Can I Use Lemon On Granite Countertops?

 

soild surface countertops

Granite countertops are among the most popular materials for kitchen renovations. Since the distinctive surface has excellent durability you must be wondering whether you can use lemon on it, right?

You shouldn’t because lemon is corrosive and can etch the surfaces. The same way you should avoid using lemon on granite is the same way you should avoid using vinegar and ammonia on the surfaces.

You also should avoid using bleach to clean your surfaces. Although bleach can cure stains on sealed granite, cleaning the surfaces with a softer touch is advisable to avoid damaging your stone.

A basic daily cleaning with a granite-safe cleaner would suffice because sealed granite is already quite resistant to microorganisms. Clean your counters once a day using a paper towel or lint-free cloth and granite cleanser.

Other best practices

Besides avoiding cleaning your countertops using harsh chemicals, you should do several other things to keep your granite surfaces in top shape. These things include:

Clean the surfaces as frequently as possible

Mistakes are bound to occur, and spills happen.

When this happens, you should clean up spills as soon as they occur, whether small water stains or larger ones like coffee or wine. You should note that you shouldn’t care whether the countertops are sealed or not. It doesn’t matter. You should move with haste and get rid of the spills as soon as they happen.

You should note that your countertops may discolor in the areas where the sealant has broken down if you haven’t sealed them recently.

Dab spills with a paper towel rather than wiping them up for optimal results. After that, use water to rinse, then a cloth to dry.

Protect the surfaces from heat.

So, is it safe to place hot pans on granite worktops? Occasionally, you must put down a pan or two in a busy kitchen. Even though granite worktops can tolerate some heat, it’s not a good idea to push the material’s tolerance by frequently setting a hot pan on them.

Although granite is relatively durable, frequent heat exposure can leave hot pan stains on the surface.

To prevent heat damage on your counter, swiftly grab a buffer such as table mats or rubber, fabric, and wooden coasters instead of setting a pan or other hot object straight on it.

It could take an extra moment or two, but it’s far less expensive than replacing the countertops completely after they are irreparably damaged.

Don’t cut directly on the counters.

Cutting directly on the counter will probably not damage it, but it will dull your knives. Also, cutting raw meat and vegetables together is unsafe because the germs from the raw meat can spread to the veggies, which might not be cooked to a temperature high enough to destroy the bacteria.

You should always use a cutting board to safeguard your family’s safety and the counter’s finish and keep your blades sharp.

Never ignore liquids

You might think you have tough countertops, so you don’t need to worry when liquids spill on your surfaces. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t do this.

Granite is not porous; however, spills that remain on the surface for a long time might leave stains. Even standing water can produce a dark patch on the surface. Granite counters can also get stains from red wine, coffee, or citrus juices, which should be cleaned up once.

Although tempting, setting ornamental oil bottles on your counter can cause damage.

Oil tends to pool on the surface and flow down the container. The counter may become discolored as a result of this.

Keep any oils in the cabinet and clean up spills right away.

Keep acids away from the countertops.

When it comes to things that shouldn’t be on granite countertops, acids are among the top items to keep off of them.

Acidic solutions, meals, drinks, and even coffee and milk should always have a barrier between them and your countertops to prevent damage to the sealant.

Make sure to wipe up spills immediately to prevent these toxins from causing long-term damage to your granite.

Don’t sit on the countertops.

Granite has a strong, long-lasting surface, but it can’t support a lot of weight. This means that when you sit at the counters, chances are that you will break it. If you’re wondering if sitting on granite counters is wise, the answer is no.

Countertops are not designed with a plywood backing to support a human-sized weight, and the additional pressure might cause cracks in your stone. You don’t want this, do you?

Even though it might not happen right away, sitting—or standing—on your surface will eventually cause irreversible harm.

Many people sit on the countertops while waiting for the food to cook. Instead of sitting on the counters, you should have a seat in the kitchen where you sit as you prepare the meals.

Seal the countertops

Regular granite counter sealing helps shield your surfaces from damage and stains caused by stain-treating agents like bleach. You can seal your counters in approximately fifteen minutes with the correct product and technique.

After thoroughly washing your granite, use a granite sealer in three-foot portions. Using a fresh cloth, quickly wipe the sealer onto the countertop before polishing the surface until it dries. For optimal protection, repeat the procedure two or three times.

Parting shot

Since lemon includes calcite, it can be extremely harmful to granite. Due to this, avoid using cleaners containing lemon extract on your granite surface and use caution when utilizing lemon in your cooking.

Scrubbing cleaners should not be used on granite since they can erode the seal and expose the stone.

You should use only warm water and mild soap to clean granite. Ensure you thoroughly rinse the soap off the granite kitchen countertops Durham to avoid developing a buildup that will make your counter appear unappealing.

Is Quartz Easier to Maintain Than Granite?

In many ways, yes. While both are stone countertops, there are significant variations between quartz and granite. Granite countertops are porous and absorb liquids.

This makes them far more susceptible to stains than quartz, which is nonporous because of its manufacturing process.

On the other hand, granite is far more heat resistant than quartz. Hot pans can be placed directly on granite counters; however, hot pads or trivets are recommended for quartz worktops.

There is also long-term maintenance to consider. Granite needs to be resealed on a regular basis to prevent stains and other damage.

This entails applying a resealing substance to the surface. Quartz requires no similar long-term upkeep. While quartz cleaning supplies are commercially available, you can simply use warm water and soap.

If you’re transitioning from granite to quartz countertops—or vice versa—it’s critical to understand the fundamental differences between the two. Both have individual advantages and limitations, but there is no doubt that, overall, quartz is easier to maintain and care for.

How do you maintain quartz countertops?

While quartz is easy to maintain, it doesn’t mean you should mishandle it. You still need to take good care of it. To help you out, here are ways to maintain your quartz.

Watch the materials you use to clean the surfaces.

You should not expose quartz countertops to harsh chemicals since they can damage the surface. Avoid using bleach, oven cleaners, or any other cleaning products that contain pumice. Also, do not clean the surface with furniture polish, paint removers, silver cleaners, or oil soaps.

You should avoid using any of the following cleaning agents on your quartz countertops:

– Acid-based cleaning products.

– Alkaline cleaning products

– Products for removing nail polish and cleaning granite countertops.

– Bleach or bleach-based cleansers for ovens and stainless steel.

There are many more chemicals that can damage your quartz. As a general rule, if the packaging does not state that the product is suitable for quartz use, avoid using it on your countertop.

Don’t cut directly on the countertops.

Avoid using knives directly on quartz countertops as they are not scratch-resistant. When you put sharp objects on a countertop, you risk damaging it. Instead of sharp, abrasive objects, use a soft cloth.

Your quartz should withstand accidental knife cuts and fallen objects. However, you should make this an exception rather than the rule.

When slicing fruits or vegetables, continue to use a cutting board and avoid slamming things down onto the tabletop surface. Remember that excessive force or pressure on the surface might cause cracks or chips in the stone. And you don’t want this.

In most circumstances, cutlery will not harm the quartz as is one of the toughest stones available. However, it may damage the protective resin layer, leaving a mark so be gentle with them.

You should note that quartz knives will most certainly destroy the countertops, causing them to dull rapidly. So, avoid using them.

Take care not to stain the countertops.

No homeowner is perfect, and if you spend a lot of time cooking in your kitchen, there will be an inadvertent spill at some point. The good news is that quartz is relatively resistant to most types of stains. When discoloration occurs, you can easily remove it.

While this is the case, you should note that different types of foods may produce different results. Here’s a quick list of the most prevalent stains on quartz surfaces that you should keep a close eye on.

Spices: Colorful spices such as curry, turmeric, paprika, and chili powder can stain your countertop. Unfortunately, these are some of the most regularly spilled items while making dinner.

The good news is that the majority of this discoloration occurs on the surface. Wipe away spilled curry stains with a moist rag, and apply dish soap if necessary.

Food coloring: As a literal dye, it can discolor your quartz momentarily. You should exercise caution when using food coloring in the kitchen; wherever possible, apply food coloring to your plate while standing over the sink. If you spill food coloring on your quartz, clean it up as quickly as possible.

Tomato Sauces: As any household with discolored Tupperware knows, the combination of acidity and color in tomatoes may cause permanent stains.

If you spill tomato or chili sauce on your counters, clean it up as quickly as possible.

Keep the markers away.

Keep permanent markers away from quartz countertops. The marks can disfigure the surface, which is difficult to clear. If you see a persistent ink stain on your countertop, you should first utilize normal cleaning to remove the contaminant.

If the discoloration persists, saturate a cloth with glue remover and rub it into the stone. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the countertop with warm water to remove any cleaner residue.

Don’t place hot objects directly on the countertops

As much as quartz is tough, you should keep in mind that it is not as heat-resistant as granite countertops. If you want to save the quartz countertop’s original look, avoid placing hot things on it.

Placing a roasting pan or hot skillet directly on the surface may cause damage to the countertop.

Thermal shocks can cause cracks to grow on the surface. To protect the surface, use hot pads and trivets.

Parting shot

These are some of the ways to keep your countertops in top shape. Quartz countertops Durham, unlike granite, are not porous. This means you can clean the surface with the traditional soap and water solution.

Begin by removing any items on top of your countertop, such as appliances, cookbooks, and utensil holders. Then, using a spray bottle, clean the countertop with a mixture of dish soap and water. Dish soap is a degreaser that can assist in removing stuck-on particles.

Besides this, you should avoid placing any hot objects on the countertops as they will cause damage.

Fixing Common Marble Countertop Problems

People install marble countertops to add timeless appeal to their property. Marble has received high appreciation for its durability, gorgeous appearance, and ease of care. Unfortunately, like any other countertops, they get damaged.

Have you seen any scratches, cracks, or chips on your marble surfaces? Then you need to fix them. To help you out, here is how to go about it:

Fixing cracks, fissures, and holes

Cracks, fissures, and/or holes in marble countertops can occur for a variety of reasons. Exposure to severe temperatures, as well as dropping heavy objects on marble surfaces, can cause cracking or chipping. Inconsistencies in the marble itself can also occasionally cause fissures to form, which can eventually lead to cracks.

Cracks or chips can worsen over time, so you should have them repaired as soon as you see them.

You should note that if left untreated, the damage to the countertop may worsen to the point that you have to replace the entire piece. In extreme circumstances, marble fractures can be dangerous since a portion of the counter can break and injure someone.

For hair-like cracks, simply apply a small amount of epoxy sealer and smooth it with a putty knife. Then, using a clean, moist cloth, wipe any excess epoxy sealant from the marble.

When your marble worktop has a deep chip, it is slightly more difficult to repair the marble since you must design a filler that resembles the original marble pattern.

It’s generally difficult to handle this as a DIY project, so you need to be proficient in stonework to engage a professional marble repair specialist to restore deep chips so that the finished product matches the rest of your marble countertop.

Getting rid of stains and visible burns

Marble is also stainable, so if you have marble countertops, be cautious not to spill acidic or oily meals, as they can discolor the marble over time. If you do spill, wipe it up soon.

Unlike granite counters, marble can scorch when exposed to high temperatures—so keep hot pots and pans away from marble surfaces to avoid damage.

If any discoloration or burn marks appear, expert marble repair will be required to return the countertop to its original state.

To remove stains from the surface of your marble worktop, use tin oxide polishing powder. With minimal effort, the stains should disappear.

Removing scratches and normal wear and tear

Despite its versatility and durability, marble remains a somewhat soft stone that can be scraped and damaged by sharp items.

Over time, with frequent use (as in busy kitchens), you may notice evidence of wear and tear, such as light scratches and scuff marks. If these marks do not disappear after washing or buffing with a soft cloth, the surface likely needs to be repaired.

To cure scratches on marble surfaces, use a tin oxide substance, often known as grade polishing powder. Tin oxide is extremely effective at repairing scratches and stains on marble surfaces.

Simply apply the tin oxide powder to your scratched marble surface and use a piece of lint-free fabric to gently massage the powder in a circular motion until the scratch or stain disappears.

Getting rid of dullness from your surfaces

Marble finishes lose their lustre over time due to routine wear. You may notice that areas of your countertop that you frequently use appear duller than the rest of the surface.

When this occurs, the best approach to restore the countertop’s beauty and consistency is to have specialists perform the repairs.

Fixing broken pieces

Sometimes, marble bits break off your countertop. If this is the situation in your home, the best option is to use marble adhesive. Apply the adhesive around the hole where the piece(s) of marble has broken off and the detached piece(s).

Next, reposition the marble pieces and press down hard until they remain in place alone. Then, allow them to dry completely for 24 hours.

Once the marble adhesive has dried, use a moist cloth or sponge to remove any excess adhesive. The job is done.

How do you protect your marble from damage?

Prevention is always better than cure, so instead of spending time fixing your marble, you can protect it from damage. How do you go about it?

Treat it like wood

A good approach is to treat your marble like a high-quality wood finish. Use coasters and cutting boards to avoid drying wet dishes or glasses directly on the marble surface.

The only way to avoid marble etching and staining is to avoid contact with the chemicals and cleansers that cause these issues.

Unfortunately, accidents, spills, and catastrophes are unavoidable in every kitchen.

If you spill something, clean it up promptly. Do not let it sit on the stone.

If you discover any markings after washing the countertop, the marble has likely been stained or etched.

Seal your marble

Marble is a soft and porous stone; therefore, you should keep it protected to prevent scratches and stains.

You should drop several drops of water on the countertop to test the surface. Return to the spot in five to ten minutes. If the drips remain, the surface is still well sealed; if the drops have dissolved, it is time to reseal.

When your marble requires resealing, you can do it yourself (DIY). You only need to ensure that you use premium silicone sealer.

Besides sealing the surfaces by yourself, it’s also wise to have your marble countertops professionally sealed every 3-5 years, depending on how much wear and tear they have.

If you see a lot of stains and etches, it’s time to contact the professionals.

Clean the surfaces regularly.

You should regularly clean your surfaces. When doing it, avoid using acidic or abrasive cleansers, which might cause surface damage. Instead, use pH-neutral cleaners, such as gentle dish soap or cleaners made specifically for marble.

The beauty is that you don’t need any special skills to clean your marble kitchen countertops Durham. You also don’t need to hire a professional to help you out. You can easily clean your home by yourself.

How Can You Tell Good Quality Granite When Buying Your Countertops?

When you buy granite countertops, you’re making a long-term investment. Due to this, you need to be cautious when making the purchase. To help you out, here is how to tell that you are buying high-quality granite:

Check the thickness of the countertops.

A significant portion of granite’s cost can be attributed to its natural form when taken from the earth. Granite solidifies into enormous slabs. Once harvested, these massive blocks must be transported to a manufacturing plant, where workers chop them into commercially viable pieces.

Many producers cut some parts too thin to maximize their granite yield. When granite is excessively thin, its durability suffers, resulting in poorer-quality granite that scuffs more easily and needs to be replaced years sooner than thicker pieces.

High-quality granite countertops must be 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick. So, you should measure the thickness of your countertops when buying and ensure they are the right size.

Find out the origin of the countertops.

No location can claim a monopoly on the granite industry. It can be found worldwide, from China to Europe and the Americas. Granite’s provenance does not always define its quality. However, the country of origin influences its pricing.

Granite slabs from China, for example, are sold at a lower cost due to reduced labor costs. Higher-cost countries, such as Italy and Brazil, demand more for quality.

In addition to labor costs, shipping charges significantly impact the price of granite. Granite is expensive to transport due to its heavy weight. This means that you can receive the best deal on granite sourced near home.

How does the granite look like?

To assess granite quality, you must inspect it closely. Do you notice any dings, dents, scratches, or uneven surfaces?

Any imperfections indicate low-quality granite. Good granite can sustain everyday household use; therefore, if yours has wear and tear, the quality is likely substandard. Also, exercise caution while acquiring any blemished granite. High-quality components are free of scratches and dings.

When making the purchase, look for cracks. Remember that even little fissures can expand into enormous chasms over time, so avoid them.

Determine the porosity of the countertop.

Top-grade granite is resistant to liquid absorption. If a chunk of granite is overly porous and allows liquids to seep inside, it is a low-quality slab with a short lifespan. In addition, extending the life of porous granite necessitates the regular application of costly sealants.

To test porosity, squeeze a drop of lemon juice onto the surface. How long does it take for the granite to absorb the liquid? If it absorbs quickly, the porosity is high, and you don’t want this. Slow or no absorption implies high-quality granite, and this is the one you should get.

Consider the grade of the countertops.

Granite countertops typically come in three grades. Before you spend your hard-earned money, buy the greatest granite for your needs. The primary grades are:

Entry-level granite: This granite is regarded as commercial grade, but it is of lesser quality. Typically, it is thinner than other grades and comes from China.

The granite is strengthened with a cardboard backing. While thinner than the other classes, it is also less expensive, making it a popular apartment option. This granite is available in various attractive colors and is quite durable. It is important to note that it is unsuitable for regularly used rooms.

Mid-grade granite: This granite is usually imported from India or Brazil. It is approximately ¾” thick and far more durable than grade 1. This option is most commonly used in homes due to its hardness and lower cost than Grade 3. It comes in a variety of distinctive and striking colors.

High-grade granite: This granite is the most expensive, ranging between $60 and $100. It is of the highest quality and contains the most unique colors and designs. High-quality granite is widely utilized for kitchen surfaces and around fireplaces.

Assess the polish quality.

The polish quality is critical to ensure you receive a high-grade granite. Low-quality polish will not withstand prolonged use. There are several ways to assess polish quality.

The first option is to use the lemon drop or water test, as described above. This test allows you to examine the porosity and polish quality at the same time.

You can also scratch the surface with a metallic material such as a coin. If the coin leaves a mark, the polishing is poor, and the granite will tarnish soon, and you don’t want this.

Work with a countertop professional.

With a bit of research and effort, you can ensure that you purchase high-quality granite countertops, which most people want.

Many people think they only need the highest-grade countertops, but this isn’t always the case. If a lower grade is appropriate for your needs, go for it.

You only need to ensure that it’s well-made and it will withstand the test of time.

Remember that the countertop industry has plenty of shady people who might try to exploit you.

Simply because you assume you are paying for a high-quality countertop does not imply that you are. Always work with a trustworthy granite countertop dealer to obtain the best value for your money.

Even after installing the countertops, you should note that you must take good care of them. This calls for you to avoid placing hot items on the countertops.

You should also seal the surfaces at least once a year. You can do the sealing yourself, but for the best outcome, let experienced granite contractors Durham help you out.

9 Things to Consider When Installing New Countertops

Are you thinking about replacing your kitchen countertops? There are several things you should think about. These things include:

The quality of your cabinets

Before you choose a kitchen countertop material, consider the quality of your existing kitchen cabinets. This will help you decide whether you want to keep or replace them.

If you plan to replace your cabinets in the next few years, it’s preferable to do so all at once to avoid incurring duplicate installation expenses.

You should also ensure that your cabinets can withstand the weight of your new countertops. You should note that some lower-grade cabinets may lack the structural integrity to support heavier countertop materials.

Granite is three-quarters of an inch thick and weighs around eighteen pounds per square foot, and your counters could weigh several hundred pounds.

Consider whether the cabinets can handle the extra weight. As a rule of thumb, install weights that your cabinets can hold. You don’t want to overburden them, do you?

The configuration of the sink

When it comes time to replace your countertop, you should consider how your sink is configured. If your sink is below the countertop level, you may not need to replace it when you replace the counters.

Sometimes, your new counter may be taller than your old counters, which means your sink drain pipe will not reach the bottom of the sink.

You may also need to alter the faucet setup to accommodate the new counters.

To avoid confusion and ensure you are making the right decision, consult with your countertop installers about whether you can use your current sink or need to replace it.

The condition of your backsplash

When you replace your countertops, you should also inspect your backsplash.

This is because new countertops may transform your kitchen, especially if you’re also installing new cabinets.

An outdated backsplash, on the other hand, can suddenly appear out of place and, in certain situations, may not even match your new counters.

If your new countertops are thicker than your old ones, your backsplash will hang too low on the wall and run into your new counters.

You may also wish to create a fresh design for your kitchen makeover project by replacing the counter. Unless your old and new counters are nearly identical, upgrading your backsplash is wise.

Your budget

Shopping for different counter materials can be enjoyable, but focusing on more practical considerations is vital.

When deciding on countertop materials, you must consider your budget. Of course, the size of your kitchen will influence the price of your counters, but the material will be the most critical element.

If you have a bigger budget, consider natural stone, quartz, copper, and wood materials.

You can purchase some limited granite or concrete patterns if your budget is more in the middle. If your budget is particularly tight, look into laminate and other similar options.

The time you have to maintain the countertops.

You should always consider how much care and upkeep you want to give your new countertops.

Marble, granite, and other natural stone countertops must be sealed and cleaned carefully. Countertops made of concrete, quartz, or solid surface require no upkeep.

Natural materials such as copper and wood may not require much maintenance, but they will develop a worn, used appearance with time.

You must weigh your options and decide on the right material based on the time you have to maintain the surfaces.

Your desired aesthetics

Your personal design taste may be the most important element in choosing the material for your countertop. Your counters are the key focal point of your kitchen and will set the tone for the entire space. You want to choose something that will complement your color scheme and one you will enjoy for years to come.

Quartz, solid surfaces, and concrete countertops are excellent options for a modern or minimalist aesthetic.

Granite and marble give a traditional, high-end feel, whereas tile makes things feel older and more European. Wood or copper could be great options for your home if you want something a little more rustic.

Your old appliances

You should consider how your existing appliances will complement your new countertop. Think of it as wearing a new outfit with old shoes. It doesn’t give a good impression, does it?

While this is the case, don’t be concerned if your appliances are reasonably new and in good condition. You should be worried if the appliances, such as the stove, have been in use for more than 10 years. In such a case, the best way out is to replace them.

Lighting

Most homeowners install under-cabinet lighting. It’s simple to install, but it’s difficult to figure out how to route the wiring when reinstalling it.

It’s also worth mentioning that under-cabinet lighting can produce eye-straining glare when aimed directly at a highly polished stone surface.

It’s something to think about while selecting countertop materials.

You should always consult the experts to ensure you install appropriate lighting for your surfaces. If the lighting is too old, you might have to replace it.

Plumbing

As mentioned above, you must consider the sink configuration when installing new countertops.

Chances are that you are replacing a tile countertop with a solid surface, such as stone, or an engineered composite surface, like Silestone. While the cabinets may remain in place, a sink will require replacement. The exception occurs when the current sink is installed beneath an existing stone counter.

The sink change impacts the faucet configuration, so you will likely have to replace the faucet as well.

Replacing a countertop affects many of the elements around the sink, including the garbage disposer, which isn’t easy to uninstall.

You should work with countertop replacement Durham professionals to find ways to modify your plumbing. If it’s too complicated, consider hiring a plumber to help you out.

How Do You Make Countertops Look Good?

If you have worn-out or unpleasant-looking countertops, you might wonder how to improve their looks. Well, there are a number of ways to go about it. These ways include:

Install an interior film

This style of improving the look of the countertops is a relatively recent alternative in the North American market, but it has been a popular choice throughout Asia and Europe for several years. The good thing about this option is that you can update the kitchen countertop without replacing it.

It’s also quick and easy, with no noise, dust, or odors. If you want to refurbish countertops quickly and affordably, this is an excellent way to do it.

If you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t a handy person, let experienced countertop replacement professionals help you.

When installing the film, ensure that the surface is smooth and clean. Additionally, no water damage or warps should be present. You also should follow the proper film application process that involves these steps:

  • Make a flat surface with putty and gentle sanding.
  • Prime the surface where you need more adhesion, such as corners and edges. You should note that primer application requirements differ depending on the surface.
  • Measure and cut the material.
  • Peel and stick the film onto the surface.
  • Apply the film with a squeegee from top to bottom in a fan-shaped sweeping motion.

In most cases, refurbishing the countertop takes only a few hours. Furthermore, the vinyl layer replicates the original texture (whether it is wood, metal, or something else), so refinished worktops will be as appealing as natural ones.

When doing the installation, ensure that the countertops maintain their appearance. This calls for you to hire an experienced professional who knows what they are doing and will expertly install the surfaces.

Install a layer of concrete on your surfaces.

If you don’t like your countertops, you can pour concrete on them. The cool thing is that concrete is highly adaptable; you may modify the color, stain, texture, and even shape.

It is also pretty simple to make. You’ll need a mold and a frame to support the future countertop. Make a strong support because concrete is heavy.

You should then mix, pour, let it dry, then sand, finish, and install. You can skip the installation step if you pour concrete directly on top of the existing counter.

Paint your countertops to resemble marble.

If new counters are not in your budget, you can give them a paint makeover. You should note that this is not your typical simple paint color. There is a new, exciting way to paint your countertops like marble.

If you have painting skills, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t confident, let a professional help you.

For the best painting outcome, you should follow the right steps:

In a nutshell, the procedure goes like this:

  • Sanding, priming, and painting the surface white.
  • Only then can you begin to create veins using craft paint. It’s wise to practice veining on a tiny piece of wood before moving on to the counter.
  • Whitewash the surface before sealing to soften the veins. Then, seal your artificial marble.
  • You’ll also need primer, eggshell or satin finish white paint, three colors of gray craft paint, a foam roller and a roller tray, a feather, a sea sponge, a soft paintbrush, paper towels, a toothbrush, small mixing bowls, sandpaper, paste wax or a water-based polyurethane for the topcoat, and other supplies.
  • You can also buy a paint kit to change the appearance of your countertops.

If painting artificial marble sounds too demanding, consider using a marble interior film.

Consider installing terrazzo on your concrete countertops

Terrazzo countertops are resilient and resistant to scratches, stains, and chipping, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Furthermore, it is bacteria-resistant and straightforward to clean. It’s an ideal choice for kitchens where hygiene is a key priority.

Terrazzo is a composite material composed of cement or epoxy resin mixed with pieces of aggregate compounds such as marble, stone, glass, mother of pearl, abalone shells, and others. Terrazzo is the most often used flooring material, but you can always use it on your countertops.

If you believe terrazzo is perfect for you, the first step is to contact a terrazzo contractor, preferably in your immediate area, because the longer the supplies and machines have to go, the higher the costs.

If traditional poured terrazzo is too expensive or simply not perfect for the project you have in mind, you can consider terrazzo tile instead.

Regardless of the terrazzo countertop you want to install, ensure that the work is done by an expert that is knowledgeable of what the project entails.

Add tiles to your counters.

Another inexpensive option for a countertop makeover is to install tiles. Tile countertops add a distinct vibe to the area, so if you want a farm-style and rustic kitchen, this is the alternative for you.

While this is the case, you should note that it is a really complicated DIY project. To make things easier, place a tile membrane on top of the current surface before putting your tiles.

You also should work with experienced contractors to help you with the installation.

Parting shot

These are some ways to improve the look of your bathroom or kitchen countertops NC. As mentioned, you should always work with experienced professionals who will not only professionally install the surfaces, but also guide you on the right things to do.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of revamping your countertops every few years, you should take good care of them.

This calls for you to be ultra-cautious of what you place on the surfaces. You also should make it a habit to clean them regularly to eliminate stains that might ruin their look.

How Do You Keep Granite Countertops Smooth and Shiny?

When you install granite countertops, you want them to retain their smooth and shiny look for as long as possible, right? The cool thing is that it’s possible. Some of the things you need to do include:

Protect your countertops from damage

The easiest way to keep your granite countertops in good condition is to protect them from spills, stains, and scratches.

The kitchen can be dirty, so it’s critical to take precautions to safeguard it. Some of the basic techniques to protect your granite kitchen surfaces include:

  • Clean spills immediately.
  • Use coasters
  • Cut veggies and other foods on cutting boards.
  • Avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on your countertop surface.
  • Be cautious of impact damage around the edges.
  • Avoid standard household cleaning agents, which can cause etching.

To protect your granite countertops from frequent stains and impurities, have them polished and sealed. Before you even do this, you must first ensure that you properly clean them.

How to clean granite surfaces

Different granite composites may require special treatments, so check with experts before trying new products.

Regardless of how clean you want the surfaces to be, never use cleaning agents with ammonia, vinegar, or citrus on your granite surfaces.

This is because these acidic cleaners will degrade the finish on your new granite countertop. You should purchase a cleaner made exclusively to clean granite surfaces.

To clean your granite countertops, spritz or mist the cleaner over the entire surface and allow it to sit for a minute. Remember to verify the exact instructions for the cleaner you’re using. Then, clean the surface with a soft microfiber cloth until completely dry.

Get rid of stubborn stains.

If cleaning does not work, you may need a razor blade to remove stubborn stains. Use the blade to scrape off any filth or buildup on the countertop.

You should be cautious when using the blade so you don’t scratch the surface. Simply ensure that the entire edge of the blade is on the counter.

Once satisfied, rinse your sponge and remove the suds.

You may need to rinse your sponge, wring it out, and wipe up any remaining suds several times. Make sure there are no huge puddles or leftover suds on your counters.

To be on the safe side, wear gloves to protect your hands.

If you don’t have a razor blade, you can remove tough granite stains by making baking soda and water paste. Scrub the spot gently with the paste and a soft towel.

Remember to rinse it well.

Removing a difficult stain may take numerous attempts, so don’t be afraid to go over it a couple of times. For a stubborn stain, apply the paste to the area, cover it with plastic wrap, and tape it down the corners.

Let the paste sit until it dries, which can take several days. When it has dried, use a soft cloth to remove it, then rinse with warm water.

Polish the surfaces

Polishing your granite countertops is similar to cleaning them. However, this time, you will allow a polishing solution to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before cleaning it away.

Once you are done, rub the countertop with a soft cotton towel until no streaks are left. At the end, you should be left with dazzling granite countertops you can be proud of.

You can polish granite using dry or wet materials. There is no better method as both methods can be beneficial. When making your choice, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. For example,

  • Dry granite polishing powder costs less than paste.
  • You can apply dry and wet powder, making it more versatile.
  • Wet polishing produces a lot of spray when used with power tools, so you should wear water-resistant gear to protect yourself.
  • When polishing the surfaces, use plastic sheeting to cover walls, furniture, and cupboards.
  • Wet polishing cools the pads, preventing them from getting too hot and wearing out faster than they should.
  • Wet polishing pads cost less than dry pads.

If you are unsure about the ideal polishing material, contact your countertop manufacturer. They will recommend the best material.

Seal your countertops

A properly sealed granite surface will slow the spread of stains.

Pour a small amount of water on your granite surfaces to tell whether your countertops are ready for sealing. If you detect it slowly seeping in or darkening the surface of your granite, it’s probably time to reseal.

If the water immediately beads up on the surface, it indicates that you do not need to seal your granite countertops just yet.

When evaluating your granite sealer, apply it to a less obvious location before applying it to the rest of the countertop.

When applying the sealer, you should work in tiny portions to avoid spraying the same area many times. After applying the sealant, wipe off the countertop surface with a soft cotton towel for 3 to 5 minutes until dry.

After that, your countertops should be ready to use.

Add shine to the surfaces.

To shine your granite, apply a small amount of cooking oil to a soft cleaning cloth and wipe it around the surface. Buff it carefully. This makes the counter a little more stain-resistant and gives it a glossy finish that you are looking for.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should do to keep your granite kitchen countertops Durham smooth and shiny.

Remember that everything begins with how you use the countertops. You won’t have an easy time if you don’t take good care of the surfaces. As a rule of thumb, always use a coaster on the surfaces.

Stains are bound to happen regardless of how frequently you clean your countertops. To avoid this, make it a habit to seal the surfaces. You can seal the surfaces by yourself, but always ensure that you use high-quality sealing products.

Things You Should Know About Marble Countertops

Are you looking to install marble countertops in your home? There are plenty of things you should know about them. These things include:

Marble patinates

Marble will develop a patina over time. The term ‘patina’ alone may send some people scurrying for the hills. However, many experts advise that patina should be embraced rather than feared.

Patina is a sophisticated way of saying used over time. If you go to Italy or France, or even a French restaurant, you will see marble on dining tables and worktops.

Those bits of stone have been around forever. And they remain lovely no matter how much they are used.

The stone’s beauty stems from its wear and tear. Each etch and trace of wear is a time capsule of all the hard work that has gone into your home.

And for many individuals, it is simply a part of life. We’re not all perfect and pristine all the time, so don’t expect your countertops to be either. Strive to embrace your patina. It will seem to be used, which is fine.

Marble etches

Etching is part of the patina. It’s an aspect of having marble surfaces that you’re either fine with or not. Whether marble—etching and all—is suited for you is determined by your expectations. This is especially true with marble in the kitchen.

You have to know what you’re getting into, and don’t assume that you are going to maintain the stone’s gorgeous, pristine, and polished perfection.

You’re going to spill something on it, and if you leave a glass out too long, something will happen. Then, you’ll learn a little bit about etching.

Marble etch marks form when an acidic liquid remains on the surface for an extended period of time, causing it to erode. Corroded surfaces have a dull or light appearance.

The impacted marble becomes rougher or less smooth than it was before the acidic spill.

People occasionally use various household cleaners that are generally effective for cleaning but are not suitable for marble surfaces.

The low pH of cleaning solutions instantly destroys the stone’s luster, leaving a damaged and drab surface.

As a result, you must exercise caution to maintain the marble surface’s overall appearance, sheen, and smoothness.

Some of the things you can do to prevent marble etching include:

Avoid using harsh cleaning products: It is best to avoid exposing the marble surface to any strong chemicals that could damage it. Even for cleaning, avoid using chlorine and acidic substances because they can alter the stone’s luster.

Hone the surface: A sharpened region is less likely to be etched than a polished surface. The matte finish will reduce the visibility of any scratches or stains on the marble surface.

Use chopping boards: You should use chopping boards in the kitchen to prevent acidic food drips from damaging the marble surface.

Clean spills as soon as they happen: Spills are always inadvertent. To protect your surfaces, make it a habit to clear the spills as soon as they happen.

Wipe the surface clean with a wet towel right away. Remember that the longer the acid remains on the surface, the greater the possibility of etching, and you don’t want this, do you?

Marble stains

Marble is a highly porous stone that has earned a reputation as a magnet for stains, particularly from acidic substances.

Your marble countertop, on the other hand, is not like your best white top, which is likewise stain-resistant—it can endure much more.

If you’re worried about stains, you can seal your surface to protect it. To be on the safe side, have your kitchen marble sealed once a year or refinished as needed.

Marble in the bathroom, on the other hand, is significantly less likely to absorb food stains. As a result, it is far safer and requires less sealing.

You can seal the surfaces by yourself but for the best outcome, let a professional help you out.

For the best outcome, you should apply two coats of the sealer.

Do not be alarmed if any ugly defects remain after applying the first coat of stone sealer. The second coat will effectively cover these defects and other minor wear indications.

Before applying the second coat, the first coat must be totally dry. After the first coat has dried, apply the second coat using the same way. Give the second coating an extra 15 to 20 minutes to dry.

After the second application of sealant has cured completely, polish your marble surfaces to finish the process. Polishing and buffing marble stones removes excess sealant.

To keep your surfaces nice, clean them using a microfiber cloth or any other type of towel. After you’ve completed, leave your marble surfaces overnight and be ready for elegant looking surfaces the following day.

There’s a misconception that marble stains easily, but it doesn’t. Those who have marble in their kitchen can speak from personal experience. It takes time to stain the surfaces.

There is marble in the US.

For those who value the “Made in America” label, don’t dismiss marble just yet. There is a prevalent assumption that marble must be imported from abroad; however, this is not always the case.

Marble is mostly found in Italy, China, India, and Spain. These four countries quarry almost half of the world’s marble. Marble quarries are also common in Turkey, Greece, the United States, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

The states with the most marble are Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.

If you love buying American products, you should insist on buying the ones produced in these states. Of course, the marble will be much cheaper as it will have lower transport costs. Also, since it won’t have import duty, it will most likely cost you less.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should know about marble. You should note that marble is one of the best materials you can install in your home. Whether you are having a countertop replacement NC project or installing new units, ensure that you have a professional install the surfaces.

You also should take good care of the surfaces so that they not only look good, but also last for a long time.

Are Peel and Stick Countertops a Reliable Way to Cover Your Surfaces?

Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, it makes sense to want to create a space that is visually appealing to you. However, home renovation projects can be expensive and almost impossible if you do not own the property.

If you’ve been considering changing  bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen countertops, you may have encountered a peel-and-stick countertop cover while researching.

Before we go into this seemingly simple solution, here’s everything you need to know about peel-and-stick countertops. You will also know which applications they’re great for and when to avoid them.

What are peel-and-stick countertops?

Peel-and-stick countertops are a wallpaper-like material with a sticky backing that you can easily apply to your current countertops. They come in a range of colors and styles, such as faux marble, granite, gold, soapstone, and concrete.

Most peel-and-stick countertops are made of a PVC vinyl foundation with a printed picture or pattern. The production process is comparable to vinyl flooring, but the quality and durability aren’t as high.

Peel and stick countertops do not have the same level of differentiation, most likely because there are fewer prominent producers in the area.

When is it wise to go for peel-and-stick countertops?

Peel and stick countertops are more of a temporary remedy than a permanent one.

While this is the case, the counters are useful in some instances. For example, they’re a quick and inexpensive solution for outdated or damaged countertops, and they can serve as an interim cover-up while you save for the real thing.

They can also be adequate in auxiliary areas of the home, such as the basement or an extra bathroom.

The counters are also an excellent option for tenants who can’t pull out existing countertops. If you live in a rental house with outdated countertops or don’t like the current look, peel-and-stick countertops can be a low-cost, temporary approach to make the rental area feel more like your own.

The beauty is that the countertops can be easily removed when it’s time to move out.

How to apply and remove the countertops

If you decide to go this route, keep in mind that peel-and-stick countertops vary in quality. For the best quality, go with the thickest material available—veneers at least four millimeters thick—so that the product can withstand scratches and better disguise bumps and faults on your current countertops.

In terms of application, the process is quite simple but requires some patience. When buying the material, buy extra in case of mishaps and keep a squeegee on standby to remove air bubbles after installation.

For removal, heat from a hairdryer to one corner to melt the glue. You should slowly pull the counter up, heating and melting as you go.

To give you a sense of quality and longevity, most warranties last around five years. However, if the countertops are in a high-traffic area, the wear will most certainly occur considerably sooner, even with a higher-grade product.

Situations to avoid peel-and-stick countertops

These countertops are best suited for secondary, low-traffic areas of your home, where their poorer appearance and performance will be less noticeable. This calls for you to be cautious where you place the countertops.

As a rule of thumb, never place the countertop on a kitchen island countertop or your primary bathroom in a busy home. This is because they will quickly get damaged.

If your ultimate goal is to stay within a budget when designing and creating your dream kitchen or bathroom, you should know that there are numerous cost-cutting options worth trying initially.

A smart contractor or interior designer can assist you navigate that environment, and there is plenty of information available online that you can use to your advantage.

Peel and stick countertop best practices.

Once you’ve successfully placed your peel-and-stick countertop, make sure to clean and maintain it properly to keep it looking its best. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help extend the countertop’s lifespan and keep it in excellent condition.

Begin by washing off the countertop regularly using a soft cloth or sponge and a moderate, non-abrasive cleanser. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleansers, which might damage the surface or remove the protective covering.

To remove harder stains or spills, gently scrub brush or non-scratch scouring pad in conjunction with the mild cleanser. Scrub the area gently in a circular motion, taking care not to apply too much pressure, which may scrape the surface.

After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the countertop with water to eliminate any remaining cleaner residue. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth to avoid water spots or streaks from appearing.

When it comes to maintenance, it’s best to avoid placing hot pans or pots directly on the countertop surface, which can cause damage or discoloration. Always use trivets or hot pads to protect surfaces from heat.

Similarly, be mindful of sharp or abrasive things that may scratch the surface. Use cutting boards or another safe surface when dealing with knives or other instruments.

Regularly inspect the countertop’s edges and seams for signs of lifting or peeling. If problems arise, apply a small bit of glue or double-sided tape to keep them in place.

Parting shot

Peel and stick countertops can provide a low-cost, temporary “lipstick makeover” in rooms you don’t own, don’t use frequently, or can’t afford to renovate right now.

In all other circumstances, you’re probably better off investing extra in something that will withstand time and traffic.

The good thing is that you can choose from plenty of options. You can use granite countertops Raleigh, marble, and many other materials. Regardless of the ones you settle on, ensure they complement your home. You also should ensure they are installed by experienced contractors who know what they are doing.

Things You Should Know When Buying Marble Countertops

Marble countertops give your home an elegant appeal. If you love baking, they are the perfect units to go for, as they give you the perfect surface to work on.

If you are looking to buy the countertops, there are a number of things you should know. These things include:

If you are worried about stains, go with white marble

Although many people associate marble with creamy, white stone, there are hundreds of varieties that you can go with which include taupe, green, gold, red, and black.

White marble is best used for kitchen surfaces. This is because there are higher risk of stains forming here than anywhere else. In the event acid etching leaves a pale mark, it is considerably more visible on colorful marble than on white marble. You don’t want everyone to notice the stains on your surfaces, do you?

You should be ultra-cautious when using dark marble or nonwhite marble for kitchen countertops, as they can easily look dirty and out of place even with minor stains.

Consider how the different slabs will come together

Every stone slab is unique, so it’s best to choose the exact pieces of stone that you will use on your countertops. There’s an art to marble and choosing the right slabs and understanding the location of the veins is critical.

You want to artfully place the markings so that it’s almost like a painting. At the same time, it’s critical to consider how various components work together.

The longer the slab you can get without any seams, the better. If you do have seams on your slabs, it’s always nice to book-match the marble, so that neighboring pieces appear mirrored.

Take veining into consideration

Every quarry is unique, however, certain types of marble blocks can be cut in two different ways to produce distinct veining patterns.

For example, cross cut, or fleuri cut, produces stone slabs that are random and are good for book-matching.

Vein cut, also known as striato, slices the block in the opposite direction to create a linear, striped appearance.

Over the years, designers have used both cuts to create some unique looks. Some use vein-cut on the wall and cross-cut on the floor.

Consider the best finish to transform your marble

The entire stone industry has been experiencing a massive wave of technology, which is transforming the product.

Now, there are more options than ever to finish stone, including various brushing and polishing procedures. You can give your countertops an orange-peel texture, which is unique and adds interest to your surfaces.

While this is the case, you should note that the most common options remain polished (glossy) or honed (matte). For homeowners concerned about acid etching, go with a honed finish.

On a polished finish, etching will make the slab dull and more visible. With an honed finish, you’re dulling an already dull finish, so it disguises it.

Before you get the finish, take time to research it and find the one that will be best suited for your surfaces. If you are confused, get the input of a professional.

Consider the edging of the countertops

Aside from its natural beauty, there’s a reason marble has always been popular for sculpture: it’s easy to manipulate with tools. When current computer numerical control milling machines are included, practically anything is feasible in terms of kitchen decorating.

There are many edge profiles to choose from. For example, there is the simple softened edge, which reduces the sharpness of a straight 90-degree corner.

Hard stones like marble are brittle, so if you hit a 90-degree corner with something hard, it will chip. With a curve, it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to chip.

You need to ensure that during installation, the contractor you hire doesn’t leave a straight edge that will hurt the people or pets walking around. It also eliminates the chances of the stone getting damaged.

Take time to know the difference between fissures and cracks

Cracks indicate that the stone has been mishandled or poorly handled. However, fissures are quite different. A fissure differs from a crack in that it’s naturally occurring in the stone and does not change the plane of the marble surface.

Your nail should be able to slide across a fissure without getting caught.

Fissures may be okay depending on the look you’re going for—for example, if you want a stone with a more rustic appearance. Fissures do not affect the stone’s integrity; rather, they are part of its character.

When you are buying the marble, you will come across plenty of slabs with fissures. As mentioned, there is nothing wrong with fissures.

The problem comes when the countertops have cracks. You should avoid countertops with cracks as they tend to be weak.

Know the origin of the marble you are looking to buy

You should be cautious of the source of the marble you are looking to buy as it determines the quality of the stone.

White stones like Calacatta and Statuario are particularly popular right now. Some marble providers would refer to their white marble with veins as Calacatta marble.

But it won’t be authentic; it’ll be white stone with veins from China or anywhere else in the world, which tends to be cheap and low quality.

True Calacatta is sourced from mountain quarries in Carrara, Italy.

The same is true for Statuario: authentic Statuario marble comes from Italy. If you’re in a showroom and the vendors are offering something like carrara marble or carrara white, it’s important checking the stone’s origin.

To be on the safe side, go for marble that comes from Italy as it tends to be high quality.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should know when you are looking to buy marble kitchen countertops Raleigh. After buying the countertops, you should ensure that you have them perfectly installed by experts.

You also should take good care of them. As a rule of thumb, don’t place hot objects on them, as they will get damaged. Also, be cautious of the cleaning products you use. You should always stay away from acidic cleaners as they are known to damage them.