Tag Archives: granite expert

What To Put On Kitchen Counters To Decorate?

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

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

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

Fresh fruits

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

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

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

Cookbooks

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

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

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

Plants

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

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

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

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

Cutting boards

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

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

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

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

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

Fresh flowers

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

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

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

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

Why Is Granite So Popular?

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

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

Granite is durable

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

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

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

Granite stays clean

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

Every piece of granite is unique.

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

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

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

Granite countertops are form-fitting.

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

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

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

You can repair granite counters.

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

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

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

Granite instantly increases your home value.

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

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

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

Granite countertops are a great choice.

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

Does Black Granite Need To Be Sealed?

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

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

How does the granite sealant work?

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

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

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

How often should you seal the countertops?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who should apply the sealant?

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Tips On How to Break Granite Countertops

Granite is one of the most robust materials you can install in your home. With its unique, attractive colors, the material gives your kitchen an attractive and adorable look. Unfortunately, like other countertop materials, it wears out, gets old, or gets damaged, so you have to replace it.

Removing the countertop requires skills and strength. Are you wondering how to break granite countertops? Here is a guide on how to do it:

Get the necessary equipment.

You need to have the right tools for the job to break granite. The tools you need include: rubber gloves, bucket, air hammer drill, safety goggles, and Dexpan or any other explosive demolition agent.

Mark a line

Using water-soluble chalk, mark a line where you want to break granite. You should then drill holes measuring 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide into the granite slab along the line. For best results, space the holes 12-24 inches apart while ensuring each hole is 80% the total depth of the granite slab.

Mix the demolition agent

Following the package instructions, mix the non-explosive demolition agent with clean water. The best way to do is to mix one part agent with three parts water in a bucket until the powder has completely dissolved into the liquid. To protect yourself, wear rubber gloves and safety goggles.

Clean the holes

You should clean the holes with an air compressor before filling them with the mixture. You should fill the holes 2 inches from the top with the mixture then back away. Allow 45 -60 minutes for the mixture to expand within the hole, causing the granite to break along the line you created.

Avoid pouring the mixture when the temperatures are incredibly high. If possible, pour the mixture in the night and allow granite to break early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set. If the holes are exposed to direct sunlight, cover them with a tarp until the slab breaks.

Clear the area

After breaking granite, you should now make a move to remove the countertops. Before you begin removing the countertops from your surfaces, remove any countertop accessories and appliances present. You also should empty drawers and products contained in the bottom rack of your drawers to prevent dust contamination and provide uncomplicated access towards the countertops.

Remember also to clear the utensils and cookware region.

Release the area

Identify the connection in the area between the cabinet’s front brace and the bottom of the countertop. You should look inside the head of the cabinet to see it. Using a hammer, hit the edge of the pry bar then screw softly to release any glue.

If you find plywood underneath the granite, work under it to detach or separate it from plywood. You should then tap a wooden shim into the already open joint to hold the countertop in that area. You should operate along the front side, screwing and shimming before you slowly raise the entire front rim.

Raise granite away from the cabinet supports

Using a pry bar, raise granite away from the cabinet supports beginning from the front and over to the back. Remember to insert shims as you proceed. You should proceed lightly to avoid breaking granite. Work along the length of the countertop, prying back only the next few centimeters.

You should continue working in section until you raise the entire countertop from one end to the other.

Tilt the countertop

Working together with a few assistants, slowly tilt the countertop from the back edge and transfer the granite to your place for storage.

You should store the granite with the top facing down. If granite has plywood underneath that needs to be replaced, carefully pry it free. Be gentle and lightly detach the seal and extract the plywood. If there is extra plywood remaining, pull or paint it with a sturdy scraper from the granite base.

Parting shot

Breaking and removing granite kitchen countertops Durham isn’t hard when you have the right removal tools and know what you are doing. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can save some money by doing the work yourself but for best results and avoid damaging the cabinets in the process, let experts help you out.

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

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

Make a granite cutting board.

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

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

Make earthly coasters

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

Design a tabletop

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

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

Turn the slab into a shelve

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

Make a mosaic patio garden

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

Make a piece of furniture.

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

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

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

Create a serving platter

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

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

Make a house number sign.

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

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

Sell the remnants

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

Is Sealing Granite Countertops Necessary?

granite kitchen countertops

Imagine this. You spend an arm and a leg installing a new granite slab on top of your new cabinets then out of nowhere, your granite contractor starts talking about the need for a granite sealer to seal the countertops. It sounds like a scam. After all, granite is a rock, right? Why would it need to be sealed? Is sealing granite countertops necessary?

The short answer to this question is NO, you don’t have to seal the countertops. I know you have read that granite is porous, so you need to seal it to prevent stains from coming about, but this is not the case. Before you begin throwing stones at me,

Let me explain the deal.

While new granite slabs need a seal to prevent them from staining, it doesn’t mean you should blindly apply the sealer on any new slab you come across. You should note that most granite slabs don’t need sealing.

The dark coloured slabs don’t need the application of the granite sealer as they are already too dense to absorb liquids and stain. Aren’t sure whether you should seal your slabs? To determine whether your countertops need sealing, you should do a test.

Test to determine whether you need to seal the countertops

The cool thing is you don’t need to call the CSI or spend a fortune to tell whether your countertops are ripe for sealing. You can easily do it on your own at the comfort of your home. Here is how to do it:

  1. Begin with filling a cup with clear, cool tap water. You don’t need a lot of it—a quarter of a cup is enough.
  2. Set a timer on your watch or phone and time the absorption rate of the countertop
  3. Pour a small amount of water onto the countertop. You should pour just enough to create a pool, the size of the hand. For best results, pour it in two or three places across the counter.
  4. After pouring, start the timer or make a note of the time you poured the water.
  5. You should wait for 30 minutes or until there is no standing water on the countertop.

If the countertop absorbs the water immediately, the stone is highly porous, and you need to apply the sealant at least once every 3 months.

If the slab absorbs the water in 4-5 minutes, you should apply the countertop sealant at least once a year for maximum protection.

Does the countertop absorb the water after 10 minutes? Then the slab isn’t too porous, and you can get away with sealing it once every 2 years.

If the slab doesn’t absorb the water after 30 minutes, you don’t need to seal the surfaces to prevent them from staining. You can still seal the slab, if you want to, to avoid scratching and etching.

How to seal granite countertops

If you have undertaken the test and determined you have to seal the slab, you should go ahead and do it. The beauty is that it’s easy to seal the surfaces as you only need to spray the sealer and let it sit on the countertop and then find out if you need to apply a second layer.

If you used a high-quality sealer, you won’t need a second layer so you should always go for the high-quality product.

When buying the sealant, look for one with an advanced chemical technology that will make it possible to form a more permanent bond on the granite slab.

While the high-quality product will cost you more to purchase, it will save you a lot of money in the long run as it will last for a long time.

Sometimes sealing the countertops is messy and you might not know whether you should apply a second layer. To avoid applying less or too much sealing product, you should let a professional do the work.

Countertop care and precautions

Hiring granite companies NC to seal the countertops isn’t enough—you still need to observe the right habits to ensure your countertops are always in tip-top shape. Never place hot items directly on the countertops as you will damage them. To protect the surfaces, use coasters, trivets, mats and other protective items.

6 Questions To Ask Granite Countertop Installers

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

What professional credentials do you have?

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

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

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

How long will you take to complete the project?

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

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

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

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

Does your company offer a warranty?

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

Are you using modern equipment?

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

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

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

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

Do you sell countertop materials?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What To And What Not To Put On Your Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

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

What to place on the counters

Some of the things you can place on the counters:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What not to place on the counters

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

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

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

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

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

Other ways of taking care of your kitchen countertops

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

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

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

Do Granite Countertops Stain?

granite kitchen countertops

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

Types of stains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should you do when your countertops stain?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you prevent stains from coming about?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other ways to protect granite

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

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

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