Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What is a 'Man Cave'?

Man-cave, noun Informal: a room or space (as in a basement or attic) designed accordingly to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities.  First known use of MAN CAVE:  1992.

The ‘Man Cave’ has become a common term used to describe a room to get-away from everyday stresses.  The common structure of a man cave stays fairly consistent using natural materials like stone and wood.  Keep in mind there are certain requirements that inherently create the perfect Man-Cave room.

I think the very first rule is that women aren’t allowed to decorate. So gentlemen listen to me when I say Granite and Quartz on the bar area provides the stone that gives the room a natural awareness of a true cave atmosphere.  And you know you love the woodsy outdoors so why not bring
some wood in the room.  That can be done with a fireplace, flooring, ceiling, walls, even lamps and end tables.

My brother-in-law prefers the football theme.  The basement has become his retreat with a granite bar and seating area that overlooks the 70” screen for everyone’s viewing pleasure.  He has created a room, complete with striped football turf, that UGA would be proud to play ball on. Beer themed neon signs at the bar and UGA banners serve as a backdrop behind the screen.  In addition, the d├ęcor includes the Wide Mouth Bass and other fishing trophies that he proudly displays among his NFL memorabilia.  The ‘Man Cave’ bath includes a Craftsman tool box modified for the sink and don’t forget the magazine rack.

Many of the caves I have had the pleasure to visit all include, at a minimum: a TV, bar fridge, table for sharing the Doritos and wings, and a desk (to inspire the idea that they may actually work for a living).  Whatever you decide to include should be of your choosing and there are no rules for decorating your very own ‘Man Cave’.
For More information about creating your man cave, contact us at www.atlantisgm.com.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to select quality granite and marble (even if you've never shopped granite or marble)

Who can you trust?  When you finally decide to replace those laminate counter tops, get the scoop on your fabricator.  These days there are so many #granite and #marble fabricators attempting to peddle their wares that the trade is diluted with commercial grade granite.  The best way to get a quality job is to learn as much as possible.
Aquario Granite Slab
You may only purchase granite once per home so here are some tips to protect you.  Some stones are very pretty to look at but the real beauty also runs throughout the slab.  Some granite will have cracks that have been filled in with epoxy or some other substance. If you know what to look for, it is easy to find.  Know who you’re doing business with and ask for customer referrals. Do they do the little things to insure a trouble-free installation?
What should you look for?  Beware of contractor grade stones available at a reduced rate.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  I once read an advertisement for granite that was totally unethical.  They advertised a granite kitchen countertop for $2,500 based on 40 square feet.  Holy Cow, that comes to over $60 per square foot.  They were offering common granite selections that can be purchased for a lot less money. The craziest thing is that it was supposedly 50% off. Geeeeez, that would be over $120 per square foot. Sure there are exotics that cost that much, but they were qualifying the least expensive stones available.
How does the fabricator reinforce their sinks? How do they reinforce their cutouts? Do you get to select your slab and have final approval of the layout?
Havana Granite Slab
Where do you find qualified fabricators?  Talk around, see your options at several different places.  If you know someone that you like and trust, they may be your best source for a referral.  When you shop for the cheapest job you destroy your status as an informed consumer. Some fabricators really don’t care about a good job and know that you aren’t an expert.  Once they have your money……it’s a race to the bank

Most stone prices are comparable.  The only way to get the same product at a reduced price is to cut corners on quality or installation.  Remember the joy of a low priced job doesn’t last as long as the beauty of a quality granite and marble job. Natural stone can be reasonable without being cheap. 
Call us, the granite specialist,  at 678-292-6600 or visit us at www.atlantisgm.com

Friday, June 20, 2014

God only makes cows so big!

Lady, we just can't stretch the granite!

Customers consistently ask if their job will require any seams. We assure them that we only put seams when they are necessary. To determine this, several factors come into play:

-What is the layout of the project?
-How large and what shape are the pieces?
-What is the size of the raw slab and how does the project layout on the slab?
-Where are the sink and cooktop cutouts in the lay-out?
-Is there easy access to the work area?
-What kind of stone is involved?

All of these questions come into play. On many projects we can eliminate all seams. However, on jobs with extra-long runs we cannot. Some customers try to demand that the job be fabricated without seams even if the cabinet sizes are longer than the slabs that they selected. We cannot stretch #granite. In comparison, how many leather coats have you ever seen without seams? Are the sleeves not generally sewn on? They only make cows so big and in certain shapes! Most informed and old time granite customers are aware of this and realize that this is part of the beauty and craftsmanship of natural stone.

An indication of a good #granite supplier are the locations of seams (when necessary) and the quality of the seams. Vacuum seam-setters should be used to insure a tight and minimal seam. Always ask to see an example of your installers work. Also, remember, earth tone and variegated stones hide seams better than dark and solid stones. On some stones they almost disappear.
For more information call us at 678-292-6600 or contact Atlantis Granite & Marble at www.atlantisgm.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To Splash or not to Splash!

What is a backsplash?  This is a product intended to protect the wall behind your sinks and lavatories from water splashes. In the case of the kitchen it protects the wall from grease and food splatters as well.  Splashes also add an aesthetic value to your kitchen or bath. Backsplashes come in all colors, sizes, shapes and patterns, depending on if you are using tile, granite or marble.
Let’s discuss the 4” back splash first, using a matching material to your countertop or a tile alternative. In this case its main function is to protect the wall from water and not as much aesthetics.  Imagine that you spilled a pot of water.  The splash will protect the wall from the water dripping behind your cabinets and making a very expensive repair.  So at the minimum you need a 4 inch splash.
If you are tiling an existing wall with an existing countertop it is acceptable to tile above the 4” splash that you currently have.  However, if you are replacing this it may better serve you to save the money from the 4 inch splash and apply it to an alternate, more decorative full height tile splash.

There are countless tiles, some pre-matted mosaics, fabricated especially for the #backsplash area.  This tile can be glass, porcelain, ceramic or just about anything attractive to you.  It is normally installed from the top of the counter to the bottom of the upper cabinets. This is a much cleaner look. Tile prices can vary greatly, so do your homework and tally your totals.  This tile will vary in pricing from ultra-reasonable to very expensive. 

Full height #granite, #marble or #quartz solid surface splashes add an incredible look to your kitchen. The beauty of the stone is the continual movement of the veins or variegation that runs across your counters and then flows up your wall as a work of art. Full height stone splashes truly are God and Mother Nature’s artwork!
For more information call us at 678-292-6600 or contact us at www.Atlantisgm.com.

Monday, June 2, 2014



At a recent Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association meeting, a renowned national economist was forecasting a much improved future for the #homebuilding/remodeling industry. With the inventory of new homes very low and the fading of short sales and foreclosures, it is a great time to spiff up your home and get it on the market. Average times from listing to sale are very low and resale values are on the way up.

Most realtors will tell you two things that matter most when dressing up your home for sale. Outside, the curb appeal is key and inside the #kitchen is king. With just a few modifications you can transform your home for the market.

When addressing the kitchen or even the bathrooms, the easiest way to dress them up is with beautiful new granite #countertops. With granite now being so affordable and with so many pattern options, they are a must. Many homebuyers will not consider a new home that doesn’t have #granite, #marble or #quartz counters.

Atlantis Granite and Marble specializes in assisting homeowners in the design and completion of their kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Come by our showroom at 3280 Peachtree Corners Circle or call us at 
678-292-6600, and we will help you through the Granite 101 process.   Visit us on the web at www.atlantisgm.com.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Choosing Exotic Stones

Exotic Granites

When selecting granite many of us are gravitating toward the more exotic #stones for our own homes.  So how do you select an exotic granite?  Most of the exotic stones available for counter tops tend to come from other countries rather than our own beloved United States. So you may want to add some of these countries to the places that you would like to visit in order to see where your kitchens, baths and other rooms come from.
Exotic stone is treated slightly different from our more common stones.  First, granite is a natural product with random veins of minerals.  It is very important that the stone slabs are sequential to maintain the color variations.  It is next to impossible to match slabs that come from different area of the quarry as the minerals vary so drastically.  Also you will want your slabs to be sliced and polished as mirror images.  This is also very important if you are doing a long run similar to the picture below.
Today Brazil is the largest exporter of exotic #granite as well as traditional colors and patterns.  India and the Scandinavian countries are also large exporters of exotic granite sold in the US today.
Scandinavian Countries excavate a lot of Blues and Greens.  Due to the extreme climate in Scandinavian countries the quarry window is much smaller sometimes making these exotics a little more pricey and difficult to acquire the colors within your color pallet.

When selecting an #exotic stone make sure to inspect and select the slabs yourself. Just ordering by name can really leave you disappointed. The characteristics in a quarry can change within just a few feet. By selecting your slabs and approving the template layout you can rest assured that your kitchen and other projects will be exactly what you expect.
To speak with a granite specialist call us at 678-292-6600 or contact us www.atlantisgm.com. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Truth in Advertising!

Don't be fooled by half off granite

On a popular site I recently saw a company advertising a last chance for a super deal for half off on up to 40 square feet of #granite.  The deal said the granite was normally $5,000 for 40 square foot but offered at $2,500 including installation.  If you do the math the $5,000 figure comes to $125 per square foot. There was a list of materials applicable that included many of the least expensive granites on the market. $2500 is not a deal on these materials. Most reputable granite companies would have installed first choice materials in these colors for far less than $2500 without using deceitful marketing practices.  I guess some companies can use whatever pricing strategies they want.    Do your research, granite suppliers that both over price and under price their granite are trying to draw you in for a reason.  Be an informed consumer.
For more information call us at 678-292-6600 or visit us www.atlantisgm.com

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Buy One, Get Three Free!

“Buy One –Get Three Free!”

Have you ever seen a commercial where they offer men’s suits where you buy one get two free?  You go there and pick out a suit with a price tag of $300, and then you were told that was the promo price, if you want the special that suit is $900.
Also have you ever been to the grocery store and gone to the cereal aisle to see the ‘BOGO”, buy one get one, deal on the medium sized box only to see the larger box was less pricey. 
Or have you ever gone to a car dealership looking for the great price they offered in the ad only to find that was a specific VIN number, in a certain color, that only a drug crazed hippie would want. 
If you’ve ever been upset with any of the above scenarios then be very careful with marketing practices in the #granite and #marble industry.  People are constantly advertising $17-$28 per square foot, if you have time- go see what you get for this price, these ads are to draw you in and then flip you to something else.
Sure they have something to offer at that price, but it is generally, thin, unattractive material in a contractor’s grade.  If you were shopping for blue jeans, contractor’s grade would be referred to as thirds.  A lot of things go into the determination of the grade of the material.

Despite the attempt at making granite a commodity item, by both the large retailers and the ‘chop shops’, natural stone is still the Artwork of God and Mother Nature.  However, it is not nearly as expensive as it was 25 years ago due to advances in technology.  Granite can be inexpensive without being ‘cheap’.  Before you spend your hard earned money or your tax refund on granite #countertops, do your research and don’t fall for scam tactics. Hire a quality granite company to perform your work.  Take Granite 101.  The end result will be something you will see every day for the length of time you are in your home.
For more information call us at 678-292-6600 or visit us on the web, www.atlantisgm.com.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cheapest Granite Countertops Atlanta

The beauty and effect of a quality granite job will last forever,

 however, poor quality and installation will do the same.

When you are searching for the cheapest granite #countertops in Atlanta consider a few things.

First ordering ‘cheap’ granite countertops is like going into a restaurant and ordering a cheap steak. You generally get what you ask for. A cheap steak is probably full of fat and gristle and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The same can be true of cheap granite countertops. They can be full of fissures and flaws and can leave a bad taste as well.

These are the things to check for when shopping for granite countertops:
1 – Are the slabs 3cm thick or are they trying to push the thin stuff off on you?
2 – Are the slabs precut ‘blanks’, causing extra seams and determining their location?
3 – Can you view or select your own slabs?
4 – Are the slabs a superior grade or a contractor grade? ‘Contractor grade’ in the stone industry is what many other businesses refer to as ‘thirds’.
5 – Do you have viewing privileges and final approval of the layout on the slab? If not, you are at the mercy of the fabricator as to the final appearance of your granite counters.
6 – Are any cutouts (sinks/cooktops) reinforced?
7 – Is the seller advertising ridiculous “bait & switch’ prices just to get you into their store?

There is a big difference between cheap and reasonable. Just because granite #countertops are not ‘cheap’ does not mean that they cannot be reasonable and/or inexpensive. Do your homework, be an informed buyer. Don’t be taken in by marketing gimmicks. Search for a handful of legitimate, quality minded granite companies and get detailed estimates to compare. You can also get a feel for the company that you would be dealing with.

Don’t fall for ‘slap and go’ companies who offer the ‘cheapest #granite countertops in Atlanta’. Be informed and make a decision that you won’t regret later.
for more information contact Mike at Atlantis Granite and Marble, 678-292-6600 or visit our website at www.atlantisgm.com.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Your Own Private Island

At a recent Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association meeting, a nationally recognized and Award winning architectural designer addressed the importance of the #kitchen island.  He referred to the island as the "heart of the kitchen". That said, most homeowners now view the island as a piece of furniture.  With the reduction of formal dining rooms and the popularity of open designs, many consumers are now leaning toward larger working - causal dining spaces.  Kitchens are now incorporating work zones rather than the old triangle concept.  Islands fit perfectly into this idea.
Most families spend a great deal of time in and around the kitchen. This is backed up by the popularity of 112 different cooking shows on TV.  Many men are now as into creative cooking, as a hobby, as women.
Builders are urged to give their buyers the 'Wow Factor' and what better place than at the kitchen island. This is a great selling feature and can be accomplished by using both creative design and exotic materials, including #granite and #marble.
Why not create your own private island?
Call us at 678-292-6600 or visit our website at www.atlantisgm.com

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Granite - Artwork of God and Mother Nature

Granite and Marble are the artwork of God and Mother Nature.  The fact that modern technology has made natural stone affordable for the masses has made stone countertops a necessity to most realtors.  Realtors will tell a potential seller that the two key things to selling a home are (1) Outside - curb appeal and (2) inside - the kitchen and baths. The key to upgrading a kitchen is to replace the counter top and the appliances.  Keep one thing in mind when replacing laminate or solid surface with stone countertops, this is not some man made creation poured up in a vat.  Every stone slab has a uniqueness all its own.  Your selection of the right material is like shopping for a painting or a piece of antique furniture.  The end result is a statement.
Many granite suppliers have tried to make stone countertops into a discount store commodity. IT IS NOT!  Although now reasonably priced, it is still a luxury item.  Informed house buyers can tell the difference between a ‘slap and go’ granite job and a quality custom project.  Many of these chop shops advertise ridiculous prices just to draw consumers in and then try to ‘switch them up’ once they realize what they are getting.  Granite can be affordable without being cheap!
‘Cheap’ normally signifies poor quality. Don’t fall for this.
As you start your granite shopping do your research, ask questions, study granite 101, and be informed. The result will be a final product that is one that you can both live with and enjoy, or one that will help promote the sale of your property.