rock stars


It amazes me when I see these young couples on House Hunters, who are casually shopping for a mini mansion with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. How can someone so young have this blasé approach about what should be in their starter home?

Sorry if I sound bitter; it took me 20 years to save up for new windows that would stay open without having to shove a block of wood under the sash.

Lets face it,  you have to work pretty hard today to afford a slab of stone to place your coffee maker upon.

We all know that today’s dream kitchen must have an impressive countertop. Granite sales swept the nation like the Beanie Baby craze in 1990. For a while, there was no real competition in the luxury countertop market. That is until quartz countertop companies started to ramp up their research and development teams and make some serious stunners.

If you’re wondering what is the difference is between quartz and granite,  here’s the deal.

Granite countertops are quarried  from the earth in a massive single chunk. These stone blocks are later is cut into individual slabs. Since granite is one of the hardest surfaces on earth its super powers are that a sharp knife won’t scratch it & a hot pot won’t scorch it.

Quartz countertops are a man-made mixture of 93% crushed quartz and 7% resin. They are manufactured in a variety of different patterns and colors. When you hear names like Silestone, Luxor, Radiance and Cambria,  these are all makers of quartz countertops. The only difference is each one has developed their own recipe of colors and patterns.  Quartz is even harder than granite. However, with quartz you can’t plop what just came out of the oven directly onto your counter. Grab a trivet to protect the countertop,  the 7 percent resin may melt if heated up over 300 degrees.

With modern design poking its way into the corners of many homes, the strong, simple and stain free quartz countertops have become the hot pick.

For over a decade, granite and quartz have been the 2 main countertop players. Now, there is a new surface on the scene called Quartzite. This is a swoon-worthy natural stone surface that is made when high heat and immense pressure are applied to sandstone.  Quartzite is often compared to the look of marble but doesn’t have the maintenance worries of being a stain magnet.



Recently I spoke with local rock star (pun intended) Jason Isil. He is the Vice President of TGP ( The Granite Place)  in Sarasota, Florida. Jason mentioned that, “Even though quartzite is  the most expensive of the three choices, it is also the most popular.” No surprise here. If you go to his showroom, you will likely see my fingerprints all over his quartzite slabs from me affectionately pawing them. They are gorgeous and have impressive super powers for being heat and stain resistant.

Shopping for a slab of stone is an awe inspiring adventure. Lets face it, nature can impress the hell out of you.


the barefooted designer,



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