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Tips to Consider When Sealing Granite Countertops

If you have a beautiful granite countertop in your kitchen and want to preserve it in good condition, you might need to seal it.

Some countertops are pre-sealed, but if yours was not (or you’re not sure if it was), don’t wait to give it the necessary protection.

Improper cleaning, overlooked spills, and other consequences of daily use can easily damage the countertops. Thankfully, a quality sealer will soak into the granite countertops, filling the porous crevices and preventing damage.

When you are sealing the countertops, you need to consider a number of valuable tips. These tips include:

Use the right sealant

You can use two main types of sealants for your countertops: water and solvent-based.

Water-based countertop sealants are environmentally benign, but solvent-based sealants may be a little better at permeating the stone.

When looking for the best granite sealer, read the labels of both water- and solvent-based sealants and look for the active ingredient fluorocarbon aliphatic resin.

Though the sealer will be more expensive than those containing siloxane and silicon, it will provide better protection. Usually, 5 to 10 years of protection, compared to 6 months to 3 years for other sealants.

Furthermore, fluorocarbon aliphatic resins reject oil and water, ensuring your granite is unaffected by a salad dressing spill.

A quart of fluorocarbon aliphatic resin sealant covers 100 to 250 square feet, depending on the brand. You may need to reapply a 24-ounce spray container of a less potent solvent every six months.

Test the countertops before applying the sealer.

You shouldn’t start sealing the countertops simply because you feel you should seal them. Instead, you should determine whether they are ready for sealing. This calls for you to test the surfaces.

The cool thing is that there are plenty of ways to test the surfaces.

You should consider sealing the countertops when they fail the water test. To test if the countertops are ready for sealing, apply a few drops of water and oil separately to two ordinarily out-of-sight locations on the countertop. If the counter discolors in any location, it is time to reseal.

You also should consider sealing the countertops if they are stained. You should look for new stains on the granite. Granite stains are distinguished by the discolored forms they leave behind; these are often black but can occasionally take on the color of whatever generated the stain (e.g., red from wine, orange from rust, etc.).

While this is the case, a lighter or rough-textured mark indicates etching caused by a chemical reaction rather than absorption.

Seal clean countertops

There is no way your dirty countertops will absorb the sealant, so you need to clean them first before applying the sealant.

A good way to go about it is to clean a granite countertop 24 hours before sealing it. When doing the cleaning, avoid vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, bleach, and aggressive commercial cleaners, as all of these can damage your surfaces.

Start with removing everything from the counter and wipe it down thoroughly with a clean, dry microfiber towel to eliminate any surface dust.

Next, combine 1 teaspoon of dishwasher detergent and 2 teaspoons of isopropyl alcohol. Spray the countertop liberally and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, buffing it in a circular motion.

Wait 24 hours before continuing. The cleaning agent occupies the same region that the granite sealant will penetrate, so be sure the cleaning liquid has completely evaporated before applying the sealant.

Apply the sealant on a small area.

Before you spread the sealant onto the entire countertop, first apply it on a small area.

Put on rubber gloves and gather some soft rags or washcloths. Test the sealant in an area typically occupied by a small kitchen appliance to verify it will not damage the finish.

Spray or pour a tiny amount onto a cloth following the manufacturer’s instructions, then rub it evenly over the test area.

Allow the specified time for the sealer to permeate into the granite. Allow it to sit for no longer than the manufacturer’s recommended time, as the stone may discolor.

If the sealant test area appears good, go ahead and apply the sealant to the rest of the countertop. If the countertop has discolored, remove any residual sealant with a clean rag.

Snap a few images of the area and present them to an associate at your local home center for guidance on a more suited product. Once you have a new sealant, clean the counter again and test it in an inconspicuous area.

Properly apply the sealant.

If the sealant passes the test, you should go ahead and apply it on your surfaces. Start doing the application at one end and make your way to the other.

Apply the sealant in circular areas (approximately an arm’s length in diameter) to achieve even covering. Allow the manufacturer’s specified time for the substance to absorb into the countertop.

After the absorption period, remove any excess sealant using a clean, dry rag. Some products require a second coat; therefore, follow the instructions to do so.

If the product takes only one coat, leave it to cure for 2 to 48 hours.

While this is the case, granite specialists recommend waiting at least 48 hours before wiping a newly sealed granite countertop with anything moist. Avoid returning cookware to the counter until the curing process is complete.

Parting shot

These are some of the tips you should consider when sealing your countertops. Remember that the countertops might need resealing after some time.

Before you do the resealing, always do a test to confirm that the surfaces are ripe for it.

Obviously, you shouldn’t proceed with the sealing if the surfaces aren’t ready for it.

You can always do the sealing by yourself, but if you have never done it before or aren’t confident in your skills, let experienced granite contractors Raleigh help you.

For peace of mind that the contractors you hire are experienced and know what they are doing, always do background checks on them. As a rule of thumb, read the reviews or hear what the past clients have to say.

What To Put On Kitchen Counters To Decorate?

Whether you have installed granite kitchen countertops or any other countertop material, you will agree that the countertops don’t reflect your personality, and they can be boring to look at.

Luckily, you can place several items on the countertops to give them your personal touch, express your taste, and improve their look.

Wondering what to put on kitchen counters to decorate? Here are some of the best ones:

Fresh fruits

Since fruits don’t need refrigeration and you can leave them at room temperature, you can definitely use them to decorate your counters. All you need to do is place the fruits in a beautiful bowl and place them strategically on your countertops.

To get the most from the fruits, go for fruits with bright colors such as bright yellow, green, or orange. Some of the excellent fruits to use for decoration include: lemon, lime, orange, and apples.

Fruits dry out with time so remember to replace them with fresh ones every few days.

Cookbooks

Cookbooks are an excellent way to polish your cooking skills and improve the look of the countertops. To decorate your counters, stack a couple of hardboard cookbooks on your counters. You can also lay them flat, vertically, or horizontally, depending on the look you want to achieve and the style of your countertops.

To amp up your presentation, display books with a bit of color and keep them color-coordinated with the rest of the kitchen theme.

You can use any cookbooks, but it’s best you use books of your favorite cuisines. For example, if you love Asian Cuisine, use books with an oriental touch.

Plants

Plants are easy to carry, and they give life to your kitchen. You can use a single plant if you have a small kitchen or several plants if your kitchen is large.

The beauty is there are many types of plants you can choose from, and you can display them in different ways. For example, you can display them in a stylish pot or planter.

As you choose the plants, choose low-maintenance plants, as they will survive even if you aren’t in the house for days or don’t expose them to sunlight.

If you aren’t sure about the right plants to go for, get the input of a professional.

Cutting boards

Many homeowners use cutting boards as places to chop their vegetables and meat, but did you know that you can also use them as decoration surfaces?

To decorate your countertops using the boards, you should collect a few boards of different shapes and types and stack them together on your counter. If you don’t like the look, lean them against your kitchen’s backsplash to transform the look of your kitchen.

To make the boards even more exciting, mix boards are made from different materials such as marble and wood as they will create a significant visual contrast with the rest of the kitchen surface.

The boards also come in handy at improving the kitchen texture and adding a warm touch to the countertops.

You should be cautious about the type of boards you go for as some might make your kitchen look tacky, and you don’t want this, do you? So, if you aren’t sure about the boards you should go for, get the input of a professional.

Fresh flowers

A colorful bouquet of fresh flowers can transform boring basic countertops into beautiful surfaces you can’t get your eyes from. The beauty of fresh flowers is they are soft and give your surfaces a subtle touch.

To decorate your surfaces, put the flowers in a vase and place them in strategic areas of the kitchen counters.

To make your counters even more interesting, place several flower bouquets in different areas of the kitchen, then switch them up every week to give your counters a brand new look. If you have the budget, granite contractors NC recommend that you get different vases and switch them regularly.

You should note that flowers tend to wither with time, so to prevent your kitchen from looking dead, get fresh flowers at least once every two to three days.

Why Is Granite So Popular?

If you have been searching for kitchen countertops, you must have realized that everyone recommends you go for granite countertops.

Why is granite so popular? You must be wondering, right? Well, there are plenty of reasons for this. The most common ones being:

Granite is durable

Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials, and if you take good care of it and protect it from cracks, chips, dings, and scratches, it will last for years.

One way to keep your countertops in good shape for a long time is to seal them. You should seal the surfaces the first thing after installation, then once every one year. You can do the sealing by yourself but for best results, let a professional help you out.

The key to getting the most from the sealing is to use a high-quality-sealing product, preferably specifically designed for granite countertops.

Granite stays clean

No, we are not saying that granite will self-clean itself. Since granite is tough, it easily shields itself from mold, mildew, and bacteria, so as long as you have taken good care of the material and there are no cracks, and you routinely seal it, you won’t have to worry about mold growing on the surfaces.

Every piece of granite is unique.

Given that granite is a natural stone, all the granite pieces are unique, meaning that you won’t find any two similar slabs when you go to a countertop store.

The unique nature of the countertops means that when you buy a given slab, you are sure that there is no one else in the world with an exact similar slab. This makes you feel unique, doesn’t it?

The distinctive nature of granite also means that you can find all types of countertop colors you might be interested in. So, whether you fancy black, pink, silver, white, or even green countertops, you will find them in the countertop store.

Granite countertops are form-fitting.

This means that granite easily attains your intended shape without you having to put in a lot of work. Using wood countertops as an example, to attain your intended shape you have to sand down the edges after cutting them, which can be a lot of work.

This isn’t the case with granite countertops that don’t have a lot of imperfections after cutting. Since the granite edges are much smoother after cutting, you don’t need to put in a lot of work to attain your desired shape.

The result is a better-looking countertop that is easier to install.

You can repair granite counters.

It’s true granite is tough, but this doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. Now and then, granite will develop cracks and chips that give the countertops a beaten-up look.

Should you remove the countertops and dispose of them due to tense imperfections? Absolutely not, as you can fix them using DIY granite epoxy resin.

All you need to do is to buy the resin from your local store and apply it. The beauty is you don’t need to hire a professional to help you apply it—you can easily do it by yourself, even with no home improvement experience.

Granite instantly increases your home value.

If you have been house shopping lately, you must have realized that houses with granite surfaces tend to sell at a higher price. This is because these houses have a higher perceived value. And you can justify it as the kitchens and bathrooms look stunning.

While the countertops will increase your home value, don’t go at it blindly. If you are simply revamping your house to sell, don’t install premium and unique granite countertop colors such as red and others, as you won’t recoup your money. The reason for this is because the unique slabs go at ultra-high prices than the potential house buyer is willing to pay for.

To ensure you don’t lose your money, work with experienced and knowledgeable granite contractors Durham to advise you on the best slabs to install.

Granite countertops are a great choice.

If you are looking to install new countertops in your home, seriously consider granite. The material is classy, timeless, natural-looking and a perfect fit for any home.

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.

What Can You Do With Old Countertops?

If you are wondering what can you do with old countertops, you must be having an older home and wondering what to do with the worn-out pieces, right? Well, there are plenty of things you can do with the old kitchen countertops. To help you out, here are some of these things:

Update the countertops

Regardless of the type of countertops you have, you can easily update them. And the beauty is you don’t have to spend a fortune doing it. One of the best ways to improve the look of your countertops is to paint them. Check into your local paint shop and buy a few paint containers.

You should then spend a weekend painting the countertops, and you will have better-looking pieces.

If your countertops are old, chances are they also have a few nicks here and there. Before you paint them, fix these nicks first.

Painting is easy, and you can do it by yourself, but if you don’t have time or aren’t confident in your skills, let a professional handle it for you.

Trash the countertops

Are the countertops too old, or you don’t like them in your house? You can remove and throw them away. You don’t have to hire a contractor to help you remove laminate countertops as they are light and easy to remove. If removing granite, quartz, or any other heavy stone, let an expert handle the removal as you risk hurting your cabinets or even yourself in the process.

If you had installed the lighter laminate countertops, begin clearing any obstructions from the countertops, then disconnect the supply lines to the countertop fixtures. Follow it up by removing the sink and loosen the present adhesive. Once the countertops are loose, lift and dispose them off.

Donate the old countertops

If the countertops are still in good shape, you don’t have to throw them away while they can benefit other people. One great way to make them useful is to donate them to habitat for humanity or any other similar charity.

The cool thing with this move is you get to touch someone’s life, and at the same time reduce your tax bill. If paying less tax is important to you, talk to an accountant and determine how you can save from your donation.

While paying less tax is good, it shouldn’t be your sole motivator towards making the donation. Donate to make better use of the countertops and change lives.

Turn your countertops into a new product.

If you have granite or any other natural countertop, you can give it a new life by converting it into something useful. Some of the ways you can reuse the old countertops are to turn them into tiles, fire pits, shelves, tables, wall decorations, cutting boards, and centerpieces. The only thing you need to do is find a professional experienced in making the transformations, and you are good to go.

Recycle the countertops

With over 53 million tons of construction materials dumped in landfills every year, you should be the source of change. And what better way to do it than to avoid dumping your old countertops and instead recycle them.

Get in touch with your local recycling plant and let them know about your countertops. Some companies will charge you for the recycling, while most will do it free.

Preparing for new countertops

After you have removed the old countertops, your next move should be to prepare the new countertops’ surfaces. Get rid of any dirt or countertop remnants from the surfaces. Are the cabinets in good shape? If they are worn out, this is the best time to give them a makeover.

Once everything is in place, you should now install the new countertop. There is no right or wrong material you can install. It all depends on your tastes and the plans you have for the surfaces. Regardless of the type of countertops you are installing, ensure the work is done by experienced professionals such as certified granite contractors NC.

You don’t want a newbie botching up your expensive project, do you?

Corian Countertops Pros And Cons

Compared to the more “glamorous” kitchen countertops such as marble and granite, Corian countertops are regarded as old-age countertop materials whose time has passed, but this is not true.

The countertops have evolved over the years, and if you are looking for kitchen or bathroom countertops, you should highly consider them. Would you love to know more about the countertops? Here are Corian countertops pros and cons.

What are Corian countertops?

Before we proceed, it’s wise we have a backstory about these countertops are. Corian is a brand name for a solid surface countertop invented by DuPont in 1967. The countertops are made of a material derived from a blend of acrylic polymer and bauxite. Now that is out of the way, let’s proceed.

Corian countertops pros

The countertops come with several great features that include:

They come in a wide range of colors.

The first countertop colors trended towards the earthen shades with a dappled pattern, but the modern designs are built with a wide array of hues that range from pure black or white to yellow, blue, purple, and gold. It’s also not uncommon to come across some countertops with neutral shades of brown, gray, and beige.

The countertops also come with a wide range of patterns that vary from pebble to sand to glass. You can also get customized colors and patterns.

They are easy to clean and maintain

Unlike other countertops in the market, Corian countertops are easy to clean and maintain. The cool thing is there are plenty of ways you can clean the countertops. You can spray the countertops with household cleaners, wipe them off with a handheld scrub pad, use soap and water, among many other ways.

When cleaning Corian countertops, you should note that they aren’t resistant to chemical damage, so use pH-neutral cleaning agents.

You don’t need to seal the countertops.

Since the countertops are non porous, you don’t need to seal them every year, saving you a lot of time. The countertops’ non-porous nature also means you don’t have to worry about the surface staining when spills happen.

Although, you should get rid of the spills as soon as they happen, you don’t have to worry that the spills will cause stains, as it’s the case with granite, marble, and other porous materials.

The countertops’ nonporous nature also means the countertops can’t suffer from mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.

They create a seamless appearance.

Since the countertops don’t have visible joints, they create a seamless appearance of your worktop. This feature also makes the countertops easy to repair and resurface in the event of scratches and other types of stains.

If you have minor scratches, you need to undertake minor resurfacing by sanding or rubbing the surfaces with an abrasive scrub. While you can rub the countertops, avoid rubbing them vigorously as you risk causing physical depression on the surfaces.

Corian countertops, cons

Like the two sides of a coin, the countertops come with their fair share of negatives. These negatives include:

They aren’t durable

Although the countertops are easy to clean, maintain and repair, they aren’t as durable as granite and other countertop materials. This means that you have to install them several times in your lifetime compared to the other countertops that you install once, and you are done, of course, unless you want to change the look of your house or you damage them.

They are expensive

Although not as expensive as natural stone countertops, they still don’t come cheap. This means when you install them two or more times in your lifetime, you will be parting with a lot of money compared to when you would have installed granite, marble, or other more long-lasting materials.

They can’t withstand heat.

Corian countertops can’t withstand heat at all. In fact, they are easily scorched by hot pans. Due to this, you need to use trivets, hot pads, and other protective materials to protect the surfaces from extreme heat.

They aren’t easy to find

The countertops aren’t easily available in home centers like the other countertop materials. The only place to find them is in specialty building supply outlets catering to professional markets. This drives the countertop prices high making it hard to find expert installers. In most cases, you are forced to hire granite contractors Raleigh who aren’t Corian countertop installers.

5 Things You Should Know About Faux Granite Countertops

If you love the look and feel of real granite but can’t afford it, you should try out faux granite countertops. These countertops are almost identical to the real expensive and elegant stone, but cheaper.

They are made by applying a primer and a few paint coats in multiple layers. Once the paint has completely dried, the manufacturers apply multiple layers of sealant to provide a protective layer.

Are you considering installing the countertops? Here are 5 things you should know about them:

You have a few installation options.

When installing the countertops, you should know that you don’t have plenty of options or transformations to play around with.

One option involves applying a contact paper-like product to a completely smoothed and cleared surface. Here you need to measure, cut, and carefully apply the material of choice to the countertops, then smooth it into place.

You can also use primers, sponges, paintbrushes, acrylic paints, and epoxy. This process involves painting the look of granite onto the countertop. To achieve ideal results, you need to get involved, have a keen eye for detail, and invest a lot of time into the project.

You can do the installation by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.  Obviously, you are better off hiring a professional as they tend to do a better job.

Although, you are limited to the installation methods, faux countertop installation is an easy project to execute.

One of the most important things you should do is have a clear idea of how you want the countertops to look like once you are done.

The fake countertops look similar to the real stone.

Many homeowners are cautious about installing fake countertops as they have the impression they will give their kitchen counters a cheap look, but this isn’t the case.

As long as the countertops are carefully and professionally installed, they will look the same, if not better, than the real stone.

To ensure the countertop maintains the look of real granite, have it installed by experts. Remember that some contractors say they are experts while they are not. To avoid making the wrong choice, take time when hiring.

Interview a few contractors while comparing their experiences and expertise.

While you can easily replace the countertops when they get damaged, it’s wise to protect them from damage. This saves you money and, at the same time, keeps your countertops looking spectacular.

When cutting vegetables and other items, always use a chopping board. You should never cut directly on the countertops. You also shouldn’t place hot items directly on the counters. Instead, use a hot pad or placement to protect the surfaces.

When it comes to cleaning, use mild non-abrasive cleaners. Clean the faux granite counters gently with a clean rag and a small amount of water in addition to the cleaner. When spills happen, wipe them away immediately.

Even with the best care, it’s common for scratches to come about. When they show up, buff them out with small baking soda rubbed into the surface with a soft cloth. For deeper scratches, consult your manufacturer on how to handle them.

You need to give tender and caring love to the countertops.

Since the faux granite isn’t as tough as the real stone, you need to give it more tender loving care. Remember, the countertop is more susceptible to cuts, burns, and scrapes, so be cautious when handling it. Use the tips we have given above to keep your counters in good condition.

Faux granite won’t last as long as a real stone.

Although the countertop’s durability depends on the installation and maintenance, there is no way the faux granite will last as long as the real stone. Thankfully, you can extend the countertops’ life to even several years by taking good care of it.

Again, use the above tips to keep your counters in the best shape possible.

You have plenty of colors and designs to choose from

One of the best things about the countertops is you have plenty of varieties to choose from. You get to choose the color and all the secondary colors you want, and feel will give your counters the look you want. As we have been saying, for excellent results, work with expert granite contractors Raleigh.

Wondering What To Do With Leftover Granite Countertops? Here Are 9 Genius Ways To Give Them A New Life

After installing your countertops, you are left with granite remnants that many homeowners don’t know where to take them. Most homeowners toss the remnants in the dumpsters, which is wrong. Are you wondering what to do with leftover granite countertops? Here are 9 genius ways to give your pieces a new life:

Make a granite cutting board.

If the leftover piece is large enough, why not make a cutting board out of it? Although tough, granite is easy to shape and finish giving you cutting surfaces that match the rest of the kitchen.

If considering making a cutting board, you should note that it will be much heavier than your traditional cutting board. It also might be tough on knives. If creative, you can add a rotating bottom to the cutting board and make a lazy Susan.

Make earthly coasters

The remaining pieces aren’t large enough? No problem as you can make earthly, unique coasters with them. While most of the coasters are squares, it doesn’t have to be the case with you. Make circles, triangles or even irregular shaped coasters that will look cool when stacked on your tabletop.

Design a tabletop

If a relatively large granite slab remains, you can pair it with a good-looking base and convert it into a tabletop. You can use a stump for legs, curve an iron base, or install any other material. Like a glass tabletop, ensure you have bevelled edges for an attractive, safe finish.

You should note a granite slab is heavy so you should be creative in how you place it, so it doesn’t topple over. Ensure the top is 1/3 bigger than the base’s surface area. Remember, the less the tabletop overhangs, the more stable it is. To increase stability, glue or screw 1-inch plywood to the base.

Turn the slab into a shelve

If you have a long slice of leftover granite, you can create a shelve from it and give your kitchen, bathroom, mudroom or any other room a modern look. When installing the shelve, remember granite is heavy so have the work done by an experienced technician

Make a mosaic patio garden

Have many leftover pieces? You can lay them on your garden and use them as a patio. You can use slabs of the same pattern or different patterns. It’s up to you to create the design you want. For a great look, ensure an expert does the work with the right amount of experience.

Make a piece of furniture.

If the pieces are large, you can make an entire table or chair from them. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a lovely round table to sit out on your balcony, patio or kitchen? A table made from leftover pieces is unique, giving your living areas an interesting look.

When it comes to the legs, choose thin metal or cast iron. To complete the look, get matching chairs.

If the remaining piece isn’t large enough, you can make a wooden side table from it. If you are creative, you can do the work by yourself but if you have no experience, let a professional help you out.

Create a serving platter

Whether you are a loner or love entertaining, you can’t go wrong with a serving platter. If you have a moderately sized slab, you can convert it into a serving platter and use it as an accompaniment to cured meats, cheese, fruit, artisan bread and many others.

The cool thing is making the platter is easy—you don’t need to hire an expert. With minimal creative skills, you can get the work done.

Make a house number sign.

Irritated with the constant peeling off of your door numbers from the plastic? You can be the envy of your neighbors with a creative and unique granite number plate. You can engrave or paint the number of the leftover slab.

Like the serving platter, you can do the work by yourself—you don’t need to hire a professional to help you out.

Sell the remnants

Dont have a plan to repurpose the pieces? Approach the local granite contractors Raleigh and find out if they can buy the pieces for their projects. If the remnants are of significant size and good design, you will find contractors that will be happy to take them off your hands and put them into better use.

Can Granite Countertops Be Repaired?

best kitchen countertop contractor

Imagine this. You spend a fortune on the best granite in your area, hire the most reputable countertop contractors, then one day you notice a crack on your countertops. Frustrating, right? You can’t imagine pouring money on new countertops, so you ask, can granite countertops be repaired?

Yes, you can repair the countertops. Here are some of the ways of doing it:

Etch marks

Etch marks happen due to various reasons, but the most popular ones are due to the use of harsh cleaning materials or cutting lemons or tomatoes directly on the surfaces.

To fix etch marks, begin with cleaning the affected areas using water or stone soap, to wipe away dirt and scum. You should then dry the area thoroughly then apply granite polishing powder. You should follow up by buffering it with an electric drill. For best results, keep the granite powder on the stone as you buff it. Once you are done, clean it off.

Separated cracks

Separated cracks are large, and you can easily see them. You should fix the cracks as soon as possible to prevent them from getting worse. One of the best ways of fixing the issue is by filling in the gaps with an epoxy glue that matches the color of the stone.

If you can’t find the exact color of your countertops, use the dust from the broken area. It’s recommended you hire a professional to help you fix it, but if you don’t have the budget for it, do it yourself. When doing it, ensure that you thoroughly clean the area before applying the glue.

Many homeowners make the mistakes of applying glue to the surrounding areas, which gives the surfaces an ugly look. To avoid this, put masking tape around the area you are trying to repair.

After gluing the separated cracks, re-polish the surface, so it matches the rest of the counter.

Hairline cracks

These happen naturally in granite, and when you notice them, you have no reason to raise the alarm. The cracks are tiny, and most people can’t even tell they are there. The cracks don’t affect the look of the counters, their cleaning, and use. If you have the cracks on your countertops, don’t do anything. Just let them be.

Tips to prevent countertop damage

While the countertops can be repaired, isn’t it wise to prevent the problems from coming about other than fixing them? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can do it. Some of these ways include:

Invest in high-quality countertops

Good quality granite slab counters don’t come cheap, so in the bid of saving money, homeowners look for cheap pieces that they can come across. While it’s possible to find cheap, decent granite slabs, in most cases, the cheap slabs are poor quality; hence they get damaged easily.

Others go faux granite countertops. While these might be durable, they don’t give you the same toughness you find in natural granite.

To reduce the chances of your countertops cracking or suffering from any other form of damage, you should only buy high-quality slabs. You find these in reputable natural stone stores. When making the purchase, avoid large stores as they not only sell the stones at high prices, they also lack variety.

Have the countertops professionally installed

Buying high-quality slabs isn’t enough—you also need to ensure the slabs are professionally installed. Poorly installed countertops are not only unpleasing to look at, they also tend to get easily damaged.

How can you ensure your countertops are professionally installed? Simple. Hire an experienced professional.

Its wise you hire the countertop contractor from the same company you buy the granite slabs. This is because professionals working there are usually experienced enough, and they give nothing but top-notch services.

Seal the countertops

One of the flaws with granite is it’s porous, so you have to seal it to prevent stains from coming about. When you don’t seal it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, bacteria will get into the stone, putting your life at risk, especially if you like preparing your food directly on the surfaces.

Failing to seal the surfaces also means water will get into the stone and weaken it.

To avoid this, ask granite contractors Durham to seal the countertops at the time of installation. You also should make it a habit to seal the surfaces one a year.

Does Granite Emit Radon? Granite Countertop Experts Answer

There is no denying granite countertops are one of the best countertop materials in the market. Unfortunately, homeowners worry about radon, so you will hear them asking, does granite emit radon?

What is radon?

If this is the first time hearing the term, radon is a naturally occurring gas commonly found in basements. Radon is radioactive, and when you are exposed to elevated levels of it for a long time, you risk suffering from lung cancer.

How dangerous is radon?

Unlike carbon monoxide (produced by home furnaces, vehicles, and water heaters) that kills fast, radon doesn’t kill immediately—the effects take years to be apparent. As mentioned above, when you are exposed to radon for a long time, you are at more risk of developing lung cancer.

Does granite emit radon?

Several scientific studies show that granite does emit radon, but the levels emitted are usually too low to affect you. When you are researching about granite, you might come across plenty of information warning you about radon levels in granite, but there is scientific evidence that the levels are harmless. If you are in doubt, consider hiring a certified radon inspector to test the countertops.

Will food absorb radon?

There is the worry of food prepared directly on the granite surfaces absorbing radioactive energy. You should note that radioactive elements such as uranium will only get into the food if they get dissolved in water.

Since granite is insoluble, there is no way the radioactive elements will get into water then into food.

You might argue that radioactive energy given off at the granite surface will get into the food that is directly in contact with the surfaces. Still, there is evidence that, like other energetic rays, the radioactive energy changes to heat and/or non-radioactive particles.

Since these processes happen extremely fast, radiation doesn’t get into the food.

Taking care of granite countertops

Instead of worrying your countertops will spread radon, you should take good care of your kitchen countertops, so they last for a long time. How do you do this? Here are expert tips on how to go about it:

Seal the countertops

Granite is porous, so to protect it from stains and spills, you should seal it at the time of installation and at least once every year. To get the most results, use a high-quality sealing product. The sealer should penetrate the granite to seal any groove or spaces in the stone, instead of sitting on the surface.

You can seal the surfaces by yourself, but for best results, let an expert handle it for you.

Properly clean the surfaces.

Like other surfaces, you need to keep granite surfaces clean at all times. When doing the cleaning, be cautious of the cleaning products you are using. While granite is tough, avoid acidic cleaners and sponges that can scratch and wear down the sealant.

When it comes to soap, use a pH neutral soap that won’t cause any harm. Stay away from vinegar or Windex as they can etch the surfaces.

To keep the surfaces free of dirt and grime, wipe them regularly with warm water and a few drops of dish or antibacterial detergent. Once you done, rinse the surfaces thoroughly with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth.

When spills happen, blot them with a paper towel or soft cloth immediately. Don’t wipe spilled liquids such as milk or juice as they can spread around the countertops.

Watch what you place on the countertops.

It’s true granite surfaces are tough, but you should be ultra-cautious of what you place on them. As a rule of thumb, don’t place hot pots or pans on granite as they will damage the surfaces.

While granite can withstand high temperatures, extreme or constant temperature changes can harm the stone. When cooking, granite contractors Durham recommend you always have trivets and coasters on the counters at all time. When you have to place the pans down, place them there.

Granite surfaces are known to be tough, but when you place a lot of weight on them, you risk breaking them. To avoid damaging your stone, never stand on it. You also should never place heavy appliances such as an oven on it.