Tag Archives: Granite Countertops

What Are Peel And Stick Countertops?

If you don’t like the current look of your countertops or you are looking to undertake countertop replacement and you have been doing research on the countertop options available in the market, you must have come across peel and stick countertops.

What are peel and stick countertops?

These countertops are just as they sound. You peel and stick them to your countertops. The countertops resemble wallpaper and have a sticky backing that you adhere directly over your existing countertops.

They come in a wide range of colors and styles including granite, gold, faux marble, soapstone, and concrete.

The countertops are made through the same process as vinyl flooring, and they have a PVC vinyl base onto which an image or pattern is printed.

When should you install peel and stick countertops?

As you are installing the countertops, you should note they aren’t a permanent solution. So, when you install them, you shouldn’t think that you have completely fixed your countertop problems.

The countertops make the most sense when you have beat up countertops you want to cover up, but you don’t have a lot of money for the project. Since the countertops are cheap, you simply buy them and slap them onto your surfaces and you immediately improve the look of your counters.

The countertops also make sense when you recently moved to a rented house and you don’t like the look of the current countertops. We all have different tastes and if you don’t like how the landlord-installed countertops look, you can buy the peel and stick countertops and place them on top of the already installed countertops.

How do you install the countertops?

If you feel these countertops will transform your surfaces, you should go ahead and install them. How do you do this? Here are the steps to follow:

Prepare and clean the countertops

Begin with removing all the items from your countertops, then spray the surfaces with a de-greasing agent to remove oils and grease that might be on the surfaces. You should then scrub the surfaces with a scrub brush, then dry the counters with a rag.

Secure old countertop material

If your countertops are old and worn out, chances are there are some loose materials. Before you install the new countertops, hold these loose materials in place with an adhesive.

If there are lifted pieces, clamp them in place with a C-Clamp or place weights on the loose area to bond the existing countertop to the substrate.

Fill the holes

If you have had your countertops for a long time, they most likely have low spots and divots. Your new countertops won’t look good with these holes in place, so fill them with epoxy repair putty before installing the new countertops.

You should fill the depression so it’s slightly above the existing countertop. Give the epoxy putty two to three hours to dry before you go to the next step.

Even out the surface

Remember the depression you filled above the countertop? Now it’s time to even it out. Use 100-grit sandpaper to sand down the high spots. The sandpaper will work better when you wrap it around a sanding block. Once you are done, use a clean towel to wipe away any excess debris brought about by sanding.

Arrange the countertop tiles

Once the countertops are clean and even, now lay the peel and stick countertops and arrange them in your desired configuration. Fit the tiles tightly against each other and leave the protective paper on the backs in place.

Set the countertops in place

Peel the protective paper backing from the first tile and set it in place on the countertops. Begin along an edge and align the peel and stick tiles to the edges of your countertops. While at it, rub a rag over the surfaces of the set tile while pressing so it adheres to the surface.

Continue peeling off the protective paper and making the necessary cuts with a utility knife. Remember to use a metal straightedge to keep the cuts straight.

To get good adhesion, roll a heavy rolling pin over the tiles This ensures the tiles lay flat, preventing them from curling up at the corners or shifting.

You don’t need a contractor

Unlike with granite and other natural stone kitchen countertops Durham, you don’t need a professional to install these countertops. With the right tools and a few YouTube videos, you can perfectly install peel and stick countertops on your own.

4 Problems With Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops make excellent kitchen countertops for those that can’t afford marble or granite countertops. While the countertops are super affordable, and you can install them by yourself, they come with their fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common problems with concrete countertops and how to solve them:

They easily crack

The countertops can crack either soon after installation or later on down the line. The risk is heightened when you use poured in place concrete instead of pre-cast concrete.

Thankfully, you can prevent the cracks from coming about by adding rebar, fiber reinforcement, or wire mesh. If you do this, but cracking still happens, don’t fret as you can fix it. How do you do this?

Use a material that can bond to the concrete to restore its appearance and prevent liquid penetration that could stain the countertops. The material you use should be flexible and strong or stronger than concrete, so future cracking doesn’t happen.

You can seal the crack by yourself or hire a professional to help you out. If you opt to go the DIY route, start the process by cleaning the crack. If the oil or stains have penetrated the crack and discolored the concrete, address the stains before repairing the crack.

If the countertops are new and unstained, apply more sealer down into the crack by rubbing the sealer in with your gloved fingers. For you to repair the crack, the sealer should penetrate the crack and fill it.

A good sealer has low surface tension, so it readily wets out the concrete and has a low viscosity.

For best results, avoid topical sealers as they don’t penetrate and fill the cracks. This is because the sealers have low solid content.

Unlike other problems that worsen with size, it’s not the case with concrete cracks. The larger they are, the easier they are to fix, as it’s easier to get materials into the crack.

The countertops scratch easily.

Other than the countertops developing cracks, they also scratch easily, which can give your surfaces a cheap, ugly look. Thankfully, you can seal the minor concrete scratches and restore your countertops.

There are two ways you can do this: touch up the scratch with a sealer or reseal the entire slab.

When using a sealer, be cautious and ensure you are using the right one. As a rule of thumb, avoid a two-part sealer that you have to mix and spray onto your countertop with special equipment.

Your touchup kit should be as simple as possible. One of the best you can go for is the single-component sealer, such as acrylic.

When it comes to brushes, use a “spotter brush” that gives the best results as it’s fine and doesn’t hold a lot of sealer.

After you have touched up the scratch and the touchup is dry, adjust the sheen to match the surrounding finish, and if there is excess material in the touchup, use a razor blade to scrape off the excess.

They chip easily

Like marble and granite countertops, concrete surfaces can chip when they contact sharp objects near the corner of the countertops. The reason these areas are vulnerable is because there is little material available to resist the full impact of the pan, pot, or any other heavy object.

When there is a chip on your countertops, you can fix it in different ways depending on the chip’s nature. If the chip that came off is available and still intact, you need to glue it back on. On the other hand, if the chip fragment is unavailable, fill the damaged area with new material.

Regardless of the method you use, ensure the adhesive or filler you use color matches the countertops.

The countertops are prone to oil stains.

Since the surfaces are porous, they are prone to dark oil stains. Thankfully, you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement Durham when this happens, as you can get rid of the stains using a good poultice. An ideal poultice is a mixture of powdered sugar, baking soda, and flour with acetone.

Spread the poultice on the oil spot, then cover it with plastic wrap taped down to seal in the poultice.

How Can You Tell The Quality Of Granite?

fabricated granite countertops

You have decided to install granite countertops in your home. You visit different stores and identify a few slabs you like but you aren’t satisfied with just any slab—you want the best of the best. How can you tell the quality of granite? You wonder.

To help you out, here are some of the things you should look out for to tell the granite quality:

Appearance

How does the slab look like? Like you can tell a quality piece of clothing, you can tell a quality granite slab.

On first look, how does the stone come across? Are there cracks, scratches, chips, dings, or discolorations on the stone? If they are present, the stone is most likely poor quality, and you should stay away from it.

You also should pay attention to is the size of the slab. A good quality slab should not exceed 1 mm in length and breadth. The thickness tolerance shouldn’t exceed 15% of the actual thickness. If buying the stone for construction work, ensure the slab is at least 15-20 mm thick.

The next thing to look out for is the color of the stone. It should be uniform and the slab should have a homogenous crystalline texture.

You can check the color by rubbing the stone with a cloth dipped in petrol or kerosene. If the cloth brings color, artificial color must have been used, so stay from that slab.

On tapping the stone, it should give a clear ringing sound. The slab should also be hard, sound, and dense. You can check how hard the stone is by pressing it with a hard object. If chips split from the slab, get a new slab.

Polishing

The polishing and cutting quality will help you know the quality of the stone. A quality granite slab should have one face properly polished and the edges straight and perfectly at a right angle.

Scrape the surface with a coin and if the coin leaves scratches, the polishing is poor quality so stay away from the stone.

Check for porosity

Granite is a natural stone and is naturally porous, but manufacturers work hard at reducing the porosity of the stone so most high-quality slabs will have shiny and less absorbent surfaces.

You can test the porosity of the stone by dropping 3-4 droplets of lemon juice on the granite surface. If the slab absorbs lemon juice quickly, granite has high porosity and not well maintained by the manufacturer.

If lemon juice leaves a white stain on top of the granite surface, it means it has a high calcite level, which is a sign of a poor quality stone.

A good quality slab shouldn’t have high porosity. It also shouldn’t stain easily.

You have found a quality slab, what next?

Once you have done your due diligence and ensured the stone you have is high quality, the next step is to take the piece of slab home and see how it looks in your house.

Plenty of homeowners have reported installing countertops, then regretted it as they didn’t like how they looked after installation. Don’t be one of these homeowners.

You might like how a slab looks at the store but when you get it home not like the look. This is because the kitchen has different design, lighting, and other factors.

To be proud of your installation, take the slab you like to your home and see how it looks there. If you don’t like the look return it to the store and get another.

When it comes to installation, don’t hire any contractor you come across. Research and find experienced and certified granite countertop installers Raleigh. The professionals will expertly install your countertops and seal them to prevent stains from developing in the future.

Installing the countertops isn’t enough—you need to take good care of them. At least once a year, ask the contractor to reseal the surfaces so they are stain proof. You also should clean the surfaces regularly to keep off dirt and other debris that might stain the surfaces and give them an off-putting look.

Finally, don’t sit or stand on the countertops as the countertops are known to crack under the extra weight. After all, they aren’t a sofa, are they?

Is It Hard To Change Kitchen Countertops?

If your current countertops are old, out of style, or you simply no longer like them, you can always change them. If this is your first time, you must wonder, is it hard to change kitchen countertops?

The ease of replacing the countertops depends on your skill level. If you have never done it before, it’s wise you don’t do it as you risk causing excessive damage. Instead, hire an installation professional.

On the other hand, if you are a DIY ninja, you can take on the project. To execute the project successfully, you need to consider plenty of factors that include:

Ease of removing the existing countertop material

To install the new countertop material, you have first to remove the existing one. The ease of removing the material depends on the individual material. For example, laminate countertops or solid-surface materials are easy to remove as they are often screwed into place.

Hard stone counters are hard to remove as they easily crack or pit. Thankfully, if you aren’t planning on reusing them, you can crack them, making your work easy.

Plumbing system

The other thing you need to pay attention to is the plumbing systems. When replacing stone or engineered composite countertops such as Silestone, you have to replace the sink unless the sink is mounted under the existing countertop.

When you have to replace the sink, you have to deal with the plumbing issue, as changing the sink will also impact the faucet configuration. In most cases, you will have to replace the faucet upon replacing the countertops.

Quality of the cabinets

You often place countertops on top of cabinets, so you need to think whether the cabinets can carry the additional weight when making the switch.

If you plan to change the cabinets later on down the road, hold off replacing the countertops until you have fixed the cabinets. This is because removing the countertops in the future will be too expensive, not to mention the risk of damaging the countertops in the process.

Also, most contractors refrain from doing it due to the many risks that come with it. To avoid all this, if you don’t like your cabinets’ current look or have always wanted to improve them, first address them. You will even be better off spending money meant for the countertops to fix the cabinets, then find countertop money later on.

The backsplash material

Countertops and backsplash are like yin and yang—they go together. This means when you install the countertops, you need to think about the backsplash as well. For a uniform look, ensure that the countertop materials match or coordinate with the backsplash.

Lighting

You need to think about how the countertops will look at night or when little sunlight is getting in the house. One of the most attractive lightings is under-cabinet lighting that is easy to install but hard to figure out the wiring, so you will need to take your time and understand it.

While attractive, under-cabinet lighting can cause eye-straining glare when you aim it directly onto a polished stone, so you need to be strategic in your installation.

Old appliances.

How your old appliances will look upon installing the new countertops is an important factor to consider. If you have had your appliances for decades, chances are they are too old, and installing new countertops then leaving the appliances in place is synonymous with wearing a new outfit with an old pair of shoes. It doesn’t look good, does it?

If this is your situation, besides thinking about replacing the countertops, also start shopping for new appliances to give your house an inviting, uniform look.

If your appliances are relatively new and in good shape, you have nothing to worry about as they most likely look the part.

Take your time

The key to successfully changing your countertops is to not be in a hurry. Research the best materials that will look the best for your home. You also need to think about how the countertop materials will look after installation.

While you save money when you install the countertops by yourself, it’s always wise to have an expert countertop replacement NC expert do the work as they do a better job. You also have someone to blame if things don’t go as planned, which is good, isn’t it?

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.

How To Polish Marble Countertops

Do you have dull marble countertops and don’t like their unappealing look? Don’t worry as you can easily restore gleam. How do you do it? Here are steps on how to polish marble:

Step 1: Clean the countertops

Cleaning the countertops ensures you start with a clean slate. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any surface dirt and debris, then wet a non-abrasive sponge with warm water and use it to wipe the marble top again.

Spray the marble surface with a commercial stone cleaner and wipe it off with a clean, soft rag or a mild dishwashing liquid. Once you are done, rinse it well with plain water.

If you used a commercial cleaner, use a clean damp rag to wipe the marble cleaner. You should then dry with a chamois or an unused microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Remove stains

Since marble is porous, it tends to easily develop stains, especially if you don’t take good care of it. Before you proceed with polishing, you need to get rid of these stains. How do you do this?

If you have the budget, buy a commercial marble stain remover. If you don’t have the money or you love making your own things, you can make your own stain remover by mixing one tablespoon of ammonia into a half cup of hydrogen peroxide then slowly add just enough baking soda to make a thick, creamy texture.

You should then spread the poultice over the stained areas using a clean paintbrush and cover it with a plastic wrap. Leave the poultice in place for 12-24 hours, remove the wrap and let it dry out completely.

Using a razor blade, carefully scrape the crumbly poultice while taking care you don’t gouge or dig at the marble surface. You should then clean away any remaining poultice residue with a damp cloth then wipe the marble dry.

Step 3: Buff out the etching with a polishing powder

If your countertops have severe etching, don’t waste your time or money with polishing powder. Instead, hire a professional to look into it. On the other hand, if your countertops have minor etching from acidic foods and cleansers, you can remove them easily using a polishing powder that you can buy from a home improvement store.

After getting the powder, wipe it over the etched areas with a water-dampened cloth, then sprinkle small amounts of the powder onto the etched spots. You should then gently buff the powder into the blemishes with a damp cloth, then follow with a clean, damp rag to the powder residue.

You should finally wipe the countertops dry to reveal the restored shine.

Step 4: Seal the countertops.

After polishing the surfaces, seal the marble countertops to retain the shine and resist major stains. You can use topical or impregnator sealants.

From their name, topical sealants sit on the top of the marble and prevent staining while impregnators go below the surface and repel water and oils while still allowing marble to breathe.

Your countertops will look best when you seal them with an impregnator.

You can do the sealing by yourself or let a professional handle it. If doing the work yourself, begin purchasing the sealant from your local hardware store, then apply it on the surface.

After applying the sealant, give it a few minutes to dry. You should note you shouldn’t let it fully dry as it will streak. After 10-20 minutes, wipe off the sealant residues using a dry cloth.

You should then allow your marble to sit 6-8 hours without placing anything on it.

Retaining the shine

Other than sealing the countertops, you need to take good care of your countertops, so you maintain the shine. How do you do this?

Clean the surfaces with the right products: While you might be up to good when cleaning the surfaces, you might be harming them by using the wrong products. As a rule of thumb, you should never use bleach or cleaning products containing alkaline or any acidic substances as they will degrade the sealer and expose your countertops.

Remove spills as soon as they happen: Even if you have sealed your kitchen countertops Raleigh, it’s stupid to leave the liquid on the surfaces for a long time as it tends to penetrate the porous marble, leaving ugly stains that are difficult to remove.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen or as soon as you notice them.

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.

Granite Kitchen Countertops: What To Put On Kitchen Countertop For Decoration?

Imagine this. You have installed granite kitchen countertops or any other countertop material of your choice. Should you leave it bare or decorate it? If you love a decorated kitchen, decorating your countertops can be tricky as you have to ensure the decorative accessories don’t get in the way of cooking.

If you are wondering what to put on the kitchen countertop for decoration, there are plenty of things you can use. Here are some of them:

Cooking books

Love trying out different recipes and have several cookbooks on your bookshelf? Why not bring them to your countertops? The books give your surfaces an elegant appeal, and you can place them on any countertop surface. If you want to amp up the look, use bookends.

Everyday appliances

If you are like other homeowners, there are several appliances you use every day. These include a blender, mixer, coffee maker, rice cooker, tea kettle, and others. If you use these appliances every day, there is no need to add any other decorative items on your surfaces as you risk giving it a disorganized look.

Strategically place these appliances in your kitchen surfaces, giving the surfaces an elegant appeal and a sense of space.

You should get rid of appliances that you rarely use. For example, put away the blender that you use only once a week.

Cutting boards

Did you know you can improve the appeal of your kitchen with cutting boards? Get several boards of different types, shapes, and colors, then strategically lean them against your kitchen backsplash.

To make the cutting boards the center of attention, ensure there aren’t many appliances on the countertops.

Fruits

Since most fruits don’t require refrigeration and can last for a few days under the room temperature, they make excellent decorative accessories for your kitchen surfaces. Collect a few of your favorite fruits of different colors, place them on a large plate, and then place them at your counters’ strategic areas.

Great fruits you can go for are: lemons, limes, oranges, and apples. Oh…ensure the fruits are fresh. There is no way dry, decaying fruits will do good to your surfaces.

Plants

It’s amazing how a single potted plant gives your space a refreshing touch. In addition to transforming your home’s look, plants also give your surfaces an appealing, organic feel.

To transform your home, find a few of your favorite indoor plants and display them in a stylish pot or planter. If you are out of the house for extended periods, choose low maintenance plants.

If you aren’t sure about the right plants and planters to use, get a professional’s input.

Fresh flowers

Do you love flowers? Why not find a few and use them to decorate your countertops? Well done flowers bring in an organic and refreshing touch to your surfaces. Unlike plants, flowers tend to wilt faster, so you will need to replace them more often.

Art pieces

If you ask many homeowners, they will tell you that you can’t display art in the kitchen, but nothing is as further from the truth as this. When well displayed, art pieces can magically transform your surfaces.

Some of the great options you can go with include: dainty sculptures, decorative jars, framed canvases, paintings, and many others.

For best results, be strategic in how you display the art. For example, lean small paintings against the wall or at the end of the counter. You can display the paintings as a single piece or as a series.

When it comes to vases or sculptures, you can layer them into other types of décor, making them serve as the counters’  counters’ focal point.

Soaps

Although, popularly displayed in the bathroom, you can also use soaps as a charming décor on the kitchen counter. Place a few handmade soaps in a big jar, then place them near the kitchen sink or anywhere else.

Parting shot

These are some of the items you can use to decorate your kitchen countertops Durham. For a uniform look, stick to a theme. You can do most of the decorations by yourself but if you feel you can’t, get a professional designer to help you out.

Is Marble Easy To Maintain? Marble Countertops Experts Answer

Marble is one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. While it has been around for a long time, many new homeowners are skeptical about installing it due to its perceived high maintenance. Is marble easy to maintain? You will hear them asking.

Like any other countertop material, marble requires some care. To help you out, here are tips on how to care for marble countertops:

Apply a good sealant

Marble is porous, so you need to seal it to protect it from staining. At the time of purchase, the countertops don’t have any sealing so you have to apply it. If you are a dab hand at DIY, you can do the sealing or, let the countertop company do it.

Thankfully, applying the sealant is simple. Ensure the surface you are working on is clean and dry. If applying the sealer on an old countertop, use acetone to remove the old sealer. By following the instructions on the sealant’s packaging, proceed to apply the sealant to your countertops.

Applying the sealant is easy as all you need to do is to pour it directly on the surfaces then spread it evenly with a clean white cloth. Let the sealer soak for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle a little more over the treated areas.

This way, you will collect and gather excess sealer during cleanup. You should use a clean, dry cloth to remove the excess sealer that hasn’t soaked in. In most cases, a second coat is unnecessary unless the sealer manufacturers recommend it.

Get rid of stains as soon as you notice them.

To avoid stains, it’s recommended you clear spills as soon as they happen. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen, and you are unaware of it. What is the result of this? The liquid gets into the inner layers of the countertops, and you have a stain.

To restore your countertops, you need to get rid of the stains. There are plenty of products you can use to do it. It’s up to you to choose the right ones depending on the type of stain you have.

If you have oil-based stains such as milk, cooking oil, makeup, and others, clean them using a liquid cleanser with ammonia, acetone, mineral spirits, or bleach.

Got mildew stains? Combat them with a solution of three parts household bleach with one part water and a dash of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. You should mist the surface thoroughly and repeat the application until the entire stain goes away. Finally, rinse the area with clear water.

Have you spilled tea, wine, paper, tobacco, coffee, fruit, or any other foods on your precious countertops? Use a 12% hydrogen peroxide solution and a few ammonia drops to clean the surfaces. You should then rinse the surfaces with a wet cloth and dry with a chamois.

If you accidentally spilled paint on the surfaces, remove a small drip with a lacquer thinner dabbed on with a clean cloth. You can also carefully scrape it off with a razor blade. If the paint stain is large, use a paint stripper to remove it. Remember to re-polish the affected area after removal.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Sealing the surfaces is enough, and you can do whatever you want with the surfaces, right? Wrong. Even after sealing the countertops, you still need to be cautious about how you handle the countertops. As a rule of thumb, don’t allow citrus, vinegar, or tomato on the countertops as they can etch the countertops.

You also should avoid sitting or standing on the countertops. Its true marble is strong and tough, but it’s not strong enough to take a lot of weight, especially near the edges. So don’t sit or place heavy objects there as the counters can break.

Clean the surfaces

This is probably the most important thing you have to do to your kitchen countertops NC. And the good side? You don’t have to be fancy about it.

At least once a day, wipe your surfaces with a damp mop or sponge to get rid of loose dirt and any bacteria that might be present.

To avoid damaging the surfaces, avoid using vinegar and other harsh products that can etch the surfaces.

What Is The Best Color For Kitchen Countertops?

With countertops coming in all types of colors, it can be confusing to choose the ideal color for your surfaces. What is the best color for kitchen countertops? You wonder. The right color depends on your tastes, how you use the countertops, and the overall style of your home.

We can’t tell you the right color to choose, but we can guide you on the most popular colors, so you make an informed decision.

Pure white

Pure white countertops give your surfaces a minimalist, new look that is inviting to look at. The white color looks excellent in contemporary surfaces and small spaces such as compact condo kitchens paired with minimalist white cabinets. The white color comes in handy at making your surfaces look big.

White is also a great addition for surfaces that already have a great deal of bold character in other finishes such as grainy wood cabinets.

In conclusion, the white surfaces make an excellent choice if you love crisp, modern style, you want to break up modern wood cabinets, or you love a nautical white and blue scheme.

Black

You should be cautious when choosing the black color as it can look gothic in some situations. An ideal application of the countertops is when you have dark cabinetry, dark floors, and other rich and weighty finishes.

If planning to have a dark-on-dark palette, you should have plenty of light sources. They can be natural, added, or both.  This way, you have your space feeling cozy and sophisticated.

The dark color comes in handy when you are looking to bring out the subtle colors in painted cabinets.

When choosing the color, choose dark gray instead of pure black to soften the look.

Countertop experts highly discourage against having one large black element as it will look out of place. Instead, you should have other sprinklings such as black cabinet knobs and pulls.

Black countertops are for you if:

  • You have dark cabinets, and you are looking for counters to blend in with them.
  • You have a smoky mirrored backsplash common in condos and modern homes.
  • You have colorful, fun cabinets, and you want them to shine.
  • You are looking to achieve a classic black and white scheme.
  • You want to connect to other black elements in your kitchen.

Wood

Wood is an excellent material when you are looking to infuse coolness to your kitchen. Wood countertops make excellent material for a transitional kitchen that balance traditional and contemporary elements.

Wood counters are also an excellent addition to spaces featuring wood cabinets. This makes sense if you are a true wood lover and don’t mind wood dominating your palette.

There are plenty of woods you can go with to give your surfaces a unique look. For example, there are lighter woods that have a casual or rustic feel. These woods can be stained or unstained, depending on your preferences.

There are also the darker woods that have a formal or polished look than the other tones. These make excellent additions for bright and breezy areas with plenty of windows.

When mixing wood counters with other wood finishes, you should stick to either warm or cool tones. This is to prevent them from clashing.

Wood countertops are good for you if you want an accent countertop to contrast with your other surfaces, your white cabinets need some warming up, you want your space to feel more approachable and intimate, and you enjoy a dash of rustic charm.

Gray

Gray is a neutral color, so a perfect material when you aren’t looking to make a statement in your kitchen. For a great look, pair the material with colorful cabinets. One of its greatest applications is tying together light and dark cabinets.

Gray also makes an excellent addition when pairing it with warm metallic accents. For example, if you have a brassy faucet or sink, a gray counter works perfectly at bringing out the warm tones, so they shine their best.

According to granite contractors Raleigh, you should choose gray countertops if you want a soft, friendly vibe with muted tones, you have colorful cabinetry or multiple tones of cabinets mixed together, you have warm metallic accents, or you have a black and white scheme that needs some softening.