Tag Archives: countertop replacement

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

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

Marble

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

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

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

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

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

Granite

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

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

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

Quartz

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

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

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

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

So what should you do after knowing?

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

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

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

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

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

 

What Are Laminate Countertops Made Of

Although laminate has been around for a long time, many people still don’t know much about them, so you will often hear them wondering what are laminate countertops made of. If you are one of the people asking this question, here are a few things you should know about the countertops:

What are the countertops made of?

The countertops were invented in the early 1900s by engineers from Westinghouse Company. They invented the product from phenolic resins that serve as an industrial insulator. The engineers later left Westinghouse and created the Formica Company that popularized the material.

The countertops are made by combining layers of resins and paper into a single, semi-rigid plastic sheet. The manufacturers use Brown Kraft paper for the bottom layers. The layers are pressed together while cooked, which forces all of the resins and papers to chemically bond into one plasticized sheet.

The countertops come in different grades, often referred to as “grades.” The most popular grades are: horizontal and vertical. The horizontal grade is the thickest type engineered for heavy use and high impact. Since it’s the thickest, it lasts for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s stiff hence difficult to form.

The vertical grade is often used for backsplashes and other areas that can’t withstand a lot of abuse as the other countertops.

Why should you buy a laminate?

Laminate comes with plenty of attractive features that make it a great choice. Some of these features include:

It’s affordable: If you are strapped for cash, laminate is one of the most affordable materials in the market that you can go for.

Elegant appeal: While the countertops materials are cheap, they resemble their more expensive, premium competitors such as granite and marble. This means you can give your home a high-end look at a meager price.

They are easy to install: Since the countertops are lightweight, they are easy to install. You can easily install them on your own without requiring the services of a professional.

Easy to clean: When you pour a potentially staining product on the countertops, getting rid of it is easy. You only need a clean, moist material. When cleaning, avoid using chemicals and abrasives as they can dull the surface or even destroy the resin.

Unlike marble and granite countertops, the countertops are practically maintenance-free as you don’t need to seal or oil them.

Stain-resistant: Since the countertops are made from plastic, they are waterproof. This means they easily repel stains, so you don’t have to worry about them getting stained and looking ugly.

Versatile: The countertops come in a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns. It’s all up to you to choose the ones that are ideal for you. The beauty of it is that you can even get the countertops customized to your liking.

Cons of the countertops

While the countertops are excellent for use in your home, they have several setbacks:

Easily get damaged: Since they are made from layers that are glued together, they easily get damaged when you aren’t cautious when handling them. When you place hot pans or a cigarette on them, you can easily melt them.

The top of the countertops is also highly susceptible to scratches from sharp knives and other items. Unfortunately, unlike other materials that you can easily repair, the countertops are difficult, so you have no option, other than to replace them.

Don’t have a huge impact on the resale value of the house: Compared to granite and marble countertops, laminate doesn’t add much resale value to the house. So you can’t invest in the countertops with the hope that you will recoup your money once you sell your house.

How do you take care of the countertops?

For you to prevent the countertops from getting damaged, you should take good care of them. As motioned above, when you are cleaning the countertops, always ensure that you don’t use abrasive cleaners. You also should avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach.

Since you can only hire countertop replacement NC professionals to replace the damaged countertops, you should be ultra-cautious what you place on the surfaces. As a rule of thumb, never place hot pans on the surfaces. You also should never place any hot material on the surfaces.

Thinking About Undertaking Countertop Replacement? 7 Valuable Tips You Should Consider

soild surface countertops

If you have had your countertops for a long time and don’t like the current look, the countertops have worn out, or you are looking to sell the house, it’s time to think about replacing them. For the countertop replacement process to proceed smoothly, you need to understand how to go about it. Here are 7 valuable tips you should follow:

Pay attention to the flooring and cabinets

The nature of the cabinets and floor will not only influence the color of countertops you should install, it also will determine the type of countertops you should go with. Different countertop materials have different weights, and by installing countertops that are too heavy, you will damage the floor or the cabinets.

If you had previously installed plastic laminate countertops and you want to change to stone countertops, pay close attention to the integrity of the floor and cabinets and ensure that it can carry the weight.

If your cabinets aren’t strong enough, you have two options: replace the cabinets or settle for lightweight countertop material.

Know your countertop options

If you installed your countertops over a decade ago, you should know there are plenty of countertop options you can go with. From manmade materials to natural stone, you have a whole array of materials to choose from.

You need to do your research and find the best material to go with. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, consult an expert contractor to help you out.

Change the backsplash

Many people replacing their countertops forget replacing the backsplash, which gives their kitchen a confused look. The backsplash is the kitchen wall material. When the new countertops don’t blend naturally with the backsplash, you give the impression you didn’t think through the kitchen design.

Just like kitchen countertops, backsplashes come in different designs. There are small ones that cover only the sink area, midsized backsplashes, and even large ones that span the entire wall. They also come in different colors and textures.

It doesn’t matter what your dream kitchen should look like, but for a cozy, rustic, and modern look, ensure that the backsplash matches the new countertop material. You can buy a new material that blends flawlessly with the backsplash or replace the backsplash to match the countertop.

Don’t neglect the old appliances

The large kitchen appliances such as the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are expensive. If you have the budget, you can replace them, but if they are still in good order, you don’t have to.

Instead, simply think about their color, and when buying the new countertops, buy countertops that are close to the color of the appliances. This way, the appliances don’t look out of place, so the kitchen has an elegant design.

Think about the lighting

What is the nature of the lighting in your kitchen? Under-cabinet lighting is excellent for dull surfaces, but it creates glare on the polished stone. If you have stone countertops, you may not even need to install under cabinet lighting—overhead lighting is enough.

A modern kitchen needs to be properly lit. To have an easy time doing it, consult a professional who will recommend the best lighting options to go with depending on the size of the kitchen, and installed countertops.

Take note of the sink and other plumbing appliances

Unless you have an under-mount sink, in most cases, when you install a new countertop material, you have to install a new sink. Even if you have an under-mount sink, you may have to change the faucet so that it matches the new countertops.

Work with an experienced countertop contractor

You are bound to make plenty of mistakes when you opt to go at it alone. To have an easy time and ensure you are making the right choices, have reputable granite contractors Durham or any other professionals by your side.

The contractors will help you choose the right material that your cabinets can carry. If the kitchen needs any design changes to match the current countertops, the professionals will also help you come up with the new designs.

The contractors will also help you scout for the new countertop materials that will give your kitchen a look you have always dreamt about.

Tricks On How To Extend The Life Of Quartz Countertops And Other Countertop Materials

best quartz countertop

Granite, solid surface or quartz countertops are designed to last for decades. If you don’t have money to replace the countertops after this time, you should take good care of the countertops so that they last for a long time.

There are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your countertops. Some of these things include:

Get rid of spills

Countertops are constantly being exposed to spills and splashes from tipped can of soda to poured milk. When spills happen, you should get rid of them immediately. This is because granite and solid-surface countertops tend to stain when exposed to wine, and coffee.

You also should regularly clean the countertops even if no spills have happened. When cleaning, use a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. To do it, spritz the countertop, then run a clean damp piece of cloth over it, then dry the surfaces with a soft dish towel.

Drying the damp countertop prevents hard water stains that form as a result of letting the water droplets dry on their own.

Seal the countertops with a quality sealant

Granite and marble countertops are porous, which makes them prone to absorbing oils and spills. They also tend to accumulate stains easily. To prevent this from happening, seal the countertops.

Remember to use a high-quality sealant that will last for a long time and give excellent results. You also should hire a reputable contractor who understands how the process is done.

You should note that improper sealing tends to weaken the stone, making it dull and also increases the risk of the countertop developing mold and mildew.

Protect the surfaces

While they are heat resistant, natural stone countertops aren’t designed to hold hot items such as hot pans and pots. To give them long life, always use a trivet, mitt or towel to prevent direct contact of the hot plate and the countertop.

If you have a sink molded out of solid surface material, be cautious when draining the boiling water as the sinks are also prone to damage. To protect the surfaces, run cold water when pouring the hot water to temper the boiling water and protect the solid surface sink.

You also should always use a cutting board when chopping onions, vegetables and other products.

When you are in the kitchen, it’s normal to sit on the countertops chatting with a family member or friend. Don’t do this as you will damage the countertops.

Quartz is tough and less likely to crack, but granite can easily crack due to the natural fissures running through the stone. Sometimes the fissures are too weak in certain areas and crack on excess weight.

Use recommended cleaning supplies

Cleaning the countertops is one of the ways of giving the countertops a long life, but if you use the wrong products, you will be destroying them. You want high-quality products that will maintain the natural shine of the countertops.

As a rule of thumb, avoid products containing acids as they will etch the countertops and destroy them. For best results, use products recommended for the specific type of countertop you are looking to clean.

Repair the minor flaws

It’s the minor issues that get worse over time, and when you go for a long time without giving them any attention, you will eventually have to undertake countertop replacement. To avoid this, you should repair the minor scratches as soon as you notice them.

Luckily you can get rid of them by sanding the surface down or using a soft type of a scrubbing product that will smoothen down the edges of the scratches. To ensure that you are doing the right thing, follow the instructions that came with the countertops.

You can also ask a contractor to help you out.

Conclusion

These are some of the tricks you can use to extend the life of your countertops. To have an easy time, ensure that you buy high-quality countertops. You also should ensure that the pieces are professionally installed by experienced granite contractors Raleigh or any other experts.

4 Kitchen Countertops Materials You Should Try Out

Are you looking to revamp your kitchen? There is no way you can improve the look of the room without giving attention to the countertops.

If they are damaged, replace them, but if they are beyond repair, you have no way out other than to replace them. Luckily, there are plenty of materials you can use on your kitchen countertops.

Would you like to know more about these materials? Here are the pros and cons of the most popular ones:

Granite

Centuries later, granite is still the go-to countertop material for most people. According to the national association of realtors, granite is the most preferred countertop material for most home sellers. This is because it’s elegant to look at and easily fits into any kitchen style.

Granite is also tough and quickly resists cracks and chips. Due to this, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged when you place a hot pot on it. The countertop is also easy to maintain as all you need to do is to clean it regularly.

You also should seal it annually to protect it from stains.

While the material is tough, it’s not indestructible. This means an accidental clunk with a wine bottle can create an ugly chip in the edge.

When it comes to sealing the countertop, you have to be thorough in your work. This is because if you don’t do it, oil can easily seep into the stone, forcing you to have to apply a poultice to get it out.

Since it’s obtained from natural stone, it often results in variations that can look completely different from the sample provided by the countertop company.

To avoid this surprise, always ask to see the slab to ensure that it matches the theme of your home.

Quartz

It’s known for its durability. Quartz is made from a combination of crushed quartz stone and resin. The resulting mixture comes in a variety of colors that almost resemble real granite.

Under normal kitchen working conditions, quartz is entirely indestructible. Of course, unless you hit it with a sledgehammer or any other tool. The material is also stain and bacteria-resistant, so you don’t have to keep on sealing it like it’s the case with granite.

While granite is tough, you often pay a lot for it, yet it’s not as heat resistant as the other less-pricey materials such as crushed glass.

The countertop seams are also easily noticeable, especially if an expert doesn’t correctly install the countertop or you use a lighter color.

Quartz countertops also discolor over time, especially if you place them under a lot of direct sunlight.

Many people have also cited quartz as having an ultra-contemporary and cold look, which isn’t good for a traditional-style kitchen.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, laminate countertops are made from paper-plastic and come in plenty of colors and patterns. In addition to having the ability to mimic anything from granite to wood, they don’t require sealing as they are stain-resistant.

Although, often the go-to material for people operating on a tight budget, it cracks and scratches easily.

According to the national association of home builders, many home buyers avoid homes with laminate countertops, so it’s not the ideal material to install in your kitchen when looking to sell the house.

Tile

Tile countertops are beautiful and highly versatile. They also easily resist cuts, stains, and heat, making them extremely easy to clean and maintain.

Tile also comes in an infinite number of colors and styles. You can install tiles of one unique color or mix and match a variety of colors to give your countertops a one of a kind look.

Although, they are easy to replace, tile countertops easily crack, so you should be ultra-cautious in the kitchen as accidentally dropping pots or pans on them will lead to damage.

The counters also have uneven surfaces that make cutting boards, plates, and glasses shaky and unstable. You also can’t roll out dough on them.

The grout lines easily catch dust and grime. For you to prevent bacteria from growing on them, you have to seal them regularly, or you will have to undertake countertop replacement Durham.

Granite Contractors: 6 Tricks On How To Remodel Your Kitchen For Less

When homeowners hear about kitchen remodeling, they imagine a humongous project that will require several hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete.

While some of the projects are extremely expensive, it doesn’t have to be the case with you. According to granite contractors, there are several things you can do to remodel your kitchen for less. Here are some of these things:

Use ready-to-assemble cabinets

Cabinets often carry the highest cost in a kitchen remodeling project, especially when you have to install new units. When the budget is not an issue, custom cabinets are often the best option. Since they are designed specifically for your kitchen, they give an excellent fit.

If the budget doesn’t allow, go for ready-to-assemble or semi-custom cabinets. If you are DIY enthusiast, you can assemble the cabinets by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let a contractor do it.

In addition to these cabinets being easy to install, they are also cheap, where they cost up to half the price of custom cabinets.

Are you one of the people that love grabbing their cabinets right off the shelf and get going? Then go for in-stock cabinets. The cabinets come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Work with a contractor who will recommend the best ones for your home.

Keep existing cabinets

As mentioned above, cabinets are costly when you have to install new ones. Before you begin the remodeling project, always ask your contractor whether you have to remove the existing ones.

If you had installed high-quality kitchen cabinets and were taking good care of them, the chances are that they will still be in good shape and you don’t have to install new ones.

If they are of high quality, all you need to do is to apply a new fresh coat of paint, and you will restore the original look.

Consider alternative countertop materials

There are plenty of countertop materials you can go with when remodeling your kitchen. You can choose solid, tile, recyclable, concrete, stone, and many more.

Granite countertops are the most popular, but they are more expensive than the other materials in the market.

If operating on a tight budget, go with much cheaper countertop alternatives. For example, you can go with a butcher block that costs up to half the price of granite.

You can also go with laminate that is much cheaper than granite, both in cost and installation. For you to get the most from the installed countertops, have them professionally installed by an expert.

To save even more money, keep your eyes out for bargains. Both physical and online stores offer discounts that you can take advantage of if you are keen enough.

Keep an eye on appliances

Other than cabinets, the other items that can burn a hole in your pocket are appliances. Unless you have had your appliances for decades, you won’t have to replace many of them. Only consider replacing the appliances when it’s absolutely necessary.

When renovating, it’s normal to have the urge to move the appliances to a “better” place. Even if you aren’t replacing the appliances, moving the electrical and mechanics of the appliances can be costly, so leave the appliances where they are.

If you have to replace all the appliances, buy all of them from the same company. This is to increase your chances of attracting larger discounts.

Choose the open shelf design

Open shelving not only saves you money, but it also creates interest. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on new shelves, use salvaged wood or painted planks from your local hardware store.

Open shelving makes more sense when you have a small kitchen and plenty of things to store.

Just like with cabinets, ensure that the shelves are installed by a professional. You don’t want shelves that will break your precious items, do you?

Install more lights

Many homeowners think they need to undertake heavy renovation work, but they can cut costs significantly by installing lights. Work with expert countertop replacement Raleigh professionals and place under-cabinet lights.

Professionally designed pendants will also make your kitchen brighter and more stylish without spending a fortune.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Marble Countertops

marble countertops

Marble countertops are affordable, durable, and unique. While this is the case, you can’t buy just any slab you come across—you need to take your time and find the perfect one for your surfaces. For you to do this, you need to consider several tips that include:

Variety

Marble comes in a wide range of varieties with different qualities. The most common varieties being:

Carrara: When people are talking about marble, this is the one they are talking about. Carrara is usually stark white or white with gray veining. Carrara marble is the most common type in the market and the least expensive.

This is the same variety that sculptures and buildings are made out of.

Calacatta: Due to its white coloring with gray veining, many people confuse it for Carrara. While there is white Calacatta, there are other varieties that have darker, thicker veining.

There are even gold varieties often bought by those looking to give their homes a luxurious look.

Emperador: It varies from white to gray to brown. Brown marble is accompanied by white or gray veining, which creates a beautiful contrast. Due to its elegant colors, Emperador marble looks extremely elegant in a room with gold or brass furniture.

Crema Marfil: Often found in a light-beige or yellow color, Crema Marfil is used in combination with darker stones. The stone has an irregular pattern and varying veining intensity that gives it a unique look that spices up any room.

For you to choose the right variety for your home, work with an experienced marble contractor who will not only help you in choosing the right slab, but also help you install it.

Cracks

Are there cracks on the countertops? Cracks are a sign that marble has been dropped or improperly handled. Many people confuse cracks with fissures. You should note that the two are quite different.

A fissure is naturally occurring in the stone, and it doesn’t change the plane of the marble surface.

When shopping for the stone, carefully inspect it and ensure that you don’t discard it, thinking it has cracks. When a marble slab has fissures, you can slide your nail across the fissure without it catching.

If you looking for a stone that will give you a more rustic look, there is no harm in buying a slab with fissures as they don’t change the integrity of the stone.

Origin

The other factor you should consider is where the stone is coming from. Due to the high demand for marble, some unscrupulous business people try to pass fake marble as genuine.

For example, they will take a white stone from china or any other part of the world and try to pass it as white marble from Calacatta. When making the purchase, always ask where the marble is from.

True Calacatta originates from mountain quarries in Carrara, Italy. So does Statuario.

The key to telling whether a slab is genuine or not is asking an expert to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you with the inspection and advise you on whether to buy the stone or not.

Color

Marble comes in a wide range of colors, including white, gold, red, green, neutral, gray, and black. The veining greatly determines the look of the slab. For a great look, choose a color shade that is similar to the walls and floor.

Your needs

Where are you looking to install the stone? Since it’s made from carbonate materials, it’s reactive to acids such as those found in soda, coffee, fruit juice, alcohol, and salad dressing.

Due to this, you should refrain from installing it in the kitchen. This is because if the stone comes into contact with acids, etching will result. The etching is a process that breaks down the polish, leaving a dull, lightly colored spot in the stone.

While sealing the countertops will protect the surfaces from stains, it doesn’t prevent etching. Marble also easily scratches, which makes it challenging to work with in the kitchen.

The best place to install marble is in the bathroom. Here it won’t be affected by serrated knives or salad dressings. Countertop replacement Durham contractors also recommend installing marble in tile flooring, vanities, and shower surrounds.

9 Benefits Of Marble Countertops

marble countertops

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

They are easy to find

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

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

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

Marble is extremely durable

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

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

The countertops don’t require a lot of care

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

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

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

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

Marble is cool to the touch

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

They are affordable

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

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

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

They come in more design options

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

Marble is aesthetically beautiful

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

Marble is heat resistant

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

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

The countertops are bright

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

5 Kitchen Countertops Options

best kitchen countertop contractor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Granite

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

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

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

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

Marble

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

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

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

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

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

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

Engineered stone

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

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

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

Concrete countertops

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

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

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

Wooden surfaces

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

5 Inexpensive Ways To Update Granite Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertop

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

Paint them up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finish the countertops with cement

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

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

Cover the countertops

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

Tile the countertops

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

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

Replace the countertops

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

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

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