Granite Contractors: 7 Ways You Might Be Ruining Your Countertops

When you install granite kitchen countertops, you want to keep them looking good for a long time. While this is the case, granite contractors note that some homeowners destroy their countertops without even realizing it. Here are some of the ways you might be ruining your countertops:

You place a lot of weight on the countertops

While they appear tough and indestructible, you will destroy the countertops when you place a lot of weight on them. When you place heavy objects near unsupported joints or edges, you will cause cracks, fractures, and ruptures that are expensive and difficult to repair.

Homeowners are more likely to place a lot of weight on the countertops when they are preparing food. Take care not to place a heavy microwave or any other heavy appliance on the countertops. You also should avoid standing on the countertops.

You constantly expose the countertops to high heat

When you repeatedly expose the countertops to high temperatures, you put the countertops at the risk of cracking or even discoloring. Regardless of how tough the countertops are, avoid exposing them to high temperatures. Instead, cover the surfaces with towels, placemats, and hot pads.

To avoid discoloring the surfaces, before you use any heat-generating appliances such as toaster ovens and slow cookers, take a look at the manufacturer’s recommendations.

While hot pans are meant to protect the surfaces, sometimes placing them on the surfaces can lead to cracking or even discoloration. Again, check the manufacturer recommendations before using the protective materials.

You place acidic foods on the countertops

Do you have marble countertops in your home? You should take care of how you handle them, as placing acidic products on them can cause them to be dull. The countertops are made of calcium carbonate, which is a base and highly sensitive to any acidic materials.

As you are preparing your food, a simple splash of wine, vinegar, lemon juice, or tomato source will etch the countertop surfaces. To protect the surfaces, always clean up the countertops immediately you spill anything acidic on them.

Cleaning the surfaces isn’t enough. You also should neutralize the stain by sprinkling baking soda on it.

You cut and chop directly on the countertops

If you have granite or quartz countertops, you don’t have to worry too much about damaging them when you cut directly on them as they are scratch-resistant. Unfortunately, you should be concerned about your knives as the tough countertops will damage the knives.

Do you have marble and other countertops that are prone to scratching? Avoid using the knives directly on the countertops as they will scratch easily, giving the countertops a cheap look.

When you destroy the surface sealant, you create holes on the countertops where bacteria can grow in.

You allow water to build up on the countertops

As long as you have sealed the countertops, you don’t have to worry about water accumulating on the surfaces, right? Wrong! Sealing the countertops prevents the liquids from seeping through and stains from coming about.

When you allow spills to stay on the countertops for a long time, you increase the chances of the countertops getting damaged. This often leads to white crusty build-up and stains coming about.

You don’t have to run to wipe the spills, but at the same time, you shouldn’t let the water sit on the surfaces for too long. For example, don’t let the water sit on the surfaces until they evaporate.

You allow a lot of sunlight to get in the house

A bright and sunny kitchen makes the kitchen appear large, spacious, and elegant. While this is the case, having a lot of direct sunlight can be harmful to the kitchen surfaces. For example, if you have laminate countertops, exposing them to a lot of sunlight will make them fade.

The sealant on wood and granite countertops is vulnerable to fading in sunlight. To protect your surfaces, close the blinds during the sunniest hours of the day.

You are using harsh cleaning products

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to use tough cleaning products to keep the kitchen countertops Durham clean. In most cases, you only need water and a piece of cloth.

To keep the surfaces in top condition, avoid supplies containing bleach or ammonia as they will remove the shine and any protective coating that might be present.

Tricks On How To Extend The Life Of Quartz Countertops And Other Countertop Materials

best quartz countertop

Granite, solid surface or quartz countertops are designed to last for decades. If you don’t have money to replace the countertops after this time, you should take good care of the countertops so that they last for a long time.

There are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your countertops. Some of these things include:

Get rid of spills

Countertops are constantly being exposed to spills and splashes from tipped can of soda to poured milk. When spills happen, you should get rid of them immediately. This is because granite and solid-surface countertops tend to stain when exposed to wine, and coffee.

You also should regularly clean the countertops even if no spills have happened. When cleaning, use a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. To do it, spritz the countertop, then run a clean damp piece of cloth over it, then dry the surfaces with a soft dish towel.

Drying the damp countertop prevents hard water stains that form as a result of letting the water droplets dry on their own.

Seal the countertops with a quality sealant

Granite and marble countertops are porous, which makes them prone to absorbing oils and spills. They also tend to accumulate stains easily. To prevent this from happening, seal the countertops.

Remember to use a high-quality sealant that will last for a long time and give excellent results. You also should hire a reputable contractor who understands how the process is done.

You should note that improper sealing tends to weaken the stone, making it dull and also increases the risk of the countertop developing mold and mildew.

Protect the surfaces

While they are heat resistant, natural stone countertops aren’t designed to hold hot items such as hot pans and pots. To give them long life, always use a trivet, mitt or towel to prevent direct contact of the hot plate and the countertop.

If you have a sink molded out of solid surface material, be cautious when draining the boiling water as the sinks are also prone to damage. To protect the surfaces, run cold water when pouring the hot water to temper the boiling water and protect the solid surface sink.

You also should always use a cutting board when chopping onions, vegetables and other products.

When you are in the kitchen, it’s normal to sit on the countertops chatting with a family member or friend. Don’t do this as you will damage the countertops.

Quartz is tough and less likely to crack, but granite can easily crack due to the natural fissures running through the stone. Sometimes the fissures are too weak in certain areas and crack on excess weight.

Use recommended cleaning supplies

Cleaning the countertops is one of the ways of giving the countertops a long life, but if you use the wrong products, you will be destroying them. You want high-quality products that will maintain the natural shine of the countertops.

As a rule of thumb, avoid products containing acids as they will etch the countertops and destroy them. For best results, use products recommended for the specific type of countertop you are looking to clean.

Repair the minor flaws

It’s the minor issues that get worse over time, and when you go for a long time without giving them any attention, you will eventually have to undertake countertop replacement. To avoid this, you should repair the minor scratches as soon as you notice them.

Luckily you can get rid of them by sanding the surface down or using a soft type of a scrubbing product that will smoothen down the edges of the scratches. To ensure that you are doing the right thing, follow the instructions that came with the countertops.

You can also ask a contractor to help you out.

Conclusion

These are some of the tricks you can use to extend the life of your countertops. To have an easy time, ensure that you buy high-quality countertops. You also should ensure that the pieces are professionally installed by experienced granite contractors Raleigh or any other experts.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Granite Countertops

granite countertops

When you ask any homeowner, they will tell you that they want granite countertops. The countertops have been around for a long time, and they are not only durable, but they also significantly improve the look of the house.

For you to buy countertops you will be proud of, you need to be ultra-cautious when making the purchase. Some of the factors you should consider when buying include:

Your tastes and preferences

There is no way you are going to be proud of your purchase if it doesn’t suit your tastes and preferences. So, for you to be happy, ensure that the countertops look good in your eyes.

When you are in the countertop store, ask yourself several questions:

  • Do you love a stable or moving countertop?
  • A light or dark-colored one?
  • When you think about the perfect countertop, what comes to your mind?
  • Do you love straight lines or right angles?
  • Are you a lover of details?
  • What about vein style. Do you like it?

Most of the countertop companies have plenty of countertops that you might be confused about the right one to go for. To avoid this, talk to your fabricator, who will guide you on the right piece. It’s also wise that you carry the slab to your house and see how it blends with the rest of the house.

Remember, you might like the look of the countertop while at the store only for it to be unpleasant at home.

The size of the kitchen

Do you have a large or small kitchen? The size of your kitchen will significantly affect the type of countertop that you should go for. If you have a small kitchen, go for a light-colored granite.

The countertop will make the kitchen look spacious and smarter, even with little natural light.

Are you one of the lucky people, and you have a large kitchen? Experiment with dark colors. Carry a few dark-colored slabs to your home and see how they look in your kitchen.

The pattern of the countertops is also heavily influenced by the size of the kitchen. Three primary patterns that you can go for fare, speckled, solid, and marbled. Solid granite is an excellent choice for smaller kitchens.

Avoid a busy pattern when you have a smaller kitchen as it makes the kitchen look cramped and confused.

For a large kitchen, go with marbled or speckled countertops. You can also try out two granite colors and see how they look.

Quality of the stone

Granite is known for its durability, but there is no way it will withstand the test of time if it’s of poor quality. Luckily, you can easily tell the quality of the stone by looking at several factors such as:

  • Veins
  • Fissures
  • Surface pitting
  • Inclusions
  • Shade variation
  • Color concentrations

Edging of the countertops

There is no right or bad edging for your countertop. Whether you go for straight, bullnose, or beveled edge, you will significantly improve the look of your home. The safety aspects of your home should influence your edging choice. If you have small children, it would be dangerous to have a straight-edged countertop.

In such a scenario, you will be better off with a beveled or bullnose countertop edge.

Kitchen cabinets

You can buy the highest quality and most expensive countertops, but there is no way they will look good if they don’t match your cabinets. For a great look, ensure that your countertops match your cabinets.

You can match the granite with the cabinets in two ways: matching the color with the cabinets or pairing the marbling and veining.

When making the purchase, ensure that the counters you choose are the same color as the cabinets with darker veining. For example, pair white spring granite with white cabinets.

Some of the famous pairing examples you can go with include:

  • Dark brown cabinets with green granite
  • Neutral medium-brown maple cabinets with beige, grey and white granite
  • Cherry cabinets with granite such as white, Verde Peacock, and Ubatuba
  • Light to medium oak cabinets with contrasting granite such as black pearl
  • Regardless of the pairing that you choose, ensure that the countertops are installed by reputable granite contractors NC.

Guide To Painting Countertops To Look Like Granite Countertops

granite countertops

Granite is a beautiful addition to your kitchen as it gives the house a premium, modernized feel. Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget to install granite countertops in their home. While this is the case, you can still get the granite look by painting your current countertops.

Benefits of painting the countertops

In addition to giving your countertops a high-end look, painting the countertops also hides imperfections they might be having.

The variegated pattern of the painted granite also hides small imperfections that might come about as you are painting. This takes your stress away as you don’t have to be perfect in your work. In fact, if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional to handle the painting, you can do it by yourself.

The granite look works with almost any décor style, so if you don’t like the current look of the countertops, when you paint them, you make them blend in with the rest of the house.

Painting the countertops also allows you to highlight certain areas of the house that you would like people to pay attention to. You can highlight the bathroom cabinets and at the same time, add texture, depth, and warmth to the living space.

For you to properly paint the countertops, you have to follow a series of steps.  To help you out, here are the steps you should follow:

Clean the countertops

You can’t apply paint on dirty counters, so you need to clean them. Use a degrease or a mix of 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap to 4 cups of warm water. You can also use a mix of one part vinegar and two parts of warm water to remove any layers of dust and grease.

Thoroughly wipe down the entire countertop surface and allow it to completely dry. When cleaning, pay attention to the corners and edges of the countertops. Use a narrow scrub or toothbrush to get into the recesses and curves of the countertops that are prone to holding pockets of detritus.

You can also use a small, handheld vacuum with a brush to clean the edges.

Protect the appliances

It’s wise to give the countertops a seamless finish. For you to do this, you have to remove the appliances from their place. You can easily move the stove or any other small appliance but if the appliance is large, leave it where it is. To protect it, cover it with your preferred cover material.

Also, use painter’s tape to block off the sink or any other stationary items that you don’t want to get stained or nicked during the sanding.

Sand the countertops

Once everything is in place, the next action should be to sand the countertops. Use 320-grit sandpaper to go over the countertops. You should note that sanding is a big job and requires you to use a lot of pressure.

If you have a large kitchen, use a handheld sander. The sander is inexpensive and significantly makes the sanding work easier and faster.

When sanding, pay attention to the corners and edges. Ensure every inch of the countertops is sanded to make it easy for the paint to adhere.

You can get away with a single sanding on some countertops, but you are better off sanding at least twice so that you get a rough surface that doesn’t cause the paint to bubble or crack in the future.

Fix the gouges and dings

Once you are done with sanding, carefully go through the surface and be on the lookout for dings and gouges. If present, fill them with epoxy putty. Smooth the epoxy putty over the flawed areas then scrape the excess and allow it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once dry, sand to match the level of the rest of the counter.

Paint the countertops

Painting the countertops to resemble granite is easy. In fact, you don’t need to hire granite contractors Durham to help you out. After sanding the surface, apply a primer to cover all the parts of the original countertop surface.

Let the primer dry for at least eight hours then sponge three colors onto the dry primed countertop surfaces. Move evenly across the countertop surface in dabbing motions. Take care not to push the sponge too much onto the primed surface as you will make the surfaces look smeared and foggy.

4 Kitchen Countertops Materials You Should Try Out

Are you looking to revamp your kitchen? There is no way you can improve the look of the room without giving attention to the countertops.

If they are damaged, replace them, but if they are beyond repair, you have no way out other than to replace them. Luckily, there are plenty of materials you can use on your kitchen countertops.

Would you like to know more about these materials? Here are the pros and cons of the most popular ones:

Granite

Centuries later, granite is still the go-to countertop material for most people. According to the national association of realtors, granite is the most preferred countertop material for most home sellers. This is because it’s elegant to look at and easily fits into any kitchen style.

Granite is also tough and quickly resists cracks and chips. Due to this, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged when you place a hot pot on it. The countertop is also easy to maintain as all you need to do is to clean it regularly.

You also should seal it annually to protect it from stains.

While the material is tough, it’s not indestructible. This means an accidental clunk with a wine bottle can create an ugly chip in the edge.

When it comes to sealing the countertop, you have to be thorough in your work. This is because if you don’t do it, oil can easily seep into the stone, forcing you to have to apply a poultice to get it out.

Since it’s obtained from natural stone, it often results in variations that can look completely different from the sample provided by the countertop company.

To avoid this surprise, always ask to see the slab to ensure that it matches the theme of your home.

Quartz

It’s known for its durability. Quartz is made from a combination of crushed quartz stone and resin. The resulting mixture comes in a variety of colors that almost resemble real granite.

Under normal kitchen working conditions, quartz is entirely indestructible. Of course, unless you hit it with a sledgehammer or any other tool. The material is also stain and bacteria-resistant, so you don’t have to keep on sealing it like it’s the case with granite.

While granite is tough, you often pay a lot for it, yet it’s not as heat resistant as the other less-pricey materials such as crushed glass.

The countertop seams are also easily noticeable, especially if an expert doesn’t correctly install the countertop or you use a lighter color.

Quartz countertops also discolor over time, especially if you place them under a lot of direct sunlight.

Many people have also cited quartz as having an ultra-contemporary and cold look, which isn’t good for a traditional-style kitchen.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, laminate countertops are made from paper-plastic and come in plenty of colors and patterns. In addition to having the ability to mimic anything from granite to wood, they don’t require sealing as they are stain-resistant.

Although, often the go-to material for people operating on a tight budget, it cracks and scratches easily.

According to the national association of home builders, many home buyers avoid homes with laminate countertops, so it’s not the ideal material to install in your kitchen when looking to sell the house.

Tile

Tile countertops are beautiful and highly versatile. They also easily resist cuts, stains, and heat, making them extremely easy to clean and maintain.

Tile also comes in an infinite number of colors and styles. You can install tiles of one unique color or mix and match a variety of colors to give your countertops a one of a kind look.

Although, they are easy to replace, tile countertops easily crack, so you should be ultra-cautious in the kitchen as accidentally dropping pots or pans on them will lead to damage.

The counters also have uneven surfaces that make cutting boards, plates, and glasses shaky and unstable. You also can’t roll out dough on them.

The grout lines easily catch dust and grime. For you to prevent bacteria from growing on them, you have to seal them regularly, or you will have to undertake countertop replacement Durham.

6 Cheap Kitchen Countertops Alternatives

kitchen countertops

When homeowners hear about updating their countertops, they imagine they have to spend several tens of thousands of dollars.

While some countertop materials will cost this much, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives. Are you on a budget? Here are six cheap kitchen countertops alternatives you should try out:

Paint

Just as paint transforms a wall, it can also transform your counters. If you don’t like the current look of the countertops, find a paint that will match your cabinets, floor, and cover the damaged areas of the counters.

Regardless of whether you have tile, laminate, cultured marble, or solid surface counters, you will find a paint that will give the surfaces a new look.

If you have the skills, you can paint the surfaces by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it. For perfect results, first prime the counters then paint them. Finish the look by sealing the counters.

Concrete

Concrete countertops are durable, affordable, and cool looking. Ages ago, concrete contractors used to pour the concrete on the site. This often didn’t produce great-looking results.

Fortunately, things have changed. Currently, thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of precast concrete countertops that are more attractive.

Concrete counters resemble natural stone slabs. Unless you are too keen, you can pass them for granite or any other natural stone countertops.

Since the precast concrete countertops are cured and finished in the factory, they are easy to install as they come ready to use. The countertops are usually 1.5 inches thick, and when poured and cured, they come out smooth and flat.

They come in lengths of up to 10 feet, so they don’t produce any unsightly seams.

While these countertops are beautiful, unique, and affordable, they easily chip and scratch, so you should be cautious about how you handle them. As a rule of thumb, avoid being rough with them.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles give you the durability of natural stone, but at a much lower price. The tiles also come in many designs, including the natural-toned designs that give your kitchen or bathroom a natural look.

To make your countertops more attractive, use more expensive tiles with interesting designs at the borders.

While the tiles are tough hence allowing you to place even hot pots on them, you should take care as they tend to crack and chip easily. The grout between the tiles also stains easily, so you have to pay close attention to it to maintain the look.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, plastic laminate is highly versatile and affordable. Laminate is also resilient and comes in many colors, textures, and patterns. The material is also easy to install. Even if you are a beginner, you can install the countertops.

They come in sizes of 2 x 4 feet or 4 x 8 feet, but if you have longer counters, visit the company, and they will cut customized sizes.

Although, made from plastic, advanced printing techniques make the countertops resemble natural stone or wood.

When they were coming out, laminate used to scratch easily, but now advanced sealing techniques make these countertops tough and almost scratch proof.

Wood

Wood is significantly cheaper than natural stone making it an ideal choice for people operating on a budget. Two of the popular wood choices are maple and bamboo.

If you opt for these countertops, you should note that they require high levels of maintenance. To prevent them from getting damaged by water, regularly seal them with epoxy. Also, remember to oil them every two to three years.

Faux granite

Every homeowner wants granite countertops, but they don’t come cheap. If you love the look of natural stone but don’t have the money to buy real granite, go for faux granite countertops Raleigh.

All you need to do is to find an experienced contractor who will help you find the right countertops and paint them to give them the look of real granite.

While the countertops will look like real granite, they can’t take the abuse of real granite, so you need to handle them with care.

Is It Time To Undertake Countertop Replacement?

countertop replacement

Regardless of the type of countertops you have installed in your home, it will come a time when you will have to replace them. Do you know the right time to undertake countertop replacement? Here are signs it’s time to pull the trigger:

The countertops have serious cracks on them

Although, all types of countertops wear out, the situation is worse for low-end countertops. When you install cheap countertops, it’s only a few months or years, and you will start seeing clear signs of wear.

In some cases, the countertops are too worn out that you start seeing pressboard, wood, fiberglass, and other materials underneath.

When the countertops show clear signs of aging, repairing them won’t make things better—you have to replace them.

When installing the new countertops, don’t replace them with the same low-quality pieces—up your game and go for better, attractive, and long-lasting material.

These will not only look better, but they also will last for long; hence you won’t have to keep on replacing them.

The countertops have structural damage

Stone countertops are tough and can withstand a lot of abuse. Unfortunately, when you put a lot of pressure on them than they can handle, they are bound to get damaged.

For example, when you hit granite countertops with a meat mallet, they will get damaged.

In most cases, the countertops develop extremely unsightly damage. The damage can also be a cause of hazard to cooks, especially young children.

Other materials such as limestone scratch and break away into little particles that can get into your food.

To avoid all the hazards that come with damaged countertops, you should remove the damaged ones and replace them with new ones.

You are looking to sell the house

Do you know two of the most vital rooms in the house? The kitchen and bathroom. If your home is older, the countertops are most likely dated, damaged, or out of style; hence, these vital two rooms are in a horrible condition.

So trying to sell the house in this condition will be a tough call.

Luckily, you can quickly improve their look by replacing the countertops.

Many homeowners have the impression that they should install expensive countertops such as granite and marble. You don’t have to do this. When you install costly countertop materials, the chances are that you won’t recoup your money.

So what should you do instead?

Find an experienced countertop installer who will help you find a moderately priced countertop material that will give your house an elegant look. For the perfect look, ensure that an expert installs the countertops.

You feel the countertops are too old

If you have lived in your house for more than a decade without making major renovations, your countertops are most likely in a horrid state. If you aren’t as proud of your home as you used to be, it’s time to think about replacing the countertops.

Unlike when renovating to resell the house, you can go all out when renovating the house for your living. So there is no harm in going for the most expensive countertop material you can afford.

You shouldn’t buy expensive materials, then go ahead and hire a cheap, inexperienced contractor to install them as he/she will destroy them. So when you decide to go premium with the materials, also go premium with the contractor. Don’t hire a noob down the street.

Although, the contractor doesn’t have to be the most expensive in the city, they should show concrete evidence of experience.

There are ugly stains on the countertops

From coffee to wine, there are plenty of kitchen liquids that can cause stains on your countertops. Stained countertops look cheap and ugly, and if you have tried getting rid of the stains from the countertops without success, there is no way out, other than to replace them.

You can install any countertops in your home as long as it matches the theme of the house and doesn’t bore a hole in your pocket.

As mentioned above, work only with experienced granite countertop installers Raleigh. You don’t want people that will cause more problems than were originally there. Do you?

Granite Contractors: 6 Tricks On How To Remodel Your Kitchen For Less

When homeowners hear about kitchen remodeling, they imagine a humongous project that will require several hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete.

While some of the projects are extremely expensive, it doesn’t have to be the case with you. According to granite contractors, there are several things you can do to remodel your kitchen for less. Here are some of these things:

Use ready-to-assemble cabinets

Cabinets often carry the highest cost in a kitchen remodeling project, especially when you have to install new units. When the budget is not an issue, custom cabinets are often the best option. Since they are designed specifically for your kitchen, they give an excellent fit.

If the budget doesn’t allow, go for ready-to-assemble or semi-custom cabinets. If you are DIY enthusiast, you can assemble the cabinets by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let a contractor do it.

In addition to these cabinets being easy to install, they are also cheap, where they cost up to half the price of custom cabinets.

Are you one of the people that love grabbing their cabinets right off the shelf and get going? Then go for in-stock cabinets. The cabinets come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Work with a contractor who will recommend the best ones for your home.

Keep existing cabinets

As mentioned above, cabinets are costly when you have to install new ones. Before you begin the remodeling project, always ask your contractor whether you have to remove the existing ones.

If you had installed high-quality kitchen cabinets and were taking good care of them, the chances are that they will still be in good shape and you don’t have to install new ones.

If they are of high quality, all you need to do is to apply a new fresh coat of paint, and you will restore the original look.

Consider alternative countertop materials

There are plenty of countertop materials you can go with when remodeling your kitchen. You can choose solid, tile, recyclable, concrete, stone, and many more.

Granite countertops are the most popular, but they are more expensive than the other materials in the market.

If operating on a tight budget, go with much cheaper countertop alternatives. For example, you can go with a butcher block that costs up to half the price of granite.

You can also go with laminate that is much cheaper than granite, both in cost and installation. For you to get the most from the installed countertops, have them professionally installed by an expert.

To save even more money, keep your eyes out for bargains. Both physical and online stores offer discounts that you can take advantage of if you are keen enough.

Keep an eye on appliances

Other than cabinets, the other items that can burn a hole in your pocket are appliances. Unless you have had your appliances for decades, you won’t have to replace many of them. Only consider replacing the appliances when it’s absolutely necessary.

When renovating, it’s normal to have the urge to move the appliances to a “better” place. Even if you aren’t replacing the appliances, moving the electrical and mechanics of the appliances can be costly, so leave the appliances where they are.

If you have to replace all the appliances, buy all of them from the same company. This is to increase your chances of attracting larger discounts.

Choose the open shelf design

Open shelving not only saves you money, but it also creates interest. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on new shelves, use salvaged wood or painted planks from your local hardware store.

Open shelving makes more sense when you have a small kitchen and plenty of things to store.

Just like with cabinets, ensure that the shelves are installed by a professional. You don’t want shelves that will break your precious items, do you?

Install more lights

Many homeowners think they need to undertake heavy renovation work, but they can cut costs significantly by installing lights. Work with expert countertop replacement Raleigh professionals and place under-cabinet lights.

Professionally designed pendants will also make your kitchen brighter and more stylish without spending a fortune.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Marble Countertops

marble countertops

Marble countertops are affordable, durable, and unique. While this is the case, you can’t buy just any slab you come across—you need to take your time and find the perfect one for your surfaces. For you to do this, you need to consider several tips that include:

Variety

Marble comes in a wide range of varieties with different qualities. The most common varieties being:

Carrara: When people are talking about marble, this is the one they are talking about. Carrara is usually stark white or white with gray veining. Carrara marble is the most common type in the market and the least expensive.

This is the same variety that sculptures and buildings are made out of.

Calacatta: Due to its white coloring with gray veining, many people confuse it for Carrara. While there is white Calacatta, there are other varieties that have darker, thicker veining.

There are even gold varieties often bought by those looking to give their homes a luxurious look.

Emperador: It varies from white to gray to brown. Brown marble is accompanied by white or gray veining, which creates a beautiful contrast. Due to its elegant colors, Emperador marble looks extremely elegant in a room with gold or brass furniture.

Crema Marfil: Often found in a light-beige or yellow color, Crema Marfil is used in combination with darker stones. The stone has an irregular pattern and varying veining intensity that gives it a unique look that spices up any room.

For you to choose the right variety for your home, work with an experienced marble contractor who will not only help you in choosing the right slab, but also help you install it.

Cracks

Are there cracks on the countertops? Cracks are a sign that marble has been dropped or improperly handled. Many people confuse cracks with fissures. You should note that the two are quite different.

A fissure is naturally occurring in the stone, and it doesn’t change the plane of the marble surface.

When shopping for the stone, carefully inspect it and ensure that you don’t discard it, thinking it has cracks. When a marble slab has fissures, you can slide your nail across the fissure without it catching.

If you looking for a stone that will give you a more rustic look, there is no harm in buying a slab with fissures as they don’t change the integrity of the stone.

Origin

The other factor you should consider is where the stone is coming from. Due to the high demand for marble, some unscrupulous business people try to pass fake marble as genuine.

For example, they will take a white stone from china or any other part of the world and try to pass it as white marble from Calacatta. When making the purchase, always ask where the marble is from.

True Calacatta originates from mountain quarries in Carrara, Italy. So does Statuario.

The key to telling whether a slab is genuine or not is asking an expert to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you with the inspection and advise you on whether to buy the stone or not.

Color

Marble comes in a wide range of colors, including white, gold, red, green, neutral, gray, and black. The veining greatly determines the look of the slab. For a great look, choose a color shade that is similar to the walls and floor.

Your needs

Where are you looking to install the stone? Since it’s made from carbonate materials, it’s reactive to acids such as those found in soda, coffee, fruit juice, alcohol, and salad dressing.

Due to this, you should refrain from installing it in the kitchen. This is because if the stone comes into contact with acids, etching will result. The etching is a process that breaks down the polish, leaving a dull, lightly colored spot in the stone.

While sealing the countertops will protect the surfaces from stains, it doesn’t prevent etching. Marble also easily scratches, which makes it challenging to work with in the kitchen.

The best place to install marble is in the bathroom. Here it won’t be affected by serrated knives or salad dressings. Countertop replacement Durham contractors also recommend installing marble in tile flooring, vanities, and shower surrounds.

7 Mistakes To Avoid With Granite Countertops

granite countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials you can install in your home. They are elegant, practical to use in the kitchen and bathroom, and extremely easy to clean.

Unfortunately, many people make plenty of mistakes that lead to them ending up with countertops they aren’t proud of. The mistakes also make homeowners waste a lot of money. These mistakes include:

Failing to take the countertop samples to their homes

Countertops will look great in the showroom, but when you install them in your home, they will be the ugliest pieces you have ever seen.

Before you buy the pieces, take a few pieces to your home and see how they look in your kitchen or bathroom. If you like the look, purchase them but if you don’t like them, don’t buy them.

Being obsessed over the thickness of the countertops

When researching about countertops, you might have heard that the thicker the pieces, the better they are. When many homeowners hear this, they want to go for the thickest pieces they can afford.

Extremely thick slabs are usually two granite slabs that have been glued together, and often they aren’t the best to install at home.

While you should go for strong pieces that will last for a long time, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the thickness as doing so will lead to you buying the wrong materials.

Work with an experienced contractor who will guide you on buying the right thickness for your home.

Putting more importance to color than quality

The color of the countertops is crucial as it determines how the room will look like, but it shouldn’t be the determining factor whether you should buy the countertops.

While color might be beautiful to look at, it might easily stain and be difficult to maintain hence making your work too difficult.

In addition to considering how the countertops will look like in your kitchen, you also should pay attention to the quality of the slab you are installing. The countertop material should be of high quality and look great in your home.

Failing to buy from wholesale stores

As you might guess, wholesale stores sell countertop materials at lower prices. Regardless of how pleasing the retail stores are, avoid buying from them as they will cost you a lot of money.

Even if you live in an area without wholesale stores, travel out of your city and find stores selling high-quality products at the least cost.

Hiring the wrong granite installer

After buying the countertops, you are onto the next stage of your journey—installing the countertops. The installer you hire is vital as he/she determines how the countertops look and how long they retain their look.

For you to get the most, hire an experienced contractor who has been in the industry for a long time. The contractor should also be an expert at countertop installations, not fabrications.

Some homeowners hire their friends. While the friends might be experienced, you should avoid working with them as they often don’t give the best results. This is because they bring friendship in the project which spoils everything.

If you have a large house, the chances are that you are going to spend a lot of time with the contractor, so work with a contractor with a great personality. You don’t want to work with a boring contractor, do you?

Choosing the edges at random

While you can select the type of edge you want on your countertops, it’s not wise to make an arbitrary choice. This is because you most often end up choosing the wrong one. You should go through all the options and select the ones that give your countertops and surfaces the best look.

Making the wrong measurements

When you make the incorrect measurements, you end up with too little or too much granite. In most cases, you end up wasting a lot of money and throwing your plan out of proportion. While even experienced contractors make this mistake, it’s often common with new installers.

For you to minimize the chances of making a mistake, work with experienced granite countertop installers Raleigh. If taking the measurements by yourself, always double-check the dimensions before placing your order.