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Natural Stone Countertops

​Most people think of marble, granite and quartzite when they think of natural stone countertops. Natural stone is a classic choice for countertops because of their one-of-a-kind beauty. Below is an overview of natural stone choices along with information on their benefits, finishes, applications and more.

Benefits:
Since mother nature is responsible for natural stone, each slab is unique in their shade variations, cracks, chips, fissures, pits and pores. Whatever you do, do not let this scare you away? These variations are what make natural stone so beautiful! Natural stone is also very durable, and some natural stone is resistant to bacteria, heat, scratches, and stains, and can even be used in outdoor spaces. Depending on what finish you choose, it can change the overall look and resistance of your countertops.​

Pros and Cons of Natural Stone Countertops:
No matter what countertop surface you choose there will always be pros and cons. You should take these into consideration when choosing a material so you can make the best decision for your project based on your design preference and lifestyle.

Granite

  • Pro: Durability. With regular sealing, granite countertops are heat, chemical, scratch and stain resistant.
  • Con: Granite is a porous material, so it does need to be resealed. Resealing natural stone countertops (granite, marble and quartzite) is recommended every 1 to 2 years to protect against staining.

Marble

  • Pro: Marble countertops absolutely beautiful, and if they are well-maintained, they can increase your  property value.
  • Con: Easily Stain.

Quartzite

  • Pro: Quartzite looks like marble. With their unique and their swirling designs make countertops look more interesting helping to create an impressive bathroom or kitchen.
  • Con: Although it is durable and strong, quartzite can be damaged by sharp objects, such as a knife. You must also seal quartzite countertops annually to keep them shiny and stain free.

Soapstone

  • Pro: Very sanitary countertop because it is non-porous. It can be cleaned with a mild soap and a sponge.
  • Con: Since the stone is fairly soft, avoid cutting on it. Be careful not to drop heavy objects on it. The soft nature of soapstone makes it nice to the touch, but it is also its one main weakness.

Finishes:
Before the slab gets delivered and installed into your home, the last step of the fabrication process is the finish. Depending on your style, you can choose smooth, textured, glossy countertops or even have little to no shine. This is all achieved by the finish.

  • Polished: To achieve semi-gloss to high gloss on your countertop, polished should be your choice. Stains are less likely on polished countertops, but one negative is that a high-gloss surface shows scratches easier.
  • Honed: Honed is a popular finish for marble – it creates a smooth, matte look. The benefit is that scratches are difficult to see, but this makes the surface more prone to stains.

Care:
Care for your natural stone countertops depends on whether it is granite, marble, quartzite or soapstone. You will want to be sure you are taking the proper precautions to prevent damage. We highly recommend cleaning up spills with a soft cloth using mild soap and warm water. If the stain is more stubborn, a nonabrasive bristled brush could be used. Always use hot pads, cutting boards, placemats, trivets and coasters to protect your surface from staining, scratches and discoloration.

Applications:
The most common places are for natural stone to be incorporated in your home are in kitchens and bathrooms as countertops, but natural stone can be used in so many other areas of your home. Consider an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace surround, flooring, or backsplash.

Our designer can help you incorporate natural stone into your home, call us to schedule a meeting today, 252-902-5535.

Honed vs. Polished Granite – What You Should Know

When deciding on granite countertops for your home, there are a lot of decisions to make. Of course, there is the color, but there’s also the edges and finishes. Even the smallest of details can make a big difference in the overall look of your completed countertop. As we mentioned, you will need to decide on the finish of your countertop – honed or polished. Many people don’t really know the difference, or quite possibly have never really looked into it. So, here is some information you need to know when deciding on the granite countertop finish for your home.

What is honed granite?
A honed finish on your granite will create a matte, low-gloss sheen. To create this finish, the polishing process is halted before buffing, leaving a surface that is not as reflective as typical granite. Honed finishes are perfect for homeowners looking for a casual, trendy or even aged look.

What are the characteristics of honed granite?
Due to its matte finish, honed granite is more resistant to scratches. When compared to polished granite, a scratch on this finish will be less noticeable because light will not reflect off of it as much. While honed granite is more resistant to scratches, it is however more susceptible to staining. If you choose this finish, just make sure to clean up spills in a timely manner.

Honed Granite at a Glance
Feel: Velvety
Look: Matte/Low Gloss
Durability: Resistant to scratches/more susceptible to staining
Where to Use It: Kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, foyer, living room
Maintenance: Wipe with water and mild detergent, clean up spills quickly, re-sealing is suggested over time.

What is polished granite?
A polished granite finish is the most common choice. It is highly reflective and puts on full display the vibrate color and character of your granite stone. It is smooth in texture and glossy. Some may even say it is shiny as it reflects the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals.

What are the characteristics of polished granite?
Granite with a polished finish is coated, making it less susceptible to stains. This finish makes for a more classic look in a kitchen or bathroom. Although it is more resistant to stains, the highly reflective surface makes scratches more visible.

Polished Granite at a Glance
Feel: Smooth
Look: Shiny/Glossy
Durability: More resistant to stains/susceptible to scratches and etches
Where to Use It: Kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, fireplace surrounds and walls.
Maintenance: Wipe with water and mild detergent, clean up spills quickly.

No matter the granite countertop finish you choose, new countertops will make a great addition to your home. Be sure to contact C & C Stoneworks if you have any additional questions or are planning a remodel of your own.

Can I Use Quartz for Bathroom Countertops?

Quartz countertops are durable and beautiful. We get asked a lot, “Can I use quartz in my bathroom?”. The answer is – YES! Quartz is highly recommended for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. Being an engineered stone, quartz combines both the uniqueness of natural stone countertops with a lot of added benefits of modern technology!

The technology we are talking about here includes, resin binders and additional colors not seen in natural stone that give quartz an upper hand. In a way, quartz gives us the best of both worlds, natural and engineered stone countertops.

If you choose to use quartz in your bathroom, you need to think about your style preferences, budget and the quantity of material you will need for your bathroom remodel. Depending on the bathroom countertop results you are looking for, our fabricators will take you through various levels and brands of quartz to choose from. As expected, high quality quartz will be different from results delivered by standard quality quartz. We will work with you to choose the best your budget can buy!

Here are a few reason quartz is a great option for you bathroom countertops.

Durability
Since they are man-made, quartz countertops are engineered to be durable – even more durable than natural stone and other surfacing options. They are also heat-resistant, making them great for people who like to sit styling tools on their bathroom countertops. We still recommend a silicon mat under curling irons and straighteners though!

Stain Resistance
Quartz countertops are stain resistant. They are a nonporous material, meaning that they are solid all the way though.

If you’re ready to upgrade your bathroom with beautiful quartz countertops, give C and C Stoneworks a call today!

What Can Cause Granite Countertops to Crack?

​As we’ve mentioned in many previous blogs, granite countertops are tough. Very tough. So, the last thing anyone expects is a crack developing on the surface of their kitchen or bathroom countertops. However, it is possible for granite to crack from improper care, wear and tear, and sometimes it may even be a natural part of the stone. Here are a few things that can bring about a crack in your granite countertops.

Natural Fissures
Like we said, sometimes cracks in granite can be natural. This particular type of stone is known to have natural fissures that could possibly develop into a crack. However, when working with C and C Stoneworks, we will identify any natural fissures and make sure that they are not in sensitive areas such as seams, cut outs and cooktop. This will greatly reduce the chance of cracks developing. Keep in mind, natural fissures actually give your countertops beautiful character and are nothing to worry about if the countertop is installed correctly! Check out our blog “Crack in Countertop? Or, Could it be a Fissure?” to learn more!

Hard Hit
While granite is durable, a hard hit with a heavy object can cause a crack.Weight
Just like a hard hit, placing a lot of weight on the countertop could also lead to a crack. Be mindful of any excessive weight you place on your stone surface. If your kitchen countertop design features a bar or island with an overhang, we add braces and corbels to give an extra layer of protection against cracks.

Improper Shimming
It is extremely important for your countertops to be installed on a level surface. Unfortunately, many homes, floors, walls and cabinets aren’t always level. If countertops are placed unlevel this can lead to numerous problems, including cracking. At C and C Stoneworks we shim areas to ensure that you have a perfect base for your countertop installation. If you currently have granite countertops, take a peak underneath them. If you notice any areas that are not touching your cabinets, you are at risk for cracks and should contact us!

Hot Pots
While granite is formed through heat and is therefore naturally heat resistant, constant exposure to heat over an extended period can cause damage.

At C and C Stoneworks our goal is to install beautiful countertops and give our customers tips and tricks to help keep them beautiful for years and years. If your countertops currently have cracks, give us a call! Depending on the size of the crack, we can repair it!

Choosing the Right Countertop Stone for Your Bathroom

As we all know, new bathroom countertops are beautiful, update the room and add value to your home. But when choosing the right countertop material for your bathroom, there a few things to consider. After all, this countertop will endure a lot – from humidity and moisture, to the normal, everyday wear of your routine. That is why it is important to choose a material that can withstand these conditions and will look great for a long time.

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If you are remodeling your bathroom, you have a plethora of countertop options to choose from. Here are our top recommendations for bathroom countertops that will, not only add a touch of elegance to your home, but will give you a great return on your investment.

Quartz
Quartz is a high-quality material made up of 95% natural stone mixed with resins, polymers and binders. It is completely nonporous, making it resistant to water and stains – perfect for a bathroom! Quartz can handle humidity, preventing the growth of mold or bacteria on your countertop surface. It is also low maintenance, easy to clean and does not require a top sealant.

Granite
Granite is the number one material for countertops. And it for good reason. Granite has a hardness index close to a diamond! Granite, like quartz, is stain and water resistant. It is important to apply a sealant to your granite countertop, to ensure that it stays nonporous and resistant to moisture and stains.

Marble
Marble is elegant and incredibly durable. This natural stone comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns. Marble is a softer stone than granite and it is porous. To make sure that it holds up in a bathroom and stays looking great, it needs to be sealed every year or two.

With a stone yard fully stocked with the most beautiful and exotic countertop stone options, C and C Stoneworks is your go-to for any bathroom remodel. We will help you find just the right option for you and your home’s décor and create and install your new countertop with precision. Contact us or visit our location today. Your new bathroom masterpiece awaits!

Why Granite Countertop Should Start with the Slab

As we all know, granite has been one of the most popular countertop materials for many years now – and for good reason! Granite countertops are beautiful, easy to maintain, durable and can last forever with proper care and maintenance. Considering your granite countertops are going to be with you for quite a while and are usually the main focal point of any space, wouldn’t you want to be able to select the exact countertop stone that will be installed? At C and C Stoneworks in Greenville, NC, we always suggest going directly to the slab when deciding on your perfect countertop – here’s a few reasons why!

You Get to See the Big Picture

Tiny samples of granite can be a great starting point to narrow down your preferences, but you need to choose from full slabs when you make your final decision. When you choose the actual slab, you can see what the overall color and pattern looks like – because granite is made by nature and no two slabs are alike. Many times, a slab of granite will have secondary and tertiary colors that are not obvious until you see the whole piece. Will the beautiful swirls and veining in a particular slab of granite match your décor plan? Seeing the “big picture” will help you with your design choices too!

You Will Learn Not All Stones Are Equal

Even if you get the same type of granite as a sample you saw, remember not all stones are created equally. What we are getting at is that just because you loved the 12” x 12” sample you saw at the big box dealer, doesn’t mean the countertop as a whole will be what you imagined. Much of the appeal of granite to many people are the “beauty marks” made by nature. However, there are some granite stones with unflattering patterns and/or flaws. If you only see a small sample, how do you know what the rest of it will look like?

You Can See Many Options

Another advantage of going directly to the slab when choosing new countertops, is that by going to a stone yard you will be able to see many, many options. Once you decide on the perfect color and pattern for you, you will be able to inspect the individual slab. Like any other natural stone, granite is rarely consistent in design and you must be sure you like any changes in color or patina across the slab.


​Once you’ve picked your perfect slab, C and C Stoneworks’ professional fabricators will convert it into your dream countertop. We guarantee maximum utilization of the slab and hide seams for a cohesive look across your countertop surface. Contact us today to visit our stone yard. Your perfect slab is waiting for you!

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Slab of Sienna Beige at C and C Stoneworks Stone Yard

The Best Countertops for Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are great for summer barbecues and cookouts on game days. With the mild weather we have here in eastern North Carolina, outdoor kitchens are especially great because they can be used almost all year around. When you’re designing your outdoor kitchen area, one very important thing shouldn’t be overlooked. No, it isn’t the grill (even though that is important too). It’s your countertop choice! You should keep in mind that not only will the counters have to withstand the same conditions as those in your home, but also the conditions outside like sunlight, temperature changes and weather. Here is a little more about a few options to help you determine the best countertops for your outdoor oasis.

  1. Quartz is a very durable material and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, which may have you adding quartz to the top of your list for the best countertop option for your outdoor kitchen. But, while quartz countertops may handle the outdoors fine, the resins used in their construction may not be able to stand up to prolonged sun exposure without suffering damage. You will notice that the material will start to yellow over time.

  2. Marble: It may be hard for you to imagine that polished marble countertops wouldn’t be a good choice for your outdoor kitchen. But in reality, they can easily be damaged by outdoor elements. Porous stones, like marble, may look great at first but can be easily stained and your outdoor countertops could be left marked by grease. If you do decide to use marble for your outdoor kitchen countertops, we recommend a honed finish since rain, wind, snow and weather in general will wear away a shiny, polished finish.

  3. Granite countertops are hard to beat for all-around ease-of-use, durability and maintenance. That is why granite is at the top of our list for the best countertops for your outdoor kitchen. Granite is good at withstanding wear and tear, as well as hot, cold and wet conditions. With simple care and minimal maintenance, your granite countertops can stay looking great. However, some lighter color granites, like whites and light greys, have natural iron deposits in them. Because we have acid rain the iron deposits will begin to rust. So, you need to be mindful when choosing the color for your outside granite. Especially for outdoor countertops, C and C Stoneworks in Greenville, NC recommends sealing your countertops. This is a great idea no matter where they are used because sealing prevents stains.

There you have it, a little more about some of your options for your outdoor kitchen. Granite is your safest bet, but it isn’t your only option. Contact the experts at C and C Stoneworks today .

We can help you find the perfect material, color and style to make your outdoor space come alive. We’ll consider your outdoor kitchen structure, availability of shade, climate, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to spend on maintenance. Our expert countertop installers will help you create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Get ready to fire up the grill!