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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.

6 Questions To Ask Granite Countertop Installers

Granite countertops installation isn’t cheap, so you want to ensure the project is handled by the right granite countertop installers. The best way to ascertain you are working with the right professional is to ask the right questions. Some of the questions to ask include:

What professional credentials do you have?

You want to work with a professional that is a member of a professional body. The reason for this is because most companies that put effort into being members of professionals bodies strive to provide their clients with the best services.

The companies are also often knowledgeable on the latest and best practices, so you can be sure they will install your countertops as per the latest technology.

During the interview, ensure the contractor doesn’t merely pay their dues as a member of the organization but rarely participates in the organization activities. You want a professional who is active in the relevant organization activities.

How long will you take to complete the project?

While the duration of the project will depend on the expansiveness of the project, you should be wary of a company that projects the installation to last a few days as it might not provide you with good services.

At the same time, you should be cautious of a company that says it will complete the project in months. Such a company might not be having other engagements, and there must be a reason for this.

In a strong economy, good contractors are booked out 6-8 weeks, so when you come across a company that simply isn’t in a hurry to complete the project, it might be providing poor services hence the lack of clients.

Take time to find a company that is busy and gives you a realistic completion date. The contractors shouldn’t complete the project too fast, and at the same time, they shouldn’t be too slow.

Does your company offer a warranty?

As mentioned, installing kitchen countertops isn’t a cheap project, so you want to be sure your materials won’t get damaged, or when they are, you will be compensated. For peace of mind, you should work with a contractor offering a warranty.

Are you using modern equipment?

You might have the impression the type of equipment the contractors use in their work is none of your business, but this isn’t the case. When a company uses old, worn-out tools, it not only spends a lot of time on your project but also increases the risk of damaging your countertop materials.

You want to work with a reputable company using modern, properly maintained equipment. As a homeowner, you might not be conversant with the right equipment the contractors should use, but you can do your research.

You can also ask other contractors about the best equipment to use, and when you are interviewing, ask whether the company is using them.

You want to work with contractors using the latest countertop installation equipment. This way, they will not only properly and quickly install the countertops, but they also will install them with little risk of damage.

Do you sell countertop materials?

Most installation companies also sell countertop materials, and these are the best companies to work with. This is because you won’t have to deal with many companies to complete your project.

You also stand a better chance of cracking a good deal with the company as you will not only be hiring their services but also buying their products.

If the company is selling the slabs, ensure that it has a wide selection of countertop materials. It should have quartz, soapstone, marble, granite, and many others.

If the contractor doesn’t sell the stones, they should be willing to accompany you to the relevant countertop stores and help you choose the right material for your project.

What is your during-and-post job clean up protocol?

Some companies have the impression that it’s the work of the homeowner to keep their homes clean, but this shouldn’t be the case. Good granite contractors Raleigh shouldn’t leave a mess or create undue obstructions.

Before the work begins, the contractor should cover the furniture and other belongings with a tarp to protect them from dust and other forms of damage. For multiple-day jobs, the contractor should store the tools out of the way and secure the property.

After completing the installation, the contractor should clear away the debris and dust, leaving the property spotless.

What To And What Not To Put On Your Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

Did you know not everything is ideal to be placed on your kitchen countertops? In this article, we are going to look at the things you can place on the countertops and those you can’t. Read on to know more:

What to place on the counters

Some of the things you can place on the counters:

Coffee maker: If you make coffee every day, there is no better place to place your coffee maker than on your kitchen counter. To give your counters a great look, set up a coffee zone. This calls for you to gather everything you use to make coffee with and store it above and below the counter where your coffee maker sits.

Some of the things you should include with the coffee maker include mugs, coffee filters, coffee, and to-go cups.

Mixer: Only a few drawers and cabinets can store large appliances such as a mixer, and the large size and weight of the appliance will damage the cabinets. One of the best places to put the mixer is on the counter.

Tools: You should keep the crock right next to the stove together with spoons, tongs, ladles, spatulas, and other kitchen equipment. Having these items at your disposal makes it easy to reach them when the need arises.

Canisters: Large or small canisters are pieces you store on the counters for decoration or to contain small items. You use them to contain grab and go snacks, napkins, and other small odds and ends that will keep the counters from getting cluttered.

Dish rack: A dish rack is a must-have whether you have a dishwasher or not.

Salt and pepper shaker: Since you are going to be using these all the time, it makes sense to have them on the counters all the time.

Fruit basket: You are rarely going to refrigerate most of the fruits and vegetables—you are most likely going to eat them. To have an easy time reaching out to them, isn’t it wise to have a fruit basket on the counters?

Cutting board: Who doesn’t love large cutting boards on their counters? Unfortunately, most of us don’t have enough space for them, but if you love chopping, you should highly consider having them on your counters. This way you don’t cut directly on the counters and end up damaging them.

What not to place on the counters

Just as there are some items you can comfortably place on the counters, there are some you can’t. They include:

Papers: Papers on the counters gives them a cheap look, and you don’t want this, do you? If you aren’t using them, you should store them in a message center contraption. Preferably on the wall above the counter.

Appliances you rarely use: Are there appliances you rarely use? If you got them and you don’t use them every day, they are better off placed away from the counters as they will not only be giving your counters a cheap, dirty look, but they also will be putting a lot of unnecessary stress on the counters.

Collections: It’s normal to be attached to valuables. Whether its teacups, photographs, or figurines, it’s tempting to display them on the counters, but don’t do this. Instead of having them there, mount them on the wall.

Serving pieces: Only have these on your counters if you entertain daily. If you don’t, they will be taking a lot of space on the surfaces, and you are better off with them in the cabinet. You can also mount them on the wall as décor.

Other ways of taking care of your kitchen countertops

Other than being cautious of the items you place on the counters, there are plenty of other things you can do to prevent your countertops from getting damaged. Some of these things include:

Clean the countertops regularly: You must keep your countertops clean all the time. How do you do this? By cleaning them regularly. This way, you get rid of harmful materials on the surfaces. While cleaning the surfaces is vital, avoid using harsh materials as they will etch the surfaces and cause serious damage.

Cutting directly on the counters:  One of the things you should have on the counters is a cutting board, and you should always use it when cutting meat and other materials. Whether you have marble or granite countertops Durham, always use a cutting board to protect them from damage.

Do Granite Countertops Stain?

granite kitchen countertops

Granite is one of the toughest countertop materials in the market, but it’s not impervious to damage. So if you are asking, do granite countertops stain? Yes, they do stain. While the countertop is tough, it’s porous, and liquids can penetrate the surfaces and cause stains.

Types of stains

The countertops can be affected by different types of stains that include:

Water stains: Water stains are temporary and when they happen, they darken or lighten the countertop material. The good thing is when water evaporates, the color of the stone returns to normal.

Organic stains: These are brought about by organic materials such as mustard, soda, tea, and others.

Inorganic stains: They result from dyes, dirt, ink, and others.

Oil stains: Butter, cooking oil, and mineral oils will damage the countertops when they land on them.

Biological stains: Popular biological stains include: mold and mildew.

Metal stains: Metal stains include rust, copper and many others.

What should you do when your countertops stain?

To retain the elegant look of the countertops, you should remove the stains as soon as they happen. How you remove the stains depends on the nature of the stain. To remove the stains, follow these steps:

Begin with creating a thick paste of hydrogen peroxide and talc powder. For ideal results, ensure the paste has a consistency of putty.

You should then apply the mix to the stained area while taking care not to apply it on the unstained areas. Experts recommend you keep the layer of paste one-fourth of an inch thick and should overlap the stain by about half an inch.

After applying the paste, cover the area with a plastic wrap and tape the edges. Let the paste sit for 24 hours after which you should remove it only leaving the poultice in place. Let the poultice stay on the stain until it completely dries up.

You should then use a plastic scraper and scrape away all the paste. If any paste remains, wipe it with a clean cloth. Follow up with cleaning the countertops normally and dry it with a clean cloth.

In most cases, this will remove the stain, but if it doesn’t, repeat the process and the stain will go away.

Can you prevent stains from coming about?

Yes, you can do it by taking good care of the countertops.  When you are in the kitchen, take care not to spill products on the countertops. Even when spills happen, hurry and clean them up.

To prevent water spills, seal the countertops. For ideal results, follow the right sealing procedure:

Begin with cleaning the counters with water and allow them to dry out completely.

You should then shake the sealer and apply it liberally to every part of the countertop using paper towels, paint roller, or paintbrush. When applying the sealer, ensure you have a thin film on the entire surface of the stone.

After applying the sealer, let it soak into the counters for at least 15 minutes after which you should wipe it off with a clean cloth.

If your countertops are white or have another color susceptible to staining, apply a second sealer coat. Upon applying the first coat, wait for at least 48 hours then apply the second coat.

Once done, wipe the counters with clean towels and paper towels, making sure you wipe away excess sealer. Before you start using the countertops, leave them for at least 24 hours.

Other ways to protect granite

Other than sealing the countertops, there are plenty of different ways you can protect them from stains and other forms of damage. Some of these ways include:

Protect them from UV rays: Most granites are combined with resins susceptible to UV-ray damage that leads to fading and dulling of color. In addition to keeping curtains closed when it’s sunny, talk to your granite contractors Durham and understand the best product to provide maximum protection.

Use pH-neutral cleaners: Granite is sensitive to acidic and alkaline-based cleaners so only use pH-neutral cleaners.  Using the wrong products not only stains the surfaces, but it also etches them, so you have to replace them, which is expensive.

How to Tell If Countertop Is Granite or Quartz

best quartz countertop

When homeowners are looking to remodel their homes, the popular debate is whether they should install granite or quartz countertops. The experienced homeowners know the difference between the two, but the new ones are always asking how to tell if the countertop is granite or quartz.

Before we tell you how to tell the difference, let’s start with knowing about each countertop material.

What is quartz?

Quartz is a manmade material made up of 90-95% quartz and 5-10% resin. Often referred to as engineered stone, the material is made from leftover quartz that is ground and mixed with resin.

Quartz occurs in a variety of colors ranging from whites to purples and blues. You can leave the countertop material naturally colored or enhance it to achieve a particular color or pattern. Since quartz is manufactured, it comes in a variety of slab sizes and shapes.

What is granite?

Granite is a 100% natural occurring rock formed over some time by the cooling of molten lava. As lava cools and compresses over centuries, it forms flecks and striations that give the countertops its character.

The granite stone is made up of several minerals that give each slab different colours and characteristics.

Granite is harvested in a quarry where it’s later cut into manageable slab sizes. From there it’s sent to the supplier where it’s polished to achieve its characteristic shine. The supplier then cuts it again to fit your bathroom countertop or kitchen island size.

How can you tell if a countertop material is granite or quartz?

For you to tell the countertop material you are dealing with; you need to look at several factors that include:

Appearance

Since granite is natural, it has an earthier texture that results from mineral crystals which often bear microscopic fissures.

Quartz is bound with resin which means the countertop doesn’t have the crystalline structure or natural fissures similar to those you find in granite. Due to this, quartz has a smoother texture. You should note that the more finely ground the quartz is, the glossier and more polished the overall appearance is.

Price

Just like any other countertop material, the cost of granite and quartz varies depending on the slab thickness, color, edge profile, and whether the countertop will house a sink.

Regardless of all this, quartz is generally cheaper than granite. The extra cost of granite is due to the months, or even years it can take to locate and quarry granite. It’s also expensive to transport granite from India, Russia, and Brazil, where most of the world’s supply is found.

Quartz is abundant and often mined in the United States (primarily Arkansas) hence the lower costs which are passed on to you.

Size

A standard granite slab measures 105 by 54 inches which is narrower and shorter than standard-sized quartz slab that measures 120 by 55 inches or the jumbo-sized quartz slab at 129 by 65 inches.

While the smaller size makes it easier to install granite slabs as the granite installers have an easier time handling the slabs, the slabs cover a smaller area; hence you have to purchase many of them. It also means you have many unsightly seams to deal with.

Wider and taller quartz slabs allow you to cover small and large countertop areas with fewer slabs. This means more savings and fewer seams.

Maintenance and durability

Although, both materials are durable, granite is relatively porous hence requires sealing after installation, then periodic sealing on an ongoing basis. Granite slabs also tend to have natural flaws that make them prone to cracking.

Quartz doesn’t require any sealing and its uniform throughout, which means it rarely cracks.

The resins in quartz slabs makes them highly resistant to staining compared to granite. The resins also make quartz less susceptible to harboring bacteria.

Which one is better?

Your choice between the two is solely dependent on your preferences. You might be attracted to the natural veining and beauty of granite slabs or be drawn to the consistency of quartz.

Regardless of the material you choose, you should note that none is DIY friendly so you will have to hire granite contractors Durham to help you with the installation.

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.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Granite Countertops

granite countertops

When you ask any homeowner, they will tell you that they want granite countertops. The countertops have been around for a long time, and they are not only durable, but they also significantly improve the look of the house.

For you to buy countertops you will be proud of, you need to be ultra-cautious when making the purchase. Some of the factors you should consider when buying include:

Your tastes and preferences

There is no way you are going to be proud of your purchase if it doesn’t suit your tastes and preferences. So, for you to be happy, ensure that the countertops look good in your eyes.

When you are in the countertop store, ask yourself several questions:

  • Do you love a stable or moving countertop?
  • A light or dark-colored one?
  • When you think about the perfect countertop, what comes to your mind?
  • Do you love straight lines or right angles?
  • Are you a lover of details?
  • What about vein style. Do you like it?

Most of the countertop companies have plenty of countertops that you might be confused about the right one to go for. To avoid this, talk to your fabricator, who will guide you on the right piece. It’s also wise that you carry the slab to your house and see how it blends with the rest of the house.

Remember, you might like the look of the countertop while at the store only for it to be unpleasant at home.

The size of the kitchen

Do you have a large or small kitchen? The size of your kitchen will significantly affect the type of countertop that you should go for. If you have a small kitchen, go for a light-colored granite.

The countertop will make the kitchen look spacious and smarter, even with little natural light.

Are you one of the lucky people, and you have a large kitchen? Experiment with dark colors. Carry a few dark-colored slabs to your home and see how they look in your kitchen.

The pattern of the countertops is also heavily influenced by the size of the kitchen. Three primary patterns that you can go for fare, speckled, solid, and marbled. Solid granite is an excellent choice for smaller kitchens.

Avoid a busy pattern when you have a smaller kitchen as it makes the kitchen look cramped and confused.

For a large kitchen, go with marbled or speckled countertops. You can also try out two granite colors and see how they look.

Quality of the stone

Granite is known for its durability, but there is no way it will withstand the test of time if it’s of poor quality. Luckily, you can easily tell the quality of the stone by looking at several factors such as:

  • Veins
  • Fissures
  • Surface pitting
  • Inclusions
  • Shade variation
  • Color concentrations

Edging of the countertops

There is no right or bad edging for your countertop. Whether you go for straight, bullnose, or beveled edge, you will significantly improve the look of your home. The safety aspects of your home should influence your edging choice. If you have small children, it would be dangerous to have a straight-edged countertop.

In such a scenario, you will be better off with a beveled or bullnose countertop edge.

Kitchen cabinets

You can buy the highest quality and most expensive countertops, but there is no way they will look good if they don’t match your cabinets. For a great look, ensure that your countertops match your cabinets.

You can match the granite with the cabinets in two ways: matching the color with the cabinets or pairing the marbling and veining.

When making the purchase, ensure that the counters you choose are the same color as the cabinets with darker veining. For example, pair white spring granite with white cabinets.

Some of the famous pairing examples you can go with include:

  • Dark brown cabinets with green granite
  • Neutral medium-brown maple cabinets with beige, grey and white granite
  • Cherry cabinets with granite such as white, Verde Peacock, and Ubatuba
  • Light to medium oak cabinets with contrasting granite such as black pearl
  • Regardless of the pairing that you choose, ensure that the countertops are installed by reputable granite contractors NC.