Product Profile- Craft Art Wood Surfaces

There has been a lot of anticipation in the showroom this week as we had a mysterious new countertop arrive carefully packaged and wrapped. And now… the reveal of a brand new product available to our customers: Craft Art Wood Surfaces for your home! These wood tops are absolutely stunning in person and nearly impossible not to walk up and touch. When we say you need to come in to see and feel this product we mean it. Just a reminder that you never have to have an appointment to wander out showroom. We love it when downtown shoppers come in just to browse the displays. Craft Art wood tops available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

We couldn’t wait to pair our new “Charcoal Blue” Koch painted island with this perfect farmhouse-inspired product for the display. Available in  variety of woods, finishes, and edge profiles (1/2″ bevel shown below). These striking wood countertops warm any space up!Wood butcherblock tops available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Our display is a warm, rich walnut wood in it’s natural finish. But how does it get that luster? A crosslinked Tung Oil finish is applied. This is how your tops get the look of furniture but the performance you need for countertops. The Tung Oil penetrates the wood so that moisture can’t. The finish in the wood prevents moisture from getting underneath the surface. This makes your wood tops more durable, more resistant to household chemicals, and easier to clean. Craft Art wood surfaces available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Something you will notice right away if you have been shopping for wood tops is that the boards in your top are not broken up or scrapped together. Craft Art uses full length boards for their wood islands and butcherblock tops. Never remnants. These tops are also food safe because of the finish process. That makes them safe to use as a food prep area. Need an expert endorsement? Rachel Ray has had Craft Art wood tops in her set kitchens and she uses them to cut, prep, and serve her dishes. She certainly isn’t gong to have time on her show to be worried about spills, stains, or messes. And you know it still looks camera ready after an oiling.  Any surface imperfections or scratches from use can be easily sanded out. Wood countertop surfaces for your home from the kitchen and bath experts at Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

How much maintenance does “Low Maintenance” mean? All that is required for upkeep of these heirloom-quality tops is to re-oil them monthly. No more work that wiping them clean after use really. Dozens of woods to choose from including Black Walnut, Sapele Mahogany, Zebrawood, Reclaimed Chestnut, Wenge, and many more.  

There are many woods, finishes and even edges to choose from for your project and imagine how much texture and variety this project can bring to a complete kitchen design. Take a look at this gorgeous dining tabletop we installed in a Bettendorf, Iowa home: Custom countertops and wood tables. | villagehomestores.com

This product is a wonderful addition to two-tone designs and kitchen islands lending themselves to a more furniture look. A smooth, rounded bullnose edge, or choose from a variety of ogee edges (shown above) and even an on-trend faux live edge option (shown below on Driftwood Walnut). Wood countertop surface with faux raw edge available in a variety of woods and finishes from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Not limited to just kitchens, consider this product for your home office, bar, or other spaces. At Village Home Stores we work hard to curate a list of products and services that match the quality our customers have come to expect from us. We have had many requests for a wood top product like this and are thrilled it is now available for our projects. This product also has many sustainable/green options available. Many are even LEED certified materials.
Wood butcherblock tops available in a variety of woods and finishes from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

While we mentioned before you don’t need an appointment to browse, if you are wanting a quote or any questions answered, we do recommend that you call ahead to be sure we have a design available for you. You can find our store downtown Geneseo, IL at 105 S State Street Monday-Fridays from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-noon. Call us at 309-944-1344 , email us at info@villagehomestores.com or complete this online contact form with any questions for our Kitchen Design team.

Product Profile: Natural Soapstone

Natural stones have been mined from the Earth for centuries to be used for decorative purposes. Each natural stone that is formed has unique qualities from every other. That is why you may find certain materials recommended for specific locations or uses. For example, marble is ideal for  pastry-making because of the temperature the material maintains among other reasons. While the common use for Soapstone may not come to mind right away, chances are you have work on a Soapstone surface before. Think back to your Chemistry class or any lab course you may have taken…remember the lab tables?

soapstone_on_islandThose dark green chalky tabletops? There is a very good chance those tops you are picturing  were Soapstone! But why? Many of the same reasons why Soapstone has been used in labs for hundreds of years are why you may want to consider it for your kitchen counters.

soapstone_benefits

The first reason you see listed we will touch on when we talk about care and maintenance for Soapstone. The second item listed is that Soapstone is a naturally non-porous material. Nothing will absorb into the material itself. This means it is completely stain-resistant! A fantastic quality in any kitchen countertop!

soapstone_on_white_cabinetsBut why is Soapstone so great in a lab? Soapstone is also an inert material. This means that it is impervious to acids, heat, and chemicals. Bottom line, not a thing in your kitchen can change the makeup of this material once it is installed in your home. While Granite and Marble are extremely durable materials to install in your kitchen, you do need to be cautious of some things that can harm them. Read more about this here on our blog. Another interesting characteristic of Soapstone is that it can absorb, store, and even radiate heat. In fact it is still used as a material in some heaters. Native Americans and Vikings used soapstone and shaped it into cooking-vessels because of these characteristics. 

soapstone_maintenanceBut didn’t we mention above that Soapstone “builds character over time”? Soapstone (also known as steatite, or soaprock) is made up mainly of the mineral talc. This is what gives Soapstone the chalky and “soapy” feel and appearance.   While Soapstone is inert and non-porous, it is a soft material. In a kitchen countertop application this means your Soapstone counters will develop surface scratches. These surface scratches and worn areas are what tell the story of your stone once it is in place. If this is not a look you are after, then discuss with your designer at Village Home Stores what materials can give you this same look but in a harder surface. How do you get your Soapstone to have that darker look with less talc? You oil it. Take a look at this image of an un-oiled Soapstone countertop:

beforeIf a more traditional Soapstone patina is what you are after you will want to oil your counters. Note below the same top with an oiled section in the center:

oiled_imageSee the natural patina that comes out of the stone when an oil is applied over the material? Applying mineral oil (NOTE: not mineral spirits) to Soapstone brings the natural beauty out of the material. The mineral oil will not absorb into the top it just enhances the surface of the material. Many times a coat of mineral oil can also conceal the appearance of surface scratches. If you still have surface imperfections on your Soapstone you can remove them by hand with a fine-grit sandpaper before oiling.

clothKeep your mineral oil and a designated cloth for oiling with your other kitchen cleaning supplies. This way you can continue to use the same cloth and not confuse it with others used for food prep. Because the oil will not absorb into the Soapstone, you may have some non-uniform oiled areas on your tops for a few days as your oiled tops “dry”. These can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. This oiling process can be done as often as you would like. Oiling your Soapstone tops is not a mandatory maintenance. It doesn’t have to be done at all, just often enough to maintain whatever patina and look you want your tops to exude. Many customers oil their tops once a month for a year and get the overall look they desire. They then may oil it once a year or never again as it builds its character.

howto_oil_soapstoneWe are so lucky to have a local source for natural stone material right here in the Quad Cities. Epic Stone LLC in Davenport, Iowa is our local source for Soapstone and other natural stone materials. Epic is the warehouse facility where the fabricators used by Village Home Stores will be picking up the material for your project. Read more about what you can expect from a visit to pic here on our blog.  If Soapstone is what you have selected for your project you can pick the specific slabs of material your project will use. Your designer at Village Home Stores can help coordinate an appointment for you to visit Epic to tag your material. Are you considering Soapstone counters for your kitchen or bath project? Make an appointment today to discuss your options with a designer at Village Home Stores. Call or click here to make an appointment. soapstone_counters_quad_cities