Natural Tile (Travertine) Showers

Natural Tile (Travertine) Showers

Travertine Tile Shower by Marble Design Center of Orange County
Travertine Tile Shower by Marble Design Center of Orange County

Showers, like many other kitchen and bathroom surfaces are high impact areas in that they receive constant stress. Soaps, detergents, water, and regular traffic offer some obstacles that you should be aware of. Our most popular tile installation since we started working in Southern California has been travertine. The colors are earthy and compliment the feel that many of us Californians enjoy. It is a soft stone, and though it is not as resilient as granite, it is a stronger material than marble.

But don’t let the warning prevent you from getting travertine installed in your shower. Proper care, such as sealing the tile and grout once every 3 or 4 months will prevent staining, as well as keep the natural stone conditioned and looking like new. Just 10 minutes, every few months; not a bad exchange for the beauty of the stone.

Travertine is most commonly installed in a honed finish – a semi-polish that gives the tile a more earthy look and feel. You can find travertine in a tumbled variety, as well as the standard polished tile.

The tile also comes in a variety of sizes. For example, the most common tumbled travertine tiles installed in showers are 4″ x 4″, but you can find them in 6″, 8″, and even larger sizes. If you go with a tumbled tile, you have a little more freedom, as the softer marble tile becomes as resilient a stone.

Another popular tile is polished marble, but not used as frequently.

If you are looking for remodeling your home or doing a new shower installation, Marble Design Center of Orange County is the place for you. We offer demolition as well as installation services in Southern California of showers, mosaics, bath tub surrounds, bathroom floors, vanity tops, and much more.

Give us a call for your free estimate!

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite is a durable, easily maintained, and essentially worry-free natural material that is perfect for any high impact space. This is why you often see it on or within high-traffic, commercial buildings. This is also why it is such an amazing choice for surfaces that see see a lot of water or sharp objects, like your kitchen countertop.

Granite kitchen counter top
Black Galaxy Granite kitchen counter top

The saying goes, if you plan on cutting on your granite countertops with your sharp knives, plan on buying a knife sharpener.

Granite is a natural material, and like all natural material it requires a certain degree of care. Seal it with a granite natural stone sealer once or twice a year and you won’t have to worry about stains or discoloration. And because the stone has so much depth and variety of color, rarely will you see a granite countertop look anything buy new, years and years after installation and daily, intense use.

Granite is a wonderful choice for kitchen and vanity tops, for both residential and commercial projects. If you are remodeling a home, granite will not only add value to your experience in your own kitchen, but it will increase your resale value if you’re looking to sell. The reason is durability, but there is no question as to the beauty of the material.

Other materials so exist in the market, such as Silestone, a concrete and quartz compound that is said to be stronger than granite. At a minimum, it is as strong, and does have a few advantages, such as never needing to seal the material. But given that sealing your granite takes less than 2 minutes from start to finish, it’s not really that much of an advantage.

For those who enjoy the look and the feel of natural materials, granite stands above all other materials. Marble is very soft and will scratch easily as well as stain easily. Polished travertine is an option, and although it is more durable than marble, it isn’t quite there the way granite is. Staining and scratching can occur.

If you are looking to install granite in your home, please consider us. We provide free in-home estimates. We also give consultation tours of our suppliers, allowing you to see the exact slab that will be installed in your kitchen.

We serve Southern California, with a focus on Orange County. We have done jobs and can provide references in Irvine, Tustin, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, and much more, with over a decade of experience in Orange County.

Call us today!

Stone Care – Granite Kitchen Counter Tops

Although granite is the strongest natural stone material that you can install in your home, it is still a natural material. As such, there are a few things you should be aware of to make sure the material remains as beautiful as the day you installed it.

The simple solution: make sure you seal it properly.
Using granite and natural stone counter top sealer will add protection against staining, as well as help keep the stone conditioned for shine. Granite is also porous, and sealing it properly will offer resilience against the material absorbing oils, or being damaged by acids.


A Little More Depth
Yes, natural materials are porous, and granite is no exception. Pores can absorb liquids and oils, and once the stain is in, it is impossible to get out.

Do NOT take a pot or pan that has hot, sizzling grease dripping from it and lay it on your granite surface. The combination of heat and oil could penetrate the granite, especially if it’s been a while since the last time you sealed. A hot tea kettle, or pan with no grease or oil that will interact with the granite is fine; granite is highly resilient to heat.

Granite is the property of dramatic color and pattern, so stains are hidden easily and rarely seen. Proper care will ensure that they don’t occur at all – seal your natural stone!


What Should You Clean With?
Try not to use anything acidic. We cringe when people tell us that they have been using certain materials to clean their natural stone surfaces, but many of our customers are comfortable with habit. More often than not, we hear them say “I’ve been cleaning with this for years. It’s fine.”  We prefer soap, and water. Very little soap…mostly just water.


No Worries!
Although it is not as hard as diamonds, granite is super strong! It is VERY unlikely that you will find a way to scratch it. Go ahead and cut on the surface if you like; we recommend using a cutting board to preserve the integrity of your sharp knives.


Sealing Process
So how is it sealed? Make sure your surface is clean. In my own home, I wipe it down with a sponge at night and give it 10 minutes to dry. I tend to do this at night before going to bed. Then grab your preferred natural stone sealer (specific to granite counters and surfaces) and damped a dish towel. Make sure to wipe down the entire counter area, including back splash, covering all surfaces. Go to bed and wake up the next morning with a sealed granite counter top or vanity top.

How often should you do this? I do it once a year, though some high traffic kitchens could use sealing once every six months.

You don’t need to do with for fireplace surrounds, though it’s so easy, you might as well.
Have More Questions?
Contact us at Marble Design Center of Orange County for more information on taking care of your natural stone granite kitchn counter top or bathroom vanity tops.