Academy Blog

Considering Marble Countertops? What You Need to Know about Etching

Etching - Marble CountertopsMarble’s reputation precedes itself – elegantly beautiful, but higher maintenance than other natural stone surfaces. And while many people consider marble countertops for their home given it’s striking impact, it’s the maintenance consideration that often times deters them to select a seemingly more practical stone option. Specifically, it’s the concern of marble etching on kitchen countertops that concerns homeowners, but knowing how etching occurs and how to care for marble countertops can make a difference in your final stone surface decision.

What exactly is etching?

You may have heard of etching when it comes to metalwork – it’s the process of using strong acid to cut into parts of the metal surface to create a design. Cool, right? Not so much when it comes to marble.

Etching in marble countertops is caused by the same thing – acid. Because marble is a soft stone and made of calcium carbonate, it is very prone to marking and etching. When acid touches your marble surface and reacts with the calcium carbonate, a tiny bit of the surface is eaten away and dull spots (known as etches) are created.  Since etching can remove the polish or sealant from marble, the stone can become more vulnerable to scratching as well.


Outdoor Kitchens: The Perfect Father’s Day Gift!

Outdoor Kitchen - Granite Countertops

For the dad that has everything

Father’s Day is quickly approaching and we’re guessing that you might be looking for ideas to show just how thankful you are for the “Father” in your life. Whether this is your husband or father, coming up with something special on Father’s day is always difficult. If this dad of yours already has everything you could buy in a store or order online, you’ll have a challenge on your hands. Given that Father’s Day falls right at the beginning of Summer, perhaps you can create something special and permanent that he can enjoy all season long, and for years to come. If he loves to spend free time outside, we have the perfect gift idea for you; an outdoor kitchen.

An outdoor kitchen is the ultimate luxury to add to your outdoor space. They allow you to spend as much time as possible outside during the warmer months, as you can cook, eat and entertain in the open air. If the dad in your life loves to grill, he’ll be absolutely thrilled with an outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens can range from simple to luxurious, all depending on your personal taste and budget. If an outdoor kitchen sounds like the perfect gift idea to you, you’ll need to know where to start and what to include. Following are a few important tips to help you prepare for your new outdoor kitchen.


Starting a Kitchen Renovation: How to Find Your Kitchen Style

Are you modern, traditional or farmhouse?

Interior of updated kitchenStarting a kitchen renovation is a lot of fun, but with so much inspiration out there (hello, Pinterest!), things can get overwhelming fast. You probably feel that there’s just too much to choose from – how are you supposed to land on just one backsplash? And don’t even start with the countertops – it took you 2 weeks to narrow it down to 5 options!

To choose your materials, it helps to take a step backward and first define your kitchen style. Are you modern? farmhouse? Maybe you prefer a more traditional look? Once you figure out your style, you’ll find that choosing actual surface, hardware, and finishing touches are much easier.

Exactly how do you define your kitchen style?

We’ve complied four questions below that will help you find your style. Be sure to keep your answer to each question with you as you continue, so you can put them all together at the end!


5 Kitchen Countertop and Cabinet Combinations that You Can’t Go Wrong With

Classic white kitchen countertops and cabinetsIf you’re starting a kitchen renovation, you probably have in mind an idea of what you want. With inspiration resources like Pinterest and Houzz, it’s impossible NOT to have a giant collection of ideas and photos from which you can create your dream kitchen. Maybe there’s a certain kitchen countertop stone you want or perhaps you’re set on a specific cabinet color, but therein lies the difficult decision of which combination works best for your design aesthetic, lifestyle and budget.

To help make your decision a little bit easier, below are 5 timeless combinations of cabinet colors and countertops that, rest assured, will provide you with a winning end result you can enjoy for many years to come.


7 Things Your Designer Should Ask Before Choosing Marble or Granite Countertops

No matter how beautiful or well executed the overall design, the wrong countertop can ruin a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Most designers have an incredible, innate sense of how to create beautiful kitchens. However, there are things they should ask you before selecting a marble, granite or stone countertop for your home, says stone fabricator Sinan Sepkin, founder, and owner of Academy Marble.

How high-tech is the fabricator?

Is the fabricator you’re considering “old-school,” or “digital”? If you want a less expensive, more accurate countertop, ask. Your fabricator should be using the latest technology to cut and route the edges of your countertop. … MORE

Which Type of Stone Countertop is Best for Your Bathroom Vanity?

Bathroom stone selection - candles in modern settingChoosing a stone for your bathroom remodel is exciting but can also be challenging. There’s a lot to consider! You might have an idea of the type of look you want, but it’s important to think about which will work for best for you and your family.

Though stone can be installed in many places in the bathroom – vanities, showers, floors, backsplashes, and more – today we’re talking about the most common place for stone. Vanities!

If it’s in the budget, most people opt to choose their own stone rather than buying a one-piece vanity with stone already included. Going in this direction allows you to choose the type and look you want, as well ensure a high-quality, long-lasting stone is being installed. … MORE

Edge Profile For Your New Stone Countertop

When purchasing a new stone countertop, you’ll not only need to decide on the stone type, color, and layout, you’ll also be asked to choose the type of edge profile.  There are several different stone edges to choose from.  Like anything, there are pros and cons to each.  The most common types of edges are called:

  • eased or pencil edge
  • half bullnose
  • full bullnose
  • beveled
  • ogee

Your stone fabricator can provide you with information that will assist your decision on the type of edge profile that matches the look and feel that you want with your project, as well as an edge that will fit in your budget. … MORE

Stone Quality & Pricing

A lot of factors comprise the price of stone, and the following article will briefly describe some of the components that differentiate quality from price when selecting natural stone for your home.  Stone color, stone type, grade, and origin are some of the aspects of natural stone that cause differences in price and quality.

Mineral Composition

The mineral composition of natural stone primarily consists of quartz, feldspar, and mica, but secondary mineral deposits can exist that make beautiful multi-colored stone with waves and veins that run through a block of stone, and ultimately the slab.  Typically stone with waves and movement are considered exotic colors, which may have blue, purple, red, black, or green movements through a slab.  These colors are rare in stone, and because of the limited supply of exotic colors, the prices are higher for multi-colored slabs of stone.  In general, stone that is very homogenous in color and has no movement or veining in the slab is much more abundant and thus less expensive.  In short, the laws of supply and demand are the dominant reason for price differences in the color of natural stone, and though the stone colors that are of abundant supply are considered lower quality, they can also beautify a home. … MORE

Design Trends – Modern Bathroom Ideas for 2018

Spring has sprung and immediately thoughts of remodeling leap to mind. We’re not sure what the connection is; the cold may have us dreaming about amazing summer parties and wowing our guests. After a winter stuck inside with nothing to do but snuggle up with cocoa, Elle Décor, and our iPads to research interior trends on Pinterest, I guess something has to be upgraded, or all that time and study will be a waste.

Everyone is in the bathroom

Designer’s that is. Bathrooms seem to be the “it” room for innovative design this year. There are many new ideas to consider. Here are some of our favorites. … MORE

Quartz vs Granite

What’s different between the two?

A kitchen counter sees a lot of action in its lifetime. Plates, knives, cups, spills, food, spices, water and much more. Its no wonder homeowners take the time to research what stone will stand the test of time. Quartz and Granite are both major players when it comes to the durability game. When quality and low-maintenance is needed by many homeowners, both have lots to offer. Let’s dig a little deeper into each stone with find which works best for your lifestyle.