For The Love Of Stone Surfaces: Counters, Floors, & Walls
Our use of stone as the ideal countertop surface dates back as early as cooking itself when the rocks surrounding an open flame were the only work surface needed. And while granite has been the most popular choice for stone counters for about the last decade or so, there are other stone choices that should be considered for kitchens and bathrooms as well.
For your kitchen countertop, some consider quartz to be the ideal choice. While some quartz countertops are made of quarried stone, most is made of an engineered material comprising approximately 95 per cent ground natural quartz with 5 per cent polymer resins.
Easier to install than granite because it is more flexible, quartz does not require any sealing, making it a no-maintenance option that’s more durable than granite and is non-porous so won’t stain the way granite might. But it doesn’t have the natural veining that granite does, which is such an appealing design factor for many.
Marble, while a beautiful material for countertops, should not be used in the kitchen. Better suited for bathrooms, marble is porous and light in colour, which means it can stain very easily with as little as a spilled glass of red wine. Marble, like granite, needs to be sealed, but even a sealant can’t guarantee stain-resistance and while there are some cleaning solutions and recipes that claim to help lift stains, it’s better to just avoid using marble in the kitchen altogether and instead use it in the bathroom.
No matter what stone surface you use for countertops in your home, cleaning them remains the same. Do not use any chemical on any type of stone counter surface. It’s best to simply wash with hot water and soap. Chemicals will break down the sealant on marble and granite surfaces and the polymer resin in quartz counters. Don’t be fooled by products that claim to be safe to use. There is no guarantee and you may regret it.
Stone flooring offers a timeless elegance in any room in any home. Long chosen for it’s beauty, not to mention it’s durability, stone floors, like stone countertops, have been used for that durability factor since floors were first constructed.
Today, stone flooring, including marble, slate and travertine, comes in the form of stone tiles that are easy to lay and while not as durable as an actual stone, are more attractive.
Beauty is definitely the reason most people install marble tiles. While marble tiling is not a do-it-yourself job and better left to the professionals, once installed the effect on your floors is certainly unparalleled in beauty. That beauty, however, is reflected in the stone’s price tag, which is quite high. And, because marble isn’t the strongest stone, the tiles can crack. Add to that the fact that the porous stone stains and etches easily and you may want to consider using marble in smaller spaces to reduce the cost and places where things are unlikely to be dropped or where shoes are worn, making a bathroom the best place to use marble flooring. Marble tiles must be sealed regularly and should only be cleaned with a mild detergent and hot water to prevent corroding the sealant and staining the stone. A steam mop is a great option.
Slate tiles, like marble, also come with a higher price tag than other flooring options. But the durability of slate and the fact that it can potentially last as long as the home does, makes it a popular choice. Slate flooring tiles have a rugged and porous appearance that is actually quite stain resistant, provided the tiles are sealed properly upon installation. Much like marble, slate tiles should only be cleaned with a mild detergent and water – a steam mop is also a good option for slate. Keep in mind that while slate is very durable, it can be cracked or more likely chipped, due to the nature of the stone. However, it’s a great option for just about any room in your home, including front entrances, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. But since slate isn’t available in a wide assortment of colours, and has that rugged look, the design aesthetic may not appeal to all homeowners.
The most economically effective stone flooring option is travertine tile. This type of limestone is available in a wide assortment of colours so it appeals to both homeowners’ aesthetic and budget. Heavier than other stone flooring tiles, travertine is extremely durable, which is another reason why they are so popular for a variety of rooms, including kitchens, baths, hallways and entrances. Easy to install, travertine tiles are a DIY-ers’ dream and should a tile chip or crack, can easily be replaced. The downfalls to travertine, however, are that they are extremely porous and highly reactive to acidic substances. So like the other stone flooring options they’ll need to be sealed regularly and should only be cleaned with mild detergents and hot water, or again a steam mop. However, should a tile be stained, it can, as mentioned, be easily replaced.
Think back to the days when houses were first built and you’re likely to conjure up images of rustic stone or log walls that looked as if they’d last forever. They usually did and it’s that durability that long made stone and log walls so popular. However, for some, a stone walls are simply about aesthetic appeal that I totally understand.
A variety of stone can be used in an assortment of applications on walls around your home, from backsplashes to shower walls. And thanks to technology, you can even install a stone veneer wall on top of your existing drywall without adding weight that could damage your home’s structure.
Let’s start with kitchen backsplashes, where stone is amongst the hottest trends. Not only used to protect your walls from splashes and spills, backsplashes can be a major focal point in a kitchen. As such, marble, travertine and slate are the most popular backsplash options today. However, as mentioned, stone veneer can also be used. It’s essential that stone tile backsplashes are properly sealed to avoid staining and must be cleaned using a mild detergent to prevent corrosion of that sealant. Likewise, stone veneer should be sealed, but keep in mind that the extreme texture on this surface may make it difficult to keep clean in a well used kitchen.
In the bathroom, stone showers were once a luxury that’s now a hot commodity due to the affordability of stone tiles. In many cases the same stone tiles used in flooring can be used in showers, provided the right sealant is used to provide a water barrier. Keep in mind, however, that since only mild detergents should be used to clean such surfaces, you’ll need to keep your shower very clean. You don’t want a layer of soap scum to form that will then be very difficult to get rid of. I recommend using a squeegee to wipe down the stone tiles after each use, as well as a thorough weekly cleaning.
And if you’re looking to do a focal wall, stone veneer is really the best option. Lightweight and easy to install, it also comes with an affordable price tag so that you can maximize the impact without impacting your budget too much. Keep in mind, however, that stone veneer has a rough texture and a variety of ledges that may be difficult to keep clean. Regular dusting is a necessity, and some vacuuming wouldn’t hurt either.
Just Listed on Lake Simcoe: 968 Degrassi Cove Pl W, Innisfil
This custom home direct waterfront home was built in 2000 by the current owner and has served as a sanctuary for family and friends. Over their 22 years of ownership, they have enjoyed the property during every season.
Degrassi Cove is a small and exclusive waterfront community and share the private road. The forested lands on the opposite side of the street provide great privacy. There is no vehicle traffic other than the neighbours, so it is very safe for kids.
Built as a 4-season home and located on the west-side of Lake Simcoe. You will enjoy north-west facing views of the lake and sunsets. There are no stairs to the water’s edge. The water table is level to the lot, which offers a beautiful beach area along the shoreline. There is great swimming and boating. The portable dock is 65 ft long with a 12’ x 12’ patio area. Boating enthusiasts can store their boat in the dry boathouse. Entertaining on the lake is so easy!
The home offers 2,700 sf on the main and upper level. The principal rooms offer generous space including a large private family room, formal dining room, large great room combined with the eat-in kitchen. In addition, there is 1,535 sf of finished space on the walk-out level. There are four generous size bedrooms. The primary bedroom is situated on the main level and overlooks the lake, and includes a five-piece ensuite, a walk-in closet and a garden door to the lakeside patio area. The three other bedrooms are located on the second floor.
The lower level includes a large recreation room with wood-burning fireplace and a walk-out to the lake. A large office with a built-in desk and bookcases can serve as a large 5th bedroom. The 3-piece bathroom is also equipped with a partially finished cedar-lined sauna. There is plenty of storage space on this level too.
Photography by @ishutterphoto
Staging by @chateau_designandstaging
This professionally designed custom-built home embodies a comfortable, vintage cottage feel built with energy efficient maintenance-free materials. This home offers a private park-like setting, with in- town conveniences. It’s a nature lover’s lot…a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. This one in in a million home was showcased in a 16-page spread in Cottages & Bungalows Magazine.
Shiplap walls and wood slat ceilings throughout impart a cabin-like coziness. The primary bedroom is secluded on the main floor overlooking a wooded area that surrounds the property. The front office duals as an additional main floor bedroom adjacent to a 3-piece bathroom. The upper level includes two additional bedrooms that provide enhanced privacy for guests. One of the bedrooms functions as a seating area with a Murphy bed and small kitchenette. It has been designed as a secure space for future rental opportunity.
Located in the charming lakeside village of Bayfield, this property is a stone-throw away from Lake Huron, a short walk to town, the fishing pier and marina, Pioneer Park and the Community playground. This spectacular property backs on to a designated environmental area and surrounded by trees makes it an ideal retreat for entertaining family and friends.
It’s no secret that green has been trending in a major way lately. Not only does the leafy shade conjure the sensation of being outdoors after two years cooped up at home, it also is a versatile (and welcome) alternative to traditional colors like white and gray.
Sweet 3 bedroom home that has a light and airy feel to the interior. Vaulted ceiling with open concept design creates a welcoming feel with plenty of natural sunlight all afternoon. Hardwood floors in bedrooms. Updated interior ready to be moved in to. It is a special place to call home or cottage.
Large wrap-around deck features West-facing views of 2-acre park of which you would be a 1/10th owner. Private dock for all park owners. Deeded Lake Simcoe access is rare to find. Very private setting with mature trees.
Message us today for more information or to book private showing.
staging by @chateau_designandstaging
photography by @ishutterphoto
20 Quiet Heights Lane, Georgina provides views of the lake from all spaces on the west side of them home, including the great room, kitchen, dining area, and primary bedroom.
You will enjoy the morning sunrise from the front covered porch and of course, sunset views from the lakeside. The natural sunlight fills the home with warmth and light all day long. It’s tranquil, serene, and welcoming.
In the design stages, the current owner had some important “must-have’s” including a Muskoka like feel, spaciousness, sun-filled rooms, and an “understated elegance“ carried throughout the home.
Some of the interior features include:
– 3 bedrooms on main level and 2 additional bedrooms on the lower level
– 3 full bathrooms plus powder room
– 10.9 ft ceiling height on the main level and 9 ft ceiling height on the lower level
– Great room includes custom millwork and 13 ft vaulted coffered ceiling
– Gourmet kitchen with upgraded appliances
– Spectacular light fixtures including ceiling fans in each bedroom
– Custom drapery and blinds
– Radiant heated floors in kitchen, primary ensuite and the entire lower level
– Surround sound system both indoors and outdoors
A full list of room features, additional images, virtual tour, and more can be found on our website (link in bio).
This listing is also available on realtor.ca (MLS# N5657656)
When you combine the attention to detail of a quality builder with the owner’s vision to create a sanctuary home, the result is spectacular.
This home offers a “Zen” feel immediately upon your arrival.
The landscaping is wonderfully appointed with a collection of perennial gardens, shrubs, mature trees and privacy hedges on both sides, which is home to many birds. There are several seating areas promote great conversation with family and friends or a place to enjoy some quiet time when you want to be alone and enjoy nature all around you.
This is a wonderful home to entertain in both indoors and outdoors. The raised balcony includes a covered area where you can enjoy a summer rain shower. The open area provides lots of space for your chaise loungers to get some sun and watch an array of boats on the lake.
The lower deck is covered and a perfect location for the 7-seater plus lounger hot tub along with another separate seating area to enjoy the lake views.
Listing Price: $1,935,000
DM us to book a private viewing.
The full listing can be found on our site & on realtor.ca (MLS# N5657656)