25Oct/12

Consider Needs & Resale Value With Kitchen Renovation

Kitchens remain the heart of most homes. It’s not only where we cook and eat, but where friends and family gather, children do homework and daily chores are organized and completed. Kitchens provide a sense of comfort and belonging, so it’s good news that kitchen remodels can retain a significant portion of their value.

Before you begin, especially in today’s shaky economy, it’s imperative to select the correct level of remodeling for what you need now, with an eye on your home’s future resale value. Critical factors to assess include the overall budget, how long you expect to stay in your home and what type of kitchens are in other houses in your neighborhood.

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels or “cosmetic” changes — new countertops, cabinet fronts, a few new appliances, light fixtures and hardware — have an average national cost of $20,000 and get 72 percent return on investment. Midrange major remodels, which include all new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring and lighting, have an average cost of $58,000 and a 66 percent return. High-end renovations, which can include structural work or relocating to another area in the home, installing larger windows and replacing all kitchen components, can easily cost $100,000 or more. With a more extensive and expensive renovation, returns fall to the 50 percent to 60 percent range.

Tips in planning your remodel:
Assess your needs and wants. How do you use your kitchen? How many cooks are there? How many daily meals do you cook? What kind of appliances and equipment do you need? Do you eat there? What other activities occur in the kitchen? What are the storage requirements? Is there plenty of natural lighting? Do you want to display any kitchen items?

— List all items you would like to replace and establish priorities. If you are a gourmet cook, you will probably want to splurge on professional-grade appliances.

— Develop an initial itemized budget.

— Research the latest in kitchen design on the Internet, blogs, decorating magazines and even local show houses or model homes.

— Organize your inspirations and thoughts. Houzz.com provides a great site for collecting and storing your ideas.

— Finalize budget and determine the extent of the renovation. For larger projects, hire a design professional to help you navigate the layout and make decisions.

Ways to maximize your budget

— Cabinetry: Most people today are drawn to a sleeker kitchen, which means flat-panel doors such as Shaker-style. These are cheaper than raised panel doors and opulent molding. Also, alder wood, in lieu of cherry or maple, can bring savings on cabinetry.

— Countertops: Stone countertops are most attractive to prospective buyers. Quartz, such as Silestone is a cost-effective material that adds a great look yet has easy maintenance properties.

— Appliances: If you are a serious cook, it will be worthwhile to invest in nicer-grade appliances. Don’t buy extended warranties.

— Flooring: Prefinished hardwood floors, porcelain tile or natural stone remain popular selections. These floors attract prospective buyers.

— Backsplash tile: There are wonderful glass and/or stone mosaics on the market that are affordable and eye catching. Stay away from decorative accent pieces that are priced per single piece. Subway tile, a classic with enduring appeal, provides a crisp look.

Kitchen renovation: Consider your needs, resale value – San Jose Mercury News.

11May/10

Eliminate Finger Prints on Black Silestone

QUESTION:
With black Silestone countertops, when you touch it or set a pan or plate on it, it leaves a mark that you can still see even after wiping. What can prevent this?

ANSWER:
This is a common problem with dark and especially black honed granite, which is easily solved by applying a Color-Enhancing Marble & Granite Sealer that makes the stone darker so the finger prints are not so noticeable.

Of course, you cannot apply a sealer to Silestone, so it’s just a matter of cleaning it. If the finger print oils are staining as I think you suggest (“leaves a mark that you can still see even after wiping”) then that could be a problem you’ll need to contact Silestone or your fabricator about.

Although, you may not be using the best cleaner, which may solve the issue.

07May/10

Silestone on Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Silestone Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Carr Family in Tyler, TX Episode 724 – Air Date: Sunday, May 2, 2010

Katrina, 37, and Mike, 41, met 14 years ago while working at a summer camp for kids with special needs. They realized that they both had a passion for kids with disabilities. Four years later, they got married. They always wanted to adopt kids with special needs, so they adopted four special needs kids from Kazakhstan. All of the children were abandoned at birth. Both Ryanne, 6, and Rina, 3, suffer from Amniotic Band Syndrome, a birth defect that forms tight “bands” around the limbs, causing amputations. Rina is missing her right leg below the knee and Ryanne is missing both legs above the knee and one arm below the elbow.

Cosentino, the maker of Silestone natural quartz, joined with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to provide countertop surfaces, fabrication and installation with hands-on involvement from Berry Marble & Granite at the Carr family build site. Cosentino donated Caramel Rhine in the Kitchen, White Zeus in the Master, Girl’s and Boy’s Bathrooms, Grey Expo in the Laundry/Utility Room and Blue Enjoy in the Multipurpose Room. Click here for a sample of Silestone in these colors.

Silestone Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Silestone Extreme Makeover Home EditionSilestone Extreme Makeover Home EditionSilestone Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Watch a video of the show!

[flashvideo file=http://www.sile-stone.com/images/SilestoneExtremeMakeoverHomeEdition.flv width=400 height=300 /]
29Apr/10

Compare Silestone & Granite Kitchen Countertops

Building or remodeling a kitchen, one of the most used rooms in the home, involves several big-ticket purchases, such as appliances. In addition, countertops, island tops and backsplashes can be expensive if you use a material that is stylish, safe and enduring, such as granite or Silestone.

Granite Kitchen CountertopsGranite
Granite is a stylish choice for countertops, walls, flooring, and backsplashes. Granite is tough, heat resistant and easily maintained. A natural stone, granite is exceptionally attractive and is available in many colors. Granite must be cut with a diamond edge or granite edges because it is extremely difficult to cut. Despite granite being a strong stone, it is highly porous.

Granite Features
For interior use, granite must be sealed to prevent staining from food and drinks, cosmetic products and household chemicals. Granite is sealed upon installation and requires resealing every six months. The sealing process is relatively easy, and the homeowner can do it himself.

Granite does not scratch easily, however, a cutting board is recommended when preparing food. It is heat resistant, however, a trivet should be used for hot pots and pans. Granite costs approximately $45 to $75 per square foot.

Compare Silestone GraniteSilestone
Silestone consists of 93 percent quartz and a synthetic resin. It both sophisticated product and durable. Silestone can be used in kitchens for countertops, backsplashes and island tops. It can also be used in wet bars, on walls, tabletops and around fireplaces.

Silestone Features
Silestone is nonporous and, therefore, does not easily stain. This also makes it resistant to bacteria. According to Silestone of Florida, “Silestone is a truly hygienic countertop and has federal government approval for use in commercial food applications, unlike natural stone.”

Silestone’s hard surface allows you to cut directly on the countertop without damage to the finish. It is four times as strong as granite. Only three natural minerals are stronger than Silestone: sapphire, diamond and topaz.

Silestone is heat resistant, but a trivet is recommended for hot pots and pans. (Silestone can endure the heat; however, you cannot immediately place a cool object where a hot object was placed, or risk cracking.) This material is maintenance free–it does not require resealing. Silestone costs $65 to $85 per square foot.

Conclusion
Granite and Silestone are comparable in several ways. Both materials provide durability and style. Granite requires resealing to protect its natural state, while Silestone does not. Silestone is nonporous and doesn’t stain easily; granite is porous and can stain. Overall, both products are easy to maintain. In terms of pricing, granite is slightly less expensive than Silestone, about $30 less per square foot.

07Nov/09

Silestone Official Supplier for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver

Silestone has been selected as the exclusive supplier of worktops for the Olympic Village at the Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver (Canada) from 12 to 28 February.

The Olympic Village, known as Millennium Water, has been constructed under strict environmental criteria and after being used as a residential area to the more than 5,500 athletes who will compete during the Winter Olympics; it will be converted into another neighborhood in Vancouver.

The Olympic Village covers approximately 56,000 m2 with more than 600 buildings where the athletes, trainers, organization members and representatives of the Olympic Committee will live together during these upcoming days.

The construction of this residential complex has been the most important commercial project as regards quartz materials in North America in 2009. The design of the installations has involved the manufacturing and installation of more than 6,500 m2 of Silestone worktops in 859 bathrooms and kitchens in the Village’s apartments. Capri and Maple White, and Silestone’s Ivory Coast have been the colors selected for this project.

Continuing with its commitment to worldwide sporting events, Cosentino, the Spanish multinational, and its brand Silestone will also be present during the 2010 Winter Olympics through the Pan-European campaign that will be aired on the sports channel Eurosport.

The Silestone campaign, the first that will be aired on a European channel, will be televised and have online presence with the slogan: “My kitchen worktop: Silestone!”

On the Internet, Cosentino will sponsor the section dedicated to Vancouver in all the versions of the Eurosport webpage.

Silestone official supplier for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver | Grupo Cosentino