However, the geography, heat and pressure on each deposit leaves its own unique footprint, so the appearance of granite can vary greatly.

To see how complex the process is to get the stone from deep beneath the earth’s crust to your kitchen, watch this video from The Discovery Channel. And if you would like to find out more about the options that are available to you if you are considering new countertops in your home, contact Grantech . Come pay us a visit and walk around our showroom, check out our large selection of granite kitchen worktops on display and have a cup of coffee while you browse.

Utilising Your Outdoor Space

With the economy appearing to be stabilising, homeowners are once again investing in their properties. While a kitchen and bathroom remodel are one of the first and most popular improvements people tend to make, there is a movement to make your garden area part of the living space for the family. Weather and space permitting, outdoor spaces are great additions to any home. Here are a few things to think about if you are considering making your garden a more liveable extension of your home.First things first: Consider how much space you have to work with and what your budget is. If you entertain quite a bit, you may want to invest slightly more to make the most of your outdoor space.

Be sure to use waterproof materials: The UK is renowned for its soggy weather, but depending on where you are located, you will experience considerably more precipitation and should prepare for it. One of the best materials for outdoor countertops is granite. Highly durable and easy to care for, it is an ideal choice for an outdoor living area. Large, durable patio umbrellas made of easy to clean, high density knit polyethylene. They are mold and mildew resistant and can block up to 90% of sun’s harmful UV rays, and keeps your guests fry too.

Built in barbecue grill: BBQ’s are (and will likely always be) the most popular outdoor cooking surface, but increasingly we find homeowners deciding to include an integrated grill in their outdoor spaces. These grills areas can include food preparation areas, refrigeration units and storage areas for cooking equipment.
Fireplaces: Even if you don’t have a large budget for a total make-over for your garden, a fireplace or fire pit can bring warmth on a cool night. Fire pits are affordable and can bring ambiance to your backyard.

For ideas on how granite can transform your outdoor space, contact Grantech. Come pay us a visit and walk around our showroom, and enjoy a cup of coffee while you browse.

Spend Most of Your Time in the Kitchen?

It’s no secret that the room people spend most of their time at home is in the kitchen. Historically, the practical reason for this was because the hearth was the centre of family life where people kept warm, cooked their food, dried their wet clothes and was the only source of light when darkness fell.

As homes became more elaborate during the Victorian era, it was highly unusual for the affluent residents of the home to step foot into the kitchen, but in order to keep up the appearance of wealth, massive kitchens with all the latest gadgets of the time were clear indicators of the status of the homeowners as belonging to high society.

Today, family life is far more casual than the uptight times at the turn of the century but we still love a large, welcoming kitchen with mod-cons that let us spend more time with each other. Each individual has their own preference when it comes to their dream kitchen. Here are some tips to consider if you are fitting a new kitchen:

1. Find a reliable kitchen fitter. Don’t decide on your fitter based on price only. As the old adage says, you get what you pay for. Do your research and check the internet for consumer complaints.

2. Keeping the basics of the kitchen simple will ensure your style of kitchen will never grow old. Opting for extremely flashy designs may mean you will need to completely replace your kitchen as styles change and evolve.

3. Don’t go overboard when choosing which appliances to install in your kitchen. Think about what are the ‘must-have’ and ‘nice to have’ items. Over-spending on unnecessary items at the onset of a refurb is the fastest way to blow your budget.

4. The most visible and most used area of the kitchen has to be the worktops. Granite worktops are the perfect material because of how durable they are as well as being aesthetically beautiful. This is where you should invest wisely, as quality granite could last a lifetime.

If you are thinking of a kitchen redesign, contact Grantech . Come pay us a visit and walk around our showroom, check out our large selection of granite kitchen worktops on display and have a cup of coffee while you browse.

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