Are Quartz Countertops Better Than Granite? A 2020 Update

Are Quartz Countertops Better Than Granite? A 2020 Update

Sitting in a meeting with Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. (our parent company), we were intrigued by a comment Peter made about one of this year’s hottest kitchen design trends: quartz kitchen countertops.

“Quartz [as a kitchen countertop material] is definitely in, and a lot of clients ask me whether quartz is a better option than granite,” Peter remarked.

The debate has begun to take over kitchen design, both among kitchen design experts and across the Internet. Should people be choosing quartz countertops for their kitchen design or kitchen remodeling project, or are granite countertops still the smart selection?

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)

Well, as is usually the case, the answer’s not so cut-and-dry.

Here’s what you need to know about quartz countertops, and how they compare to granite surfaces for your kitchen.

1. Quartz countertops are not 100% quartz – but that’s not a bad thing.

Most quartz countertops are around 95% quartz, with the remaining portion of the countertop surface made of polymers, resins and bonding materials. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Granite counters are almost always a 100% stone surface, meaning that they must be sealed to avoid stains and food items from sinking into the natural pores of the granite.

Whereas some high-end granite countertops may state they require a granite-specific cleaner, quartz countertops are virtually all amenable to simple soap and water cleaning. Many experts recommend that granite countertops should be re-sealed once a year; by contrast, a quartz countertop requires no such maintenance.

2. Quartz is harder than granite.

Due to the porous nature of granite, it’s susceptible to staining (and spills are a bit more troubling). Quartz countertops are sealed with polymer resins, so the resulting surface is actually a harder material than granite. Quartz countertop owners don’t have to worry as much about chips, falling items, spills and stains as a result.

The other upside to quartz’s hardness is it serves as a natural detractor to cross-contamination.

 

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
3. Quartz countertops are heavier.

This isn’t an installation job that you’ll be doing yourself. Only homeowners with direct counter installation experience should be handling any countertop installation jobs, to be clear. But the weight of composite quartz countertops requires a bit more care than the average granite counter installation process.

Make sure you consult with a professional kitchen designer and installation expert to ensure that your space is equipped to handle the extra load of a quartz counter.

4. Are quartz countertops really cheaper than granite?

Again, sorry for the vague answer, but the truth is it depends on the individual job specifications. While the most inexpensive quartz counters are generally cheaper than granite, quartz’s price range is wider than that of granite.

As a result, the most expensive quartz countertops can exceed the price of high-end granite by a noticeable margin. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into with your countertop purchase, and don’t assume that quartz is always cheaper than granite – it’s not.

5. It’s all about your personal preference.

Granite vs. quartz is a debate that comes down to your personal taste. If you love the idea of a 100% natural surface in your home and don’t mind a little extra maintenance (and TLC), then granite countertops may be for you. If you want a little more durability, price flexibility (and color flexibility), then you should look into quartz.

Either way, a quality custom kitchen design team will point you in the proper direction and outline all the specifics on price, installation, maintenance and care.

So what’s your take on granite vs. quartz countertops? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Stunning Transitional Master Bath Design Updates | June 2020

Stunning Transitional Master Bath Design Updates | June 2020

It feels good getting back to work (safely, of course). The installation and design teams at Peter Salerno Inc. are hard at work bringing new designs to life in the homes of our clients, and they’re so grateful for the trust and business of some amazing, creative individuals.

When you’re the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design company in America since 2001, much is expected of you. Peter Salerno and his team set out to turn heads immediately with a gorgeous transitional master bathroom design, in conjunction with Freed & Co., LLC.

From a stunning open shower and tub to the statement double sink, this master bath has no lack of “feature elements”. Working primarily in neutral tones allows the design to speak for itself – with large twin vanity mirrors, floor-to-ceiling shower glass and intriguing tile work, it certainly does so.

The official Peter Salerno Inc. Instagram provides a sneak peek inside this gorgeous, neutral-tone transitional master bath, with video and photos of the installed bath design. What do you think of it? Chime in and talk to us in the comments!

 

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Master Bathroom complete ✅

A post shared by Peter Salerno, CMKBD (@petersalernoinc) on

 

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Open shower and tub combo 🛁

A post shared by Peter Salerno, CMKBD (@petersalernoinc) on

For more information about Peter Salerno Inc., visit their official website.

For more information about Freed & Company, visit their official Instagram.

Your Beach House Bathroom Can Be Sleek + Stylish

Your Beach House Bathroom Can Be Sleek + Stylish

The phrase “beach house bathroom” has conjured up the wrong images for far too long. Ratty throws, sandy floors, and outdated showers and tubs once dominated the bathrooms of summer homes, as homeowners were preoccupied with all the things that could go wrong with its design.

Instead, why not focus on what can go right? The start of summer is the perfect opportunity to update your beach home’s bathroom to a sleek, stylish appearance that reflects the pride and presentation that you’ve built into the rest of your space.

Update your beach house bathroom to be sleek, stylish and inviting.
Update your beach house bathroom to be sleek, stylish and inviting. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

Many of the questions that beach house owners have about updating their bathroom designs seem logical.

“Why should I invest in the bathroom; it’s just going to get dirty!” “What happens when family and guests track sand all over?” “Shouldn’t I just consider my beach home’s bathroom as a glorified mud room?”

The answer to all these concerns is a simple one. Your family, friends and guests will inherently assign the same value to any room in your home that you do – bathroom included. If you invest the time, focus and proper design elements towards making your beach house bathroom sleek, stylish and beautiful, its users will treat it with the same care and respect.

Great views and open floor plans can maximize your beach house bathroom's space.
Great views and open floor plans can maximize your beach house bathroom’s space. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

Great views and open floor plans can maximize the space in your beach house bathroom. As Ren Miller, editor-in-chief of Design New Jersey magazine, stated in our Summer interview, “Views are important – get some big windows in your vacation home!” Make sure the designer handling your bathroom space values clean, functional design.

Also, don’t be afraid to trade in those ratty rugs and throws for tile floors. They’re much easier to clean and maintain, and once again – if you present a beautiful space, it is bound to be respected by your guests.

Finally, if you are dealing with an interior or narrow bathroom space, and space is at a premium, there are still creative design solutions! In our photo example at the top of the article, note the use of floor-to-ceiling mirrors to present the illusion of a larger space. Also, our design team was sure to stack as much functional storage as possible within the beautiful vanity and mirror combination on the far wall.

A great designer or design firm can make the most of any beach house bathroom, large or small. For more information on how Peter Salerno and his team can be of service, please visit their website.

Why Do You NEED a Custom Range Hood For Your Kitchen?

Why Do You NEED a Custom Range Hood For Your Kitchen?

You’re ready to create or update the custom kitchen design of your dreams. Working with the very best kitchen designers (like 30-time national award winner Peter Salerno Inc.), you’ve settled on the finest luxury appliances, the perfect counter surface and backsplash, statement lighting, and a gorgeous kitchen island.

Peter Salerno Inc. 2015 2nd place, Best Large Kitchen, NKBA. (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Using reclaimed tin in kitchen designs: just one way Peter Salerno Inc. creates the custom range hood of your dreams.

But what will you do to take your dream kitchen to the next level? What will make your kitchen the one-of-a-kind custom creation that will truly make it the envy of your guests?

Experts like Peter Salerno, CMKBD, agree that a custom range hood for your cooktop and range is the perfect statement piece to adorn any truly unique kitchen design.

“The hood and refrigerator are key elements in creating the ultimate kitchen,” Peter Salerno Inc. notes. “We have our own designs custom-made to our exact specifications so each of our clients has one-of-a-kind pieces, made right here in New Jersey.”

A custom range hood, when created masterfully, reflects the taste and personal style of the kitchen’s owner while adding a tone of elegance and unique backstory to your kitchen.

Another Peter Salerno Inc. custom range hood.(Credit Peter Rymwid)
Another Peter Salerno Inc. custom range hood.(Credit Peter Rymwid)

Imagine being able to tell your family, friends and guests that your range hood is made from reclaimed tin collected from classic gas stations along Route 66. Think about the elegant, opulent story your kitchen will tell if your range hood is custom-made from materials taken from a speakeasy once owned by Al Capone or an historic jazz club in New Orleans.

Your kitchen can tell these stories with its very own custom range hood, designed exclusively for you by Peter Salerno Inc. and its network of master craftsmen and artisans. Working with its own staff of skilled artisans, as well as industry leaders and innovators like Rangecraft, Peter Salerno Inc. will create a state-of-the-art, unique range hood for your kitchen that is both fully functional and truly one-of-a-kind.

Create an inviting summer kitchen with open floor plans and a splash of color. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

For more information about Peter Salerno Inc. and its custom range hoods for your kitchen, visit their official website, call (201) 251-6608, or fill out the contact form below.

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Memorial Day: Visiting the Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus, NJ

Memorial Day: Visiting the Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus, NJ

(NOTE: This article was originally published long before the COVID-19 pandemic, when a visit like this was encouraged, healthy and appropriate. We thought that during a very unique 2020 Memorial Day Weekend, it would be nice to re-visit this trip to the Paramus, New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home.)

Courage is always in style. When Peter Salerno and his daughter Gabrielle had the opportunity to visit the Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus, New Jersey, it was an offer that they couldn’t pass up.

A veteran of the United States Navy, Peter Salerno (owner of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century) was humbled and honored to spend time with the residents of the Veterans Memorial Home. Operated by the State of New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home is a living love letter to those who have sacrificed bravely for the United States.

Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.
Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.

Peter and Gabrielle experienced an informative, life-changing tour, led expertly by two individuals: Anthony, the Home’s Recreation Director, and Susan, its Volunteer Director.

The mission statement of the Veterans Memorial Homes of New Jersey:

To honor and serve the Military Veteran, their spouses and Gold Star Parents by consistently providing the highest quality of resident directed long term care by maintaining excellence in personal services and treatment through professional collaboration, innovation and dedication; in a setting that promotes dignity and independence…. Our Homes provide a dignified environment to Veterans who have honorably served our country, and are now in need for nursing home services.

Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.
Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.

The Veterans Memorial Home is a beautiful facility, but the true beauty of the Home is its residents. The oldest residents are 102 years old and are proud veterans of World War II. Meeting these individuals was a privilege that Peter Salerno states he “will never forget”.

The benefits of the Home extend from veterans to their spouses, as well as to qualifying Gold Star parents of military veterans.

After his tour, Peter Salerno signed up to become a volunteer at the Paramus Veterans Memorial Homes. Peter and his family encourage citizens of New Jersey to explore becoming volunteers at these valuable Homes – volunteer efforts are greatly needed, and any amount of time one can dedicate is of tremendous value.

Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.
Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.

It was a day of gratitude for Peter Salerno and Gabrielle Mayer. Thank you to the volunteers who guided this wonderful tour, the NJ Veterans Affairs Department for housing our invaluable veterans and military heroes, and to the veterans of the United States Military for all they have given our country.

For more information about the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home and all the Homes in New Jersey, please visit the official website of NJ Veterans Affairs.

Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.
Peter Salerno visits the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home in NJ.

Best Cinco De Mayo Margarita Recipes: Stay Home + Celebrate!

Best Cinco De Mayo Margarita Recipes: Stay Home + Celebrate!

Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner! This May 5th, Cinco De Mayo will once again be observed as a celebration of freedom, democracy, and Mexican heritage and pride.

This year’s Cinco De Mayo will be different, without question. It’s hard to “feel festive” while you’re staying home and shelter-in-place rules are in effect. But a great celebration starts with a smile, self-determination and the will to persevere! If we can help you find a way to feel good in a tough time for a little while, then we’ve done our job for the day!

No matter what your home bar looks like, we’re here to help you get your Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipe list in order! Whether your home bar is a world-class stunner (like when Peter Salerno Inc. turned a ’59 Corvette into the most amazing bar in the world), or a more humble affair, Cinco De Mayo is the perfect time get behind your custom bar (built by Peter Salerno, of course!) and wow your guests with an assortment of amazing Cinco De Mayo drink recipes.

Here are Peter Salerno's favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)
Here are our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)

Of course, these recipes are designed for our friends that are of legal drinking age – so make sure you serve and drink responsibly!

Every year, we check out Delish for their updated list of Cinco de Mayo drink recipes – specifically their outstanding collection of updated margarita recipes. From the Bulldog Margarita (you MUST try this if you’re a fan of citrus) to their Perfect Cuervo Margarita, consider this your go-to margarita recipe source for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration!

So let’s check out some of our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes, courtesy of our friends at Delish.

Design Your Lifestyle’s Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes

All drink recipes courtesy of Delish.

Bulldog Margarita (our latest favorite!)

Ingredients

  • 4 c. ice
  • 2/3 c. lime juice
  • 1 c. tequila
  • 1/4 c. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • Coarse salt, for rim
  • 4 Coronitas (7 oz. each)
  • Skewers topped with sliced citrus, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine ice, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau and sugar in a blender, pulsing to combine.
  2. Place salt on a shallow plate. Dip the rim of each glass in lime juice or water, then in the salt.
  3. Fill each glass with margarita mixture. Pop the caps off of the Coronita bottles, then flip each one upside-down into the margarita glass. (A little beer will empty into the cup, but once the neck of the bottle has sunk into the frozen margarita, it will stop pouring out.)
  4. Garnish each with a fruit skewer and serve.

La Paloma Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz. Don Julio Reposado Tequila
  • 4 oz. grapefruit soda
  • 1 wedge lime

Directions

  1. Add Don Julio Reposado Tequila and grapefruit soda in salt-rimmed, ice-filled highball glass.
  2. Garnish with lime wedge.

Perfect Cuervo Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Especial
  • 3 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix
  • 1 wedge(s) lime
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt

Directions

  1. Rub rim of a chilled margarita glass with half a lime.
  2. Dip into salt to coat.
  3. In a shaker with ice, add José Cuervo Especial and José Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix.
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into the margarita glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Cucumber-Jalapeno Margarita

Ingredients

  • Coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1/2 cup(s) peeled, finely diced cucumber, plus a cucumber slice for garnish
  • 4 slice(s) (or up to 6 slices; thin) jalapeño, with seeds
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro sprigs
  • 3/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 teaspoons) light agave nectar
  • 2 ounce(s) (1/4 cup) 100-percent blue agave silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce(s) (1 tablespoon) Cointreau or triple sec

Directions

  1. Pour an even layer of salt on a plate. Rub the rim of an 8-ounce rocks glass or tumbler with lime wedge and invert glass into salt to coat rim.
  2. Combine cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and agave nectar in a 2-cup cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or pestle, gently muddle mixture.
  3. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, then add tequila and Cointreau. Cover and shake well until shaker is frosty and cold.
  4. Fill prepared glass with ice. Strain margarita into it and garnish with the cucumber slice.

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