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Uba Tuba Splashback Flashback!

Uba Tuba Granite slab

Uba Tuba, a common kitchen benchtop material in the nineties. Loved for its dark reflective, tightly packed grain surface. Now a timeless look in the household, we’re hearing a demand for this retro-look piece of natural stone.


Uba Tuba is…


A Granite quarried in coastal Brazil, from the Ubatuba area.

∴ An Igneous Rock made of mostly quartz and mica.

∴ Quarried in large quantities.

∴ Tightly packed grain, with very little veining. Small Quartz pieces make up the delicate pattern. 

∴ Variable in colour. Primarily dark green, sometimes black, depending on the section of the quarry it is cut from.

∴ Characterised by its flecks of black, gold, brown, blue and white.

∴ Popular in kitchen design and office fit for decades.

∴ Very affordable!

∴ Low maintenance.

Found right here in Melbourne at Victoria Stone Gallery for your Uba Tuba kitchen benchtop or splashback desire!


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Granite Benchtops Slabs Row

Granite Benchtops – Hard To Beat!

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard already the advantages of Granite benchtops. Strong, durable, and little maintenance required. Have it in your Melbourne home or bathroom for life!

We have over 15 styles and counting for your Granite benchtop dreams at Victoria Stone Gallery. Read on and shop our Granite product catalogue.


What type of natural stone is Granite?

Granite is one of the world’s toughest stones! An igneous rock formed over millions of years from extreme heat and rapidly cooling volcanic magma.

Granite is second strongest to diamonds and some Quartzites.

Granite Slabs Row

Uses for Granite?

Diverse and durable, Granite can be used decorative or functional! Granite benchtops and granite bathrooms are hugely popular in family homes. Granite is a popular stone choice for outdoor areas in Australian homes for BBQ areas and outdoor table tops.

Outside of the household, you’ll find Granite used for anything from tiles, paving stones, building construction, bridges to tombstones.

Why should you choose Granite?

It is dense, durable and very resistant to chemicals and acids! It offers the beauty of natural stone with less maintenance and will add value to your home. Granite comes in a limitless range of colours, and loved for its speckled appearance given off from small shiny flecks.

There are some great retro looking granite slabs here at Victoria Stone, with Uba Tuba Granite making a real comeback!

Uba Tuba Granite Benchtops

A typical Uba Tuba Granite benchtop look. Photo credit: bestdesignideas.com

How do you maintain Granite?

It’s true, most Granite applications require little to no maintenance. But, to see your Granite benchtops live out a lifetime and prevent liquids from absorbing in, have it professionally sealed at least once after installation. Granite benchtops will buy you a little more clean up time in between spills than marble benchtops but do wipe them up as quickly as possible.

Our friends at the Granite Benchtop Company recommends this fail-safe method for caring for your granite benchtop.

How to clean granite benchtops

Granite Benchtops require little to no maintenance, a dream clean!

Special considerations when shopping for Granite?

Granite benchtops are more uniformed compared to heavily veined natural stones. If you’re a homeowner or architect in Melbourne that prefers the solid, consistent look, then this could be the stone choice for you.

We know now that Granite benchtops will withstand household battles more than others, but did you know that granite is stronger than a knife? Always use a chopping board to keep your knives in good condition.


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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone
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Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite


Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Curious Over Quartzite Benchtops

What is Quartzite? How is it different to Marble? Read on into the world of this natural stone and why we recommend Quartzite benchtops for your kitchen in Melbourne.

Keep an eye out for some coloured  Quartzite beauties that we will be bringing in from Brazil in the new year!


What type of natural stone is Quartzite?

Quartzite is often confused with Quartz, a man-made produced stone, engineered from resin and quartz chips tinted with various colours.

It is a metamorphic rock that is the result of sandstone and the mineral quartz being put under extreme heat and pressure within the crust of the earth. Its changes are a slow process resulting in an altered appearance of rich colours and patterns that are formed as a result of different conditions.

Colours range from white to black, with shades of blue, green, yellow and brown. A slab can appear grainy because of its formation from sandstone through recrystallization of Quartz grains. At least 90% of a Quartzite stone slab is Quartz.

Quartzite kitchen benchtop

Uses for Quartzite?

For a long time, it was commonly used for bricks and other building materials. It became very versatile in construction, used for strong materials to flooring to decorative wall coverings and recently has become very popular for kitchen benchtops.

This contemporary house in Cologne, Germany was built in 2016 out of grey Quartzite stone. The stone is so diverse, it flows systematically through the interior, cladding bathrooms, the whole of the swimming pool area and many of the home´s floors. Read the full article here.

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quartrzite matte stone

Quartzite is awesome for an outdoor stone application. It has very low water absorption rates. It is very resilient to staining from leaf and debris. And it has a high resistance to slipping thanks to its textured surface.

Why should you choose Quartzite?

Interior designers love quartzite benchtops for the look, builders and homeowners love it for its durability!

It comes in lots of popular varieties, like White Macaubas, Mother of Pearl, Taj Mahal and La Dolce Vita. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we will be specialising in a big range of exotic coloured Quartzite, bringing it in from Brazil to Melbourne.

It’s heat resistant and naturally strong. On the Mohs scale of hardness of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), Quartzite measures in at 7, with Granite behind in between 6 and 6.5. This difference will buy you a bit more time to clean up before the stone starts to etch if it comes into contact with acidic materials.

How do you maintain Quartzite benchtops?

Although it is heat resistant, any prolonged heat exposure can cause problems.  Just avoid that by using trivets, hot pots, chopping boards! Avoid etching by keeping common household items that are notorious for etching away, like lemons, fizzy drink, and red wine. Etching is basically the surface damage in the form of a dull mark on natural stone.  It happens when acidic substances come into contact with natural stone that contains calcium carbonate.

Sealing will depend on the type of Quartzite you have, ranging from not having to be sealed at all, to resealing every year or so, to regular sealing. Check with your stone fabricator which category yours falls under! Adding a stone sealant will give an extra layer of protection.
Just like with any other natural stone surface, clean up spills quickly, using a damp, soft cloth and a mild spray disinfectant if needed.

Consider picking a honed or leathered finish over a polished finish – they are more forgiving on etching and stains! Honed benchtops aren’t as reflective as polished and are smoother and flatter, which helps to prevent etching. A honed finish on harder stones is much more durable for benchtops in your kitchen.

Generally there is a lot less maintenance in comparison to other natural stone, yet still with the look of marble!

Leathered Blue Roma Quartzite from Victoria Stone Gallery

Our Blue Roma Quartzite looks striking in a leathered finish.

Special considerations when shopping for Quartzite?

Quartzite comes in soft or hard variations, sometimes the fabrication can be more expensive when it’s harder to cut through. Always check with your preferred fabricator if they have worked with it before! Quartzite benchtops offer a lifetime of unique look alongside practicality, give it the professional installation and fabrication it deserves!

 


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More About Marble

More about Marble

Thinking about buying Marble for your benchtop in Melbourne, Victoria? Here are some fast facts to get your shop on! Find out some more about Marble.


More about Marble

What type of natural stone is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. This video of marble quarrying in the Italian Alps shows some neat footage of how marble can be quarried.

Carrara Italy – marble quarry in Fantiscritti valley. Marble works of Miseglia. Apuan Alps mountains.

Uses for Marble?

White Marble has been used for centuries in classic sculptures to construction. You might recognise it in such works of art like Michaelangelo’s, David, or the Taj Mahal, even recently in modern-day photo shoots like the one campaigned by NZ brand Lonely Lingerie where woman modelled next to Carrara Marble. Marble is commonly used in Melbourne in the bathroom, kitchen benchtops – Where the Kitchen starts, splashbacks or reception counters. Don’t let the characteristics of Marble scare you away from using it in your home! Read our post on Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You.

Why should you choose Marble?

It’s beautiful and timeless. Homeowners and Melbourne stone fabricators sometimes shy away from marble being one of the softer natural stones and more prone to etching and stains. The right care will maintain it and you’ll have a stunning marble benchtop, adding value to your home. Read this amazing story on Natural Stone at home? How much is it worth – who knows how much value your marble benchtop or marble bathroom may bring you!

How do you maintain Marble?

Be sure to seal your marble benchtop every one to two years. Protect your marble benchtop from vinegar and citrus’. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on your marble benchtop.

 


Check out our Marble catalogue.

Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You

Marble gets a bad reputation these days. People are shying away, choosing manmade stone, quartzites or granites. While this is all well and good (and often recommended!), it is important to remember that marble has long been the leading stone when it comes to durability and beauty. Varieties of marbles have been used for eternity and well and truly stood up to the test of time. Natural stone is not a perfect product, but the options are pretty damn good!

It is considered a soft stone when compared to other natural stone surfaces. It is completely natural and is made up mostly of calcite. Calcite is considered soft, so it will etch and dull with exposure to acids. It can also scratch. However, in saying this, marble receives a 3-4 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This is actually average hardness. By no means is marble weak. It’s counterparts, granite and quartzite are ranked at 6-8.

It is important to remember that marble is an extremely good benchtop and building material. When treated right, your benchtop, vanity, floor or table will last many lifetimes and stay looking great! In fact, many people find the beauty of marble lays in the way it ages, giving eternal character.

Many think the only redeeming factor of marble is its look, that it’s simply irreplaceable. While it’s true you can achieve the look with alternative stones, why not dive right in and go for the real thing?

  1. It is extremely durable.

    There is a reason why statues and buildings built thousands of years ago still stand today. There are actually marbles that are very hard, found in Asia. The softer stones are the European ones.  Many famous sites are made entirely of the stuff and have stood for centuries.

     

    The Pantheon, Rome, 126 AD

    Michelangelo’s the State Of David, 1504

    Taj Mahal, 1658

  2. It does not hold nor conduct heat.

    The stone is heat resistant, naturally of course. It has been used to cool down interior spaces, especially in hot climates. This is one of the reasons a marble bath that is not heated is maybe not the best idea (unless you like cold baths!)

  3. Marbles are available in a range of colours.

    Carrara and Greek marbles are the most famous. Many think the stone only exists in white and grey, like the famous Calacatta or Statuario. Marbles actually are found all over the world and can be red, green, pink, brown, yellow or combinations of all of the above. Many of the coloured marbles are much, much harder than the typical stone found in Carrara,

  4. Slabs are not as expensive as you might think.

    The price of the stone is actually extremely variable and is determined by the quarries. The famous Italian stones can range from $100 – $3000 per m2.

  5. Etching gives your stone character!

    We just love the idea that etching and stains give your marble character! The European attitude is that you shouldn’t seal your marble, so it can soak up the excitement of life. Stains and etchings are signs of a well-loved benchtop and of good times!

 

The biggest quartz slabs, Trendstone XL.

Quartz Slabs Just Got Bigger | Trendstone XL

Reconstituted Stone Slabs in an increased size, so your quartz kitchen tops can be bigger without the hassle.

The biggest quartz slabs, Trendstone XL.

Trendstone XL – the world’s biggest quartz reconstituted stone slabs.

It is rare to get any sort of slab past the 3-metre long mark. Long slabs are desirable in many cases, as smaller slabs have limits on what you can do. With Trendstone XL, there is less wastage, less labour required and turn around time faster. This all means saving money for everyone involved, the stonemasons, builders and the end user.

Trendstone XL is only available in Australia at Victoria Stone Gallery in Dandenong, Melbourne. Customers, both trade and private, can buy from us. Bulk orders for projects are welcome. Trendstone XL is open for other distributors to make contact, if interested, please reach out to us here at Victoria Stone Gallery.

<p><strong>Please include attribution to www.victoriastonegallery.com.au with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href=’https://victoriastonegallery.com.au/quartz-slabs-trendstone-xl/’><img src=’https://victoriastonegallery.com.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Trendstone-XL-jumbo-quartz-slab.jpg’ alt=’Trendstone XL, the biggest reconstituted quartz slabs.’ 540px border=’0′ /></a></p>