Tag Archives: countertop materials

4 Factors To Consider When Buying Kitchen Countertops

If you are remodeling your current kitchen or constructing a new one, you need kitchen countertops. For you to buy the right countertops for your kitchen, you need to consider several factors that include:

Your activities

While the look of the countertops is vital as it’s what makes or breaks the kitchen, if you choose a countertop material that doesn’t blend properly with your activities, the material will wear out fast forcing you to keep on replacing it after every few uses which will be equivalent to throwing money down the toilet.

If you cook, entertain a lot or have kids in the house, you can’t buy the same countertops as someone who doesn’t cook often and lives alone.

If you like the look of a given countertop and still want the surfaces to be functional, consider getting more than one type of countertop surfaces. For example, if you love chopping things when cooking, install butcher’s block in one area of the kitchen and you will have a built-in cutting board.

If you often bake, install marble countertops in half of your countertops and you will have a surface to work with dough.

Mixing more than one countertop material also helps you to spend less. This is because you can install one less expensive material in one area and another that costs a little money in another area, and you will have an excellent looking kitchen.

Your budget

How much money are you looking to spend on the countertops? This is an essential factor to consider as it dramatically determines everything from the surfaces you will get to the countertop contractors you hire.

If you are like other homeowners, the look of the countertops is the most critical factor you consider. In such a case, buy countertops that closely resemble the ones you can’t afford.

For example, if you can’t afford marble countertops, go with Quartz countertops that have a similar look like marble but cost a little less.

Before you buy the countertops, consider the consistency of the countertops to the other parts of the kitchen. Ask yourself whether the cost is consistent with the other materials you have used.

This is because you can buy premium marble countertops, and when you install them in a kitchen with vinyl flooring, you create a quality imbalance.

A good rule is to spend 15-30% of your budget on kitchen countertops. If you find yourself spending less than 15% of your budget on countertops, the quality of the countertops is most likely inferior to the other kitchen materials.

On the other hand, if you find yourself spending more than 30% of the budget on countertops, you will most likely be overdoing it.

You need to find a sweet spot where the countertops you are looking to install match the quality of the other materials you have used in your kitchen.

Ease of maintenance

Different countertops require different maintenance methods. Before you fall in love with a given countertop material, think about the amount of work that goes into maintaining it.

Porous materials such as limestone, granite, and marble need to be oiled and sealed once a year.

While the butcher’s block is durable, it requires regular sealing to protect it from excessive damage.

Other materials such as quartz require you to wipe them with a cloth, and you have excellent looking surfaces.

If you aren’t sure of the right surfaces to go for, ask an expert to help you out.

Color of the countertops

The color of the countertops not only affects the look of the pieces in the kitchen, but it also affects the ease of maintaining the countertops.

For a great look, choose a tone that coordinates or contrasts with your cabinets. You should note that the tone doesn’t have to be a close match. For example, install brown countertops on natural which oak cabinets.

Choose countertops with a versatile color. This is because the paints and accessories change with time, so by choosing a versatile color, you are sure that your granite countertops Raleigh will match most of the kitchen accessories.

Countertop experts recommend that you keep your options open by picking materials with veins or splashes of color as they blend in with many accessories.

6 Ways To Ensure Your Kitchen Countertops Last Long

When you install kitchen countertops, you want them to last for as long as possible. This calls for you to take good care of them. The cool thing is that there are plenty of ways of going about it:

Ensure proper installation

Everything begins here. There is no way your countertops will last for a long time if they aren’t properly installed.

Many people try to cut costs, by going for the cheapest contractor they can afford. Don’t do this.

While you will save a few coins here and there, you will end up spending too much money on repairs as cheap contractors often don’t have the right skills to install the countertops properly.

In some cases, they improperly install the countertops such that you have to remove all the countertops and install new ones. This is extremely expensive!

To avoid this, don’t be cheap. Hire an experienced contractor. While the professional will be a little bit expensive, the extra cost will be worth it as he/she will install countertops that will last for decades.

To protect yourself in the event of an accident during countertop installation, work with an insured contractor. Take a closer look at the insurance certificate and confirm that it even covers countertop damage.

Stone countertops

The most popular stone countertops are granite and quartz. Regardless of the type of countertop you have, you should take good care of it for it to last for long.

The first thing you should do is to seal the countertops. During installation, ensure the contractor seals the surfaces with a high-quality sealing agent. The frequency of sealing depends on the quality, color, and use of the countertops.

When it comes to lighter colors, seal them every 1-3 years. Seal darker colors 3-5 years.

In addition to sealing the countertops, you also should avoid sitting or standing on them. This is to prevent the countertops from cracking after placing too much weight on them.

Slate countertops

Slate countertops are known for their brittleness. They also stain from cooking oil spills and are easily damaged by abrasive cleaners. To prevent them from cracking, avoid placing too much weight on them. You also should always protect the surfaces when cooking to prevent stains.

When cleaning the surfaces, use a pH-neutral stone cleaner when necessary.

Laminate countertops

These are susceptible to water damage. To keep them in top shape, be cautious that you don’t let water seep into the seam. This is because they tend to swell up and buckle.

When it comes to cleaning, use mild dish detergent and microfiber cloths. Only use baking soda for tough stains.

Solid surface

Stay away from abrasive cleaners, especially if you have a shiny finish instead of matte. For the tough spots, use mild soap, baking soda, and microfiber cloths. After removing the stains, rinse the surfaces with a clean cloth.

All countertop materials

Regardless of the countertop material you have in your kitchen, there are some basic practices you should do to keep the material in top shape. Some of the things you should do include:

Protect the surfaces from scratching or etching by cleaning the countertops using damp microfiber cleaning cloths and mild dish detergent. To lift tough stains, use baking soda paste.

Since countertops are susceptible to damage from acidic juices, oil spills, and harsh abrasive cleansers, clean the spills as soon as they happen to prevent the damage and stains.

Protect the surfaces from heat damage by ensuring that you don’t place hot pans directly on the countertop surfaces. The hot surfaces tend to disfigure the countertops and even crack others.

To allow air-flow underneath the countertops, set pans and even low cookers on trivets.

You also should protect the surfaces from knife damage. This calls for you to avoid slicing or chopping the food directly on the countertops. When cutting, always use cutting boards.

Use common sense when handling your countertops. Don’t do anything that would damage the surfaces. For example, don’t use abrasive cleaning materials on granite countertops as they will lose their shine.

If you aren’t sure about how to keep the surfaces in top shape, ask granite companies Durham or any other professionals to help you out.

How to Clean Your Countertop Without Damaging The Material

Kitchen countertops are one of the most frequently-used home items. More often than not, you would be using it even if you do not cook every day. It is usually where you put down your groceries, take-home meals, and other random items. Your kitchen countertop has also most likely experienced a lot of spills and scratches.

That said, your granite kitchen countertops may have already taken a beating over the years. Sure, you take pride in ensuring that your countertop is cleaned before you go to bed. But the question is this: how sure are you that your countertop is really clean from deep-seated dirt that has accumulated through the years?

There are different materials used for countertops – from quartz kitchen countertops, marble, granite, laminate, and so on. Each of these countertop materials has its respective benefits. Likewise, each of them has specific cleaning and maintenance requirements that need to be followed. Otherwise, it can damage the countertop material for good.

How to clean marble countertops

Marble material looks classic and elegant, whether as countertop or flooring material. It has different designs and colors you can choose from. However, marble countertops are prone to scratches and tend to stain easily. If you are a little OC than usual, you may find this annoying and may end up hiring a countertop replacement company to replace your countertop.

But the good news is that marble is generally easy to clean – much better if you keep it well-maintained every day. You don’t need to use commercial cleaners to clean your marble countertop. Here are some simple cleaning tips for these types of countertops.

  • Avoid using cleaners with an acid content, whether it’s a commercial or home-made cleaner containing lemon juice or vinegar. It can cause etchings and stain marks on the surface.
  • For deep-seated stains, use baking soda mixed with water, form it into a paste, apply on the stained area, and let it sit for around 24 hours before wiping it off. If it doesn’t work, you can consider hiring professional cleaning personnel instead.
  • Use a damp and soft cloth when wiping the marble countertop to prevent scratching the countertop material. Then wipe dry using a separate clean, dry cloth.
  • Use a product specially formulated for marble material. This can help make the countertop look like new again.

How to clean granite countertops

Some suggest cleaning granite countertops using commercial cleaners. Others say you should only use cleaners specially made for granite. It’s your call, but experts say there is no need to fight which option is better. You can use warm and soapy water, a microfiber cloth, and perhaps isopropyl alcohol. Here are other tips in cleaning a granite countertop.

  • Avoid using scrub pads in cleaning the countertop as it can possibly scratch its surface. You can also use a mild bleach solution to clean the countertop.
  • Mix baking soda and water, create a paste, and then scrub the mixture on the stained area using a soft brush. Let it sit for 24 hours before rinsing off. It may require reapplications to remove the stain completely.
  • Use a product specially formulated for granite and make the countertop look like new again.

How to clean quartz countertops

One of the major selling points of quartz is that it’s non-porous. Meaning, it won’t cause deep-seated stains, bacteria build-up, and scratching. But this does not mean you won’t clean it anymore.

You can use a commercial cleaner to maintain the quality of the countertop material. Or, you can also use gentle dish soap, warm water, and microfiber cloth to clean the countertop surface. Clean the surface immediately when spills occur.

How to clean other kitchen countertop materials

Here are other cleaning and maintenance tips for other countertop materials.

  • For wood countertops, use salt and sprinkle on light stains and scrub using half a lemon. Let it sit overnight and rinse with water and dry using a clean cloth. For darker stains, dab it with cotton with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Use mild dish soap, warm water, and clean cloth to wipe clean the surface.
  • For stainless steel countertops, use commercial cleaners specific for stainless steel material to remove smudges and other marks.
  • For glass countertops, use a glass or multi-purpose cleaner to wipe the countertop surface.
  • For ceramic countertops, use white vinegar to remove stains and to make the surface sparkling clean. Scrub the grout using mild bleach and old toothbrush and then seal with commercial grout sealer.

For your countertop needs, you can check out granite countertop installers in NC today.

Knowing about the kitchen countertop materials

At first glimpse, kitchen countertop can make the kitchen look beautiful and new. Kitchen countertops are one of the major elements of any kitchen. To maintain the beauty of kitchen countertop for a long time, it is important to select a kitchen countertop material which is not only pleasing to the eyes but also posses the scratch resistant quality.

Upgrade the countertop and add value to your kitchen

There are a number of countertop materials available in the market like the granite, Silestone, marble, natural stone etc. But while selecting a countertop for your kitchen do not make the mistake that everyone does by selecting the top trending countertop material. Select a cost-effective countertop that is beautiful and strong at the same time.

5 Budget friendly countertops materials

If you are planning to upgrade your kitchen, then below mentioned are 5 most cost effective yet attractive countertop materials:

Ceramic countertops

The ceramic countertops are easy to set up. There installation is so easy that you can install them by yourself. If you like to keep your place plain and simple then the ceramic countertops are one of the best options available for you.

Silestone countertops

Silestone countertops come in a variety of dynamic colors that boost their visual allure. You can choose this material for your countertop as the silestone countertops are less expensive compared to the quartz and granite countertops.

Laminate countertops

In the crowd of countertop materials, the laminate countertops are the most inexpensive countertop material. The laminate countertops are beautiful and easy to install, but their only drawback is that they are vulnerable to abrasions, cuts, and high temperature.

Quartz countertops

Quartz countertops can make anyone fall in love with their appearance in just one glance. They are less porous and long-lasting countertops. However, they are a bit expensive than the other countertop materials mentioned above.

Granite countertops

The granite countertops do not require any introduction or specification, almost everyone knows about the specialties of this countertop material. Granite is the most preferred countertop material all around the world. The granite countertop can bear every type of wear and tear without losing their luster. Yes, they are expensive, but the price worth the granite countertop material.

Silestone Countertops: The Pros and Cons

granite kitchen countertops

Selecting the best countertop material for your bathroom or kitchen is a complicated task.   Finalizing the ideal countertop with all of the options available on the market (like marble, granite, glass, steel, bamboo, faux-granite etc.) is a big challenge. Among all countertop materials, silestone countertops are popping out as the popular countertop material choice because of its stain resistant quality. Silestone is a manmade countertop material. It is manufactured from quartz. This countertop comes in oodles of color tones, finishes and styles for kitchen and bathroom treatments, matching many home styles.

Silestone Overview

Silestone is made from quartz crystals. Quartz is already a popular material for manufacturing of sinks, shower trays, floors, wall cladding and countertops. Silestone has inherited a lot of qualities of quartz.

Silestone is durable and non-porous in nature. This material is hard and resistant to stains, scratches and bacteria. Silestone countertops are easy to maintain and customize. You can achieve a high-end finish without the providing high-end maintenance. Many existing users of quartz countertops are opting for silestone countertops for their bathrooms and kitchens.

Silestone countertops for kitchens

Kitchen is the heart of home. You want your kitchen to not only look good, but working inside the kitchen should be easy. And kitchen countertop plays an important role in the overall look and feel of the kitchen. Silestone can be a good choice for kitchen countertop surface.

No matter what is the size and shape of your kitchen, there is a Silestone countertop for you. Your countertop, floors, sink and even walls can be made with Silestone. No space is too big or too small. Silestone countertop can enhance the beauty of your kitchen and make the countertop as the focal point of the kitchen.

Silestone countertops are available in a lot of contemporary designs that provide modern look and feel to your kitchen.  You can select color, design, shape and size as per your needs and requirements.

Silestone countertops for bathroom

When it comes to bathrooms, silestone is not as popular as it is popular for kitchens. Still, many homeowners prefer silestone for bathroom vanity top installation. It is mainly because of availability of this material in oodles of colors and designs. It enhances the beauty of bathroom décor as well. If you want to make your bathroom look fancy, you can also opt for the silestone countertop.

Benefits of Sealing Granite Countertops

indoor kitchen countertop, outdoor kitchen countertop

Granite is beautiful and durable countertop material, which makes it the first choice for kitchen countertops. Granite countertops have many advantages and this is the reason behind their popularity. One of the major benefits of granite is they do not lose value with time. In fact, granite countertops can increase the value of your home. This material provides natural, unique, luminous surface.

Know about granite countertops

When it comes to hygiene, granite is better than other countertop materials. This material does not get affected by the bacteria contamination. And it can be easily cleaned using warm water and cloth. However, granite is not completely resistant to the abrasion caused by daily kitchen use. Thus, granite countertops require sealing to resist dirt and spills.

Sealing granite countertops

Granite sealing will cause liquids to drop on the surface. Thus, stone does not absorb the stains. This is especially helpful if you have light-colored countertops. Cleaning the spills from the sealed granite countertop is easier than unsealed granite countertops. Sealed surfaces are smooth and you don’t harm the granite when you clean the countertop surface.

Sealing will reduce harm caused by acidic substances and cleaning agents to the countertop. It is not easy to remove the stains of acidic substances from the unsealed granite countertop, but if you have sealing, stain removal becomes easy.

Sealing substance can make cleaning the countertop surface much faster. Dirt and fingerprints can be easily wiped up. Since liquids will spread on surface and will not be absorbed into the granite, it will be much easier to clean without any scrubbing. This reduces the cleaning effort and cleaning cost to a great extent.

The biggest advantage of getting granite countertop sealed is that sealant will help you to preserve the natural beauty of granite. It means your granite will never look lifeless or dull. If you ever feel like your granite countertop is losing its shine, you can reapply the sealing. However, you should hire a reputable and trustworthy granite contractor for sealing the countertop. They will use good quality sealant and know how to apply sealant adequately on the granite surface.

What are the most common bathroom countertop materials?

kitchen countertop

Bathroom Countertops

Are you thinking of installing a new bathroom countertop?  There are virtually limitless countertop options to consider!  When it comes to bathroom countertops, some of the most common choices among homeowners in your area include granite countertops, marble countertops and soapstone countertops.  These countertop materials are highly durable and can get continuously wet without causing any damage!  When you work with a professional countertop contractor, you have the benefit of years of experience on your side.  Take a look through your countertop repair contractor’s portfolio to get more ideas for your new bathroom countertops!

Countertop Designs

Some other popular countertop options for the bathroom include quartz countertops, solid surface countertops and recycled glass countertops.  There are also several eco friendly countertop options for homeowners who are concerned with lessening their impact on the environment!  Before you choose a countertop expert to work with, be sure you find someone with at least ten years of experience installing countertops and repairing countertops.  You might be able to get a deal on several countertop options if you decide to install new bathroom and kitchen countertops at the same time!  Butcher block countertops, slate countertops and glass countertops are all great choices for your modern kitchen.

What should I use to build my kitchen countertops?

kitchen countertop

Kitchen Countertops

Are you thinking of installing new kitchen countertops?  There are virtually endless countertop options to consider!  Most modern kitchens and traditional kitchen designs include some kind of granite countertops.  Granite is an extremely popular kitchen countertop material because is it pleasing to the eye, easy to clean and not easily marked by kitchen knives and other utensils.  Some other great countertop options for the kitchen include solid surface countertops, recycled glass countertops, quartz countertops and aluminum countertops.  You can even install a separate butcher block countertop so you can chop and cook meat away from the rest of your food.

Countertop Contractors

More and more homeowners are becoming interested in eco friendly countertop options to help lower their impacts on the environment!  Recycled countertop materials can look just as new and and just as pliable as brand new countertops.  We recommend working with a professional countertop contractor to find the best and cheapest eco friendly countertop materials in your area.  There are often discount countertop options available as well whether you are looking for LEED certified green countertops or other choices such as soapstone countertops and marble countertops.  Once your new kitchen countertop is installed, countertop resurfacing services may be needed every few years.

How much will it cost to replace my quartz countertops?

bathroom countertop

Countertop Options

Has it been years since your last countertop installation?  It may be time for an upgrade.  The Countertop Factory provides a nearly endless selection of different kitchen countertops and bathroom countertops!  One of our experienced countertop contractors would be happy to help you select the most durable countertop materials for your kitchen or bathroom.  We can even help to come up with a new countertop design that matches your existing home décor perfectly.  One great idea is to install matching his and hers bathroom vanities so you can both use the bathroom counter at the same time!

Countertop Materials

A few of our favorite materials to use in the bathroom include soapstone countertops, marble countertops and granite countertops.  These countertops materials are impervious to moisture, so they are very durable for bathroom use.  If you are more interested in types of countertops for the kitchen, we can help you out there as well.  We tend to favor solid surface countertops in the kitchen; your home countertop contractor can recommend the best countertop brands out there!  Installing new home countertops is a great way to add a new dash of style to your home while increasing its market value!

Is granite or quartz a longer lasting countertop material?

kitchen countertop

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

Many homeowners constantly struggle with the question; which countertop materials are the most durable?  The Countertop Factory can help you find the best countertops for your home based on a variety of factors such as your countertop budget and the home décor of your bathroom or kitchen.  Granite countertops tend to be the most popular option for homeowners whether they are looking for kitchen countertops or bathroom countertops.  However, quartz countertops come in a close second and are just about as durable as their granite counterparts!  An experienced countertop contractor will be able to recommend the best countertops for your home based on your personal styling wishes.

Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops

The best part about granite is that it is extremely easy to clean.  When you’ve got granite kitchen countertops or granite bathroom countertops, countertop cleaning will be a breeze!  However, there are tons of great countertop options out there aside from just granite and quartz!  Some of our other favorite countertop options for the home include soapstone countertops, tile countertops, butcher block countertops, solid surface countertops and recycled glass countertops.  The right set of home countertops can truly make or break any kitchen or bathroom!