Countertops and the Environment

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Choosing a kitchen or bathroom countertop is often about aesthetic value, durability and of course the price. However, these are not the only aspects that you should consider. A socially responsible homeowner should consider the impact of the countertop material on the environment and health. There are some countertop materials which are environmentally friendly while some materials are not safe for the environment. It is your responsibility to not to promote the use of materials that are dangerous to environment.

Choosing the environmentally friendly countertops

If you think that environmentally friendly countertop materials will not look good or will be expensive or will require more maintenance, then you are wrong. There are fantastic countertop materials which are not only environmentally friendly, but also fulfill needs and requirements of homeowners.

Natural stone countertops

Marble and granite are the most popular countertop materials. The good thing about these natural stones is that they are environmentally friendly. These countertop surfaces last for long period of time and are fully recyclable. However, process and transportation of these countertops requires a lot of energy, which is a big toll on environment.

Engineered quartz countertops

Engineered quartz is a manmade countertop material which consists of 90% quartz. This material utilizes polyester resin and pigments to get colors. The impact of quartz on environmental is low, as the raw materials are locally sourced, and fabrication also done locally. Thus, this manmade countertop is quite good in terms of environment friendliness.

Concrete countertops

Many homeowners think of concrete as a standard dray material, but painted concrete countertops are actually beautiful. Concrete is a good countertops material due to its to heat and scratch resistant quality. Manufacturing cement needs considerable energy and the concrete countertop processing create a lot more pollution than most countertop materials. The processing of the concrete countertop is not good for environment.

Wood countertops

Wood countertops are aesthetically pleasing. While cutting down trees may appear not safe for environment, but most wood countertops come from forests and made from fast growing tree species such as bamboo. Bamboo countertops are one of the most environmentally friendly countertops. However, their transportation is a big toll on the environment.

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Increase the Life of Your Granite Kitchen Counters

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When it comes to kitchen countertops, every home improvement magazine and website approves natural stone countertops and backsplashes are all the rage. Many newly renovated kitchens features environmentally friendly granite countertops. During the process for selecting new kitchen countertops, you may want something durable, stylish, low-maintenance and budget-friendly. Granite meets all these requirements because granite is extracted from the surface of the earth. This countertop material can withstand both cold and hot temperatures, as well as extreme pressure before cracks or chips.

How to Maintain Granite Countertops

After granite countertop installation, you should know how to maintain the granite surface. While granite is a durable surface, just like all natural stones, if you fail to provide the right care to the surface, it will start to break down at faster rate. Granite deterioration will become apparent with signs such as cracks, stains, and surface blemishes. Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain the granite countertops and increase their lifespan:

Understanding the benefits of granite sealers

Granite is a porous material. It absorbs moisture from spills. That is why granite sealing is required. Granite countertop sealing not only helps countertop to look good, but it also keeps mildew and bacteria from soaking into the seams. The seam is the area where two granite slabs are joined against each other.

Preparing granite counters for a routine cleaning

Once your countertop is sealed, you will have to learn how to keep it clean. Before you actually start cleaning your granite countertop, scrub off all crumbs and ensure that you are able to reach all areas of the countertop. Then clean the surface with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Using mild cleaning agent

Harsh chemicals can destroy the sealing and eventually granite surface. Thus, it is always advisable to use mild cleaning agents to clean the granite kitchen counters. You can opt for the homemade and environmentally friendly cleaners for this purpose.

Clean spills as soon as you can

Cleaning spills as soon as they come into notice is always a good idea. In case something acidic spills on the countertop, you can minimize the damage to countertop by cleaning it right away.

 

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Cleaning Countertop Surfaces

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Countertops are a large investment for a kitchen or bathroom. They are functional as well as decorative units that come in various surface types. No matter what type of countertop surface you have, they will ultimately need to be cleaned. Every countertop surface has its own unique cleaning needs. Both kitchen and bathroom countertops are required to be cleaned time to time. Also, countertop cleaning is one of the mandatory tasks.

Kitchen countertop cleaning

Most countertop surfaces can be kept clean with same basic care, regardless of what type they are. But there are some countertop surfaces that require very precise care and maintenance. Along the same lines, there are countertop surfaces that should not be spilled, stained or allowed to sit on them for any extended time period. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent for laminate countertops, but it is really very bad for marble countertops. Knowing what type of material is in your kitchen, will help you knowing what you should and shouldn’t use to clean them.

Daily countertop care

Dust and dirt can scratch countertop surface. Spills that remain for too long on countertops may become extremely difficult to clean. For this reason, a daily countertop cleaning routine becomes very important. Just wipe countertop using a soft clean cloth on a day when you haven’t used your countertop. If more extensive cleaning is required, use soft cloth and soap water to clean your countertop surface. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific countertop material. Some countertop materials can be damaged by cleaning agents.

Spills can stain nearly every countertop. Porous stones that require resealing will absorb spills easily, and discolor the countertop surface. Laminated surfaces can also get discolored from spills. When a spill occurs, clean them right away. Removing spills instantly will help you protecting your kitchen counter in the long run.

Even big messes can be cleaned with basic cleaning methods. To clean your countertops, begin with the basic methods such as –dry dusting and cleaning with wet cloth. Only opt for special cleaning agents or dish soap on countertop type, if it is needed.

 

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How to replace bathroom vanity top?

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A new vanity top can add style to your bathroom décor. If your bathroom vanity looks abraded, too big or just not right for your bathroom, you can change it. Changing bathroom countertop is not as difficult as changing kitchen countertop. With the help of DIY hacks and tools, you can replace bathroom vanity top by yourself.

Install a Bath Vanity Top

Bathroom vanity top installation is a time consuming yet quite easy. However, you should get your facts clear about countertop installation before doing this task. If not handled with care, you may end up breaking your vanity or countertop.

Update Your Vanity Top

Take measurement of vanity base using measuring tape and note down the measurements. According to these measurements, buy a new vanity top. The countertop you choose will depend on the available area and your personal taste.

You will find a number of countertop materials options. Some popular vanity top materials are –granite, marble and quartz. The countertop material you choose should possess water, scratch and stain resistant quality.

When you start installing your vanity top, turn off the water supply to the bathroom. Detach the drain pipes from the sink unit with the help of a pipe wrench. Then detach the supply lines from the faucet assembly.

Use a screwdriver to reach inside the vanity base and remove the securing clips that hold the countertop in place. Remove the old countertop by lifting it and set it aside. Check drain lines and water supply pipes for damages. Change them if required before you start installing the new vanity top.

Put a level on the vanity base edges and check that level from front to back and side to side. Place the countertop on the base of vanity and level it. Fix the vanity top using a screwdriver. Install the new faucet on the vanity top by following instructions given by manufacturer. Connect the water supply lines again.

You can easily install vanity tops by following above mentioned instructions. And if you are not comfortable with installing countertop on your own, you can contact a bathroom vanity top contractor for installation.

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Choosing The Granite Countertops

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Granite is the top choice of the homeowners for kitchen countertop material. Selecting countertops usually involves a combination of inputs including the price of the countertop, look and feel of the material and kitchen décor. Every homeowner wants their kitchen to look clean and beautiful. This is the reason why granite is the most preferred kitchen countertop material.

Know granite slabs

There are many types of granite countertops available on the market. Not all granite surfaces offer the durability, finish and scratch and stain resistance capacity that a good quality granite slab offer. If you want to enjoy all the features of granite countertop, you will have to select the granite slab wisely.

Tips for choosing the best granite countertops

If you are planning to invest on granite for your kitchen the below mentioned tips might help you out:

Choose the slabs that will go in your kitchen: Do not rely on small sample slabs of stones choosing the appropriate granite for your kitchen. These samples are useful only for understanding the predominant color and pattern of the given granite but they do not tell the whole picture. Thus, you should have clear idea that how particular granite countertop pattern is going to look in your kitchen.

Don’t choose stone slabs in bright sunlight: Never ever examine granite slab in open. It is difficult to identify the actual textures and colors of the granite in bright sunshine. The same slab will look different indoors. At outdoors the colors can tend to get washed out.

Compare the price: Price of granite countertop varies. The price varies from vendor to vendor. Since purchasing granite countertop is a big investment, you should compare the price of countertops. It is possible to find price variance in same quality of granite. So, do some research before actually purchasing the granite.

Pay attention over the size of single slab: If possible, measure the size a kitchen counter to know about the availability of slab sizes in the patterns of granite you want.

Know about granite sealing: Since granite countertops demand regular sealing, you should consult this matter with the granite contractor.

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Why you should think about bamboo countertops

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Bamboo countertops have gained a lot of popularity in the recent times. Many interior decorators are preferring bamboo over convectional countertop materials such as marble, granite, quartz, tiles etc. It is because this material has its own unique charm. However, bamboo countertops are certainly an unusual choice.

Advantages of Bamboo countertops

Bamboo countertops have a big litany of advantages. These countertops are environmentally friendly. Bamboo trees grow quickly and can be harvested every year without resulting deterioration or depletion of the soil. The availability of bamboo trees help in fighting deforestation, forest degradation and illegal logging. It is present in abundant and are readily available. This makes bamboo an environmentally friendly countertop material.

Bamboo can be great as a countertop material. It is light to medium brown in color that looks beautiful in the kitchen. This material provides a rustic and classic appearance to the kitchen. You can even match your countertop with your cabinets.

You can find various textures in the bamboo countertops, from natural wooden finish to customize designs. And the most fantastic fact about bamboo countertop is that it does not change as it ages. This countertop can look beautiful for a good number of years to come.

When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, bamboo surfaces do not demand much. You just need soap and water to clean the bamboo surface. This countertop material does not get stained easily. However, cleaning countertop surface every day is a good practice to avoid stain marks.

More about Bamboo countertops

Bamboo countertops are economically friendly. This countertop material is a lot cheaper than popular countertop materials. Furthermore, the price of bamboo countertop depends on the length, width, quality and finishing of the bamboo. It means you can make adjustments according to your budget.

In order to enjoy all the features that bamboo surfaces, it is important to purchase the countertop from a reputable manufacturer. You may find many bamboo countertop contractors, but instead of choosing any random contractor, you should opt for reputable countertop company. You will not only find better quality, but more styles when you choose a good countertop company.

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Choosing the best kitchen worktop

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A lot of kitchen countertop materials are available in all shapes, colors and styles. Choosing the right countertop material is not an easy task. The countertop you install in your kitchen will set the tone for your kitchen. You should choose kitchen countertop material on the basis of: durability, look, feel and cost. It is important that your chosen material should have multiple benefits, as countertop has to bear regular wear and tear, and still has to look good all the times.

Selecting the Right Kitchen Countertops

Countertop material selection becomes easy if you truly know what you are looking for. Different countertops have different set of benefits. It is your responsibility to understand your needs and requirements clearly before choosing the kitchen worktop surface. The more precise you will be about your specifications, the better worktop surface you will be able to find. Consider following aspects about countertop material before making purchase.

How durable you need your countertop to be?

Kitchen countertop is a big investment. You definitely want that your kitchen countertop should last for years. Thus, before opting for any countertop material, check if it is durable enough to bear daily wear and tear of your busy kitchen. Granite, quartz and marble are a few durable kitchen countertop materials available on the market.

How much you are prepared to look after the countertop?

Some countertops require more maintenance, while some require lesser maintenance. It is good to consider maintenance aspects before finalizing the countertop material. For example: Granite countertops require annual sealing to maintain sheen and shine.

How countertop material looks?

Since you are investing a lot of money in countertop, you definitely want your countertop to look good. Some countertop materials have natural sheen and shine that remain as it is for years, while some countertop materials are polished. The polished countertops lose their beauty over time.

How much countertop material cost?

Kitchen countertop prices vary. In fact, you can find price variations in same material. It is because quality of the material. However, if you want to purchase the best quality at fair price, you should choose the kitchen countertop company wisely.

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Things to consider before buying bathroom countertop

marble contractorChoosing a countertop material for bathroom vanity is a daunting task. There are so many factors that you have to consider before buying the countertop material. Today a lot of bathroom countertop choices available on the market. You will find endless color, texture and material options when you look for bathroom countertop surface. Every material has its own pros and cons. The material you choose solely depends on your use and budget.

Bathroom countertop material considerations

Bathroom countertop has to bear less wear and tear as compared to kitchen countertops, but still bathroom countertop is an expensive investment. You have to be very careful while selecting the bathroom countertop surface. Some countertop materials such as granite, marble, limestone, tile, concrete etc. can be used in both kitchens and bathrooms.

In order to select the right bathroom countertop material, you have to analyze each and every aspect of the material. The use of bathroom countertop is different that of kitchen countertop. Your selected material should be capable of handling water, cosmetics, soaps, heating rods, scratches etc. without losing its shine.

Considerations before buying bathroom countertop

Sizable Samples: Before finalizing any material for your bathroom, check out its sample. Analyze the true look and feel of the material by touching it. Check if the actual color and texture of the countertop match with the existing décor of your bathroom. Many good countertop companies provide sizable samples to their customers.

Watch the Warranty: Yes, countertop materials also come with warranty. Before purchasing any countertop, discuss about the warranty with your bathroom contractor. In case, countertop breaks within warranty period, you will not have to pay for repairs. However, only good companies offer warranty.

Consider the sink mounting: Sink mounting is another important thing to consider while selecting a countertop material. Different materials go with different types of sink mounting.

Countertop Price: Countertop price varies from company to company. In order to make the best purchase, compare the prices of various countertop companies. You can also visit the countertop factory and directly order your countertop from the factory. The direct manufacturers may provide you countertop at the lower price.

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The best countertops for busy kitchens

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Kitchen countertop replacement is an affordable way of giving a fresh look to kitchen. It is somewhat like mini kitchen remodeling. A new countertop can bring new colors to your kitchen. However, choosing the new kitchen countertop material is not an easy task. There are plenty of countertops available on the market. Each material has its own pros and cons.

Buying new kitchen countertops

Who does not want to buy a countertop that looks beautiful, easy to maintain, withstand daily wear and tear, endure parties, and lasts for years. Many countertops look good, but you should invest in a countertop which can bear the load of busy kitchen. Below mentioned are the pros and cons of the three most popular kitchen countertop materials:

Quartz

Quartz is one of the most beautiful countertop materials available these days. This countertop displays a wonderful unison of colors, minerals and resin. Quartz countertops offer the look and feel of stone countertops, and yet they do not require sealing. This material is heat resistant, scratch resistant and stain resistant.

On the other side, the corners of quartz countertops may get chipped over time. And quartz countertops are quite expensive as compared to other countertop materials.

Granite

Granite is the most popular choice for kitchen countertop replacement. Granite is a natural stone and each slab of granite countertop is different from other. These countertops are available in beautiful display of colors. You can put hot pan, use sharp knife and spill oils and acids on your granite countertop. This countertop can provide you years of trouble free services.

On the other hand, granite countertops require annual sealing, and they can get chipped from corners. Also, granite countertops are quite expensive.

Marble

Marble can give you a beautiful kitchen countertop surface. Marble countertop can provide you with a stunning working surface. They are resistant to heat. Although marble countertops are not fully resistant to scratches, small scratches can be easily repaired.

On the other hand, marble countertops get stained easily. They are expensive and their maintenance cost is high. Also, there are many replicas of marble countertops available on the market, so consumers have to be very cautious while purchasing the marble countertops.

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Why Quartz Countertops Are the Hottest Kitchen Trend

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When it comes to aesthetics, every homeowner wants to make their space unique. Kitchen is a focal point of the home. It is a place where family gathers for meals and other social activities. This is the reason why homeowners do not hesitate in splurging money on kitchen remodeling. Kitchen countertop is one of the important parts of the kitchen. The countertop has to be functional as well as beautiful. It should provide practical benefits and look good.

Importance of the right kitchen countertop material

There are many countertop materials available on the market. Choosing a countertop material from the crowd of hi-tech and natural-stone countertop materials is not an easy task. Every kitchen countertop material has something different to offer. Among all, granite, marble, soap stone, quartz, bamboo and tile are trending these days.

Know about Quartz Countertops

Marble and granite have been ruling as the kitchen countertop material since a longtime. These countertops have been found in all types of kitchens. However, if you have noticed the recent kitchen countertop trends, you might have come across quartz countertops.

Unlike high-maintenance marble and granite countertops, quartz countertops are stain repellent and invulnerable to acidic foods. This material is resistant to chips and scratches. Also, quartz does not require any sealing. It looks stunning for a long period of time.

One of the biggest reasons behind increasing popularity of quartz countertops is aesthetics of man-made stone. Quartz countertops have unnaturally uniform patterns that create the variations and swirls of natural stone. This stone is way cheaper than granite and marble. Also installation of quartz is really very easy.

Quartz countertops are available in variety of colors and textures. It means you can have countertop complementing your kitchen décor. Quartz countertops look scintillating in the kitchen. With this countertop, you can give rich and royal look to your kitchen without spending a lot of money.

Since quartz is a man-made material. It is important to buy the quartz countertop from a reputable quartz countertop company. You can get all the benefits of quartz countertops only if you purchase it from the right source.

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