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remodel your bathroom

A 6-Point Checklist Before Remodeling Your Bathroom

By | Remodel Your Bathroom

1. Budget

Setting your budget for your bathroom renovation can give you a realistic idea of what look you can achieve.

The kinds of tiles, fixtures, and extras should be figured out after subtracting the costs of labor. It’s important to have a general idea of the look you are trying to go for – but the details of the materials should be figured out at a later point.

2. Time

Renovating an entire bathroom is not just a-few-days process. Depending on the size of the bathroom and how much work needs to be done, it can take up to weeks. It will also take time to order and purchase materials necessary. You should plan to have enough time not only for the duration of the remodeling works but also enough time to have all materials ordered and delivered by the time your contractor needs them. In places with a single bathroom, arrangements should be made so that residents can have access to a bathroom as needed.

3. Contractor

It’s important to pick the right contract for any kind of remodeling work. Ask around for recommendations from family and friends. After you have a few different contractor options, you can make several calls and try to narrow your choices down based on your budget and timeline. To help make sure you choose reputable Houston kitchen remodeling contractors for the job, follow these tips:

  • Read online reviews and ratings.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Get written estimates from three different companies. Rule out any low-ball prices that could result in nasty surprises later on.
  • Ask contractors about their experience on projects similar to yours.
  • Ask contractors for references you can contact to ask specific questions about reliability, cleanliness and overall job quality.

remodeling your bathroom

4. Design Style

You have probably been thinking about this aspect for some time before deciding to remodel the entire bathroom, so the big picture is already there.

The design style should coordinate with your budget and time frame, so make sure to take those factors into consideration.

5. Tile and fixtures

Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed for tile orders to be ready and delivered. Depending on the kind of tiles you want, orders can take up to 12 weeks to be fulfilled. Get your order in early so that you won’t be left waiting around for it to arrive.

The same goes for fixtures. High-end products can take as long as 6-8 weeks so don’t procrastinate on these either.

6. Accessories

Here is where you can have all the fun – but don’t go too crazy because you still want to be within your budget. Pick a color scheme and shop away! You can choose your favorite towel bars, mirror, soap dish, and so much more.

READ MORE: Bathroom Basics: Stocking Your First Home

Work with our designers or your own or consult our experts to create the bathroom oasis you’ve been daydreaming about forever. Contact us today.

Complete Guide to Custom Closets in Houston

By | Custom Closets, Resources

Closets can be incredibly effective for storing everything from clothes and shoes to beach bags and outerwear – you just need to step away from basic closet designs and enter the world of custom closets in Houston. Follow this guide to help you design the perfect custom closet for your needs.

Custom Closets: A Guide to Your Dream Space

The ideal closet for one person may not be right for you. Learn about a variety of storage ideas you can incorporate in your custom closet in Houston based on your lifestyle and personal preferences. Many of your desired closet features can be determined by your style identity.

Ideal Features in Woman’s Custom Closets

  • Shallow, velvet-lined drawers with separate compartments for necklaces, earrings and bracelets prevent your favorite jewelry from ever getting tangled again.
  • An accessory rack can hold scarves, belts and long necklaces.
  • Adjustable shelves can hold purses, sweaters and other bulky items you don’t want to hang up.
  • Cubbies showcase your shoe collection.

Features Needed in a Man’s Closet

  • A shoe rack close to the ground keeps shoes off the floor.
  • A tie rack organizes belts and ties to make them easier to find and help them last longer.
  • Shallow drawers store socks, undergarments and baseball caps out of sight.
  • Slide-out baskets can hold sweat pants, running jackets and other sports accessories.

If you share a closet with your significant other, consider taking one side while your partner takes the other to prevent stepping on one another’s toes.

Figure Out What Style of Closet Fits Your Needs Best

With various features in mind, it’s time to determine how much space you actually need to store you and your partner’s clothes, shoes and accessories. Finding custom closets that meet your needs is a bit of a balancing act. Each type has it’s own specific pros and cons; but here are a few features to think about!

Walk-in Closets

custom closets made from wood in houston

A large walk-in closet in the master suite is of course ideal. The size can still vary dramatically, from a few square feet to the size of a spacious bedroom. The larger your walk-in closet is, the more important dividing the space into separate zones becomes.

For instance, you should designate higher, harder-to-reach places for seasonal items that come and go. The level that sits right at your waist – also known as the “hot zone” – is the ideal place for things you access the most, such as shallow drawers holding socks and undergarments. Finally, you want to keep the floor space open for storing shoes.

If you have the space, your walk-in closet could certainly benefit from a center island. This increases storage and gives you a convenient place to set out clothes and accessories for the following day.

Reach-in Closets


When you have limited space or fewer items to store, a reach-in closet is appropriate. While a classic reach-in closet contains nothing more than a hanging rod and a shelf, you can install a custom closet in Houston to contain so much more. Cube organizers, drawer units, adjustable shelves and multiple hanging rods help you maximize storage space in a smaller reach-in closet.

You can even make use of the door itself by adding hooks to hang jackets on or over-the-door shoe racks to free up space in the rest of the closet. With a knowledgeable closet designer by your side, you can get more out of your reach-in closet than you ever thought possible.

Find Closet Systems That Work for You.

From inexpensive do-it-yourself closet systems to custom wood closets complete with detailed millwork, you have a wide range of systems to choose from.

coated-wire-closet-organization-systemsCoated Wire Closet Systems

Possibly the most basic and affordable closet organization system, the Coated Wire Closet System is easy to install and generally offers limited versatility.

This economical choice is versatile and widely available from the home improvement section of your favorite big-box store.

Wire provides good air circulation and is easy to clean, but it has the appearance of being cheap and temporary. You can also have custom coated wire closet systems done; however, many designers recommend against investing in the money for that.

I would definitely recommend saving for a dream closet if you’re like me and you love organized and luxury spaces in your home. For just a little more money, you can opt for a Melamine Closet system that gives the appearance of a wood stain without the cost. Melamine’s are a great cheap alternative to a custom wood closet.

custom-melamine-closets-in-houstonMelamine Closet Systems

Similar to a laminate floor, Melamine is made of resin-coated particleboard or fiberboard that gives off the appearance of painted or stained wood.

This is another economical choice – and most would argue a more attractive one than wire closet systems – but the quality of melamine varies. It’s really important to sample building materials that your contractor proposes for a project like this, so that you don’t end up with a lack-luster design.

Thicker boards and thermally infused products (as opposed to cold-pressed melamine) are preferred. With a melamine you can save on the cost of building your closet and get alternatives to wood systems.

Not only that, but you can somewhat tailor and customize what your finish looks like without spending huge amounts of money.

Melamine closets in Houston, much like custom wood closets, can be customized and drawn up in a huge variety of shapes and functions.

You can get custom shelving arrangements, drawers and cubbies included making them a crowd favorite.

wood-built-custom-closetsCustom Wood Closet Systems

When money isn’t a huge object, the favored option for a custom closet is to get custom wood closets. Having a custom wood closet in Houston not only raises the value of your home, but it creates an inviting, luxurious feeling space that you’ll almost never want to leave.

Known for it’s durability and quality, natural wood built closet systems last the longest and resist ware and tare the best. Perfect for even custom kids closets, natural wood is a great way to build a dream closet that you know will last forever.

Wood closets are also preferred because of their strength. Your contractor can build in a seemingly endless array of add-ons to a wood closet without fear of structural instability.

Shop-built wood closet systems are the most attractive option, with features to rival your kitchen cabinets or living room entertain center.

While custom wood is the most expensive option, quality hinges, durable shelves and advanced features make it by far the most desirable.

Get Custom Closet Inspiration

Browse the web to discover different types of closet designs. Let these images inspire you as you plan your dream closet. Print off a few of your favorites and take them with you when you meet with your custom closet designer in Houston. This ensures everyone is on the same page about what you want the finished product to look like.

When you’re ready, please contact Natural Stone Gallery. We can help implement the closet styles, features and organization systems you need to make the most of every closet in your home.

White Wood Custom Closet Inspiration custom-closets-with-florals-inspiration custom-wood-closets-in-houston

custom cabinet options for houston kitchen remodel

4 Best Cabinet Options for Your Kitchen Remodel

By | Cabinets, Remodel Your Kitchen, Resources

Nothing affects both the appearance and functionality of your kitchen the way cabinets do. How do you narrow down the tremendous selection of cabinets available today? Whether you’re considering a total kitchen remodel or you simply want to upgrade your cabinets, follow this guide to help you choose the best Houston cabinets to suit your needs and style.

Glass-Front Cabinet Options for Your Kitchen Remodel

Eclectic Glass Kitchen Cabinets in Pheonix

Who says cabinet doors have to be made of wood? Create a different look in your kitchen by installing glass doors on at least some of your upper cabinets.

One major reason to choose glass-front cabinets is if you have specialty plates, crystal wine glasses or ceramic dishes you want to show off without taking up valuable counter space.

Another reason is to allow light to pass through peninsula cabinets. These create a really spacious feel and give your kitchen a super elegant look.

The added storage is practical, but if you have a peninsula in your kitchen, you may not like the way it closes off the space even if the glass cabinets allow light through for a more open feeling.

Don’t forget the possibility of decorative glass if you prefer to obscure the appearance of the items you store inside the cabinet. Frosted, etched, stained and colored glass are a few decorative options to choose from.

You can add colored dishes, vases, and knick-knacks to create some colored design elements without over-doing it on your cabinets. As a draw back, custom glass front cabinets DOES mean you have to keep organized.

Eco-Friendly Cabinets

Eco friendly kitchen remodel in houston

Whether you’re hoping to do your part for the environment by choosing eco-friendly building materials, or you want to clean up the air in your home, you have several attractive choices when it comes to cabinets for your kitchen remodel.

First, there are these formaldehyde-free cabinets constructed without particleboard, fiberboard or plywood.

These materials use adhesives that release fumes into your home. Bamboo plywood and agrifiber boards are formaldehyde-free for cleaner indoor air.

Another eco-friendly option is to purchase wood cabinets certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This ensures the wood comes from responsibly harvested forests.

Similarly, you can seek salvaged wood from old projects and put it to good use instead of dooming it to the landfill.

Finally, you can choose renewable materials such as lyptus or bamboo, as shown here. These species grow rapidly, yet they boast the same beneficial characteristics as hardwood, which usually takes decades to mature.

two-toned cabinet options for kitchen remodel in houstonTwo-Tone Cabinets in Kitchens

Mix-and-match cabinets in Houston are a trend that will stay around for the foreseeable future. When done right, two- or even three-tone cabinets can enhance your kitchen greatly.

This kitchen would certainly still be beautiful even if all the cabinets were brown, but the peacock blue accents provide a sassy energy that breathes life into the kitchen.

If you like the hutch-style cabinets shown here, dare to be bold by painting your own a different color than the surrounding cabinetry. Two-tone cabinets also serve to pull the wall color into the room.  This provides continuity to the room and helps everything feel like it goes together without being an exact match.

modern kitchen remodel in whiteFlat-Panel Kitchen Cabinets

If you love a modern-style kitchen, there’s no better option than flat-panel cabinets. The clean lines have a minimalist appearance so common in today’s modern designs.

Choosing the right hardware to go with your flat-panel cabinets is important for achieving the modern look you want.

The tubular stainless steel bar-pulls shown here match the sharp geometric lines of the rest of the kitchen.

Modern designs tend to combine with industrial materials. In this kitchen remodel, wood cabinets are nowhere to be found.

In their place are flat-panel fiberboard cabinets with a white, high-gloss finish. Black tabs act as functional drawer-pulls and also provide a pop of contrasting color.

Flat panels lend themselves to being painted a bright, bold color, which of course fits the modern theme perfectly.

Choose a color you can live with for years to come so you don’t end up having to paint the cabinets again in just a few years.

How to Decide Which Cabinets in Houston are Best for Your Kitchen Remodel

Even after narrowing down your selection to these five Houston cabinet options, you may still hesitate to select one over the other. For help making a decision that will stand the test of time, work with a full-service kitchen and cabinet design company. Together, you can create a cabinet arrangement to match your current kitchen or design a layout to go with the renovations you have in mind. Your final choice is sure to complement the space and suit your tastes.

To learn more about having new cabinets designed and installed in your kitchen remodel, please contact Natural Stone Gallery today.

remodeling your kitchen in houston

Remodeling Your Kitchen: The Guide and Checklist

By | Natural Stone Flooring, Remodel Your Kitchen

The size and scope of your Houston kitchen remodeling project is up to you. Whether you plan to replace a single part of your kitchen or gut the entire thing, you should follow this guide and checklist to help everything go smoothly.

Phase One of Remodeling your Kitchen

Before you start your kitchen remodel, complete a few preliminary steps to get your project off on the right foot. First, measure the dimensions of your kitchen. Identify any walls you want to tear down to reduce foot traffic choke points and open up your kitchen. Keep in mind that some of these may be load-bearing walls, so you might not be able to remove them.

Then, look online, in kitchen design magazines, and in your friends’ and neighbors’ homes to help you decide what features you want in your new kitchen. Take pictures or cut images from magazines to store in a “dream kitchen” folder. Come up with a list of remodeling goals to help you stay on track as you explore seemingly limitless design options. Some of the most popular areas of a kitchen to upgrade include:

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Walls
  • Kitchen layouts
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Appliances

Set a Budget

It’s easy to get carried away with expensive materials and custom designs, so set a budget early on:

  • Choose a budget that’s no more than 20% of your home’s current market value.
  • If you intend to hire an interior designer, include the additional costs in your budget.
  • Plan to use 80% of your budget, with 20% set aside for contingency expenses.

READ MORE: – Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

Hire Specialists for Each Aspect of the Work

While it’s possible to hire a single contractor for the entire kitchen remodel, it may be better to leave each aspect to a different professional. For example, you might hire us as your cabinet build out professional and other contractors for countertop, lighting, and flooring design and installation. To help make sure you choose reputable Houston kitchen remodeling contractors for the job, follow these tips:

  • Read online reviews and ratings.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Get written estimates from three different companies. Rule out any low-ball prices that could result in nasty surprises later on.
  • Ask contractors about their experience on projects similar to yours.
  • Ask contractors for references you can contact to ask specific questions about reliability, cleanliness and overall job quality.

Work Closely With Your Contractors

Professional kitchen remodeling companies are here to help you make the best decisions for your budget and needs. To make sure the remodel goes smoothly, read the contract carefully and keep in close contact with the companies you hire throughout the project. Follow these tips:

  • Read the contract thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. It should include details about the project, the materials being used, brand names, start and finish dates, payment amounts and due dates, product warranties, and more.
  • In general, the contractor shouldn’t ask for more than one-third of the project’s total cost as a down payment. Don’t make your final payment until the contractor has completed everything and you can see the job has been done correctly.

If you plan to replace the kitchen cabinets in your Houston remodeling project, we’re here to help! Contact us for a free quote so you can get started transforming your dream kitchen into reality. You can learn what to expect from your Kitchen Remodel by checking out the article, Kitchen Remodel Costs: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens. 

accessory and shoe station in houston closet

Custom Closet Ideas for Houston Homeowners

By | Cabinets, Custom Closets

Are you tired of wasting time rummaging through a cluttered closet for clothes, shoes and accessories that seem to get swallowed up in the mess? Do you get anxious any time you think about searching for something in your closet? Save time and reduce stress by incorporating useful custom closet ideas in your Houston home. Here are a few design concepts you’re sure to fall in love with.

READ MORE: How to Plan the Closet of Your Dreams

Include More than Just a Shelf and Hanging Rod

custom closet idea shelf

In ordinary closets, you have nothing more to work with than a hanging rod or two and a lone shelf. Help your closet stay more organized by adding many of the other useful accessories seen here, including:

  • Drawers
  • Shoe racks
  • Pull-out wicker hamper
  • Accessory shelves with divided compartments
  • Spiral clothing rack
  • Tie hooks

Put a Dresser in Your Custom Closet

To save space in the bedroom, relocate the dresser to your closet. For the most streamlined look, have a new dresser custom-built into your closet. This lets you store all your clothes in one place, saving you time as you get ready in the morning.

Make Your Closet a Dressing Room

Walk-in closets are a must for the master bedroom. This gives you enough space to divide His and Her sides. Close the door behind you and get dressed in the privacy of your very own dressing room. In this high-class custom closet example, you have everything you need to get ready for the day, from floor-length mirrors and plenty of lighting to an upholstered bench to sit on while you put on your shoes.

Put an Island in Your Closet

You know how useful islands are in the kitchen. If you have room for it, put one in your closet, too! This helps you make the most out of every square foot by providing additional shelves, drawers and/or shoe racks in the center of the room. It also provides a surface to set clothes and accessories as you get ready in the morning.dresser and island in a custom closet

Include an Ironing Station

No one likes ironing, but the chore is much less annoying when you don’t have to worry about wrestling with an old ironing board or worrying about rambunctious kids knocking it over. The solution is to install a pull-out ironing board right in the closet. Simply pull out the drawer when you have something to iron, and when you’re done, just slide the board back into its designated drawer. It’s as easy as that.

accessory and shoe station in houston closetInstall an Accessory Station

If you love jewelry, purses, scarves and other accessories, give them an organized home right your closet. In this example, an entire cabinet is dedicated to storing accessories, including necklace racks on the door and slide-out shelves with dividers to keep everything neat and organized.

Show off Your Shoes

If you have a shoe collection you’re proud of, let each pair shine on a custom floor-to-ceiling shoe rack. In this example, boots hang off the ground to help them keep their shape and last longer. With this setup, you’ll be able to find exactly which shoes you’re looking for – though you still have to decide which pair to wear that day.

Are you ready to incorporate some of these ideas in your Houston home? Contact us for a free quote today so you can get your custom closet remodeling project started!

custom cabinets in houston kitchen

Custom Cabinets: The Houston Buyer’s Guide

By | Remodel Your Kitchen, Resources

The kitchen is one of the most exciting rooms in your home to renovate, and the cabinets are a popular feature to upgrade. You can expect your remodeling project to make you happy for years to come and provide a high return on investment – as long as you make the right decisions. To take a little pressure off, follow this Houston buyer’s guide to selecting custom cabinets for your home.

Choose a Kitchen Cabinet Style

You have three styles to choose from, which affect the price and quality of your cabinet installation:

  • Stock cabinets are mass produced and usually available the same day or within a few days of ordering. Sizes, colors and designs are limited, but the price is right if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Semi-custom cabinets are made to order based on standard sizes and styles. This added flexibility makes it easier to design cabinets to fit your specific needs. Just keep in mind that delivery takes longer because these cabinets are built after you order them. They’re also more expensive than stock cabinets.
  • Custom cabinets are the most flexible, high-end cabinets you can purchase. They accommodate special requests and work in oddly sized or irregularly shaped spaces in your kitchen. Starting from scratch, a custom cabinet maker can construct just about anything you need. While prices vary widely depending on the size, materials and other options, you can expect custom cabinets to cost more than stock and semi-custom cabinets.

Choose Quality Custom Cabinet Construction

Don’t take it for granted that an expensive cabinet is a high-quality cabinet. Learn what features to look for to help you identify and choose quality construction over a cheap imitation:

  • Cabinet doors shouldn’t vary much between price levels. Look for doors with solid wood frames surrounding a solid wood or plywood panel, as opposed to a medium-density fiberboard or veneered particle board panel.
  • Drawers must be well built because they get a lot of use over the years. They should be made of solid wood with dovetail joinery. A plywood drawer bottom should fit grooves on all four sides. Avoid particle board drawers that are simply stapled together.
  • Hardware affects the life of your kitchen cabinets. Drawers should feature full-extension glides rather than having an integrated side rail or under-mounted double roller. Choose the “soft close” feature if you want to stop drawers from slamming shut. Door hinges, knobs and pulls change the aesthetics of your kitchen and make drawers and cabinets easier to open. Make a selection based on your personal preference.
  • Shelves should be three-quarter-inch plywood. Thinner particle board shelves tend to sag under the weight of heavy dishes and cookware.

Consider Important Features

Extra features increase the investment cost, but they can make your life easier for years to come. Custom cabinet features to consider include:

  • Pull-out trash cans
  • Built-in charging stations for your electronics
  • Roll-out shelves
  • Spring-loaded shelves that swing up and out
  • Built-in pot and pan rack

Choose the Right Installer

To ensure you get everything you want and more from your Houston kitchen remodeling project, be sure to select your cabinet installer carefully. You can count us to provide sound advice and help you make the best cabinet upgrade for your needs and budget. Our quality custom cabinets are sure to add beauty and functionality to your kitchen for many years to come. Contact us for a free quote today so you can get started making your dream kitchen a reality!

white marble bathroom in houston inspiration

Carrara Marble vs. Calacatta Marble: What’s the Difference?

By | Marble Houston

Have you always marveled at the beauty of marble? This hard metamorphic stone is characterized by natural veining, which makes each slab as unique as your fingerprints. If you’re interested in incorporating marble into your Houston home, use this guide to help you differentiate between two of the most popular types and decide where you might want to use them.

Begin the Selection Process

The first step is to narrow down the color of marble you want. If you have your heart set on white marble, you’re not alone. The look of white marble with gray veining is both classic and chic. This natural material has been used in homes and public buildings for centuries. It’s a status symbol that has luxury written all over it.

Now, you must understand that there are actually two types of white marble: Carrara and Calacatta. Learn the difference between the two so you can decide which will work best for your Houston home renovation.

Carrara Marble

Where does it come from?

This type of stone is quarried in the city of Carrara located in the northern tip of Tuscany, Italy. It has been used in building projects and sculptures since Ancient Roman times. Some notable buildings that include Carrara include the Pantheon, the Peace Monument in Washington DC, the Marble Arch in London and Harvard Medical School. Michelangelo’s David statue was also carved out of Carrara.

white marble in houston bathroom supplierWhat does it look like?

While there is a lot of variability within both types of white marble, Carrara tends to be grayer in color with soft, feathery veining. Often, the veins are linear in nature, giving the marble a more orderly appearance.

 Sometimes, Carrara marble showcases dramatic veining, as seen here, but you can still tell this is Carrara because the stone is a darker hue and many of the veins are light and feathery.

Choosing the gray-hued Carrara was a good choice in this kitchen because it provides a nice contrast with the white cabinetry.

Where are the best places to use it?

The soft veining and luxurious nature of Carrara makes it a great fit in a variety of applications. Still, because all marble requires more upkeep than other types of stone, it’s wise to avoid using it as a flooring material in high-traffic areas. Some of the most popular places to use Carrara include bathroom floors and walls, kitchen countertops, and fireplace surrounds.

Calacatta Marble

white and gold marble in houston bathroom new york inspirationWhere does it come from?

Calacatta is another type of Italian marble, much of which is quarried in northern Tuscany alongside Carrara. This is just another reason why people often mix up these two types.

What does it look like?

Variations in appearance occur with every slab of Calacatta, but in general, this variety is whiter with dark, more dramatic veining. The veins swirl around the surface of the slab in a much less linear fashion.

Even within the category of Calacatta, there are subcategories that change the look of the luxury stone. In this example, gold hues give the Calacatta marble a uniquely warm tone.

Entire rooms can be covered, though this is easier to accomplish with tiles, as seen in the bathroom to the left.

Where are the best places to use it?

Because Calacatta marble is rarer and more expensive than Carrara, it may be wise to reserve this stone for smaller areas, depending on your budget. A vanity or island countertop, kitchen backsplash, fireplace surrouned, or shower wall are all excellent places for Calacatta to show off its quality.

Have you decided which type of slab you want to use in your Houston home? Both Carrara and Calacatta could make a beautiful addition to your bathroom, kitchen or other room in your home.

white quartz flooring in houston home

Designer’s Guide to Quartz Flooring

By | Natural Stone Flooring, Quartz Houston, Resources

If you want to install stone flooring in your home, you’ve made a great choice! Stone adds a natural beauty and elegance that no other material can match. Now you need to narrow down the type of stone you want to install. Learn more about quartz flooring in this designer’s guide to help you make the right choice.

Qualities of Quartz

quartz flooring in hexagonsQuartz is a common mineral found in nature, but quartz tiles are engineered rather than being quarried from a mine. Pure quartz is white or colorless, and adding polyester resins gives it the rainbow of pigments, patterns and veining you’re used to seeing in quartz slabs and tiles. The resins also make the quartz material scratch resistant, stain resistant and nonporous. In this way, the manufactured material has all the durability of expert engineering and all the beauty of a natural stone.

Quartz has a hardness rating of 7. Diamonds are rated at 10, so it’s pretty clear how hardy and scratch resistant quartz is. For this reason, quartz is commonly used for flooring, countertops, shower walls and other high-use surfaces in both residential and commercial applications. The material isn’t easily etched by acidic solutions the way other stones are, and since it’s so hard, you can power wash quartz flooring at pressures up to 1,450 psi, as long as the grout is in good condition.

Limitations of Using Quartz for Flooring

While this stone is incredibly durable, it’s not impervious to damage:

  • High impact can crack or chip quartz. Fortunately, a professional can repair damage so cracks are nearly invisible.
  • High heat can scorch quartz tiles. A sudden change in temperature can also cause it to crack.
  • Quartz is meant for indoor use only. Direct sunlight can cause the pigment to fade and the tiles to warp or split over time.

Benefits of Quartz

When comparing different types of stone tiles, consider these benefits of quartz:

  • The stone doesn’t require sealing, buffing or reconditioning because it’s manufactured to be nonporous. It sustains its beauty and opulence without much maintenance needed.
  • The material’s high strength means it can withstand some of the most demanding conditions.
  • Natural and varying pigments let you choose the precise color you want.
  • Quartz flooring is a high-traction surface. This means it becomes less slippery than many other stones when wet, making it a good choice for bathroom floors.
  • If you spill lemonade, wine or other acidic beverages on quartz, it resists etching much better than other types of stone.
  • With proper care and maintenance, quartz is resistant to stains, mold and mildew.

How to Maintain Quartz Flooring

With such a strong, durable flooring material, maintenance requirements are minimal. Still, it’s beneficial to treat quartz tiles with care to ensure they maintain their beauty for many years to come:

  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining the stone. Blot rather than wipe to prevent spreading the spill around.
  • Place felt pads on the bottom of wood furniture to prevent scratching the flooring material.
  • Sweep the floor regularly to remove dust, dirt and sand that can scratch quartz tiles.
  • Clean the stone flooring occasionally with mild dishwashing soap and warm water. Avoid acidic, alkaline or abrasive cleaners that could damage the stone. Don’t use scouring powders or Brillo pads since these could scratch the surface.

For more information about selecting, installing and caring for quartz flooring, please contact us today!

4 Tips When Considering White Marble in Houston

By | Marble Houston

carrara marble and calacatta marble in houstonWhite marble is a timeless material with wide-ranging applications. From classical bathrooms to contemporary kitchens, white marble suits a number of design styles and personal tastes. If you’re seriously considering white marble for your Houston home, follow these four tips to make sure it’s the right choice.

Understand Different Types of White Marble in Houston

Choosing white marble might sound specific enough, but there are actually two types.

  • Carrara marble is grayer in color and has soft, often linear veining. If you like this look, Carrara may be the best choice because it’s less expensive and more readily available than Calacatta.
  • Calacatta marble is whiter in color with more dramatic, heavy veining. This type of marble is rarer and considered even more of the luxury stone than Carrara.

There are also type different types of finishes:

  • Polished marble features a high-gloss sheen for the deepest color and most beautiful luster. The polish makes the marble less prone to staining, making it ideal for kitchen countertops.
  • Honed marble has a smooth, satin finish. To prevent staining, honed marble requires more frequent sealing. However, it does a better job of hiding flaws than polished marble.

READ MORE: Using White Marble: Hot Debate

Consider the Application

Marble is a unique type of stone. It ages and wears over time, especially if you install it as a flooring material. It’s best to reserve marble for applications that don’t have to withstand heavy foot traffic. Popular applications for marble in Houston homes include:

  • Bathroom and kitchen countertops
  • Shower and bathtub walls
  • Kitchen backsplashes
  • Fireplace surrounds
  • Bathroom floors

Consider the Way You Live

luxury white marble in houstonMarble in Houston doesn’t just give off the appearance of luxury and refinement; it requires this attitude from the people who have it installed in their homes. If you’re the type of homeowner who picks up after yourself immediately and works every day to maintain a clean and tidy home, white marble could be the perfect way to translate your lifestyle into your surroundings.

However, if you’re more of a busy, on-the-go homeowner who places less of priority on wiping down the counters every day, marble could end up being more of a hassle than you bargained for. After all, marble is more prone to staining and etching than other materials. This means if you leave spilled acidic substances – such as wine, marinara sauce, lemons and blueberries – to sit overnight, you could end up inadvertently damaging your white marble countertops.

Be honest about the type of lifestyle you live to help you decide if marble’s higher upkeep is worth it.

READ MORE: White Kitchens at Home Bunch

Understand Maintenance Requirements

Aside from wiping down marble countertops and mopping marble floors often to prevent staining and etching, here are other maintenance steps you should complete if you have marble installed to help prolong its life:

  • Seal the marble: A sealer doesn’t protect marble against everything, but it gives you more time to wipe up acidic substances from countertops and floors before they can do any harm. A sealed marble fireplace surround also protects it against soot stains.
  • Spot treat the marble: Only use spray cleaners made specifically for marble. These are available from home improvement stores and allow you to spot treat and seal marble as needed. Periodically rubbing down a marble countertop or bathroom floor near the tub and toilet helps prevent extra wear in these high-use areas.
  • Move heavy objects carefully: Marble cracks and scratches more easily than other stones. If you install marble on the floor, be careful when moving furniture across it. Also, always use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on a marble countertop surface.
  • Buff marble: If your marble has become scratched or etched, it’s not too late. Gently buff the surface to remove minor flaws and restore the marble to a newer appearance.

With the right expectations and maintenance, marble could clearly be the perfect material to add to your Houston home!

modern wood granite kitchen design in houston

4 Best Kitchen Design Elements of 2015

By | Remodel Your Kitchen, Resources

A kitchen design remodel is one of the most exciting changes you can make in your home. With so many designs to choose from, you may need a little inspiration to help you transform your kitchen. Consider the unique features of the best kitchen designs on the web. Your kitchen design should adapt to your life; your life should never adapt to your kitchen! These 10 designs bring kitchens to the highlights of life.

Unique Kitchen Design Options Worth a Second Look

contemporary kitchen designs houstonHow often do you forget about the items stored in the back of deep cabinets? Pull-out shelves make sure you can reach everything with ease. By remodeling your kitchen so every cabinet has this feature, you’ll find that organizing and storing things in your kitchen becomes much easier!

This shaker-inspired contemporary space is a beauty to behold! The design is also highly functional. The island features drawers and cabinets on all sides for 360-degrees storage in addition to the shelving behind the island that serves both as a great eyepiece as well was functional storage.

The over-island lighting and under-cabinet lights near the sink make this kitchen a joy to work in, day or night and adds depth the design. Natural lighting floods in creating a great reflection on the granite surface of the island. Natural stone is used in the tile, counter for the island, and even the granite counter top around the sink.

Storage is the key to success in this kitchen. For a bonus, consider an island cook top to make cooking in this kitchen a joy. With the Houston heat, this room is sure to add a cool touch to the home in addition to being easy to clean and light.

Rounded Breakfast Nook for Entertaining

traditional metro kitchen remodelRemodeling your kitchen can be inspired by any number of things; but one of the most common reasons people remodel is to help make more space for their life. Instead of a breakfast nook, consider this kitchen design, which allows your family to enjoy one anothers’ company around the island. The unique round design makes the eating area more intimate and brings dining into the kitchen for space saving convenience.

Another alternative to the traditional breakfast nook, the rounded granite countertop allows even more people to sit and eat right in the kitchen. This built-in nook is the perfect way to bring diners and food preparers together in the kitchen, saving the formal dining room for when guests are over.

When you’re remodeling, make sure to consider your lifestyle. If you’re one to entertain often, consider adding something like the curved bar to accomodate your gifts and make that Friday night cocktail or dinner date much more social. Whether you’re relaxing on Galveston beach or you’re entertaining in downtown Houston, the custom granite counters in this design are perfect for any home.

Custom Closets in the Dining Room Remodel

marble counter custom pantry kitchen designCustom closets don’t need to stay in the bedroom; a custom pantry can completely transform the function in any kitchen. Walk-in pantries are easier to keep organized when they feature adjustable shelves, pull-out wicker baskets and vertical slots, as seen in this kitchen design.

Even if you only have space for a reach-in pantry, installing shelves on the back of the door is a great way to maximize storage space. You spend a lot of time in your Kitchen, put that time to good use by staying organized and amplifying every ounce of space.

On top of adding value to your home, a custom pantry can add value to your life. The one shown here does a great job of maximizing storage space while maintaining a luxury / high-end feel with the marble counter top to the left. Pantry’s are a great alternative for people who aren’t a fan of having a ton of cabinets and are often preferred because you can visibly see everything you need to get to without going cabinet to cabinet.


The Wine & Reading Island

white marble countertops kitchen designIf you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen island, remember: it can be used for more than just storing cookware and utensils. With this unique kitchen design, wine bottles and cookbooks also have a home.

A second sink also makes food prep and cleanup easier, especially when multiple chefs are sharing the kitchen. As with most of the designs in this piece, the storage really makes this kitchen pop, and for those of us that love to entertain, having a solid island is one of the most important aspects to our Houston Kitchen Remodel.

You’ll notice that this space is also fully equipped with a subway tile back-splash and white marble counter-tops. As we discussed in our white marble guide, there’s more than one type of stone that’s more

READ MORE: Kitchen Remodeling Tips From the Experts