Tag Archives: Kitchen Countertops

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.

How To Update Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

Old or damaged countertops do nothing but detract from the value and beauty of your home. Thankfully, you can update them and restore the look. To help you out, here are ways on how to update kitchen countertops:

Paint the countertops

If your current pieces aren’t damaged, painting them can go a long way towards restoring them. If you have the skills, you can paint them by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert help you out. When choosing the paint color, ensure it complements the cabinet color and design. It also should be high quality; otherwise, you will keep repainting the surfaces every few years.

Resurface the countertops with a cement finish

Looking to improve the look of the countertops but strapped of cash? How about resurfacing the countertops with a cement finish? Begin with protecting the neighboring areas with painter’s tape. In addition to this, ensuring you don’t sand these areas, it also makes your work easy as you don’t have to clean the cement in the event you accidentally graze them during application.

To make the application easy, sand the surfaces with coarse sandpaper. Don’t make the surfaces smooth as cement sticks better to irregular surfaces.  Once the surface is ready, apply the first coat and let the cement dry. You should then use medium sandpaper to remove any noticeably uneven surfaces and apply a second coat.

Wait for the cement to dry again and repeat the process until you have a beautiful, even surface. Complete your work by sealing the cement. To do it, you should pour water-based sealer into the paint tray then use a roller to apply the sealer over the cemented surfaces.

Tile your countertops

This is as simple as it sounds. Buy tiles and arrange them on your existing countertops. Like paint, you should be cautious about the type and design of tiles you go for. In addition to the tiles complementing the look of the kitchen, they also should be made by a reputable company. This way, you are sure they will withstand the chaos in the kitchen.

If you are looking to create a tiled backsplash on the wall behind the countertop, first remove the backsplash, creating a continuous effect that makes your project easy as you will have only one right angle to deal with between the wall and the countertop.

If you have the skills, you can lay the tiles by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert help you out.

Replace the countertops

Another great way to improve your countertops is to replace them with other countertop materials. There are plenty of these materials you can choose from. The most common ones being:

Laminate

Laminate is extremely cheap; therefore, a great option when operating on a tight budget. The cool thing with installing laminate is it doesn’t make it obvious you are using cheap material. This is because it comes with plenty of designs that even resemble high-end materials such as granite and marble.

When choosing the material, go for a textured surface instead of a flat one. This is to have an easy time concealing scratches and other forms of wear and tear.

Wood

Want to give your kitchen a more natural look? Why not install wooden countertops? Wood comes with plenty of benefits that include: gives the house a natural rustic look, it’s easy to repair, and you can confidently prepare food on it without worrying about contamination.

On the flip side, you need to keep applying mineral oil, varnish, and beeswax to maintain the look. Wood is also easily damaged by heat and moisture, so you can’t use it around sinks or over the dishwasher.

Marble

If you have the budget and want to give your kitchen a fancy look, you should install marble countertops Durham. Like the other materials, ensure the marble pieces you choose match the design of the house. They also should have a classic look so you won’t keep replacing them when they grow out of style.

To keep your marble in good shape, seal it regularly. You also should avoid placing heavy items on it to prevent it from chipping.

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.

Thinking About Undertaking Countertop Replacement? 7 Valuable Tips You Should Consider

soild surface countertops

If you have had your countertops for a long time and don’t like the current look, the countertops have worn out, or you are looking to sell the house, it’s time to think about replacing them. For the countertop replacement process to proceed smoothly, you need to understand how to go about it. Here are 7 valuable tips you should follow:

Pay attention to the flooring and cabinets

The nature of the cabinets and floor will not only influence the color of countertops you should install, it also will determine the type of countertops you should go with. Different countertop materials have different weights, and by installing countertops that are too heavy, you will damage the floor or the cabinets.

If you had previously installed plastic laminate countertops and you want to change to stone countertops, pay close attention to the integrity of the floor and cabinets and ensure that it can carry the weight.

If your cabinets aren’t strong enough, you have two options: replace the cabinets or settle for lightweight countertop material.

Know your countertop options

If you installed your countertops over a decade ago, you should know there are plenty of countertop options you can go with. From manmade materials to natural stone, you have a whole array of materials to choose from.

You need to do your research and find the best material to go with. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, consult an expert contractor to help you out.

Change the backsplash

Many people replacing their countertops forget replacing the backsplash, which gives their kitchen a confused look. The backsplash is the kitchen wall material. When the new countertops don’t blend naturally with the backsplash, you give the impression you didn’t think through the kitchen design.

Just like kitchen countertops, backsplashes come in different designs. There are small ones that cover only the sink area, midsized backsplashes, and even large ones that span the entire wall. They also come in different colors and textures.

It doesn’t matter what your dream kitchen should look like, but for a cozy, rustic, and modern look, ensure that the backsplash matches the new countertop material. You can buy a new material that blends flawlessly with the backsplash or replace the backsplash to match the countertop.

Don’t neglect the old appliances

The large kitchen appliances such as the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are expensive. If you have the budget, you can replace them, but if they are still in good order, you don’t have to.

Instead, simply think about their color, and when buying the new countertops, buy countertops that are close to the color of the appliances. This way, the appliances don’t look out of place, so the kitchen has an elegant design.

Think about the lighting

What is the nature of the lighting in your kitchen? Under-cabinet lighting is excellent for dull surfaces, but it creates glare on the polished stone. If you have stone countertops, you may not even need to install under cabinet lighting—overhead lighting is enough.

A modern kitchen needs to be properly lit. To have an easy time doing it, consult a professional who will recommend the best lighting options to go with depending on the size of the kitchen, and installed countertops.

Take note of the sink and other plumbing appliances

Unless you have an under-mount sink, in most cases, when you install a new countertop material, you have to install a new sink. Even if you have an under-mount sink, you may have to change the faucet so that it matches the new countertops.

Work with an experienced countertop contractor

You are bound to make plenty of mistakes when you opt to go at it alone. To have an easy time and ensure you are making the right choices, have reputable granite contractors Durham or any other professionals by your side.

The contractors will help you choose the right material that your cabinets can carry. If the kitchen needs any design changes to match the current countertops, the professionals will also help you come up with the new designs.

The contractors will also help you scout for the new countertop materials that will give your kitchen a look you have always dreamt about.

6 Questions To Help You Decide On New Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

In addition to being beautiful, kitchen countertops need to be durable and economical. For you to buy countertops with these features, you need to ask yourself several questions that include:

How will you be using the countertops?

How you use the countertops depends on how you cook. Do you cook more often? Do you bake a lot? Do you chop a lot? Do you have multiple people using the kitchen at the same time? All of these will determine how you use the countertops and how long they last.

If you use the kitchen a lot and you have the luxury of space, consider going for countertops made from different materials. If you chop things when cooking, go with butcher’s block as it creates a better cutting board.

If you bake a lot or you handle a lot of dough, go with marble countertops.

Mixing and matching different countertop materials helps you save more as you spend less on the countertops. For example, if you have a kitchen island, instead of installing premium granite countertops there, install a cheaper material then spend more on the adjacent areas that take up fewer feet.

Do you lead a busy life?

We are different and can withstand different types of maintenance. Some have a lot of time and can clean the countertops several times a day while others are busy such that they don’t have time to clean their houses even once.

Your lifestyle will significantly determine the type of countertops you should go for.

If you are busy, consider going for non-porous materials such as quartz. These require a simple wipe down, and you are good to go. Other materials such as limestone, marble, granite, and other porous materials are easy to maintain, but you have to oil and seal them once a year.

If you are still confused about the right type of countertop you should go for, get the input of a professional.

What is your ideal kitchen look?

We all have a way we want out kitchens to look like. Some want a high-end look, while others don’t mind a simple look. How you have always envisioned your kitchen will significantly determine the countertop materials you choose.

Do you love a particular color? You should go for it. As you are making your choice, remember that preferences change over time, so you should go with materials with veins or splashes of color as they will keep your options open.

Have you always wanted a premium look? Granite countertops are your go-to pieces. On the other hand, if you want a simple countertop, wooden countertops aren’t bad for you.

How big is your kitchen?

The size of your kitchen influences plenty of things, including the design of the kitchen, your material of choice, and other things. If you have a large kitchen, you can get away with more than one material, but if your kitchen is small, you have to stick with one material to avoid giving your kitchen a confused look.

What is your budget?

Different materials go at different prices. High-end marble or granite countertops cost much higher than butcher’s block. If your pockets aren’t deep enough, you will be limited to the types of countertops you can go for.

Many people shy from the material of their dreams because they think it’s going to be too expensive for them, but this isn’t always the case. Before you give up on the material of your dreams, check with the countertop stores. Visit a few stores and compare the prices.

It’s not surprising to find the prices low enough for you to afford the pieces.

While this is the case, you should note that how you maintain the countertops is the most important thing. If you don’t give good care to granite, it won’t last long.

Which materials match your home design?

While it’s always wise to think ahead about the material you are going to install as you are designing and constructing your house, in most cases this isn’t possible. Of course, you should choose the countertops that match your home design.

If you aren’t sure about the right material to go for, get the input of granite contractors Raleigh or any other professional.

4 Kitchen Countertops Materials You Should Try Out

Are you looking to revamp your kitchen? There is no way you can improve the look of the room without giving attention to the countertops.

If they are damaged, replace them, but if they are beyond repair, you have no way out other than to replace them. Luckily, there are plenty of materials you can use on your kitchen countertops.

Would you like to know more about these materials? Here are the pros and cons of the most popular ones:

Granite

Centuries later, granite is still the go-to countertop material for most people. According to the national association of realtors, granite is the most preferred countertop material for most home sellers. This is because it’s elegant to look at and easily fits into any kitchen style.

Granite is also tough and quickly resists cracks and chips. Due to this, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged when you place a hot pot on it. The countertop is also easy to maintain as all you need to do is to clean it regularly.

You also should seal it annually to protect it from stains.

While the material is tough, it’s not indestructible. This means an accidental clunk with a wine bottle can create an ugly chip in the edge.

When it comes to sealing the countertop, you have to be thorough in your work. This is because if you don’t do it, oil can easily seep into the stone, forcing you to have to apply a poultice to get it out.

Since it’s obtained from natural stone, it often results in variations that can look completely different from the sample provided by the countertop company.

To avoid this surprise, always ask to see the slab to ensure that it matches the theme of your home.

Quartz

It’s known for its durability. Quartz is made from a combination of crushed quartz stone and resin. The resulting mixture comes in a variety of colors that almost resemble real granite.

Under normal kitchen working conditions, quartz is entirely indestructible. Of course, unless you hit it with a sledgehammer or any other tool. The material is also stain and bacteria-resistant, so you don’t have to keep on sealing it like it’s the case with granite.

While granite is tough, you often pay a lot for it, yet it’s not as heat resistant as the other less-pricey materials such as crushed glass.

The countertop seams are also easily noticeable, especially if an expert doesn’t correctly install the countertop or you use a lighter color.

Quartz countertops also discolor over time, especially if you place them under a lot of direct sunlight.

Many people have also cited quartz as having an ultra-contemporary and cold look, which isn’t good for a traditional-style kitchen.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, laminate countertops are made from paper-plastic and come in plenty of colors and patterns. In addition to having the ability to mimic anything from granite to wood, they don’t require sealing as they are stain-resistant.

Although, often the go-to material for people operating on a tight budget, it cracks and scratches easily.

According to the national association of home builders, many home buyers avoid homes with laminate countertops, so it’s not the ideal material to install in your kitchen when looking to sell the house.

Tile

Tile countertops are beautiful and highly versatile. They also easily resist cuts, stains, and heat, making them extremely easy to clean and maintain.

Tile also comes in an infinite number of colors and styles. You can install tiles of one unique color or mix and match a variety of colors to give your countertops a one of a kind look.

Although, they are easy to replace, tile countertops easily crack, so you should be ultra-cautious in the kitchen as accidentally dropping pots or pans on them will lead to damage.

The counters also have uneven surfaces that make cutting boards, plates, and glasses shaky and unstable. You also can’t roll out dough on them.

The grout lines easily catch dust and grime. For you to prevent bacteria from growing on them, you have to seal them regularly, or you will have to undertake countertop replacement Durham.

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.

Granite Contractors: 6 Tricks On How To Remodel Your Kitchen For Less

When homeowners hear about kitchen remodeling, they imagine a humongous project that will require several hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete.

While some of the projects are extremely expensive, it doesn’t have to be the case with you. According to granite contractors, there are several things you can do to remodel your kitchen for less. Here are some of these things:

Use ready-to-assemble cabinets

Cabinets often carry the highest cost in a kitchen remodeling project, especially when you have to install new units. When the budget is not an issue, custom cabinets are often the best option. Since they are designed specifically for your kitchen, they give an excellent fit.

If the budget doesn’t allow, go for ready-to-assemble or semi-custom cabinets. If you are DIY enthusiast, you can assemble the cabinets by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let a contractor do it.

In addition to these cabinets being easy to install, they are also cheap, where they cost up to half the price of custom cabinets.

Are you one of the people that love grabbing their cabinets right off the shelf and get going? Then go for in-stock cabinets. The cabinets come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Work with a contractor who will recommend the best ones for your home.

Keep existing cabinets

As mentioned above, cabinets are costly when you have to install new ones. Before you begin the remodeling project, always ask your contractor whether you have to remove the existing ones.

If you had installed high-quality kitchen cabinets and were taking good care of them, the chances are that they will still be in good shape and you don’t have to install new ones.

If they are of high quality, all you need to do is to apply a new fresh coat of paint, and you will restore the original look.

Consider alternative countertop materials

There are plenty of countertop materials you can go with when remodeling your kitchen. You can choose solid, tile, recyclable, concrete, stone, and many more.

Granite countertops are the most popular, but they are more expensive than the other materials in the market.

If operating on a tight budget, go with much cheaper countertop alternatives. For example, you can go with a butcher block that costs up to half the price of granite.

You can also go with laminate that is much cheaper than granite, both in cost and installation. For you to get the most from the installed countertops, have them professionally installed by an expert.

To save even more money, keep your eyes out for bargains. Both physical and online stores offer discounts that you can take advantage of if you are keen enough.

Keep an eye on appliances

Other than cabinets, the other items that can burn a hole in your pocket are appliances. Unless you have had your appliances for decades, you won’t have to replace many of them. Only consider replacing the appliances when it’s absolutely necessary.

When renovating, it’s normal to have the urge to move the appliances to a “better” place. Even if you aren’t replacing the appliances, moving the electrical and mechanics of the appliances can be costly, so leave the appliances where they are.

If you have to replace all the appliances, buy all of them from the same company. This is to increase your chances of attracting larger discounts.

Choose the open shelf design

Open shelving not only saves you money, but it also creates interest. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on new shelves, use salvaged wood or painted planks from your local hardware store.

Open shelving makes more sense when you have a small kitchen and plenty of things to store.

Just like with cabinets, ensure that the shelves are installed by a professional. You don’t want shelves that will break your precious items, do you?

Install more lights

Many homeowners think they need to undertake heavy renovation work, but they can cut costs significantly by installing lights. Work with expert countertop replacement Raleigh professionals and place under-cabinet lights.

Professionally designed pendants will also make your kitchen brighter and more stylish without spending a fortune.

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.

4 Factors To Consider When Buying Kitchen Countertops

If you are remodeling your current kitchen or constructing a new one, you need kitchen countertops. For you to buy the right countertops for your kitchen, you need to consider several factors that include:

Your activities

While the look of the countertops is vital as it’s what makes or breaks the kitchen, if you choose a countertop material that doesn’t blend properly with your activities, the material will wear out fast forcing you to keep on replacing it after every few uses which will be equivalent to throwing money down the toilet.

If you cook, entertain a lot or have kids in the house, you can’t buy the same countertops as someone who doesn’t cook often and lives alone.

If you like the look of a given countertop and still want the surfaces to be functional, consider getting more than one type of countertop surfaces. For example, if you love chopping things when cooking, install butcher’s block in one area of the kitchen and you will have a built-in cutting board.

If you often bake, install marble countertops in half of your countertops and you will have a surface to work with dough.

Mixing more than one countertop material also helps you to spend less. This is because you can install one less expensive material in one area and another that costs a little money in another area, and you will have an excellent looking kitchen.

Your budget

How much money are you looking to spend on the countertops? This is an essential factor to consider as it dramatically determines everything from the surfaces you will get to the countertop contractors you hire.

If you are like other homeowners, the look of the countertops is the most critical factor you consider. In such a case, buy countertops that closely resemble the ones you can’t afford.

For example, if you can’t afford marble countertops, go with Quartz countertops that have a similar look like marble but cost a little less.

Before you buy the countertops, consider the consistency of the countertops to the other parts of the kitchen. Ask yourself whether the cost is consistent with the other materials you have used.

This is because you can buy premium marble countertops, and when you install them in a kitchen with vinyl flooring, you create a quality imbalance.

A good rule is to spend 15-30% of your budget on kitchen countertops. If you find yourself spending less than 15% of your budget on countertops, the quality of the countertops is most likely inferior to the other kitchen materials.

On the other hand, if you find yourself spending more than 30% of the budget on countertops, you will most likely be overdoing it.

You need to find a sweet spot where the countertops you are looking to install match the quality of the other materials you have used in your kitchen.

Ease of maintenance

Different countertops require different maintenance methods. Before you fall in love with a given countertop material, think about the amount of work that goes into maintaining it.

Porous materials such as limestone, granite, and marble need to be oiled and sealed once a year.

While the butcher’s block is durable, it requires regular sealing to protect it from excessive damage.

Other materials such as quartz require you to wipe them with a cloth, and you have excellent looking surfaces.

If you aren’t sure of the right surfaces to go for, ask an expert to help you out.

Color of the countertops

The color of the countertops not only affects the look of the pieces in the kitchen, but it also affects the ease of maintaining the countertops.

For a great look, choose a tone that coordinates or contrasts with your cabinets. You should note that the tone doesn’t have to be a close match. For example, install brown countertops on natural which oak cabinets.

Choose countertops with a versatile color. This is because the paints and accessories change with time, so by choosing a versatile color, you are sure that your granite countertops Raleigh will match most of the kitchen accessories.

Countertop experts recommend that you keep your options open by picking materials with veins or splashes of color as they blend in with many accessories.