Category Archives: Countertops

What are Corian countertops?

Most people know about granite, marble, and quartz countertops, but there are plenty of other countertop materials you should know about. For example, you should know about Corian countertops.

Corian is the brand name of a solid surface countertop created by DuPont. These countertops are made from a natural mineral blend and acrylic polymer composed of Alumina Trihydrate. Although the countertops mimic the appearance of a stone, they have several distinct properties that make them great countertop choices.

Corian countertops pros and cons

Like other countertops, Corian countertops have their good and bad sides.

Pros

Affordable

Compared to granite, quartz, marble, and other countertops in the market, Corian countertops are much cheaper, making them affordable for most people.

They conduct electricity

This is a unique feature that you won’t find in most countertop materials. While this feature might sound gimmicky to most homeowners, it’s real, and you can work with your technicians and install it on your countertops making it possible to charge your phone wirelessly on the countertops.

While this feature might not be attractive to most homeowners, it comes in handy to those that love cooking while reading recipes on their phones or iPads.

If you are thinking about installing this feature on your countertops, you should note that it will cost you, and you will need to give your countertops special care.

It’s non-porous

Unlike marble and granite, Corian countertops are non-porous, meaning that wine, water, and other liquids won’t easily seep through when you spill on them. This makes the countertops easy to maintain and gives you peace of mind that stains won’t easily come about.

The non-porous nature of the countertops also means that you won’t have to keep sealing the countertops to keep them impermeable to liquids.

Cons

Corian isn’t durable.

Although Corian is affordable, it doesn’t have a long life. This means that when you install it, you will have to replace it several times in your lifetime, and as you can guess, this makes the countertop expensive to have.

One of the reasons the countertop has a short life is because it’s prone to scratches and heat damage, so when you consistently place hot pots on it, it gets damaged, and you have to replace it.

How to maintain Corian countertops

Like other countertops in the market, the key to extending the life of Corian countertops is to take good care of them. How do you do this? Here is how to go about it:

Clean the countertops routinely.

Like other countertops, you have to clean the countertops to keep them looking good. The beauty is you don’t have to be fancy how you go about it. Clean the countertops with dish soap and water to eliminate everyday dirt, grime, and food residues.

Once you are done, dry the countertops with a soft cloth to prevent hard water marks and streaks from forming. The soft cloth also makes the countertops look glossy.

For stubborn dirt, get rid of it using an ammonia-based spray cleaner. When buying the cleaner, pay close attention to the packaging and ensure you aren’t buying a glass or window cleaner. While these have ammonia, they will leave streaks on your countertops, and you don’t want this.

To prevent hard water marks and stains, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen.

Regularly polish the countertops.

Corian countertops come with a semi-gloss, matte, and high gloss finish that you can easily maintain by regularly polishing them. While there isn’t a countertop that will give off the same shiny look you find in granite, you can buff and enhance the look of the countertop with glossy finishes.

All you need to do is spray the polish on the countertops, then buff with a dry, soft cloth.

Protect the countertops from damage

As mentioned above, the reason Corian countertops don’t last as long as granite countertops Raleigh and other countertop materials is because they are easily damaged, so you should protect them from damage.

One way to do it is to protect them from hot pots and pans using oven mitts, trivets, and thick towels. You also should avoid cutting directly on the countertops or sitting on them.

4 Problems with Quartz Countertops

Although quartz has its perks, such as beautiful appearance and durability, it also has its unpleasant side. To help you out, here are 4 of the most common problems with quartz countertops:

They discolor

When you visit many countertop stores, the salespeople move with haste to point out that quartz doesn’t stain so you don’t need to give a lot of care to it. While this is true, it’s not the entire truth.

Quartz is ground down into a fine powder and then mixed with resins before it’s reformed into a countertop. Even though the stone itself is resistant to stains, the resins used to make the countertop vary in stain resistance from one manufacturer to another.

This means that if you buy the wrong type of countertop, you will have to deal with stains hence the countertops requiring almost the same care as granite.

Most countertop stains result from spills, but these aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Quartz counters change their color when exposed to direct sunlight so if your house has large windows allowing a lot of sunlight in, you have to keep closing and opening the drapes to keep the sun out.

Also, the color changes mean you can’t use the countertops outdoors or in grilling spaces.

The countertops have also been shown to stain due to hard water exposure. The iron, magnesium, and calcium in the water leave unsightly deposits on quartz that sometimes come off but sometimes they don’t.

They are expensive to install

Quartz surfaces don’t come cheap so if you are operating on a tight budget, you should look for other options. The reason for the high cost is due to the process involved in their installation. The process involves:

Fabrication: The contractors cut and smooth the slab to the needed shape and size. The larger and more complicated the shape is, the more expensive it’s going to be so if you are looking to save money, you should go for a simple design.

Support addition: If there are areas on the countertops that don’t have cabinets or appear weak, the contractors install extra support on them. The purpose of the extra support is to reduce the risk of the countertops breaking or cracking.

The contractors can install the supports in different ways. They can add extra wooden beams to the wall or secure them close to the cabinets.

Leveling: The purpose of leveling is to reduce the risk of the countertops cracking. The contractors can raise or lower the countertops or cabinets depending on the needs.

They are not resistant to heat

Quartz itself is highly resistant to heat, but the resins used in making the countertops aren’t. This means that placing a hot pan or baking dish directly on the countertops will cause them to have a white discoloration or a cloudy appearance.

To keep your countertops in top shape and avoid damaging them, avoid exposing the countertops to temperatures exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that you don’t damage the countertops, always use a hot pad or trivet instead of placing the hot items directly on the surfaces.

When it comes to cutting on the countertops, don’t cut directly on the surfaces. Instead, have a cutting board in place, as the countertops are prone to scratches.

They tend to have ugly seams

When you hire inexperienced contractors to install the countertops for you, they don’t put the slabs together as well as they should and as a result, you have ugly seams that ruin the appearance of the countertops.

Installing the countertops isn’t DIY friendly

Installing quartz countertops is complex thus not fun especially if you love engaging in DIY projects. Although there are easier to install slabs in the market that you can go for, they too require specialized tools to properly install them.

Moving the countertops is also a problem as they are too heavy. Due to this, you have no way out other than to hire professional contractors to install your quartz kitchen countertops Durham.

When hiring the professionals, ensure they are experienced enough. They also should be authorized to practice in your local area. It also doesn’t hurt hiring insured contractors.

4 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Granite counters are undoubtedly the most popular countertop materials, and every new homeowner dreams of installing them in their home. Unfortunately, it’s not all hunky dory as the countertops have their flaws. Is this your first time you are thinking about installing the countertops? Here are 4 disadvantages of granite countertops you should know about:

They are highly inconsistent.

The countertops are natural, so you can’t expect them to be the same but granite takes the inconsistency to a whole new level.

First, what is referred to as granite in the stone yard and what you purchase for your kitchen isn’t always granite. Many stones are referred to as commercial granite. Meaning a group of stones quarried for use on countertops and share similar characteristics such as high levels of mica, quartz, silica, and feldspar.

True granite is made through volcanic activity where the molten rock cools beneath the earth’s surface. In some cases, the stones labeled and sold as granite aren’t actually igneous rock. Some are dolomites, breccias, and conglomerate stones. All of which are metamorphic or sedimentary rocks.

The granite’s significant inconsistencies mean that there is no standard hardness value, grading, durability, or maintenance. The inconsistency also means that you sometimes have stones that are porous, weak, soft, and others that are so dense such that even thinking about sealing them is wrong.

When you are in the stores making the purchase, all commercial granite is sold and treated equally, so it’s hard to tell what you are buying. Due to this, it becomes an issue of luck. You can buy a soft, weak stone or a tough one that will last your entire lifetime.

To increase your chances of buying a high-quality stone, involve experts. As you are doing your shopping, hire a granite contractor to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you determine how strong the countertop is and when it comes to the granite installation, you won’t waste time finding another installer.

Granite counters have plenty of fissures and pits

Since it’s natural, granite tends to have plenty of natural fissures or pits on its surface. Some of the fissures are harmless, cosmetic cracks or small indentations in the stone, but others are lethal and could actually weaken the countertops’ structure and integrity.

If you are wondering what fissures and pits are, fissures are natural cracks that occur on the stone, and they often occur where two minerals meet. On the other hand, Pits are small holes or indentations in the stone, which often come about when a weaker particle breaks free.

In most cases, it’s hard to tell the nature of a fissure until it opens up or forms a wider crack. Even professionals can’t tell whether the fissure or pit will worsen with time.

Thankfully, most companies apply a resin that makes the countertops stronger and hides the fissures. This means that when you polish the countertop, you cause the light to bounce off the countertop, which comes in handy at hiding the fissures, pits, and other imperfections.

The countertops come with too many color variations

Although the color variations might be a plus for some people as it means more countertop options to choose from, it can be a negative if one section of the stone is significantly different from the rest. Or you have a countertop that has a significant shift in color or pattern from one end of the stone to the next.

Due to the color variations, you should be ultra-cautious when purchasing as the color might look great at the store but be awful when you bring it home.

Before you commit to buying large countertop slabs, first carry a small sample to your home and see how the slab looks in the house. Only proceed with the purchase if you like how the countertop looks.

The countertops don’t have the same durability.

Make no mistake about it. Some granite counters are incredibly durable and will even last several generations, but others, such as those shipped from China, are weak and won’t last long enough. In fact, these stones will sag over time if you don’t support them.

To extend the life of the kitchen countertops Durham, support them on the kitchen islands, overhangs, desk, and other areas.

What Can You Do With Old Countertops?

If you are wondering what can you do with old countertops, you must be having an older home and wondering what to do with the worn-out pieces, right? Well, there are plenty of things you can do with the old kitchen countertops. To help you out, here are some of these things:

Update the countertops

Regardless of the type of countertops you have, you can easily update them. And the beauty is you don’t have to spend a fortune doing it. One of the best ways to improve the look of your countertops is to paint them. Check into your local paint shop and buy a few paint containers.

You should then spend a weekend painting the countertops, and you will have better-looking pieces.

If your countertops are old, chances are they also have a few nicks here and there. Before you paint them, fix these nicks first.

Painting is easy, and you can do it by yourself, but if you don’t have time or aren’t confident in your skills, let a professional handle it for you.

Trash the countertops

Are the countertops too old, or you don’t like them in your house? You can remove and throw them away. You don’t have to hire a contractor to help you remove laminate countertops as they are light and easy to remove. If removing granite, quartz, or any other heavy stone, let an expert handle the removal as you risk hurting your cabinets or even yourself in the process.

If you had installed the lighter laminate countertops, begin clearing any obstructions from the countertops, then disconnect the supply lines to the countertop fixtures. Follow it up by removing the sink and loosen the present adhesive. Once the countertops are loose, lift and dispose them off.

Donate the old countertops

If the countertops are still in good shape, you don’t have to throw them away while they can benefit other people. One great way to make them useful is to donate them to habitat for humanity or any other similar charity.

The cool thing with this move is you get to touch someone’s life, and at the same time reduce your tax bill. If paying less tax is important to you, talk to an accountant and determine how you can save from your donation.

While paying less tax is good, it shouldn’t be your sole motivator towards making the donation. Donate to make better use of the countertops and change lives.

Turn your countertops into a new product.

If you have granite or any other natural countertop, you can give it a new life by converting it into something useful. Some of the ways you can reuse the old countertops are to turn them into tiles, fire pits, shelves, tables, wall decorations, cutting boards, and centerpieces. The only thing you need to do is find a professional experienced in making the transformations, and you are good to go.

Recycle the countertops

With over 53 million tons of construction materials dumped in landfills every year, you should be the source of change. And what better way to do it than to avoid dumping your old countertops and instead recycle them.

Get in touch with your local recycling plant and let them know about your countertops. Some companies will charge you for the recycling, while most will do it free.

Preparing for new countertops

After you have removed the old countertops, your next move should be to prepare the new countertops’ surfaces. Get rid of any dirt or countertop remnants from the surfaces. Are the cabinets in good shape? If they are worn out, this is the best time to give them a makeover.

Once everything is in place, you should now install the new countertop. There is no right or wrong material you can install. It all depends on your tastes and the plans you have for the surfaces. Regardless of the type of countertops you are installing, ensure the work is done by experienced professionals such as certified granite contractors NC.

You don’t want a newbie botching up your expensive project, do you?

Can You Replace Kitchen Countertops Without Damaging Cabinets?

Many homeowners will simultaneously replace their countertops and cabinets, but if you don’t have a huge budget, you can replace them without replacing the cabinets.

While many homeowners replace the cabinets and countertops simultaneously, as they want a uniform look, others do it as they deem the cabinets will get damaged when replacing the countertops.  Can you replace kitchen countertops without damaging cabinets? Yes, you can. You only need to be cautious about how you remove and install the countertops.

To help you out, here are the steps to follow when removing the old countertops:

Step 1: Remove everything from the countertops

This is a no brainer as there is no way you can remove the countertops with items still on them, can you? So remove appliances, books, cutlery and any other thing from the countertops. You also should take everything from the drawers and in the cabinets underneath the countertops and place the items in a safe place away from the area you are working in.

Step 2: Disconnect the supply lines.

Once everything is out of the way, shut off the supply lines to the countertop fixtures. These include the water and gas lines to the stovetop. For the drain line, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the large nuts holding the U or J-shaped trap to the sink’s main drain line. If you have a PVC connection, you should be able to loosen the connection by hand.

For the supply lines, turn off the valves for each fixture clockwise to the off position, then disconnect the lines from the valves using an adjustable wrench.

Step 3: Remove the sink

Depending on the type of sink you have, you should proceed to remove it from your countertops. If you have a drop-in fixture sink, use a putty knife or chisel to pry the sink away from your countertop. You will need to chop away at the layer of dried adhesive under the sink rim to free it.

If the sink is fastened to a tile countertop, you will need to chisel away the quarter tiles along the sink’s perimeter. Remember to remove any remaining mortar or adhesive with a caulk remover or chisel.

Do you have an under-mount sink? Unfasten the screws holding it to the countertop and remove the brackets underneath the sink. Using a flat chisel, remove the caulk acting as a seal between the countertop and sink. After you have freed the sink from the counter, it should come out easily, and all you need is to ask someone to help you pull it out, especially if it has an unwieldy double bowl configuration.

Step 4: Remove the countertops

With everything out of the way, now it’s time to get down to removing the countertops. Begin with loosening the adhesive holding the countertops in place. All you need to do is spray the adhesive with a caulk softener, then let the softener sit on the surface for one hour, then pry the adhesive away from the backsplash with a putty knife and workaround until the counter is loose enough to lift.

If your countertops are held into place by screws, unfasten them, then lift the countertop.

Step 5: Remove the countertops from the cabinets

Most countertops are bracketed to the base cabinets but if yours are attached to the base with nails or an adhesive, use a pry bar to remove them. Work slowly around the countertop and only use minimum force to avoid damaging the base cabinets.

Once the countertop is detached from the cabinets, use a flat chisel to remove the tiles from the countertop surface. Doing this frees the countertop and reduces the weight, making it easy to lift out. Once you have removed all the tiles, get in touch with granite contractors to remove the slab. Don’t try to remove the countertops by yourself, as you risk damaging the cabinets due to the heavyweight.

Step 6: Install new countertops.

Once the old countertop is out of the way, now it’s time to install the new countertop. Work with experienced countertop replacement NC professionals and professionally install the new countertops.

Can You Use Clorox Wipes On Granite?

Like other homeowners, you have Clorox wipes in your home, and when you are looking to disinfect your surfaces, they must be the first things you reach out to. But not so fast. Can you use Clorox wipes on granite?

Clorox wipes contain citric acid that can wear down the sealant on your granite countertops, exposing them to stains, spills, and other forms of damage. Due to this, you shouldn’t use Clorox wipes on granite.

How should you disinfect granite countertops?

Most people will tell you to use disinfectants specifically designed for granite counters, but the truth is that finding a product that is a perfect fit for your stone is a bit tricky.

So how should you disinfect the surfaces?

The best way to go about it is to use 70% isopropyl alcohol. Spray the alcohol on the surfaces and let it sit there for 3-5 minutes to ensure the surfaces are thoroughly disinfected.

You should then wipe the surfaces dry using a microfiber cloth to eliminate as many germs from the countertops as possible. For best results, work in sections.

It can be tempting to dilute the alcohol so that you have less concentration, but don’t do this as the alcohol’s effectiveness at killing the germs significantly drops when you dilute the alcohol below 50%.

If you have scoured the stores and can’t find 70% isopropyl alcohol, use soap with antibacterial properties. Head to your local store and buy a bacterial hand washing soap.

You should then mix the soap with warm water and wipe the granite surfaces using a microfiber cloth.

How often should you disinfect your countertops?

Countertop experts recommend you disinfect your countertops once a week, but you can do it more frequently if many people are coming into contact with your surfaces. The beauty is you don’t need to hire a professional to help with the disinfecting—you can easily do it on your own.

Tips to keep granite surfaces in top shape

Other than disinfecting granite, you need to take good care of it to keep it in top shape. Some of the things you should do include:

Clean the countertops

It goes without saying that cleaning granite countertops is a must if you want to keep them looking great for decades. The cool thing is you don’t need to be fancy when cleaning the countertops.

Begin with filling your clean sink with warm water and a mild soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dishcloth before proceeding to wipe the surfaces of any spills and cramps present.

Once you are done, dry and buff the granite surfaces thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry towel to avoid streaking.

When cleaning, don’t use acidic cleaners such as lemon, lime, vinegar, or anything with ammonia or bleach as it will dull or even weaken the granite seal. Remember, the harsher, the cleaner you are using, the quicker it is to break the sealant, so avoid using harsh chemicals at all costs.

Seal the countertops

Granite is porous, meaning that it quickly absorbs spills and collects stains easily. To protect the countertops from staining easily, seal them regularly. Like cleaning, you don’t need to hire a professional to help you with it.

Begin with spraying the cleaner onto a clean countertop surface, then wipe the spray up with a clean microfiber cloth.  Wait for at least 20 minutes, then apply a second layer.

For peace of mind you have thoroughly sealed your countertops, apply the sealing product at least 3 times.

While all granite surfaces require sealing, how you do it varies depending on the type of stone you have. Some surfaces are treated with resins, so you don’t need to keep sealing them. Others require sealing every 6 months to a year. It’s up to you to research and find out the type of countertop you have and how to seal it properly.

Remove stains

You need to get rid of the stains on your surfaces to keep your countertops looking great. You can remove the stains at home by yourself using baking soda or water, but if the stains are tough, you may have to hire granite contractors Raleigh that use commercial stain removal products.

Corian Countertops Pros And Cons

Compared to the more “glamorous” kitchen countertops such as marble and granite, Corian countertops are regarded as old-age countertop materials whose time has passed, but this is not true.

The countertops have evolved over the years, and if you are looking for kitchen or bathroom countertops, you should highly consider them. Would you love to know more about the countertops? Here are Corian countertops pros and cons.

What are Corian countertops?

Before we proceed, it’s wise we have a backstory about these countertops are. Corian is a brand name for a solid surface countertop invented by DuPont in 1967. The countertops are made of a material derived from a blend of acrylic polymer and bauxite. Now that is out of the way, let’s proceed.

Corian countertops pros

The countertops come with several great features that include:

They come in a wide range of colors.

The first countertop colors trended towards the earthen shades with a dappled pattern, but the modern designs are built with a wide array of hues that range from pure black or white to yellow, blue, purple, and gold. It’s also not uncommon to come across some countertops with neutral shades of brown, gray, and beige.

The countertops also come with a wide range of patterns that vary from pebble to sand to glass. You can also get customized colors and patterns.

They are easy to clean and maintain

Unlike other countertops in the market, Corian countertops are easy to clean and maintain. The cool thing is there are plenty of ways you can clean the countertops. You can spray the countertops with household cleaners, wipe them off with a handheld scrub pad, use soap and water, among many other ways.

When cleaning Corian countertops, you should note that they aren’t resistant to chemical damage, so use pH-neutral cleaning agents.

You don’t need to seal the countertops.

Since the countertops are non porous, you don’t need to seal them every year, saving you a lot of time. The countertops’ non-porous nature also means you don’t have to worry about the surface staining when spills happen.

Although, you should get rid of the spills as soon as they happen, you don’t have to worry that the spills will cause stains, as it’s the case with granite, marble, and other porous materials.

The countertops’ nonporous nature also means the countertops can’t suffer from mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.

They create a seamless appearance.

Since the countertops don’t have visible joints, they create a seamless appearance of your worktop. This feature also makes the countertops easy to repair and resurface in the event of scratches and other types of stains.

If you have minor scratches, you need to undertake minor resurfacing by sanding or rubbing the surfaces with an abrasive scrub. While you can rub the countertops, avoid rubbing them vigorously as you risk causing physical depression on the surfaces.

Corian countertops, cons

Like the two sides of a coin, the countertops come with their fair share of negatives. These negatives include:

They aren’t durable

Although the countertops are easy to clean, maintain and repair, they aren’t as durable as granite and other countertop materials. This means that you have to install them several times in your lifetime compared to the other countertops that you install once, and you are done, of course, unless you want to change the look of your house or you damage them.

They are expensive

Although not as expensive as natural stone countertops, they still don’t come cheap. This means when you install them two or more times in your lifetime, you will be parting with a lot of money compared to when you would have installed granite, marble, or other more long-lasting materials.

They can’t withstand heat.

Corian countertops can’t withstand heat at all. In fact, they are easily scorched by hot pans. Due to this, you need to use trivets, hot pads, and other protective materials to protect the surfaces from extreme heat.

They aren’t easy to find

The countertops aren’t easily available in home centers like the other countertop materials. The only place to find them is in specialty building supply outlets catering to professional markets. This drives the countertop prices high making it hard to find expert installers. In most cases, you are forced to hire granite contractors Raleigh who aren’t Corian countertop installers.

How Long Does Marble Last?

best quartz countertop

Marble is known for its beauty and elegance, but that’s not enough when you are looking to install the countertops. You should know how long the countertops will last. How long does marble last? Is a question you should ask yourself.

Natural marble countertops are tough and durable, and when properly maintained, they can last for over 100 years. Cultured marble countertops, on the other hand, need replacement every two decades.

As mentioned, the countertops won’t last this wrong out of the blue—you need to take good care of them. How do you do this? Here is a guide on how to do it:

Clean the countertops

It’s a no brainer that you should clean the countertops to keep them looking clean and polished. While this is the case, be cautious of the cleaning products you are using.

As a rule of thumb, avoid household chemicals, as many of them are known to cause more harm than good.

For best results, go for neutral cleaners containing conditioning agents. If you don’t have these cleaners, use stone soap designed specifically for marble.

When you repeatedly clean the countertops with the right cleaner, you keep your countertops looking fresh, and you add a natural luster to the stone.

It’s normal for spills to happen and when they happen, always move with haste to remove them before they stain your counters.

Avoid grit at all costs.

Grit is the leading cause of scratches on the countertops, so avoid it in your home as much as possible. Of course, you can prevent it from accumulating on your counters by cleaning the surfaces regularly, but you should take it a step further.

For example, ensure everyone removes their shoes when they are getting in the house. If you have many people living in the house, dust mop the floor daily and clean the counters.

Seal the countertop

Like granite, marble is porous, so it needs sealing to prevent water and other liquids from getting into the stone’s inner layers and staining it. For best results, seal the counters at the time of installation and at least once a year thereafter.

When you are in the stores buying the sealing product, go for the highest quality as it will provide a better seal and improve the look of your counters.

Polish the surfaces

With time, it’s common for countertops to lose their factory shine. Don’t fret when this happens or move to replace the counters. Instead, contact a professional and re-polish the counters.

Polishing will remove light marks left by cleaning agents and chemicals, but it won’t remove deep scratches, so if your counters have large, deep scratches, you may have to replace them.

You can do the polishing if you have the skills or hire a professional to help you out. When you hire professionals, they sand the stone with various grinding grits, making the surfaces flat and establishing a new finish.

When hiring the polishing professional, hire experienced ones. The last thing you want is someone to damage your countertops in the name of polishing them.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Although, properly maintained marble is durable, it’s often brittle when mishandled. So for your countertops to last for a long time, protect them from damage by always having coasters, protective mats, hard mats, and other items on the counters to prevent the surfaces from getting damaged.

Never stand or sit on the counters as you risk cracking them. If you have to reach the top shelf, don’t stand on the counters. Instead, stand on a ladder or stool.

Many people sit on the counters when they are having company in the kitchen. To prevent your guest from sitting on the counters, always have a chair in the kitchen so that when the guest tries to sit on the counters, you ask them to sit on the chair instead.

Install a high-quality stone

When you are in the store, you will come across a wide range of marble stones. Some cheap and others expensive. For your kitchen countertops Raleigh to last for long and also have an easy time maintaining it, go for a high-quality stone.

While it will be expensive at the time of purchase, the high cost is worth it.

What Are Peel And Stick Countertops?

If you don’t like the current look of your countertops or you are looking to undertake countertop replacement and you have been doing research on the countertop options available in the market, you must have come across peel and stick countertops.

What are peel and stick countertops?

These countertops are just as they sound. You peel and stick them to your countertops. The countertops resemble wallpaper and have a sticky backing that you adhere directly over your existing countertops.

They come in a wide range of colors and styles including granite, gold, faux marble, soapstone, and concrete.

The countertops are made through the same process as vinyl flooring, and they have a PVC vinyl base onto which an image or pattern is printed.

When should you install peel and stick countertops?

As you are installing the countertops, you should note they aren’t a permanent solution. So, when you install them, you shouldn’t think that you have completely fixed your countertop problems.

The countertops make the most sense when you have beat up countertops you want to cover up, but you don’t have a lot of money for the project. Since the countertops are cheap, you simply buy them and slap them onto your surfaces and you immediately improve the look of your counters.

The countertops also make sense when you recently moved to a rented house and you don’t like the look of the current countertops. We all have different tastes and if you don’t like how the landlord-installed countertops look, you can buy the peel and stick countertops and place them on top of the already installed countertops.

How do you install the countertops?

If you feel these countertops will transform your surfaces, you should go ahead and install them. How do you do this? Here are the steps to follow:

Prepare and clean the countertops

Begin with removing all the items from your countertops, then spray the surfaces with a de-greasing agent to remove oils and grease that might be on the surfaces. You should then scrub the surfaces with a scrub brush, then dry the counters with a rag.

Secure old countertop material

If your countertops are old and worn out, chances are there are some loose materials. Before you install the new countertops, hold these loose materials in place with an adhesive.

If there are lifted pieces, clamp them in place with a C-Clamp or place weights on the loose area to bond the existing countertop to the substrate.

Fill the holes

If you have had your countertops for a long time, they most likely have low spots and divots. Your new countertops won’t look good with these holes in place, so fill them with epoxy repair putty before installing the new countertops.

You should fill the depression so it’s slightly above the existing countertop. Give the epoxy putty two to three hours to dry before you go to the next step.

Even out the surface

Remember the depression you filled above the countertop? Now it’s time to even it out. Use 100-grit sandpaper to sand down the high spots. The sandpaper will work better when you wrap it around a sanding block. Once you are done, use a clean towel to wipe away any excess debris brought about by sanding.

Arrange the countertop tiles

Once the countertops are clean and even, now lay the peel and stick countertops and arrange them in your desired configuration. Fit the tiles tightly against each other and leave the protective paper on the backs in place.

Set the countertops in place

Peel the protective paper backing from the first tile and set it in place on the countertops. Begin along an edge and align the peel and stick tiles to the edges of your countertops. While at it, rub a rag over the surfaces of the set tile while pressing so it adheres to the surface.

Continue peeling off the protective paper and making the necessary cuts with a utility knife. Remember to use a metal straightedge to keep the cuts straight.

To get good adhesion, roll a heavy rolling pin over the tiles This ensures the tiles lay flat, preventing them from curling up at the corners or shifting.

You don’t need a contractor

Unlike with granite and other natural stone kitchen countertops Durham, you don’t need a professional to install these countertops. With the right tools and a few YouTube videos, you can perfectly install peel and stick countertops on your own.

4 Problems With Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops make excellent kitchen countertops for those that can’t afford marble or granite countertops. While the countertops are super affordable, and you can install them by yourself, they come with their fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common problems with concrete countertops and how to solve them:

They easily crack

The countertops can crack either soon after installation or later on down the line. The risk is heightened when you use poured in place concrete instead of pre-cast concrete.

Thankfully, you can prevent the cracks from coming about by adding rebar, fiber reinforcement, or wire mesh. If you do this, but cracking still happens, don’t fret as you can fix it. How do you do this?

Use a material that can bond to the concrete to restore its appearance and prevent liquid penetration that could stain the countertops. The material you use should be flexible and strong or stronger than concrete, so future cracking doesn’t happen.

You can seal the crack by yourself or hire a professional to help you out. If you opt to go the DIY route, start the process by cleaning the crack. If the oil or stains have penetrated the crack and discolored the concrete, address the stains before repairing the crack.

If the countertops are new and unstained, apply more sealer down into the crack by rubbing the sealer in with your gloved fingers. For you to repair the crack, the sealer should penetrate the crack and fill it.

A good sealer has low surface tension, so it readily wets out the concrete and has a low viscosity.

For best results, avoid topical sealers as they don’t penetrate and fill the cracks. This is because the sealers have low solid content.

Unlike other problems that worsen with size, it’s not the case with concrete cracks. The larger they are, the easier they are to fix, as it’s easier to get materials into the crack.

The countertops scratch easily.

Other than the countertops developing cracks, they also scratch easily, which can give your surfaces a cheap, ugly look. Thankfully, you can seal the minor concrete scratches and restore your countertops.

There are two ways you can do this: touch up the scratch with a sealer or reseal the entire slab.

When using a sealer, be cautious and ensure you are using the right one. As a rule of thumb, avoid a two-part sealer that you have to mix and spray onto your countertop with special equipment.

Your touchup kit should be as simple as possible. One of the best you can go for is the single-component sealer, such as acrylic.

When it comes to brushes, use a “spotter brush” that gives the best results as it’s fine and doesn’t hold a lot of sealer.

After you have touched up the scratch and the touchup is dry, adjust the sheen to match the surrounding finish, and if there is excess material in the touchup, use a razor blade to scrape off the excess.

They chip easily

Like marble and granite countertops, concrete surfaces can chip when they contact sharp objects near the corner of the countertops. The reason these areas are vulnerable is because there is little material available to resist the full impact of the pan, pot, or any other heavy object.

When there is a chip on your countertops, you can fix it in different ways depending on the chip’s nature. If the chip that came off is available and still intact, you need to glue it back on. On the other hand, if the chip fragment is unavailable, fill the damaged area with new material.

Regardless of the method you use, ensure the adhesive or filler you use color matches the countertops.

The countertops are prone to oil stains.

Since the surfaces are porous, they are prone to dark oil stains. Thankfully, you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement Durham when this happens, as you can get rid of the stains using a good poultice. An ideal poultice is a mixture of powdered sugar, baking soda, and flour with acetone.

Spread the poultice on the oil spot, then cover it with plastic wrap taped down to seal in the poultice.