Tag Archives: Countertop Installation

Your Guide to White Kitchen Countertops

Have you always wanted white kitchen countertops? There are many options you can go with. They include:

White marble

Marble is the most expensive option for white kitchen countertops. This material has the advantage of being naturally cold to the touch (ideal for bakers and those who live in hot areas) and being the whitest natural stone available.

Despite being a hard surface, marble has one notable disadvantage: it is acid-resistant. Lemon juice and vinegar can scratch the surface, while coffee and wine can stain it permanently.

Because you are purchasing marble by the slab, you must consider how differences in veining will appear when installed. When buying the slab for the first time, it’s always wise to get in touch with a professional who will guide you on the right slab veining to go with.

When making the purchase, you should note that the price of the countertops varies based on the slabs’ size and the marble’s source.

This means that authentic Italian marbles such as Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario attract high costs because they are both beautiful and durable. Lower-cost marble from other countries (such as China) can be beautiful, although it is “softer” than Italian types.

You can easily buy a cheap slab without knowing, making it another reason to always involve experienced contractors in your purchase.

Quartz

The majority of quartz countertops on the market are engineered quartz, which is a mineral blend with other materials added for strength. (This is frequently seen under the brand names Silestone and Caesarstone.)

Engineered quartz is more durable, stain-resistant, and often less expensive than genuine stone. Because it is a man-made material blend, it is available in a wider selection of colors, finishes, widths, and thicknesses than real stone slabs.

Silestone is cheaper than marble per square foot, and the prices vary depending on the options available in the market. If you want a marble-like counter, choose Silestone’s Calacatta Gold design.

Quartzite

Though they sound similar, quartzite is not the same as quartz. Quartzite is a quarried natural stone that comes in slabs; it is as strong as granite and has a comparable appearance to marble.

If you consider installing it, note that acidic foods and beverages, like marble, can etch the material. The beauty of it is that it’s cheaper than marble and quartz, and the prices vary depending on style and size.

Solid surface counters

These countertops are constructed of acrylic and can be designed to seem like anything from marble to stainless steel.

Corian is one of the most popular solid-surface countertop brands. Counters made of this material are seamless and rather sturdy; however, they are easily scratched.

They are also not as resistant to heat as other materials. However, the solution is quite simple: Use trivets and coasters instead.

Laminate

Laminate, made by bonding sheets to plywood or particleboard, is the most cost-effective option for white countertops. So, if you are operating on a budget, these are the best units to go for.

Laminate is available in almost every color or pattern, including marble lookalikes. Laminate, like solid-surface counters, should not be exposed to heat. Keep those coasters close to reach at all times.

Tips to keep your white countertops in top shape

For you to retain your white countertops looking great, you should take good care of them. Some of the things you should do include:

Clean them regularly

There is no way your countertops will look great if you don’t clean them regularly. Thankfully, it’s easy to keep them in good shape.

For the best experience, ensure that you use the right cleaning products. To do the cleaning, you need a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive items that could scratch the surface.

You also need a basic combination of dish soap and warm water. This is usually sufficient for cleaning daily spills and messes.

Follow these routine cleaning steps to keep your countertops looking clean and appealing:

Clean your countertops daily by wiping them down with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with warm, soapy water.

Remove spills as soon as possible: The longer a spill lingers, the more likely it may stain. You should clean the spills immediately to avoid stains and potential damage.

Keep an eye out for stains.

As much as white countertops look great, they are prone to staining. To get rid of the stains, use a nonabrasive sponge or cloth: Scrub the soiled area gently with a moist sponge or cloth dipped in mild soap.

For harsher stains, mix equal parts water and white vinegar to make a solution, then apply it to the stain, let it soak for a few minutes, and then wash it away.

To prevent stains from coming about, use trivets for hot cookware and coasters for drinks.

You should make it a habit to clean spills as soon as possible. This way, you prevent them from settling for a long time, increasing the chances of developing stains.

Keep your surfaces residue-free

Follow these guidelines to keep your countertop residue-free:

Clean the cooking areas regularly. For the best outcome, wipe off the countertops surrounding cooking zones daily.

Avoid using strong chemicals or rough instruments: To avoid countertop damage, use mild cleaning procedures.

If you have ignored your countertops and now they have developed residues, consider the following steps when dealing with dried residue or grease:

Scrape the surface using a plastic scraper or spatula: Remove the residue using a nonabrasive tool, being careful not to scratch the countertop’s surface.

Use a glass cleaner or degreasing solution: Spray a glass cleaner or degreasing solution on the residue, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it away with a soft cloth.

Parting shot

These are some of the options you have when you are looking to install white countertops. Regardless of whether you go with granite or marble countertops NC, you need to take good care of them to look good and last for a long time.

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.

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.  

Countertop Colors Options and What They Mean

When you are looking to install countertops, besides considering the layout of the cabinets, the other important thing you should consider is the color of the kitchen countertops, as they come in handy in determining the look and feel of the kitchen.

Are you wondering which is the best color that you should go with for your countertops? Well, here are what the different colors mean and the ideal place to use them.

White

White countertops, whether laminate, composite or a very light natural stone like marble, are popular since they will brighten any kitchen.

Because your work surface takes up a lot of area in the kitchen, it’s usually a good idea to use a light reflective material.

White and light natural stone counters reflect light and offer a sense of space in small kitchens, making them the ideal choice for a small house.

White countertops are popular for various reasons, including their ability to increase the sense of light and space in a compact kitchen.

When using white kitchen countertops, you should note that they tend to get dirty easily, so you should always be ready to clean them to keep your kitchen looking clean.

When installing them, it’s always wise to go with a shiny finish that is easy to clean.

Dark countertops

Dark countertops are the perfect choice for a sophisticated and dramatic effect.

Dark countertops provide a touch of subtle luxury and are considerably more versatile. For example, you can easily pair them with grey finishes, natural wood, and white cabinets to create a sophisticated monochromatic design.

If you think that dark counters are your thing, you should note that they show dirt and streaks more easily than lighter hues, so you need to clean them regularly.

When cleaning, avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the surface. For a great experience, always use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaning product.

Lighting may significantly impact how black countertops appear in your kitchen, so ensure enough illumination to keep the space from looking too dark and cramped.

Light tones with texture

Light counters with a delicate grain or texture, such as natural stone, porcelain, or quartz, are becoming more popular. While pure white worktops keep interiors bright, grey, beige, or off-white designs, and veined kitchen counters add depth and intrigue.

If you want to give your counters a unique look, you should consider white worktops with subtle marble-like veins that provide interest or larger veins that transform the worktop into a work of art.

The veins can be different colors, notably deep reds, browns, and gold.

Mix light and dark countertops.

Why not combine two designs if you can’t settle on a kitchen countertop color? For a great look, choose complementary colors. For example, you should combine light gray with dark gray or white with black to give a sophisticated look.

You also should pair light countertops with dark cabinets and walls to create balance and contrast. You can also pair dark countertops with light cabinets and walls to generate contrast. By doing this, you have a visually pleasing space.

Remember to incorporate an accent color that helps you achieve a unified design as you do the pairing. This could be the color of a backsplash or decorative items.

When mixing the colors, you can easily be carried away and go with many colors, but you shouldn’tshouldn’t do this as you will most likely end up with an ugly kitchen.

For an elegant kitchen, it’s crucial not to go overboard when mixing the counter colors. Always keep the rest of the area modest and let the countertops take center stage.

Wood

You can’t go wrong with earthy colors or the honeyed tones of a wood countertop, as they add warmth to the kitchen.

While wood requires more maintenance than other materials, each piece is unique and appears to have a personality, which always makes a room feel special and welcoming.

When choosing wooden countertops, selecting a wood that is sturdy and resistant to moisture and stains is critical. Maple, oak, cherry, and walnut are the best choices.

The finish of the wood you go with will affect how the countertop looks and how long it lasts, so be cautious of the finish you choose.

Some of your finish options include: sealed, oiled, and unfinished. For a great experience, go with sealed or oiled finishes, as they give a protective coating that can assist in preventing stains and moisture damage.

As much as wood is an excellent countertop material, you should note that it’s prone to water damage, so make an effort to clean spills as soon as they happen. When wiping them, do it using a moist cloth?

As much as you want your countertops clean, avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the wood.

Grey concrete

Grey is a classic and versatile color for a countertop. Grey polished concrete worktops are an excellent choice if seeking an industrial look.

When installing grey countertops, consider adding pops of color to the space with accessories like rugs, curtains, and decorative items. This is because grey tends to be neutral, which can be unpleasant for some people, especially those that love having some colors in their kitchen.

To prevent discoloration and moisture damage, remember to seal your concrete countertops. When choosing the sealant, use a high-quality sealer exclusively for concrete countertops.

Parting shot

These are some of the countertop color options that you can choose from. At this moment, you must be asking which is the best color to go for. Well, there is no right or wrong color—it all depends on your taste and preferences.

Whether you want white granite or marble countertops Raleigh, it’s up to you. You only need to ensure that the countertops match your property’s theme and lifestyle. You want to spend your money on countertops that will give you the service you want and appeal to you for years.

Tips to Consider When Installing Granite Countertops

For the best outcome when installing granite countertops, you need to consider a number of tips. These tips include:

Go with high-quality granite

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of granite you want. If this is your first time, the granite shop you visit will have a lot of samples and slabs so you can get a good look at all the different colors and grain patterns.

You’llYou’ll also see the different edges to choose from, like square, bevel, bullnose, miter, ogee, and many more.

Besides the main surface of the countertop, you’ll need to choose the length of the overhang and the type and size of the backsplash, if you decide to have one.

To increase the chances of buying high-quality granite, avoid buying it from big box stores. Instead, buy your granite from small stores. Besides these small shops stocking high-quality countertops, they also tend to be cheaper.

These stores even have experts who help you with the installation at no extra charge.

Be ultra cautious when transporting the countertops

After your countertops have been cut to size, it can be hard to get them home safely. You will have to pick up the countertops from the fabricator unless they are being sent to you.

Don’tDon’t forget that granite is heavy—a 6-foot countertop can weigh more than 400 pounds—so get some help to move and transport the countertops safely.

To avoid cracking or breaking the stone, carry it vertically instead of flat. One excellent way to do this is to carry the slabs on edge in an A-frame rack, the same way glass is carried.

You can use 2x4s to make a simple rack if you need to. Cover the edges with wide painter’spainter’s tape to keep them safe.

Take the right cabinet measurements.

Once you’ve picked out the granite and taken it off the old countertops, measure your base cabinets accurately to give to the fabricator. To get an accurate measurement of the top of the base cabinets, measure the distance from the wall to the fronts along the wall.

If you aren’taren’t a dab hand at DIY projects, you should avoid taking the measurements yourself. Instead, have an experienced contractor come with you. Besides taking accurate measurements, they will also see if there are any bumps in the walls or exposed pipes that might affect the installation of the countertops. 

Make a template out of cardboard.

You can give your fabricator even more accurate measurements by making a template out of cardboard, lauan plywood, or even Mylar plastic.

Use a scribing tool to make the template fit tightly against the wall along the whole row of cabinets. Then, trace the front edge of the cabinets onto the template.

Sinks, cooktops, faucets, and soap dispensers must be cut out of your template in the right places.

When doing it, be careful not to let more than 2 feet of space between cabinets, like over a dishwasher, and don’t let more than 6 inches of unsupported overhang with 2 cm stone or 9 inches with 3 cm stone.

If you want an undermount kitchen sink, write that on the template so that the fabricator can cut the sinkhole to hold the sink clips.

Also, ensure your fabricator “rods” the cutouts with steel or fiberglass reinforcements to strengthen the narrow areas around the cutouts.

Set a date to pick up or have your finished countertops delivered once you have clearly stated your needs and given your measurements.

Ensure that the base cabinets are level.

Make sure that your base cabinets are level along their length. If not, take the base units apart and use shims under the baseboard to level them.

Ensure the countertops fit.

There are two ways to make the countertop fit better if it doesn’tdoesn’t sit flush against the wall as it should. You can make changes to either the wall or the granite.

 If the wall is made of drywall, the easiest and safest way to make the countertop fit is to mark the spot where it hits and then cut away the drywall with a utility knife or jab saw.

If the wall is made of something harder, like tile or brick, you may need to change the granite. To do this, mark the part where the granite kitchen countertops Raleigh hit the cabinets, then carefully remove the granite.

You should then carefully shave the edge to the level you want using a dry-cut diamond blade on an electric grinder.

Can You Set Hot Things On Quartz Countertops?

The short and sweet answer is no. It’s unwise to place hot things directly on the countertops. This is because the resin on the countertops isn’t as heat resistant as natural stone. Due to this, placing a hot item such as a hot pan will scorch the surfaces, leaving a permanent spot of discoloration, and you don’t want this, do you?

To ensure that your quartz countertops don’t have any damage, you should protect them from harm. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about it. These ways include:

Always use potholders and trivets

Potholders are made from cloth or silicon squares, allowing you to grab the hot handles of your pots, so you have an easy time moving your pots from the stove. You can also slip the potholders underneath your hot pot, which comes in handy to protect the counter or table surface.

On the other hand, a trivet is designed for the countertop or table. Trivets are usually thicker or more rigid than potholders and can be quite decorative.

To ensure that you never place the hot pot directly on the countertop, keep the trivets or potholders strategically in an area you can easily reach.

Whether you are interested in trivets or potholders, ensure that you go for high-quality ones that will withstand the test of time.

Lay out the heat mats and towels

Heat mats are similar to trivets but are made from materials such as bamboo rolls, wood blocks, hand towels, and even silicon mats.

When handling hot pans, heat mats create a safe counter space where you can set the pans without worrying about damaged countertops.

Again, like the trivets, get high-quality thick heat mats that protect your surfaces.

Protect your curling iron

Have you installed quartz countertops in your bathroom? You should be cautious of the curling irons and straightening plates as, like hot pans, they can damage your countertops.

When any hot part of the hair tools comes in contact with your countertops, it’s bound to leave unsightly scorch marks, and you don’t want this on your surfaces, do you?

Have spoon rests to ensure that your countertops never get damaged by the hot hair straightening tools. You can also have a stylish trivet-like mat in your bathroom where you place your curling iron.

Make use of coasters.

Rarely will tea and coffee mugs burn through your quartz countertops, but you shouldn’t take the risk as there have been cases where the countertops have been damaged by the repeated placement of hot tea cups on the countertops.

To protect your countertops, always place coasters on the surfaces that will protect the countertops from burning.

Use serving dishes

When serving food, always use serving dishes. While the bottoms of these dishes will get warm, they won’t be dangerously hot that they damage the countertops.

Other tricks to protect your countertops

Besides preventing hot items from landing on your countertops, you can do plenty of other things to keep your countertops looking great. Some of these things include:

Don’t let spills dry on the countertops

You can’t stay away from spills on your kitchen and bathroom countertops, but you should always ensure that they don’t dry on your counters.

When you are tired, it’s tempting to want to finish your meal and wipe the spills later, but you shouldn’t do this as the spills usually dry on surfaces that are hard to remove.

To avoid this, always move with haste and get rid of the spills as soon as they happen.

To prevent spills from coming about in the first place, be cautious of the liquids you handle around your countertops. Keep soda, coffee, wine, and even cooking oils from your counters as a rule of thumb.

Clean the countertops properly

How you clean the countertops comes in handy in determining how your countertops look. To maintain a clean look of your quartz kitchen countertops Durham, clean your surfaces using warm, soapy water.

You should avoid highly alkaline products such as acidic cleaners, degreasers, and glass cleaners, as they are too tough and tend to harm your counters.

Kitchen Countertops Best Practices

Is this the first time you are installing kitchen countertops in your home? Here are some tips you should put into consideration:

Choose the right material

There are many countertop materials you can install in your home. You will be spoilt for choice from granite to quartz, as you have an entire gamut of countertops.

As you can tell, not all countertops are ideal for your home. To choose the right ones, you need to consider your preferred look. If you like a plain kitchen, you should go for countertops with a plain design and vice versa.

Your lifestyle will influence your choice. If you are at home most of the time, you can get away with countertops that need a lot of care as you have the time to care for them, but if you are out most of the time, get those that are easy to maintain and don’t need a lot of attention.

If you aren’t sure about the right countertops that will look good for your home, get the input of a professional.

Buy from a reputable store.

In the same way, there are many countertop materials to choose from is the same way there are many stores you can buy countertops from.

Many new homeowners buy countertops from the first countertop store they find. This is wrong.

The right way to go about it is to take your time and visit a couple of stores and see what they offer. While in these stores, compare the prices of the different countertop materials and settle on the store selling the materials at the least cost.

Due to their popularity, you might think big box stores are the best places to buy countertop materials, right? Well, wrong. In fact, you will be wise if you can ignore them as much as possible.

This is because they usually don’t have many countertop options to choose from. They also tend to sell their materials at extremely high prices.

Buy your materials from small stores to access a wide range of materials to choose from and at affordable prices. These stores might not be as popular, but they provide excellent services.

Since they specialize in countertop materials only, they tend to stock a wide range of these materials, so you have plenty of options.

These stores also work together with expert installers, so when you buy from them, you don’t need to worry about where to find an expert to install the countertops for you. When you purchase plenty of materials from some of the stores, you get free installation, which, as you can guess, means more money in your pocket.

Think about the functionality of the kitchen

How will you be using the kitchen? You need to think about this before you buy the countertops. This is because the different countertop materials have different applications.

If you love cooking, chances are you will make your kitchen dirty more often. To have an easy time maintaining a clean kitchen, go with easy-to-maintain countertops such as quartz.

If, on the other hand, you don’t cook too often but love having a clean and elegant-looking kitchen, you can go with granite or marble countertops.

Remember that even if you aren’t using your kitchen often, you must seal these countertops at least once a year. This prevents them from developing ugly stains that are hard to remove.

Besides sealing the surfaces, you also need to clean them daily to remove dirt and other materials that might ruin the original look of the surfaces.

Work with experts

When installing the countertops, be cautious of the person that installs them, as having them installed by the wrong person can lead to problems.

As mentioned above, you are more likely to find a reputable installation professional when you buy your materials from a reputable small store.

Whether you are looking to install marble, quartz, or granite kitchen countertops, Durham ensures that experienced professionals install them. Some homeowners try to cut costs by hiring a cheap contractor. Don’t do this, as you often end up damaging the countertops.

What Countertop Do I Have?

When you install countertops in your home, you know what you are working with, but when you move to a new house, you don’t know the countertops installed there. If this is your current situation, you must be asking, what countertops do I have, right?

Well, there are several ways you can tell the kind of kitchen countertops you currently have. Some of these ways include:

Check the uniformity of the countertops

You can tell the nature of your countertops by inspecting their uniformity. If your units have a uniform color and consistency throughout, you are probably looking at quartz countertops.

Since quartz slabs are manufactured, they tend to be uniform, with little variations in patterns and textures.

To make quartz slabs, manufacturers mix ground stones with resins and polymers. Some quartz countertops blend ground marble, granite, and other natural stones.

The beauty of quartz countertops is they are tough and take a lot of abuse. They also require little maintenance, so you don’t need to worry about them getting easily stained.

Look out for grainy and blurry color patches.

If your countertops have grainer and blurry color patches instead of distinct patches, you are most likely looking at granite countertops.

Granite stone is naturally available and has been around for thousands of years, and over the years, it has been heavily used in the construction of monuments, bridges, and buildings.

Granite countertops come in different colors as a result of an assortment of different minerals available in the stone. These minerals include: mica, feldspar, quartz, and many others.

Besides identifying granite by its grainier and blurry look, you can also identify it by the many crystals and clumps of minerals that it contains. When you look at the granite slab, you see veracious pieces in speckled patterns that come together to form a stone.

Look at translucency

Can you see a few millimeters past the surface? You have marble countertops in your kitchen. Marble is one of the most elegant natural stones in the world, and for centuries, it has been used to construct palaces fit for kings and statues dedicated to various gods.

Marble free of impurities is solid white, but this is not always the case. In most cases, it contains impurities that make it pink, bluish, gray, yellow, or black.

The colors appear as swirls or veins throughout the stone, with no repeating or symmetrical patterns and varying dimensions and depths.

True marble has unparalleled glossiness that lasts for a long time.

Most people are confused about whether they are looking at marble or granite countertops. If you aren’t sure about what you have on your surfaces, undertake the cut test.

Here you cut the countertop with a sharp object such as a knife. Real marble will show scratches and etching over time. The countertop is most likely granite or manufactured stone if you scratch the surface but don’t see any damage.

Which is the best countertop to have?

Well, there is no right or wrong countertop—it depends on your preferences. If you like the current look of your countertops, you need to take good care of them to retain the elegant look.

Regardless of the countertops on your surfaces, one of the things you shouldn’t do is expose them to heat. As much as the countertops are tough and can withstand high temperatures, you should note that they aren’t heatproof.

You might get away with placing the hot pots and pans on the surfaces a few times, but when you repeatedly do it, you stand to ruin your surfaces.

To protect your quartz, marble, or granite kitchen countertops Durham, have trivets and other heat-insulating materials that will prevent the heat from getting to the countertops.

For your marble and granite counters, you will need to seal them at least once a year to keep off stains.