Tag Archives: Granite installers

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.

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.

8 Granite Countertops Dos And Don’ts

granite countertops

Installing the most beautiful granite slab isn’t enough. You need to take good care of your granite countertops to maintain the perfect, clean look. How do you do it? Here is a set of dos and don’ts you should observe:

Do seal the countertops

Everything begins here. Granite slabs are porous and when you work with them without sealing, you put them at the risk of staining. To keep them in top shape, seal them at the time of installation.

You also should make a habit of sealing them once a year. For you to get the most from them, don’t go for any sealing product. Use a high-quality product you are sure will give you a good service for a long time.

Do clean the spills as soon as they happen

Many homeowners have the impression that once they have sealed the countertops they don’t need to worry about spills. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Even if you have sealed the surfaces, you still need to prevent spills from getting into the inner layers of the countertops. How do you do this? By cleaning the spills as soon as they happen.

You don’t need much when they happen. Some dish soap and water is enough.

Do clean the countertops

In addition to getting rid of spills immediately they happen, you also need to keep the surfaces clean. This is to get rid of dirt and grime that might be present. Due to the elegant nature of granite slabs, some homeowners have the impression they need fancy cleaning techniques to clean granite countertops, but this isn’t the case.

For you to get the most from your cleaning, use mild solution of water and soap. Avoid harsh cleaning substances such as oils, lemon juice, or any other acidic substances as they will damage and dull the countertops.

Do repair the countertops

Even with the best care, it’s common for granite slabs to get damaged. For example, it’s common for the countertops to develop scratches and other minor issues. Some people ignore the damage as they deem it too minor, but don’t do this.

When you notice even the most minor problem with your countertops, fix it immediately. If you have the skills you can fix it by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it.

Don’t place hot items directly on the countertops

While granite is tough and can withstand high heat exposure, avoid placing hot pans and pots directly on it. While you might get away with it once, when you repeatedly expose it to the hot items, you put it at the risk of getting damaged.

For you to keep the surfaces in top shape, always use hot pads or trivets.

Don’t cut directly on the countertops

Just as you shouldn’t place hot items directly on the countertops, you also shouldn’t cut items directly on the surfaces. In addition to the practice creating scratches on the countertops, it also exposes the surfaces to acids that eat the granite sealer.

For you to protect your countertops and knives, always use a cutting board when cutting anything. Whether cutting meat or fruit, always have a cutting board with you.

Don’t turn your countertops into a worktable

Since the countertops are tough, it’s common to be tempted to place your work tools on them. For example, it’s common to find yourself placing your toolbox on the surfaces when working on the kitchen.

Do you want your countertops to keep looking great? Don’t do this. If there is no other place you can put your tool items, add a thick covering to the countertops. For example, cover the surfaces with a blanket.

You also should take care that you don’t drag or drop your tools on the countertops.

Don’t allow pets to sleep on the countertops

It’s rare for dogs to sleep on the countertops. Cats are the problem. While they might seem harmless, their claws can scratch the surfaces. Cats also carry dirt on their paws forcing you to have to clean the countertops regularly.

For you to avoid having to call granite contractors Raleigh to fix the damaged countertops, keep cats and other pets out of your countertops.

Beyond Granite Countertops: Other Ways You Can Use Granite

Many people use granite countertops exclusively on kitchen and bathroom counters. What most of them don’t realize is that granite is a highly versatile material and you can use it on a wide range of areas. Are you ready to go against the grain and use granite in innovative ways? Here are unique ways you can use granite:

Place granite on the basin or sink

A granite basin is not only elegant to look at, it’s also durable as granite is tough. Thanks to the many designs and options available, you can have basins of any design.

Have a chat with your contractor to install the countertop in your desired design depending on the size of the sinks and look you want to create.

Dining table

How many times have you visited a home and found a granite table? I bet rarely. The tough nature of granite makes it possible to design a sophisticated and low-maintenance dining area. You can make the table completely from granite or with just a granite slab counter.

Since granite comes in many colors, you can have a dining table with tuba or Santa Cecelia colors. It’s up to you to choose the one that is ideal for you.

Floor

A granite floor creates a beautiful, seamless look. You can install the floor with tiles of the same shade and pattern or one with contrasting colors to create a pattern. If you have an open floor plan, use stripes of a complementary color to mark the boundaries.

Since the floor is an integral part of the house, ensure that the installation is done by an expert who is highly experienced at it.

For you to maintain a great look, keep the floor clean. Sweep or vacuum the floor then follow up with a cleaner or hot water. Then mop the floor with a mop or towel. When the water gets soiled, change it.

Granite mosaic

Do you have small pieces of granite lying around? They are perfect for creating a mosaic. You can place the mosaic on the wall or floor. For quick and easy installation, glue it to a larger tile.

Desktop

A desktop made from stone creates a feeling of stability and wealth. In addition to the surface giving your house a high-end look, it’s also highly resistant to wear; therefore, you are guaranteed it will retain its color and look for years.

You can install the desk in the sitting room, bedroom, office, sitting room, or any other area you work on.

Accent shelves

If you have granite remnants that are large to make a mosaic, you can use them to make shelves that you can use to hold toiletries in the bathroom, add more storage space in the kitchen, or serve as mail station at the door.

For a great look, carefully cut the remnants and polish the edges. You should then work with a granite contractor to help you with the installation.

Create a lazy Susan

You can still use the granite remnants to create a matching countertop lazy Susan. A properly installed natural stone combines function with beauty where it improves the look of your house and at the same time makes it easy to access the important kitchen items. You can even use it as a serving station when having a party.

For you to create a perfect lazy Susan, ask a fabricator to cut the remnant into a circle then attach it to your desired area. The unit is easy to attach even with minimal skills, but for a perfect installation, have it attached by an expert.

Make kitchen accessories

Not everyone likes having a lazy Susan in their homes. If you are one of these people, you can use the remnants to make a wide range of kitchen accessories. One of the accessories you can go with is a granite trivet.

In addition to the trivet protecting the kitchen countertops from damage, it’s also beautiful to look at hence improving the look of the house.

Granite countertop installers Durham also advise that you consider making a cheese or cutting board with the remnants. When hiring the installers, ensure they have handled plenty of similar projects in the past.

Reasons Why You Should Use Granite for Your Kitchen Counter top

best quartz countertop

Granite is one of the best countertop material, and if you are remodeling your kitchen, it’s one of the materials you should consider. Granite countertop Durham will give your kitchen a regal effect and, in this article, we tell you why granite should be your first choice. You can visit the granite company and consult on the best countertop material for your kitchen.

Why You Should Use Granite in your Kitchen Countertop

  • Cost-effective

One of the questions most people ask about granites is the cost. While granite is considered expensive, it’s cost-effective in the long run. Granite countertop will last a lifetime, and that makes it worth your money. It’s however important that you visit the various granite companies and get a quotation. Compare the price of the countertop and installation cost. Make sure that the granite dealer you choose is offering quality granite countertop at a fair price. Compare the thickness of the granite slab when considering the price.

  • Multiple colors

Granite comes in a variety of colors, and it’s important to ensure you choose the one that fits your kitchen. The granite contractor will advise you on the best color for your kitchen. You can carry a sample home to make sure the color and pattern is the right for your kitchen. Granite is a natural stone that can’t be replicated and that will give your kitchen a unique look.

  • Easy to Maintain

Granite is easy to clean and maintain. Make sure that your kitchen countertop is sealed during the installation process. Sealing makes maintenance and cleaning of the countertop easy. To clean use a mild detergent and a soft cloth to wipe out any spills. Make sure that any spill is cleaned out immediately and that will ensure that your granite looks good for a lifetime. Using abrasive cleaners will make your granite lose its shine. Consult the expert at the granite company on how to clean your granite countertop.

Stain Resistant

Sealing the granite countertop will make it nonporous, and that prevent absorption of any spills. The granite dealer will advise you on when you should seal your granite. Make sure that you seal the countertop as required to prevent the countertop from absorbing any liquids. Before you seal the countertop make sure that it’s cleaned thoroughly. In case of stains, it’s easy to remove them using simple home remedies.

  • Environmental friendly

Compared to most countertop materials such as quartz countertop, granite is one of the most environmentally friendly material. The countertop doesn’t contain any hazardous minerals, and that makes it ideal for your kitchen.

  • Mimic more expensive Countertops

Most homeowners want a countertop that has a lot of good qualities. Granite has the best qualities and can mimic more expensive stones such as marble. Granite will make your kitchen gorgeous and valuable.

  • Long term Investment

Granite is strong, durable and it will last a lifetime. You can enjoy your granite countertop for years if it’s well installed. If you are looking for a long-term investment, then granite is the perfect countertop for your kitchen. If you are hoping to sell your house soon, a granite countertop will perk up the value.

  • Versatile

Granite can be used in other areas of your home. You can use it in the kitchen, outdoor living space, and the bathroom. The versatile nature of the countertop makes it a good option to use in different areas. Since you can use the granite countertop in various areas of your home, that makes it easy to style and bring out a design. In your home.

  • Beauty

One of the qualities that stands out is the beauty of granite countertops. They are gorgeous and will give your kitchen a regal look. The natural look coupled with gentle hues makes granite one of the beautiful countertop.

 

Granite is perfect for any kitchen. If you are looking for durability, beauty and an easy to maintain countertop, then granite is perfect. Let the installation be done by professional granite installers who can offer installation and sealing services. It’s imperative that you follow the right maintenance schedule to keep your kitchen countertop looking good for the years. The kitchen is the focal point of your home and its imperative that it has the ambiance and elegance you want. Granite has unique patterns and color and will ensure that you have a gorgeous kitchen.

 

Considerations to Make when Matching Kitchen Cabinets and Countertops

best kitchen countertop contractor

Selecting the right countertop color to match with your cabinets will make your kitchen gorgeous. It’s important to coordinate the colors that will bring out your style. The first step is to choose the right kitchen countertop, and then you can choose the cabinets that will bring out the beauty and perk the value of your home. Matching the kitchen cabinets and countertop will require that you match or complement them and still bring out the style without losing functionality. If you have a large family, you will need cabinets that provide enough storage space. To make it easier to match the cabinets and countertop visit the granite company that offers both countertop and cabinetry.

Factors to Consider when Matching countertops and Kitchen Cabinets

  • Lifestyle

When matching your cabinet and countertop consider your lifestyle. If you have small children, consider having base drawers and cabinets that are within reach for your children. Match the kitchen cabinets based on the kind of family you have. When choosing a kitchen countertop to choose one that suits your needs. Granite countertop and marble countertop require periodic sealing to keep making them nonporous. Choose the countertop that you can maintain and one that suits your kitchen. If you run a hotel, you will need a countertop that is easy to maintain. Quartz countertop is perfect for the high traffic kitchen because it doesn’t require periodic sealing and it’s easy to clean.

  • Style

During the kitchen countertop and cabinets makeover begin with the countertop and the match the cabinets and other décor in the kitchen. You can have the base cabinets and drawers matching one color of the countertop and the top drawers resembling the other portion of the countertop. The countertop dealer will help you choose the countertop that will match with the cabinets If you choose a granite countertop to make sure the color and veining you choose matches to your cabinets and floor. Decide the kind of style you want to bring out and choose the kitchen countertop that will help you achieve that.

  • Color and Texture

Cabinets are built from wood, bamboo, glass and other materials. Choose the color that gives your kitchen a warm feeling. You can match a black countertop with a white cabinet. It’s best, to begin with, a countertop and the match that to the cabinet.

  • Budget

Your budget will determine the kind of countertop and cabinets that you install. Make sure that you stick within the budget. Granite and marble are more expensive as compared to tiles and other kinds of countertop. Visit the quartz countertop dealer and get a quotation on the various countertop. Choose one that fits your budget. You can also shop around for cabinets. Choose the kitchen countertop and cabinets that fit within your budget. The budget is a crucial factor when it comes to upgrading your kitchen but don’t compromise on quality. In the long run, it will be more expensive if you choose poor quality material. Have a realistic budget that you can follow.

Tips to Follow when Matching Kitchen Countertop and Cabinets

Decide which part of the kitchen is the focal point. Choose the cabinet or countertop to be the main attractions. If your kitchen countertop has different colors and patterns, then you choose that to be the focal point. Then select the cabinet colors and other décor.

Choose the color Scheme

After choosing the focal point to choose the color scheme you want for various areas. It’s recommended that you keep the colors simple, and then you add bold accessories. You can use samples to see the outcome before the actual.

Choose the material

Kitchen cabinets and countertops come in different type of materials. Decide the material that will suit your kitchen. Consult the granite contractor on the best material for your kitchen.

 

Make sure the material you choose to brings out the best kitchen. Ensure you choose quality material to give your kitchen an expensive and high-class look. Consult the contractor on how to match the colors to bring out the best. Once you have chosen the materials, color and textures that will work for you make sure the installation is done by an expert. Let the granite countertop Raleigh installer do the installation to ensure the installation is done properly.

 

Myths About Granite Counter tops Debunked

marble countertop

Granite countertop is one of the most used countertops. The beauty, variety and its durability make it one of the most used kitchen countertop and bathroom vanity countertop. However, there are a lot of debate and myths surrounding the countertop material. In this article, we debunk the myths and give you advice on what you should avoid making sure your countertop last a lifetime.

Things You Should Avoid on Your Countertop

  • Avoid Pouring Acidic Liquid on the Countertop

The acidic liquid can make your granite countertop to etch and damage the seal on the countertop. Liquids such as vinegar, citrus drinks, and some perfumes are acidic and may destroy your granite. In the bathroom ensure your perfumes are well sealed to avoid pouring.

  • Clean any Spills as soon as possible

In case of any spill ensure its as clean as possible to prevent your countertop from etching. Clean the countertop with mild detergent and warm water. If the spills are left for long they will cause the kitchen countertops to become stained and etched.

  • Avoid using knives directly

Granite is a hard material but to ensure it last a long time looking shiny and gloss avoid using knives directly. while cutting any foods make sure you use cutting boards to avoid leaving marks on the countertop

  • Avoid sitting on the countertop

You may be tempted to sit on your kitchen island especially if you have a lot of guest in the house or stand on it while trying to reach things from the upper cabinets. Granite is likely to crack under pressure. avoid placing any weight in the undersink that would cause pressure on the granite.

Debunking the myth’s

  • Hot pans will destroy Granite countertops

One of the most commonly asked question is whether hot pans will damage your granite counter top. Granite is formed as result of pressure and extreme heat in earth surface and it’s, therefore, able to resist heat from pans. Granite is made from heat ranging from 1300 to 2400 degrees and it’s, therefore, able to withstand heat from pans without getting damage. it’s however important to place the hot pans on a cloth because the heat may destroy the sealer allowing stains to penetrate the countertop.

Normal kitchen activities such as baking, and cooking don’t produce enough heat to destroy the granite, but as a good maintenance practice always use the heat coaster to protect the granite. Extreme high temperatures will, however, damage the countertop.

  • Granite Countertop Will Stain easily

Granite kitchen countertops are resistant to stains. Any liquid spilled on the countertop will not cause a stain if wiped immediately. if liquids are left on the countertop for long, may cause the countertop to discolor.

  • Granite is hard to maintain

Granite countertops require sealing after every two years. After sealing all you need to do to keep the countertop shinning and elegant are mild soap and warm water. Clean the top regularly and in case of any spills wipe immediately. The expert at the granite company will advise you on how often you should polish your countertop. To debunk the myth, we can confidently say that your granite kitchen countertop is easy to maintain.

  • Granite will harbor bacteria

Granite is porous and that’s why it requires sealing. Once the sealing is done that will keep out any bacteria and that makes it safe for use in the kitchen. It’s therefore untrue that your granite will harbor any bacteria. Keep the countertop clean and that will ensure there are no bacteria in your food.

  • Granite is indestructible

Granite is one of the hardest natural stone and its resistant to chemicals, heat, stains, and scratches but only to a certain level. While granite is heat resistant, its only resists heat to a certain level. Your countertop can also get stained if the liquid is left for too long on the surface. Although its scratch resistant, the harder object may scratch the countertop. Granite can be destroyed by too much force and it’s important that take care of your countertop

Granite countertop remains one of the best and easy to maintain kitchen countertop. When professional installed by the granite countertop Raleigh installers and properly maintained you can be sure your countertop will last a lifetime. Granite is one of the best kitchen countertop material and with proper installation and maintenance it will last you a lifetime