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Things to Do When Using Two Countertop Materials

kitchen countertops

If you visit many homes, you will find their kitchens with only one countertop material. While there is nothing wrong with this as it gives the kitchen a uniform look, did you know that you can combine two or more countertop materials to give your kitchen countertops a more interesting look?

Unfortunately, you can’t achieve ideal results out of the blue—you need to do a number of things. Which are these things? Here they are:

Pay attention to the countertop patterns

When shopping, pay attention to the countertop patterns and design. As much as you want to have different materials on your countertops, you don’t want them to clash, do you?

To ensure this doesn’t happen, choose countertops with an almost similar movement or pattern.

There is no way to tell you which is the best style and design to choose, as this depends on your preferences, but you need to ensure that the two countertops complement each other.

For example, if you are drawn to busy designs, ensure that the second countertop is solid colored or has a minimal pattern—this is to prevent one material from competing with the other, giving your kitchen an overwhelming look.

Coordinate your countertops with accent colors

Accent colors come from linens, furniture, plumbing fixtures, and even cabinet hardware. You can use the colors to guide you on the countertop colors to go with. If you have a shade in your house that you love, you can pick a countertop design that matches or incorporates the tone in its pattern.

While this is a great strategy, the downside is that the countertops might look out of place if you replace the cabinets or any other item you used to inform your color of choice.

Keep the accent colors the same to keep your countertops looking in place. This means that when you get sick of a piece of furniture, replace it with another of the same color and preferably the same design.

Have an accent piece of your island

If the rest of your kitchen has a neutral or muted color scheme, create a focal point that will stand out and give your kitchen an interesting appeal.

You might have the impression that you need premium over-the-top accent pieces, but this isn’t the case. You can go for simple styles that are appealing and still mesh with the rest of the house. If you aren’t sure about the right ones to go for, get the input of a professional.

Balance dark and light

Here you simply need to mix light with darker colored countertops. If the first countertop is on the lighter side, go for one on the darker side. There are plenty of options in the market you can choose from. Your choice will be influenced by your preferences and your desired final look.

As you are creating the light and dark dynamic, try to be creative in your approach. For example, if you have mixed cabinet colors, go with light countertops with light-colored cabinets. By doing this, you create a dramatic contrast between the two designs, which gives your countertops an interesting appeal.

You can also opt for balance by placing your darker selection of cabinets on lighter cabinetry.

If your cabinetry is the same color throughout, consider other factors when choosing the ideal cabinets. For example, consider how well each countertop design stacks up to your backsplash material.

Use both countertop materials on the same surface.

If you are unsure how to use two polar opposite materials, you can always use both. For example, you can use quartz and porcelain countertops on natural surfaces such as granite or soapstone.

If you are edgy, mix two different stone materials, such as mix granite countertops Durham and travertine.

While this will give your countertops an interesting look, the downside is that you often have difficulty cleaning the surfaces. This is because one cleaning material is often insufficient to clean both countertops properly. Sometimes you even damage the countertops when using one cleaning material.

For example, when you use Windex on engineered stone surfaces, you can’t use it on natural stone countertops as you will damage them.

How Do You Keep Your Countertops Looking Like New?

Every homeowner’s dream is to keep their kitchen countertops looking new for as long as possible. After all, the countertops don’t come cheap, do they?

If you are one of these homeowners, you should know that there are plenty of ways to do it. How you keep your countertops in top shape depends on the nature of your countertops. To help you out, here are some of the ways to keep the various countertops looking new.

Marble

Marble is one of the hardest materials to maintain. Since it’s naturally porous and highly susceptible to etching, you should be cautious when preparing your meals. As a rule of thumb, don’t cut directly on the countertops.

You also should make it a habit to seal the countertops at least once a year.

If there is any surface damage or stains, move with haste and fix them as soon as possible. If there are oil stains on the surfaces, remove them using ammonia, mineral spirits, or hydrogen peroxide. For the food stains, lift them using water-based dish soap and baking soda paste.

Do your surfaces have chemical corrosion? Buff it out with marble polish.

Wood countertops

For elegant-looking butcher block countertops, apply mineral oil at least once a month. If your countertops aren’t butcher block, apply marine oil to keep the stain fade resistant.

Are there marks and burns on the countertops? Sand them out, then remove the stains using lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide.

Stainless steel

If you have stainless steel countertops, you know that scratches are inevitable on the surfaces. Thankfully, you can buff them out with an abrasive pad.

To protect your surfaces from rusting, prevent cast iron pans from contacting the countertops. If there are already rust stains, remove them using lemon juice and baking soda.

Quartz countertops

Quartz countertops are known to be heat, stain, and scratch-resistant. They are also nonporous and don’t need sealing. If your surfaces develop stains, apply a paste of hydrogen peroxide and flour, then let it sit for at least 24 hours.

Soapstone

Soapstone is also naturally nonporous, so it doesn’t require sealing. Unfortunately, nicks and scratches are common, so you should be cautious when working around them. Like marble, don’t cut directly on it. Also, avoid placing hard items on it.

If your countertops have slight discoloration from oil or any other material, rub out the discoloration using mineral oil.

Laminate countertops

The most common problem with laminate countertops is stains. Thankfully, you can remove them using baking soda paste. Leave the paste on the countertops for 3-5 minutes, and the paste will lift the stains out, leaving your countertops spotless.

If you have difficult stains that are hard to remove, get rid of them using bleach.

Concrete

You should start thinking about concrete countertops before you even install them. As a rule of thumb, seal the countertops before you install them. This is to prevent them from staining.

Besides this, make it a habit of applying tung oil a few times a year to keep the surfaces stain resistant. For a glossier look, apply wax regularly.

Solid surface

If there are stains or fine scratches on the surfaces, you can buff them out using a mild abrasive. The most common problem with the countertops is a plastic-like patina developing on the countertops. This patina is difficult to remove as you rarely have the right materials.

To avoid damaging your countertops while trying to remove the patina, let a professional handle it.

Ceramic tile

It’s easy to keep your ceramic tile countertops in top condition. Clean the surfaces regularly with a toothbrush and mildew fighting solution and fight occasional stains with diluted household bleach.

Granite countertops

The most important thing to do to your granite countertops NC is seal them. To prevent the countertops from stains, make it a habit to seal them once a year.

To find out whether your surfaces are properly sealed, splash some water on the surface, and if the water isn’t absorbed, the surfaces are properly sealed, but if the water absorbs fast, you need to apply another layer of sealant.

Thankfully, you can professionally seal the countertops without the input of a professional.

How Do You Cover An Ugly Kitchen Countertop?

If you don’t like the current look of your kitchen countertops either because the countertops are old or stained, don’t worry as you don’t have to replace them. This is because there are a number of ways you can cover them. Which are these ways? Here they are:

Tile the countertops

Tiles are heavily used in covering walls, showers, and floors, but there is no reason you can’t use them to cover your old, unsightly countertops. When choosing tiles for your surfaces, go with porcelain or glazed ceramic, as they have been shown to be the most stain and heat-resistant.

Tiles come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and it’s up to you to choose the most appealing. As a rule of thumb, avoid natural stone tiles, as they need regular sealing, which might be too much work, especially if you lead a busy life.

While tiles are durable and easy to maintain, you should note that the grout joints are prone to staining, so if you don’t take good care of them, they are bound to go back to their ugly look.

To minimize the staining, seal the surfaces immediately after you install them. You also should make it a habit to apply the sealer at least once every few years to maintain the protective barrier.

Cover the surfaces with countertop film

Countertop film is thicker than contact or shelf paper, and it’s often preferred by many as it’s a cross between shelf paper and vinyl flooring. The film also has an adhesive backing that sticks directly to the old countertop, making it extremely easy to install.

For ideal results, begin with laying out the film, trim it to a rough size then align it to the edges of the countertops. Once in place, use a squeegee tool to stick it down to remove air bubbles.

Cover the countertops with wood

If you love butcher block or have always been drawn to the beauty of real wood countertops, you can always cover your old, beaten countertops with wide planks of solid hardwood. If you don’t like the cliché hardwood look, get creative and use a blend of woods, such as a blend of bamboo plywood and hardwood.

As much as plywood comes in larger pieces and is more affordable, it’s not as durable and repairable as hardwood.

If you are confused about the right choice, the best to buy is bamboo plywood. It not only has a thicker tip layer, but it’s also extremely durable and easy to repair.

As much as wood seems like an easy material to work with, it isn’t—it requires the right woodworking skills and tools. If you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can do the work yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it.

Lay laminate over the countertops

Do your old countertops have square edges? You can cover them with laminate. All you need to do is buy laminate layers from your local store. The layers come in sheets up to 5 feet wide and 12 feet long.

Work with your contractor and know the right number of layers to get that will be enough to cover your counters.

For the best outcome, avoid covering your rounded edge countertops with laminate layers, as the material won’t conform to the edge contours.

Use a countertop refinishing kit.

You will find refinishing kits in most local stores, and they come with everything you need, including epoxy-like paint and decorative stop chips to help give your countertops a natural stone look.

To use the kit, carefully follow the instructions given on the kit. If this is the first time you use the kit, you should note that you must put in hard work, get messy, and pay close attention to the kit’s details.

Install modular granite

Also known as a stone overlay, modular granite is a system of small thin stone slabs specially designed to cover old countertops. The stones are often 16 by 18 inches wide, but there are special pieces meant for the problematic inside and outside corners.

Of course, let an expert install the granite countertops Raleigh for the best outcome.

How To Deal With Common Countertop Problems

Both bathroom and kitchen countertops develop a myriad of issues that you have to deal with to keep the countertops in top shape. Which are these issues?

Cracked countertop surfaces

The countertop will crack due to various reasons such as imperfectly shaped joints, installing the countertops on uneven surfaces, and placing excessive weight on the surfaces.

How you fix the countertops depends on the nature of the cracks. If you have small cracks, repair them using epoxy resin. For deeper cracks or damage brought about by placing excessive weight on the countertops, replace the damaged part using a drill before applying a special filler.

When choosing filler, choose one that flawlessly mixes with your countertops. If this is the first time you are doing it, you will most likely get it wrong, so it’s best to have the work done by a professional.

Scratches and chips on the countertop surface

When you routinely place blades, containers, and other utensils on the countertops, you are bound to cause scratches and chips.

If you have covered countertops, you can easily fill the cuts or scratches using a repair pen or paste. Remember to fill exactly in the respective marks and avoid overfilling or underfilling as you will have a problem removing the filler later on.

For the best outcome in removing the chips or scratches from the countertops, you have to follow the right procedure.

Begin with applying concealing tape over the encompassing shelf space to leave the damaged area uncovered. Using an extremely sharp edge, rub off the excess filler to achieve a smooth wrap-up.

You should then place a piece of clear tape over the recently filled chipped surface to power the gun further into the chip to have a more solid seal.

Finally, mix an epoxy pitch with the fading shading colors to match your granite color.

Dull countertops and chemical stains

Your countertops will get dull due to you using the wrong cleaning products. Thankfully you can brighten them using one part isopropyl alcohol and three parts water, and a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

If there are steaks on your countertops, remove them by spraying a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

Are there coffee, grape juice, or wine stains on your surfaces? Remove them with a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water.

Once you are done, you should wipe and buff the surfaces with newspaper until they are dry.

To prevent your countertops from getting dull again, don’t use abrasive cleaners or abrasive pads, as these cleaners will remove the finish, leaving your countertops dull and unattractive.

Never use acidic cleaners such as vinegar or lemon juice on your surfaces.

Also, stay away from ammonia-based cleaners. To prevent stains, wipe the spills immediately.

If you are using a commercial countertop polish or cleaner, ensure that it’s specially designed for the countertops in question, so they aren’t damaged.

As a rule of thumb, never set hot pots and pans on your countertops as you will damage them. Use trivets at all times.

Stains on the countertops due to hot pots and pans

Even the porous countertops are designed to withstand high temperatures, unfortunately, when you keep exposing your surfaces to the high temperatures, they are bound to get damaged.

Due to the high temperatures, giving your surfaces an ugly look.

To remove the stains, you need to apply some lemon juice on the stain, then leave it to dry for 5-10 minutes. You should then apply a layer of toothpaste to the surface using a rubber spatula then use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to scrub the stain.

Once the stain goes away, wipe the surfaces and clean them with a crisply wet towel.

Parting shot

Whether you have marble, wooden, or granite countertops Raleigh, your countertops will develop problems that you need to fix to restore sanity. You can fix some of the problems by yourself but if some of the issues are complex such as large cracks on the surfaces, let an experienced professional help you out.

As a rule of thumb, never try to fix a problem you don’t understand as you will cause more problems than were originally there.

How Do I Choose A Kitchen Countertop? Here Are 5 Things To Consider

Are you thinking about revamping your kitchen and wondering how do I choose a kitchen countertop? There are plenty of factors you should look out for. These factors include:

Your lifestyle

How you lead your life will influence the type of countertop you should go for. If you are in the house most of the time and love cooking, you need tough countertops such as granite countertops that will take up the abuse and give your kitchen an exciting look.

On the other hand, if you are a busy person and are rarely in the house, so you don’t have time to clean and maintain your countertops, you should go for easy-to-maintain units such as quartz and others.

Young children

Do you have children? This will also significantly influence the countertops you install. If you have young children, it means they will be jumping and sitting on the countertops. They also most likely will be drawing and even hitting the counters.

To keep your counters in top shape, you need tough and easy-to-maintain surfaces. This calls for you to avoid granite, marble, and other porous countertops as they easily stain.

In such an instance, you should go for tough, easy-to-maintain countertops that won’t stain easily.

Your budget

The other factor to consider when buying kitchen countertops is your budget. How much are you looking to spend on your counters?

If you have a large budget, there is no wrong countertop to go for, but if your budget restricts you, you should go for cheaper counters.

As you are shopping, you should note that different stores sell their counters at different prices. This means that you will need to take your time and enter different stores, and compare the prices they charge for their counters.

If you can’t afford premium counters such as marble and granite, there are cheaper options such as quartz and others.

If you are looking for counters for small areas such as Kitchen Island and don’t have a lot of money, consider countertop remnants that go at extremely low prices. Some countertop companies even give them out free.

Your desired look

We all have a look we want to give our kitchen, and to achieve this, one of the things to do is install the right kitchen countertops.

You have to install countertops of the right color, texture, and any other feature that aligns with the look you want.

If you aren’t sure about the countertops that will give you a look you want, get the input of a professional.

As you are choosing a countertop color, choose one that is versatile. This way, you can easily change the kitchen paint and accessories without changing the countertops.

To keep your options open in the future, install countertop materials with veins and splashes of color.

Before you buy large countertop pieces, take samples with you at home, place them in your kitchen, and see how they blend with the rest of the room. Get a second or even a third opinion if you aren’t sure about the look.

Of course, you should only buy the countertops that match your desired look.

The amount of care you are willing to give the countertops

Although, this goes hand in hand with your lifestyle, it’s common to have a lot of time, but you don’t like cleaning or taking any care of your countertops.

If you love showing love to your countertops, install porous countertops such as marble, granite, and limestone. If taking care of countertops isn’t your thing, go with easier-to-maintain materials such as quartz that only need you to wipe them down.

Professionally install the countertops.

Regardless of the type of countertops you install, ensure that you professionally install them. If you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can install the countertops by yourself, but let experienced granite companies Raleigh help you out if you have never done it before.

For the best outcome, take time to hire a countertop installation company and ensure that you are hiring a reputable company that knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is to hire a contractor that damages the precious countertops you have spent your fortune on. You don’t want this, do you?

How Do I Choose A Kitchen Countertop?

Are you looking to buy countertops for your kitchen and wondering, how do I choose a kitchen countertop? Well, there are plenty of tips to consider. These tips include:

Your budget

This is probably the most important thing to consider, as many countertops go at different prices. If you don’t have money, go for laminate countertops but if budget isn’t an issue, try your hand at granite and marble countertops.

As you make your budget, you should note that different stores sell countertops at different prices. For example, the large stores often have limited options and sell their countertops at extremely high prices. On the other hand, the smaller stores sell their countertops at favorable prices and have a wide selection of countertops to choose from.

Before you settle on your budget, first visit these stores, see what is available and compare the prices.

Your cabinets

While cabinets are important, only consider them if you plan to keep them. If you will keep them, as you are choosing the countertops, you should consider the cabinets’ materials, colors, style, and design. If you aren’t sure about the right countertops to go for, get the input of a professional that will help you match all these factors.

Use of the countertops

How will you be using the countertops? This is an important factor to consider. If you love cooking and spend long hours in the kitchen, you should go for tough, durable countertops. If you entertain a lot, chances are there will be people sneaking into the kitchen and seeing what is going on there. Install beautiful, high-end countertops such as granite and marble to impress the guests.

If you have young kids, it would be unwise to buy high-end, white countertops as it’s a matter of time before they stain out from finger paints, jelly, Kool-Aid, and other materials.

Kitchen layout

The countertop materials you choose should match the kitchen layout in color palette and finish. The purpose of this is to build a connection between the kitchen, living room, and other spaces and, as a result, create a sophisticated look.

In most cases, you have to consult an experienced professional to help you choose the right countertop.

Aesthetic look

Your kitchen and even the entire house at large should function as one. This means that the countertops, kitchen cabinets, and other kitchen features should tie together and give you a unique look and feel.

Before you head to the stores, you need to think about the look you want to give your kitchen. Do you want an expensive look? Contemporary or modern? Farmhouse or non-traditional? You need to think about this.

There is no right or wrong look—it all depends on your preferences.

Care and maintenance required.

To keep the countertops in top shape, you have to take good care of them. The beauty is different materials require different levels of care and maintenance. While you will need to clean almost all countertops, some require extra care.

For example, granite and marble countertops are porous, so you will need to regularly seal them to prevent water and other liquids from seeping through and staining them.

Others such as butcher-block countertops need regular sanding to remove scratches and knife marks. They also need oiling to prevent water damage.

Think about your time and the work required to maintain the countertops. If you have the time and don’t mind putting in the work, you can go for plenty of countertops, but if you are lazy or lead a hectic life and don’t have time to give attention to the countertops, go for laminate countertops.

Parting shot

Choosing the right kitchen countertops Raleigh takes time and dedication. Due to the many countertop materials available in the market, it’s easy to be confused about the right one to go for. To have an easy time, work with a professional to guide you.

After getting your desired countertop, have it installed by a professional who knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is wasting so much time and money finding the countertops of your dreams, then they are haphazardly installed.

How Should I Organize My Kitchen Countertops?

Are you looking to keep your counters clean and organized and wondering, how should I organize my kitchen countertops? There are plenty of ways to go about it, as given by experts. These ways include:

Create zones

One of the best ways to keep your counters organized is to create zones. Create zones for cooking, serving, prepping, and so on. You should then sort your things into these categories and store them in the areas where they make the most sense.

For example, place the cooking tools, oils, and foods that need cooking near the stove or oven. Place them near the largest surface space for the prep tools and place the serving pieces near the sink or dishwasher.

Experts also recommend creating stations for the specific things you do regularly, such as tea, coffee, or smoothies. Here, store all the things you need for the task, such as spoons, glasses, and other ingredients.

Use kitchenware meant to save space.

To have an easier time, use kitchen appliances meant to save space. For example, go for pans that nest together and ensure that the pots, pans, and bowls you buy have universal lids.

It also doesn’t hurt getting cookware with a magnetic storage rack and canvas lid holder.

To keep the knives in one place and organized, go for appliances with a standard knife block and utensil holder.

Use shelf risers and hanging baskets.

Shelf risers keep your counters clear and your items in one place, making your kitchen surfaces neat and organized. For the perfect look, get risers that complement the look and theme of the kitchen.

Get a triple-duty sink.

If you are out in the market looking for a sink, get one that does more than one task. For example, get a sink with mini ledges that you can easily pop in a drying rack, cutting boards, and wash pan. This not only saves you money as you won’t have to buy the extra items, but it also saves you space as you don’t have to find new places to store the items.

Move items to carts

If you are one of the lucky people and have a large kitchen or you have a small empty corner, you can make use of the space with old filing cabinets, bar carts, and work tables that you can use to host small cookbooks, extra mugs, small appliances and so on.

Minimize the decorations

As much as you want your kitchen to look great, you should minimize the number of decorations you have there. A good rule of thumb is to decorate the kitchen with items that are both decorative and functional.

For example, hang a beautiful cutting board on the wall that you can use to improve the appeal of the kitchen and use it when you want to cut something.

To avoid having your kitchen look cluttered, don’t decorate your kitchen with things that aren’t functional.

Wipe your dirty counters every night

A few crumbs of bread on your counters might seem harmless, but they can make your counters look cluttered and dirty.

To avoid this, take a few minutes every night to wipe your kitchen counters of any dirt and clutter that might be there.

Have a “junk drawer.”

It sounds counterintuitive and hypocritical that you should have a “junk” drawer while trying to declutter your kitchen, but it comes in handy when keeping your surfaces clean and organized.

You should note that you aren’t storing junk in the drawer, but rather the miscellaneous but functional items that might make your countertop look cluttered.

All you need to do is to have one dedicated drawer in your cabinets where you store the items that you aren’t using, but you might need later.

Install plain countertops

This might sound weird, but it’s true. Plain countertops look much better than patterned countertops. When you are in the market choosing kitchen countertops, choose those that are plain as they will make your kitchen look clean and easy to maintain.

If you aren’t sure about the right ones to go for, get the input of granite contractors Durham or other professionals.

5 Things You Should Know When Living With Marble Countertops

kitchen countertop replacement

Is this the first time you are using marble in your kitchen or bathroom? There are several things you should know. To help you out, here are 5 things you should know when living with marble countertops:

They won’t retain their pristine condition unless you maintain them

One of the things that draw people to marble is its elegant appeal. While the countertops are beautiful to look at, they don’t retain their look for long, unless you protect them from damage.

As a rule of thumb, never cut onions, tomatoes, or any materials directly on the surfaces. This is because the surfaces are prone to staining and scratching. To avoid damaging your countertops, always have a chopping board on the surfaces that you use instead of cutting them directly.

The other thing you should do is be cautious of the materials you place on the countertops. Some people will chop their vegetables on the countertops then leave them on the chopping board. After some time, the juices from the vegetables flow down the board and get on the countertops. If you don’t remove the juices soon enough, they leave a permanent stain.

To avoid this, place the chopped vegetables on a surface where the juices won’t get onto the countertops and stain them.

They don’t hold too well to a lot of pressure.

On a casual look, marble looks like one of the toughest countertop materials out there. While they are tough and easily withstand the common kitchen and bathroom uses, they can’t withstand a lot of abuse. For example, the countertops can’t withstand the pressure from standing or sitting on them.

Many homeowners sit on the countertops when they are making their meals. This is wrong. It is equally wrong to stand on the countertops to replace the bulb or reach the top shelf.

In the same way you shouldn’t stand or sit on the countertops, you shouldn’t place hot pots or pans on the surfaces as you risk burning the surfaces and leaving a serious permanent scar on the surfaces.

They can be tricky to clean.

Every homeowner wants to maintain their countertops in perfect shape.  To do this, some homeowners opt to use tough cleaning products such as water and vinegar. Others go for organic citrus-based cleaners.

At first glance, these products seem ideal for use, but they aren’t as they ruin the marble. Over extended periods of time, these products reduce the shine, so your surfaces don’t look as perfect as they used to.

To avoid damaging your countertops and maintain the shine, avoid any acidic cleaning products, as they will leave deep and narrow scratches on the surfaces. The solutions can also eat away at the protective coating, increasing the countertop’s risk of staining.

For perfect countertops, use cleaners specifically meant for marble. If you can’t find the cleaner, stick to the good old water and soap.

You need to reseal the countertops.

While marble appears tough, you should note that it’s one of the most porous countertop materials in the market. This means that you need to seal it at least once a year. If your kitchen or bathroom is too busy, you may have to reseal the surfaces twice or more a year.

Besides sealing the surfaces preventing them from staining, it also maintains the shine and ensures that the countertops last for a long time.

When you are sealing the countertops, and you notice that the surfaces have mild etching, use marble polishing powder approved for use and ensure that you follow the necessary directions.

If there are stains, try getting rid of them using baking soda. To make the poultice, mix the baking soda using little water and spread it on the stain, then cover it. Wait for 12-24 hours, then gently remove the paste and wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth.

Will marble be a headache to own?

If you haven’t already installed marble kitchen countertops Durham, you must be wondering whether marble is a great choice. The truth is that marble is a high maintenance stone, so if you are a heavy kitchen user, you are better off with another countertop. You also should avoid marble if you have young kids or don’t like home maintenance.

4 Excellent Kitchen Countertop Options

Kitchen countertops set the tone for the kitchen, so you need to be cautious and ensure that you buy the right material that reflects your style and stays in line with how you use your kitchen.

Thankfully, there are plenty of kitchen countertop materials in the market you can choose from, with the most popular ones being:

Granite countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. The material is quarried into blocks and then sliced into slabs. Granite is obtained from different countries, including Italy, China, and South America.

Good quality granite doesn’t come cheap, so you should have a large budget to install the countertops of your dreams. You should have an even deeper pocket if looking to install countertops of unique colors such as red.

While anyone can install these countertops in their kitchen, they are best suited for those that love countertops with unmatched natural beauty and at the same time don’t mind occasional maintenance to keep the countertops in top shape.

You should note that while the countertops are tough, they are highly porous which makes them highly risky to own as the kitchen liquids can easily seep into the deeper layers in the event of a spill.

To protect your investment, ensure that you seal the countertops at the time of installation. You also should seal them at least once a year to maintain the sealant.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, mined and formed with binders and pigments. Quartz quality varies depending on the source so take your time when purchasing and ensure that you buy quartz with a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rating. For a durable surface resistant to marking and staining, go for a countertop with 93% natural quartz and 7% binders/pigments.

You should highly consider quartz countertops if you are looking to give your countertops a high-class look without having to do a lot of maintenance.

Quartz also makes a great countertop material if you have a high traffic kitchen with plenty of young children, therefore, looking for a surface that is less susceptible to staining and marking.

Although quartz requires little maintenance, you still need to keep an eye on it especially if you have installed lighter colored surfaces.

Marble countertops

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term marble is the luxurious pillars and breathtaking sculptures. In short, elegance comes into the minds of most people.

If you want to give your low traffic kitchen a classic luxury look, marble is the way to go.

Marble comes in various textures and colors such as black, creamy white, slate gray, beige and many others. Your color of choice should be influenced by your likes and the color of the cabinets. For example, if you have white cabinets and a white backsplash, go with gray toned marble to create a unique premium look.

Like granite, the cost of marble varies depending on the marble species. If you don’t have a large budget but still want the high-end marble look, go for Carrara marble. Although the material has a high end look, it’s not as pricey as the other marble countertops in the market.

Carrara marble has also been shown to be highly effective at disguising unsightly chips and stains, so your countertops retain the spectacular look for a long time.

Before installing marble countertops, you should note that they are porous, so you will need to seal them at least once a year. You also should regularly clean the countertops to prevent dirt and other forms of debris from penetrating the deeper layers.

Solid surface countertops

Do you prefer your kitchen countertop surface warm to the touch, with a modern matte look that gives you seamless molding options for the sink and other technology integrations? Solid surface countertops are your answer.

Popularly known as Corian, solid surface countertops are made from a synthetic product formed from mineral derivatives and binders.

Unlike marble countertops NC, the countertops are nonporous, so you don’t need to seal them. While this is the case, the countertops aren’t resistant to stains and can scratch so you need to handle them with care and keep a keen eye on what you place on them.

Does Black Granite Need To Be Sealed?

On a casual look, black granite countertops appear tough and different from the other granite stones. And due to this, you will hear many homeowners asking, does black granite need to be sealed?

The truth is other than the color, there is nothing unique about black granite counters, so you will need to seal them like any other granite counters.

How does the granite sealant work?

Also known as an impregnator, the granite sealant is made of a resin dissolved in water or petroleum-based solvent. When you apply it on the porous granite surface, it creates a film that gets to the inner layers of the stone and fills the pores, and when the solvent or water evaporates from the mixture, the resin hardens, creating a tough barrier that liquids, dirt, bacteria and other materials can’t easily pass through.

Upon properly sealing the countertops, you keep the spills on the surface, which gives you time to clean the surface before the liquids can seep into the stone and stain it.

Although the granite sealant creates an effective barrier, it’s not foolproof. This means that if you leave liquids on the countertops long enough, they will seep through the resin barrier and stain your expensive countertops. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to wipe off the spills as soon as they happen.

How often should you seal the countertops?

For maximum protection, seal the surfaces at the time of installation, then every six months to one year thereafter. Sometimes you may seal the surfaces more frequently if you use the counters more frequently.

You should note that even with frequent sealing, you shouldn’t let the liquid spills stay on the countertops in the event of a spillage. Instead, move with haste and get rid of them immediately before they start seeping into the deeper layers.

Besides getting rid of spills, also make it a habit to clean granite countertops regularly. And you don’t have to be fancy about it. A simple washcloth or sponge and a gentle soap and water will get it done.

After cleaning the surfaces, dry them thoroughly with a clean, dry towel. Regardless of how clean you want the countertops to be, don’t use harsh abrasives or acidic solutions as they will dull and scratch the surfaces instead.

It’s common for bacteria to adhere to the countertop pores. To prevent the bacteria from getting to your food, make it a habit to disinfect the surfaces at least once a week.

There are plenty of granite disinfectants in the market you can use, so avoid using bleach and other chemicals to disinfect the countertops. If you have to use bleach, dilute it enough, then rinse it thoroughly after application.

Even with the best care, it’s common for stains to happen. When they come about, remove them using a baking soda and water paste and gently rub it into the stain using a soft cloth. For stubborn stains, you may have to repeat the process a few times.

Who should apply the sealant?

Although you can apply the sealant by yourself and protect your countertops, avoid doing the work, especially if you have never done it before. Instead, let a professional help you out.

An experienced contractor will apply the sealant evenly, so it covers the entire surface from all sides. The contractor will also recommend the best sealant for the work.

Like other products in the market, there are many types of sealants you can go for. For the sealer to protect your countertops for a long time, you need to ensure its high quality and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that can cause irritation or emit strong odors.

Avoid any sealer containing harsh chemicals that might damage the countertops. An ideal sealant should be high quality and gentle enough, so you don’t have to worry that the granite contractors NC you hired will get hurt when applying it.

A good quality sealer will also provide you with the liquid, dirt, and bacteria protection you are looking for. The sealer also won’t give off an offensive smell after application making your house uncomfortable to live in.