Serving Northern California Since 1962

START YOUR KITCHEN REMODEL WITH THIS KITCHEN COUNTERTOP GUIDE

Explore the Options for Your Kitchen Countertops

Countertops play a huge role in the design and feel of your kitchen, which is why it’s so important to put thought into which countertop material is the best choice during a kitchen remodel. There are a lot of factors that go into finding the right countertop for your lifestyle. So before you head over to your local Lincoln, California home improvement store, read over this guide to learn about the pros and cons of each countertop style.

GRANITE COUNTERTOPS

Granite is our favorite countertop material for kitchens. It’s durable, easy to maintain, and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The natural stone can create a stunning look without the drawbacks of a material like marble. Because granite is a natural material, keep in mind that a sample piece you bring home to evaluate in your kitchen might not match the actual pattern and color on the full slab. Granite should be sealed during the fabrication and installation process, and then at least once more annually.

SEE ALSO: Frequently Asked Questions about Granite Fabrication and Installation

MARBLE COUNTERTOPS

Few materials say “luxurious” the way that marble does. This stone often comes in a creamy, smooth pattern that complements many different interior design schemes. However, the beautiful look of marble comes at a price. The stone is soft and naturally porous. This means that the countertop will scratch and stain easily. If you’re remodeling a show kitchen that won’t actually be used for cooking, you can probably get away with marble, but otherwise, we wouldn’t recommend it.

WOOD COUNTERTOPS

Wood has become popular recently because it lends itself quite well to the “French country” kitchen design and promotes a natural look to the space. However, there are a few flaws with wood countertops that make them unsuitable for kitchens. If you’ve ever used a wood cutting board to chop vegetables, you know how easy it is to score and scratch the surface. Each scratch creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which is not something you want in a cooking environment.

Wood also has to be oiled and treated on a very frequent basis, and if you forget, the area around your sink or other wet spots will quickly become warped, stained, and even damaged by mold and mildew. In short, you should probably leave the wood to other areas of the home.

QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS

Quartz is an engineered material made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials. Because it’s not mined directly from the ground, you have a lot of flexibility in choosing the color and pattern you want. It’s also 100% non-porous and will not stain (we’ve tested with lemon, hot sauce, and other common stain culprits). It doesn’t have to be sealed or cleaned with any special solution beyond hot, soapy water. The only drawback of quartz is that it is heat sensitive, so think twice before you set a hot baking sheet directly on the counter.

QUARTZITE COUNTERTOPS

Contrary to popular belief, quartzite and quartz are two different materials. Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that withstands heat and is harder than granite. When installed, quartzite should be sealed, and then it’s best to re-seal it once or twice a year to keep it scratch and stain-resistant. Because quartzite is so durable, it can be a bit pricier during the installation process if your kitchen has a lot of angles or decorative cabinets. The countertops must be cut with diamond blades.

CORIAN COUNTERTOPS

Corian is a solid surface material that is man-made. It tends to be cheaper than granite, and it has a good variety of styles and colors to choose from. Corian does not require sealing, but unfortunately, it stains and damages easily, and it simply can’t match the depth of design that you find in a natural stone material.

CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS

Concrete is another material that is seen in trendy kitchens lately, but we would not recommend it. It’s porous, which can lead to staining and bacteria growth, and it’s easy to crack. Many people see concrete countertops as the DIY alternative to having a professional installation, and while it is easier to DIY concrete than granite or marble, that’s not to say that it’s easy. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a surface that is grainy or uneven.

LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS

Unless you’re on an extremely tight budget, you’re not going to want laminate countertops. This man-made material can come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but it’s affordable for a reason. It stains and damages very easily, and it simply doesn’t have the same feel and beauty as natural stone. If you’re deciding where to splurge and where to pinch pennies in your kitchen remodel, you’ll be much happier with a higher quality countertop.

So if you’re looking for a new countertop for your kitchen remodel, our top two recommendations for durability and beauty are granite and quartzite. That said, RCO Home Improvement has many different countertop materials, styles, and patterns to choose from. Whether you live in Sun City, Elk Grove, or another northern California area, give us a call or schedule a visit to explore the countertops in person!

on Wednesday, 14 June 2017. Posted in Kitchen Remodel Lincoln, CA, Kitchen Remodel

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRANITE FABRICATION AND INSTALLATION

Get All the Facts about Granite before You Buy

If you’re just now starting to research the possibilities for adding granite countertops to your home, we can wager a guess that you’ve got questions. There are a ton of articles out there about granite countertops, but few actually address the questions that homeowners have most often.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with RCO’s resident granite experts in the Rocklin, California area, Andreas Reynoza and Tony Baumgartner. We asked them to shed some light on the granite fabrication and installation process. Read their answers to these frequently asked questions below.

Q: I KEEP SEEING REFERENCES TO “GRANITE LEVELS.” WHAT ARE LEVELS?

A: Most granite retailers separate their options into different levels in order to define price ranges. The lower the level, the cheaper the granite is likely to be.

Q: WHY WOULD ONE GRANITE BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ANOTHER?

A: Honestly, it has a lot to do with the look of the granite. The more luxurious and beautiful it looks, the more expensive it will be. Rare and unusual colors are going to cost more than common colors that are more easily accessible. For example, Aphrodite Granite, which comes from Madagascar, is going to be far more costly than a brown granite sourced from Brazil.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THE BEST APPROACH TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOR OR STYLE OF GRANITE?

A: Shop around. Don’t go home with the first one you see. Make sure you’re happy with the color and style of the granite and that it matches the décor in your home. While getting a sample of granite won’t necessarily match exactly what’s on the slab, it’s still a good idea because you can see how the granite looks in your home’s exact lighting conditions.

One thing to consider is that, depending on how busy the pattern or how many colors are visible, the granite may make it tough to see dirt. It’s also important to inspect the granite slab for flaws or imperfections before you buy.

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TO TAKE FABRICATE AND INSTALL GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?

A: It depends on a couple of factors, such as the size and complexity of the countertops. Generally speaking, the process could be as short as a week or as long as two weeks. We recommend speaking with a granite fabricator for a more accurate estimate.

Q: HOW MUCH DO GRANITE COUNTERTOPS COST?

A: When you’re talking about cost with granite countertops, there are two main aspects. The first is the cost of the granite material, and that could run anywhere from $6 to $60 per square foot, based on the type of granite you choose. For an entire slab, it could be as cheap as $800 or as expensive as $4000.

The fabrication and installation process is the other part of the equation. Here, the cost will vary depending on how complex the kitchen or bathroom is. The type of angles and edging, sink and faucet style, size of the kitchen, cabinet pop-outs, and more can all impact the final cost, so your best bet is to bring in a granite installer to assess your home and provide a custom quote.

Another factor is the thickness of the slab. We offer multiple thicknesses of slabs at RCO. If the slab is on the thin side, we can use plywood underneath to reinforce it. The thinner slabs are a bit cheaper, but they’ll have custom edgework to hide the plywood, which could increase the installation costs.

So generally speaking, an average sized kitchen with standard edging would run around $7,500 for materials and installation.

Q: HOW DO I CALCULATE HOW MUCH GRANITE I’LL NEED FOR A KITCHEN REMODEL? JUST MEASURE THE SQUARE FOOTAGE?

A: You cannot go by square footage alone because the angles and shapes of cabinets can affect how much granite you need. If you have a galley kitchen, it’s more straightforward, but curved or cornered cabinets will be different. It’s best to bring in a professional to measure the space accurately.

Q: CAN I INSTALL GRANITE MYSELF?

A: Definitely not. You’ll want to bring in a professional. Granite installation is a complex process involving cutting angles, sink and faucet areas, polishing the stone, and so on. You’d also need to buy some pretty pricey tools. Because granite is such as hard surface, we use diamond to cut it.

We often see people try to DIY and then realize they’re in over their heads, but by that point, the granite is wasted, and we have to start from scratch. You may think you’re saving money, but DIY will cost you much more in the long run.

SEE ALSO: DIY OR PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN CABINETRY INSTALLATION: WHICH IS BETTER?

Q: HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?

A: Make sure you use a granite sealer. During a professional installation, they should seal it as the final step. We also recommend that you seal at least once a year. As far as cleaning goes, soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner will be fine. You can buy sealer/cleaner mixtures from your local home improvement store—these products are great for keeping the countertops clean and helping you to remember to seal them on a regular basis.

If you still have questions about the granite fabrication and installation process, we’d be happy to talk! Just give us a call at 916.434.0222 or schedule an in-person consultation.

on Monday, 19 June 2017. Posted in Granite Fabrication and Installation Rocklin, CA, Granite Fabrication and Installation

WHY SHOULD I BUY NYLON CARPET VS. ALTERNATIVE FIBERS?

Find the Carpet Solution that’s Right for Your California Home

Let’s talk carpet fibers. It’s not usually something you would even think to think about, but if you’re considering a carpet flooring installation in your Roseville area home, it’s a smart idea to know about the different options.

The most popular carpet fiber in the U.S. is nylon, a man-made material that was originally designed as a substitute for silk. The fiber didn’t quite catch on as an alternative for silk dresses, but it did stand out as a great option for carpet and rugs.

So is nylon the no-brainer choice for your next carpet purchase? Perhaps, but there are definitely benefits to both nylon and alternative fibers. So let’s dig deeper into what those benefits are…

Reasons to Love Nylon

Durability

The reason nylon never took off as a silk substitute is that it’s hard. The stiff material is inherently resistant to damage, so everyday wear and tear won’t have as much of an effect as it would on alternative fibers.

Soil Resistance

Dirt is every carpet’s enemy, but nylon has a better defense against it than most carpet fibers. Everyday soiling is less likely to penetrate the fibers and cause permanent stains. It’s not completely soil-proof like laminate or luxury vinyl planks would be, but it’s still a good choice.

Earth-friendly Colors

It’s important to choose carpet that complements the look and feel of your home. So if your interior design palette has a lot of natural tones and textures, you’re far better off with nylon than with a carpet fiber like polyester. That’s because polyesters typically have a shiny, artificial look and feel.

SEE ALSO: SO MUCH MORE THAN CARPET: GET EVERY TYPE OF FLOORING AT CARPET ONE

Reasons to Choose Alternative Fibers

Stain Resistance

The durable material of nylon keeps dirt from damaging the fiber, but it can still absorb liquids. So for areas where liquid spills might be a concern, you’ll find greater stain resistance in a material like polyester.

Eco-friendliness

If you want to avoid a man-made, petroleum-based carpet, then a natural material such as wool or sisal might make sense for your home. Another solid choice is to go for carpet made of recycled materials. These carpeting options are typically pricier and may require more ongoing care, but they have a much lower carbon footprint.

Frequent Changes

Nylon will last for years and years to come, which is great if you’re looking for a long-term carpet flooring installation. But if you like to switch it up with your home décor every few years, it may make sense to choose a cheaper material that isn’t designed to stay looking great for a decade.

Of course, there’s no denying that one of the biggest factors when choosing carpet fiber is the feel of it. The best way to find a carpet flooring option that’s right for your home is to feel the different textures for yourself! You can get up close and personal with all the most popular carpet styles by visiting one of our California showrooms.

Click here to see our hours of operation and schedule an appointment with one of our flooring experts.

on Thursday, 26 October 2017. Posted in Carpet Flooring Installation Roseville, CA, Carpet Flooring Installation

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