Countertop Selections Perfect for Your Custom Home
Laminate counters have been “out” for years. But we’ve got another update…move over granite… engineered stone is the new surface in town.
As one of Regency Builders partners, Stone Dimensions specializes in the highest quality natural and engineered stone used throughout our custom homes. All stones aren’t created equal, so why have them treated as such? New colors and styles give each space a unique and timeless feel – something we at Regency like to hone in on!
We spoke with sales executive, Katie Doucette and production manager, Jamie Winter who walked us through their process. This includes working with our Selections Coordinator, developing a plan with our project managers, picking out selections with the homeowner, and installation to give our Regency homes the classic, yet creative style countertops that every homeowner dreams of.
Working with the Homeowner
Throughout the process, the homeowners work alongside the Stone Dimensions sales team. This starts by working with the Selections Coordinator at the showroom to choose timeless and beautiful products for each space. Be it honed marble in the guest bathroom, quartz in the kitchen, or a special surface for the master bath, each room is brought to life by the countertop selections. Some company’s sales teams hand a homeowner off after the purchase, but at Stone Dimensions, the sales team sees the whole process through by overseeing production and installation to ensure that the vision set during the selections meeting is carried out in your new home. This standard is the same throughout the rest of the company…bringing attention to detail and a quest for excellence in all they do.
No one likes having chaos in their home, let alone a kitchen out of order for a few days. Stone Dimensions prides itself on having an in and out process in one day. Same day removal and addition is important so families can have a functional kitchen again. This is an exceptional benefit for our renovation clients at Regency, but just as valuable in new construction. After their work is complete, Stone Dimensions never leaves a mess behind. Dust protection, vacuuming, and cleaning are just some of the ways they put the home back to its original state so the homeowner never has to worry about what they are coming home to and so new construction job sites are ready for the trades that follow Stone Dimensions.
Another unique aspect of the surfaces business is the technology that has come into play. Stone Dimensions uses innovative software such as Slabsmith. This process is done by photographing the slab(s) on a green screen and then importing them into Slabsmith where we then work with the homeowner’s cabinet layout to produce highly accurate digital photographs of the final stone layout. With accuracy measurements within 1 mm, this tool offers the perfectionism we strive for at Regency Builders!
Installation can come in all shapes and sizes, whether it is large pieces such as kitchen or bar countertops or smaller pieces for bathrooms. Stone Dimensions knows that proper installation is a must. No one likes seams and with the trend for islands to be a large size right now, one of the first questions asked by the client is “Will we need to have a seam?” Whether or not a seam is needed depends on a number of things. A typical slab of stone is around 115” to 120” +/-. If the island will fit on the slab is a biggest factor and one Stone Dimensions will bring up when they are looking at the plans during the preliminary selections. Can an island of that size get into the house? Is there a straight shot to the kitchen? Is the stone too fragile to make that big and transport without breaking? They won’t seam it if we don’t need to. “Plastic shims make for a level and consistent experience. Other companies use wood but these can compress and break over time, causing unleveling.” Jamie states, “Even the little things like machining the underhangs to be smooth are signs of quality installation.” They perfect the installation process with precise color matching of epoxy or resin glues, so when seams are necessary the blend is nearly unnoticeable.
However, when it comes to workmanship, Jamie was eager to point out “We can hide a multitude of sins with the countertop measuring and installation process, but with Regency Builders we never need to. Their homes require much less preparation and shimming because of the workmanship that came before us. True, plumb, and square surfaces make our work even better.”
What’s Popular in Natural Stone Surfaces?
Katie was happy to share what’s popular in surfaces, “Natural stones such as granite, marble and quartzite along with the many Engineered Stones (Quartz’s) have taken over the world of countertops, with each having unique features and benefits. Color trends right now are still leaning towards the white and gray categories as they are easy to match to current cabinetry and appliance styles, while giving a timeless look in the home.”
If you are looking for something unique, marble and granite are genuine natural stones, which means every slab is beautiful and different than any other. You know you won’t find any other piece with the details and design element as these stones. The veining of natural stones is an incredible site as it gives a very distinguished and unique style to countertops that are not commonly seen. While marble brings beauty, it is also a more fragile stone so extra steps must be taken to protect it. Multiple coats of sealer help to protect it from staining but, it is still susceptible to damage such as etching. However, don’t fear! Stone Dimensions can repair or recommend a marble restoration company that can come and help make it look like it was when it was first installed. They always recommend wiping up spills right away, using a trivet for hot items, as well as cutting boards when using sharp knives as any stone, natural or engineered, is susceptible to damage.
The style of the cut and installation of these surfaces is where we are seeing the most new trends. New and creative methods have brought unique styles such as a waterfall effect. In this design, the countertop continues over the edge, running vertically to the floor – a refreshing feature that really catches the eye compared to the horizontal top only surfaces you generally see. This look has been heavy in the commercial market with its newest entry into the residential world in the last few years.
Hand brushed finishes and textured surfaces are also coming into play. “As trends shift towards the more neutral whites and grays, a textured surface gives the tops added elegance without drastically changing the look of the space,” Katie shares. Other trends that Stone Dimensions noted was the use of a thicker edge, accomplished with a mitered installation that gives the appearance of a thicker slab of stone.
At the Regency Hillcrest, the owners wanted to use all three options of stone to give an elegant, yet clean look to each room. Quartz was used throughout the house with the exception of the white honed marble kitchen countertops and the granite bar in the lower level. The homeowner wanted to keep a clean, flat, crisp white look throughout the home…and the variation of stone adds interest and dimension despite a very minimal color pallet.
Working with Regency
Stone Dimensions has worked with Regency Builders for many years, building a great relationship between the companies. When it comes to working together, we each know exactly what kind of service and quality to expect. “Regency allows us to work on beautiful projects with great selections. Paired with the quality workmanship, it’s a perfect partnership,” says Katie. “We stand behind their work as well as our own – they don’t just try to make their clients happy, they make their contractors happy too.”
Attention to quality in their products, great customer service, and superb installation – Stone Dimensions is an excellent company to be associated with! Knowing we can lean on each other helps us become a great team – nothing but the best for our homeowners!
About Stone Dimensions
In 1997, Stone Dimensions was created by Jim Heuler who serves as the company’s President. They purchased land and custom-built their office, showroom, and shop in Pewaukee. With a team of 20 including fabricators, installers, sales, and office teams, they offer the best quality stones for remodeling or new construction. The Stone Dimensions team is committed to creating exceptional work with beautiful products and are proud members of the MIA, NARI & the MBA.