Tag Archives: cleaning the countertops

How Do I Know What My Countertop Is Made Of? Granite Contractors Answer It

If you are asking this question, how do I know what my countertop is made of, you must have moved to a new house, and aren’t sure of the material used to cover your countertops. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. According to granite contractors, there are plenty of new homeowners that can’t tell whether their countertops are made from marble, quartz, or granite. To help you out, here are three of the most popular countertop materials and how they compare:

Marble

Marble is said to be the most elegant natural stone in the world. Just like granite, it has been around for years, and it has been used to construct palaces for kings and statues dedicated to gods.

Impurity free marble is solid white. Unfortunately, most of the marble contains other minerals that give it a myriad of colors such as black, pink, gray, and yellow.

Real marble tends to have unparalleled glossiness. When you are inspecting the stone, don’t take this as a telltale sign your countertop is made from marble as unscrupulous business people can replicate it by adding small pieces of glass and other materials.

The colors of the countertops will appear as veins or swirls throughout the stone, and since the countertop is natural, it won’t have repeating or symmetrical patterns.

Unlike granite, marble is translucent; hence you can see a few millimeters past the surface, which gives the material more depth.

Granite

Granite has been around for years, and it’s one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. It contains an assortment of different minerals such as: mica, feldspar, and quartz. It comes in different colors such as brown, gray, white, and red.

Granite is referred to as a phanerite rock. This means it contains crystals and mineral clumps that are large enough to distinguish with naked eyes. When you look at a granite slab, you will see various pieces in a speckled pattern that come together to form the stone.

You will come across some granite that has a veined look similar to marble, but when you look at it closely, the color patches tend to be grainy and blurry, instead of having distinct streaks. Since the stone is opaque, you can only see the outermost layer of the surface.

Quartz

Quartz counters are humanmade, where they are made by mixing ground quartz stone, resins, and polymers. Some quartz countertops can be a mix of ground granite, marble and other natural stones giving birth to engineered stone.

Since the countertops are humanmade, they come in a variety of colors and patterns.

If you are new with countertops and would love to know whether you are using real or fake countertops, you should look at the pattern.  Every slab of marble or granite is unique since it’s made from natural stone. As a consequence, no two areas of the stone will look the same.

Since quartz is humanmade, it tends to have a fairly uniform color and consistency throughout with little variation in patterns and texture.

So what should you do after knowing?

Once you have known the countertops you have in your home, the next move should be to take care of them. In most cases, you give the same care to all types of countertops.

One of the things you should do is to clean the countertops. When you notice dirt, clean the countertops with mild soap and sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they will etch the surfaces.

You also should avoid placing a lot of weight on the countertops. Marble, granite, and quartz countertops appear sturdy and indestructible, but they easily crack when you place a lot of weight on them.

To keep them in shape, avoid sitting on them. You also should avoid placing a heavy cooking item at the edges of the countertops.

Finally, you should make a habit of clearing any debris from the countertops as soon as it happens. This ensures the countertops don’t stain, so you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement Raleigh. Just like when cleaning the surfaces, avoid getting rid of dirt using harsh products that can harm the surfaces.

 

8 Granite Countertops Dos And Don’ts

granite countertops

Installing the most beautiful granite slab isn’t enough. You need to take good care of your granite countertops to maintain the perfect, clean look. How do you do it? Here is a set of dos and don’ts you should observe:

Do seal the countertops

Everything begins here. Granite slabs are porous and when you work with them without sealing, you put them at the risk of staining. To keep them in top shape, seal them at the time of installation.

You also should make a habit of sealing them once a year. For you to get the most from them, don’t go for any sealing product. Use a high-quality product you are sure will give you a good service for a long time.

Do clean the spills as soon as they happen

Many homeowners have the impression that once they have sealed the countertops they don’t need to worry about spills. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Even if you have sealed the surfaces, you still need to prevent spills from getting into the inner layers of the countertops. How do you do this? By cleaning the spills as soon as they happen.

You don’t need much when they happen. Some dish soap and water is enough.

Do clean the countertops

In addition to getting rid of spills immediately they happen, you also need to keep the surfaces clean. This is to get rid of dirt and grime that might be present. Due to the elegant nature of granite slabs, some homeowners have the impression they need fancy cleaning techniques to clean granite countertops, but this isn’t the case.

For you to get the most from your cleaning, use mild solution of water and soap. Avoid harsh cleaning substances such as oils, lemon juice, or any other acidic substances as they will damage and dull the countertops.

Do repair the countertops

Even with the best care, it’s common for granite slabs to get damaged. For example, it’s common for the countertops to develop scratches and other minor issues. Some people ignore the damage as they deem it too minor, but don’t do this.

When you notice even the most minor problem with your countertops, fix it immediately. If you have the skills you can fix it by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it.

Don’t place hot items directly on the countertops

While granite is tough and can withstand high heat exposure, avoid placing hot pans and pots directly on it. While you might get away with it once, when you repeatedly expose it to the hot items, you put it at the risk of getting damaged.

For you to keep the surfaces in top shape, always use hot pads or trivets.

Don’t cut directly on the countertops

Just as you shouldn’t place hot items directly on the countertops, you also shouldn’t cut items directly on the surfaces. In addition to the practice creating scratches on the countertops, it also exposes the surfaces to acids that eat the granite sealer.

For you to protect your countertops and knives, always use a cutting board when cutting anything. Whether cutting meat or fruit, always have a cutting board with you.

Don’t turn your countertops into a worktable

Since the countertops are tough, it’s common to be tempted to place your work tools on them. For example, it’s common to find yourself placing your toolbox on the surfaces when working on the kitchen.

Do you want your countertops to keep looking great? Don’t do this. If there is no other place you can put your tool items, add a thick covering to the countertops. For example, cover the surfaces with a blanket.

You also should take care that you don’t drag or drop your tools on the countertops.

Don’t allow pets to sleep on the countertops

It’s rare for dogs to sleep on the countertops. Cats are the problem. While they might seem harmless, their claws can scratch the surfaces. Cats also carry dirt on their paws forcing you to have to clean the countertops regularly.

For you to avoid having to call granite contractors Raleigh to fix the damaged countertops, keep cats and other pets out of your countertops.