Happy Arbor Day, everyone! We know…we know…this holiday isn’t as famous as Halloween or Thanksgiving – but all of us at Granite Transformations consider this a holiday that deserves more celebration than it has received. Read on, please, to our “Arbor Day 2015” blog. Who knows? You may find yourself calling out “Happy Arbor Day” with the same fervor as you yell “Happy New Year” once you have finished reading.
Let us begin with a brief history lesson. Arbor Day, many may presume, began in America. Not so. The idea was born in a Spanish village called Villanueva de la Sierra, back in the year 1805. (Don’t worry; we’re not going to write about EVERY Arbor Day since then!) A local priest by the name of don Ramón Vacas Roxo became inspired to do something as a stand against the Napoleonic Wars. This stand was to plant a tree. In the words of environmentalist Miguel Herrero Uceda, don Roxo was “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs…” And from one tree, many trees have been planted since then, all over the world. (America, it should be noted, did not join the movement until 1872, when our first Arbor Day was initiated in Nebraska City, NE. The U.S. was admittedly more than a few years behind…but made up for the time lag by planting one million trees.)
A few words in the last paragraph: “health,” “hygiene,” “nature,” and “environment” are why the people here at Granite Transformations think that Arbor Day deserves a true celebration. And while we are not in the business of growing trees, our practice in ensuring the durability of our eco-friendly quartz and granite countertops, the use of recycled materials in our glass countertops, and being aware of any number of energy saving tips are but a few examples of how we observe what Arbor Day stands for. But now, let us move onto the awesomeness of trees.
In the highly industrialized world we live in, we tend to take the basics of nature for granted. Trees are a staple to our natural world and aside from the obvious bonuses of giving us cooling shade and attracting wildlife, the “talents” (for lack of a better word) that trees have are amazing. Trees fight climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. Additionally, trees prevent soil erosion, and protect us from the effects of stormwater damage. Homeowners should be especially be interested to know that planting trees in the “right” places on the property will help conserve energy and reduce the energy bills. (How do you like that? Of all the energy saving tips that we hear of all the time, one obvious and far-reaching one comes from Mother Nature herself.) For more details and information about all things trees, check out this terrific organization, the Arbor Day Foundation®. So, If already have one or two (or more) trees on your property, you are already ahead of the game.
With comparatively little care, trees will last and stay around for a long time. As it turns out, this is true for the products that are manufactured at Granite Transformations. Our quartz, glass and granite countertops are created with durability in mind. Quartz is one of the earth’s hardest surfaces (ah, there’s our connection to nature, again!), and this choice of countertop is as attractive as it is functional. The granite countertops we produce are also built to last for virtually a lifetime. And our glass countertops are made with up to 72% post-consumer recycled glass combined with man-made semi-precious stones, cementing (no pun intended) our goal of being friendly to the earth.
If you are considering a home makeover project, you should know that Granite Transformations infuses each and every glass, quartz and granite countertop with ForeverSeal®, a polymer resin that helps strengthen and seal these products. As we said earlier, the products from Granite Transformations all have durability in common; the same durability that is in the tree (or trees) growing outside your home. And, like trees, our products require only a minimum of care and maintenance.
As a final topic of today’s blog (and which perfectly complements the “tree theme” of Arbor Day), we would like to call attention to our cabinet refacing services. With a variety of colors such as Blonde Maple, Classic Cherry, and Light – or Dark – Italian Walnut (among many others), your appreciation for trees will be enhanced by this attractive and practical option of cabinetry from Granite Transformations.
And so, as we commemorate Arbor Day 2015, we hope that we have brought awareness to this important holiday. While planting a tree may not be an immediate option for everyone this season, keep in mind that being environmentally-conscious and practicing energy saving tips can make a big impact in helping save and sustain the earth’s resources. Thanks for reading. Granite Transformations ends this blog with how we began it: “Happy Arbor Day, everyone!”
Last Updated on January 21, 2020
Quartz counters are man-made materials, created from quartz and other stones (including granite or glass), along with resins to bind it together. Additionally, there are pigments added for color. All of these ingredients create an extremely durable surface that naturally resists scratches, stains, abrasions and dents (not to mention being nontoxic, nonporous and nonallergenic). While quartz is virtually indestructible, its natural counterparts (such as granite, marble or soapstone) can crack or chip easily. Most quartz products come with lifetime warranties. Check out the lifetime warranty that Granite Transformations offers on all of its surface products.
The Versatility of Quartz
How finely the quartz is ground changes its appearance; finely ground quartz yields a smoother appearance, while coarsely ground quartz creates a flecked, choppier appearance. Because it is engineered, the appearance of quartz is more uniform than natural stone (which is formed by the ground or mining conditions).
The one flaw of quartz is that it lacks the colors and variations you could get with natural stone. It should be noted, however, that today you can get quartz in almost any color, style, texture or pattern you want. Quartz has been made to look virtually indecipherable from natural stone (granite or marble) as well, so you can get the benefits of quartz and the look of granite.
Quartz Countertop Maintenance
One of the primary benefits of quartz is that it is very easy to clean and maintain, and doesn’t require sealing (as natural stone countertops do). No special cleaning products are required – soap and water on a warm sponge will do just fine. And your quartz countertops won’t corrode from oils, wine (it’s nonreactive to acidic liquids) or heavy household cleaning products. Quartz naturally resists bacteria, which makes it more sanitary than natural stone surfaces.
Although it hasn’t rivaled granite, the demand for quartz continues to rise as homeowners learn how durable and easy it is to maintain over other countertop products. And the supply of quartz is plentiful – there will never be a shortage of it. The price of quartz is somewhat comparable to granite; however, it is often a bit more expensive. As its popularity continues to grow, it will continue to rival granite in its ability to drive up the resale value of your home.
Learn more about Granite Transformations’ quartz countertops and the colors that are offered, including King Ivory, Fire Beige, Perla Di Sabbia and Crema Luna. Set up a FREE In-Home Design Consultation to get a free quote and see how Granite Transformations’ quartz countertops could elevate the look of your home.
Last Updated on January 21, 2020
As Earth Day will be here soon, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make your home and life greener and more sustainable. We have some interesting facts and figures about how green building and remodeling have become increasingly important factors for homeowners and builders.
Homeowners today are becoming increasingly aware of their ecological footprint when it comes to upgrading and remodeling their homes. According to a recent study by McGraw-Hill Construction, “Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market,” one-third of those who are building new single-family homes are “going green” for least 60% of their projects. Why has green building activity grown so much in recent years?
Energy costs continue to increase, making homeowners increasingly aware of energy consumption and conservation.
Building and energy codes continue to change in favor of green building, so residential homes are required to meet certain performance requirements.
Green products are becoming more mainstream and affordable. Products that are marketed as green are more likely to sell.
According to the study, 73% of those who are building new single family homes (and 79% of single family home remodelers) report that customers will pay more for a green home. The top two reasons found by the study for why people request green homes were to lower energy use and save money.
According to single and multi-family home builders and remodelers, the most important green practices were:
Energy efficiency – includes the use of efficient HVAC or water heaters, energy efficient appliances, insulation that exceeds code minimums, and efficient lighting.
Durable materials – includes the use of prefabricated or engineered wood that lasts longer than real wood.
Water efficiency – includes the use of water conserving fixtures and appliances.
Low VOC-emitting materials for improved indoor air quality – includes increased moisture control and ventilation and use of low VOC materials
Construction waste reduction
Reclaimed/reused building products
What’s great about Granite Transformations is that its glass countertop and mosaic tile products include up to 72% post-consumer recycled content (such as beer bottles), making them eco-friendly. Granite Transformations’ countertop products do not produce any dangerous organic emissions (VOC). Because Granite Transformations installs countertops over already existing ones, the amount of wasted material produced is significantly less than that of a full tear-out construction job. These are just a few of the ways that Granite Transformations is contributing to greener construction practices. Learn more about Granite Transformations’ eco-friendly products and services here.
Last Updated on January 7, 2020
Pantone’s “Fashion Color Report: Spring 2015” is finally here – and this year, it is leaning toward a cooler, softer side of the color spectrum, with pale pastels and nature-like neutrals. We have picked a few of our favorite colors, and demonstrated how you can seamlessly integrate them in your home décor. All of the mosaic tile designs and countertops are available through Granite Transformations and/or Trend.
Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052)
Classic Blue is a strong, thoughtful color that contrasts nicely with yellows, golds and oranges. Below the Classic Blue tone is shown as the background on this unique mosaic tile wallpaper featuring an innovative bird design. This works well as a statement wall in a room with a simple layout and relatively quiet, one-toned furniture and accent pieces that pick up the blue, white or darker tones of the mosaic.
Toasted Almond (Pantone 14-1213)
Toasted Almond is a versatile nude color that could be used anywhere in your home – from something as large as your walls to something as small as a table cloth, centerpiece or bed spread. The kitchen shown below features a Granite Transformations mosaic tile feature wall with hints of Toasted Almond tones which contrasts with the deep gray counters. Warm, natural tones blend beautifully with Toasted Almond – such as golds, tans, beiges and sands.
Glacier Gray (Pantone 14-4102)
Glacier Gray is soothing, soft, and inviting, and is perfect as the focal color of your bathroom, office or kitchen. The image below features a white and gray mosaic tile wall which brings together the white top cabinets and countertop, and makes the brown cabinets pop.
Marsala (Pantone 18-1438)
Marsala is a warm, rich, muted red color that’s perfect for an accent wall, rug, curtains, chair or pillow set in your living or bedroom. The image below features gorgeous custom mosaic tile wallpaper reminiscent of wrapped vines in a silky Marsala on a white tile background, giving it flare and pop.
Pantone Custard (13-0720)
Custard may not seem like your style, but if you integrate it into your furniture (either as the upholstery color or on the accent pillows) it can really liven up your space. Shown here is the custard color used in a mosaic tile accent wall in an eclectic kitchen – you can see that the color blends well with the lighter wood-toned counters and cabinets.
Like what you see? Contact Granite Transformations today to set up a FREE In-Home Consultation and discover a whole new side to your style! Also, check out our broad selection of mosaic tile colors and styles.