Author Archives: TheCountertopFactory

How Often Should You Seal Marble Countertops?

Due to its porosity, it’s no secret you need to seal marble. The big question is, how often should you seal marble countertops? Should you seal them daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly?

Marble is softer than other natural stones, so it’s more susceptible to scratches and less resistant to acids, so it requires more frequent sealing.

The frequency at which you seal the countertops depends on their use. If you have a family and regularly use the countertops, seal them more often than a bachelor that rarely uses their countertops.

There is no definite oftenness when you should seal the countertops but most experts agree you should seal the countertops once at the time of installation then at least once every 3-6 months.

How do you know your countertops are ripe for sealing?

The good news is it’s easy to tell when your countertops need sealing, as all you need is a water test. To do the test, pour ¼ cup of water onto a small area then wait 5-10 minutes then wipe off the water with a paper towel or soft cloth.

If the area shows any discoloration or darkness compared to the rest of the countertops, it’s time to seal the surfaces.

Do you have to hire a professional to do the sealing?

The answer to this question is yes and no. If you have the skills, you can do the sealing by yourself, but if you have a large kitchen and looking for an expert touch, hire a professional to help you out.

If you opt to do the work by yourself, follow the right process to get ideal results.

Step 1

Start with clearing the counters of any items present, then use a damp cloth to wipe down the counters so they are free of dust and other particulates. For even better results, clean the countertops with a cleaning solution specifically designed for marble.

Step 2

Once the countertops are clean and dry, apply the sealer. You only need to spray a generous amount of it on the countertops, ensuring you cover the entire countertop surface.

If you have a large kitchen, work in sections so you don’t get overwhelmed or lose track of the areas you have already applied the sealer to.

Step 3

Once you have covered the entire surface, let the sealer dry while observing its condition for at least 15 minutes. If the sealer soaks into the pores and crevices before 15 minutes erupt, apply more sealer and repeat.

If after 15 minutes there is a sealer left on the surface, wipe it off. It’s common for the sealer to dry on the surface before you can wipe it. If this happens to you, don’t fret. Simply spray more sealer, wait a few minutes, then wipe it up.

Step 4

After applying the sealer you will have done with your project but don’t rush to use the countertops. Instead, leave them alone for at least 24 hours for the sealer to get to the bottom of the surfaces. Giving the surfaces time also ensures the seal stays in place without being compromised.

Other ways to keep your marble in top shape

Besides sealing it, there are plenty of other things you can do to keep your countertops in top shape. Some of these things include:

Wipe the spills as soon as they happen

Even if you have sealed the countertops, there is the risk of the countertops staining when they are exposed to liquids for a long time. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to wipe the spills as soon as they happen.

Whether it’s soda, coffee, fruit juices or any other liquid, wipe it with a sponge, paper towel, or soft cloth as soon as it happens. To have an easy time, have a hand towel on the countertops at all times.

Other than spills, you also should make it a habit to clear stains as soon as you notice them.

Use coasters, trivets, cutting boards, and placemats

These items create a barrier between the countertops, hence protecting your kitchen countertops Raleigh from damage.  By having the items on your surfaces you prevent scratches, etches, and burn marks from occurring and scarring your precious marble.

How Can You Tell The Quality Of Granite?

fabricated granite countertops

You have decided to install granite countertops in your home. You visit different stores and identify a few slabs you like but you aren’t satisfied with just any slab—you want the best of the best. How can you tell the quality of granite? You wonder.

To help you out, here are some of the things you should look out for to tell the granite quality:

Appearance

How does the slab look like? Like you can tell a quality piece of clothing, you can tell a quality granite slab.

On first look, how does the stone come across? Are there cracks, scratches, chips, dings, or discolorations on the stone? If they are present, the stone is most likely poor quality, and you should stay away from it.

You also should pay attention to is the size of the slab. A good quality slab should not exceed 1 mm in length and breadth. The thickness tolerance shouldn’t exceed 15% of the actual thickness. If buying the stone for construction work, ensure the slab is at least 15-20 mm thick.

The next thing to look out for is the color of the stone. It should be uniform and the slab should have a homogenous crystalline texture.

You can check the color by rubbing the stone with a cloth dipped in petrol or kerosene. If the cloth brings color, artificial color must have been used, so stay from that slab.

On tapping the stone, it should give a clear ringing sound. The slab should also be hard, sound, and dense. You can check how hard the stone is by pressing it with a hard object. If chips split from the slab, get a new slab.

Polishing

The polishing and cutting quality will help you know the quality of the stone. A quality granite slab should have one face properly polished and the edges straight and perfectly at a right angle.

Scrape the surface with a coin and if the coin leaves scratches, the polishing is poor quality so stay away from the stone.

Check for porosity

Granite is a natural stone and is naturally porous, but manufacturers work hard at reducing the porosity of the stone so most high-quality slabs will have shiny and less absorbent surfaces.

You can test the porosity of the stone by dropping 3-4 droplets of lemon juice on the granite surface. If the slab absorbs lemon juice quickly, granite has high porosity and not well maintained by the manufacturer.

If lemon juice leaves a white stain on top of the granite surface, it means it has a high calcite level, which is a sign of a poor quality stone.

A good quality slab shouldn’t have high porosity. It also shouldn’t stain easily.

You have found a quality slab, what next?

Once you have done your due diligence and ensured the stone you have is high quality, the next step is to take the piece of slab home and see how it looks in your house.

Plenty of homeowners have reported installing countertops, then regretted it as they didn’t like how they looked after installation. Don’t be one of these homeowners.

You might like how a slab looks at the store but when you get it home not like the look. This is because the kitchen has different design, lighting, and other factors.

To be proud of your installation, take the slab you like to your home and see how it looks there. If you don’t like the look return it to the store and get another.

When it comes to installation, don’t hire any contractor you come across. Research and find experienced and certified granite countertop installers Raleigh. The professionals will expertly install your countertops and seal them to prevent stains from developing in the future.

Installing the countertops isn’t enough—you need to take good care of them. At least once a year, ask the contractor to reseal the surfaces so they are stain proof. You also should clean the surfaces regularly to keep off dirt and other debris that might stain the surfaces and give them an off-putting look.

Finally, don’t sit or stand on the countertops as the countertops are known to crack under the extra weight. After all, they aren’t a sofa, are they?

Can You Paint Your Kitchen Countertops?

kitchen countertops

If you don’t like the current look of your countertops and don’t have money to install new countertops, you might be thinking about painting them. Can you paint your kitchen countertops? The good news is yes, you can paint the countertops.

That said, before you paint your countertops you need to consider several things:

  • How long will you be using the painted countertops?
  • Will you be selling your house or renting your house in the near future?
  • How will you be using the countertops?

If you are planning to renovate your house in the future, you can go ahead and paint the countertops as you have nothing to lose. After all, it’s temporary. If you don’t like the painted countertops it’s a matter of a few months and you replace the countertops with new ones.

If you will be selling or renting your house in the future, it would be unwise to paint the countertops as painting might bring down the value of the house or make it less attractive to the buyer or renter.

Finally, you should realize that painted countertops aren’t as heat resistant as their unpainted counterparts, so when using them, always have a trivet under the hot pans.

How to paint kitchen countertops

If you feel painting the countertops is the only way to improve their look, you should go ahead and do the painting. How do you do this? Follow these steps:

Choose the right color

You don’t want your countertops to resemble a doodling table, do you? To avoid this, choose the right color for your countertops. For the perfect look, you need a base color and 2-3 more colors that complement each other.

You can see pictures on Pinterest for inspiration or get professional advice from a color expert.

Prepare the surface for painting

Once you have the colors locked in, your next step is to prepare the surfaces for painting. Some of the things you need to do include:

  • Remove everything from the countertops and relocate them somewhere else.
  • Remove caulking around your countertop using a screwdriver and knife. When doing it, be cautious you don’t gouge the drywall.
  • Remove faucet and drain
  • Place a baggie over the drainpipe and secure it with a rubber band. This will prevent sewer gas from coming into your room.
  • Plug faucet holes with paper towels or other things to prevent paint from going down those openings.
  • Sand the countertops
  • Tape the edges with painter’s tape
  • Tape up drop cloths around the room using painter’s tape to prevent spray paint from getting into areas you don’t want to paint.
  • Wipe the countertops with paint thinner to ensure they are completely clean.
  • Ensure there is as much air coming in as possible by opening the window, placing a box fan in the window pointing on the outside to such the fumes out, or by turning on a vent fan if you have one.

Apply 1-2 coats of your base color

It would be good for the base color to cover the original countertop color, but if your color doesn’t, you can still proceed with the painting as you are still going to add more color on top.

After applying the base color, now apply the first color accent. Pour the paint onto a plate, then proceed to apply it onto your countertops by tapping the paper towel onto a plate and then onto the countertop.

You should apply the color this way until you cover the entire countertop.

Once you are done, give the colors time to dry, then apply the topcoat. For the best results, you may have to do at least 3 coats of the color.

Sand the countertops

It’s common to find uneven spots on the countertops or feel an uneven texture due to paint application. If this is your case, you should lightly sand the countertops. You might have the impression you will harm the look of the countertops by sanding but this isn’t the case.

Since you have multiple color coats, you most likely won’t harm the look of the countertops. Instead, you will get an extra smooth finish.

You can do the painting if you have the skills but for exemplary results, let experts experienced at painting quartz kitchen countertops NC and other materials handle the work.

Is It Hard To Change Kitchen Countertops?

If your current countertops are old, out of style, or you simply no longer like them, you can always change them. If this is your first time, you must wonder, is it hard to change kitchen countertops?

The ease of replacing the countertops depends on your skill level. If you have never done it before, it’s wise you don’t do it as you risk causing excessive damage. Instead, hire an installation professional.

On the other hand, if you are a DIY ninja, you can take on the project. To execute the project successfully, you need to consider plenty of factors that include:

Ease of removing the existing countertop material

To install the new countertop material, you have first to remove the existing one. The ease of removing the material depends on the individual material. For example, laminate countertops or solid-surface materials are easy to remove as they are often screwed into place.

Hard stone counters are hard to remove as they easily crack or pit. Thankfully, if you aren’t planning on reusing them, you can crack them, making your work easy.

Plumbing system

The other thing you need to pay attention to is the plumbing systems. When replacing stone or engineered composite countertops such as Silestone, you have to replace the sink unless the sink is mounted under the existing countertop.

When you have to replace the sink, you have to deal with the plumbing issue, as changing the sink will also impact the faucet configuration. In most cases, you will have to replace the faucet upon replacing the countertops.

Quality of the cabinets

You often place countertops on top of cabinets, so you need to think whether the cabinets can carry the additional weight when making the switch.

If you plan to change the cabinets later on down the road, hold off replacing the countertops until you have fixed the cabinets. This is because removing the countertops in the future will be too expensive, not to mention the risk of damaging the countertops in the process.

Also, most contractors refrain from doing it due to the many risks that come with it. To avoid all this, if you don’t like your cabinets’ current look or have always wanted to improve them, first address them. You will even be better off spending money meant for the countertops to fix the cabinets, then find countertop money later on.

The backsplash material

Countertops and backsplash are like yin and yang—they go together. This means when you install the countertops, you need to think about the backsplash as well. For a uniform look, ensure that the countertop materials match or coordinate with the backsplash.

Lighting

You need to think about how the countertops will look at night or when little sunlight is getting in the house. One of the most attractive lightings is under-cabinet lighting that is easy to install but hard to figure out the wiring, so you will need to take your time and understand it.

While attractive, under-cabinet lighting can cause eye-straining glare when you aim it directly onto a polished stone, so you need to be strategic in your installation.

Old appliances.

How your old appliances will look upon installing the new countertops is an important factor to consider. If you have had your appliances for decades, chances are they are too old, and installing new countertops then leaving the appliances in place is synonymous with wearing a new outfit with an old pair of shoes. It doesn’t look good, does it?

If this is your situation, besides thinking about replacing the countertops, also start shopping for new appliances to give your house an inviting, uniform look.

If your appliances are relatively new and in good shape, you have nothing to worry about as they most likely look the part.

Take your time

The key to successfully changing your countertops is to not be in a hurry. Research the best materials that will look the best for your home. You also need to think about how the countertop materials will look after installation.

While you save money when you install the countertops by yourself, it’s always wise to have an expert countertop replacement NC expert do the work as they do a better job. You also have someone to blame if things don’t go as planned, which is good, isn’t it?

Is Granite Countertop Out Of Style?

Is granite countertop out of style? This is a question we get so often when new homeowners are looking to install countertops for the first time. The short answer is NO. Granite is not going out of style. In fact, it’s not going anywhere soon.

One of the primary reasons is because granite countertops are 100% natural, and like wood, plants, and stones, it won’t go out of style. Not sure whether you should go for granite? Consider these points:

Granite selection isn’t static.

Granite comes in plenty of colors and patterns to choose from. While there are some colors such as Indian Coffee brown, Uba tuba granite, and Giallo ornamental granite that are more popular than others, there are still plenty of colors, some that are even yet to be discovered that you can go for.

Since granite is natural, it’s infrequent to find two identical slabs.

It’s easy to re-decorate around granite to change the look of the room.

If you feel your house will look tacky after installing granite, think about how you can change the room’s look by re-decorating around the stone. One of the ways is painting the area around in paint colors that can go with granite.

If you don’t like the countertops’ current look, you can always change the color of your old appliances.

Thinking about these things beforehand helps you know the changes you can make to your countertops if you are bored with them instead of focusing on the trends.

Focus on creating a beautiful space

To ensure your countertops never go out of style, you should avoid paying too close attention to fashion and popularity. Instead, buy countertops that are pleasing to your eyes and meet your ideals.

Guide to buying granite counters

Buying the right countertop materials is the key to getting the most from them. Unfortunately, it takes time to choose materials that are beautiful and durable. To have an easy time, consider these tips when making your purchase:

Buy thick counters

When buying the countertops, avoid cheap materials, as, like other cheap products, they don’t last long. They also don’t give you a look you are looking for.

For best results, avoid the popular ¾ inch countertops as they are more fragile and require laminate edges and supports. To be sure the counters will last for long and give you the results you are looking for, avoid any slabs that are less than 1 inch.

Be on the lookout for hairline cracks and natural pits.

While the cracks and natural pits add natural beauty to the stone, they sometimes increase the countertops’ chances of getting damaged, especially if the countertops are less than 1 inch thick.

While at the store, ask the countertop fabricator or seller to explain how the different imperfections affect the stone and whether they are of any harm to your countertops.

Buy seamless granite counters.

Although, the seamless counters are more expensive, they often look better. Over time, the seams look ugly, so although the countertops might be looking nice now, they will be so unpleasant to look at to the extent you will have to replace them in five to ten years.

Visit the countertop store.

While there are many online stores you can buy your slabs from and have them delivered, it’s still good to visit the physical stores and check the countertop slabs by yourself.

While there, carefully inspect every slab and even carry a piece to your home and see how it blends with the other home appliances and counters. If you don’t like how the slab looks, return it to the store and get a new one.

Hire a granite contractor beforehand

Many people walk to the countertop stores by themselves. While there is nothing wrong with this, you often pick the wrong material, which results in wastage of time and money.

To avoid this, hire granite countertop installers NC beforehand. This way, the contractor will help you choose the right countertop for your home. They will even point you to the right countertop store to buy from.

The last thing you want is buying a countertop with resin stains, large cracks, and other imperfections, forcing you to return the slab then pick it up again.

5 Things You Should Know About Faux Granite Countertops

If you love the look and feel of real granite but can’t afford it, you should try out faux granite countertops. These countertops are almost identical to the real expensive and elegant stone, but cheaper.

They are made by applying a primer and a few paint coats in multiple layers. Once the paint has completely dried, the manufacturers apply multiple layers of sealant to provide a protective layer.

Are you considering installing the countertops? Here are 5 things you should know about them:

You have a few installation options.

When installing the countertops, you should know that you don’t have plenty of options or transformations to play around with.

One option involves applying a contact paper-like product to a completely smoothed and cleared surface. Here you need to measure, cut, and carefully apply the material of choice to the countertops, then smooth it into place.

You can also use primers, sponges, paintbrushes, acrylic paints, and epoxy. This process involves painting the look of granite onto the countertop. To achieve ideal results, you need to get involved, have a keen eye for detail, and invest a lot of time into the project.

You can do the installation by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.  Obviously, you are better off hiring a professional as they tend to do a better job.

Although, you are limited to the installation methods, faux countertop installation is an easy project to execute.

One of the most important things you should do is have a clear idea of how you want the countertops to look like once you are done.

The fake countertops look similar to the real stone.

Many homeowners are cautious about installing fake countertops as they have the impression they will give their kitchen counters a cheap look, but this isn’t the case.

As long as the countertops are carefully and professionally installed, they will look the same, if not better, than the real stone.

To ensure the countertop maintains the look of real granite, have it installed by experts. Remember that some contractors say they are experts while they are not. To avoid making the wrong choice, take time when hiring.

Interview a few contractors while comparing their experiences and expertise.

While you can easily replace the countertops when they get damaged, it’s wise to protect them from damage. This saves you money and, at the same time, keeps your countertops looking spectacular.

When cutting vegetables and other items, always use a chopping board. You should never cut directly on the countertops. You also shouldn’t place hot items directly on the counters. Instead, use a hot pad or placement to protect the surfaces.

When it comes to cleaning, use mild non-abrasive cleaners. Clean the faux granite counters gently with a clean rag and a small amount of water in addition to the cleaner. When spills happen, wipe them away immediately.

Even with the best care, it’s common for scratches to come about. When they show up, buff them out with small baking soda rubbed into the surface with a soft cloth. For deeper scratches, consult your manufacturer on how to handle them.

You need to give tender and caring love to the countertops.

Since the faux granite isn’t as tough as the real stone, you need to give it more tender loving care. Remember, the countertop is more susceptible to cuts, burns, and scrapes, so be cautious when handling it. Use the tips we have given above to keep your counters in good condition.

Faux granite won’t last as long as a real stone.

Although the countertop’s durability depends on the installation and maintenance, there is no way the faux granite will last as long as the real stone. Thankfully, you can extend the countertops’ life to even several years by taking good care of it.

Again, use the above tips to keep your counters in the best shape possible.

You have plenty of colors and designs to choose from

One of the best things about the countertops is you have plenty of varieties to choose from. You get to choose the color and all the secondary colors you want, and feel will give your counters the look you want. As we have been saying, for excellent results, work with expert granite contractors Raleigh.

How To Polish Marble Countertops

Do you have dull marble countertops and don’t like their unappealing look? Don’t worry as you can easily restore gleam. How do you do it? Here are steps on how to polish marble:

Step 1: Clean the countertops

Cleaning the countertops ensures you start with a clean slate. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any surface dirt and debris, then wet a non-abrasive sponge with warm water and use it to wipe the marble top again.

Spray the marble surface with a commercial stone cleaner and wipe it off with a clean, soft rag or a mild dishwashing liquid. Once you are done, rinse it well with plain water.

If you used a commercial cleaner, use a clean damp rag to wipe the marble cleaner. You should then dry with a chamois or an unused microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Remove stains

Since marble is porous, it tends to easily develop stains, especially if you don’t take good care of it. Before you proceed with polishing, you need to get rid of these stains. How do you do this?

If you have the budget, buy a commercial marble stain remover. If you don’t have the money or you love making your own things, you can make your own stain remover by mixing one tablespoon of ammonia into a half cup of hydrogen peroxide then slowly add just enough baking soda to make a thick, creamy texture.

You should then spread the poultice over the stained areas using a clean paintbrush and cover it with a plastic wrap. Leave the poultice in place for 12-24 hours, remove the wrap and let it dry out completely.

Using a razor blade, carefully scrape the crumbly poultice while taking care you don’t gouge or dig at the marble surface. You should then clean away any remaining poultice residue with a damp cloth then wipe the marble dry.

Step 3: Buff out the etching with a polishing powder

If your countertops have severe etching, don’t waste your time or money with polishing powder. Instead, hire a professional to look into it. On the other hand, if your countertops have minor etching from acidic foods and cleansers, you can remove them easily using a polishing powder that you can buy from a home improvement store.

After getting the powder, wipe it over the etched areas with a water-dampened cloth, then sprinkle small amounts of the powder onto the etched spots. You should then gently buff the powder into the blemishes with a damp cloth, then follow with a clean, damp rag to the powder residue.

You should finally wipe the countertops dry to reveal the restored shine.

Step 4: Seal the countertops.

After polishing the surfaces, seal the marble countertops to retain the shine and resist major stains. You can use topical or impregnator sealants.

From their name, topical sealants sit on the top of the marble and prevent staining while impregnators go below the surface and repel water and oils while still allowing marble to breathe.

Your countertops will look best when you seal them with an impregnator.

You can do the sealing by yourself or let a professional handle it. If doing the work yourself, begin purchasing the sealant from your local hardware store, then apply it on the surface.

After applying the sealant, give it a few minutes to dry. You should note you shouldn’t let it fully dry as it will streak. After 10-20 minutes, wipe off the sealant residues using a dry cloth.

You should then allow your marble to sit 6-8 hours without placing anything on it.

Retaining the shine

Other than sealing the countertops, you need to take good care of your countertops, so you maintain the shine. How do you do this?

Clean the surfaces with the right products: While you might be up to good when cleaning the surfaces, you might be harming them by using the wrong products. As a rule of thumb, you should never use bleach or cleaning products containing alkaline or any acidic substances as they will degrade the sealer and expose your countertops.

Remove spills as soon as they happen: Even if you have sealed your kitchen countertops Raleigh, it’s stupid to leave the liquid on the surfaces for a long time as it tends to penetrate the porous marble, leaving ugly stains that are difficult to remove.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen or as soon as you notice them.

8 Tips On How To Keep Kitchen Countertops Clear

Keeping your kitchen countertops clear of clutter not only keeps them looking good, but it also prevents accidents from coming about. Wondering how to keep kitchen counters clear? Here are tips on how to do it:

Have as little as possible on your countertops

This is the foundation of everything. Instead of having plenty of things on your surfaces, store them in organized cabinets and drawers. Save your countertop space only for the absolutely necessary essentials.

Many homeowners treat their countertops as drop-offs for keys, magazines, dirty dishes, and other items. Don’t do this.

When it comes to appliances, only have the absolutely essential ones. These are the ones that you use every day, such as coffee makers, cookers, toaster, oven, and others. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it for a week, you don’t need it on your counters. Lock it up.

Don’t use the fridge as an art gallery.

Visit many homes, and you will find all things on the refrigerators: photos, notes, lists, magnets, and plenty of other things. You might have the impression that this makes you look cool, but it’s not the case. It actually makes the kitchen look dirty and disorganized.

For a cleaner kitchen, keep it simple. If you have no emotional connection to a photo, don’t need that note or magnet, get rid of it.

Have a catch-all bowl

It’s normal to have papers, knickknacks, and other small items here and there. Since you can’t always put these in storage all the time, you should have a junk bowl on your countertops to catch the items.

At the end of every week, sort through the collection and put the different items in the right place.

If you must have things on your counters, don’t leave them haphazardly there. Place them on trays or stands to avoid the messy hodge-podge look.

Stick the microwave in your kitchen island

The microwave is large and can take up a huge chunk of the precious counter space. Unfortunately, you can’t put it in the cupboard and be pulling it in and out every time you want to use it.

What is the solution to this? Stick it on the kitchen island.

Make your sink multifunctional.

When buying a new sink, go for one that performs more than one function. For example, you can go for one with mini ledges inside the sink that make it easy to easily pop in the drying rack, cutting board, wash pan and at the same time have space to stack and wash the dirty dishes.

While such a sink will be a little expensive, it will be worth it as it will save you a lot of space.

Add pretty but functional items.

You should note that having clutter-free counters doesn’t mean you can’t have anything on them. You can have your desired items, but they should be attractive and add some functionality to your counters.

For example, you can have jars on the counters that look pretty and carry grains and other materials.

Have decluttering rules

If you have many people living in the same house, have rules that will keep the counters clear. Some of the rules you can have include:

  • Dirty dishes should always go directly in the sink or dishwasher but never on the counter.
  • After cleaning the dishes, always clean the countertop surfaces.
  • Don’t place the paperwork on the kitchen counters.
  • Kitchen cabinets and drawers should always stay organized all the time, so every item in the kitchen has a place.

Add storage areas on your counters.

For items such as knife blocks and others that take up a lot of space, add more storage areas. Some of the storage ideas you can use to your advantage include:

  • Hook for keys
  • Wall hanging fruit basket
  • Wall-mounted paper towel holder.
  • Shelves for cookbooks
  • Wall-mounted racks for commonly used spices.
  • Magnetic strips or backsplash for knives and other utensils

You can also have a pocket inside your cabinet door to store your baking sheet and cutting board. Like your granite countertops Durham, keep the storage areas clean and free from unnecessary junk. You don’t want them messy and disorganized.

Granite Kitchen Countertops: What To Put On Kitchen Countertop For Decoration?

Imagine this. You have installed granite kitchen countertops or any other countertop material of your choice. Should you leave it bare or decorate it? If you love a decorated kitchen, decorating your countertops can be tricky as you have to ensure the decorative accessories don’t get in the way of cooking.

If you are wondering what to put on the kitchen countertop for decoration, there are plenty of things you can use. Here are some of them:

Cooking books

Love trying out different recipes and have several cookbooks on your bookshelf? Why not bring them to your countertops? The books give your surfaces an elegant appeal, and you can place them on any countertop surface. If you want to amp up the look, use bookends.

Everyday appliances

If you are like other homeowners, there are several appliances you use every day. These include a blender, mixer, coffee maker, rice cooker, tea kettle, and others. If you use these appliances every day, there is no need to add any other decorative items on your surfaces as you risk giving it a disorganized look.

Strategically place these appliances in your kitchen surfaces, giving the surfaces an elegant appeal and a sense of space.

You should get rid of appliances that you rarely use. For example, put away the blender that you use only once a week.

Cutting boards

Did you know you can improve the appeal of your kitchen with cutting boards? Get several boards of different types, shapes, and colors, then strategically lean them against your kitchen backsplash.

To make the cutting boards the center of attention, ensure there aren’t many appliances on the countertops.

Fruits

Since most fruits don’t require refrigeration and can last for a few days under the room temperature, they make excellent decorative accessories for your kitchen surfaces. Collect a few of your favorite fruits of different colors, place them on a large plate, and then place them at your counters’ strategic areas.

Great fruits you can go for are: lemons, limes, oranges, and apples. Oh…ensure the fruits are fresh. There is no way dry, decaying fruits will do good to your surfaces.

Plants

It’s amazing how a single potted plant gives your space a refreshing touch. In addition to transforming your home’s look, plants also give your surfaces an appealing, organic feel.

To transform your home, find a few of your favorite indoor plants and display them in a stylish pot or planter. If you are out of the house for extended periods, choose low maintenance plants.

If you aren’t sure about the right plants and planters to use, get a professional’s input.

Fresh flowers

Do you love flowers? Why not find a few and use them to decorate your countertops? Well done flowers bring in an organic and refreshing touch to your surfaces. Unlike plants, flowers tend to wilt faster, so you will need to replace them more often.

Art pieces

If you ask many homeowners, they will tell you that you can’t display art in the kitchen, but nothing is as further from the truth as this. When well displayed, art pieces can magically transform your surfaces.

Some of the great options you can go with include: dainty sculptures, decorative jars, framed canvases, paintings, and many others.

For best results, be strategic in how you display the art. For example, lean small paintings against the wall or at the end of the counter. You can display the paintings as a single piece or as a series.

When it comes to vases or sculptures, you can layer them into other types of décor, making them serve as the counters’  counters’ focal point.

Soaps

Although, popularly displayed in the bathroom, you can also use soaps as a charming décor on the kitchen counter. Place a few handmade soaps in a big jar, then place them near the kitchen sink or anywhere else.

Parting shot

These are some of the items you can use to decorate your kitchen countertops Durham. For a uniform look, stick to a theme. You can do most of the decorations by yourself but if you feel you can’t, get a professional designer to help you out.

Is Marble Easy To Maintain? Marble Countertops Experts Answer

Marble is one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. While it has been around for a long time, many new homeowners are skeptical about installing it due to its perceived high maintenance. Is marble easy to maintain? You will hear them asking.

Like any other countertop material, marble requires some care. To help you out, here are tips on how to care for marble countertops:

Apply a good sealant

Marble is porous, so you need to seal it to protect it from staining. At the time of purchase, the countertops don’t have any sealing so you have to apply it. If you are a dab hand at DIY, you can do the sealing or, let the countertop company do it.

Thankfully, applying the sealant is simple. Ensure the surface you are working on is clean and dry. If applying the sealer on an old countertop, use acetone to remove the old sealer. By following the instructions on the sealant’s packaging, proceed to apply the sealant to your countertops.

Applying the sealant is easy as all you need to do is to pour it directly on the surfaces then spread it evenly with a clean white cloth. Let the sealer soak for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle a little more over the treated areas.

This way, you will collect and gather excess sealer during cleanup. You should use a clean, dry cloth to remove the excess sealer that hasn’t soaked in. In most cases, a second coat is unnecessary unless the sealer manufacturers recommend it.

Get rid of stains as soon as you notice them.

To avoid stains, it’s recommended you clear spills as soon as they happen. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen, and you are unaware of it. What is the result of this? The liquid gets into the inner layers of the countertops, and you have a stain.

To restore your countertops, you need to get rid of the stains. There are plenty of products you can use to do it. It’s up to you to choose the right ones depending on the type of stain you have.

If you have oil-based stains such as milk, cooking oil, makeup, and others, clean them using a liquid cleanser with ammonia, acetone, mineral spirits, or bleach.

Got mildew stains? Combat them with a solution of three parts household bleach with one part water and a dash of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. You should mist the surface thoroughly and repeat the application until the entire stain goes away. Finally, rinse the area with clear water.

Have you spilled tea, wine, paper, tobacco, coffee, fruit, or any other foods on your precious countertops? Use a 12% hydrogen peroxide solution and a few ammonia drops to clean the surfaces. You should then rinse the surfaces with a wet cloth and dry with a chamois.

If you accidentally spilled paint on the surfaces, remove a small drip with a lacquer thinner dabbed on with a clean cloth. You can also carefully scrape it off with a razor blade. If the paint stain is large, use a paint stripper to remove it. Remember to re-polish the affected area after removal.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Sealing the surfaces is enough, and you can do whatever you want with the surfaces, right? Wrong. Even after sealing the countertops, you still need to be cautious about how you handle the countertops. As a rule of thumb, don’t allow citrus, vinegar, or tomato on the countertops as they can etch the countertops.

You also should avoid sitting or standing on the countertops. Its true marble is strong and tough, but it’s not strong enough to take a lot of weight, especially near the edges. So don’t sit or place heavy objects there as the counters can break.

Clean the surfaces

This is probably the most important thing you have to do to your kitchen countertops NC. And the good side? You don’t have to be fancy about it.

At least once a day, wipe your surfaces with a damp mop or sponge to get rid of loose dirt and any bacteria that might be present.

To avoid damaging the surfaces, avoid using vinegar and other harsh products that can etch the surfaces.