Tag Archives: countertop installations

Things You Should Know About Marble Countertops

Are you looking to install marble countertops in your home? There are plenty of things you should know about them. These things include:

Marble patinates

Marble will develop a patina over time. The term ‘patina’ alone may send some people scurrying for the hills. However, many experts advise that patina should be embraced rather than feared.

Patina is a sophisticated way of saying used over time. If you go to Italy or France, or even a French restaurant, you will see marble on dining tables and worktops.

Those bits of stone have been around forever. And they remain lovely no matter how much they are used.

The stone’s beauty stems from its wear and tear. Each etch and trace of wear is a time capsule of all the hard work that has gone into your home.

And for many individuals, it is simply a part of life. We’re not all perfect and pristine all the time, so don’t expect your countertops to be either. Strive to embrace your patina. It will seem to be used, which is fine.

Marble etches

Etching is part of the patina. It’s an aspect of having marble surfaces that you’re either fine with or not. Whether marble—etching and all—is suited for you is determined by your expectations. This is especially true with marble in the kitchen.

You have to know what you’re getting into, and don’t assume that you are going to maintain the stone’s gorgeous, pristine, and polished perfection.

You’re going to spill something on it, and if you leave a glass out too long, something will happen. Then, you’ll learn a little bit about etching.

Marble etch marks form when an acidic liquid remains on the surface for an extended period of time, causing it to erode. Corroded surfaces have a dull or light appearance.

The impacted marble becomes rougher or less smooth than it was before the acidic spill.

People occasionally use various household cleaners that are generally effective for cleaning but are not suitable for marble surfaces.

The low pH of cleaning solutions instantly destroys the stone’s luster, leaving a damaged and drab surface.

As a result, you must exercise caution to maintain the marble surface’s overall appearance, sheen, and smoothness.

Some of the things you can do to prevent marble etching include:

Avoid using harsh cleaning products: It is best to avoid exposing the marble surface to any strong chemicals that could damage it. Even for cleaning, avoid using chlorine and acidic substances because they can alter the stone’s luster.

Hone the surface: A sharpened region is less likely to be etched than a polished surface. The matte finish will reduce the visibility of any scratches or stains on the marble surface.

Use chopping boards: You should use chopping boards in the kitchen to prevent acidic food drips from damaging the marble surface.

Clean spills as soon as they happen: Spills are always inadvertent. To protect your surfaces, make it a habit to clear the spills as soon as they happen.

Wipe the surface clean with a wet towel right away. Remember that the longer the acid remains on the surface, the greater the possibility of etching, and you don’t want this, do you?

Marble stains

Marble is a highly porous stone that has earned a reputation as a magnet for stains, particularly from acidic substances.

Your marble countertop, on the other hand, is not like your best white top, which is likewise stain-resistant—it can endure much more.

If you’re worried about stains, you can seal your surface to protect it. To be on the safe side, have your kitchen marble sealed once a year or refinished as needed.

Marble in the bathroom, on the other hand, is significantly less likely to absorb food stains. As a result, it is far safer and requires less sealing.

You can seal the surfaces by yourself but for the best outcome, let a professional help you out.

For the best outcome, you should apply two coats of the sealer.

Do not be alarmed if any ugly defects remain after applying the first coat of stone sealer. The second coat will effectively cover these defects and other minor wear indications.

Before applying the second coat, the first coat must be totally dry. After the first coat has dried, apply the second coat using the same way. Give the second coating an extra 15 to 20 minutes to dry.

After the second application of sealant has cured completely, polish your marble surfaces to finish the process. Polishing and buffing marble stones removes excess sealant.

To keep your surfaces nice, clean them using a microfiber cloth or any other type of towel. After you’ve completed, leave your marble surfaces overnight and be ready for elegant looking surfaces the following day.

There’s a misconception that marble stains easily, but it doesn’t. Those who have marble in their kitchen can speak from personal experience. It takes time to stain the surfaces.

There is marble in the US.

For those who value the “Made in America” label, don’t dismiss marble just yet. There is a prevalent assumption that marble must be imported from abroad; however, this is not always the case.

Marble is mostly found in Italy, China, India, and Spain. These four countries quarry almost half of the world’s marble. Marble quarries are also common in Turkey, Greece, the United States, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

The states with the most marble are Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.

If you love buying American products, you should insist on buying the ones produced in these states. Of course, the marble will be much cheaper as it will have lower transport costs. Also, since it won’t have import duty, it will most likely cost you less.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should know about marble. You should note that marble is one of the best materials you can install in your home. Whether you are having a countertop replacement NC project or installing new units, ensure that you have a professional install the surfaces.

You also should take good care of the surfaces so that they not only look good, but also last for a long time.

Tricks to Keep your Kitchen Countertops in Top Shape

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

They also significantly improve the functionality of your kitchen.

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

Professionally install the countertops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clean the countertops properly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seal your countertops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep heat away from the surfaces.

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

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

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

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

Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.