Tag Archives: Granite Countertops

Does Painting Kitchen Countertops Work?

If your countertops are old or washed out and you don’t have the money to replace them, one way to improve their look is by painting them.

Most homeowners don’t paint their countertops so you will hear them asking, does painting kitchen countertops work?

The good news is that it works but you have to consider several tips to get ideal results. These tips include:

Prepare the surfaces properly

The paint won’t adhere properly to the surface so you need to ensure that you properly prepare it. How do you go about it?

After removing all the items from your countertop, get out the sanding block and sand your countertop surfaces. Avoid using the electric sander as it creates so much dust that you have a problem clearing it and getting the smooth finish you are looking for.

Although the hand sander takes a longer time to give you the results you are looking for, you are able to get the smooth finish you are looking for.

Remember that if you don’t properly sand your countertops, it’s a matter of time before the paint begins to peel.

Use the right painting tools

There is no way you are going to achieve ideal results if you use the wrong tools. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you use paint designed for countertops. This calls for you to avoid wall paints, as they aren’t made to withstand a lot of abuse, heat and spills.

When you are in the stores making the purchase, let the sellers know that you want countertop paint.

When it comes to painting, use a paint roller instead of a brush. The reason for this is because the brush will leave brush strokes on your counters regardless of how good of a painter you are. And you don’t want brush strokes on your surfaces, do you?

To avoid a bumpy counter., use smooth-textured rollers. You should only use a brush when you are applying paint on the edges or other delicate areas. When applying the paint, use the same brush to ensure that the brush strokes don’t show.

If your kitchen is large, you have a large countertop space and you will be too tired painting it with a roller. To save time, hire or buy a paint sprayer.

The cool thing is that besides the sprayer making it possible to complete your work fast, it also gives you a seamless finish and you can paint even the corners and edges even better than with a brush.

Take your time

Like any other project, there is no way you will achieve ideal results if you are in a hurry to get things done. When you are in a hurry painting the countertops, you won’t sand the surfaces properly so the paint will start peeling after a few weeks.

When you are in a hurry, you won’t give the paint enough time to dry which increases its chances of peeling off later on.

To avoid this, have enough time to dedicate as much time to the painting project as much as possible.

As mentioned above, you need to thoroughly sand the surfaces for the paint to properly adhere to the surfaces so you need to have enough time to do it in no hurry.

Each coat of paint requires at least 24-48 hours to dry before you apply another and for the best outcome,  apply at least three coats. You need to have this time to see your project to fruition.

To ensure that you aren’t in a hurry, ensure that you have at least a week for painting and a week or two for the sealant to cure. This calls for you to do the project during your holidays or on your job leave.

To ensure that the paint doesn’t take too long to dry and the sealant to cure, do the project in the summer.

Seal the countertops

Once you are done with the painting, apply a sealant to prevent the paint from chipping. Granite countertop installers NC advise that the sealer can make or damage your countertops so splurge on the best sealer in the market.

As a rule of thumb, avoid a cheap sealer, as it will ruin your project.

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.

What Should You Avoid With Granite Countertops?

If you recently installed granite counters, you know the price they come at—they are not cheap, and you wouldn’t want to reinstall them after a few days or months, would you?

To ensure that the countertops last for as long as possible, avoid doing things that can harm them. Are you wondering what should you avoid with granite countertops? Well, there are plenty of things you should avoid, with the common ones being:

Sitting on the countertops.

The countertops appear tough and solid that when you are in the kitchen preparing the meals or having a friend over, you sit on the countertops. Others step on the countertops when reaching the top shelf or replacing the bulb. This is wrong.

While the countertops look strong, they have small fissures that can crack when you place a lot of weight on them, so you should avoid sitting or stepping on your countertops. You also should avoid placing heavy items such as large water bottles on the countertops as these too can lead to the countertops cracking.

To avoid sitting on the countertops, always have a chair in the kitchen to sit on. You also should have a stool or small ladder to step on when you are looking to replace the bulb or reach the top shelf.

Leaving spills on the surfaces

Since you regularly seal granite counters, you don’t have to worry about spills as the water can’t get into the deeper granite layers, right? Wrong!

Even with sealing, the water and other liquid spills can penetrate deeper granite layers when you allow them to sit on the countertops for too long.

So regardless of how often or the quality of sealer you use, ensure that you remove the spills as soon as they happen. Never leave them on the surface for too long.

Cutting materials directly on the surfaces

The same way people stand or sit on the countertops as they appear strong and tough, they cut materials directly on the surfaces, which, as you can tell, is wrong. Although, they are made from stone, chopping your meat or vegetables directly on the surfaces puts the surfaces at the risk of cuts, chips, and scratches that can dull them.

There is also the risk of dulling the knives, which increases the risk of lacerations.

To keep your countertops in top shape for a long time, avoid chopping directly on them.

Whether chopping meat or vegetables, ensure that you use a cutting board.

Remember that knives can cause damage even when you leave them laying on the surfaces, so don’t simply leave them on the countertop surface—keep them inside a protective knife block.

Cleaning the countertops using acidic cleaners

When you have stains, it’s only logical to clean them using vinegar and other tough solutions, right? Wrong.

While you might be having clean intentions, your execution is wrong, and it can lead to countertop damage.

Regardless of the stains on your surfaces, steer clear of acidic materials such as vinegar, citrus fruits, ammonia, and others.

The best way to clean the surfaces is to use basic dish soap. If the stains don’t come off, get in touch with an expert to clean the surfaces professionally. The professionals often use cleaners that are tough on the stains but kind on the countertops, so they don’t cause any damage to the countertops.

If the countertop experts attempt to eliminate the stains, but they won’t come off, consider removing the countertops and replacing them with new, stain-free counters.

Storing liquids and toiletries on the counters

In the kitchen, it’s common for homeowners to place cooking oils and other kitchen liquids on the granite kitchen countertops NC. You will find homeowners placing perfumes, lotions, creams, and other products on the bathroom surfaces in the bathroom.

While this might seem harmless, the creams, oils, and lotions can leak from their bottles and spill on the countertops. These products often contain ammonia, mercury, and other materials that can harm your surfaces, so they end up damaging the countertops when they spill.

The situation is even worse if you don’t use the spilling bottle and the harmful chemical stays on the countertops for weeks.

To protect your bathroom and kitchen countertops, don’t place the liquids and toiletries on the countertops. Instead, place them on shelves or decorative trays.

4 Excellent Kitchen Countertop Options

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

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

Granite countertops

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

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

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

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

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

Quartz countertops

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

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

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

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

Marble countertops

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solid surface countertops

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

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

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

Guide On Replacing Kitchen Countertops On Budget

If you are thinking about undertaking countertop replacement, the cost of replacing the countertops might be an issue, especially if you don’t have a lot of money. The cool thing is you don’t need a lot of money to replace the countertop as there are plenty of other options you can use.

To help you out, here is a guide on replacing kitchen countertops on a budget:

Painting the countertops

Are your countertops simply old-looking? You don’t have to replace them as you don’t have the money to do it. Instead, you should simply paint them.

Begin with sanding the countertops with a pad sander to scuff up the surfaces to make it easy for the primer and paint to adhere.

When choosing sandpaper, be cautious of the one you go to. As a rule of thumb, avoid sandpaper with rough grit as it will leave deep scratches that will show through the newly painted surface, and you don’t want this.

When it comes to painting, avoid the brush, especially you are new at it, as you will leave unsightly brush marks. Instead of the brush, use spray paint and sealer.

You can also use a dense sponge roller to apply the primer and paint, then seal the paint with four coats of polyurethane to protect the finish.

Cover the countertops

If the countertops are extremely out of shape, you should consider covering them with different materials. You can use fabric, wood veneer or metal. It all depends on you and the results you are looking for.

If you don’t have money to hire a professional to help with the covering, choose an easy covering method such as using fabric or paper that you can even do by yourself.

When covering the countertops using fabric or paper, ensure that you use a 6-inch dense foam roller instead of a brush, then cover the surface with several coats of polyurethane sealer.

Begin with washing the fabric to preshrink it, remove the sizing, and carefully place it on the countertops.

Use countertop remnants

Using countertop remnants can save you a lot of money, and the beauty is the remnants are easy to find. In fact, all you need to do is to visit the countertop discount shops, and you will find them at a very low price. You will find them free in some cases as some countertop shops are desperate to get rid of them.

Some of the best remnants to go for are quartz, marble or granite. For the best deal, avoid remnants in a bundle, so when you are in the stores, avoid the remnants that are placed together with the slabs they came with.

Install butcher block countertops

Butcher block countertops are cheap, and they give your home a cottage feel. You can also install them by yourself without a lot of specialized skills.

When you are shopping for butcher block countertops, go for butcher block slabs. While the countertops might not be selected for quality, they are easy to install, and with basic skills, you can biscuit the joints together, and you have a beautiful kitchen countertop.

The countertops are also designed to hide imperfections, so even if you make a few mistakes, you are sure that the countertops won’t show these flaws.

To keep the countertops looking spectacular, finish them with food-grade oil or polyurethane.

Install laminate countertops

Laminate countertops have been around for a long time, and they are often the go-to countertop materials for people working with small budgets. Like butcher block, laminate gives your house a good look at a small cost, and they are easy to install even with basic construction skills.

You should note that unlike before when you had to settle for flat edges when you chose laminate countertops, modern advances have made it possible to go for specialty edges that give the countertops an upscale look.

Install granite countertops

Many people believe that granite countertops Raleigh are high-end and unreachable, but this isn’t the case. While some granite counters are expensive, it’s not the case across the board.

When you are operating on a tight budget, go for obvious colors such as white and green. As a rule of thumb, avoid rare colors such as red as the countertops will be too expensive.

Why Is Granite So Popular?

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

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

Granite is durable

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

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

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

Granite stays clean

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

Every piece of granite is unique.

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

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

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

Granite countertops are form-fitting.

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

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

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

You can repair granite counters.

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

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

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

Granite instantly increases your home value.

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

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

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

Granite countertops are a great choice.

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

Does Black Granite Need To Be Sealed?

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

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

How does the granite sealant work?

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

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

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

How often should you seal the countertops?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who should apply the sealant?

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

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

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

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

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

What are Corian countertops?

Most people know about granite, marble, and quartz countertops, but there are plenty of other countertop materials you should know about. For example, you should know about Corian countertops.

Corian is the brand name of a solid surface countertop created by DuPont. These countertops are made from a natural mineral blend and acrylic polymer composed of Alumina Trihydrate. Although the countertops mimic the appearance of a stone, they have several distinct properties that make them great countertop choices.

Corian countertops pros and cons

Like other countertops, Corian countertops have their good and bad sides.

Pros

Affordable

Compared to granite, quartz, marble, and other countertops in the market, Corian countertops are much cheaper, making them affordable for most people.

They conduct electricity

This is a unique feature that you won’t find in most countertop materials. While this feature might sound gimmicky to most homeowners, it’s real, and you can work with your technicians and install it on your countertops making it possible to charge your phone wirelessly on the countertops.

While this feature might not be attractive to most homeowners, it comes in handy to those that love cooking while reading recipes on their phones or iPads.

If you are thinking about installing this feature on your countertops, you should note that it will cost you, and you will need to give your countertops special care.

It’s non-porous

Unlike marble and granite, Corian countertops are non-porous, meaning that wine, water, and other liquids won’t easily seep through when you spill on them. This makes the countertops easy to maintain and gives you peace of mind that stains won’t easily come about.

The non-porous nature of the countertops also means that you won’t have to keep sealing the countertops to keep them impermeable to liquids.

Cons

Corian isn’t durable.

Although Corian is affordable, it doesn’t have a long life. This means that when you install it, you will have to replace it several times in your lifetime, and as you can guess, this makes the countertop expensive to have.

One of the reasons the countertop has a short life is because it’s prone to scratches and heat damage, so when you consistently place hot pots on it, it gets damaged, and you have to replace it.

How to maintain Corian countertops

Like other countertops in the market, the key to extending the life of Corian countertops is to take good care of them. How do you do this? Here is how to go about it:

Clean the countertops routinely.

Like other countertops, you have to clean the countertops to keep them looking good. The beauty is you don’t have to be fancy how you go about it. Clean the countertops with dish soap and water to eliminate everyday dirt, grime, and food residues.

Once you are done, dry the countertops with a soft cloth to prevent hard water marks and streaks from forming. The soft cloth also makes the countertops look glossy.

For stubborn dirt, get rid of it using an ammonia-based spray cleaner. When buying the cleaner, pay close attention to the packaging and ensure you aren’t buying a glass or window cleaner. While these have ammonia, they will leave streaks on your countertops, and you don’t want this.

To prevent hard water marks and stains, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen.

Regularly polish the countertops.

Corian countertops come with a semi-gloss, matte, and high gloss finish that you can easily maintain by regularly polishing them. While there isn’t a countertop that will give off the same shiny look you find in granite, you can buff and enhance the look of the countertop with glossy finishes.

All you need to do is spray the polish on the countertops, then buff with a dry, soft cloth.

Protect the countertops from damage

As mentioned above, the reason Corian countertops don’t last as long as granite countertops Raleigh and other countertop materials is because they are easily damaged, so you should protect them from damage.

One way to do it is to protect them from hot pots and pans using oven mitts, trivets, and thick towels. You also should avoid cutting directly on the countertops or sitting on them.

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.

What Can You Do With Old Countertops?

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

Update the countertops

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

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

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

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

Trash the countertops

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

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

Donate the old countertops

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

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

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

Turn your countertops into a new product.

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

Recycle the countertops

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

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

Preparing for new countertops

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

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

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