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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.

6 Benefits Of Marble Countertops

marble countertops

Marble countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. Their subtle sheen evokes an air of elegance that adds a timeless ambience to any home. In addition to these benefits, the countertops come with plenty of other benefits that include:

It’s affordable

When you look at marble, you might have the impression it’s expensive, but this isn’t the case. Compared to other countertop materials, marble is extremely affordable. Although, the cost of the stone varies depending on the type and thickness, it’s much cheaper than granite or quartz.

It’s durable

Marble comes from natural stone, so it’s more resistant to cracking, scratching, and breaking. This makes it  durable as long as you take good care of it. The cool thing is that while the stone is tough, it’s much softer, making it easy to incorporate attractive design elements such as fancy edges during the fabrication process.

In addition to the popular edge profiles such as bullnose, straight, bevel, and demi bullnose, you can cut marble into chiselled,  chiselled, elegant cove bullnose and even the waterfall edge, the most popular premium edge cut that features three cascading convex arches that add texture and interest to the countertop.

While these fancy edges come at a premium, they often cost lower than with granite and other countertop materials.

It’s perfect for baking.

The countertop naturally stays cool and always remains below room temperature. This makes it an ideal working surface for bakers working with dough, pastries, chocolate, and ice cream. These features not only make the countertops ideal for bakery, but you can also install it and use it in your home.

It has a luxurious appearance.

As mentioned above, one of the most attractive features of marble is they have a unique luxurious appearance that is timeless. As long as you take good care of the countertops, they look excellent for a long time.

It’s easy to find

One of the prime reasons the countertop is affordable is because you can easily find it. Since marble is softer than granite, quartz and other countertop materials, most countertop companies have large supplies of it.

The soft nature of the countertop makes it easy to shape and edge without damaging the surface hence making it an excellent option for different areas of the house.

It’s bright

Part of the reason many homeowners find marble appealing is that it has a natural glow that reflects light in any room. If you have a small bathroom or kitchen or your kitchen doesn’t have a lot of natural light, marble is an excellent countertop material for making the room brighter and larger.

How to take care of marble

For you to make the most of the benefits of the countertops, you should take good care of it. Some of the ways in which you can do it include:

Seal the countertops: Like granite countertops, you need to seal marble to retain its look. Since the countertop is porous, spilt wine or water can potentially stain it, making it the end of your all-white kitchen. To avoid this from happening, seal the countertops as you are installing them then once every year after that.

Clean the countertops: You need to clean the countertops to keep them looking good. For daily cleaning, use a mild dish or stone soap then rinse with water to keep the marble spick and span.

If you haven’t been taking good care of your countertops, it’s normal to have a stain. If the stain is stubborn and not coming out, use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of ammonia. You can also sand the countertops to remove the annoying stain.

Avoid acids: Acidic substances such as lemons should never come into contact with marble as it will etch the surfaces. To avoid this from happening, granite contractors Durham recommend you use a cutting board and stay away from cleaning agent that might have lemon or vinegar in them.

Always use a trivet: While marble is tough and heat resistant, you should never place hot pans and pots directly on the surfaces. To be safe, always use a potholder or trivet.

How to Tell If Countertop Is Granite or Quartz

best quartz countertop

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

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

What is quartz?

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

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

What is granite?

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

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

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

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

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

Appearance

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

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

Price

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

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

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

Size

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

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

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

Maintenance and durability

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

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

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

Which one is better?

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

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

How To Cut Granite Countertops By Hand

granite countertops

One of the prime reasons you may want to cut granite countertops by hand is if you have small granite blocks that were left behind by the contractor, and you would like to use them in other applications such as making stools or other surfaces.

There are plenty of tools you can use to do the cutting. The most common one is the wide-bladed chisel. When cutting the countertops, you need to consider plenty of factors that include:

Safety tips

You need to be safe when cutting the countertops. To do it:

  • Ensure that your hand is out of the way, so you don’t hurt yourself.
  • Roll up your sleeves and tie your hair back, so it doesn’t hurt you.
  • It’s wise you wear safety goggles and a dust mask. This keeps granite from getting into your eyes and silica dust from entering your lungs.
  • You should wear ear protection.

Set up the work area

The work area should be sturdy such that it can effectively hold the granite in place. To have an easy time cleaning once you are done, cut the granite outdoors. If cutting the granite indoors, lay drop cloths on the floor to cover the areas of interest. It’s also wise you have a shop-type vacuum in the area to help you with the cleaning.

Mark the area you want to cut.

Measure the desired length and width you want to cut on the granite then place three strips of painter’s tape on the area you are looking to cut. You should note that you don’t have to be precise when placing the tape as the purpose of the tape is to protect the surface and reduce the risk of chipping.

Before you begin cutting, double-check the measurements, and ensure they are correct.  Remember to add an extra 1/6 of an inch for the chisel and saw blade width and mark the measurements with a pencil.

Once you are sure that the measurements are correct, position the granite section directly in front so that it’s visible. You should then put on your safety goggles and position the carbide-tipped point chisel directly in the top edge of the marked line.

The line should be at one of the edges of the granite section. Hold the grip of the chisel with the point resting against the granite, and using your other hand, gently tap the head with a mallet.

Chisel a groove

At one corner, chisel a groove at least ½ inch in depth. You should then chisel marks directly along the straight line you drew across the granite section. When making marks, ensure they are in a perfect line. Continue until you have chiseled at least six inches along the line from the end of the countertop.

Insert a blade into the groove

After completing making grooves, place the chisel and mallet aside and insert the blade of your handsaw into the groove. Cut the granite with a sawing motion until you successfully cut the entire section.

To cut down on dust accumulation, wet the blade as desired, then continue cutting until you cut the entire line of granite.

Polish the countertop

If the cut end of the granite slab or countertop will be facing a wall or another object, you should polish it. To smoothen it, fit an angle grinder with a diamond grinding wheel, then smooth and shape the edges to your liking.

Tips when cutting granite with hand

To avoid injury, avoid wearing gloves, especially when using a saw. This is because groves will weaken your grip on the saw.

When cutting or polishing the countertop, ensure you use the right blade. As a rule of thumb, use blades designed to cut natural stone. In addition to the wrong blade putting you at the risk of getting hurt, you can also damage the saw or blade.

Parting shot

This is what you need to know when you are cutting a granite slab with your hands. The process is risky, so if you aren’t ready for it, hire granite contractors Raleigh to help you out. The good thing is that the contractors will come with specialized tools, so they will get the work done fast.

Tricks On How To Extend The Life Of Quartz Countertops And Other Countertop Materials

best quartz countertop

Granite, solid surface or quartz countertops are designed to last for decades. If you don’t have money to replace the countertops after this time, you should take good care of the countertops so that they last for a long time.

There are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your countertops. Some of these things include:

Get rid of spills

Countertops are constantly being exposed to spills and splashes from tipped can of soda to poured milk. When spills happen, you should get rid of them immediately. This is because granite and solid-surface countertops tend to stain when exposed to wine, and coffee.

You also should regularly clean the countertops even if no spills have happened. When cleaning, use a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. To do it, spritz the countertop, then run a clean damp piece of cloth over it, then dry the surfaces with a soft dish towel.

Drying the damp countertop prevents hard water stains that form as a result of letting the water droplets dry on their own.

Seal the countertops with a quality sealant

Granite and marble countertops are porous, which makes them prone to absorbing oils and spills. They also tend to accumulate stains easily. To prevent this from happening, seal the countertops.

Remember to use a high-quality sealant that will last for a long time and give excellent results. You also should hire a reputable contractor who understands how the process is done.

You should note that improper sealing tends to weaken the stone, making it dull and also increases the risk of the countertop developing mold and mildew.

Protect the surfaces

While they are heat resistant, natural stone countertops aren’t designed to hold hot items such as hot pans and pots. To give them long life, always use a trivet, mitt or towel to prevent direct contact of the hot plate and the countertop.

If you have a sink molded out of solid surface material, be cautious when draining the boiling water as the sinks are also prone to damage. To protect the surfaces, run cold water when pouring the hot water to temper the boiling water and protect the solid surface sink.

You also should always use a cutting board when chopping onions, vegetables and other products.

When you are in the kitchen, it’s normal to sit on the countertops chatting with a family member or friend. Don’t do this as you will damage the countertops.

Quartz is tough and less likely to crack, but granite can easily crack due to the natural fissures running through the stone. Sometimes the fissures are too weak in certain areas and crack on excess weight.

Use recommended cleaning supplies

Cleaning the countertops is one of the ways of giving the countertops a long life, but if you use the wrong products, you will be destroying them. You want high-quality products that will maintain the natural shine of the countertops.

As a rule of thumb, avoid products containing acids as they will etch the countertops and destroy them. For best results, use products recommended for the specific type of countertop you are looking to clean.

Repair the minor flaws

It’s the minor issues that get worse over time, and when you go for a long time without giving them any attention, you will eventually have to undertake countertop replacement. To avoid this, you should repair the minor scratches as soon as you notice them.

Luckily you can get rid of them by sanding the surface down or using a soft type of a scrubbing product that will smoothen down the edges of the scratches. To ensure that you are doing the right thing, follow the instructions that came with the countertops.

You can also ask a contractor to help you out.

Conclusion

These are some of the tricks you can use to extend the life of your countertops. To have an easy time, ensure that you buy high-quality countertops. You also should ensure that the pieces are professionally installed by experienced granite contractors Raleigh or any other experts.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Granite Countertops

granite countertops

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

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

Your tastes and preferences

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

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

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

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

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

The size of the kitchen

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quality of the stone

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

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

Edging of the countertops

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

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

Kitchen cabinets

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

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

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

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

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

6 Cheap Kitchen Countertops Alternatives

kitchen countertops

When homeowners hear about updating their countertops, they imagine they have to spend several tens of thousands of dollars.

While some countertop materials will cost this much, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives. Are you on a budget? Here are six cheap kitchen countertops alternatives you should try out:

Paint

Just as paint transforms a wall, it can also transform your counters. If you don’t like the current look of the countertops, find a paint that will match your cabinets, floor, and cover the damaged areas of the counters.

Regardless of whether you have tile, laminate, cultured marble, or solid surface counters, you will find a paint that will give the surfaces a new look.

If you have the skills, you can paint the surfaces by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it. For perfect results, first prime the counters then paint them. Finish the look by sealing the counters.

Concrete

Concrete countertops are durable, affordable, and cool looking. Ages ago, concrete contractors used to pour the concrete on the site. This often didn’t produce great-looking results.

Fortunately, things have changed. Currently, thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of precast concrete countertops that are more attractive.

Concrete counters resemble natural stone slabs. Unless you are too keen, you can pass them for granite or any other natural stone countertops.

Since the precast concrete countertops are cured and finished in the factory, they are easy to install as they come ready to use. The countertops are usually 1.5 inches thick, and when poured and cured, they come out smooth and flat.

They come in lengths of up to 10 feet, so they don’t produce any unsightly seams.

While these countertops are beautiful, unique, and affordable, they easily chip and scratch, so you should be cautious about how you handle them. As a rule of thumb, avoid being rough with them.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles give you the durability of natural stone, but at a much lower price. The tiles also come in many designs, including the natural-toned designs that give your kitchen or bathroom a natural look.

To make your countertops more attractive, use more expensive tiles with interesting designs at the borders.

While the tiles are tough hence allowing you to place even hot pots on them, you should take care as they tend to crack and chip easily. The grout between the tiles also stains easily, so you have to pay close attention to it to maintain the look.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, plastic laminate is highly versatile and affordable. Laminate is also resilient and comes in many colors, textures, and patterns. The material is also easy to install. Even if you are a beginner, you can install the countertops.

They come in sizes of 2 x 4 feet or 4 x 8 feet, but if you have longer counters, visit the company, and they will cut customized sizes.

Although, made from plastic, advanced printing techniques make the countertops resemble natural stone or wood.

When they were coming out, laminate used to scratch easily, but now advanced sealing techniques make these countertops tough and almost scratch proof.

Wood

Wood is significantly cheaper than natural stone making it an ideal choice for people operating on a budget. Two of the popular wood choices are maple and bamboo.

If you opt for these countertops, you should note that they require high levels of maintenance. To prevent them from getting damaged by water, regularly seal them with epoxy. Also, remember to oil them every two to three years.

Faux granite

Every homeowner wants granite countertops, but they don’t come cheap. If you love the look of natural stone but don’t have the money to buy real granite, go for faux granite countertops Raleigh.

All you need to do is to find an experienced contractor who will help you find the right countertops and paint them to give them the look of real granite.

While the countertops will look like real granite, they can’t take the abuse of real granite, so you need to handle them with care.

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Marble Countertops

marble countertops

Marble countertops are affordable, durable, and unique. While this is the case, you can’t buy just any slab you come across—you need to take your time and find the perfect one for your surfaces. For you to do this, you need to consider several tips that include:

Variety

Marble comes in a wide range of varieties with different qualities. The most common varieties being:

Carrara: When people are talking about marble, this is the one they are talking about. Carrara is usually stark white or white with gray veining. Carrara marble is the most common type in the market and the least expensive.

This is the same variety that sculptures and buildings are made out of.

Calacatta: Due to its white coloring with gray veining, many people confuse it for Carrara. While there is white Calacatta, there are other varieties that have darker, thicker veining.

There are even gold varieties often bought by those looking to give their homes a luxurious look.

Emperador: It varies from white to gray to brown. Brown marble is accompanied by white or gray veining, which creates a beautiful contrast. Due to its elegant colors, Emperador marble looks extremely elegant in a room with gold or brass furniture.

Crema Marfil: Often found in a light-beige or yellow color, Crema Marfil is used in combination with darker stones. The stone has an irregular pattern and varying veining intensity that gives it a unique look that spices up any room.

For you to choose the right variety for your home, work with an experienced marble contractor who will not only help you in choosing the right slab, but also help you install it.

Cracks

Are there cracks on the countertops? Cracks are a sign that marble has been dropped or improperly handled. Many people confuse cracks with fissures. You should note that the two are quite different.

A fissure is naturally occurring in the stone, and it doesn’t change the plane of the marble surface.

When shopping for the stone, carefully inspect it and ensure that you don’t discard it, thinking it has cracks. When a marble slab has fissures, you can slide your nail across the fissure without it catching.

If you looking for a stone that will give you a more rustic look, there is no harm in buying a slab with fissures as they don’t change the integrity of the stone.

Origin

The other factor you should consider is where the stone is coming from. Due to the high demand for marble, some unscrupulous business people try to pass fake marble as genuine.

For example, they will take a white stone from china or any other part of the world and try to pass it as white marble from Calacatta. When making the purchase, always ask where the marble is from.

True Calacatta originates from mountain quarries in Carrara, Italy. So does Statuario.

The key to telling whether a slab is genuine or not is asking an expert to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you with the inspection and advise you on whether to buy the stone or not.

Color

Marble comes in a wide range of colors, including white, gold, red, green, neutral, gray, and black. The veining greatly determines the look of the slab. For a great look, choose a color shade that is similar to the walls and floor.

Your needs

Where are you looking to install the stone? Since it’s made from carbonate materials, it’s reactive to acids such as those found in soda, coffee, fruit juice, alcohol, and salad dressing.

Due to this, you should refrain from installing it in the kitchen. This is because if the stone comes into contact with acids, etching will result. The etching is a process that breaks down the polish, leaving a dull, lightly colored spot in the stone.

While sealing the countertops will protect the surfaces from stains, it doesn’t prevent etching. Marble also easily scratches, which makes it challenging to work with in the kitchen.

The best place to install marble is in the bathroom. Here it won’t be affected by serrated knives or salad dressings. Countertop replacement Durham contractors also recommend installing marble in tile flooring, vanities, and shower surrounds.

7 Mistakes To Avoid With Granite Countertops

granite countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials you can install in your home. They are elegant, practical to use in the kitchen and bathroom, and extremely easy to clean.

Unfortunately, many people make plenty of mistakes that lead to them ending up with countertops they aren’t proud of. The mistakes also make homeowners waste a lot of money. These mistakes include:

Failing to take the countertop samples to their homes

Countertops will look great in the showroom, but when you install them in your home, they will be the ugliest pieces you have ever seen.

Before you buy the pieces, take a few pieces to your home and see how they look in your kitchen or bathroom. If you like the look, purchase them but if you don’t like them, don’t buy them.

Being obsessed over the thickness of the countertops

When researching about countertops, you might have heard that the thicker the pieces, the better they are. When many homeowners hear this, they want to go for the thickest pieces they can afford.

Extremely thick slabs are usually two granite slabs that have been glued together, and often they aren’t the best to install at home.

While you should go for strong pieces that will last for a long time, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the thickness as doing so will lead to you buying the wrong materials.

Work with an experienced contractor who will guide you on buying the right thickness for your home.

Putting more importance to color than quality

The color of the countertops is crucial as it determines how the room will look like, but it shouldn’t be the determining factor whether you should buy the countertops.

While color might be beautiful to look at, it might easily stain and be difficult to maintain hence making your work too difficult.

In addition to considering how the countertops will look like in your kitchen, you also should pay attention to the quality of the slab you are installing. The countertop material should be of high quality and look great in your home.

Failing to buy from wholesale stores

As you might guess, wholesale stores sell countertop materials at lower prices. Regardless of how pleasing the retail stores are, avoid buying from them as they will cost you a lot of money.

Even if you live in an area without wholesale stores, travel out of your city and find stores selling high-quality products at the least cost.

Hiring the wrong granite installer

After buying the countertops, you are onto the next stage of your journey—installing the countertops. The installer you hire is vital as he/she determines how the countertops look and how long they retain their look.

For you to get the most, hire an experienced contractor who has been in the industry for a long time. The contractor should also be an expert at countertop installations, not fabrications.

Some homeowners hire their friends. While the friends might be experienced, you should avoid working with them as they often don’t give the best results. This is because they bring friendship in the project which spoils everything.

If you have a large house, the chances are that you are going to spend a lot of time with the contractor, so work with a contractor with a great personality. You don’t want to work with a boring contractor, do you?

Choosing the edges at random

While you can select the type of edge you want on your countertops, it’s not wise to make an arbitrary choice. This is because you most often end up choosing the wrong one. You should go through all the options and select the ones that give your countertops and surfaces the best look.

Making the wrong measurements

When you make the incorrect measurements, you end up with too little or too much granite. In most cases, you end up wasting a lot of money and throwing your plan out of proportion. While even experienced contractors make this mistake, it’s often common with new installers.

For you to minimize the chances of making a mistake, work with experienced granite countertop installers Raleigh. If taking the measurements by yourself, always double-check the dimensions before placing your order.