Tag Archives: Kitchen Countertops

9 Things to Consider When Installing New Countertops

Are you thinking about replacing your kitchen countertops? There are several things you should think about. These things include:

The quality of your cabinets

Before you choose a kitchen countertop material, consider the quality of your existing kitchen cabinets. This will help you decide whether you want to keep or replace them.

If you plan to replace your cabinets in the next few years, it’s preferable to do so all at once to avoid incurring duplicate installation expenses.

You should also ensure that your cabinets can withstand the weight of your new countertops. You should note that some lower-grade cabinets may lack the structural integrity to support heavier countertop materials.

Granite is three-quarters of an inch thick and weighs around eighteen pounds per square foot, and your counters could weigh several hundred pounds.

Consider whether the cabinets can handle the extra weight. As a rule of thumb, install weights that your cabinets can hold. You don’t want to overburden them, do you?

The configuration of the sink

When it comes time to replace your countertop, you should consider how your sink is configured. If your sink is below the countertop level, you may not need to replace it when you replace the counters.

Sometimes, your new counter may be taller than your old counters, which means your sink drain pipe will not reach the bottom of the sink.

You may also need to alter the faucet setup to accommodate the new counters.

To avoid confusion and ensure you are making the right decision, consult with your countertop installers about whether you can use your current sink or need to replace it.

The condition of your backsplash

When you replace your countertops, you should also inspect your backsplash.

This is because new countertops may transform your kitchen, especially if you’re also installing new cabinets.

An outdated backsplash, on the other hand, can suddenly appear out of place and, in certain situations, may not even match your new counters.

If your new countertops are thicker than your old ones, your backsplash will hang too low on the wall and run into your new counters.

You may also wish to create a fresh design for your kitchen makeover project by replacing the counter. Unless your old and new counters are nearly identical, upgrading your backsplash is wise.

Your budget

Shopping for different counter materials can be enjoyable, but focusing on more practical considerations is vital.

When deciding on countertop materials, you must consider your budget. Of course, the size of your kitchen will influence the price of your counters, but the material will be the most critical element.

If you have a bigger budget, consider natural stone, quartz, copper, and wood materials.

You can purchase some limited granite or concrete patterns if your budget is more in the middle. If your budget is particularly tight, look into laminate and other similar options.

The time you have to maintain the countertops.

You should always consider how much care and upkeep you want to give your new countertops.

Marble, granite, and other natural stone countertops must be sealed and cleaned carefully. Countertops made of concrete, quartz, or solid surface require no upkeep.

Natural materials such as copper and wood may not require much maintenance, but they will develop a worn, used appearance with time.

You must weigh your options and decide on the right material based on the time you have to maintain the surfaces.

Your desired aesthetics

Your personal design taste may be the most important element in choosing the material for your countertop. Your counters are the key focal point of your kitchen and will set the tone for the entire space. You want to choose something that will complement your color scheme and one you will enjoy for years to come.

Quartz, solid surfaces, and concrete countertops are excellent options for a modern or minimalist aesthetic.

Granite and marble give a traditional, high-end feel, whereas tile makes things feel older and more European. Wood or copper could be great options for your home if you want something a little more rustic.

Your old appliances

You should consider how your existing appliances will complement your new countertop. Think of it as wearing a new outfit with old shoes. It doesn’t give a good impression, does it?

While this is the case, don’t be concerned if your appliances are reasonably new and in good condition. You should be worried if the appliances, such as the stove, have been in use for more than 10 years. In such a case, the best way out is to replace them.

Lighting

Most homeowners install under-cabinet lighting. It’s simple to install, but it’s difficult to figure out how to route the wiring when reinstalling it.

It’s also worth mentioning that under-cabinet lighting can produce eye-straining glare when aimed directly at a highly polished stone surface.

It’s something to think about while selecting countertop materials.

You should always consult the experts to ensure you install appropriate lighting for your surfaces. If the lighting is too old, you might have to replace it.

Plumbing

As mentioned above, you must consider the sink configuration when installing new countertops.

Chances are that you are replacing a tile countertop with a solid surface, such as stone, or an engineered composite surface, like Silestone. While the cabinets may remain in place, a sink will require replacement. The exception occurs when the current sink is installed beneath an existing stone counter.

The sink change impacts the faucet configuration, so you will likely have to replace the faucet as well.

Replacing a countertop affects many of the elements around the sink, including the garbage disposer, which isn’t easy to uninstall.

You should work with countertop replacement Durham professionals to find ways to modify your plumbing. If it’s too complicated, consider hiring a plumber to help you out.

How Do You Make Countertops Look Good?

If you have worn-out or unpleasant-looking countertops, you might wonder how to improve their looks. Well, there are a number of ways to go about it. These ways include:

Install an interior film

This style of improving the look of the countertops is a relatively recent alternative in the North American market, but it has been a popular choice throughout Asia and Europe for several years. The good thing about this option is that you can update the kitchen countertop without replacing it.

It’s also quick and easy, with no noise, dust, or odors. If you want to refurbish countertops quickly and affordably, this is an excellent way to do it.

If you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t a handy person, let experienced countertop replacement professionals help you.

When installing the film, ensure that the surface is smooth and clean. Additionally, no water damage or warps should be present. You also should follow the proper film application process that involves these steps:

  • Make a flat surface with putty and gentle sanding.
  • Prime the surface where you need more adhesion, such as corners and edges. You should note that primer application requirements differ depending on the surface.
  • Measure and cut the material.
  • Peel and stick the film onto the surface.
  • Apply the film with a squeegee from top to bottom in a fan-shaped sweeping motion.

In most cases, refurbishing the countertop takes only a few hours. Furthermore, the vinyl layer replicates the original texture (whether it is wood, metal, or something else), so refinished worktops will be as appealing as natural ones.

When doing the installation, ensure that the countertops maintain their appearance. This calls for you to hire an experienced professional who knows what they are doing and will expertly install the surfaces.

Install a layer of concrete on your surfaces.

If you don’t like your countertops, you can pour concrete on them. The cool thing is that concrete is highly adaptable; you may modify the color, stain, texture, and even shape.

It is also pretty simple to make. You’ll need a mold and a frame to support the future countertop. Make a strong support because concrete is heavy.

You should then mix, pour, let it dry, then sand, finish, and install. You can skip the installation step if you pour concrete directly on top of the existing counter.

Paint your countertops to resemble marble.

If new counters are not in your budget, you can give them a paint makeover. You should note that this is not your typical simple paint color. There is a new, exciting way to paint your countertops like marble.

If you have painting skills, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t confident, let a professional help you.

For the best painting outcome, you should follow the right steps:

In a nutshell, the procedure goes like this:

  • Sanding, priming, and painting the surface white.
  • Only then can you begin to create veins using craft paint. It’s wise to practice veining on a tiny piece of wood before moving on to the counter.
  • Whitewash the surface before sealing to soften the veins. Then, seal your artificial marble.
  • You’ll also need primer, eggshell or satin finish white paint, three colors of gray craft paint, a foam roller and a roller tray, a feather, a sea sponge, a soft paintbrush, paper towels, a toothbrush, small mixing bowls, sandpaper, paste wax or a water-based polyurethane for the topcoat, and other supplies.
  • You can also buy a paint kit to change the appearance of your countertops.

If painting artificial marble sounds too demanding, consider using a marble interior film.

Consider installing terrazzo on your concrete countertops

Terrazzo countertops are resilient and resistant to scratches, stains, and chipping, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Furthermore, it is bacteria-resistant and straightforward to clean. It’s an ideal choice for kitchens where hygiene is a key priority.

Terrazzo is a composite material composed of cement or epoxy resin mixed with pieces of aggregate compounds such as marble, stone, glass, mother of pearl, abalone shells, and others. Terrazzo is the most often used flooring material, but you can always use it on your countertops.

If you believe terrazzo is perfect for you, the first step is to contact a terrazzo contractor, preferably in your immediate area, because the longer the supplies and machines have to go, the higher the costs.

If traditional poured terrazzo is too expensive or simply not perfect for the project you have in mind, you can consider terrazzo tile instead.

Regardless of the terrazzo countertop you want to install, ensure that the work is done by an expert that is knowledgeable of what the project entails.

Add tiles to your counters.

Another inexpensive option for a countertop makeover is to install tiles. Tile countertops add a distinct vibe to the area, so if you want a farm-style and rustic kitchen, this is the alternative for you.

While this is the case, you should note that it is a really complicated DIY project. To make things easier, place a tile membrane on top of the current surface before putting your tiles.

You also should work with experienced contractors to help you with the installation.

Parting shot

These are some ways to improve the look of your bathroom or kitchen countertops NC. As mentioned, you should always work with experienced professionals who will not only professionally install the surfaces, but also guide you on the right things to do.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of revamping your countertops every few years, you should take good care of them.

This calls for you to be ultra-cautious of what you place on the surfaces. You also should make it a habit to clean them regularly to eliminate stains that might ruin their look.

How Do You Keep Granite Countertops Smooth and Shiny?

When you install granite countertops, you want them to retain their smooth and shiny look for as long as possible, right? The cool thing is that it’s possible. Some of the things you need to do include:

Protect your countertops from damage

The easiest way to keep your granite countertops in good condition is to protect them from spills, stains, and scratches.

The kitchen can be dirty, so it’s critical to take precautions to safeguard it. Some of the basic techniques to protect your granite kitchen surfaces include:

  • Clean spills immediately.
  • Use coasters
  • Cut veggies and other foods on cutting boards.
  • Avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on your countertop surface.
  • Be cautious of impact damage around the edges.
  • Avoid standard household cleaning agents, which can cause etching.

To protect your granite countertops from frequent stains and impurities, have them polished and sealed. Before you even do this, you must first ensure that you properly clean them.

How to clean granite surfaces

Different granite composites may require special treatments, so check with experts before trying new products.

Regardless of how clean you want the surfaces to be, never use cleaning agents with ammonia, vinegar, or citrus on your granite surfaces.

This is because these acidic cleaners will degrade the finish on your new granite countertop. You should purchase a cleaner made exclusively to clean granite surfaces.

To clean your granite countertops, spritz or mist the cleaner over the entire surface and allow it to sit for a minute. Remember to verify the exact instructions for the cleaner you’re using. Then, clean the surface with a soft microfiber cloth until completely dry.

Get rid of stubborn stains.

If cleaning does not work, you may need a razor blade to remove stubborn stains. Use the blade to scrape off any filth or buildup on the countertop.

You should be cautious when using the blade so you don’t scratch the surface. Simply ensure that the entire edge of the blade is on the counter.

Once satisfied, rinse your sponge and remove the suds.

You may need to rinse your sponge, wring it out, and wipe up any remaining suds several times. Make sure there are no huge puddles or leftover suds on your counters.

To be on the safe side, wear gloves to protect your hands.

If you don’t have a razor blade, you can remove tough granite stains by making baking soda and water paste. Scrub the spot gently with the paste and a soft towel.

Remember to rinse it well.

Removing a difficult stain may take numerous attempts, so don’t be afraid to go over it a couple of times. For a stubborn stain, apply the paste to the area, cover it with plastic wrap, and tape it down the corners.

Let the paste sit until it dries, which can take several days. When it has dried, use a soft cloth to remove it, then rinse with warm water.

Polish the surfaces

Polishing your granite countertops is similar to cleaning them. However, this time, you will allow a polishing solution to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before cleaning it away.

Once you are done, rub the countertop with a soft cotton towel until no streaks are left. At the end, you should be left with dazzling granite countertops you can be proud of.

You can polish granite using dry or wet materials. There is no better method as both methods can be beneficial. When making your choice, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. For example,

  • Dry granite polishing powder costs less than paste.
  • You can apply dry and wet powder, making it more versatile.
  • Wet polishing produces a lot of spray when used with power tools, so you should wear water-resistant gear to protect yourself.
  • When polishing the surfaces, use plastic sheeting to cover walls, furniture, and cupboards.
  • Wet polishing cools the pads, preventing them from getting too hot and wearing out faster than they should.
  • Wet polishing pads cost less than dry pads.

If you are unsure about the ideal polishing material, contact your countertop manufacturer. They will recommend the best material.

Seal your countertops

A properly sealed granite surface will slow the spread of stains.

Pour a small amount of water on your granite surfaces to tell whether your countertops are ready for sealing. If you detect it slowly seeping in or darkening the surface of your granite, it’s probably time to reseal.

If the water immediately beads up on the surface, it indicates that you do not need to seal your granite countertops just yet.

When evaluating your granite sealer, apply it to a less obvious location before applying it to the rest of the countertop.

When applying the sealer, you should work in tiny portions to avoid spraying the same area many times. After applying the sealant, wipe off the countertop surface with a soft cotton towel for 3 to 5 minutes until dry.

After that, your countertops should be ready to use.

Add shine to the surfaces.

To shine your granite, apply a small amount of cooking oil to a soft cleaning cloth and wipe it around the surface. Buff it carefully. This makes the counter a little more stain-resistant and gives it a glossy finish that you are looking for.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should do to keep your granite kitchen countertops Durham smooth and shiny.

Remember that everything begins with how you use the countertops. You won’t have an easy time if you don’t take good care of the surfaces. As a rule of thumb, always use a coaster on the surfaces.

Stains are bound to happen regardless of how frequently you clean your countertops. To avoid this, make it a habit to seal the surfaces. You can seal the surfaces by yourself, but always ensure that you use high-quality sealing products.

Things You Should Know When Buying Marble Countertops

Marble countertops give your home an elegant appeal. If you love baking, they are the perfect units to go for, as they give you the perfect surface to work on.

If you are looking to buy the countertops, there are a number of things you should know. These things include:

If you are worried about stains, go with white marble

Although many people associate marble with creamy, white stone, there are hundreds of varieties that you can go with which include taupe, green, gold, red, and black.

White marble is best used for kitchen surfaces. This is because there are higher risk of stains forming here than anywhere else. In the event acid etching leaves a pale mark, it is considerably more visible on colorful marble than on white marble. You don’t want everyone to notice the stains on your surfaces, do you?

You should be ultra-cautious when using dark marble or nonwhite marble for kitchen countertops, as they can easily look dirty and out of place even with minor stains.

Consider how the different slabs will come together

Every stone slab is unique, so it’s best to choose the exact pieces of stone that you will use on your countertops. There’s an art to marble and choosing the right slabs and understanding the location of the veins is critical.

You want to artfully place the markings so that it’s almost like a painting. At the same time, it’s critical to consider how various components work together.

The longer the slab you can get without any seams, the better. If you do have seams on your slabs, it’s always nice to book-match the marble, so that neighboring pieces appear mirrored.

Take veining into consideration

Every quarry is unique, however, certain types of marble blocks can be cut in two different ways to produce distinct veining patterns.

For example, cross cut, or fleuri cut, produces stone slabs that are random and are good for book-matching.

Vein cut, also known as striato, slices the block in the opposite direction to create a linear, striped appearance.

Over the years, designers have used both cuts to create some unique looks. Some use vein-cut on the wall and cross-cut on the floor.

Consider the best finish to transform your marble

The entire stone industry has been experiencing a massive wave of technology, which is transforming the product.

Now, there are more options than ever to finish stone, including various brushing and polishing procedures. You can give your countertops an orange-peel texture, which is unique and adds interest to your surfaces.

While this is the case, you should note that the most common options remain polished (glossy) or honed (matte). For homeowners concerned about acid etching, go with a honed finish.

On a polished finish, etching will make the slab dull and more visible. With an honed finish, you’re dulling an already dull finish, so it disguises it.

Before you get the finish, take time to research it and find the one that will be best suited for your surfaces. If you are confused, get the input of a professional.

Consider the edging of the countertops

Aside from its natural beauty, there’s a reason marble has always been popular for sculpture: it’s easy to manipulate with tools. When current computer numerical control milling machines are included, practically anything is feasible in terms of kitchen decorating.

There are many edge profiles to choose from. For example, there is the simple softened edge, which reduces the sharpness of a straight 90-degree corner.

Hard stones like marble are brittle, so if you hit a 90-degree corner with something hard, it will chip. With a curve, it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to chip.

You need to ensure that during installation, the contractor you hire doesn’t leave a straight edge that will hurt the people or pets walking around. It also eliminates the chances of the stone getting damaged.

Take time to know the difference between fissures and cracks

Cracks indicate that the stone has been mishandled or poorly handled. However, fissures are quite different. A fissure differs from a crack in that it’s naturally occurring in the stone and does not change the plane of the marble surface.

Your nail should be able to slide across a fissure without getting caught.

Fissures may be okay depending on the look you’re going for—for example, if you want a stone with a more rustic appearance. Fissures do not affect the stone’s integrity; rather, they are part of its character.

When you are buying the marble, you will come across plenty of slabs with fissures. As mentioned, there is nothing wrong with fissures.

The problem comes when the countertops have cracks. You should avoid countertops with cracks as they tend to be weak.

Know the origin of the marble you are looking to buy

You should be cautious of the source of the marble you are looking to buy as it determines the quality of the stone.

White stones like Calacatta and Statuario are particularly popular right now. Some marble providers would refer to their white marble with veins as Calacatta marble.

But it won’t be authentic; it’ll be white stone with veins from China or anywhere else in the world, which tends to be cheap and low quality.

True Calacatta is sourced from mountain quarries in Carrara, Italy.

The same is true for Statuario: authentic Statuario marble comes from Italy. If you’re in a showroom and the vendors are offering something like carrara marble or carrara white, it’s important checking the stone’s origin.

To be on the safe side, go for marble that comes from Italy as it tends to be high quality.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should know when you are looking to buy marble kitchen countertops Raleigh. After buying the countertops, you should ensure that you have them perfectly installed by experts.

You also should take good care of them. As a rule of thumb, don’t place hot objects on them, as they will get damaged. Also, be cautious of the cleaning products you use. You should always stay away from acidic cleaners as they are known to damage them.

White Kitchen Countertop Options

White countertops exude refinement and significantly improve the vibe of your kitchen, making it lighter, more spacious, and inviting. If this is what you need, you need to choose the right type of countertop.

To help you out, here are the common types of white kitchen countertops that you can go for.

White marble

Marble is the most opulent option for white kitchen countertops. The countertop is inherently cold to the touch, making it ideal for bakers and individuals who live in hot areas, and it is the whitest natural stone available.

Despite being a durable surface, marble has one significant disadvantage: it is susceptible to acids. Lemon juice and vinegar can scratch the surface, while coffee and alcohol can leave persistent stains.

Because you’re purchasing marble by the slab, you must consider how differences in veining will appear when installed in your house.

Pricing is determined by the slabs’ size and the marble’s source. True Italian marbles, such as Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario, attract premium costs because they are both beautiful and more durable.

Lower-cost marble from other countries (such as China) can be stunning but “softer” than Italian marble.

Quartz

Most quartz countertops on the market are engineered quartz, a combination of the mineral and other elements added for strength. (This is commonly referred to as Silestone or Caesarstone.)

Engineered quartz is long-lasting, stain-resistant, and typically slightly cheaper than genuine stone. Because it is a man-made blend of materials, it is available in a wider variety of colors, finishes, widths, and thicknesses than real stone slabs.

Prices vary based on the options available. If you want a counter that looks like marble, choose Silestone’s Calacatta Gold design.

Quartzite

Quartzite and quartz are significantly distinct, despite their similar-sounding names. Quartzite is a natural substance quarried and sold in slabs; it is as strong as granite and has a comparable appearance to marble.

Acidic foods and drinks, however, can etch the substance, just like with marble. The prices of the countertops vary depending on style and size.

Solid surface

Acrylic countertops can be manufactured to seem like a variety of materials, including marble and stainless steel. Corian is one of the most popular brands of solid-surface countertops.

Counters made of this material are seamless and rather sturdy, however they are prone to scratches. They are also less heat-resistant than other materials.

This calls for you to use trivets and coasters. Prices vary by brand and type. It’s up to you to buy those that are ideal for you.

Laminate

The most cost-effective option for white countertops is laminate, made by bonding sheets to plywood or particleboard. Laminate is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, including marble-like finishes like Wilsonart’s Calcutta Marble Laminate.

Laminate countertops, like solid-surface counters, should not be exposed to high temperatures. You also should keep the coasters handy at all times.

There is no right or wrong countertop material to install. It all depends on your preferences. You should research and find a material that is most ideal for you.

Things to think about when installing white kitchen countertops

When you are installing the countertops, there are several things you should think about. These things include:

Cabinets

You need to consider the type of cabinets you will install to give your countertops and kitchen the elegant look they deserve.

If you are confused about the right choice to go with, you can’t go wrong with white cabinets.

The combination of white cabinets and white counters produces a timeless, classy appearance. This combination creates a sense of serenity and order, making your kitchen appear larger, brighter, and more welcoming.

Monochrome white kitchens are a perennial popularity with designers and homeowners alike. The consistent color palette provides a sense of continuity, resulting in a smooth transition between the different kitchen areas.

While the white-on-white kitchen design is great, it necessitates meticulous planning. To avoid your kitchen appearing flat or sterile, explore the various textures and finishes. It’s also wise to consult a professional to help you out.

Stains

Despite their beautiful appearance, white countertops have one major drawback. They tend to be less durable. For example, while beautiful, marble countertops are not the most durable option. It is prone to staining, particularly from acidic liquids such as lemon juice or alcohol.

To avoid stains, make it a habit to clean spills immediately after they happen. This is especially vital when the spills happen on porous surfaces such as marble. To clean, use a soft cloth or sponge and a light soap. Avoid aggressive cleaners, which might harm the surface.

Regularly sealing the countertops can also help avoid stains. Sealants form a protective barrier that keeps liquids from seeping into the substance.

For harder stains, use a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, wait a few minutes, and gently wipe it off.

Due to this, you need to be ultra-cautious and ensure that you don’t cause any harm to your surfaces.

To extend the life of the countertops, you need to give them a lot of care. You also need to seal them regularly to protect them from staining.

Backsplash

Many homeowners underestimate the value of a well-planned backsplash and kitchen tile decision. If you are installing white countertops for the first time, you should note that these details may make or break the overall look of your kitchen with white countertops.

A backsplash is not only practical, shielding your walls from spills and splatters; it is also an important design feature. The backsplash in a kitchen with white counters can provide color, texture, and intrigue.

It’s critical to select a backsplash that matches your white worktops. You can go for a subtle, neutral color like beige tiles or a bright, contrasting hue.

Consider the material and pattern of your backsplash tiles. They should match your countertops and other kitchen pieces to create a unified effect.

When selecting tiles for white countertops, keep the entire kitchen design and your preferences in mind. You could match the white tile to the white marble countertops NC for a smooth, homogeneous look, or go with a contrasting color for a more vibrant kitchen design. It’s all up to you.

Tips to Consider When Sealing Granite Countertops

If you have a beautiful granite countertop in your kitchen and want to preserve it in good condition, you might need to seal it.

Some countertops are pre-sealed, but if yours was not (or you’re not sure if it was), don’t wait to give it the necessary protection.

Improper cleaning, overlooked spills, and other consequences of daily use can easily damage the countertops. Thankfully, a quality sealer will soak into the granite countertops, filling the porous crevices and preventing damage.

When you are sealing the countertops, you need to consider a number of valuable tips. These tips include:

Use the right sealant

You can use two main types of sealants for your countertops: water and solvent-based.

Water-based countertop sealants are environmentally benign, but solvent-based sealants may be a little better at permeating the stone.

When looking for the best granite sealer, read the labels of both water- and solvent-based sealants and look for the active ingredient fluorocarbon aliphatic resin.

Though the sealer will be more expensive than those containing siloxane and silicon, it will provide better protection. Usually, 5 to 10 years of protection, compared to 6 months to 3 years for other sealants.

Furthermore, fluorocarbon aliphatic resins reject oil and water, ensuring your granite is unaffected by a salad dressing spill.

A quart of fluorocarbon aliphatic resin sealant covers 100 to 250 square feet, depending on the brand. You may need to reapply a 24-ounce spray container of a less potent solvent every six months.

Test the countertops before applying the sealer.

You shouldn’t start sealing the countertops simply because you feel you should seal them. Instead, you should determine whether they are ready for sealing. This calls for you to test the surfaces.

The cool thing is that there are plenty of ways to test the surfaces.

You should consider sealing the countertops when they fail the water test. To test if the countertops are ready for sealing, apply a few drops of water and oil separately to two ordinarily out-of-sight locations on the countertop. If the counter discolors in any location, it is time to reseal.

You also should consider sealing the countertops if they are stained. You should look for new stains on the granite. Granite stains are distinguished by the discolored forms they leave behind; these are often black but can occasionally take on the color of whatever generated the stain (e.g., red from wine, orange from rust, etc.).

While this is the case, a lighter or rough-textured mark indicates etching caused by a chemical reaction rather than absorption.

Seal clean countertops

There is no way your dirty countertops will absorb the sealant, so you need to clean them first before applying the sealant.

A good way to go about it is to clean a granite countertop 24 hours before sealing it. When doing the cleaning, avoid vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, bleach, and aggressive commercial cleaners, as all of these can damage your surfaces.

Start with removing everything from the counter and wipe it down thoroughly with a clean, dry microfiber towel to eliminate any surface dust.

Next, combine 1 teaspoon of dishwasher detergent and 2 teaspoons of isopropyl alcohol. Spray the countertop liberally and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, buffing it in a circular motion.

Wait 24 hours before continuing. The cleaning agent occupies the same region that the granite sealant will penetrate, so be sure the cleaning liquid has completely evaporated before applying the sealant.

Apply the sealant on a small area.

Before you spread the sealant onto the entire countertop, first apply it on a small area.

Put on rubber gloves and gather some soft rags or washcloths. Test the sealant in an area typically occupied by a small kitchen appliance to verify it will not damage the finish.

Spray or pour a tiny amount onto a cloth following the manufacturer’s instructions, then rub it evenly over the test area.

Allow the specified time for the sealer to permeate into the granite. Allow it to sit for no longer than the manufacturer’s recommended time, as the stone may discolor.

If the sealant test area appears good, go ahead and apply the sealant to the rest of the countertop. If the countertop has discolored, remove any residual sealant with a clean rag.

Snap a few images of the area and present them to an associate at your local home center for guidance on a more suited product. Once you have a new sealant, clean the counter again and test it in an inconspicuous area.

Properly apply the sealant.

If the sealant passes the test, you should go ahead and apply it on your surfaces. Start doing the application at one end and make your way to the other.

Apply the sealant in circular areas (approximately an arm’s length in diameter) to achieve even covering. Allow the manufacturer’s specified time for the substance to absorb into the countertop.

After the absorption period, remove any excess sealant using a clean, dry rag. Some products require a second coat; therefore, follow the instructions to do so.

If the product takes only one coat, leave it to cure for 2 to 48 hours.

While this is the case, granite specialists recommend waiting at least 48 hours before wiping a newly sealed granite countertop with anything moist. Avoid returning cookware to the counter until the curing process is complete.

Parting shot

These are some of the tips you should consider when sealing your countertops. Remember that the countertops might need resealing after some time.

Before you do the resealing, always do a test to confirm that the surfaces are ripe for it.

Obviously, you shouldn’t proceed with the sealing if the surfaces aren’t ready for it.

You can always do the sealing by yourself, but if you have never done it before or aren’t confident in your skills, let experienced granite contractors Raleigh help you.

For peace of mind that the contractors you hire are experienced and know what they are doing, always do background checks on them. As a rule of thumb, read the reviews or hear what the past clients have to say.

Guide to Removing Stains From Your Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are not only utilitarian but also serve as the kitchen’s piece de resistance. Keeping them clean and bright is not only necessary for hygiene, but also to maintain the aesthetic value of your kitchen.

Due to their regular use, they tend to develop stains that are unsightly and give your kitchen a cheap, ugly look.

To keep your kitchen and countertops looking great, you need to remove the stains. How do you do it? Here is a guide on how to go about it:

Quartz countertops

Because of the nonporous nature, quartz countertops are relatively easy to keep stain-free. They are also scratch-resistant, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

As time passes, stains on your quartz countertops may develop and become difficult to remove. Don’t panic if you have a big stain on your quartz kitchen countertop.

When you know what to do, eliminating it isn’t that tough. There are a few simple methods you can follow to remove even the most tenacious stains from your quartz surfaces.

You should start with blotting the stain. After this, mix a mild detergent (such as shampoo or dish soap) with warm water. Don’t use heavier detergents as they can damage the surface.

You should then dip a soft cloth in the mixture and apply it to the stain. Gently wipe the cloth over the stain in a circular motion for several minutes before rinsing it with warm water.

If the harsher stains remain on your countertop, you may need to repeat the technique several times.

If you have a difficult stain on your quartz countertop that won’t come out with mild detergent, try baking soda.

Making a paste of baking soda and water is an effective approach to remove persistent stains off quartz surfaces. Simply combine a few tablespoons of baking soda and equal parts water to make a paste.

You should then apply it to the stain and allow it to settle for a few minutes. After this, wipe it off with a gentle towel.

If you have tougher stains that baking soda won’t remove, use poultice as is a stronger, easier, and safer approach. To produce a poultice, use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Apply the paste to the stain with a moist cloth and then wrap it in plastic. Allow the poultice to stay for a few hours before wiping it clean with a moist cloth.

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide work together to remove the stain from the quartz countertop, allowing you to restore its natural brilliance. With a little effort, you can remove even the most stubborn stains from your quartz countertops.

Marble countertops

Marble is among the most porous natural stone materials available. With that in mind, any spills on the stone can easily get to the inner layers. To avoid this, you must clean them up quickly and within the shortest time possible.

If you leave the spills on the surface, your marble may be permanently damaged and you don’t want this, do you?

If removing the spill does not work and you wind up with a stain, don’t worry. You can remove most of the marble stains with poultice. A poultice will pull the discoloration from your marble and leave it clean and attractive.

Don’t worry if the poultice doesn’t work the first time. Reapply it and wait. If it still does not remove the stain, contact an expert to determine the best course of action.

The last thing you want to do when attempting to remove a stain from your marble is cause additional damage to it.

To avoid this, never attempt to remove a stain with bleach or other aggressive cleansers. Harsh cleaners include any acidic materials. Using these cleaners can wear down the marble’s surface and you don’t want this.

While marble is one of the most porous materials available, there is one important step you can take to reduce the likelihood of stains: sealing.

Sealing your marble countertop or other surfaces will stop the pores, preventing liquids and stains from passing through. Keep in mind that this seal won’t last forever. You will need to re-seal your countertops every several months.

Sealing the countertops is easy. Start by clearing and cleaning the surface. Next, apply the sealant. Depending on the product, you may need to apply the sealer with a brush or a spray bottle.

Apply the sealant to the marble and ensure that you cover the entire surface. After that, wait 15 minutes to observe the sealer.

If all of the sealer has been absorbed within 15 minutes, apply another coat. After you’ve finished waiting, wipe off any excess sealant and let your marble surface sit for 24 hours.

You can do the sealing by yourself but for the best outcome, let a professional help you out.

Concrete Countertops

Like marble, concrete countertops are highly porous. Due to this, applying a sealant to make the surface more resistant to stains and scratches is an important step toward preventing damage.

If you have stains on your concrete countertop, all is not lost. The staining could be the result of a poorly performing sealer failing to protect the concrete, temporary surface stains on a coating sealer, or staining agents getting into scratches on a high-performance coating sealer.

Before you start working on stains, first evaluate the situation.

Does the sealer appear to be unharmed, implying that this is most likely a surface stain on the sealer? 

If it does not, the sealer is most likely still intact, and you will only need to bleach out the surface stains.

Does the sealant appear to be destroyed, and the stain is in the concrete? Is the concrete simply discolored, or has it been etched away by an acidic substance (rough or pitted)? If the former, you can use bleach to remove the discoloration.

If the latter, you will need to repair the concrete before resealing, unless you want a rough patch to stay on your countertop.

Has oil penetrated through a scratch and blackened the concrete kitchen countertops Raleigh? You will need to apply a poultice to remove the oil.

Your Guide to White Kitchen Countertops

Have you always wanted white kitchen countertops? There are many options you can go with. They include:

White marble

Marble is the most expensive option for white kitchen countertops. This material has the advantage of being naturally cold to the touch (ideal for bakers and those who live in hot areas) and being the whitest natural stone available.

Despite being a hard surface, marble has one notable disadvantage: it is acid-resistant. Lemon juice and vinegar can scratch the surface, while coffee and wine can stain it permanently.

Because you are purchasing marble by the slab, you must consider how differences in veining will appear when installed. When buying the slab for the first time, it’s always wise to get in touch with a professional who will guide you on the right slab veining to go with.

When making the purchase, you should note that the price of the countertops varies based on the slabs’ size and the marble’s source.

This means that authentic Italian marbles such as Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario attract high costs because they are both beautiful and durable. Lower-cost marble from other countries (such as China) can be beautiful, although it is “softer” than Italian types.

You can easily buy a cheap slab without knowing, making it another reason to always involve experienced contractors in your purchase.

Quartz

The majority of quartz countertops on the market are engineered quartz, which is a mineral blend with other materials added for strength. (This is frequently seen under the brand names Silestone and Caesarstone.)

Engineered quartz is more durable, stain-resistant, and often less expensive than genuine stone. Because it is a man-made material blend, it is available in a wider selection of colors, finishes, widths, and thicknesses than real stone slabs.

Silestone is cheaper than marble per square foot, and the prices vary depending on the options available in the market. If you want a marble-like counter, choose Silestone’s Calacatta Gold design.

Quartzite

Though they sound similar, quartzite is not the same as quartz. Quartzite is a quarried natural stone that comes in slabs; it is as strong as granite and has a comparable appearance to marble.

If you consider installing it, note that acidic foods and beverages, like marble, can etch the material. The beauty of it is that it’s cheaper than marble and quartz, and the prices vary depending on style and size.

Solid surface counters

These countertops are constructed of acrylic and can be designed to seem like anything from marble to stainless steel.

Corian is one of the most popular solid-surface countertop brands. Counters made of this material are seamless and rather sturdy; however, they are easily scratched.

They are also not as resistant to heat as other materials. However, the solution is quite simple: Use trivets and coasters instead.

Laminate

Laminate, made by bonding sheets to plywood or particleboard, is the most cost-effective option for white countertops. So, if you are operating on a budget, these are the best units to go for.

Laminate is available in almost every color or pattern, including marble lookalikes. Laminate, like solid-surface counters, should not be exposed to heat. Keep those coasters close to reach at all times.

Tips to keep your white countertops in top shape

For you to retain your white countertops looking great, you should take good care of them. Some of the things you should do include:

Clean them regularly

There is no way your countertops will look great if you don’t clean them regularly. Thankfully, it’s easy to keep them in good shape.

For the best experience, ensure that you use the right cleaning products. To do the cleaning, you need a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive items that could scratch the surface.

You also need a basic combination of dish soap and warm water. This is usually sufficient for cleaning daily spills and messes.

Follow these routine cleaning steps to keep your countertops looking clean and appealing:

Clean your countertops daily by wiping them down with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with warm, soapy water.

Remove spills as soon as possible: The longer a spill lingers, the more likely it may stain. You should clean the spills immediately to avoid stains and potential damage.

Keep an eye out for stains.

As much as white countertops look great, they are prone to staining. To get rid of the stains, use a nonabrasive sponge or cloth: Scrub the soiled area gently with a moist sponge or cloth dipped in mild soap.

For harsher stains, mix equal parts water and white vinegar to make a solution, then apply it to the stain, let it soak for a few minutes, and then wash it away.

To prevent stains from coming about, use trivets for hot cookware and coasters for drinks.

You should make it a habit to clean spills as soon as possible. This way, you prevent them from settling for a long time, increasing the chances of developing stains.

Keep your surfaces residue-free

Follow these guidelines to keep your countertop residue-free:

Clean the cooking areas regularly. For the best outcome, wipe off the countertops surrounding cooking zones daily.

Avoid using strong chemicals or rough instruments: To avoid countertop damage, use mild cleaning procedures.

If you have ignored your countertops and now they have developed residues, consider the following steps when dealing with dried residue or grease:

Scrape the surface using a plastic scraper or spatula: Remove the residue using a nonabrasive tool, being careful not to scratch the countertop’s surface.

Use a glass cleaner or degreasing solution: Spray a glass cleaner or degreasing solution on the residue, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it away with a soft cloth.

Parting shot

These are some of the options you have when you are looking to install white countertops. Regardless of whether you go with granite or marble countertops NC, you need to take good care of them to look good and last for a long time.

Tricks to Making the Most of Your Small Kitchen Countertops

Even if cooking isn’t one of your favorite activities, a small kitchen countertop can make life difficult. Even if you’re not slicing veggies, you’ll want a large enough surface to set your grocery bags, appliances, and other accessories or decorative objects, but how do you make the most of a little countertop?

If your modern kitchen doesn’t have enough space for an island, you’ll have to make do with the countertops you have, which is more said than done.

To help you out, here are easy ways to maximize space and make the most of your small kitchen countertops.

Choose multifunctional appliances

Appliances usually occupy a lot of room on your kitchen countertop, so opt for multifunctional ones whenever possible.

If you like coffee, your coffee maker, grinder, and frother (together with all their cords) might take up a lot of space on your worktop.

To save space, consider a coffee maker that grinds the beans, brews the coffee, and froths the milk. Although such an appliance will be of significant in size, it will still take up less room than the individual parts, and you can rest assured that there will be no excess wiring cluttering your space.

Many people often ignore the oven, which isn’t good. Consider replacing an integrated one with the standard four burners in your tiny kitchen with a domino hob.

Because most people don’t use all four burners simultaneously, choosing a domino hob with only two burners mounted vertically can help you gain some extra inches.

Get rid of duplicates and anything else you aren’t using

When you have limited room, you can’t afford to keep every outdated thing you don’t use.

This is because they will create a cluttered appearance and slowly but steadily take up the majority of your available surface, which is why it is critical to declutter your kitchen countertops if you want to regain some space.

Duplicates are common in most kitchens. You can be five-can openers or twenty wooden spoons, which aren’t necessary. To free up space, collect items from the same category and minimize the volume, preserving the best and greatest quality.

This way, you’ll have fewer things (that you use) but have more space.

Make use of the space above the sink.

This is a brilliant solution that you can use to your advantage. You need to cover the sink with marble or any other material and make use of the space.

Since you have covered the area you wouldn’t have used, now you have space to do some cutting and many other tasks.

Organize your cupboards properly.

Many people wind up cluttering their worktops with objects that could easily fit in their kitchen cabinets if they were a little more organized.

You can arrange your space more wisely now that you’ve decluttered and removed all duplicates and objects you don’t need.

Begin by organizing and maximizing your cabinet space so your countertops are not congested. This calls for you to look into storage alternatives for your kitchen cupboards to keep the counters clear.

Fortunately, there are numerous kitchen storage solutions to help you maximize your cabinet space, which allow you to use all of the area while quickly accessing all of your items, spice racks that hang on the back of cabinet doors, and shelf organizers, which allow you to use the space vertically.

You can use wire storage baskets to maximize space within your cabinets so you can tuck in.

Making the most of your storage means you’ll have less need to keep storage caddies or food packets on your countertops, which leaves you enough room to do other things.

Make use of drawers.

Because you’ll be stashing as much as possible away from the counters, you will have a lot of space.

If you have a mix of drawers and shelves, the equipment you use the most should be in the drawers, while less commonly used tools, such as special cake pans, should be stored in the rear reaches of the shelves.

If you don’t have a lot of lower drawers, try installing pull-out cabinet shelves, which are as close to retrofitting drawers into your existing cabinets as you can get.

Think about decanting

It’s debatable, but there is no harm in decanting pantry products into glass jars. After all, when the pantry items are too many, you place them on the countertops, and you don’t want this.

Yes, it’s fussy, but in a compact area, they fit far more neatly into cabinets than a jumble of boxes and bags, resulting in less mess overall and the need to move some to the countertops.

You can upcycle tomato sauce jars and the like, but nothing beats old-school clip-top jars when it comes to airtight storage.

Using the version has much potential for extra storage, but you’ll want to be careful not to crowd your area with too many objects hanging from the walls.

A magnetic knife rack on the wall is practical since it takes up far less space than in-drawer knife storage or a knife block, and it keeps your blades within easy reach.

A hanging rail is also a good idea to consider for that added space.

There are other alternative options for going vertical. For example, you can screw cup hooks into the underside of higher cupboards and hang your cups next to the coffee maker.

Install a hook and hang a wire fruit basket to reclaim the space previously occupied by the fruit bowl, and purchase strong magnetic hooks and stick them to your range.

While going vertical will save you a lot of granite countertops Raleigh that you can use for other roles, you should note that if you use all of these tactics, your kitchen will feel claustrophobic. And you don’t want this.

Instead, you should work with experienced contractors who will guide you on taking advantage of the vertical spaces without letting things get out of control.

Tricks to Get the Most Value from Your Kitchen Renovation

With images of stunning kitchens filling Instagram and Pinterest by the hour, it’s easy to fantasize about a high-end renovation. 

As much as you want a beautiful kitchen, a pricey remodel with cutting-edge appliances and luxurious finishes would not always increase resale value in the long run.

The best return on investment will be a minor remodel. This could include repainting cabinets, updating the backsplash, and upgrading the appliances. 

Would you like to get the most from your kitchen renovation? Here’s how to go about it:

Go with marble countertops.

Homeowners’ desire for the opulent beauty of creamy Calacatta or Carrara marble isn’t going away anytime soon. 

To give your kitchen an elegant appeal, install marble countertops. The countertops are great, but they require more upkeep and come at a higher cost.

Still, considering investing in natural stone? Include Dry-Treat’s Stain-Proof, a unique sealant that prevents discoloration for up to 15 years.

If you don’t want marble or can’t afford it, there are other less expensive options you can go for. For example, you can go for engineered stone, such as quartz, which resembles marble and is stain-resistant and antimicrobial. 

If you’re looking for a quick bang for your buck and want the look of marble, you can get a realistic-looking porcelain slab at a fraction of the price.

Add an island

While adding an island is a significant undertaking, it is worthwhile if you want to stay in your home for a long time because this hardworking feature offers functionality and has long been on many buyers’ wish lists. 

When someone walks into a kitchen with an island, they immediately notice more countertop prep space, storage, and seating.

While you should consider installing a kitchen island, it doesn’t imply you should pack one into a cramped quarter. You should only consider installing an island if you have at least 36 inches of clearance on all sides. It will even be better if you have 42 to 48 inches.

Go with simple neutral cabinets.

Cabinets typically consume around 30% of a restoration budget and should last 20 to 25 years. As a result, you should be strategic how you go about it. It’s best to adhere to classic styles like Shaker and widely appealing colors.

Your warmer neutral colors are more pleasing and safe. While white kitchens are popular, consider installing soft taupes, dark blues, linens, and grays.

Install the right cabinet grade.

Cabinets are classified into four quality levels: bespoke, semi-custom, stock, and ready-to-assemble. With custom or semi-custom cabinets, cabinet sizes can vary, and numerous finish options exist.

Custom cabinets are great, but you shouldn’t go for them. This is because they aren’t appealing to many who might be looking to buy your unit. 

Instead of custom cabinets, use inexpensive options with adjustable modifications for renovators on a tighter budget.

You could save a lot by going for a simple kitchen, but it depends on the bells and whistles you choose.

You can deck out your kitchen with semi-handmade doors and find yourself cost-wise in the semi-custom category, or you could do semi-custom cabinetry without as many bells and whistles and find it relatively inexpensive.

If replacing the cabinetry isn’t within budget, install a fresh coat of paint, which is a faster and less expensive solution.

Go with subway tiles.

This classic option remains your best bet due to its broad appeal, versatility, and affordability. You can install the tiles in a herringbone or brick pattern or straight stack for a more modern look, which lets you customize a space without a ton of cost.

While this is the case, remember that the more detailed the pattern, the more money you’ll spend on labor, so you may want to reconsider that beautiful chevron design.

When hiring contractors, take your time and hire the best in the industry. Don’t hire the cheapest, as they will most likely become too expensive in the long run as they will fail to install the tiles properly, and you have to reinstall them, which will be an additional expense.

Install layered lighting

Plan for general and task lighting so you can see when you’re cutting celery. As an easy improvement, install under-cabinet lighting and select statement-making lighting over the island.

When done well, the light fixtures can add that pop of personality, and you can easily change them when you opt to sell the house.

When choosing the fixtures, go with those that complement the space’s decor and purpose. Depending on their form and placement, pendant lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, and track lighting can all serve as ambient or accent lighting.

For the best results, always consult experienced contractors on the best ones.

Replace the hardware

Changing the hardware is another simple technique to refresh worn-out cabinetry. Though cabinet knobs and handles vary in price, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a big difference – there are many possibilities for less you can go for.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about being too trendy because it’s so simple to replace if it goes out of style.

Again, work with experienced contractors who guide you and help you make the right choices.

Coordinate appliances

Try to match appliance finishes, such as going entirely stainless steel or selecting panel-ready models. All new appliances can cost between 10% and 20% of the total renovation expense.

As much as you should try to match the appliances, be cautious and don’t go overboard: If you remodel a kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances but a future buyer doesn’t cook, they won’t be willing to pay.

Be conservative and majorly focus on functionality.

You will benefit more by fixing the appliances instead of installing new ones. For example, instead of undertaking countertop replacement NC, repair the ones available.