Can You Pour Boiling Water On Quartz Countertops?

Thinking of adding quartz countertops to your space? Great move because these countertops have been capturing the attention of many not only for their visual appeal but also for their resistance to staining and durability. As a homeowner, you will also appreciate that they are low-maintenance as well.

Now, because quartz countertops are mostly installed in kitchens and bathrooms, you may be wondering if yours coming into contact with hot water may be a problem. Well, that depends on how often that happens and for how long the water sits on the surface.

In this article, we will explore the composition of quartz countertops, their heat resistance, and debunk common myths surrounding their invincibility.

Understanding quartz countertops

To understand the effect of hot water on your quartz countertop, you need to understand its composition first. They are usually made from stone, comprising a huge percentage of crushed quartz crystals mixed with polymers, resins, and pigment.

When all these are mixed, the result is a beautiful, non-porous material that you call a quartz surface.

What is the heat resistance of quartz?

Surely, even with its impressive heat-resistant abilities, quartz has to have a certain temperature degree that will make it crack.

True to this, the material can only handle temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius before showing signs of damage. This high tolerance can be attributed to the resin contained in quartz.

The myth of invincibility

Most people misconstrue quartz to be indestructible, which is also why most people choose it for their kitchens and bathrooms. You should note that quartz has a breaking point where it cannot withstand stress. Exposure to extremely high temperatures may cause it to falter.

 As such, it is important to understand the potential risks as well as employ the necessary measures to ensure that your quartz countertop maintains its beauty and durability.

The reality of thermal shock

Now, while your quartz countertop can very well resist heat, it is susceptible to thermal shock. This is when there is a sudden change in extreme temperatures.

Simply put, if you expose your quartz countertop to extremely high or cold temperatures, it may experience thermal stress that will in turn, cause cracks, chips, or worse still, damage to the structural integrity of your countertop.

Practical considerations

With the myth about quartz being indestructible out of the way, it is necessary to be cautious with yours. While occasional exposure to hot crockery may not cause much or immediate harm, constantly subjecting your quartz surface to extreme temperatures will be detrimental.

Therefore, you may find it useful to employ responsibility when using your quartz surface to extend its life.

Importance of trivets and hot pads

Although a quartz countertop is durable, practicing proper maintenance is crucial, and the best part is that it’s not taxing.

The most you would have to do is place trivets and hot pads on top of your surface to create a barrier. What this does is that it reduces the chances of thermal shock when the surface comes into direct contact with your hot pans or boiling water.

Effects of boiling water: Immediate vs. long-term

At this point, you already know that pouring hot water on a quartz surface is unlikely to cause damage immediately owing to its heat-resistant properties.

Nonetheless, you must not take this for granted. Rather, you must be careful not to allow your surface to suffer the long-term effects of doing the same.

Extended exposure of your quartz countertop to hot water can compromise the countertop’s resin and lead to structural damage, surface dullness, and discoloration.

Mitigating risks

Like any other homeowner, you may want to reduce the risks that may compromise your quartz countertop’s longevity and visual appeal, right? Here’s how to do that.

1. Avoid direct heat

As previously mentioned, you want to avoid placing hot cookware directly from the stove or oven onto the quartz surface. This is because direct exposure may lead to thermal shock which will compromise the resins in your quartz countertop and ultimately cause structural damage.

2. Clean spills promptly

While it is normal to have spillages in the kitchen or bathroom, you want to avoid damaging your countertop by promptly cleaning them up. This is particularly important if it is a hot liquid spillage. Your quick action is what will minimize the likelihood of your quartz surface getting damaged.

Debunking common quartz countertop myths

There are some common myths regarding quartz countertops. Debunking them will help ensure that you get the most out of yours.

Myth 1: Quartz is indestructible

Yes, quartz is durable and can resist a lot, but that does not mean that it is invincible. In that regard, you want to put in place the right maintenance practices that will guarantee the extended life of your quartz countertop.

Myth 2: Boiling water causes immediate damage

Accidental or purposeful pouring of hot water on your quartz countertop should not cause panic. This is because the material has remarkable heat-resistant abilities.

While this is the case, frequent exposure to hot water or other liquids is detrimental and may ultimately affect the structural integrity of the quartz.

Generally, quartz countertops can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) without immediate damage.

It is no wonder that they are a popular choice among homeowners for areas like the kitchen where heat is involved.

As you may have guessed, knowing and respecting these temperature limits is what will make the difference between a long-lasting countertop and one that weakens after a short while.

Conclusion

Pouring hot water on your quartz kitchen countertops NC is not something that you should make a habit. If you do, you risk compromising its durability, beauty, and color. Instead, you should think of it as an occasional occurrence that perhaps happens accidentally. Moreover, you should clean up the spillage as soon as it happens.

Ultimately, quartz countertops can handle only up to 150 degrees Celsius of temperature. Anything beyond that is detrimental, especially in the long run.

Tricks to Making the Most of Your Small Kitchen Countertops

Even if cooking isn’t one of your favorite activities, a small kitchen countertop can make life difficult. Even if you’re not slicing veggies, you’ll want a large enough surface to set your grocery bags, appliances, and other accessories or decorative objects, but how do you make the most of a little countertop?

If your modern kitchen doesn’t have enough space for an island, you’ll have to make do with the countertops you have, which is more said than done.

To help you out, here are easy ways to maximize space and make the most of your small kitchen countertops.

Choose multifunctional appliances

Appliances usually occupy a lot of room on your kitchen countertop, so opt for multifunctional ones whenever possible.

If you like coffee, your coffee maker, grinder, and frother (together with all their cords) might take up a lot of space on your worktop.

To save space, consider a coffee maker that grinds the beans, brews the coffee, and froths the milk. Although such an appliance will be of significant in size, it will still take up less room than the individual parts, and you can rest assured that there will be no excess wiring cluttering your space.

Many people often ignore the oven, which isn’t good. Consider replacing an integrated one with the standard four burners in your tiny kitchen with a domino hob.

Because most people don’t use all four burners simultaneously, choosing a domino hob with only two burners mounted vertically can help you gain some extra inches.

Get rid of duplicates and anything else you aren’t using

When you have limited room, you can’t afford to keep every outdated thing you don’t use.

This is because they will create a cluttered appearance and slowly but steadily take up the majority of your available surface, which is why it is critical to declutter your kitchen countertops if you want to regain some space.

Duplicates are common in most kitchens. You can be five-can openers or twenty wooden spoons, which aren’t necessary. To free up space, collect items from the same category and minimize the volume, preserving the best and greatest quality.

This way, you’ll have fewer things (that you use) but have more space.

Make use of the space above the sink.

This is a brilliant solution that you can use to your advantage. You need to cover the sink with marble or any other material and make use of the space.

Since you have covered the area you wouldn’t have used, now you have space to do some cutting and many other tasks.

Organize your cupboards properly.

Many people wind up cluttering their worktops with objects that could easily fit in their kitchen cabinets if they were a little more organized.

You can arrange your space more wisely now that you’ve decluttered and removed all duplicates and objects you don’t need.

Begin by organizing and maximizing your cabinet space so your countertops are not congested. This calls for you to look into storage alternatives for your kitchen cupboards to keep the counters clear.

Fortunately, there are numerous kitchen storage solutions to help you maximize your cabinet space, which allow you to use all of the area while quickly accessing all of your items, spice racks that hang on the back of cabinet doors, and shelf organizers, which allow you to use the space vertically.

You can use wire storage baskets to maximize space within your cabinets so you can tuck in.

Making the most of your storage means you’ll have less need to keep storage caddies or food packets on your countertops, which leaves you enough room to do other things.

Make use of drawers.

Because you’ll be stashing as much as possible away from the counters, you will have a lot of space.

If you have a mix of drawers and shelves, the equipment you use the most should be in the drawers, while less commonly used tools, such as special cake pans, should be stored in the rear reaches of the shelves.

If you don’t have a lot of lower drawers, try installing pull-out cabinet shelves, which are as close to retrofitting drawers into your existing cabinets as you can get.

Think about decanting

It’s debatable, but there is no harm in decanting pantry products into glass jars. After all, when the pantry items are too many, you place them on the countertops, and you don’t want this.

Yes, it’s fussy, but in a compact area, they fit far more neatly into cabinets than a jumble of boxes and bags, resulting in less mess overall and the need to move some to the countertops.

You can upcycle tomato sauce jars and the like, but nothing beats old-school clip-top jars when it comes to airtight storage.

Using the version has much potential for extra storage, but you’ll want to be careful not to crowd your area with too many objects hanging from the walls.

A magnetic knife rack on the wall is practical since it takes up far less space than in-drawer knife storage or a knife block, and it keeps your blades within easy reach.

A hanging rail is also a good idea to consider for that added space.

There are other alternative options for going vertical. For example, you can screw cup hooks into the underside of higher cupboards and hang your cups next to the coffee maker.

Install a hook and hang a wire fruit basket to reclaim the space previously occupied by the fruit bowl, and purchase strong magnetic hooks and stick them to your range.

While going vertical will save you a lot of granite countertops Raleigh that you can use for other roles, you should note that if you use all of these tactics, your kitchen will feel claustrophobic. And you don’t want this.

Instead, you should work with experienced contractors who will guide you on taking advantage of the vertical spaces without letting things get out of control.

Tricks to Keep your Kitchen Countertops in Top Shape

The right kitchen countertop surfaces can be highly advantageous. High-quality countertops add value to your life and help you attract serious buyers if you ever decide to sell.

They also significantly improve the functionality of your kitchen.

Unfortunately, you can’t get these benefits when your surfaces are in horrible shape. How do you keep your kitchen countertops in tip-top condition? Here is how to go about it:

Professionally install the countertops.

Finding an experienced professional to ensure a quality installation is one of the simplest ways to ensure your kitchen countertops remain in good condition.

Keep in mind that some kitchen countertop materials necessitate a lot of upkeep. This means that maintaining your countertops will be more difficult if you’re not up to the task.

As a result, it’s advisable to start by consulting an expert to determine which kitchen countertop material is appropriate for your needs.

You should also take the time to find a kitchen renovation professional who has experience installing new worktops. Begin by asking anyone you know who has recently installed high-quality countertops you admire for a referral.

You can also look online and read reviews to find a professional to install the countertops properly.

If you’re tempted to do it yourself to save some money, don’t since there’s a steep learning curve. You don’t want to be learning on the job and ruining your expensive counters. 

When poorly done, your kitchen countertops can become skewed and have ill-fitting, improperly sealed joints, and you don’t want this, do you?

Improper installation leads to uneven surfaces, discoloration, and peeling that you don’t want on your surfaces.

If you don’t want this, you should take your time and find an experienced professional who will expertly install the countertops and advise you on the right ones to go for and take good care of them.

Clean the countertops properly.

If you apply the proper cleaning methods, your countertops will remain in excellent shape for a long time.

One of the habits you should take up is to clean the spills as soon as they happen. When you do this, you ensure that you don’t have stains on the surfaces, as you don’t let the spills stay on the surfaces for too long.

Of major importance is keeping an eye out for acidic substances, which can harm most kitchen countertops. If any acids spill on the counters, remove them immediately.

You also should make it a habit to clean your surfaces as regularly as possible. When cleaning, avoid using abrasive products as they have been shown to cause excessive damage to the characters.

As a rule of thumb, don’t use steel wool, as it’s prone to scratching the countertops, giving them an ugly appearance.

The best way to clean your surfaces is using a basic cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Using a microfiber cloth, in particular, can do wonders because it is incredibly absorbent and effective at removing grime.

Seal your countertops

If using synthetic countertops, you won’t need to apply a surface sealant. Unfortunately, this is a must for granite, wood, or concrete counters because the surfaces are porous, and the sealant protects against scratches, stains, and drying.

If you don’t correctly seal your porous countertops, moisture can accumulate and cause various issues, including the spread of bacteria.

This can harm the function of your countertops since if you can’t adequately clean them, they may be unsafe to use for food preparation.

Sealing the surfaces also prevents etching, which occurs when you spill liquids such as lemon juice and don’t wipe them up soon enough.

Properly sealed countertops are also easier to clean, and the sealer aids in preserving the countertops in their natural condition. 

The best time to seal the countertops is during the installation. Hiring a professional for installation is a smart option because they will know what sealant to use.

When sealing, use a high-quality sealant that will last for a long time. As much as it’s important to seal your countertops at the time of installation, you should note that this isn’t enough—countertops require regular resealing to remain in good condition.

In most cases, you will still need to reseal the surfaces at least once yearly.

Even when resealing, ensure you use a high-quality sealer for a great experience.

Keep heat away from the surfaces.

Keeping heat away from your countertops makes sense because heat is harmful and warps materials.

When materials are heated, they expand and then contract. The same thing happens to your countertops. When you expose them to heat, they get damaged by this frequent expansion and contraction.

To stay safe, ensure your cooker is not in direct contact with your counters.

You also should make it a habit to place a mat on the surfaces whenever you get something from the oven. Having a trivet in place also doesn’t hurt, as it protects your surfaces from getting damaged by a hot plate.

Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Because countertops are built from various materials, they may have varied care and maintenance requirements. In that case, you should first contact the manufacturer of the countertops in your kitchen to see if they have any care instructions.

Even if you can’t find these instructions, you can always ask a contractor or an expert about the best approach to maintain your specific countertop brand.

Contractors with extensive expertise in installing worktops are more likely to be familiar with their care and upkeep. So, when installing, ensure that granite installers Durham or any other experienced experts handle it.

The cleaning instructions change based on the material. When cleaning laminate, for example, it’s preferable to use warm, soapy water and a textured fiber sponge.

Because granite countertops require pH-balanced cleaners, avoid natural cleaners like lemon juice, vinegar, and citrus, as they are slightly acidic.

The same is true for marble surfaces, which can be quickly harmed if you use acidic or low-pH cleaners.

To stay safe and ensure that your countertops last as long as possible, adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines as strictly as possible.

Can You Install Granite Countertops by Yourself?

Ideally, you should hire granite contractors to install the countertops for you. If you don’t have the money to hire a professional, don’t worry, as with precision and hard work, you can install the countertops by yourself. 

To help you out, here is how to go about the installation:  

Have the necessary tools

Before you choose a granite slab from your preferred home furnishing store, make a list of the installation tools you need for the project and put them in place.

The ones you need include a putty knife, caulking gun, circular saw, measuring tape, jig saw, level, granite dye, masking tape, seam stone, filler, and dry-cut segmented diamond blade.

You use the jig saw to cut out the sink hole (though you may need to hire a professional for this step), use the masking tape to protect the seam lines, the putty knife to mix the seam filler with a dye, and the diamond blade to cut and seam the slab.

You will need a 0.75-inch plywood to brace the top of the cabinet upon which you will install the slab.

Be ultra-cautious when taking the measurements.

Installing a granite slab without determining how much countertop space your kitchen requires is a recipe for disaster.

So, if your granite slab manufacturer refuses to send a specialist to your home to take measurements until you pay an additional fee, you go ahead and take the measurements by yourself. When taking the measurements, be cautious to ensure a flawless job.

For the best outcome, measure the length and width of the top of the counter, which should be done in inches. You should multiply the measured length by 25.5 inches to get the overhang.

The overhang is the legroom required to sit comfortably around the countertop while allowing movement around the kitchen. After multiplying the length of the counter’s top by 25.5 inches, divide the result by 144 to get square footage.

The amount of granite you need for the backsplash should be included in the calculation. This should, of course, be the same length and thickness as the countertop slab, but the height is different.

The backsplash height is typically 4 inches. To convert it to square footage, multiply 4 inches by 144.

Properly prepare the installation area.

Besides having the necessary installation tools, there are several other ways you need to be ready for the installation.

Start by removing the old countertop and plumbing fixtures, level the counter surface, and clear the space around the counter.

Clear the area surrounding the cabinet and remove the old countertop using a nail puller or a screwdriver, depending on how you fastened it. This should expose the counter’s surface for leveling. The purpose of leveling the exposed counter is to maintain stability and facilitate the installation of the new granite slab.

Use plywood and shims for leveling because this is the combination most typically utilized by specialists to obtain professional-level results.

After leveling, turn off the plumbing and uninstall it to avoid an installation disaster. Remember to remove the existing backsplash as well.

Cut the countertop slab with precision.

You can waste a lot of money if you don’t cut the stone as well as it should. To save money, cut a granite slab to fit and look nice after installation.

To ensure that this happens, cut the stone with extreme caution. You will even be better off if you can hire a professional to do it for you.

When doing it, protect yourself from dust by wearing goggles, earplugs, gloves, and respirators. Move all kitchen objects to a location where dust will not settle.

With that out of the way, use a ruler and a marker to create the arrangement of your countertop design. Using a pair of scissors, carefully cut out this layout and pattern.

Following in the footsteps of the Marble specialists, clamp the acquired granite slab with C-clamps and cut it into the pattern in the cardboard using a saw.

Attach the cardboard layout to the granite slab and carefully retrace the design onto the slab to achieve this perfectly.

Sharpen your saw blade and begin cutting the slab along the pattern. You’ll experience heat and pressure growing as you cut.

Control this by having someone on standby to spray water on the granite as you slice it. Also, keep your eyes on the saw while you cut to avoid injury, and remember to take breaks at regular intervals to evaluate your progress.

After cutting, use an angular grinder to smooth the slab’s edges.

Properly seal the seams.

Improperly sealing the joints of your granite countertops means that you will have to deal with cleaning issues, and you don’t want this, do you?

To have an easy time, ensure you get the proper amount and color of professional-grade sealer. If you’re going to build a sealer out of a polyester-based resin, coloring, and hardener, selecting the pigment mix that will make a blend that properly matches the color combination of your granite slab can be difficult.

In this instance, you may require the assistance of a skilled color-matcher.

You should mix the dye with the resin after obtaining your sealer materials until the color matches that of your granite slab and the combination forms putty.

You can experiment with different colors and resin in little amounts until you find the perfect color combination. After that, add your hardener to the putty resin-coloring mixture and thoroughly swirl.

Finally, apply your homemade sealer to the seams and let it harden for up to 24 hours.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you need to do to install granite countertops in your home correctly. As mentioned, you can do the installation yourself, but for the best outcome, let the work be handled by experienced granite countertop installers NC who know what they are doing.  

Tricks to Get the Most Value from Your Kitchen Renovation

With images of stunning kitchens filling Instagram and Pinterest by the hour, it’s easy to fantasize about a high-end renovation. 

As much as you want a beautiful kitchen, a pricey remodel with cutting-edge appliances and luxurious finishes would not always increase resale value in the long run.

The best return on investment will be a minor remodel. This could include repainting cabinets, updating the backsplash, and upgrading the appliances. 

Would you like to get the most from your kitchen renovation? Here’s how to go about it:

Go with marble countertops.

Homeowners’ desire for the opulent beauty of creamy Calacatta or Carrara marble isn’t going away anytime soon. 

To give your kitchen an elegant appeal, install marble countertops. The countertops are great, but they require more upkeep and come at a higher cost.

Still, considering investing in natural stone? Include Dry-Treat’s Stain-Proof, a unique sealant that prevents discoloration for up to 15 years.

If you don’t want marble or can’t afford it, there are other less expensive options you can go for. For example, you can go for engineered stone, such as quartz, which resembles marble and is stain-resistant and antimicrobial. 

If you’re looking for a quick bang for your buck and want the look of marble, you can get a realistic-looking porcelain slab at a fraction of the price.

Add an island

While adding an island is a significant undertaking, it is worthwhile if you want to stay in your home for a long time because this hardworking feature offers functionality and has long been on many buyers’ wish lists. 

When someone walks into a kitchen with an island, they immediately notice more countertop prep space, storage, and seating.

While you should consider installing a kitchen island, it doesn’t imply you should pack one into a cramped quarter. You should only consider installing an island if you have at least 36 inches of clearance on all sides. It will even be better if you have 42 to 48 inches.

Go with simple neutral cabinets.

Cabinets typically consume around 30% of a restoration budget and should last 20 to 25 years. As a result, you should be strategic how you go about it. It’s best to adhere to classic styles like Shaker and widely appealing colors.

Your warmer neutral colors are more pleasing and safe. While white kitchens are popular, consider installing soft taupes, dark blues, linens, and grays.

Install the right cabinet grade.

Cabinets are classified into four quality levels: bespoke, semi-custom, stock, and ready-to-assemble. With custom or semi-custom cabinets, cabinet sizes can vary, and numerous finish options exist.

Custom cabinets are great, but you shouldn’t go for them. This is because they aren’t appealing to many who might be looking to buy your unit. 

Instead of custom cabinets, use inexpensive options with adjustable modifications for renovators on a tighter budget.

You could save a lot by going for a simple kitchen, but it depends on the bells and whistles you choose.

You can deck out your kitchen with semi-handmade doors and find yourself cost-wise in the semi-custom category, or you could do semi-custom cabinetry without as many bells and whistles and find it relatively inexpensive.

If replacing the cabinetry isn’t within budget, install a fresh coat of paint, which is a faster and less expensive solution.

Go with subway tiles.

This classic option remains your best bet due to its broad appeal, versatility, and affordability. You can install the tiles in a herringbone or brick pattern or straight stack for a more modern look, which lets you customize a space without a ton of cost.

While this is the case, remember that the more detailed the pattern, the more money you’ll spend on labor, so you may want to reconsider that beautiful chevron design.

When hiring contractors, take your time and hire the best in the industry. Don’t hire the cheapest, as they will most likely become too expensive in the long run as they will fail to install the tiles properly, and you have to reinstall them, which will be an additional expense.

Install layered lighting

Plan for general and task lighting so you can see when you’re cutting celery. As an easy improvement, install under-cabinet lighting and select statement-making lighting over the island.

When done well, the light fixtures can add that pop of personality, and you can easily change them when you opt to sell the house.

When choosing the fixtures, go with those that complement the space’s decor and purpose. Depending on their form and placement, pendant lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, and track lighting can all serve as ambient or accent lighting.

For the best results, always consult experienced contractors on the best ones.

Replace the hardware

Changing the hardware is another simple technique to refresh worn-out cabinetry. Though cabinet knobs and handles vary in price, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a big difference – there are many possibilities for less you can go for.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about being too trendy because it’s so simple to replace if it goes out of style.

Again, work with experienced contractors who guide you and help you make the right choices.

Coordinate appliances

Try to match appliance finishes, such as going entirely stainless steel or selecting panel-ready models. All new appliances can cost between 10% and 20% of the total renovation expense.

As much as you should try to match the appliances, be cautious and don’t go overboard: If you remodel a kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances but a future buyer doesn’t cook, they won’t be willing to pay.

Be conservative and majorly focus on functionality.

You will benefit more by fixing the appliances instead of installing new ones. For example, instead of undertaking countertop replacement NC, repair the ones available.

How to Remove Stains From Your Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are the foundational feature of a busy kitchen, and keeping them in a condition where they’re as beautiful and bright as when you first got them is crucial not only for maintenance purposes but also because they bring character to your cooking space.

Unfortunately, due to the busy nature of the kitchen, most countertops tend to develop stains. Thankfully, you can remove these stains.

To help you out, here are some of the best tips to resort to, depending on the type of countertop you have, to guarantee that your kitchen looks great with no stains or markings that could depreciate its value.

Laminate countertops

Laminate countertops are made of plastic resins and are extremely stain-resistant. If you have a stain or mark from a spill or slip, spray a baking soda and water solution over the area before wiping with a clean cloth.

The most common cause of laminate damage is laying hot pots or pans on the surface, which can cause stains.

Coffee, wine, ink, and food stains are the most common on laminate counters. Depending on the type of stain, the procedure you employ to remove it may differ.

Begin by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel if it is still new. Rubbing the discoloration will only push it deeper into the laminate, so don’t do it.

After blotting the stain, prepare a cleaning solution. The solution you prepare depends on the type of stain you have.

Combine warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap to remove general stains.

For grease stains, use warm water mixed with a few drops of dish soap or a grease-cutting cleanser.

To remove stubborn stains, prepare a baking soda and water paste.

Rub rubbing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) on ink stains. Apply a small amount on a cloth and dab the stain gently.

To avoid stains in the future and protect your countertops, wipe up spills immediately, protect the surface with cutting boards and hot pads, and avoid using harsh abrasives or scouring pads.

You also should make it a habit to use coasters or trivets at all times before placing anything down.

Quartz countertops

Because of their non-porous nature, quartz countertops are easy to maintain in terms of stain resistance. Since they are scratch-resistant, you can put almost anything on them.

Although quartz worktops are durable and stain-resistant, they can become damaged if spills are allowed to rest for an extended period of time. Thankfully, there are several ways of getting off the stains when they happen.

Start by preparing a cleaning solution. The solution you prepare depends on the type of stain you have.

Combine warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap to remove general stains. This solution will remove most of the stains on your countertops.

To remove stubborn stains, make a paste by combining baking soda and a tiny amount of water.

For oil-based stains such as grease or frying oil, use a 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water solution.

A 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide (3-10%) and water is ideal for organic stains such as coffee, tea, or wine.

You can also use rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove ink stains.

To avoid future stains, wipe up spills as soon as they happen, protect the surface with cutting boards and hot pads, and avoid harsh abrasives or scouring pads.

Marble countertops

Because marble is porous, it is considered a ‘soft’ stone. The stone’s porous nature means it is easily damaged and stained.

You should start by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel if the stain is new. Avoid touching the discoloration because it will spread.

To remove stubborn or deep stains, make a poultice. A poultice is a material that draws stains from the stone’s pores. The poultice you prepare depends on the stain you want to remove.

For organic stains (such as coffee, tea, and wine), make a thick paste by combining baking soda and water.

For oil-based stains (for example, grease), make a paste by combining baking soda and acetone or mineral spirits.

You can use acetone or hydrogen peroxide to remove ink stains.

Spread the poultice over the stained area, allowing it to spread slightly beyond the stain’s margins. To establish an airtight seal, wrap it in plastic wrap and glue the edges down. Allow it to sit for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the degree of the stain.

To avoid future stains, seal your marble countertop regularly (every 6-12 months, depending on use), and use cutting boards and hot pads to protect the surface. You also should make it a habit to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.

Concrete Countertops

Since concrete is a porous material, it’s highly susceptible to staining.

You should create a cleaning solution appropriate for the stain you want to remove.

Combine warm water and a few drops of dish soap to remove general stains.

To remove stubborn stains, make a paste by combining baking soda and a tiny amount of water.

For oil-based stains, combine warm water with a few drops of dish soap, or use a 3-part water/1 part ammonia solution.

For the grease stains, remove them using ammonia.

Soak a cloth or sponge in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to remove ink stains and lay it over the spot. To keep it moist, cover it in plastic wrap. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

After preparation, apply the cleaning solution to the stained area.

Clean and reseal the countertop regularly to prevent future stains from your kitchen countertops Durham. Use cutting boards and hot pads to protect the surface, and mop up spills immediately afterward.

What you Need to Know About Kitchen Countertops

In most households, the kitchen is the busiest room. Besides being used for cooking, kitchens are used for other purposes. For example, they are used as meeting spaces and even go-to serve as dining areas in homes without formal dining rooms.

Because so much time is spent in the kitchen, it is worthwhile to invest in them.

Kitchen renovations are high on many homeowners’ to-do lists, and once they commit to remodeling the room, they face a slew of considerations.

When remodeling your kitchen, you must decide which countertop material to choose. If this is where you are, here is a list of popular possibilities that will help you with that selection:

Quartz

Quartz is a low-maintenance and long-lasting countertop material. Quartz countertops are normally 94 percent ground quartz and come with a honed, sandblasted, or embossed treatment, making them appealing to homeowners with various notions about the perfect aesthetic of a kitchen countertop.

If not appropriately treated, quartz can crack, and edges and corners can chip with time. When you are in the market, go for countertops with rounded edges to reduce the possibility of chipping.

The costs of the countertops vary depending on region and product availability, but quartz is normally roughly the same price as natural stone.

Laminate

Laminate countertops are appealing to frugal households. The beauty of them is they are simple to install. Laminate countertops are available in various colors, textures, and styles.

Laminate countertops are also long-lasting, which allows frugal homeowners to stretch their budgets even further. Laminate worktops are simple to clean, but knives can permanently harm them, so always use a cutting board when preparing meals on laminate.

Although laminate is water-resistant, extended moisture exposure at seams or edges can cause swelling or warping. To prevent this from coming about, ensure that sinks are properly sealed. You also should avoid leaving wet rags or sponges on the surface.

Granite

No two slabs of granite are alike; this individuality has traditionally appealed to many homeowners. Heat, cuts, and scratches don’t affect granite too much, though this stone, like quartz, can split around edges and corners. So you need to be cautious when handling it.

Granite is a long-lasting material that can survive for decades if properly cared for. Granite is also nonporous, making it resistant to microorganisms.

Because granite is porous, you should seal it regularly to prevent stains. The frequency of sealing varies based on the type of granite and the sealer used, but it is wise to seal your countertops every 1 to 3 years.

To tell whether your countertops are ready for sealing, sprinkle a few droplets of water on the surface of your surface. If the water beads up, the seal is intact, but if the surfaces absorb the water, it’s time to reseal the stone.

Butcher block

Butcher block countertops are one of the more unusual alternatives available to homeowners. Butcher block countertops, sometimes known as “wood countertops,” are composed of fused wooden strips.

Butcher block is one of the more economical materials, but the final cost will be determined by location and availability.

Butcher block countertops are highly sensitive to fluids; therefore, you should limit the countertops’ exposure to moisture.

You can protect the butcher block countertops against bacteria and warping by sealing them soon after installation. Though butcher blocks can be difficult to maintain, many homeowners believe the unique aesthetic is worth the extra effort.

To have an easy time with your butcher block countertops, thoroughly seal them before using them. The best sealing material to use is food-safe mineral oil or a specialist butcher block oil.

The best way to do it is to allow a generous amount of oil to seep into the surface for several hours or overnight. Repeat this step every few weeks to keep the protective seal intact.

You also should oil your butcher block countertops regularly to prevent dryness, cracking, and staining. The frequency at which you oil the surfaces will depend on usage, but as a general rule, apply a light coat of mineral oil every 1 to 3 months or when the wood appears dry or dull.

Marble countertops

Many people liken marble to granite, but the two are different. Marble is a metamorphic stone, unlike granite, an igneous stone formed by crystallized magma.

While granite has a Mohs hardness value of 6-7, marble has a level of around 3-5. This is because marble is formed when pre-existing limestone or dolomite is subjected to high heat and pressure, causing calcite and carbonate crystals to reform.

Although marble is still a robust and long-lasting choice for kitchen worktops, it is softer than granite or quartzite, which means you must be more cautious about cleaning, maintenance, and the things you expose it to (acidic compounds, staining agents, and so on).

When in the market, choose a Carrara or Calacatta marble for its extraordinary beauty, adaptability, and unrivaled luxury appeal.

Concrete Countertops

While quartz, granite, and marble counters are popular among designers, concrete remains an attractive alternative, providing flexibility and creative potential that other materials cannot match. If you are looking for a unique kitchen centerpiece, a custom concrete countertop is a choice that gives you complete control.

The appeal of concrete is that it doesn’t limit you on how creative you can get. You can color it in various ways, pour it in any size or shape, and inlay it with other materials to create patterns beneath its surface.

For example, you can put shells, glass, metals, and other materials to give it a unique, appealing look.

While the countertop gives you room for creativity, you should be cautious so you don’t go overboard and detract from the natural beauty.

This calls for you to avoid extreme colors such as pink. You also should use timeless hues and patterns to ensure that the countertop remains functional even as trends come and go.

While concrete kitchen countertops Raleigh are easy to install, avoid installing them yourself, especially if this is your first time. Instead, let a professional help you out.

Tricks to Keep Your Kitchen Countertops Clear of Obstructions

Keeping the top of your countertop clutter might feel like a never-ending battle. This is because kitchens are the center of most homes, hence they rapidly become a catch-all for all the random things that don’t have a home anywhere else.

When you combine that with their practical function, the surfaces quickly get overrun with junk.

What is the best way to keep your modern kitchen counters clear? You need to make tiny but significant adjustments rather than making large commitments.

When the clutter becomes unbearable, it’s tempting to believe that a major kitchen renovation is required, but as any expert organizer will tell you, it’s the simple improvements that make the most difference.

Adopting a few basic habits and incorporating them into your normal routine will most benefit keeping your kitchen countertops tidy rather than just the short term.

To help you out, here are methods and suggestions for clutter-free countertops that you can immediately implement in your home.

Give your homeless items a place to live.

What’s the first step toward a clutter-free kitchen counter? Providing a home for all of your possessions. It’s all too easy for a stray utensil or a stack of letters to become permanent fixtures on your surfaces, but the key is not to let them stay too long in the first place.

You should allocate them a home. Begin by making room in your cupboards. You should collect anything lying about on worktops, shelves, and tables, and assign it a place. Label the shelves or containers so everyone in your house knows where to return the items.

Get countertop organizers

It may seem obvious, but investing in some creative organizer purchases is one of the finest ways to organize a kitchen. There are some kitchen organizers that no one should live without, from sliding countertop gadgets that make it easier to access your heavy equipment to a good old-fashioned spice rack to keep all your ingredients contained.

Countertop organizers help to ensure that everything in your kitchen has a place. When you lack systems of organization and don’t know where to place things, they’re likely to wind up in general locations, like countertops, where they make the surfaces dirty and ugly. You don’t want this, do you?

Put the dirty dishes in the sink.

We’ve all been guilty of stacking dirty dishes by the side of the kitchen sink or allowing them to accumulate on a spare countertop – especially if you don’t have a dishwasher. Unfortunately, this is a proven way to have cluttered surfaces.

To avoid this, place the dirty dishes, mugs, and glasses straight into the sink to keep your counters clean and neat.

This will keep them out of sight and urge you to wash them once the sink is full, preventing a washing-up marathon later on.

Keep the appliances you don’t use out of the countertops

Countertop gadgets like toasters, coffee makers, and air fryers can make meal preparation much easier, but only when they’re not taking up too much space. If your counters are cluttered with gimmicky equipment you rarely use, put them away when not in use.

Thankfully, it’s a quick and basic task.

Most people rarely use the crock pot, standing mixer, or automated drip coffee maker (they prefer pour-over coffee). Appliances take up important real estate, so consider storing them in a cabinet and enjoying the extra space they generate.

Have a kitchen command center.

Everyone has that one area of the kitchen island or the spot in front of the windowsill where they keep their daily essentials. These can be things like keys, glasses, and letters, which easily pile into small clutter. When it’s been a fixture on your kitchen counters for so long, getting rid of it is easier said than done.

To keep your countertops clean, create a designated drop zone for these often-used things. This could be anything from a fancy catch-all dish to a box or shelf. 

A command center will help you keep your paper, keys, spare change, bills, and school assignments off your kitchen’s surfaces.

You can create a command center in a corner of your kitchen or near your entryway by adding hooks, magazine folders, calendars, and whiteboards. It’s all on you and you don’t have to complicate it. 

Have a one-touch rule.

If you want to break bad habits with your belongings, decluttering ideas can be life-changing, and the ‘one-touch’ tidying guideline is ideal for kitchen counters. This rule does exactly what it says on the tin. If you pick something up, you have to return it.

Returning an item after using it reduces clutter and saves time.

You should make it a routine to return items to their proper places as soon as you have finished using them. For instance, if you run the dishwasher overnight, unload it as you wait for your toast or oatmeal to be ready in the morning.

That way, anytime you use a glass or another dish, you may rinse it and immediately place it in the dishwasher.

Have a kitchen closure routine.

Kitchens get more traffic than any other room in the house, and while they’re a social hub for the entire family, there has to be a point where you draw the line.

Set a bedtime boundary when everyone should vacate the kitchen so that you can work on it.

You should load and run the dishwasher every night, wipe down the worktops, table, and appliances, put your belongings away, and quickly sweep or vacuum the floor.

You could even go the extra mile and arrange the breakfast table for the morning.

Follow these steps, and before you know it, your entire family will be on board with your structured habits, and clutter-free granite countertops Raleigh will soon become the standard in your kitchen.  

Tips to Consider When upgrading Your Kitchen Countertops

Your Kitchen countertops can make or break your kitchen. Unfortunately, any well-used kitchen surface experiences regular wear and tear over time. 

If your countertops have seen better days and you feel trapped in a kitchen design rut, you may need to upgrade them.

Countertops play an important role in the aesthetic and functionality of a kitchen. This means that a quick update instantly modernizes the kitchen’s look and changes how you cook and enjoy the space.

To get the most from your kitchen, here are some of the tips you should consider to upgrade it properly:

Aim for low-maintenance countertops.

To have an easy time keeping your countertops in tip-top shape, you should go for those that require minimal maintenance. 

While there are many countertops in the market you can go for, the best ones to consider are engineered stone worktops that are resistant to damage and stains. This makes them ideal for red wine and coffee aficionados, as well as home chefs who routinely cook with olive oil (which can wreak havoc on real stone).

Of course, you should ensure that the countertop is installed by a professional who knows what they are doing. 

As much as the countertops are tough and long-lasting, you should note that this doesn’t mean they are indestructible. To avoid scratches, avoid dumping heavy objects on the surfaces and utilize cutting boards.

You also should protect the countertops from heat damage. This calls for you to use trivets or hot pads under hot cookware to avoid damage.

When cleaning, clean your countertops with gentle, non-abrasive cleansers. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers as they can cause finish damage, and you don’t want this, do you?

While most engineered stone worktops are non-porous and do not require sealing, if your manufacturer advises it, adhere to the sealing schedule.

If you don’t like the look of engineered stone countertops in your kitchen, you can always go with granite countertops.

The countertops are tough, but you must take more care of them to last for a long time. Besides protecting them from heat and abrasive cleaners, you will need to regularly seal them to prevent water and other liquids from easily seeping through and damaging them.

Consider mixing and matching the countertops.

Countertop mixing and matching can create a visually appealing and dynamic effect in your kitchen or other rooms. If this is the first time you are doing it, here are some pointers on how to mix and match countertops effectively:

If you’re using various patterns on different materials, make sure that the patterns complement one another rather than conflict. Patterns can be scaled similarly or contain complementing features.

You should select a secondary countertop material that contrasts in color or pattern with the dominant material. This is appropriate for specific locations such as an island, a baking station, or a wet bar.

If you choose a statement-making or one-of-a-kind material for the secondary countertop, pair it with a more subdued and neutral material for the prominent countertop. This keeps the space from becoming too crowded.

While mixing materials, it is critical to maintain some amount of consistency. This could be done through the space’s color palette, design style, or overall attitude.

When mixing the countertops, consider including design components that provide cohesiveness between the various materials. These include cabinet hardware, lighting fixtures, and decorative embellishments.

You should always consult a kitchen or interior designer if you need help mixing and matching the countertops efficiently.

Consider the countertop trends.

Trends come and go, so never clutter your kitchen with design decisions that will age poorly. While this is the case, several contemporary countertop trends will last.

A great example is when the countertop material matches the backsplash material. When properly installed, the countertop creates an immaculate European style appealing to many people.

If you have the space, a waterfall-edge kitchen island is a great option to go with. Such an island is full of drama and instantly pulls your eye into the space.

You should also consider the thickness of the countertop that you are purchasing and go for smaller styles. A thinner countertop is typically less expensive and easier to install.

While keeping up with countertop trends is vital, keep in mind that your personal preferences and the overall style of your kitchen should drive your decision.

As mentioned above, trends come and go, but a countertop that complements your lifestyle and aesthetic choices will last.

If you aren’t sure about the best countertop design or trend to go with, consult a professional, and they will assist you in making informed decisions that are consistent with your vision and the functionality of your kitchen.

Go green

As time passes, more homeowners are emphasizing eco-friendly materials with lower carbon footprints. If you feel that you should follow this trend, you are in luck, as there are numerous options available for you to choose from. The common ones are:

Bamboo countertops: Bamboo countertops are made from a rapidly growing renewable resource. They have a distinct appearance and can last as long as hardwood. When purchasing, look for bamboo countertops verified for sustainable sourcing by groups such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Recycled glass: Recycled glass countertops blend broken glass with a binder to create a vibrant, unique surface. They are eco-friendly because they reuse materials that would otherwise wind up in landfills.

Recycled paper: Paper-based countertops are made from recycled paper and resin to form a solid surface. They are lightweight, long-lasting, and available in various colors and patterns. These counters are frequently sealed with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) coatings for further sustainability.

Eco-friendly concrete: Some concrete countertops are created from environmentally friendly resources such as recycled aggregates or fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion. These countertops are long-lasting, and you can personalize them in color and pattern.

Engineered quartz: While not fully natural, engineered quartz countertops Durham frequently contain recycled components, giving them a more environmentally friendly option to real stone.

When considering eco-friendly countertop options, consider the source of the material, manufacturing procedures, transportation distance, and end-of-life disposal.

In addition, seek certifications from reputable organizations that verify the material’s long-term viability. Ensure the countertop matches your values, budget, and general style choices.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Kitchen Countertop Company

Hiring kitchen countertops installers for the first time? Here are things to look out for to hire the right ones:

Online reviews

Online reviews have become an important part of any business, and customers base their buying decisions on them. 

Is the company’s reputation based on independently verifiable reviews? If so, how many do they have, does management respond to them, and how highly regarded are they?

Take a look at Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other online review sites. Read the reviews thoroughly to determine what to expect, how well the organization addressed problems, and how satisfied the consumer was.

Installing kitchen countertops is a big investment, so researching ahead of time could save you a lot of headaches later.

While hiring a company with many positive reviews, you shouldn’t go for one with a perfect score. This is because it’s rare for a company to have all the reviews positive regardless of how good they are.

While true, you shouldn’t work with a company with many negative reviews. If a company has many negative reviews, you should avoid it as it’s most likely an awful company and will give you a bad experience.

To stay on the safe side, work with a company that has at least four stars.

Price Transparency

Before you start working with any company, you should ask for price quotes. Of course, you should ask for quotes from at least five companies to compare them.

When you receive the quotes, take your time going over them. Don’t be fooled by the price alone and fall for the typical bait and switch. Some businesses will quote a lower-quality product to get you in the door, only to upsell you to a much more expensive product. You don’t want this, do you?

Companies may, for example, quote a thinner or less expensive countertop material with a standard edge to make the price appear lower. One of the things you will hear in such a scenario is the expected costs after installation.

As you can tell, you end up paying more than you planned.

To avoid this and have a better idea about the amount you should expect to pay, you should work with a company that is transparent about its price.

When asking for a quotation, don’t ask for the ballpark. Instead, ask for the price of each item.

Before you decide to work with a company, review every item they will use and confirm that they won’t increase the price later.

To protect yourself, it would be better if you have the company sign an agreement that the amount they quote will remain unchanged.

Communication

A lack of communication is one of the most common concerns about any home renovation project. Look for a company with customer support and scheduling teams to which you may turn for project updates.

When interacting with a company, ask yourself whether you will have a dedicated team to answer all your questions. If you have been trying to contact the company without success, chances are you won’t reach it when you start working together.

Many businesses are concerned with completing as many jobs as possible but don’t place communication at the top. Choose a company committed to keeping you informed about what is happening, and you can easily reach them when needed.

Besides communication, you must ensure that the company maintains the highest quality standards. The quality assurance department is the first thing you should check before working with a company.

You want a company with such a department that gives you peace of mind and will provide you with the best service possible.

Professionalism

How long has the company been in operation? Will they still be there in a year if you encounter problems on the job? What is the size of the operation?

You’d be shocked at how unskilled and small many enterprises are, frequently failing to meet demand and, as a result, delaying your installation. Choose a business with extensive experience in their field.

Ask if the measurement and installation teams are outsourced when getting an estimate. You also should ask about the technology they use during the installation.

You want a company that uses cutting-edge technology to ensure accurate measurements the first time. Nothing is more frustrating than going through the entire process only to have a poor installation with uneven seams and gaps that don’t look correct.

Protection Plan

Make sure that the company will stand behind their work. Be aware of companies that do not provide a warranty. The plan should cover everything from countertop installation to sinks, faucets, and backsplash for at least five years.

When you work with a company with a protection plan, you have peace of mind as you know they will give you excellent service.

Physical location

Can you visit a convenient location, look at kitchen ideas, and speak with a representative? There’s no substitute for seeing Quartz, Quartzite, Granite, and Marble countertops Durham in person.

Feeling the stone and observing the beautiful, unique patterns and veining is much better than seeing the stone in pictures or videos.

To better understand how your property will look once the countertops have been installed, work with a company with a physical office. This way, you can visit the location and experience the stone, which helps you make a better decision.

A wide range of services and products

Ideally, your remodel partner should provide multiple services to eliminate the need to shop around.

The last thing you want is someone that only provides one service. As much as they will do the task better, you will have to work with multiple contractors, which might be too much for you.

For example, you don’t want to hire a contractor to install the countertop stone, and they can’t install the cabinets. To be safe, work with a contractor that is all around and provides all the services in-house.