Tag Archives: natural stone

Bimbrok Marble

Bimbrok Marble offers top quality marble and tile design

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Bimbrok Marble offers top quality marble and tile design

Photography: Angelo Distefano

Combine a family business with more than 30 years experience with quality craftsmanship, and top quality marble and tile design, and you get Bimbrok Marble & Granite, a Vaughan-based business that has been providing quality to personal and commercial clients since 1986. Bimbrok’s team of skilled craftsmen provides more than 100 years of combined experience, resulting in a professional, hassle-free installation.

Thirty years ago, this family-run business began with an idea of meeting and exceeding the demand for top quality marble and tile designs. It is now one of the industry leaders in manufacturing and installing any type of natural stone in the world. Marble, granite, quartz and exotics, thousands of custom and highrise jobs continue to be produced on location, each done with the very same skill, dedication and care designed to meet and exceed your expectations.

Bimbrok provides the knowledge, experience and quality to meet your needs. The confidence and trust when choosing Bimbrok as your natural stone provider and project manufacturer is a relationship that this family-owned business takes to heart. Quality materials, crafstmanship and installation means having your project perfectly delivered by Bimbrok on budget and on time.

Equality quartz/engineered stone provides some of the industry-leading materials, providing a beautiful white canvas with a gorgeous grey vein running through the slab to give it a natural look.

The featured photos show the beautiful characteristic of materials being book matched from a profile or even a waterfall, giving an eccentric look to the flowing pattern to the countertop. The featured photos show engineered quartz, natural granite stone and exotic natural quartzite.

Bimbrok Marble Importing Ltd.

965 Creditstone Rd., Vaughan

905.738.7222

bimbrok-marble.com


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Reno Expert

Planning for the future – Five long-lasting exterior products to use in your projects now

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Planning for the future – Five long-lasting exterior products to use in your projects now

by Jim Caruk

It’s amazing how often the saying that “you get what you pay for” rings true. With almost any home improvement project, if you’re willing to pay a bit more upfront for good quality materials, the long-term payback will more than make up the difference. Here are five durable options to consider for your next exterior project.

Photography: bigstock.com
Photography: bigstock.com

Metal roofing

Your home’s roof takes a beating, from the baking summer sun and pounding rain to the weight of snow and ice in the winter. Metal roofing is one of the most durable options out there, and manufacturers are willing to back that claim up with warranties lasting as long as 50 years.

One common criticism is that metal roofs look too commercial or barn-like. But today’s metal roofs come in options that mimic asphalt, cedar, and slate so your roof will blend in with the streetscape. It will just last decades longer than your neighbours’ roofs will.

Composite decking

Natural wood is wonderful for a lot of things, but a long lifespan on outdoor structures is not one of them. Without regular maintenance, cedar or pressure-treated lumber will eventually weather, fade, and start to chip and warp, turning a $10,000 deck into an eyesore in a matter of years.

Composite decking is a durable alternative made from wood fibres and plastic, with the latter often being recycled material. Composite deck boards are both insect- and rot-resistant, and available in a variety of colours and patterns, all without any foot-jabbing splinters to deal with.

Brick and stone veneers

Has the cheap vinyl or aluminum siding on your house seen better days? Some longer-lasting alternatives to consider are the various brick and stone veneer products on the market today. While offering the durability of brick or stone, thin veneers don’t require the skills of a trained mason to install. In fact, some brands are marketed for competent DIYers to install themselves.

Glass railings

The cheap and cheerless way to build a deck railing is to nail some wooden pickets to the frame and top them off with some lumber. Glass railings mounted in aluminum frames offer an attractive, low-maintenance, weather-resistant finish that provides an unspoiled view across your property. The glass is also tempered so if there is an accident and a panel gets damaged, there’s no risk of injury from jagged pieces. The railings are available in a number of different colours and profiles, some so slim that on first glance you don’t even notice they’re there.

Natural stone

When it comes to durability, it’s hard to argue that anything will likely last longer than pieces of granite, slate, or other natural stone that are already millions of years old. There are cheaper options out there for stairs, retaining walls, patios, and other landscaping projects, but for a timeless look that will last to the end of time, I’d always at least consider natural stone.

Photography courtesy of Margaret Mulligan
Photography courtesy of Margaret Mulligan
Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


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Design Expert: Kitchen Counterculture

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Design Expert: Kitchen Counterculture

From natural to man-made surfaces, a guide to choosing a stylish, hard-working countertop on every budget

The counter top is of premium concern for any homeowner working on a kitchen renovation. Even if you’re just “sprucing it up,” the counter makes a huge impact. Beyond the wow-factor lies the more practical use as your food preparation area. But with so many products on the market, how do you know which is best for you? Everyone wants the combination of beauty and performance that suits their budget, but that means a different thing to everyone. Let’s explore a few of those options so you can make the best choice that suits you.

NATURAL STONE

The most typical natural-stone choices are granite and marble. Granite is a slightly harder product, while marble is somewhat more porous, making it a little more vulnerable to stains. You do need to seal all natural-stone products but the process is simple. The product will age slightly over time, but that makes it unique. These stones are mined from the earth, cut into slabs and usually polished to give them a high-gloss shine. They’re as individual as fingerprints as no two pieces are exactly the same. You can find marble and granite in a variety of colours and patterns, and they’ve been the surface of choice for literally hundreds, if not thousands of years. Unpolished stone or a matte finish has been increasingly popular, which also solves the problem of marks from acidic foods. The costs vary depending on the uniqueness of the stone, but on average you want to budget $1,500 to $4,000 including installation.

LAMINATE

Laminate counters were the rage after the Second World War when the product first appeared on the market. The colours and patterns are endless, ranging from stone looks to polka dots in neon colours, and everything in between. Laminate is very durable and long-lasting, impervious to stains, easy to clean and is highly cost-effective. The laminate is usually adhered to a substrate of chipboard to keep it rigid. If the chipboard gets wet, it will swell and fall apart. It’s the preferred choice for cafeteria tables, cottages and university dorm rooms. Typically, you can get it installed for about $500 making it the overall budget-friendly choice.

QUARTZ

Quartz countertops are a manmade product that combines crushed quartzite (a very hard, natural stone) and a variety of polymers to produce a durable, non-porous surface. The colour possibilities are vast, however, most manufacturers produce a natural- stone look. It’s perfect for people that want the counter to look the same on the last day they owned it as it did the first day it was installed. These surfaces require no effort to maintain outside of soap and water to clean them. There are a bunch of manufacturers that create a very similar product, although some provide more selection in colour and pattern. Most man-made countertops are quartz, however, they are often recognized by their brand names.

“You can find MARBLE AND GRANITE IN A VARIETY OF COLOURS AND PATTERNS and they’ve been the surface of choice for literally hundreds if not thousands of years.”

WOOD

Wood has been the choice of butchers for as long as I can remember, although most homeowners are not looking for a butcher’s block in open-concept kitchens. If you combine with a cutting surface, a warm wooden work surface warms up a kitchen in a way that stone cannot. Walnut has naturally occurring anti-microbial properties, perfect for a kitchen. The surface is sealed and simple soap and water will clean this up perfectly. This kind of surface will typically be less expensive than stone but is mainly ideal for a kitchen island.

HIGH-TECH FORMULATIONS

One of the newest products on the market is Dekton by Cosentino. It’s a man-made product that seems to have taken the thousands of years’ process of natural stone, and squeezed it into 48 hours. The combination of extreme heat and pressure mimics the natural creation of stone, however, because it is man-made, the look can be predetermined and consistent. It becomes a decorated stone, which is also where it got its name. The distinctive element of Dekton is its ability to survive the outdoor elements, making it suitable on both sides of the front door, unlike other man-made products. It’s slightly less costly than natural stone but the fabrication process may be slightly more costly until fabricators are more familiar with the product.

Ultimately, there are no wrong choices, but it is valuable to understand how one product compares to another, so that you can make an informed choice.

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network, along with Radio and Blogs. Reporting on design trends from around the world, his work has been featured in various print publications throughout North America. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner

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Flooring: It's a Hard Choice

Flooring: It’s a Hard Choice

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Flooring: It’s a Hard Choice

by Samantha Sannella

Wood

Wood floors can be extremely durable and offer an unparalleled natural beauty. Wood floors must be chosen carefully whether solid or engineered. There are many things that should be considered: hardness, finish, pattern and maintenance. The National Wood Floor Association (NWFA) sets standards for flooring and produces guidelines that manufacturers must meet to be certified. You can also refer to the Canadian National Floor Covering Association for guidelines when sourcing flooring.

The hardness of a wood is rated on an industry-wide standard known as the Janka test. It measures the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball into the wood by half its diameter. This test is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. It is also a good indicator of how hard wood is to saw, mill and nail.

Log's End reclaimed floor "pine"
Log’s End reclaimed floor “pine”

For example, Brazilian cherry, mahogany and pecan are at the top of the scale, while maple, ash and oak are in the middle. Soft woods include southern pine and Douglas fir. The NWFA also sets forth acceptable moisture content, board lengths, edge dimensions and thickness for both finished and unfinished hardwood. There are installation guidelines along with sanding and finishing.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing hardwood floors is the extent to which is will be used throughout the home. Due to its structural stability, engineered flooring is recommended for the basement. Many times, owners desire heated floors so recommending engineered flooring throughout the home can be a practical solution. Engineered flooring offers more stability during moisture shifts and typical problems seen in hardwood floors can be avoided when using a good quality engineered flooring.

Log's End reclaimed floor "birch"
Log’s End reclaimed floor “birch”

Not all flooring is created equal. There are many foreign sourced floors on the market that don’t meet strict North American quality guidelines. These product choices can be risky. Also, be aware that some product packaging can be misleading and make buyers believe that the products are Canadian, but they are not. Sticking with reputable products that provide good customer service is highly recommended when sourcing flooring.

Porcelain

One of the biggest trends on the market today is large-scale floor and wall tile. Some of these tiles are full-scale slab size 48-inch by 98-inch or larger. While the aesthetic of large tiles can be a bold choice, they sometimes also bring a large installation price. Ultrathin porcelain tiles can require special backings before installation to strengthen them, which can greatly increase the installation price. Tiles that are $12 per square foot can easily be $30 per square foot or more to install.

Max Fine porcelain tile floor
Max Fine porcelain tile floor

Tile patterns can be a unique way to add interest to floors. Many of the newer patterns — such as hexagons, herringbones and chevrons — can make beautiful entries, kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. One of the biggest benefits to porcelain floors is durability and ease of maintenance. Through-body porcelains also offer aesthetic protection in case of deep scratches or chips. Many of the newer choices also mimic natural stone and can be almost identical at a fraction of the cost.

To be certain of the quality of porcelain products, consider doing your homework at the Tile Council of North America. Porcelain products are moisture tested to ensure that they meet the strict standards set forth for non-absorption. Certified porcelain products can be used outside and are considered frost proof. Certified products carry the Porcelain Tile Certification Association label.

Stone

While natural stone carries a lifetime of beauty, careful thought must be given to using natural stone, a non-renewable resource, in appropriate situations. Building interiors that have long life spans, such as commercial lobby spaces, are the perfect choice natural stone. Homes that are designed to be timeless, rather than trendy, are also a good choice for natural stone products.

Visiting showrooms to view natural stone products can be like visiting a candy store. Marble, granite, onyx, limestone, quartzite and slate (among others) are some of the most beautiful finishes our earth offers.

Stone requires special maintenance, so reviewing this with the client before specifying it is necessary. While clients may like the idea of natural stone, many won’t like the idea of the special maintenance it requires.

There are numerous associations that regulate standards and make recommendations for installation. The Natural Stone Council is a good resource for designers to learn about natural stone characteristics.

One of the most interesting things about designing with stone is the ability to create your own patterns through water-jet cutting. It can be as simple as providing a vector file to a supplier and specifying sizes, repeats and dimensions. Cutting in metal or glass inlays can also offer something unique. While this can be costly, creating your own patterns or inlays can offer clients original ideas and solutions for their spaces.

SAMANTHA SANNELLA, BFA ID, M ARCH, is a designer, educator and principal at Urban Retreat Homes.

She is an expert in the field of design and construction and is a columnist for RENO & DECOR and editor of the Ontario Design Trade Sourcebook.

urbanretreathomes.com



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