Tag Archives: Kitchen Countertops

6 Questions To Help You Decide On New Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

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

How will you be using the countertops?

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

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

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

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

Do you lead a busy life?

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

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

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

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

What is your ideal kitchen look?

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

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

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

How big is your kitchen?

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

What is your budget?

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

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

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

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

Which materials match your home design?

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

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

4 Kitchen Countertops Materials You Should Try Out

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

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

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

Granite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quartz

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laminate

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

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

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

Tile

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

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

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

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

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

6 Cheap Kitchen Countertops Alternatives

kitchen countertops

When homeowners hear about updating their countertops, they imagine they have to spend several tens of thousands of dollars.

While some countertop materials will cost this much, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives. Are you on a budget? Here are six cheap kitchen countertops alternatives you should try out:

Paint

Just as paint transforms a wall, it can also transform your counters. If you don’t like the current look of the countertops, find a paint that will match your cabinets, floor, and cover the damaged areas of the counters.

Regardless of whether you have tile, laminate, cultured marble, or solid surface counters, you will find a paint that will give the surfaces a new look.

If you have the skills, you can paint the surfaces by yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert handle it. For perfect results, first prime the counters then paint them. Finish the look by sealing the counters.

Concrete

Concrete countertops are durable, affordable, and cool looking. Ages ago, concrete contractors used to pour the concrete on the site. This often didn’t produce great-looking results.

Fortunately, things have changed. Currently, thanks to advancements in technology, there are plenty of precast concrete countertops that are more attractive.

Concrete counters resemble natural stone slabs. Unless you are too keen, you can pass them for granite or any other natural stone countertops.

Since the precast concrete countertops are cured and finished in the factory, they are easy to install as they come ready to use. The countertops are usually 1.5 inches thick, and when poured and cured, they come out smooth and flat.

They come in lengths of up to 10 feet, so they don’t produce any unsightly seams.

While these countertops are beautiful, unique, and affordable, they easily chip and scratch, so you should be cautious about how you handle them. As a rule of thumb, avoid being rough with them.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles give you the durability of natural stone, but at a much lower price. The tiles also come in many designs, including the natural-toned designs that give your kitchen or bathroom a natural look.

To make your countertops more attractive, use more expensive tiles with interesting designs at the borders.

While the tiles are tough hence allowing you to place even hot pots on them, you should take care as they tend to crack and chip easily. The grout between the tiles also stains easily, so you have to pay close attention to it to maintain the look.

Laminate

Popularly known as Formica, plastic laminate is highly versatile and affordable. Laminate is also resilient and comes in many colors, textures, and patterns. The material is also easy to install. Even if you are a beginner, you can install the countertops.

They come in sizes of 2 x 4 feet or 4 x 8 feet, but if you have longer counters, visit the company, and they will cut customized sizes.

Although, made from plastic, advanced printing techniques make the countertops resemble natural stone or wood.

When they were coming out, laminate used to scratch easily, but now advanced sealing techniques make these countertops tough and almost scratch proof.

Wood

Wood is significantly cheaper than natural stone making it an ideal choice for people operating on a budget. Two of the popular wood choices are maple and bamboo.

If you opt for these countertops, you should note that they require high levels of maintenance. To prevent them from getting damaged by water, regularly seal them with epoxy. Also, remember to oil them every two to three years.

Faux granite

Every homeowner wants granite countertops, but they don’t come cheap. If you love the look of natural stone but don’t have the money to buy real granite, go for faux granite countertops Raleigh.

All you need to do is to find an experienced contractor who will help you find the right countertops and paint them to give them the look of real granite.

While the countertops will look like real granite, they can’t take the abuse of real granite, so you need to handle them with care.

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

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

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

Use ready-to-assemble cabinets

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

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

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

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

Keep existing cabinets

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

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

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

Consider alternative countertop materials

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

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

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

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

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

Keep an eye on appliances

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

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

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

Choose the open shelf design

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

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

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

Install more lights

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

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

8 Granite Countertops Dos And Don’ts

granite countertops

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

Do seal the countertops

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

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

Do clean the spills as soon as they happen

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

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

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

Do clean the countertops

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

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

Do repair the countertops

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

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

Don’t place hot items directly on the countertops

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

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

Don’t cut directly on the countertops

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

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

Don’t turn your countertops into a worktable

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

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

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

Don’t allow pets to sleep on the countertops

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

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

4 Factors To Consider When Buying Kitchen Countertops

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

Your activities

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

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

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

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

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

Your budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ease of maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

Color of the countertops

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

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

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

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

5 Kitchen Countertops Options

best kitchen countertop contractor

Are you looking for kitchen countertops? There are plenty of options you can go with. From stainless steel to granite, limestone, wood, and quartz, you can be confused about the right countertop surfaces to choose from. For you to make the right choice, you need to consider three factors:

Your budget: How much money do you have? If you are on a budget, lean towards laminate, stainless steel, and tile.  On the other hand, if you have a larger budget, gravitate towards natural stone, granite, and glass.

Your lifestyle: How do you lead your life? If you have a large family with children, go for more durable countertops. If you love cooking, go for a tough material that can withstand heavy usage.

If you are a single person and you are more interested in how the countertops look than their functionality, go for the most beautiful countertops in the stores.

Color and texture preferences: Countertops come in all types of colors and textures. When you visit a countertop store, carefully go through the countertop materials and choose the ones that accentuate the look of your house.

As mentioned above, there are plenty of countertop materials to choose from. The most popular ones being:

Granite

It’s the most popular countertop material in the market, and every new homeowner wants to install it. The good side is that when you take good care of it, it can last for a long time. It’s also heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting burnt.

It comes in an array of colors such as white, green, pink, black, and beige. This gives you peace of mind you will find the color of your liking.

You have two choices when choosing granite: polished or honed. Polished granite has a shiny finish while the honed finish has a matte look to it. If you aren’t sure of the one to go for, consult your countertop contractor, and he/she will recommend the best one.

While the countertop is an excellent kitchen and bathroom countertop, it’s expensive, so you need to have a large budget. You also have to re-seal granite at least once a year to prevent it from staining.

Marble

Marble countertops are the go-to pieces for bakers as they provide a soft, cold surface for rolling dough. Just like granite, they come in an array of colors. Since they are natural, no two marble slabs are the same, which gives them a unique look.

They are also heat resistant and won’t mark even when you put a hot pan or pot on it.

While bakers love marble, it quickly develops knife scratches, so if you love chopping things on the countertops instead of using a cutting board, this isn’t the best option for you.

The cool thing is you can prevent the scratches from coming about by covering the surfaces when working.

Since it’s soft, marble easily scratches and chips. This calls for you to be ultra-cautious when using it.

While it’s tough, marble is super porous. This means oil, wine, and other spills easily seep into the countertops, making them harder to remove.

Engineered stone

Termed as the hardest countertop material, engineered stone is mainly composed of quartz, which is a known hard material that doesn’t require any sealing. Quartz comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Upon installation, it’s hard to find the seams, the material is extremely durable, and stains aren’t too prominent.

While the stone is excellent, its main flaw is its expensive (almost as expensive as granite).

Concrete countertops

While not as popular as the others, concrete countertops are extremely tough and durable. They also come with plenty of finishes such as ground, trowel, and pressed. To give the surfaces a unique look, embed a glass into them.

While the countertop is tough, you need to seal it regularly. Sealing concrete countertops is highly expensive as temperature changes and acidic spills alter the shape of the surfaces.

Since the surfaces are made by the same materials used to build sidewalks, the countertops can crack. Countertop replacement Durham professionals recommend you add fiber reinforcement or wire mesh to the countertops to prevent them from breaking.

Wooden surfaces

They are also not popular, but they are excellent additions to your home, especially if you are operating on a budget. You have plenty of wooden surface options to choose from, such as oak, teak, walnut, and cherry.

6 Ways You Are Destroying Your Kitchen Countertops

kitchen counter

Since most kitchen countertops are made from tough materials, many homeowners think they can’t get damaged. There is nothing as further from the truth as this.

Just like any other product, if you don’t take good care of your countertops, they will get damaged. To help you out, here are six things (you are doing) that are destroying your countertops:

You place hot pots and pans directly on the countertops

One of the prime reasons homeowners install granite, quartz, and other high-compact countertops is because they can tolerate high temperatures. This makes them highly convenient when cooking and baking as you don’t have to keep on worrying about them getting damaged.

While the countertops can withstand high temperatures, they crack and get discolored when you repeatedly expose them to hot materials such as hot pots and pans.

Regardless of how tough your countertops are, always protect them from heat resulting from the cooking utensils. When you remove a hot pot or pan from the fire, don’t place it directly on the countertops.

Use a towel, hot pad, potholder, or trivet as a barrier and prevent the heat from getting onto the countertops.

You place acidic foods on the countertops

Many homeowners don’t pay much attention to the nature of the foods they are preparing. Did you know some foods are acidic, and when you place them on the countertops, you damage the surfaces?

For example, marble countertops are highly sensitive to acidic substances. Splashing vinegar, lemon juice, wine, or tomato sauce on them causes dull spots.

To keep the surfaces in top shape, clean the acidic substances as soon as they happen. Cleaning the spill with water isn’t enough. Also, consider neutralizing the stain. One of the most effective ways of doing it is sprinkling baking soda on it.

You chop directly on the countertops

After investing in durable countertops, some homeowners think they can abuse the countertops as much as they want. They dice, cut, slice, and chop directly on their quartz and granite countertops. Don’t do this.

While the countertops are tough, they aren’t scratch resistant. This means as you continually chop and cut on the counters, you increase the chances of damaging the countertops. The tough nature of the countertops also damages the knives.

Just like with the hot pots and pans, take measures to protect the countertops from damage. When cutting anything, always use a cutting board.

You allow water to stay on the countertops for a long time

When you seal granite countertops or any other countertop surfaces, you make the surfaces waterproof, right? Wrong!

Sealing the countertops only prevents water from seeping through and creating stains. When you allow water to stay on the countertops for a long time, you increase the chances of water seeping through and staining the surfaces.

While you don’t have to be in great hurry to wipe out the spills, you shouldn’t let them sit on the countertops for a long time. For example, until they evaporate.

A good rule of thumb is to never allow water to sit on the surfaces for more than five minutes. After wiping the surfaces, dry them to prevent future problems.

You place a lot of weight on the countertop edges

Placing heavy items and objects near or on unsupported sides increases the chances of the countertops developing cracks, ruptures, and fractures that are difficult and expensive to repair.

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is placing a microwave directly on the countertop overhang.

For you to avoid damaging the countertops, always think twice when placing a heavy object on the surfaces. If you have to put the object on the countertop, place it at the center.

You allow a lot of sunlight on the countertops

Sunshine is good as it lights up the kitchen and makes it appear spacious. Unfortunately, a lot of direct sunlight causes laminate countertops to fade. The sunlight also fades the sealants on the countertops. This leads to a cheap-looking kitchen.

During the peak daylight hours, pull down the shade. This is to minimize the amount of sunlight getting into the kitchen hence reducing sunlight effect on granite kitchen countertops Raleigh.

6 Ways To Ensure Your Kitchen Countertops Last Long

When you install kitchen countertops, you want them to last for as long as possible. This calls for you to take good care of them. The cool thing is that there are plenty of ways of going about it:

Ensure proper installation

Everything begins here. There is no way your countertops will last for a long time if they aren’t properly installed.

Many people try to cut costs, by going for the cheapest contractor they can afford. Don’t do this.

While you will save a few coins here and there, you will end up spending too much money on repairs as cheap contractors often don’t have the right skills to install the countertops properly.

In some cases, they improperly install the countertops such that you have to remove all the countertops and install new ones. This is extremely expensive!

To avoid this, don’t be cheap. Hire an experienced contractor. While the professional will be a little bit expensive, the extra cost will be worth it as he/she will install countertops that will last for decades.

To protect yourself in the event of an accident during countertop installation, work with an insured contractor. Take a closer look at the insurance certificate and confirm that it even covers countertop damage.

Stone countertops

The most popular stone countertops are granite and quartz. Regardless of the type of countertop you have, you should take good care of it for it to last for long.

The first thing you should do is to seal the countertops. During installation, ensure the contractor seals the surfaces with a high-quality sealing agent. The frequency of sealing depends on the quality, color, and use of the countertops.

When it comes to lighter colors, seal them every 1-3 years. Seal darker colors 3-5 years.

In addition to sealing the countertops, you also should avoid sitting or standing on them. This is to prevent the countertops from cracking after placing too much weight on them.

Slate countertops

Slate countertops are known for their brittleness. They also stain from cooking oil spills and are easily damaged by abrasive cleaners. To prevent them from cracking, avoid placing too much weight on them. You also should always protect the surfaces when cooking to prevent stains.

When cleaning the surfaces, use a pH-neutral stone cleaner when necessary.

Laminate countertops

These are susceptible to water damage. To keep them in top shape, be cautious that you don’t let water seep into the seam. This is because they tend to swell up and buckle.

When it comes to cleaning, use mild dish detergent and microfiber cloths. Only use baking soda for tough stains.

Solid surface

Stay away from abrasive cleaners, especially if you have a shiny finish instead of matte. For the tough spots, use mild soap, baking soda, and microfiber cloths. After removing the stains, rinse the surfaces with a clean cloth.

All countertop materials

Regardless of the countertop material you have in your kitchen, there are some basic practices you should do to keep the material in top shape. Some of the things you should do include:

Protect the surfaces from scratching or etching by cleaning the countertops using damp microfiber cleaning cloths and mild dish detergent. To lift tough stains, use baking soda paste.

Since countertops are susceptible to damage from acidic juices, oil spills, and harsh abrasive cleansers, clean the spills as soon as they happen to prevent the damage and stains.

Protect the surfaces from heat damage by ensuring that you don’t place hot pans directly on the countertop surfaces. The hot surfaces tend to disfigure the countertops and even crack others.

To allow air-flow underneath the countertops, set pans and even low cookers on trivets.

You also should protect the surfaces from knife damage. This calls for you to avoid slicing or chopping the food directly on the countertops. When cutting, always use cutting boards.

Use common sense when handling your countertops. Don’t do anything that would damage the surfaces. For example, don’t use abrasive cleaning materials on granite countertops as they will lose their shine.

If you aren’t sure about how to keep the surfaces in top shape, ask granite companies Durham or any other professionals to help you out.

10 Reasons You Should Give Marble Countertops A Shot

Whether looking to upgrade the look of your kitchen or bathroom countertops, some of the best countertop materials you can go with are marble countertops. Here are 10 of the top reasons you should consider the pieces:

Sophisticated look

Marble has a classic look that sets it apart from plenty of other natural stones. When properly installed, the countertops add elegance and warmth to the house, making it fun and comfortable to live in.

Rich history

The use of marble dates back to ancient Egypt. The Athenian treasury, built in the 6th century, was the first building to be constructed entirely from marble, and it’s still standing up to date. This is a clear proof of the durability and resilience of the material.

Plenty of color choices

Marble slabs come in a wide range of colors that include white, green, brown, red, and deep black. The varying colors and veining come from mineral impurities within the stone. The many colors give you plenty of choices and assurance that you will get a color that will fit your house.

Unique designs

Since the slabs are natural, they are un-replicable. No two slabs are the same; therefore, when you install them in your home, you can be confident that no other person in the world has a similar piece. For you to get the most from the unique designs, try out different slabs to find the most fitting.

Easy to clean

While the countertop materials give your home a high end look, they don’t require special cleaning materials. Mild dish soap and warm water are enough to give the surfaces a sparkling look. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the countertops as you will damage them.

Some specialized stones require experts to clean them, but that’s not the case with marble. You can easily clean marble by yourself with simple materials. When the surfaces get a stain, you can easily remove it using an alkaline product that will pull the stain from the stone and dry it out.

Heat resilience

While marble is soft and porous and tends to stain and etch easily, it’s exceptionally resistant to heat. The marble surfaces don’t burn even when you place hot items on them. The naturally cool temperature makes the countertops the top choice for pastry chefs and other professionals that deal with hot items.

Durable

As mentioned above, there are plenty of buildings built in ancient times, and they are still in good condition. While marble will require some maintenance, it tends to last for a long time when you take good care of it.

Easy to fabricate

Although it’s sturdy and resistant to heat, marble is soft hence easy to fabricate. This feature makes it easy for fabricators to create decorative edges and fancy details that improve the overall look of the stone.

Don’t settle on the cheapest contractors as they often don’t understand their craft. Marble slabs don’t come cheap; therefore, when you hire cheap contractors, you end up losing a lot.

Readily available

Unlike other stones that you have to order from a unique area, marble is readily available in most countertop stores. While you can easily find the stone, many people end up buying the wrong pieces as they are often in a hurry when making the purchase.

For you to get the most from the stone, take time to research and find a store selling high-quality stones at affordable prices. This might require you to visit a number of stores and make comparisons.

Even when you find a good store, don’t proceed to place a large order. Take a few marble samples and go with them to your home. Place them on the countertops and see how they look. Only consider buying pieces that perfectly fit your home.

Increase in home value

The high-end look of the countertops dramatically improves the home value. If you are remodeling the house for sale, you end up selling the house twice or thrice the price you would have sold it had you not installed the countertops.

While this is the case, you don’t have to install ultra-premium pieces as you might not recoup your investment. Work with expert kitchen countertops Raleigh experts who will professionally install moderately priced countertops giving your home a classic look.