Tag Archives: countertop care

9 Benefits Of Marble Countertops

marble countertops

Are you thinking about updating your kitchen? One of the best materials you should go for is marble. While not as popular as granite, marble countertops not only transform the look of your kitchen, but that of the entire house. The countertops come with plenty of benefits that include:

They are easy to find

While granite and quartz countertops are trendy, they don’t easily come by. Due to this, they delay installation and you have increased overhead costs.

Marble on the other hand is easy to find. You can easily find it on most stony yards and fabricators. This means when you are looking to install the countertops in your home, you won’t have to wait for days or even weeks for them to be delivered.

You can walk into a yard and drive home with the marble slab, install it, and enjoy a hot meal on it that evening. Convenient, right?

Marble is extremely durable

Although marble requires more maintenance than granite, it doesn’t mean that it’s not lasting. Due to its combination of strength and beauty, marble has been used as a building material for centuries.

Some monuments were constructed from it hundreds of years ago, and they are still standing. If the stone was fragile, these buildings won’t be standing.

The countertops don’t require a lot of care

As mentioned above, compared to quartz and granite countertops, marble requires more care. This is because it’s porous, which makes it more prone to staining and etching. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to keep the countertops looking great.

First of all, you don’t need any specialty cleaner. To clean marble countertops, use dish soap or any other mild cleanser and a soft cloth. Stay away from harsh cleansers such as bleach and vinegar.

When spills happen, especially those resulting from wine and deep-colored liquids, wipe them immediately. You don’t want your countertops getting stained, do you?

When you notice a stain, use hydrogen peroxide to rub it away. Remember that hydrogen peroxide can etch the surfaces, so rinse it thoroughly once you are done.

Marble is cool to the touch

This is a unique quality that makes it a staple in a chef’s kitchen. The cool stone surface makes it ideal for rolling out the pastry, so the butter doesn’t heat up and compromise the integrity of the dough. The cool nature of the countertop also makes it easy to prepare other foods.

They are affordable

Due to its beautiful nature, marble looks extremely high end and unaffordable. When you are on a budget, you can’t imagine it in your house.

You will be shocked to learn that the countertop costs less than granite, quartz, and other natural stone countertop materials. Although, costs vary depending on the type of countertop and thickness, marble is more affordable than you can imagine.

You should note that some sellers might try to rip you off. When doing your research, take time to visit different stores and see what they have in stock. Settle at a store selling top quality countertops at an affordable price.

They come in more design options

Are you looking for a worktop that requires more than basic fabrication? Marble is your best bet. Marble is soft hence easy to work with. This means you can easily create countertops with fancy edges or give your countertops extra fabrication.

Marble is aesthetically beautiful

This is the major selling point for the countertop. The bright white color of the countertop dramatically improves the look of any home. The white color also makes a room appear larger, which contributes to its elegance.

Marble is heat resistant

Unlike other countertop materials, you can place hot pans and pots on the marble surfaces and not worry about the surfaces staining or getting damaged.

While this is the case, you should note constant exposure of the countertops to heat puts them at the risk of cracking. Even if the countertops can withstand a lot of heat, always have trivets and pads in place where you place the hot pots and pans.

The countertops are bright

The countertops have a natural glow that reflects light in a room. This makes it an ideal countertop replacement Durham option if you have a small kitchen or bathroom that you would like to make appear larger and brighter.

5 Kitchen Countertops Options

best kitchen countertop contractor

Are you looking for kitchen countertops? There are plenty of options you can go with. From stainless steel to granite, limestone, wood, and quartz, you can be confused about the right countertop surfaces to choose from. For you to make the right choice, you need to consider three factors:

Your budget: How much money do you have? If you are on a budget, lean towards laminate, stainless steel, and tile.  On the other hand, if you have a larger budget, gravitate towards natural stone, granite, and glass.

Your lifestyle: How do you lead your life? If you have a large family with children, go for more durable countertops. If you love cooking, go for a tough material that can withstand heavy usage.

If you are a single person and you are more interested in how the countertops look than their functionality, go for the most beautiful countertops in the stores.

Color and texture preferences: Countertops come in all types of colors and textures. When you visit a countertop store, carefully go through the countertop materials and choose the ones that accentuate the look of your house.

As mentioned above, there are plenty of countertop materials to choose from. The most popular ones being:

Granite

It’s the most popular countertop material in the market, and every new homeowner wants to install it. The good side is that when you take good care of it, it can last for a long time. It’s also heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting burnt.

It comes in an array of colors such as white, green, pink, black, and beige. This gives you peace of mind you will find the color of your liking.

You have two choices when choosing granite: polished or honed. Polished granite has a shiny finish while the honed finish has a matte look to it. If you aren’t sure of the one to go for, consult your countertop contractor, and he/she will recommend the best one.

While the countertop is an excellent kitchen and bathroom countertop, it’s expensive, so you need to have a large budget. You also have to re-seal granite at least once a year to prevent it from staining.

Marble

Marble countertops are the go-to pieces for bakers as they provide a soft, cold surface for rolling dough. Just like granite, they come in an array of colors. Since they are natural, no two marble slabs are the same, which gives them a unique look.

They are also heat resistant and won’t mark even when you put a hot pan or pot on it.

While bakers love marble, it quickly develops knife scratches, so if you love chopping things on the countertops instead of using a cutting board, this isn’t the best option for you.

The cool thing is you can prevent the scratches from coming about by covering the surfaces when working.

Since it’s soft, marble easily scratches and chips. This calls for you to be ultra-cautious when using it.

While it’s tough, marble is super porous. This means oil, wine, and other spills easily seep into the countertops, making them harder to remove.

Engineered stone

Termed as the hardest countertop material, engineered stone is mainly composed of quartz, which is a known hard material that doesn’t require any sealing. Quartz comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Upon installation, it’s hard to find the seams, the material is extremely durable, and stains aren’t too prominent.

While the stone is excellent, its main flaw is its expensive (almost as expensive as granite).

Concrete countertops

While not as popular as the others, concrete countertops are extremely tough and durable. They also come with plenty of finishes such as ground, trowel, and pressed. To give the surfaces a unique look, embed a glass into them.

While the countertop is tough, you need to seal it regularly. Sealing concrete countertops is highly expensive as temperature changes and acidic spills alter the shape of the surfaces.

Since the surfaces are made by the same materials used to build sidewalks, the countertops can crack. Countertop replacement Durham professionals recommend you add fiber reinforcement or wire mesh to the countertops to prevent them from breaking.

Wooden surfaces

They are also not popular, but they are excellent additions to your home, especially if you are operating on a budget. You have plenty of wooden surface options to choose from, such as oak, teak, walnut, and cherry.

7 Tips To Consider When Installing Kitchen Countertops

best quartz countertop

Thinking about installing new kitchen countertops? Good for you as you are on your way to creating countertop surfaces that you will be proud of. Countertop installation is an intricate process, and you need to have plenty of things in place for the project to be a success. To give your kitchen a great look, pay attention to these tips:

Don’t be in a hurry

When they get money, many homeowners rush to get new countertop surfaces. Don’t do this as you end up buying the wrong stones. You also often end up working with the wrong contractor.

Regardless of how unsatisfied you are with the current surfaces, don’t be in a hurry to replace them. Take time to research and find out your options. Visit several stores and see what they have to offer. Also, take the time to interview several countertop contractors to find the right one for your project.

Color shouldn’t be, end-all, be-all

Color is crucial as it defines the look of your kitchen and choosing the wrong one can break the design of your surface. While this is the case, it shouldn’t be the end-all, be-all.

Pay close attention to the quality of the stone you are buying as quality is everything. You can have a stone with the most beautiful color, but if it cracks or stains easily, you are as good as not having installed the stone in the first place.

Always get samples

An average homeowner will visit countertop stores, and when they like the look and design of the stones on sale, they will go ahead and make huge orders. This is wrong as most of them end up hating the look of the countertops after installation.

Instead of doing this, take samples with you and see how they look in your kitchen. While you might like the color, design, or countertop material, you might not like how the countertop looks in your kitchen as it might not go well with your floor tiles or cabinets. It also might not go well with the design of the house.

The right thing to do is to order the countertops only after you have tried out the samples in your kitchen.

Have the right budget

Many people underestimate the amount of money they need to complete the countertop project. As a homeowner, the last thing you want is running out of money in the middle of the project and being forced to put the project on hold or borrow more money.

For you to avoid the inconveniences, take the time to undertake thorough research and come up with a budget before you begin the project. The key is being pessimistic with the amount of money you will need. When doing your budget, factor in hidden expenses such as clean up costs after installation, transport costs, and others.

Think about the everyday use of the countertops

It’s common to visit stores selling countertop surfaces and be wowed by the various stones on display. Don’t rush to buy them as they might not be ideal for your kitchen. What do you use your kitchen most for? This is the first question you should ask yourself.

If you are baker, you want countertop surfaces that can withstand high heat. If you are a culinary master, you want a stone that can tolerate acidic spills without staining.

Thicker isn’t always better

Just like color, a thick countertop doesn’t mean that the stone is excellent. Sometimes the thick surface is simply two stones that have been bonded together, which often leads to plenty of problems.

If this is the first time buying the stones, go to the stores with an experienced professional who has been in the industry for a long time to guide you.

Don’t outclass the other parts of the room

There is nothing wrong with installing the best and highest quality countertops, but when you install extremely high-quality countertops, then don’t touch the other parts of the kitchen, you give your kitchen a cheap look.

To give your kitchen a high end look, don’t just install high-quality countertops, work with granite contractors Durham and other professionals and revamp the entire kitchen.

5 Inexpensive Ways To Update Granite Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertop

Old granite kitchen countertops not only give your home a cheap look, but they also look dirty and are hard to clean. Many homeowners have the impression that you need to have ultra-deep pockets for you to update your countertops. This is further from the truth. Here are inexpensive ways to give your countertops a makeover:

Paint them up

Save yourself money and the trouble of getting new countertops by simply painting the countertops. Before you get the paint, decide on the look you want. Painting is easy, and with minimal skills, you can effectively paint the surfaces by yourself.

Choose a paint that is specifically designed for laminate countertops. These paints are cheaper than the others in the market and don’t need priming. Buy enough paint for the job. You can do this by taking the measurements of the surface area to be covered. The paint should be enough for two coats.

Before you begin the painting, protect your surfaces. Line all the walls and cabinets with painter’s tape at the areas where they meet. Also, consider removing or covering your appliances such as stoves and sinks to prevent them from getting the paint.

Paints are toxic; therefore, you should protect yourself. You can do this by minimizing the amount of paint you get in contact with. Also consider wearing protective gear such as gloves, long pants, respirators, and even foam collars.

You can sand the surfaces using a pad sander but if you don’t have one, use your hands. Avoid sandpapers with a rough grit as they will damage the surfaces. Smoothen the surfaces using fine sanding block and scrape away any substances that might have congealed, dried, or stuck on the surface. Aim to create a smooth surface as much as possible.

To avoid brush marks on the surfaces, use spray paint, and sealer. After applying the paint, seal the surfaces with three or four coats to protect the finish.

Finish the countertops with cement

Begin with sanding the countertops using coarse sandpaper. Don’t worry about making the countertops smooth as cement sticks better at irregular surfaces. After the surfaces have air-dried, lather them with cement. Give the cement 24 hours to dry.

If there are noticeably uneven surfaces, sand, and clean them. Concentrate on getting rid of as much rough cement as much as possible. Once you are done, seal the cement using a liquid sealer. When buying the sealer, go for one that is food safe. If you don’t find a food-safe sealer, take care that your food never gets into contact with the countertop.

Cover the countertops

If you don’t want the look of cement, you can use other materials such as wood, fabric, veneer, paper, or even metal. Identify the material you want to use then get the right measurements for it. If you have the skills, you can apply the materials on the surfaces but if you have never done it before, hire an experienced contractor to help you out.

Tile the countertops

Did you know tiles aren’t only ideal for floors? You can also use them on your countertops. The beauty of it is that they aren’t expensive. Measure the dimensions of your countertops then get tiles that will fit the surface.

Depending on the design of your countertops, you may have to remove your stoves, disposal units, sinks, and other kitchen appliances before you install the tiles. If you have the skills, you can install the tiles by yourself but if you have never done it before, hire an expert to help you out.

Replace the countertops

If your current countertops are too old or you can’t stand them, consider replacing them. There are many cheap replacement options you can go with, the most common ones being:

Laminate: Laminate countertops are the most affordable countertops options in the market. When installing them, choose a textured surface instead of a flat one. This is to have an easy time concealing scratches and other signs of wear and tear.

Wood: Wooden surfaces are perfect when you are looking for a natural look. When undertaking countertop replacement Raleigh, choose wood that is durable and easy to manage. Some of the options you have include teak, walnut, cherry, maple, and many others.

 

Kitchen Countertops: 6 Kitchen Renovation Tips To Remember

If your kitchen is old or you want a different look, you need to consider these tips for the project to be a success:

Begin with the countertops

Kitchen countertops have the most significant impact on the design of the kitchen. They also cost a lot, especially if the kitchen is large. For you to avoid wasting money and create a look you love, begin your project by thinking about the type of countertops you will install.

Visit the local stores and find out what is in stock. For you to be content with your project, you need to be happy with the countertops first; therefore, ensure that you choose the right ones. Countertops vary in material, quality, size, among many other things. Choose the ones that fit your project.

Aim for quality

Kitchen renovations are costly, and you can’t be doing them after every few months. To do them once and properly, go for the best quality materials possible. In addition to the high-quality cabinets and appliances lasting for longer, they also have a high resale value.

You don’t have to buy new materials. If you don’t have deep pockets, consider going for used materials. They might be used, but still in good condition and of high quality. Some of the best materials are those bought from a business selling reused building materials.

If you are unlucky in these stores, try your luck online. Find individual sellers selling high-end items at affordable prices.

Pay attention to the layout of the kitchen

The kitchen needs to be practical and functional. How you lay it out depends on your priorities and needs. Think about the look you want to create and the people that will be using it. If it’s more than one person, incorporate more than one workstation.

If you have a large kitchen, add a kitchen island or get a wheeled cart that you can move around and put away when you aren’t using it.

If you aren’t sure of what will work with your household, make use of the classic work triangle; arrange the sink, stove, and refrigerator in a triangular pattern.

Have a realistic budget

Most large renovation projects end up taking more time and money than you anticipated; therefore, it’s wise to have extra cash on the side in the event the project goes over. A good rule of thumb is to have 10-20% more money for unplanned expenses.

The last thing you want is going to the bank to get another loan in the mid of the project. Even worse is ending up with a half-finished kitchen because you ran out of cash.

When coming up with a budget, remember to factor in the hidden costs. These include labor, materials, taxes, shipping, and delivery costs. These add up fast; therefore, it’s paramount that you put them into consideration when coming up with an approximation of the amount of money you need for the project.

Make use of all areas

You don’t want to spend a lot of money giving your kitchen a makeover and be left with unutilized areas. Make use of all areas in the kitchen. Use the toe-kick storage beneath the cabinet doors to store items that you don’t use daily. These include linens, serveware, and step ladder.

Using all the spaces gives you the satisfaction that you spent your money wisely. At the same time, it keeps your kitchen counters clutter-free.

Work with the right contractor

Not every countertop contractor you come across is right for your project. You can buy premium materials then end up with ugly countertops after hiring the wrong contractor. Many people end up with the wrong contractor as they are in a hurry to hire

To find the right professional, take your time. Approach several granite contractors Durham and ask for their current license and insurance. Also, ask about their past customers. Don’t just get the names of the customers. Call them and ask about their experience with the contractor.

If the professional checks out in every area, go ahead and draft a contract detailing the starting date, completion date, and any other details of the project.