Tips for Choosing the Right Fabricator

fAll photos Prestige M & G

Countertop choice is a huge part of any home design or renovation process. Homeowners spend a lot of time deciding exactly which slab makes the perfect statement for their space.  Equally, if not even more important than choosing the right slab, is choosing the right fabricator. How is this possible?

The right fabricator will be able to help you choose the right material and slab for your needs. They will be able to explain proper maintenance to insure your counters stay beautiful. While this seems like an obvious part of the job, many fabricators simply don’t take the time or have the knowledge. Founded by Aaron Cook, Prestige Marble & Granite has over 15 years experience in fabricating the highest quality natural stone countertops, earning the company a fabulous reputation as the premier marble and granite business in the region.

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There are several different things to consider when choosing your fabricator, some more obvious than others. Here are some important questions to ask to ensure you are completely happy with your final choice, and ultimately your countertops!

What kind of Certifications does the fabricator have?

An established and professional fabricator will be certified. It’s as simple as that. Fabrication and installation certification programs establish industry-wide standards for training and provide measurable proof of knowledge about both the process and products. Prestige Marble & Granite is a member of the Marble Institute of America, which is an instrumental force in setting the standards of quality for stone fabrication and installation. Prestige is also a member of the Home Builder’s Association of Middle Tennessee and the Stone Fabricators Alliance.

 

What options do they offer?

Countertops today are made from a wide range of different materials. Are you looking for something that will need to stand up to daily use or are you more interested in creating a specific look? An ideal fabricator will be able to help you choose the best option for your usage, budget, and aesthetic desire.  They will be experienced with multiple materials and offers a wide array of choices: granite, marble, quartz, etc. Also, it’s important to be aware of the fact that no two pieces of stone are exactly the same. For that reason its important to find out if you will be able to choose your actual slab, or have to make your decision based on a small sample.

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What kind of equipment do they use? And do they have in-house installation teams?

Top professional fabricators throughout the U.S. use the latest in digital stone cutting technology. This is important when simple mistakes can be costly, cause delays, and negatively affect the final look of your beautiful counters. At Prestige we use state-of-the-art CNC stone cutting machines, routers, and digital templating for quality fabrication and on-time delivery. With digital templating, we can account for the undulation of your wall and ensure the counters match up perfectly.  From your vision to computerized CAD drawing to installation of your countertop, your project will receive state-of-the-art craftsmanship and the attention to detail it deserves. We also never use subcontractors and invite you to come see how we operate anytime!

This is our CNC saw, the GMM Intra. The Intra allows us to either program on the floor or import a CAD drawing. The Intra can cut parallel, perpendicular and diagonal arcs and circumferences. This machine allows Prestige to cut a wide range of materials quickly and with absolute precision.
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The Luna 740S is an automatic edge polisher which has been specifically designed to produce straight, slanted , bullnose, and a variety of other edges. This machine is capable of profiling  granite, marble, and engineered stones quickly and efficiently.
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The fact that we at Prestige are completely involved in the entire process, from design to fabrication to installation, helps ensure your counter tops turn out exactly as you imagine.

 

Do they provide references? Can you see examples of their finished projects?

A reputable fabricator will be able to provide references of recent projects. If you can visit one of their job sites and/or showroom, that’s also highly recommended. This allows you to ensure the quality of their finished work meets your standards. This requires a bit of extra research and work on your part, but will absolutely help provide peace of mind about such a big investment into your home.

Do they provide a warranty on their work?

When making any kind of large purchase it’s nice to know the company you are working with will stand behind their work. At Prestige we offer a lifetime warranty on all stone and sinks. We are passionate about making your installation a success and are dedicated to the level of customer service required to ensure your happiness for the lifetime of your counters. Prestige’s commitment to customer satisfaction has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

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Whatever project you can dream up,  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design, fabrication, and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom and bring their ideas and questions with them anytime!

 

Less Granite Garbage: Tips for Using Scrap Stone Throughout your Home

It’s nearly impossible to create the beautiful, custom granite looks you’ve become accustomed to from Prestige without also creating a lot of granite scraps. Scrap granite, or remnants, refers to the small pieces left over after cutting the slabs that will eventually be used for your project. Industry experts estimate that about 30 percent of granite purchased is never used. Instead of filling landfills with this waste, why not try repurposing it for different projects throughout your home?

scrapGranite Remnants at Prestige

Remnants can obviously be used on vanities and smaller jobs, but we’re thinking a little more outside the box. There are so many different home improvement projects where you can use granite scraps. The possibilities are really limited only by your imagination!

A lazy susan that matches your countertop is a great way to use leftover materials. Obviously, this can be done with any scrap and doesn’t have to be the same as your counters if you’d rather mix it up a bit. granitegranniesPhoto: Granite Grannies
Granite remnants make great shelving. They can be completely customized to fit any space, and its a great way to  tie different areas together.graniteshelves.jpgPhoto: Pinterest
 You can put a piece of granite on almost any type of existing furniture to create an amazing one of a kind look. This is also a great option for saving that old piece with the worn top you don’t want to get rid of but aren’t sure what to do with.justfinetablesPhoto: Just Fine Tables
Granite’s natural durability makes it a great choice for outdoor furniture.
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You can get really crafty with it and create an entirely new table if that’s your style. Here someone put a piece of round cut granite on top of an old wine barrel to make a beautiful high top table that would be perfect for a smaller space.
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 Using granite remnants is an extremely cost effective way to create an impressive outdoor fountain.
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Your water feature doesn’t have to be large to make a big statement. A smaller fountain makes a beautiful addition to any size garden or green space. This could also easily be recreated to add a tranquil touch indoors.
fountainPhoto: Charleston Gardens
This handmade, mobile bbq grill made from granite remnants and wood is definitely one of the most innovative ideas we’ve seen yet. Go here to see the step-by-step process for this awesome DIY project.grill.jpgPhoto: Dwell

Whatever project you can dream up,  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes at Prestige: A look at Current Inventory

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Here at Prestige Marble & Granite, we’re proud to offer the best and most beautiful natural stones available for any of your design projects. We search the world for the best quality stone, with the most attractive coloration and patterning. From classic colors to the exotic and rare, we’re able to offer our customers vast selections to suit any decorating style, personal taste, and budget. Here’s a look at some of our latest acquisitions.

Keep in mind that its nearly impossible for a picture to capture the true colors and beauty of the stones, and patterns within a color will vary from slab to slab. We always invite you to visit our showroom to view these unique stones up close and in person!

Alaskan White Granite

Alaskan White is a blend of silvery grays and icy whites. It’s a truly beautiful piece of stone with small sparkling flecks. Look closely at the second picture to see the shimmer detail more clearly.

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Calacatta Borghini Quartz

Calacatta is a stunning white quartz with gray veining throughout.  One of the benefits of quartz is that its non-porous surface is resistant to staining, guaranteeing your white stays white.

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Ganashe Granite

Ganashe is an amazing gray granite full of creams, taupe, and black throughout. The exquisite blend of cool tones gives the stone depth while deposits of mineral mica create small areas of shimmer.

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White Vegas Granite

White Vegas is a beautiful mix of warm tones of both brown and gray. This versatile stone is the perfect match for so many different color schemes and will complement virtually any design style.

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White Vienna

Quarried in Brazil, White Vienna is a gorgeous white and gray stone with beige and charcoal accents.  This is a bold granite, guaranteed to make a statement wherever you choose to use it.

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Taupe White Granite

It’s all in the name. This rock is a gorgeous combination of white and gray with undertones of brown and slight tinges of greens and purples. It somehow manages to be both classic and modern, elegant and easy.

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This is just a small sampling of what we currently have in house. We’d love to show you the full range of options  Prestige Marble & Granite  has to offer. Whatever your personal taste we are here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

How to Choose the Right Granite Countertop Color

PMG kitchen with Calacatta
Calacatta Gold Countertops from Prestige Marble & Granite

The availability of numerous granite colors in the current American market can make choosing a granite countertop color  difficult, even overwhelming. Because any natural stone, including granite, is an investment and ultimately a long-lasting decision, it’s important to get it right the first time. While selecting a granite color for a countertop is is a personal thing, you’ll want to coordinate your granite with the cabinets, floor color, and other aspects of your kitchen to achieve your desired result. Here are some guidance and great tips to help you select the right granite for your countertops.

Cabinet Color

We always encourage our customers to bring a cabinet sample when they visit our show room to select their granite. Even if that means temporarily removing a door, it’s well worth it. The ideal cabinet and granite coordination is a granite that contrasts with the cabinets, but with the natural speckles or veins having hues of the cabinet color. If you have two-tone cabinetry, selecting a suitable granite that goes well with the two different colors can pose a challenge. The basic principle is to select a granite that has hues of the both colors.

Other Kitchen Colors 

Making a good selection for countertops requires an eye for detail.  In addition to cabinet samples, you will want to bring samples of wall paint, flooring and kitchen appliances to the showroom. (If samples aren’t available, take pictures in good, natural lighting.) Place your  samples on or around the granite to get a good idea of what different  color combinations look like.

Kitchen Lighting

Don’t forget the kitchen’s lighting when choosing granite colors! If your kitchen has little or no natural light, select granite that has a significant amount of white or gold, or lots of light-reflecting crystals. Dark colors like deep blue and black look best in areas that receive substantial light. Think about using layers of lighting and including Track and pendant lighting, as well as under-cabinet lighting to enhance the beauty of the stone. To learn more about kitchen lighting to best show off your countertops, click here. 

Kitchen Size

Be sure to consider the size of your kitchen when choosing granite colors. In general, smaller kitchens will look larger with lighter colored countertops. But dark-colored granite with lots of lighter colored veins can offer a stunningly beautiful result in small kitchens, too. This where you have to really pay attention to your lighting.

Can’t Decide?

At the end of the day, if you’re torn between two granite colors, consider using both!  Selecting a lighter color for an island and a darker tone for the surrounding cabinets creates a beautiful contrast. Your kitchen will pop even more with contrasting granite colors that perfectly compliment cabinetry that’s also in two different colors.

 

 

 

What Affects Granite Countertop Prices?

 

Fusion Granite from Brazil
Gorgeous Fusion granite from Brazil is exotic and rare.

All granite is gorgeous, but not all granite costs the same. This is because, while all granite slabs are inherently beautiful in their own way, they are not all the same. There are several factors that will affect the price. Here’s a look at them.

Granite Slab Size

The size of the slab will always affect the cost. Larger pieces are more desirable for a couple of reasons. It’s best to avoid seams in your countertop when possible because they tend to more visible with granite. From an aesthetic point of view, one large piece without a seam will always look better than two or more smaller pieces. Also, one piece cut from a slab will be more uniform in color and veining than pieces cut from several slabs. Single large countertop pieces have to be cut from large slabs, which are naturally more expensive. Large pieces of granite are also more difficult to install, adding to the installation cost.

Granite Grade

Grade refers to the structural quality of the stone. Slabs with fewer imperfections and defects, like pits and fissures, will be assigned a higher grade. There are no internationally accepted standards that exist, however. The levels and grades for granite are determined by each individual wholesaler, therefore, it’s important to purchase your granite from a well-established, knowledgeable and respected dealer.

Color & Rarity

The  factor that affects the price of granite the most is color and supply and demand. The relative rarity of some granite colors and hues may make them more expensive. But even more importantly, demand will really affect how much the granite will cost. Some rather exotic or rare colors are more expensive in areas where demand for that particular color is high. So in many respects, the price of granite is greatly affected by how popular a color is in a given area at a given time.

Other Factors

Other factors that affect the price of your granite countertops are the number of cutouts that have to be done and any upgraded edges you choose (click here to learn about some of the edges available).

Just because a slab of granite isn’t considered rare or exotic, or isn’t in low supply due to high demand, doesn’t mean it can’t make an attractive countertop in your kitchen. But keep in mind that you are likely to live with your granite countertops for many years to come, and  you’ll be most satisfied with your purchase in the years ahead if you spend a bit more to get the type, color and look you really want.

While we offer a large array of beautiful natural stones to fit all budgets, we specialize in unique, hard-to-find countertop material. We source the most extraordinary, rare, and exotic marble and granite slabs that will enhance your space with a distinctive, one-of-a-kind look. Here in our indoor showroom, you’ll find one of the most extensive selections of the highest quality, designer-grade natural stones available in Middle Tennessee.

What is a Vein-Cut Stone Slab?

 

Sequoia vein cut granite

There’s nothing like vein-cut stone to give a soothing, zen-like ambience to an interior. Flowing, linear striations give a sense of effortless, ongoing flow, like the currents in a river or the undulations of the ocean waves. The look is very popular and used with many design styles, but what exactly is a “vein cut” slab?

Vein-Cutting Explained

Stones that will eventually become your countertops are originally cut from the quarry in the form of a massive block. Veins of minerals run through the block of stone. These mineral veins (each of a unique color and texture) run through the block of stone and will give the future countertops their pattern and character. The character is inherent in the stone itself, but the pattern is determined by what direction the stone block is sliced.

In the vein-cut process, the block of stone is cut along the grain, which will show the layers of sediments and horizontal veining. In contrast to vein-cutting, isthe cross-cut process, in which the slabs are cut across the grain. This is also referred to as a “fleuri” cut because it reveals a flowery, more circular vein pattern, instead of the striped pattern of the vein-cut stone.

Whether you’re going for a traditional, classical look or a sleek, contemporary design, there’s just no substitute for the beautiful banded look of vein-cut natural stone!

When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

 

Prestige Marble & Granite Looks at Kitchen Design Details: Countertop Edges

The renowned architect and designer Charles Eames once said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.” This couldn’t be more true than when designing a kitchen. It’s the details that make a kitchen unique. Each little choice you make integrates to create the finished design. If you have endured a major remodel, you know the small choices can be agonizing – selecting an edge profile for your countertops can be one of these difficult choices.

While the machinery and tools available in modern fabrication shops allow for many unique edge designs, here’s a quick look at some of the options available in each of three major categories, straight edges, curved edges, and fancy edges.

Straight Edge Profiles

Straight edges are great in any style kitchen and are especially appropriate for clean-lined and simple designs. All straight edges are actually slightly eased or rounded in order to reduce the sharpness of your countertop and to help protect the stone from damage. The amount of rounding you choose can significantly change the look. The top edge can be very rounded and the bottom squared as in the Radius edge. Or it can just barely have the edge softened.

Countertop edge profiles: straight

Note the extra thick straight edge countertop on the island below. It is likely a standard 2cm or 3cm with a mitered frame around the sides, making the slab look much thicker.

Traditional Kitchen
Traditional kitchen with straight edge countertops

Curved Edge Profiles

Curved edges can be plain or they can get quite fancy.  They soften the feel of the room and work just as well in just about any design style. Curves are easy to clean and are also safer option options if you worry about little heads getting bumped!

Curved countertop edge profiles

 

Rounded countertop edge
This rounded edge detail is a timeless classic, great for traditional kitchens.

Fancy Edge Profiles

 

Use a fancy edge if you really want to make a statement with your countertops. Because fancy edges are so attention grabbing, they are usually reserved for islands that are designed to be a focal point. Fancy edges are beautiful but remember less is sometimes  more – fancy edges can become overwhelming if overused.

Fancy edge profiles for stone countertops

Fancy edge countertop
The double ogee on the curved island makes for a beautiful focal point!
These are just some of the many kinds of countertop edges out there! Come visit our indoor showroom and speak with our staff to learn about the different edge profiles available.They can also help you make the right choice for your design and for your lifestyle!