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Monolithic black zebra marble

Marble Countertops

The main function of a kitchen countertop is to provide a suitably elevated working space. A suitably located countertop can help minimize spillage. The second function of a countertop is to be decorative. A medium like wood, though potentially decorative, cannot withstand moisture for long so it is not ideal to use.

The beauty in marble countertops is that they are made from the natural stone. The natural elements ensure no scratches or cracks that may occur when doing any kind of food preparation. It is a durable natural material that also is protected against high temperatures that may cause burning and/or fire. Always protect the marble surface in case to avoid added damages by placing a pot holder between the countertop and a hot surface of a cooking pot. The only time marble is truly going to crack is due to natural disasters such as tornadoes and earthquakes; causing debris and other heavy materials to land or crash on its plane.

Marble is usually a surface that is typically thick in terms of its weight and size. The thick areas allow the surface to be a bit rigid. This countertop surfaces comes in two primarily basic functions including a polished marble surface. This finish is used in low trafficked surfaces because acidic foods can tarnish the beauty. The finish that is the most popular marble comes in a honed finish, which is most fitting for countertops and coasters because the top is protected from the any damage.

Tau white granite

10 FAQs About Granite

Elegant. Beautiful. Long lasting. These are but a few of the words used to describe granite countertops and floors. After all, with the myriad of colors available and the seemingly ever changing movement of each piece, granite has become a favorite material for home and business owners everywhere. So, if you are considering granite for you next home improvement project, it is likely that you have some questions. The following 10 FAQs will help you in your decision.

  1. Why should I choose granite over other products such as silestone or corian? Granite is a natural stone that has been around for centuries, while the others are simply imitations. In addition, having granite will add 10% to the resale value to your home.
  2. Where is granite from? Granite can be found all over the world. If possible, select granite from close to home as it will lower the cost.
  3. What type of maintenance is needed for granite? Granite needs to sealed, but this is only necessary for good quality granite every 3 to 5 years while lesser grades of granite should be sealed once every 1 to 3 years. Sealing only takes approximately 10 minutes for an average sized kitchen.
  4. What type of resistance to wear and tear does granite have? Granite is scratch, stain, mildew and mold resistant. In fact, granite is so scratch resistant that it can be used as a cutting board; however, this is not highly recommended as the granite will dull your knives more quickly.
  5. I have heard that acidic liquid can damage the granite, is this true? Only if the liquid is left for a long time. Should there be a spill, the quicker it is wiped up the better. For those spills that have been overlooked and have left a stain, make a paste of bleach and water and put it on the stain. Let set a few minutes and wash off with soap and water.
  6. What type of daily care does granite require? Simply wash with soap and water. A good rule of thumb is to never clean granite with something you wouldn’t wash your hands with.
  7. Will granite chip or crack? Typically any flaws are caused during the transportation process. In most cases, a professional granite installer can correct or repair any damage.
  8. Will my granite look like the sample? The pieces seen in the show room are samples of what is available, so sometimes color or patterns vary. Ask the salesperson if there is a quarry or showroom where you can pick out the exact slab(s) if you are concerned about a variation in the color.
  9. What is the best thickness for granite? Professional granite installers recommend slabs that are at least 3/4 of inch thick.
  10. What is the best type of edging for granite countertops? While there are many edges available, the most recommended, especially in homes with young children, is the double bullnose.
granite countertop price philippines

The Price of Granite Countertops in the Philippines

The price of granite countertops in the Philippines is usually based on different variables other than just square foot or square meter. An experienced estimator like what we have in Kaufman Stone will always consider the lay-out options, seam location, consumption of material, complexity of shapes, color choices, quality of the slab, edge details, quantity and type of cut-outs, rod reinforcement, how many holes are drilled, location of the project, size of the pieces, stone thickness and those variables will just get you started.

Pre-fabricated granite countertops is more affordable than custom fabricated kitchen countertops. Although kitchen counters with pre-fabricated edges are cheap and readily available, they are usually limited on colors, shapes, sizes, edge profiles and capabilities. A customers requirements might affect whether or not the counters should be custom fabricated. This will greatly affect the pricing of granite countertops.

It is typical for marble and granite suppliers to offer stones in both 2 and 3 cm slab thickness, but not in all colors. When a stone color is available in a 2 cm slab, it is usually less expensive than 3 cm slabs. Keep in mind that the 3 cm thickness usually offers better structural strength and is also a standard for most stone fabricators and suppliers.

When considering granite companies in the Philippines, make sure they have popular granite colors included into the base price of a granite countertop.

Some fabricators import containers of stone slabs directly from overseas and others will only purchase slabs from local stone yards in smaller quantities which many in the Philippines does, which is more costly for sure. A fabricator that deals directly with the source from overseas, typically buys large quantities are the ones that can offer better prices.


Stone Stories: The wood that wont make you poor!

Although I love real wood, because of clients’ failure to maintain, I never got into it. I just knew that complaints would undoubtedly come. Knowing the clients pre-disposition not to maintain, as a solution, architects have decided to use wood porcelain tile. I personally don’t like, because of its fake appearance. I actually feel pain when I see water marks. When white drips on the popular wood porcelain tiles, it makes it look so artificial and “common”. From the standpoint of aesthetics and durability, Lamwood is all I would consider. Hence, I have entered the market with this product. Were I to recommend an alternative to wood, this is all I could suggest that looks authentic. Why is it authentic to me? Lamwood panels is not in contact with the cement wall, because there is a void behind it. The outer Lamwood skin can breathe. By using screws, or rivets on 1 inch aluminium nailers, it is installed just like real wood. So the net effect is that it looks and feels just like real wood. Largely because of this methodology, it looks very close to the real thing. There is, however, just one huge difference. Lamwood is zero maintenance, which perfectly fits our psyche and cultural attitude. Could It be a cultural quirk? Look at what happened to the famed celebrity politician’s own house in Forbes Park. The wood was never maintained ever since the house was purchased. This resulted in all the wood used for the eaves and columns rotting away. In just a few short years, the house needed a multi-million peso full replacement. Instead of wood, cement board was chosen (as in gray embossed cement board, painted brown to emulate wood veins)! To me, this was totally unacceptable. I see it daily in KFC, Jollibee and McDonald’s and it doesn’t worry me; but I find it hard to bear, to see it used in high-end residences. To me, cement board looks even worse than wood tile. No one can possibly be convinced with brown glossy wood cement board. And as it looks fake, I don’t get the rationale behind its use. The bottom line is, do use real hard wood if you are willing to spend to maintain it. If not, use Lamwood.
ivory limestone

Stone Stories: Matte

This interior by Architect Ed Calma dates back to early 2000. Actually, it is his first project in Forbes Park. The project had many firsts. For instance, the onyx exterior wall, and this interior floor in Kaufman Ivory limestone is certainly a country first.

This floor is dead flat. It has absolutely no reflection, which is completely different from the common place polish finish marble floors uses by almost all the neighbors. This materials differs quite significantly. A matt stone like limestone absorbs the available sunlight just like how a white sheet of paper does. The luminosity is amazing. Even without switching on electric lights, the sun is drawn into the house. This photo does not have a single lights on, and it is still very bright.

Ivory limestone normally cost a lot of money in slabs form. After cutting and wastage, the cost increases by another 30% to 50% due to the wastage factor. In order to help the owner save, I suggested we cut the stone in the foreign factory to lower the cost to the levels they were targeting.

Im happy when my clients can get the stone they aspire for at prices that are budget friendly. We always preempt the customer to look for well priced alternatives, because from my quarter century in the trade, I know sources that are way bellow market price.


Stone Stories: Border

Black and White is always a powerful combination. Dare I say it: Black and White never goes out of style. About 15-18 years ago, when this San Lorenzo Village home had its interior done by Anton R Mendoza, the owner and designer envisioned a New York style brownstone house, complete with heavy wall paneling and spectacular moulding. The interior had high ceilings, and huge, vertical floor to ceiling windows. The space was the closest to a New York interior I had ever seen then or since.

The interior floor and walls were in Turkish Ivory limestone like the Saint Martins Lane Hotel in London by Philippe Starck. The bathrooms were in this pristine, white terrazzo I call White Linen, named after my Mom’s favorite perfume by Estee Lauder.

The slabs of fine grain terrazzo, having the particular size of 2mm, making it looks exactly like Thassos White from Greece, just costing a third of the original price of that marble variety.

The Kaufman White linen is then paired with Absolute black granite to border some areas, and cut into tiles for a checkerboard effect for other areas.

Just to prove my point: almost 20 years later, Anton R. Mendoza is renovating another home in 2021 and will be using the same color combination. Didn’t I mention how black and white never goes out of style?

white linen agglomerate marble

Stone Stories: Less is so much more difficult

You have all heard the phrase, “Less is more”, made famous in 1947 by Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. You may even have used that statement yourself. It seems easy to keep things simple, but actually, the truth of the matter is, to create a simple space is not at all quite that straightforward .

In fact, to reduce the amount of visual clutter in a design is tremendously challenging, as most elements are necessary. You can’t, for instance, easily hide power outlets, lighting fixtures, beams, columns and terminations; but that is exactly what has to be done to create a clean and minimalist space. Walls, floors and ceiling need to be freed of unnecessary elements. Imagine how a clean wall is ruined by an unsightly plug or switch. These things need to be hidden from view, which means strategically, moving such elements out of sight.

In this photo, you are looking at a seamless floor slab in Kaufman white linen agglomerate marble. It is just a fancy way of saying: terrazzo, or composite marble. Each 120x300cm slab weighs over 600pounds, and is so big that to cover an average living room, you will only need about 9 slabs, as compared with the usual 100 or more tiles to cover the same area. In other words, having 10 times less joints; meaning 10 times less opportunity to accumulate dirt and germs. It is those crevices that blacken and trap the disgusting viruses which cannot be cleaned. No matter how much you clean the joints, they are still black and dirty!

All clients want a simple and modern space. They always ask for a hotel look. This to me is exactly that. Simple and clean like a five star hotel.

Kaufman Figaro Sandstone

SandStone Stories #1: If heaven had a stairway

This stairway in Kaufman Figaro Sandstone draws the eye in. It is such a rare sight to see a non-beige tiled staircase, that when you see one in Sandstone, it is memorable.

This home located in the south, prioritizes its outdoor area. Given the beautiful weather, who would not spend as much time as humanly possible in the open area? That means, greater priority was placed on the pool, garden and patio areas.

The large pool, situated directly at the back of the home is surrounded in specially treated natural sandstone slabs as big as a small car. Each slab was maximized in size and installed in the biggest possible dimension, so that the dramatic vein pattern could be appreciated when viewing the pool area from the second floor window of the house. The stone continues down the staircase, down to the lower base of the home, to form an accent wall in the font.

This home is pushing 20 years old and still looks contemporary today. I believe materials make a house. You cannot, however, create timeless design without the correct material choice. When making your selection, just ask yourself: Is this material a trend, or will it still look good in 20 years’ time?

kaufman ivory limestone

Stone Stories: Good design sells

Tyler, known for its monochromatic color scheme, was viewed as the Comme des Garçon of the Philippines. The fashion brand specialized in impeccably made androgynous pieces that were simple yet edgy. They took classics and added a bit of whimsy, and the market loved their creations. The boutiques were designed by Anton R. Mendoza of Arm Design, who is known for his timeless creations.

Every space he was involved in always used stone. The Glorieta Makati shop used Kaufman Ivory limestone strips cut into 1 inch thick shards, and the floor was Kaufman black slate in 60x60cm sized tiles.

Mendoza’s adherence to his mission to further the use of natural materials guaranteed that his interiors transcended trends. His spaces were trend-free. The look never got dated. The interior would be relevant for years into the future which any owner would surely appreciate. Because, if a space does not go out of style, that equates to savings. As we all know, no matter how rich and famous a person is, they always appreciate savings. In fact the irony is, the more successful the person is, the greater their propensity to save.

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