the best areas to save money in your kitchen re design

Save VS Splurge: The Kitchen

What are the best areas to save money, and splurge on in your kitchen design? Join us as we walk you through how you can get the look of this contemporary kitchen, and where we saved and splurged on the interior finishes. 

Featured Showhome: Pacesetter Homes ‘Tallin’ model in Desrochers – 2738 Donaghey Crescent SW, Edmonton

The Cabinetry Colors & Hardware

In this kitchen, our designer went with a two-toned cabinetry option. Doing a two-toned cabinet gives your kitchen more dimension and brings interest to the cabinets. This style is also a key component to a contemporary or even a modern farmhouse look. 
Upper Cabinets: Camp White | Lower Cabinets: Mistral

The Save

Thermofoil Cabinet Material

Thermofoil is a lower cost  option when compared to wood or painted cabinetry. 

Thermofoil cabinetry is made using vinyl that is heated & pressurized onto an MDF core, leaving you with a durable finish that is easy to clean. 

The Splurge

Upgraded Lower Cabinet Color

To achieve the two toned look, an upgraded color was used on the lower cabinetry. 

The lower cabinet color also has texture to it, giving it a similar appearance to a wood cabinet.

the best areas to save money in your kitchen re design

Upgraded Cabinet Hardware

Changing you cabinet hardware is a splurge that is well worth it. It’s a lower cost upgrade that really delivers. It allows you to really match the finish and style to the rest of your house, and tie everything together.

Cabinet Hardware Style: Matte Black | 80112890

The Backsplash and Hoodfan

The overall style of this kitchen is modern minimalism with natural tones and textures found in nature. Therefore, the backsplash tile chosen is a hand made and glazed tile, and really embraces the style of the kitchen. 

The Save

Regular Ceramic Tile

You can still achieve a similar look by using a regular ceramic tile. Use a tile that is the same size, 5×5 square, and find a color that would mimic the natural hues. 

You can opt to not do a chimney hoodfan and/or tile to the ceiling which will save some money!

The Splurge

Hand Made & Hand Glazed Tile

This 5 x 5 square tile has a unique look to it due to it’s hand glazed technique. It adds to the natural feel of the kitchen. 

Additionally, we added a chimney hoodfan and took the tile right to the ceiling to add height to the kitchen. 

The Cabinet Height

Taking your cabinets all the way to the ceiling not only adds height to the space, but provides more storage space too!
the best areas to save money in your kitchen re design

The Save

Adding a Cabinet Riser

If you don’t want to spend the money to extend the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling, you can still achieve the same look by adding a cabinet riser. This is essentially a cabinet panel instead of a whole cabinet. You won’t get the same storage but you will get the sleek look!

The Splurge

Extending the Cabinetry to the Ceiling

If you want that sleek, contemporary look extending the cabinets to the ceiling is a great way to achieve that. In addition, it gives the room added height and gives you added storage! 

Our designer also chose to add a built in wine rack to this kitchen. Which is a completely, 100% justifiable splurge. 

The Countertop & Kitchen Sink

These 2 items are most likely the most used products in your kitchen. 
the best areas to save money in your kitchen re design
Quartz: 3/4″ Thick | Color: Concrete

The Save

3/4″ Quartz Countertops

Going with a thinner quartz will still give you the same durability and glossy finish as a thicker solid surface product, however there is limited color availability. But otherwise there really is no difference!

The Splurge

1 – 1/4″ Quartz Countertops

Adding in a thicker countertop opens it up to way more options in both the color and material department. With a 1-1/4″ thickness you can choose from either quartz or granite, and a large array of colors. 

Bonus! The Kitchen Sink

Many people think that if you go with a thinner quartz, you can’t then have an undermount sink. But that’s not true! So if you want to splurge a bit in this area, you can choose an undermount sink and still save on the countertop! 

We hope this article helped you in designing your own kitchen! For more information on any of the products used, please feel free to send us an email. Thank you!

kitchen plumbing

Kitchen Plumbing

When it comes to adding faucets and sinks to your kitchen there are so many options you can choose from. In this blog we breakdown all of the different variations of kitchen faucets, the benefits of a soap dispenser and explain what a pot filler really does (and why you need one!). 

Kitchen Faucets : 4 Things to Look For

Align Spring | Matte Black

Choosing the faucet for your kitchen should be an easy task. I mean, you just turn it on and off, right? Wrong! These days a kitchen faucet is so much more than just a tool to get water from. It’s a statement. It can have personality, style and can make or break the overall design of your kitchen. 

With most kitchen’s being an open concept, and most sinks being in the island, your kitchen faucet should stand out. It is literally in the middle of the room, on display for everyone to see. 

1) The Finish

This choice is pretty easy. Generally when you pick the finish of your faucet, it is to match the style of your home and the other finishes. If you have chrome hardware, you will probably go with a chrome faucet. 

BUT! Mixing metals is very on trend right now. So don’t be afraid to pop in a black matte faucet with chrome hardware. Even some faucets have a combination of finishes in the same unit. The Sinema faucet for example has the option of adding a gold handle to the black matte faucet. 


Spot Resist Stainless

Brushed Gold

Black Matte

Black Stainless

2) The Style

Now that you know the finish, it’s time to pick the style. Do you want something more traditional, or super sleek and modern. Or maybe somewhere in between? Do you want a low-arc faucet, or a high-arc faucet. How about an ‘in your face’ industrial look, or something a bit more refined? Here are a few of our favorite styles. 

One thing to note though – not all finishes come in all styles! 

The ‘Spring’

There are a few collections available in the ‘Spring’ style. The spring style is effectively just adding a higher arc, and a coiled spring on top. This really gives the faucet an industrial, edgy look or even a modern farmhouse feel. 

The collections we offer with the ‘Spring’ style are:




3) The Handle

The on and off handle. Simple right? Not if you don’t want it to be! Some styles will have the handle on top of the faucet. Most styles now have it on the side though. It all depends on the look you are going for, as well as what is more comfortable to you. 

One of the really cool features though is that on a few select styles you get 2 different styles of interchangeable handles. So depending on your mood, swap it out for a new look! 

Check out these unique faucet handles available at designQ.

Nio: Chrome or Matte Black Handle

4) The Tech

If you really want to impress your family, friends, kids, even the dog, then you need to get the U by Moen Smart Faucet. This mind blowing feature is available on most Moen faucets, and allows you to literally talk to your faucet. Click below to view the specs on it. It’s seriously cool. 

If you don’t want to go this crazy with technology, you can always opt for the simple motion sense feature. By simply waving your hand in front of the faucet, you can turn it on or off. Simple, yet still cool. 

Pot Fillers: Why you Need One!

If you have never heard of a pot filler before, and honestly most people have not, let me introduce you to your new best kitchen friend. 

The pot filler is a faucet that goes above your stove, or on the counter beside your stove, and essentially enables you to fill your pots without having to lift them from the sink to the stove. GENIUS. Back saved. 

Now, there is one thing to keep in mind if you want one of these in your home. Unless you add in extra framing behind the wall, you can’t have one installed on an exterior wall. Reason for this – Winter. The pipe will simply freeze in the winter if it’s on an outside wall. 

Modern Pot Filler

Traditional Pot Filler

Soap Dispensers: 4 Big Benefits

Why should you add a soap dispenser to your kitchen plumbing arsenal? Well, our designers love a soap dispenser for these reasons:

  1. Cleanliness. And not just because it’s a ‘soap’ dispenser. It unifies the rest of your kitchen plumbing, and ties everything together into a nice little chrome bow. You won’t have any messy random soap bottles cluttering up your counters – especially for those of you with a kitchen sink in the middle of an island. 
  2. Convenience. An average soap bottle is around 8.75 fl/oz. The refillable soap bottle that comes with a soap dispenser is 18 oz. So you will have to refill it less often! 
  3. Cost Effective. Unless you really love your fancy, yummy smelling soaps, having a soap dispenser can actually save you money. By buying a large bulk bottle of soap to fill up the soap dispenser, instead of many smaller bottles, it can help you save money. 
  4. Environmentally Friendly. The soap dispensers have easy to refill bottles, meaning you won’t throw as many smaller plastic ones out! 
kitchen cabinet design

Kitchen Cabinet Design

One of the many benefits to building a new home is that, if you choose to, you can really customize the layout and overall use of your kitchen cabinet design. After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home so why not make it fit your family and lifestyle?

We’ve separated the kitchen cabinet design ideas into 3 sections – The Layout, The Look and The Function. Read on to see some examples on popular upgrades in these 3 categories. 

Standard Cypress Kitchen

Modified Cypress Kitchen

The Layout

When building a new home with a Qualico Builder, you will always start off with a standard kitchen layout for each model. This layout is essentially the footprint of the kitchen, showing where the cabinets and appliances will be located. 

But what if you want extend the island by 2′? Or maybe you have your heart set on a cooktop range and built in oven? All of these changes and more are all possible with our Cabinetry Design team from Gem Cabinets! 

Popular Layout Changes

Cooktop Range

Adding a cooktop range to your kitchen gives you more storage space and a sleeker look. 

If doing a cooktop though you will need to also have a built in oven and microwave cabinet too!

Built in Oven & Microwave

You don’t need to have both of these built in, but you can! Most times our clients will opt for a built in microwave in either a perimeter cabinet or even in the island. If you are doing a cooktop range though, the Trinity showhome in McConachie shows you how that layout could look!

Tall Pantry Cabinet

If your floorplan doesn’t come with it’s own separate pantry, then you may want to add in a pantry cabinet to your kitchen. 

This cabinet in the Virginia Showhome in Secord has a large inside area to hide all your soup cans and more.

The Look

You don’t always need to make a big layout change to make a big impact to your kitchen. 

Often times our clients choose to do 1 or 2 small changes to their kitchen that still provide a stunning end result that you will want to show off. 

Popular Kitchen Upgrades

Wood Hood

A ‘Wood Hood’ is essentially a custom wood cover made to fit overtop of, and conceal, a hoodfan.

There are numerous styles of wood hoods available, but we love this custom slatted design done in one of our recent Pacesetter showhomes, the Cypress in Griesbach. 

Furniture Style Island

Re-designing your kitchen island to resemble a piece of furniture is a great option to add a focal point to the space. 

The freestanding island in the Cypress Showhome in Griesbach still offers an eating bar, as well as extra storage.  

kitchen cabinet design

Glass Cabinet Doors

Adding a few glass cabinet doors to your kitchen gives the space a bit of sophistication and elegance, and can really help to open up a smaller space. 

StreetSide Developments Abbey Showhome in Tamarack.

Open Shelves

Another great option for your cabinets is to convert the bottom half of a normal cabinet into an open shelf, as seen here in the StreetSide Developments Harley showhome in Cy Becker. 

This allows you to still have enclosed storage, but also a bit of display area as well.

kitchen cabinet design

Built In Wine Rack

There are so many different versions of built in wine racks that are available, but we love this one in the Calypso showhome in Jensen Lakes. It sits behind glass cabinet doors, and as plenty of space for plenty of wine 😉 

The Function

While it’s true our kitchens need to look good, they also need to function well! These types of upgrades are often hidden from plain sight, but remember it’s what’s inside that counts.. 

Check out these popular functionable upgrades that you can add to your kitchen!

Pot & Pan Drawers

Adding pot & pan drawers is a must. If you’ve ever had a home with them, you know you can’t go back. These pull out drawers are ideal for larger items such as, well pots & pans! 

The Calypso showhome in Keswick Landing.

Spice Pull Outs

Now this is something we can get behind! Spice pull outs can be added to upper or lower cabinetry, and they work great close to the range for easy reach while cooking! 

Double Garbage Pull Outs

Hate having garbage bins out in the open? Why not upgrade a base cabinet to house them! Not only can you contain your garbage to it’s own area, but you can easily separate your trash and recyclables. 

Slide Out Trays

Have you ever tried to reach for something way in the back of a cupboard, and end up knocking over half of the other items? The solution – slide out trays! Replace a base cabinet or add these to a tall pantry cabinet. They provide easily accessible drawers tucked away within the cabinet itself. 

Click here to check out all our cabinetry options that are available to client’s of designQ. As always, if you have any questions drop a comment below! 

kitchen countertop

Kitchen Countertop Comparison

The countertop is probably one of the most under appreciated things in your home. Aside from your flooring, it’s a surface that gets used quite often for a variety of things. You want your countertop to be able to hold up to the rigors of everyday life from cooking, baking to seeing all manner of spills and stains. Before selecting your countertop, read below to find out the pro’s and con’s between the 3 main types offered at designQ – Granite, Quartz & Butcher Block. 

granite countertops
Granite Countertops
quartz countertops
Quartz Countertops
butcher block counters
Butcher Block Countertops

Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone mined from quarries all around the world, then polished and finished to shine. Each slab brings unique characteristics, colors and movement. 

Granite Countertops have a natural beauty and aesthetic to them that will help your kitchen really stand out, and will last many years. However, as with most natural materials, there are some drawbacks to think about as well. 


  • Granite is a very hard material and is not easily scratched, marked or dented. In fact, it can often dull knife blades if used to cut items on. 
  • Granite is extremely heat resistant, although it’s not recommend to place a hot pot or pan on it for too long. While it can take the heat without being damaged or weakened you still want to use caution as it may mark the surface. 
  • Granite can be resistant to stains and won’t absorb liquids when properly sealed. Sealing your granite countertops is easy to do yourself and should be done once a year. 
  • Granite Countertops offer 5 different edge profiles to choose from, giving your countertops an even more unique look if desired!


  • Granite is a porous material. Which means if it is not sealed correctly, or not regularly re-sealed, if can start to absorb liquids producing a stain that may be impossible to remove. It’s important to re-seal your granite countertops on a yearly basis.
  • A poorly sealed countertop can also harbor bacteria in it’s pores.
  • Because Granite is a natural material the colors and movement pattern is all natural. You will not be able to accurately predict the exact pattern that will be installed in your home, and it will be similar but not an exact match to the sample seen when you picked it out. 
  • Granite can be on the more expensive side, and only comes in 1 thickness – 1 1/4″. 
Photo: Pacesetter Homes Cypress Showhome in Griesbach
Island: Terra White Granite
Perimeter: Antique Brown Granite

Quartz Countertops

Quartz Countertops are a man-made, non porous stone made up of natural ground quartz and a small percentage of polymer resins to make it very durable.

One thing to know about Quartz Countertops is the quartz part is a natural mineral, and is considered to be the most abundant material on Earth. The man made part comes in on how the countertops are manufactured. Read below for the pro’s and con’s of a quartz countertop.


  • Quartz Countertops are extremely durable and will not easily crack, scratch or chip with normal everyday use.
  • Quartz Countertops are non-porous so no liquid will be absorbed. 
  • Unlike Granite, you do not need to seal quartz countertops! They are easily maintained with just soap & water!
  • Quartz countertops are stain resistant, although not stain proof. It’s still important to clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage.
  • Quartz Countertops will have a more uniform, clean, sleek look to them.
  • Some quartz countertops come in 2 different thicknesses! So if you want to save a bit of money, a 3/4″ thickness may be just right for you. It still has all the same pro’s to it, just costs a little less! 3/4″ thick quartz can still accommodate an undermount sink as well.


  • Even though we mentioned a more uniform look as a Pro, it can also be a con if you want your home to have a more unique look to it. Because Quartz Countertops are man-made there is not a lot of uniqueness to them, and will look similar to every other quartz countertop on the block. 
  • Seams can tend to be a bit more noticeable than Granite, because of the lack of movement and texture in the material.
  • The resin & polymer fillers in Quartz are not heat resistant. Exposing quartz countertops to hot cookware could melt the resins and cause permanent discoloration and damage. 
  • UV Light will fade the pigments in Quartz countertops, so ensure you have window coverings installed. Because of this, Quartz countertops are not recommended for outdoor use. 
quartz countertops
Photo: Sterling Homes Thomas Showhome in Kinglet Gardens
Countertop: Winterburn 3/4″ Quartz

Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher Block Countertops are made right here in Edmonton, Alberta using North American hardwoods. These countertops are ideal for both residential and commercial applications, and they really give a beautiful and unique accent to any kitchen. 

Available in 7 different wood species, these countertops are food safe, waterproof and maintenance free. The supplier used by designQ has the following pro’s and con’s about their butcher block countertops:


  • The butcher block countertop is finished with a proprietary technology that gives you a food safe, waterproof and maintenance free countertop
  • Butcher Block countertops are very versatile! They can be used for countertops, benches, desks, mantles and so on! 
  • For every countertop sold, a tree is planted in partnership with OneTreePlanted.
  • These countertops are locally made by artisan woodworkers right here in Edmonton! 
  • Only North American hardwoods are used as they hold up to our ever changing climate far more than exotic woods can. 


  • Even though it is water resistant, wood is still a naturally porous product, no matter how well it’s finished. Try to avoid prolonged contact with water. If you see a spill, clean it up right away to avoid damage to the wood. 
  • Butcher Block countertops can tend to run on the more pricey side of things. Which is why adding a small accent to an island, or workspace is best. 
  • Butcher Block is essentially a giant cutting board, and it reacts the same when you cut on it. Over time, it will start to show cut marks if used as such. 
  • It may not be as durable as a stone, such as granite or quartz. Avoid excessive impact as the wood may compact under pressure. 
  • Be careful to keep out of direct sunlight or heat for prolonged periods of time as it will alter the appearance of the woodwork.
butcher block counters
Photo: StreetSide Developments Fremont Showhome in Crystallina
Main Countertop: Winterburn 3/4″ Quartz
Butcher Block:
kitchen cabinets

The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Cabinets Selection

When selecting your kitchen cabinets there are a few key things to choose – the material, the color and overall use of the cabinets! Each category has several different options too which can make it all a bit overwhelming. 

Using this guide to kitchen cabinets selection you will be able to make an informed and confident choice for your kitchen design. 

Kitchen Cabinets Material

There are really 4 main types of kitchen cabinet materials available today. 

Thermofoil Cabinets

Color: Camp White
Style: Shaker

Thermofoil cabinetry is a man made material using vinyl that is heated and pressurized onto an MDF core leaving you with a durable finish that is easy to clean. There are many colours and finishes available. 

Durable and easy to clean
Offers a subtle texture
Consistent in color

Not repairable. If you get a chip, then the whole door will need to be replaced
Not a lot of variety in the design – more contemporary, less traditional

Photo: StreetSide Developments | Virginia Showhome | Secord
Vanilla ; Shaker Door Style
Island & Pantry: Henna ; Monaco Door Style

Wood Cabinets

Color: Cape Cod
Species: Maple

Wood cabinetry is a natural material available in many different wood species. The most common species are Maple and Oak. Other more exotic species of wood include Alder, Walnut, Cherry and Hickory. There are now eco friendly woods such as Bamboo that can be used for cabinetry too. Read the pro’s and con’s of each wood species in the next section!

Is repairable to small nicks and scratches.
More style options from contemporary to traditional and in between!

More variations in the color because it is a natural product

Photo: Sterling Homes | Jannat Showhome | Laurel Crossing
Color: Hazelnut
Species: Maple

High Density Fiberboard (HDF) Cabinets

Color: Agreeable Grey

High Density Fiberboard (HDF) is an engineered wood product. It is made by breaking down softwood into wood fibers, and combining them with a wax and resin binder. It is then solidified with high temperature and pressure to make a strong, durable substrate. 

Gives a consistent and smooth finish – perfect for painted doors
Strong and durable product that will prevent cracking in the painted finish


Does not have a natural wood grain aesthetic

Photo: Pacesetter Homes | Quincy Showhome | Summerwood
Upper Cabinets:
Artistic White
Lower Cabinets: Custom Paint Color | Eclipse SW6166

Acrylic Cabinets

Color: Dark Grey

Acrylic is a non-toxic finish applied to an HDF cabinet that gives a perfectly smooth texture and a high-gloss appearance.

Visually appealing with a mirror like finish
Very durable material and easy to maintain for long lasting shine


Need to clean regularly as they show every fingerprint, dirt and stain mark
More prone to scratches in comparison to the other materials

Photo: Sterling Homes | Wessex Showhome | Langdale

Wood Cabinet Species

There are a ton of different types of wood species in the world, but that doesn’t mean they all make for good cabinet material! Use the comparison chart below to see which wood species might be a good fit for your kitchen. 

Upgrading your wood cabinet species has a lot to do with the desired look for your kitchen.  The woodgrains and colors of each species define it, and so it all depends on the style you are going for! Maple will have a very soft, subtle look while Alder and Cherry will show more pronounced wood grains. As for Bamboo and Echo Wood – those are both made from sustainably grown forests.  

Painted Cabinets

If you choose to go with a painted cabinet, you have options here too!  Our painted cabinets are made with High Density Fiberboard (HDF) as it offers a smooth clean surface to really make the paint color pop. After the paint is applied it is finished with an industrial topcoat to seal it all in and prevent cracking. 

Once you’ve picked your paint color you can then choose the type of top finish you would like on it, if any! 

Opaque Finish

Opaque finish is a solid painted finish, showing no texture or grain. Available in 12 colors.
Color: Mission White

Glazed Finish

Glazed finish adds to an opaque painted cabinet, and is done to accentuate the detail on the cabinet. Available in 4 glaze colors.
Color: Mission White with Pewter Glaze

Brush Stroke Finish

Brush stroke finish is a 7 layer process that is hand painted stroking in various shades to to give the color depth.
Color: Silver Fox

Click here to check out all our cabinetry options that are available to client’s of designQ. As always, if you have any questions drop a comment below! 

kitchen design

5 Steps to a Stunning Kitchen Design

The kitchen is the heart of the home. So it can feel like a big task to design your dream kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be! At designQ, you not only get an interior designer to help walk you through the process, but you also get a dedicated cabinetry designer from Gem Cabinets. With a power team like that helping you out, you will be confident in your kitchen design. 

Our designers have put together 5 steps to follow for a spectacular kitchen design. Read on to see how easy it is! 

kitchen cabinet design

Step 1: Appliances

Always start any kitchen design or redesign with picking your appliances. Most appliances come in a standard size, and most kitchen layouts are set up to accommodate those sizes. However, if you are wanting to do some more custom items in your kitchen, then it’ best to get them picked out so you can make changes to your cabinet layout. 

Some common custom appliance changes include:

  • Wider range or cooktop
  • Built in ovens or microwaves
  • Chimney or wood hoodfans
  • Larger fridges

So step 1 – head to the appliance store! You can get the dimensions of your chosen appliances, which you should bring with you to any kitchen design consultation. 

Step 2: Cabinets

Now that you know the size of appliances that will be in your kitchen, you can move on to the fun stuff! 

When it comes to selecting your kitchen cabinets there are many different options to consider. Our designers recommend starting with the material of cabinet you would like. Once you have that selected, then you can move onto color and door style. Below we have laid out the 4 most common materials our client’s select at designQ. Click here to learn more about each cabinetry material!





Step 3: Cabinet Hardware & Upgrades

Once you’ve determined the color and style of your cabinetry, you can easily select cabinet hardware that will coordinate with the overall look you are going for.

At designQ we offer numerous different types and finishes of hardware. Typically most clients will choose to go with a single style, such as a handle or a knob, but you can also decide to mix and match for a more custom and unique look. 

Additionally, we also offer cup pulls, leather handles as well as touchless. The choice is yours!  

Don’t forget about…

At this time, you may also want to consider any additional cabinetry options you would like to add. A few of the most popular options right now are items such as pot & pan drawers, pull out garbage cabinets and spice drawers (or even a full spice kitchen!). There are so many amazing ideas our cabinetry designers can help you with to make your kitchen really suite your families needs. 

Step 4: Countertops

Selecting the right countertop is crucial to an effective kitchen design. You really want to balance style with the overall use of the space. If you love to cook, or have kids then you may want to consider something a little bit more durable and with more movement in the pattern to hide the occasional scruffs and scratches. If you really want your kitchen to shine, and don’t use it all that much then maybe you want to go with something brighter and more simple. See below the 3 main types of countertops at designQ.



butcher block countertops

Butcher Block

Step 5: Kitchen Plumbing

One of the last things to add for your kitchen design is the plumbing. These can include items such as:

  • Kitchen Sinks
  • Kitchen Faucets
  • Pot Fillers
  • Soap Dispensers
  • Bar or Prep Faucet

Now that you have your kitchen style, colors and additions done, choosing your plumbing is easy peasy. There are of course numerous different options to pick from in all of the categories. Check out below to see the top 3 options our clients choose.

Align | Matte Black
Horizon U Double Bowl | Anthracite

Kitchen Sinks

Stainless Steel
Top Mount or Undermount

Top Mount or Undermount

Apron Front

Kitchen Faucets

Main Faucets

Bar / Prep Faucets

Pot Fillers

We hope this guide has helped you understand the overall steps to designing your dream kitchen! Be sure to check out our website to view all of the options you can pick for your kitchen, as well as some really useful FAQ’s. 


Will Your Silgranit Sink Stain or Scratch?

Silgranit sinks are extremely popular right now. They are super durable, they look great and they come in a variety of styles. 

But a question we get asked a lot from our clients is “It looks great, but does it scratch easily?” or, “The lighter color is beautiful but I’m sure it will stain, right?”.

So we decided to put it to the test! Watch the video below as a 3 day old stain comes right out, and scratches disappear like they were never there! 

Want to learn more about Silgranit? Check out our blog where we talk about the best kitchen sink materials, and the differences between Silgranit and Stainless Steel. 


Best Kitchen Sink Materials

Choosing the right kitchen sink for your new home can be a very important decision. Think about it – you will literally use it every day. From washing the dishes and hands, scrubbing your veggies clean, draining boiling hot pasta water – your kitchen sink will have a significant impact on your day to day life. 

Food prep, washing and even cutting are important tasks that can be very efficient, and even enjoyable, with the right kitchen sink. 

There are 2 materials that are more mainstream and available at designQ – Stainless Steel and Silgranit. But how do you know which material is right for you and your family? Read below as we explore the most important factors you should look at when deciding between the two.

Material & Durability

The kitchen sink is an item that gets used ALL the time in a home. So it makes sense that you would want it to be durable and long lasting.  

Stainless Steel

Made from a premium quality stainless steel that features 18 gauge steel and an 18/10 chrome-nickel combination.

Stainless Steel sinks are resistant to heat, rust and calcium deposits. 

What does a “chrome-nickel” content mean? It refers to the percentage of chrome & nickel in the sink’s stainless steel. Chrome gives Stainless Steel it’s luster & durability, while nickel provides hardness & strength. All Blanco sinks contain 18% chrome and 10% nickel, offering superior durability and corrosive resistance.

Horizon Double Bowl | White


Silgranit is a patented granite composite material made up to 80% natural granite. This finely ground granite is blended with a high-quality source of acrylic, and then blended with specially selected pigments. The pigments colour the material all the way through so your sink color will not fade. 

Silgranit is extremely strong, making it impact & scratch resistant. If you scratch a fork or knife on the surface of a Silgranit sink, the sink will actually grind down the metal of the utensil. See below for how to easily remove any scratches!

Also check out our vlog where we put it to the test!

Maintenance & Cleaning

Adding yet another item to the cleaning checklist probably isn’t your idea of fun. 

‘ain’t nobody got time for that. Am I right? So how easy is it to clean and maintain these kitchen sink materials?

Essential U 1.5 Bowl | Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

The surface is non-porous, which prevents dirt, bacteria and microorganisms from accumulation. It also has a natural resistance to common household acids, marks and stains. 

While stainless steel sinks do NOT rust, they could appear to. Rust stains are not a sign of sink deterioration, they are just simple deposits on the surface of the sink. 

Scrub the stains out with a mild cleanser or metal cleaner. Be sure to clean in the same direction as the grain lines in the finish!

Vision U 1.5 | Metallic Gray


With a non-porous, smooth stone surface, the silgranit sink will repel water and liquids making it stain resistant and easy to clean.

Blanco’s patented Hygienic+Plus surface protection formula reduces bacteria growth by an average of 98%, making it safe for contact with food.

Low maintenance, easy to clean with water, a sponge, baking soda and a bit of elbow grease!

Additional Benefits

Each material has it’s own unique set of benefits too. Not all sinks are created equal!


Stainless Steel

An additional benefit to stainless steel is that each sink has a sound deadening pad applied. The material is also heat resistant. 

All Blanco stainless steel sinks are manufactured in Germany to exacting standards of precision. 

Metra 8 S | Anthracite


An additional benefit to Silgranit sinks is that they are heat resistant! They will not burn up to 280 C / 536 F, exceeding common boiling or baking temperatures. 

All Blanco Silgranit sinks are proudly made in Canada.

Styles & Colors

While this section is not really related to the best kitchen sink material, it’s still important to know what the options are when it comes to looks, right? I mean yes it needs to be durable but it also needs to be PRETTY and FUNCTIONAL. So let’s look at the options. 

While stainless steel sinks are available in only 1 color – steel, there are multiple style options to choose from.

Adding colour to your sink space can have a surprising impact on your kitchen. Silgranit sinks come in 9 timeless colors. 

They also come in a variety of styles:

Bonus Material - Ceramic Fireclay

I wanted to tell you about another awesome material you can get for your kitchen sink.

Ceramic Fireclay. 

This type of material is only available in 1 style – an apron front, farmhouse sink. But it’s so worth mentioning because it is STUNNING. It adds an old world charm, but in a modern way. 

Hand finishing techniques and high firing temperatures used during the production result in a smooth, glossy surface. This makes it beautiful and easy to clean. 

For everyday dirt and grime you can use mild dish soap with warm water & a soft cloth. For harder to clean stains it’s recommended to use a 50/50 water & bleach solution or non-abrasive cleaner. 

Now What?

Now that you have learned about the differences between Stainless Steel and Silgranit, click here to check out the available options at designQ. 

Have questions? Excellent! Send us an email or comment below and we would be happy to answer them for you.