Tag Archives: Kitchen Countertops

How Long Does Marble Last?

best quartz countertop

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

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

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

Clean the countertops

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid grit at all costs.

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

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

Seal the countertop

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

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

Polish the surfaces

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

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

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

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

Protect the surfaces from damage

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

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

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

Install a high-quality stone

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

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

What Are Peel And Stick Countertops?

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

What are peel and stick countertops?

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

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

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

When should you install peel and stick countertops?

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

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

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

How do you install the countertops?

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

Prepare and clean the countertops

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

Secure old countertop material

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

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

Fill the holes

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

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

Even out the surface

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

Arrange the countertop tiles

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

Set the countertops in place

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

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

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

You don’t need a contractor

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

4 Problems With Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops make excellent kitchen countertops for those that can’t afford marble or granite countertops. While the countertops are super affordable, and you can install them by yourself, they come with their fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common problems with concrete countertops and how to solve them:

They easily crack

The countertops can crack either soon after installation or later on down the line. The risk is heightened when you use poured in place concrete instead of pre-cast concrete.

Thankfully, you can prevent the cracks from coming about by adding rebar, fiber reinforcement, or wire mesh. If you do this, but cracking still happens, don’t fret as you can fix it. How do you do this?

Use a material that can bond to the concrete to restore its appearance and prevent liquid penetration that could stain the countertops. The material you use should be flexible and strong or stronger than concrete, so future cracking doesn’t happen.

You can seal the crack by yourself or hire a professional to help you out. If you opt to go the DIY route, start the process by cleaning the crack. If the oil or stains have penetrated the crack and discolored the concrete, address the stains before repairing the crack.

If the countertops are new and unstained, apply more sealer down into the crack by rubbing the sealer in with your gloved fingers. For you to repair the crack, the sealer should penetrate the crack and fill it.

A good sealer has low surface tension, so it readily wets out the concrete and has a low viscosity.

For best results, avoid topical sealers as they don’t penetrate and fill the cracks. This is because the sealers have low solid content.

Unlike other problems that worsen with size, it’s not the case with concrete cracks. The larger they are, the easier they are to fix, as it’s easier to get materials into the crack.

The countertops scratch easily.

Other than the countertops developing cracks, they also scratch easily, which can give your surfaces a cheap, ugly look. Thankfully, you can seal the minor concrete scratches and restore your countertops.

There are two ways you can do this: touch up the scratch with a sealer or reseal the entire slab.

When using a sealer, be cautious and ensure you are using the right one. As a rule of thumb, avoid a two-part sealer that you have to mix and spray onto your countertop with special equipment.

Your touchup kit should be as simple as possible. One of the best you can go for is the single-component sealer, such as acrylic.

When it comes to brushes, use a “spotter brush” that gives the best results as it’s fine and doesn’t hold a lot of sealer.

After you have touched up the scratch and the touchup is dry, adjust the sheen to match the surrounding finish, and if there is excess material in the touchup, use a razor blade to scrape off the excess.

They chip easily

Like marble and granite countertops, concrete surfaces can chip when they contact sharp objects near the corner of the countertops. The reason these areas are vulnerable is because there is little material available to resist the full impact of the pan, pot, or any other heavy object.

When there is a chip on your countertops, you can fix it in different ways depending on the chip’s nature. If the chip that came off is available and still intact, you need to glue it back on. On the other hand, if the chip fragment is unavailable, fill the damaged area with new material.

Regardless of the method you use, ensure the adhesive or filler you use color matches the countertops.

The countertops are prone to oil stains.

Since the surfaces are porous, they are prone to dark oil stains. Thankfully, you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement Durham when this happens, as you can get rid of the stains using a good poultice. An ideal poultice is a mixture of powdered sugar, baking soda, and flour with acetone.

Spread the poultice on the oil spot, then cover it with plastic wrap taped down to seal in the poultice.

How Often Should You Seal Marble Countertops?

Due to its porosity, it’s no secret you need to seal marble. The big question is, how often should you seal marble countertops? Should you seal them daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly?

Marble is softer than other natural stones, so it’s more susceptible to scratches and less resistant to acids, so it requires more frequent sealing.

The frequency at which you seal the countertops depends on their use. If you have a family and regularly use the countertops, seal them more often than a bachelor that rarely uses their countertops.

There is no definite oftenness when you should seal the countertops but most experts agree you should seal the countertops once at the time of installation then at least once every 3-6 months.

How do you know your countertops are ripe for sealing?

The good news is it’s easy to tell when your countertops need sealing, as all you need is a water test. To do the test, pour ¼ cup of water onto a small area then wait 5-10 minutes then wipe off the water with a paper towel or soft cloth.

If the area shows any discoloration or darkness compared to the rest of the countertops, it’s time to seal the surfaces.

Do you have to hire a professional to do the sealing?

The answer to this question is yes and no. If you have the skills, you can do the sealing by yourself, but if you have a large kitchen and looking for an expert touch, hire a professional to help you out.

If you opt to do the work by yourself, follow the right process to get ideal results.

Step 1

Start with clearing the counters of any items present, then use a damp cloth to wipe down the counters so they are free of dust and other particulates. For even better results, clean the countertops with a cleaning solution specifically designed for marble.

Step 2

Once the countertops are clean and dry, apply the sealer. You only need to spray a generous amount of it on the countertops, ensuring you cover the entire countertop surface.

If you have a large kitchen, work in sections so you don’t get overwhelmed or lose track of the areas you have already applied the sealer to.

Step 3

Once you have covered the entire surface, let the sealer dry while observing its condition for at least 15 minutes. If the sealer soaks into the pores and crevices before 15 minutes erupt, apply more sealer and repeat.

If after 15 minutes there is a sealer left on the surface, wipe it off. It’s common for the sealer to dry on the surface before you can wipe it. If this happens to you, don’t fret. Simply spray more sealer, wait a few minutes, then wipe it up.

Step 4

After applying the sealer you will have done with your project but don’t rush to use the countertops. Instead, leave them alone for at least 24 hours for the sealer to get to the bottom of the surfaces. Giving the surfaces time also ensures the seal stays in place without being compromised.

Other ways to keep your marble in top shape

Besides sealing it, there are plenty of other things you can do to keep your countertops in top shape. Some of these things include:

Wipe the spills as soon as they happen

Even if you have sealed the countertops, there is the risk of the countertops staining when they are exposed to liquids for a long time. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to wipe the spills as soon as they happen.

Whether it’s soda, coffee, fruit juices or any other liquid, wipe it with a sponge, paper towel, or soft cloth as soon as it happens. To have an easy time, have a hand towel on the countertops at all times.

Other than spills, you also should make it a habit to clear stains as soon as you notice them.

Use coasters, trivets, cutting boards, and placemats

These items create a barrier between the countertops, hence protecting your kitchen countertops Raleigh from damage.  By having the items on your surfaces you prevent scratches, etches, and burn marks from occurring and scarring your precious marble.

Can You Paint Your Kitchen Countertops?

kitchen countertops

If you don’t like the current look of your countertops and don’t have money to install new countertops, you might be thinking about painting them. Can you paint your kitchen countertops? The good news is yes, you can paint the countertops.

That said, before you paint your countertops you need to consider several things:

  • How long will you be using the painted countertops?
  • Will you be selling your house or renting your house in the near future?
  • How will you be using the countertops?

If you are planning to renovate your house in the future, you can go ahead and paint the countertops as you have nothing to lose. After all, it’s temporary. If you don’t like the painted countertops it’s a matter of a few months and you replace the countertops with new ones.

If you will be selling or renting your house in the future, it would be unwise to paint the countertops as painting might bring down the value of the house or make it less attractive to the buyer or renter.

Finally, you should realize that painted countertops aren’t as heat resistant as their unpainted counterparts, so when using them, always have a trivet under the hot pans.

How to paint kitchen countertops

If you feel painting the countertops is the only way to improve their look, you should go ahead and do the painting. How do you do this? Follow these steps:

Choose the right color

You don’t want your countertops to resemble a doodling table, do you? To avoid this, choose the right color for your countertops. For the perfect look, you need a base color and 2-3 more colors that complement each other.

You can see pictures on Pinterest for inspiration or get professional advice from a color expert.

Prepare the surface for painting

Once you have the colors locked in, your next step is to prepare the surfaces for painting. Some of the things you need to do include:

  • Remove everything from the countertops and relocate them somewhere else.
  • Remove caulking around your countertop using a screwdriver and knife. When doing it, be cautious you don’t gouge the drywall.
  • Remove faucet and drain
  • Place a baggie over the drainpipe and secure it with a rubber band. This will prevent sewer gas from coming into your room.
  • Plug faucet holes with paper towels or other things to prevent paint from going down those openings.
  • Sand the countertops
  • Tape the edges with painter’s tape
  • Tape up drop cloths around the room using painter’s tape to prevent spray paint from getting into areas you don’t want to paint.
  • Wipe the countertops with paint thinner to ensure they are completely clean.
  • Ensure there is as much air coming in as possible by opening the window, placing a box fan in the window pointing on the outside to such the fumes out, or by turning on a vent fan if you have one.

Apply 1-2 coats of your base color

It would be good for the base color to cover the original countertop color, but if your color doesn’t, you can still proceed with the painting as you are still going to add more color on top.

After applying the base color, now apply the first color accent. Pour the paint onto a plate, then proceed to apply it onto your countertops by tapping the paper towel onto a plate and then onto the countertop.

You should apply the color this way until you cover the entire countertop.

Once you are done, give the colors time to dry, then apply the topcoat. For the best results, you may have to do at least 3 coats of the color.

Sand the countertops

It’s common to find uneven spots on the countertops or feel an uneven texture due to paint application. If this is your case, you should lightly sand the countertops. You might have the impression you will harm the look of the countertops by sanding but this isn’t the case.

Since you have multiple color coats, you most likely won’t harm the look of the countertops. Instead, you will get an extra smooth finish.

You can do the painting if you have the skills but for exemplary results, let experts experienced at painting quartz kitchen countertops NC and other materials handle the work.

Is It Hard To Change Kitchen Countertops?

If your current countertops are old, out of style, or you simply no longer like them, you can always change them. If this is your first time, you must wonder, is it hard to change kitchen countertops?

The ease of replacing the countertops depends on your skill level. If you have never done it before, it’s wise you don’t do it as you risk causing excessive damage. Instead, hire an installation professional.

On the other hand, if you are a DIY ninja, you can take on the project. To execute the project successfully, you need to consider plenty of factors that include:

Ease of removing the existing countertop material

To install the new countertop material, you have first to remove the existing one. The ease of removing the material depends on the individual material. For example, laminate countertops or solid-surface materials are easy to remove as they are often screwed into place.

Hard stone counters are hard to remove as they easily crack or pit. Thankfully, if you aren’t planning on reusing them, you can crack them, making your work easy.

Plumbing system

The other thing you need to pay attention to is the plumbing systems. When replacing stone or engineered composite countertops such as Silestone, you have to replace the sink unless the sink is mounted under the existing countertop.

When you have to replace the sink, you have to deal with the plumbing issue, as changing the sink will also impact the faucet configuration. In most cases, you will have to replace the faucet upon replacing the countertops.

Quality of the cabinets

You often place countertops on top of cabinets, so you need to think whether the cabinets can carry the additional weight when making the switch.

If you plan to change the cabinets later on down the road, hold off replacing the countertops until you have fixed the cabinets. This is because removing the countertops in the future will be too expensive, not to mention the risk of damaging the countertops in the process.

Also, most contractors refrain from doing it due to the many risks that come with it. To avoid all this, if you don’t like your cabinets’ current look or have always wanted to improve them, first address them. You will even be better off spending money meant for the countertops to fix the cabinets, then find countertop money later on.

The backsplash material

Countertops and backsplash are like yin and yang—they go together. This means when you install the countertops, you need to think about the backsplash as well. For a uniform look, ensure that the countertop materials match or coordinate with the backsplash.

Lighting

You need to think about how the countertops will look at night or when little sunlight is getting in the house. One of the most attractive lightings is under-cabinet lighting that is easy to install but hard to figure out the wiring, so you will need to take your time and understand it.

While attractive, under-cabinet lighting can cause eye-straining glare when you aim it directly onto a polished stone, so you need to be strategic in your installation.

Old appliances.

How your old appliances will look upon installing the new countertops is an important factor to consider. If you have had your appliances for decades, chances are they are too old, and installing new countertops then leaving the appliances in place is synonymous with wearing a new outfit with an old pair of shoes. It doesn’t look good, does it?

If this is your situation, besides thinking about replacing the countertops, also start shopping for new appliances to give your house an inviting, uniform look.

If your appliances are relatively new and in good shape, you have nothing to worry about as they most likely look the part.

Take your time

The key to successfully changing your countertops is to not be in a hurry. Research the best materials that will look the best for your home. You also need to think about how the countertop materials will look after installation.

While you save money when you install the countertops by yourself, it’s always wise to have an expert countertop replacement NC expert do the work as they do a better job. You also have someone to blame if things don’t go as planned, which is good, isn’t it?

How To Polish Marble Countertops

Do you have dull marble countertops and don’t like their unappealing look? Don’t worry as you can easily restore gleam. How do you do it? Here are steps on how to polish marble:

Step 1: Clean the countertops

Cleaning the countertops ensures you start with a clean slate. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any surface dirt and debris, then wet a non-abrasive sponge with warm water and use it to wipe the marble top again.

Spray the marble surface with a commercial stone cleaner and wipe it off with a clean, soft rag or a mild dishwashing liquid. Once you are done, rinse it well with plain water.

If you used a commercial cleaner, use a clean damp rag to wipe the marble cleaner. You should then dry with a chamois or an unused microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Remove stains

Since marble is porous, it tends to easily develop stains, especially if you don’t take good care of it. Before you proceed with polishing, you need to get rid of these stains. How do you do this?

If you have the budget, buy a commercial marble stain remover. If you don’t have the money or you love making your own things, you can make your own stain remover by mixing one tablespoon of ammonia into a half cup of hydrogen peroxide then slowly add just enough baking soda to make a thick, creamy texture.

You should then spread the poultice over the stained areas using a clean paintbrush and cover it with a plastic wrap. Leave the poultice in place for 12-24 hours, remove the wrap and let it dry out completely.

Using a razor blade, carefully scrape the crumbly poultice while taking care you don’t gouge or dig at the marble surface. You should then clean away any remaining poultice residue with a damp cloth then wipe the marble dry.

Step 3: Buff out the etching with a polishing powder

If your countertops have severe etching, don’t waste your time or money with polishing powder. Instead, hire a professional to look into it. On the other hand, if your countertops have minor etching from acidic foods and cleansers, you can remove them easily using a polishing powder that you can buy from a home improvement store.

After getting the powder, wipe it over the etched areas with a water-dampened cloth, then sprinkle small amounts of the powder onto the etched spots. You should then gently buff the powder into the blemishes with a damp cloth, then follow with a clean, damp rag to the powder residue.

You should finally wipe the countertops dry to reveal the restored shine.

Step 4: Seal the countertops.

After polishing the surfaces, seal the marble countertops to retain the shine and resist major stains. You can use topical or impregnator sealants.

From their name, topical sealants sit on the top of the marble and prevent staining while impregnators go below the surface and repel water and oils while still allowing marble to breathe.

Your countertops will look best when you seal them with an impregnator.

You can do the sealing by yourself or let a professional handle it. If doing the work yourself, begin purchasing the sealant from your local hardware store, then apply it on the surface.

After applying the sealant, give it a few minutes to dry. You should note you shouldn’t let it fully dry as it will streak. After 10-20 minutes, wipe off the sealant residues using a dry cloth.

You should then allow your marble to sit 6-8 hours without placing anything on it.

Retaining the shine

Other than sealing the countertops, you need to take good care of your countertops, so you maintain the shine. How do you do this?

Clean the surfaces with the right products: While you might be up to good when cleaning the surfaces, you might be harming them by using the wrong products. As a rule of thumb, you should never use bleach or cleaning products containing alkaline or any acidic substances as they will degrade the sealer and expose your countertops.

Remove spills as soon as they happen: Even if you have sealed your kitchen countertops Raleigh, it’s stupid to leave the liquid on the surfaces for a long time as it tends to penetrate the porous marble, leaving ugly stains that are difficult to remove.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen or as soon as you notice them.

Granite Kitchen Countertops: What To Put On Kitchen Countertop For Decoration?

Imagine this. You have installed granite kitchen countertops or any other countertop material of your choice. Should you leave it bare or decorate it? If you love a decorated kitchen, decorating your countertops can be tricky as you have to ensure the decorative accessories don’t get in the way of cooking.

If you are wondering what to put on the kitchen countertop for decoration, there are plenty of things you can use. Here are some of them:

Cooking books

Love trying out different recipes and have several cookbooks on your bookshelf? Why not bring them to your countertops? The books give your surfaces an elegant appeal, and you can place them on any countertop surface. If you want to amp up the look, use bookends.

Everyday appliances

If you are like other homeowners, there are several appliances you use every day. These include a blender, mixer, coffee maker, rice cooker, tea kettle, and others. If you use these appliances every day, there is no need to add any other decorative items on your surfaces as you risk giving it a disorganized look.

Strategically place these appliances in your kitchen surfaces, giving the surfaces an elegant appeal and a sense of space.

You should get rid of appliances that you rarely use. For example, put away the blender that you use only once a week.

Cutting boards

Did you know you can improve the appeal of your kitchen with cutting boards? Get several boards of different types, shapes, and colors, then strategically lean them against your kitchen backsplash.

To make the cutting boards the center of attention, ensure there aren’t many appliances on the countertops.

Fruits

Since most fruits don’t require refrigeration and can last for a few days under the room temperature, they make excellent decorative accessories for your kitchen surfaces. Collect a few of your favorite fruits of different colors, place them on a large plate, and then place them at your counters’ strategic areas.

Great fruits you can go for are: lemons, limes, oranges, and apples. Oh…ensure the fruits are fresh. There is no way dry, decaying fruits will do good to your surfaces.

Plants

It’s amazing how a single potted plant gives your space a refreshing touch. In addition to transforming your home’s look, plants also give your surfaces an appealing, organic feel.

To transform your home, find a few of your favorite indoor plants and display them in a stylish pot or planter. If you are out of the house for extended periods, choose low maintenance plants.

If you aren’t sure about the right plants and planters to use, get a professional’s input.

Fresh flowers

Do you love flowers? Why not find a few and use them to decorate your countertops? Well done flowers bring in an organic and refreshing touch to your surfaces. Unlike plants, flowers tend to wilt faster, so you will need to replace them more often.

Art pieces

If you ask many homeowners, they will tell you that you can’t display art in the kitchen, but nothing is as further from the truth as this. When well displayed, art pieces can magically transform your surfaces.

Some of the great options you can go with include: dainty sculptures, decorative jars, framed canvases, paintings, and many others.

For best results, be strategic in how you display the art. For example, lean small paintings against the wall or at the end of the counter. You can display the paintings as a single piece or as a series.

When it comes to vases or sculptures, you can layer them into other types of décor, making them serve as the counters’  counters’ focal point.

Soaps

Although, popularly displayed in the bathroom, you can also use soaps as a charming décor on the kitchen counter. Place a few handmade soaps in a big jar, then place them near the kitchen sink or anywhere else.

Parting shot

These are some of the items you can use to decorate your kitchen countertops Durham. For a uniform look, stick to a theme. You can do most of the decorations by yourself but if you feel you can’t, get a professional designer to help you out.

Is Marble Easy To Maintain? Marble Countertops Experts Answer

Marble is one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. While it has been around for a long time, many new homeowners are skeptical about installing it due to its perceived high maintenance. Is marble easy to maintain? You will hear them asking.

Like any other countertop material, marble requires some care. To help you out, here are tips on how to care for marble countertops:

Apply a good sealant

Marble is porous, so you need to seal it to protect it from staining. At the time of purchase, the countertops don’t have any sealing so you have to apply it. If you are a dab hand at DIY, you can do the sealing or, let the countertop company do it.

Thankfully, applying the sealant is simple. Ensure the surface you are working on is clean and dry. If applying the sealer on an old countertop, use acetone to remove the old sealer. By following the instructions on the sealant’s packaging, proceed to apply the sealant to your countertops.

Applying the sealant is easy as all you need to do is to pour it directly on the surfaces then spread it evenly with a clean white cloth. Let the sealer soak for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle a little more over the treated areas.

This way, you will collect and gather excess sealer during cleanup. You should use a clean, dry cloth to remove the excess sealer that hasn’t soaked in. In most cases, a second coat is unnecessary unless the sealer manufacturers recommend it.

Get rid of stains as soon as you notice them.

To avoid stains, it’s recommended you clear spills as soon as they happen. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen, and you are unaware of it. What is the result of this? The liquid gets into the inner layers of the countertops, and you have a stain.

To restore your countertops, you need to get rid of the stains. There are plenty of products you can use to do it. It’s up to you to choose the right ones depending on the type of stain you have.

If you have oil-based stains such as milk, cooking oil, makeup, and others, clean them using a liquid cleanser with ammonia, acetone, mineral spirits, or bleach.

Got mildew stains? Combat them with a solution of three parts household bleach with one part water and a dash of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. You should mist the surface thoroughly and repeat the application until the entire stain goes away. Finally, rinse the area with clear water.

Have you spilled tea, wine, paper, tobacco, coffee, fruit, or any other foods on your precious countertops? Use a 12% hydrogen peroxide solution and a few ammonia drops to clean the surfaces. You should then rinse the surfaces with a wet cloth and dry with a chamois.

If you accidentally spilled paint on the surfaces, remove a small drip with a lacquer thinner dabbed on with a clean cloth. You can also carefully scrape it off with a razor blade. If the paint stain is large, use a paint stripper to remove it. Remember to re-polish the affected area after removal.

Protect the surfaces from damage

Sealing the surfaces is enough, and you can do whatever you want with the surfaces, right? Wrong. Even after sealing the countertops, you still need to be cautious about how you handle the countertops. As a rule of thumb, don’t allow citrus, vinegar, or tomato on the countertops as they can etch the countertops.

You also should avoid sitting or standing on the countertops. Its true marble is strong and tough, but it’s not strong enough to take a lot of weight, especially near the edges. So don’t sit or place heavy objects there as the counters can break.

Clean the surfaces

This is probably the most important thing you have to do to your kitchen countertops NC. And the good side? You don’t have to be fancy about it.

At least once a day, wipe your surfaces with a damp mop or sponge to get rid of loose dirt and any bacteria that might be present.

To avoid damaging the surfaces, avoid using vinegar and other harsh products that can etch the surfaces.

What Is The Best Color For Kitchen Countertops?

With countertops coming in all types of colors, it can be confusing to choose the ideal color for your surfaces. What is the best color for kitchen countertops? You wonder. The right color depends on your tastes, how you use the countertops, and the overall style of your home.

We can’t tell you the right color to choose, but we can guide you on the most popular colors, so you make an informed decision.

Pure white

Pure white countertops give your surfaces a minimalist, new look that is inviting to look at. The white color looks excellent in contemporary surfaces and small spaces such as compact condo kitchens paired with minimalist white cabinets. The white color comes in handy at making your surfaces look big.

White is also a great addition for surfaces that already have a great deal of bold character in other finishes such as grainy wood cabinets.

In conclusion, the white surfaces make an excellent choice if you love crisp, modern style, you want to break up modern wood cabinets, or you love a nautical white and blue scheme.

Black

You should be cautious when choosing the black color as it can look gothic in some situations. An ideal application of the countertops is when you have dark cabinetry, dark floors, and other rich and weighty finishes.

If planning to have a dark-on-dark palette, you should have plenty of light sources. They can be natural, added, or both.  This way, you have your space feeling cozy and sophisticated.

The dark color comes in handy when you are looking to bring out the subtle colors in painted cabinets.

When choosing the color, choose dark gray instead of pure black to soften the look.

Countertop experts highly discourage against having one large black element as it will look out of place. Instead, you should have other sprinklings such as black cabinet knobs and pulls.

Black countertops are for you if:

  • You have dark cabinets, and you are looking for counters to blend in with them.
  • You have a smoky mirrored backsplash common in condos and modern homes.
  • You have colorful, fun cabinets, and you want them to shine.
  • You are looking to achieve a classic black and white scheme.
  • You want to connect to other black elements in your kitchen.

Wood

Wood is an excellent material when you are looking to infuse coolness to your kitchen. Wood countertops make excellent material for a transitional kitchen that balance traditional and contemporary elements.

Wood counters are also an excellent addition to spaces featuring wood cabinets. This makes sense if you are a true wood lover and don’t mind wood dominating your palette.

There are plenty of woods you can go with to give your surfaces a unique look. For example, there are lighter woods that have a casual or rustic feel. These woods can be stained or unstained, depending on your preferences.

There are also the darker woods that have a formal or polished look than the other tones. These make excellent additions for bright and breezy areas with plenty of windows.

When mixing wood counters with other wood finishes, you should stick to either warm or cool tones. This is to prevent them from clashing.

Wood countertops are good for you if you want an accent countertop to contrast with your other surfaces, your white cabinets need some warming up, you want your space to feel more approachable and intimate, and you enjoy a dash of rustic charm.

Gray

Gray is a neutral color, so a perfect material when you aren’t looking to make a statement in your kitchen. For a great look, pair the material with colorful cabinets. One of its greatest applications is tying together light and dark cabinets.

Gray also makes an excellent addition when pairing it with warm metallic accents. For example, if you have a brassy faucet or sink, a gray counter works perfectly at bringing out the warm tones, so they shine their best.

According to granite contractors Raleigh, you should choose gray countertops if you want a soft, friendly vibe with muted tones, you have colorful cabinetry or multiple tones of cabinets mixed together, you have warm metallic accents, or you have a black and white scheme that needs some softening.