Survey says… 2013 is the year to remodel

 

Home remodels and builds are on the rise in 2013. What % are you in?

 

 

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The most popular rooms for Remodeling are in the bathrooms and kitchens- our specialty. Fortunately we have been doing our homework and keeping up with the latest trends and the newest materials. Josiah Lilly (owner of EPIC), just got back from the largest stone show in the world that was held in Verona, Italy and is on his way to a Design Expo at the end of this month.

We are excited to see this uprise and ready to create something beautiful and unique in each home. When dealing with elite high-end custom homes in LA and Orange County (not to mention some out-of-state projects), we make sure our clients are wow’d at the final product.

 

Selecting bathroom tile: 5 things you should know

Whether you are in new construction or a remodel, there are so many decisions to be made. When it comes to the bathroom and the endless tile options of materials and styles. EPIC Ceramic & Stone would like to offer some suggestions to think about and give you insight why your designer might be choosing one tile over another.

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1. Smaller tiles = better traction.

When dealing with bathrooms and the water factor your designer is going to suggest smaller tile for the floor and generally even smaller format for the shower floor. There are some larger tiles that are more slip resistant which you can consider, however the most common solution is a 1×1 mosaic. The reason the mosaic works so well is because the grout that will be set between the tiles helps give the necessary traction.

 

2. Consider the curves.

Planning on putting a bench in your shower? Take into consideration how well your materials will work on the edges. It is suggested to either go really big like a full slab or go really small with mosaics. Some tile companies make tiles that have a bullnose or radius edge. If you go with a straight edge it may be uncomfortable for the back of your legs when sitting trying to relax. Another thing you want to consider is the comfort of a smooth slab, mosaics tend to be a bit less comfortable if your intentions are to be there for a while.

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3. Glass, think small and colorful.

Glass can present it’s challenges, some clear glass can show moisture trapped behind them just after a couple uses which makes your installer that much more important (their attention to detail). Colorful glass tile can not only bring life to your bathroom, it can also detract from things such as small scratches or water spots.

 

4. Feature a wall. 

By creating 1 wall to feature, it gives the opportunity to make a good design great, also gives you the opportunity to use that gorgeous, slightly out of budget material you saw at the showroom. This keeps the cost reasonable while still bringing the “wow” factor to the space.

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5. Color matters. 

Showrooms have so many options in styles and colors. Remember if the material you fall in love with has a bold modern/eclectic feel to it and the rest of the house is mild and traditional, it will break the flow of the home. By considering the big picture and look at your home as 1 whole project, even if you are only doing a bathroom remodel.

 

 

Dinner Party- How to Plan

Dinner party

 

Your place is done and ready to be shown off, what better way than invite your closest friends and family to take a peek at all the hard work you put into your beautiful home.

 

4 To 6 Weeks Before Your Dinner Party:

  • Decide the theme and whether you wish to host a casual dinner party or a formal dinner.
  • Establish your budget.
  • Create guest list.
  • Create an online invitation

3 To 4 weeks Prior To Your Dinner Party:
It’s time to start thinking about the dinner party food and decorations.

  • Create a menu.
  • Book caterers and bartenders if necessary. (When booking a bartender, try one of your local bartending schools, they often will work for just tips in return for the practice and experience.)
  • Make a grocery list.
  • Plan a cooking schedule (what can be made ahead of time, what needs to be made they day of).
  • Decide on the table setting and place orders with a rental company, if needed.
  • Buy or borrow serving pieces and accessories.
  • Select music.
  • Purchase candles or other outdoor lighting if needed. Candle light is an inexpensive way to create an elegant ambiance.

1 To 2 Weeks Prior To Your Dinner Party:

As the countdown is on and you receive RSVP’s for your dinner party here’s a checklist of things to gather and create.

  • Purchase nonperishable goods.
  • Decide on the types of drinks to be served. (If you hired a bartender, finalize your order)
  • Consult with a florist or check out your local farmers market for great seasonal blooms.
  • Place special orders with the butcher, fish market or grocery store.
  • Confirm plans with the caterer, entertainer, and serving help. Arrange for a sitter to watch children and pets during the party.
  • Buy gas or charcoal for the grill, if needed.
  • Decide on a party outfit.
  • Begin a thorough housecleaning – Let your cleaner know there will be an event, and make sure you book them for the day after as well.

2-3 Days Before Your Dinner Party:

  • Clean serving ware.
  • Purchase remaining grocery items.
  • Check recipes for how far in advance food can be prepared.
  • Start food prep.
  • Create a party-day game plan.
  • Determine seating arrangements- if needed.
  • Print place cards, if using them.

Day Before Your Party:

  • Buy a great gourmet coffee blend.
  • Pick up any dry cleaning needed for the party.
  • Continue housecleaning- make sure the powder room is stocked with plenty of soap and TP.
  • Continue food preparation for those dishes that can be made in advance.
  • Set your tablescape.

And finally, things to do the day of your dinner party

  • Pick up party orders.
  • Create a bar area.
  • Take out extra supplies.
  • Finish cooking.
  • Organize the kitchen for the final countdown.
  • Give yourself a breather- have a glass of wine.
  • Get in party mode- the fruits of your labor are about to pay off!

With the dinner party in full swing, here are a few things to get in mind

  • Try not to spend too much time in the kitchen- your guests want to see you!
  • Offer refreshments in between courses.

Items to check and stock up on for your dinner party

  • Make sure you have space on your coat rack, plenty of hangers or a separate room to put coats and bags in.
  • Get plenty of ice and make sure you have an ice bucket, and ice tongs or scoop.
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper towels
  • Plates (appetizer, salad, dinner, dessert)
  • Glasses (water, wine, mixed drink, beer, soda, coffee); some beverages can use the same type of glass
  • Silverware (enough for all courses and stirrers for coffee)
  • If grilling, check the tank, charcoal, and lighter fuel. Make sure you have plenty of bug spray and citronella candles too.
  • Coffee and assortment of tea bags
  • Cream and sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wine and bottle opener
  • Bar garnishes (lime, lemon, olive)
  • Garbage bags
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Club soda (for spills and spots)
  • Space to chill beverages. It only takes beer, wine and soda 20 minutes to chill on ice. A large tub or cooler can be set up in a room out of the way.

Post Party

After your smashing dinner party, keep a journal. Include what you served, who was there, and how it went. Make notes on how to improve your next dinner party as well as what made this one successful!

Sealing… Why and How.

Why seal?

Building materials such as natural stone, tile, masonry, concrete and grout are all made up of countless invisible capillary pores. This makes them porous and allows the absorption of damaging liquids such as water, water-borne salts and oils. These liquids cause the building material to deteriorate prematurely and in so doing reduce their usefulness.

What type of sealer should I use?

There are two main types of sealers, namely, surface sealers and impregnating sealers. A surface sealer will provide a physical barrier over the surface. The result is a darkening of the surface. These coatings usually wear and weather relatively quickly, make the surface more slippery when wet and must be completely stripped off when re-coating. Salts may also build-up under the surface, causing the coating to appear cloudy. Impregnating sealers can be classified as those that repel water and those that repel both water and oil based stains. Impregnating sealers usually have little effect on the frictional properties and appearance of the surface but will not completely stop dirt and rubber getting into the open pores of the surface. When comparing similar sounding impregnating sealers the two most important questions are: (a) is it permanent? and (b) how deep does it penetrate below the surface? A good depth of penetration is critical to provide protection against traffic wear and weathering.

How to maintain a sealed stone countertop

The kitchen is dirtier than most bathrooms. A kitchen worktop has about 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! Near the drain there are about 3,000 bacterial per sq.cm. Without nutrients and water, bacterial cannot grow. An impregnating sealer should make the countertop highly water and oil repellent. This doesn’t mean that the surface won’t get dirty, but it should stop water and oil based liquids from penetrating into the pores and causing a permanent stain, and should also make the countertop easier to clean.

Even once impregnated, natural stone still needs to be correctly cared for.

HANAFINN Rejuvenata for countertops™ is a gentle daily cleaner designed for natural and engineered stone countertops, which contains a touch of sealer so an extra layer of protection is added over multiple cleanings.

Are DryTreat products environmentally responsible?

Yes, in three main ways. Firstly, our preferred carrier solvent is alcohol, a renewable and biologically responsible bio-liquid that is produced using sugar cane or corn. Secondly, our products are semi-permanent which means once treated the sealing procedure does not have to be redone, in some cases for thirty years. Making a surface easier to clean means that substantially less aggressive cleaning liquids and water are required for use in commercial, industrial and home cleaning. In these important ways we are making a small contribution to long-term sustainability.

 

EPIC is certified with DryTreat and are happy to speak with you about the importance of treating your stone during time of installation.

Cambria for All

Cambria at a Glance

  • BEAUTIFUL
    Cambria is available in more than 100 designs. These distinct designs boast the natural beauty and variation of quarry cut stone.
  • STRONG
    Diamond-like hardness, superior strength. Cambria is stronger than granite.
  • MAINTENANCE-FREE
    No sealing or polishing required. Simply wash it with warm water, use mild soap if desired. It’s that simple.
  • FOOD SAFE
    Cambria is nonporous and is NSF 51 certified for food and splash zone use. Rest assured, there is no safer surface for consumers.
  • STAIN RESISTANT
    Cambria will resist stains from common household items such as coffee, tea and wine.
  • GUARANTEED
    Cambria also offers a Lifetime Limited Warrranty.
  • GREEN
    Cambria is certified by GREENGUARD as a low-emitting product for indoor air quality and is suitable for school environments.

What is Cambria?

Cambria is a natural, quartz surfacing product that has a variety of uses in your home or business such as kitchen countertops, floor tile, bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, wet bars, showers, furniture tabletops and accent pieces, window sills, etc. Cambria is pure, natural quartz, one of the hardest and most common minerals on Earth. It has the natural look and feel of granite, but features superior performance because of its strength and durability. It is nonporous and will not absorb food and liquids like granite does. And best of all, it is maintenance-free.
Cambria is available in 1cm, 2cm and 3cm thicknesses. Various edge profiles can also create the appearance of a thicker slab.
Cambria is 93% quartz, a natural stone. Granite is only about 40% to 60% quartz, along with other softer minerals and impurities. With Cambria, you get the look and feel of granite, but receive greater strength and the benefit of it being nonporous and maintenance free. Just wash it with warm water, and use a mild soap if desired. Cambria is stain resistant and never needs sealing or reconditioning. Granite is a porous stone and needs to be sealed regularly with a chemical treatment. It can absorb liquids and food, risking potential staining and bacterial growth within the countertop.

How is Cambria different from other quartz surfaces?

Cambria is the only American company in the quartz surfaces business. Cambria’s design options are also significantly different, reflecting our knowledge and responsiveness to the marketplace. Additionally, Cambria is a family-owned company with more than 60 years of manufacturing experience.

How does Cambria’s price compare to other natural stone or solid surface competitors? What does it cost?

Generally, Cambria prices are comparable to granite and other stone surfaces. Our trade customers such as kitchen and bath dealers, fabricators, and contractors establish Cambria retail prices. Cambria works hard to provide simple pricing and all Cambria designs are sold at the same price.

New Luxe Ad…

Here is a sneak peak at our newest Luxe Ad. This was shot in an amazing home of the Balboa Peninsula in Orange County. Here are some other great installation shots of this home that was done by EPIC Ceramic & Stone.

EPIC working on Denise Richards home in LA


A couple months ago we completed stone and tile work on Denise Richards home in LA. You may have seen the beginning stages of the project on her ABC Nightline interview or if you have been following her on Twitter.

Stay tuned for more pics of the completed project.

Bottles IN your counter??? (Taking recycling up a notch)

After your big event while you are cleaning up the the empty bottles of beers and hard liquor, ever wonder where exactly is this all going?? Possibly right back where it was, on your counter.

A Day in the Life of Vetrazzo

All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 83% of the final material by weight. The largest proportion of glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from post industrial usage, windows, dinnerware, stemware, automotive windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, and other unusual sources such as decommissioned traffic lights.
You and Vetrazzo when the stories merge
Because of the unique nature of the glass used in the production process, every Vetrazzo surface has its own history. We track that history, and when you purchase Vetrazzo, we provide a Certificate of Transformation that tells you exactly where the glass in your Vetrazzo came from.


History of Vetrazzo:
In 1996 Vetrazzo® (the product) was invented by a passionate glass scientist in Berkeley, California – it has appeared on HGTV, the DIY Network, and shows like The View.

In 2006, Vetrazzo® opened its manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters in the refurbished Ford Assembly Building at Ford Point in Richmond, California, the same building that opened in 1931 as Ford’s west coast Model-A production plant.

In 2010, Vetrazzo was acquired by Polycor Inc, the most diversified and largest fully-integrated granite and marble group in North America, providing natural stone solutions since 1987.

$33,000 Kitchen Remodel Raffle to support Project Playhouse

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Project Playhouse is something that HomeAid Foundation puts together. HomeAide OC is the founding chapter of a national non-profit organization with the mission to build and maintain dignified housing where homeless families and individuals can rebuild their lives.

The pictures are of some of the Playhouses that will be auctioned off at the fund raiser event HomeAid is putting together 11.11.11. You can go to their site for more information here: http://www.projectplayhouse.org/cat3sub1.php

EPIC Ceramic & Stone has teamed up with Famosa, Hartmark Cabinetry, and Ferguson Appliances to be part of the Grand Raffle for a Kitchen Remodel at the value of $33,000!
The funds raised will go to support the HomeAid foundation and help rebuilding lives.

Famosa has the raffle tickets for purchase for only $5 a ticket. Whether you get the grand prize or not, you will be supporting an great cause. Head down to their showroom at:

Famosa, The Surface Studio
250 East Baker Street
Suite 103
Costa Mesa, Ca 92626
714-800-1642

Gallo Corporation and Epic Stone do Wine Bars too

Gallo Corporation and Epic Stone enjoy working together, just take a look at this wine bar and the beautiful counter tops by Epic Stone!

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