Tag Archives: kitchen counters

4 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Granite counters are undoubtedly the most popular countertop materials, and every new homeowner dreams of installing them in their home. Unfortunately, it’s not all hunky dory as the countertops have their flaws. Is this your first time you are thinking about installing the countertops? Here are 4 disadvantages of granite countertops you should know about:

They are highly inconsistent.

The countertops are natural, so you can’t expect them to be the same but granite takes the inconsistency to a whole new level.

First, what is referred to as granite in the stone yard and what you purchase for your kitchen isn’t always granite. Many stones are referred to as commercial granite. Meaning a group of stones quarried for use on countertops and share similar characteristics such as high levels of mica, quartz, silica, and feldspar.

True granite is made through volcanic activity where the molten rock cools beneath the earth’s surface. In some cases, the stones labeled and sold as granite aren’t actually igneous rock. Some are dolomites, breccias, and conglomerate stones. All of which are metamorphic or sedimentary rocks.

The granite’s significant inconsistencies mean that there is no standard hardness value, grading, durability, or maintenance. The inconsistency also means that you sometimes have stones that are porous, weak, soft, and others that are so dense such that even thinking about sealing them is wrong.

When you are in the stores making the purchase, all commercial granite is sold and treated equally, so it’s hard to tell what you are buying. Due to this, it becomes an issue of luck. You can buy a soft, weak stone or a tough one that will last your entire lifetime.

To increase your chances of buying a high-quality stone, involve experts. As you are doing your shopping, hire a granite contractor to accompany you to the stores. The contractor will help you determine how strong the countertop is and when it comes to the granite installation, you won’t waste time finding another installer.

Granite counters have plenty of fissures and pits

Since it’s natural, granite tends to have plenty of natural fissures or pits on its surface. Some of the fissures are harmless, cosmetic cracks or small indentations in the stone, but others are lethal and could actually weaken the countertops’ structure and integrity.

If you are wondering what fissures and pits are, fissures are natural cracks that occur on the stone, and they often occur where two minerals meet. On the other hand, Pits are small holes or indentations in the stone, which often come about when a weaker particle breaks free.

In most cases, it’s hard to tell the nature of a fissure until it opens up or forms a wider crack. Even professionals can’t tell whether the fissure or pit will worsen with time.

Thankfully, most companies apply a resin that makes the countertops stronger and hides the fissures. This means that when you polish the countertop, you cause the light to bounce off the countertop, which comes in handy at hiding the fissures, pits, and other imperfections.

The countertops come with too many color variations

Although the color variations might be a plus for some people as it means more countertop options to choose from, it can be a negative if one section of the stone is significantly different from the rest. Or you have a countertop that has a significant shift in color or pattern from one end of the stone to the next.

Due to the color variations, you should be ultra-cautious when purchasing as the color might look great at the store but be awful when you bring it home.

Before you commit to buying large countertop slabs, first carry a small sample to your home and see how the slab looks in the house. Only proceed with the purchase if you like how the countertop looks.

The countertops don’t have the same durability.

Make no mistake about it. Some granite counters are incredibly durable and will even last several generations, but others, such as those shipped from China, are weak and won’t last long enough. In fact, these stones will sag over time if you don’t support them.

To extend the life of the kitchen countertops Durham, support them on the kitchen islands, overhangs, desk, and other areas.

How Long Does Marble Last?

best quartz countertop

Marble is known for its beauty and elegance, but that’s not enough when you are looking to install the countertops. You should know how long the countertops will last. How long does marble last? Is a question you should ask yourself.

Natural marble countertops are tough and durable, and when properly maintained, they can last for over 100 years. Cultured marble countertops, on the other hand, need replacement every two decades.

As mentioned, the countertops won’t last this wrong out of the blue—you need to take good care of them. How do you do this? Here is a guide on how to do it:

Clean the countertops

It’s a no brainer that you should clean the countertops to keep them looking clean and polished. While this is the case, be cautious of the cleaning products you are using.

As a rule of thumb, avoid household chemicals, as many of them are known to cause more harm than good.

For best results, go for neutral cleaners containing conditioning agents. If you don’t have these cleaners, use stone soap designed specifically for marble.

When you repeatedly clean the countertops with the right cleaner, you keep your countertops looking fresh, and you add a natural luster to the stone.

It’s normal for spills to happen and when they happen, always move with haste to remove them before they stain your counters.

Avoid grit at all costs.

Grit is the leading cause of scratches on the countertops, so avoid it in your home as much as possible. Of course, you can prevent it from accumulating on your counters by cleaning the surfaces regularly, but you should take it a step further.

For example, ensure everyone removes their shoes when they are getting in the house. If you have many people living in the house, dust mop the floor daily and clean the counters.

Seal the countertop

Like granite, marble is porous, so it needs sealing to prevent water and other liquids from getting into the stone’s inner layers and staining it. For best results, seal the counters at the time of installation and at least once a year thereafter.

When you are in the stores buying the sealing product, go for the highest quality as it will provide a better seal and improve the look of your counters.

Polish the surfaces

With time, it’s common for countertops to lose their factory shine. Don’t fret when this happens or move to replace the counters. Instead, contact a professional and re-polish the counters.

Polishing will remove light marks left by cleaning agents and chemicals, but it won’t remove deep scratches, so if your counters have large, deep scratches, you may have to replace them.

You can do the polishing if you have the skills or hire a professional to help you out. When you hire professionals, they sand the stone with various grinding grits, making the surfaces flat and establishing a new finish.

When hiring the polishing professional, hire experienced ones. The last thing you want is someone to damage your countertops in the name of polishing them.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Although, properly maintained marble is durable, it’s often brittle when mishandled. So for your countertops to last for a long time, protect them from damage by always having coasters, protective mats, hard mats, and other items on the counters to prevent the surfaces from getting damaged.

Never stand or sit on the counters as you risk cracking them. If you have to reach the top shelf, don’t stand on the counters. Instead, stand on a ladder or stool.

Many people sit on the counters when they are having company in the kitchen. To prevent your guest from sitting on the counters, always have a chair in the kitchen so that when the guest tries to sit on the counters, you ask them to sit on the chair instead.

Install a high-quality stone

When you are in the store, you will come across a wide range of marble stones. Some cheap and others expensive. For your kitchen countertops Raleigh to last for long and also have an easy time maintaining it, go for a high-quality stone.

While it will be expensive at the time of purchase, the high cost is worth it.

What Are Peel And Stick Countertops?

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

What are peel and stick countertops?

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

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

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

When should you install peel and stick countertops?

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

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

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

How do you install the countertops?

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

Prepare and clean the countertops

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

Secure old countertop material

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

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

Fill the holes

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

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

Even out the surface

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

Arrange the countertop tiles

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

Set the countertops in place

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

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

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

You don’t need a contractor

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

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Bamboo Countertop?

good kitchen countertop

Selecting a countertop material is a daunting task, as so many countertop options available in the market. One such option is a bamboo countertop. Many homeowners are considering bamboo for their kitchen counters. Bamboo is an environmentally friendly material. It is renewable resource and looks very attractive. This material looks and feels like wood. However, bamboo countertops are not from wood, but from grass. Bamboo surface is an engineered product. It is an assembly of many pieces of bamboo that are attached to form panels and board, just like how plywood is made.

All about bamboo countertops

While bamboo countertops are environmentally friendly, they are still treated with chemicals. Chemically treated bamboo countertops also look natural, but you should find a bamboo countertop contractor who offers bamboo countertops that have not been treated with chemicals.

Bamboo surfaces have anti-bacterial properties that make this material an apt choice for kitchen counters. Countertops made from bamboo are very versatile. If you have been looking for a countertop material that looks different from traditional countertops but still provides good functionality, bamboo might end your search. Bamboo countertops are unique and classy.

Bamboo surfaces are strong and durable. They can provide long-lasting services by bearing daily wear and tear of busy kitchens.

Things to know before purchasing bamboo countertop

Although bamboo has a lot of character tics of becoming a good kitchen countertop material, it is not an ‘install and forget’ surface. If you have installed bamboo countertop, you will have to pay attention over the countertop maintenance. It is not a heat resistant material. It means pans and hotpots may damage this material.

Bamboo countertops are quite expensive. These countertops are available in three different qualities. Arrant quality bamboo surfaces are expensive, medium quality bamboo surfaces come at average price and low quality bamboo surfaces comes at cheapest price. However, bamboo countertops are less expensive than other environmentally friendly countertop materials.

Kitchen countertop replacement is a big and expensive task. It is important to invest in the right products. In order to purchase the quality bamboo countertop at the right price, you should find the right countertop company.

The Benefits of Silestone over other countertop materials

kitchen countertop

Silestone is naturally beautiful and durable countertop material. It is apt for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. Along with, marble and granite countertops, demand for silestone surfaces are skyrocketing these days.

More about silestone countertops

Silestone is among most natural quartz. It is composed of 93% of quartz. This countertop material not only possesses the best qualities of laminated countertop materials but also provide the stunning look and feel of natural stones. Silestone counters are available on the market in variety of colors, textures and patterns, which make them ideal for modern kitchen and bathroom décor. The silestone countertops can provide perfect finishing.

Silestone countertops feature amazing heat and stain resistant property. Silestone counters are made from the non-porous quartz and thus they get least affected by the water. This stone also have bacteria fighting agent. It means silestone provide you with clean and hygienic working surface.

Benefits of silestone countertops

Stain resistant: Since silestone is a non-porous material, it offers excellent stain resistance. So, don’t worry if coffee, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, makeup or any other liquid get spilled on your countertop. Your countertop will not get stained. Moreover, stains are easy to clean on the silestone surface.

Acid resistant: Silestone countertops possess acid resistant quality because they are made from one of the hardest mineral present on the earth (i.e. quartz). It shows high level of resistance towards acid.

Scratch resistant: Silestone is very durable against the external wear and tear. It is not easy to produce scratches on this surface. Thus, homeowners can enjoy flawless silestone countertop for a good number of years.

Impact resistant: Whether you throw spoon, fork or knife on your countertop, silestone will not get affected by your action. The impact resistance of silestone countertops is even better than the granite counters. It also depends on the countertop contractor you opt for.

Wide range of texture and colors: The biggest advantage of opting for silestone is that you will find oodles of colors and textures options to choose from. This material looks good in every form.

So, these are the benefits of owning a silestone counter. Nowadays, many countertop companies are offering this countertop material at good price. To get premium quality and services, you should select the best company.