Tag Archives: granite counters

Which Granite Is Best For Kitchen Countertop?

If you have been searching for granite kitchen countertops, you must have realized that there are many granite countertops in the market you can go for.

Which granite is best for kitchen countertops? If you are asking this question, you should know that there are many granite types you can go for, with the common ones being:

Black granite counters

Have you always dreamt of a sleek and elegant kitchen? Black granite counters are the way to go. Besides the countertops giving your kitchen an exquisite look, they are dark; hence any stains won’t be too apparent.

For a great look, pair the countertops with wooden cabinets. Going for a modern, sleek look? Match the countertops with gray or white cabinets.

Since the countertops are dark, they will darken your kitchen and give it a smaller look. To counter this, install them in a large kitchen. You also should be having large windows in your kitchen that will bring in as much natural light as possible.

If your kitchen is small and doesn’t get as much natural light, but you still want to install black countertops, pair them with white or light wood cabinets to keep the room feeling open and bright.

White granite countertops

White is known to give any room a fresh, clean, and open look, so white countertops are the way to go if this is the look you have always wanted.

The countertops look their best when you pair them with stainless steel appliances and sleek white cabinets. For a classic vibe, pair them with vintage appliances.

When buying the countertops, you should note that they come in different shades that can give your kitchen different looks. For this reason, you should be ultra-cautious of the shade you go with.

Most homeowners want to install pure white granite, but it’s hard to find as most slabs come with colored flecks.

To avoid investing in an expensive slab you don’t like, take a few samples of the slab with you to your home and see how they look under different lighting environments.

Red granite countertops

Although, you won’t find them in most homes, red granite countertops have been around since time immemorial. A clear indication of how far back they date is their presence in Egyptian pyramids.

Like other granite counters, red granite countertops come in many shades and patterns ranging from bright pinkish-red to deep burgundy. It’s also not uncommon to find red granites with blue, white, or even silver highlights.

Although red seems like an interesting color, it’s not wise to install it on the entire of your countertops.  Instead, install it at the focal points of your kitchen.

To avoid overwhelming your kitchen, keep all the other finishes neutral. For example, go with wood cabinetry in warm tones, then use red accents such as in the backsplash tile to tie your space together.

Green granite countertops

Due to their close association with nature, green granite countertops bring a natural and calming feel to your kitchen. Like the other granite countertops in the market, you will rarely find pure green countertops—most of them come with brown and gray undertones. Most of them will also have interesting flecks, patterns, and swirls.

For the best look, pair green countertops with white cabinets and shiny hardware. The countertops will also look great if you pair them with wood cabinetry, especially if the wood color has cooler tones that complement the green shade.

To know what you are committing to, take a sample slab to your home before making a large purchase.

Blue granite countertops

Did you know there are blue granite countertops? Yes, they are there, and they are valued for their beauty, and as long as you install the right shade, they won’t disappoint.

Green granite countertops work excellently with white cabinets and shiny hardware. They also look exquisite when you pair them with wood cabinetry, especially when the wood color has some cooler tones that complement the countertop’s green color.

Have the countertops professionally installed

Choosing the right granite countertops for your kitchen isn’t enough—you have to ensure they are professionally installed by expert granite contractors Raleigh.

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.

4 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Granite counters are undoubtedly the most popular countertop materials, and every new homeowner dreams of installing them in their home. Unfortunately, it’s not all hunky dory as the countertops have their flaws. Is this your first time you are thinking about installing the countertops? Here are 4 disadvantages of granite countertops you should know about:

They are highly inconsistent.

The countertops are natural, so you can’t expect them to be the same but granite takes the inconsistency to a whole new level.

First, what is referred to as granite in the stone yard and what you purchase for your kitchen isn’t always granite. Many stones are referred to as commercial granite. Meaning a group of stones quarried for use on countertops and share similar characteristics such as high levels of mica, quartz, silica, and feldspar.

True granite is made through volcanic activity where the molten rock cools beneath the earth’s surface. In some cases, the stones labeled and sold as granite aren’t actually igneous rock. Some are dolomites, breccias, and conglomerate stones. All of which are metamorphic or sedimentary rocks.

The granite’s significant inconsistencies mean that there is no standard hardness value, grading, durability, or maintenance. The inconsistency also means that you sometimes have stones that are porous, weak, soft, and others that are so dense such that even thinking about sealing them is wrong.

When you are in the stores making the purchase, all commercial granite is sold and treated equally, so it’s hard to tell what you are buying. Due to this, it becomes an issue of luck. You can buy a soft, weak stone or a tough one that will last your entire lifetime.

To increase your chances of buying a high-quality stone, involve experts. As you are doing your shopping, hire a granite contractor to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you determine how strong the countertop is and when it comes to the granite installation, you won’t waste time finding another installer.

Granite counters have plenty of fissures and pits

Since it’s natural, granite tends to have plenty of natural fissures or pits on its surface. Some of the fissures are harmless, cosmetic cracks or small indentations in the stone, but others are lethal and could actually weaken the countertops’ structure and integrity.

If you are wondering what fissures and pits are, fissures are natural cracks that occur on the stone, and they often occur where two minerals meet. On the other hand, Pits are small holes or indentations in the stone, which often come about when a weaker particle breaks free.

In most cases, it’s hard to tell the nature of a fissure until it opens up or forms a wider crack. Even professionals can’t tell whether the fissure or pit will worsen with time.

Thankfully, most companies apply a resin that makes the countertops stronger and hides the fissures. This means that when you polish the countertop, you cause the light to bounce off the countertop, which comes in handy at hiding the fissures, pits, and other imperfections.

The countertops come with too many color variations

Although the color variations might be a plus for some people as it means more countertop options to choose from, it can be a negative if one section of the stone is significantly different from the rest. Or you have a countertop that has a significant shift in color or pattern from one end of the stone to the next.

Due to the color variations, you should be ultra-cautious when purchasing as the color might look great at the store but be awful when you bring it home.

Before you commit to buying large countertop slabs, first carry a small sample to your home and see how the slab looks in the house. Only proceed with the purchase if you like how the countertop looks.

The countertops don’t have the same durability.

Make no mistake about it. Some granite counters are incredibly durable and will even last several generations, but others, such as those shipped from China, are weak and won’t last long enough. In fact, these stones will sag over time if you don’t support them.

To extend the life of the kitchen countertops Durham, support them on the kitchen islands, overhangs, desk, and other areas.

Is Granite Countertop Out Of Style?

Is granite countertop out of style? This is a question we get so often when new homeowners are looking to install countertops for the first time. The short answer is NO. Granite is not going out of style. In fact, it’s not going anywhere soon.

One of the primary reasons is because granite countertops are 100% natural, and like wood, plants, and stones, it won’t go out of style. Not sure whether you should go for granite? Consider these points:

Granite selection isn’t static.

Granite comes in plenty of colors and patterns to choose from. While there are some colors such as Indian Coffee brown, Uba tuba granite, and Giallo ornamental granite that are more popular than others, there are still plenty of colors, some that are even yet to be discovered that you can go for.

Since granite is natural, it’s infrequent to find two identical slabs.

It’s easy to re-decorate around granite to change the look of the room.

If you feel your house will look tacky after installing granite, think about how you can change the room’s look by re-decorating around the stone. One of the ways is painting the area around in paint colors that can go with granite.

If you don’t like the countertops’ current look, you can always change the color of your old appliances.

Thinking about these things beforehand helps you know the changes you can make to your countertops if you are bored with them instead of focusing on the trends.

Focus on creating a beautiful space

To ensure your countertops never go out of style, you should avoid paying too close attention to fashion and popularity. Instead, buy countertops that are pleasing to your eyes and meet your ideals.

Guide to buying granite counters

Buying the right countertop materials is the key to getting the most from them. Unfortunately, it takes time to choose materials that are beautiful and durable. To have an easy time, consider these tips when making your purchase:

Buy thick counters

When buying the countertops, avoid cheap materials, as, like other cheap products, they don’t last long. They also don’t give you a look you are looking for.

For best results, avoid the popular ¾ inch countertops as they are more fragile and require laminate edges and supports. To be sure the counters will last for long and give you the results you are looking for, avoid any slabs that are less than 1 inch.

Be on the lookout for hairline cracks and natural pits.

While the cracks and natural pits add natural beauty to the stone, they sometimes increase the countertops’ chances of getting damaged, especially if the countertops are less than 1 inch thick.

While at the store, ask the countertop fabricator or seller to explain how the different imperfections affect the stone and whether they are of any harm to your countertops.

Buy seamless granite counters.

Although, the seamless counters are more expensive, they often look better. Over time, the seams look ugly, so although the countertops might be looking nice now, they will be so unpleasant to look at to the extent you will have to replace them in five to ten years.

Visit the countertop store.

While there are many online stores you can buy your slabs from and have them delivered, it’s still good to visit the physical stores and check the countertop slabs by yourself.

While there, carefully inspect every slab and even carry a piece to your home and see how it blends with the other home appliances and counters. If you don’t like how the slab looks, return it to the store and get a new one.

Hire a granite contractor beforehand

Many people walk to the countertop stores by themselves. While there is nothing wrong with this, you often pick the wrong material, which results in wastage of time and money.

To avoid this, hire granite countertop installers NC beforehand. This way, the contractor will help you choose the right countertop for your home. They will even point you to the right countertop store to buy from.

The last thing you want is buying a countertop with resin stains, large cracks, and other imperfections, forcing you to return the slab then pick it up again.

8 Tips On How To Keep Kitchen Countertops Clear

Keeping your kitchen countertops clear of clutter not only keeps them looking good, but it also prevents accidents from coming about. Wondering how to keep kitchen counters clear? Here are tips on how to do it:

Have as little as possible on your countertops

This is the foundation of everything. Instead of having plenty of things on your surfaces, store them in organized cabinets and drawers. Save your countertop space only for the absolutely necessary essentials.

Many homeowners treat their countertops as drop-offs for keys, magazines, dirty dishes, and other items. Don’t do this.

When it comes to appliances, only have the absolutely essential ones. These are the ones that you use every day, such as coffee makers, cookers, toaster, oven, and others. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it for a week, you don’t need it on your counters. Lock it up.

Don’t use the fridge as an art gallery.

Visit many homes, and you will find all things on the refrigerators: photos, notes, lists, magnets, and plenty of other things. You might have the impression that this makes you look cool, but it’s not the case. It actually makes the kitchen look dirty and disorganized.

For a cleaner kitchen, keep it simple. If you have no emotional connection to a photo, don’t need that note or magnet, get rid of it.

Have a catch-all bowl

It’s normal to have papers, knickknacks, and other small items here and there. Since you can’t always put these in storage all the time, you should have a junk bowl on your countertops to catch the items.

At the end of every week, sort through the collection and put the different items in the right place.

If you must have things on your counters, don’t leave them haphazardly there. Place them on trays or stands to avoid the messy hodge-podge look.

Stick the microwave in your kitchen island

The microwave is large and can take up a huge chunk of the precious counter space. Unfortunately, you can’t put it in the cupboard and be pulling it in and out every time you want to use it.

What is the solution to this? Stick it on the kitchen island.

Make your sink multifunctional.

When buying a new sink, go for one that performs more than one function. For example, you can go for one with mini ledges inside the sink that make it easy to easily pop in the drying rack, cutting board, wash pan and at the same time have space to stack and wash the dirty dishes.

While such a sink will be a little expensive, it will be worth it as it will save you a lot of space.

Add pretty but functional items.

You should note that having clutter-free counters doesn’t mean you can’t have anything on them. You can have your desired items, but they should be attractive and add some functionality to your counters.

For example, you can have jars on the counters that look pretty and carry grains and other materials.

Have decluttering rules

If you have many people living in the same house, have rules that will keep the counters clear. Some of the rules you can have include:

  • Dirty dishes should always go directly in the sink or dishwasher but never on the counter.
  • After cleaning the dishes, always clean the countertop surfaces.
  • Don’t place the paperwork on the kitchen counters.
  • Kitchen cabinets and drawers should always stay organized all the time, so every item in the kitchen has a place.

Add storage areas on your counters.

For items such as knife blocks and others that take up a lot of space, add more storage areas. Some of the storage ideas you can use to your advantage include:

  • Hook for keys
  • Wall hanging fruit basket
  • Wall-mounted paper towel holder.
  • Shelves for cookbooks
  • Wall-mounted racks for commonly used spices.
  • Magnetic strips or backsplash for knives and other utensils

You can also have a pocket inside your cabinet door to store your baking sheet and cutting board. Like your granite countertops Durham, keep the storage areas clean and free from unnecessary junk. You don’t want them messy and disorganized.