Posts Tagged ‘countertop’

All about Onyx

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Product Education

As more exotic natural stones begin to gain in popularity for floors, walls, and countertop installations, many homeowners are beginning to give onyx a second look. This wild and translucent stone has some very unique characteristics that make it desirable in a number of situations.

Onyx Marble

Chemically speaking onyx is actually a type of marble, a metamorphic stone made up primarily of calcite. Therefore you may find some crossover in how the onyx is labeled, either as onyx or onyx marble, and in the case of some stones such as Alba Chiara, the onyx may be labeled simply as marble.

Translucent Nature

One of the things that make onyx so unique is the fact that it is completely translucent. If you hold a piece to the light, you can see shadows and shapes right through it. Therefore, onyx is often installed as counters and columns that can be backlit for a modern and dramatic presentation.

Even when it is being installed in non-lit area, the translucency of onyx needs to be considered. Because the stone is so fragile, it is often reinforced with a fiberglass backing that may be seen through the stone. Additionally, any color other than white mortar may show through the onyx, dulling its color. Ridges dragged through the mortar may also be seen through the onyx if they are not smoothed out as part of the installation process.

Wild Variation

The other thing that makes onyx so unique and desirable is its incredibly wild color variation. Onyx can differ tremendously from piece to piece and even within one piece. Some onyx, such as Honey Onyx, merely displays its variation as different shades of the same color possibly mixed with white. Rainbow Onyx, or Red Multicolor Onyx, however may show several unusual colors within one piece. This can be challenging to blend during installation and a dry layout is recommended. Homeowners purchasing the stone should ask to see pictures of several pieces within one lot to get a good idea of the kind of variation they can expect so as not to be taken by surprise with the final installation. 

Plan for Baking with your Children

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath

Certain activities are fun to share with a child. Baking cookies is definitely one of them. It can be a learning activity that covers math, following instructions and accurate measuring. Baking also has the advantage of providing its own snacks at the end of the effort.

Preparation makes the difference between fun and frustration with this sort of project. First, don’t overestimate your capabilities. If you’re a regular baker, go ahead and make cookies from scratch. If not, take a shortcut with a mix or even pre-made dough.

No matter what level of baking you plan, be sure to have all of the ingredients and tools you need ready. Children have limited patience, so it’s better not to have them wait while you search for something. Prepare your baking area, adding a stool if needed so your child can reach the countertop.

Kitchen floors are designed to handle messes. In spite of that, children can make big messes quickly. Have cleaning supplies ready to address any spills so the floor doesn’t have a chance to get slippery.

Plan for fun decorating elements such as sprinkles or food coloring to liven up the final product. If cookie cutters are involved, have your child choose which ones to use.

For clean up, take advantage of the time when the cookies bake. Start with the utensils, placing them in the sink. Then go over the countertops. Finish with the floor, to handle any spills that might have occurred during the other clean-up activities. Have your child help with clean-up too – it’s part of baking. Finally, check their hands and the bottoms of their shoes before they run off to less forgiving flooring.