Tag Archives: Kitchen Countertops

How Do You Paint Countertops?

Whether you have wooden, laminate, or any other countertop materials, painting the countertops will save you a lot of money, as you don’t have to undertake countertop replacement.

Painting the countertops also goes a long way towards improving their look and that of the entire kitchen, not to mention making the kitchen appear hygienic.

How do you paint countertops? Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Find the right colors

Begin with choosing the right paint colors for your countertops. Of course, this will be heavily influenced by your taste and desired look. If you love granite, find a color that matches your desired granite color.

If you have never painted before, this is the time to practice how to paint. Thankfully, painting is easy, and you can get a handle on it within a short time. You simply need to buy extra paint and find a blank canvas, and practice.

Step 2: Prep the surface

If you have been using your countertops, they are definitely dirty, and you need to clean and degrease them. Besides doing this, you have to sand the surfaces to provide a larger surface area for the paint to adhere to. First, use 150-grit sandpaper, then go over it with a 220-grit paper.

Once you have done this, tape off the walls, around the sink, and under the counters to prevent the paint from getting there.

To ensure that your countertops are immaculate, wipe down the surfaces with paint thinner.

Some of the other things you should do to prepare the surfaces include:

  • Remove any caulking around the countertops. One of the best tools to use for the job is an Exacto knife and screwdriver. When removing caulking, take care not to gauge your drywall.
  • Plug the faucet holes with proper towels or something that will prevent the paint from going down the openings.
  • Remove the drain and faucet.
  • Keep the kitchen area well ventilated by keeping the windows open and, if possible, place a box fan in the window pointing the outside to suck the fumes out. When painting, wear a respirator to avoid inhaling the fumes.
  • Place a baggie over the drain pipes and secure it with a rubber band to prevent the sewer gas from coming into the room.

Step 3: Prime the surface

Priming the surface simply means applying the primer on the surface. This prepares the surfaces for the paint, so you are more likely to get ideal results.  For the best outcome, you might have to apply at least two coats of the primer.

Step 4: Paint the countertops.

Once the surfaces are properly primed, now it’s time to paint them. How do you do it? If you had practiced earlier, you will have an easier time painting the surfaces.

Begin with dipping a sponge in the paint and apply it on the countertops.  Start painting from the smallish section of the countertops, then step back and look at it. Do you like how it looks? If you do, proceed and cover the entire countertop surface. For the best outcome, you might have to apply two paint coats on the countertops.

Step 5: Seal the countertops.

To lock the paint in place, you might have to seal it. There are plenty of sealing products you can use, and all you need to do is choose the most appropriate for your surfaces. The sealer you choose should be tough such that you can’t easily remove it by water. It also shouldn’t have an off-putting smell.

Step 6: Re-caulk

It’s always recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before doing anything with your countertops.

After 24 hours, re-caulk around the edges to prevent water from settling into the spaces between the counter and wall. Use bath and kitchen waterproof caulk for the best outcome and the caulking to last for a long time.

When applying the caulk, you should note that it’s not only about the caulk doing its work—it also needs to look good. Some of the tips to make this possible include:

  • Wear a latex glove
  • Caulk the edges
  • Dip a gloved finger in the water and run it over the wet caulking. The purpose of doing this is to give the caulk a smooth finish.
  • If you find it hard to properly caulk the kitchen countertops NC, hire a professional to help you out.

How Do You Clean Kitchen Countertops

To get rid of bacteria and keep your kitchen countertops looking spectacular, you have to clean them. Wondering how do you clean kitchen countertops? There is no one way to do it as different countertop materials have different cleaning methods. Some of the ways to clean these materials include:

Cleaning granite and marble countertops

Besides being one of the most popular countertop materials, they also share the same cleaning regimen. You need water, baking soda, tape, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and plastic wrap to clean the countertops.

You need to use warm water and mild dish soap, then follow up with a microfiber towel to shine the countertops. As a rule of thumb, avoid abrasive or acidic cleaners that will strip the sealer and etch the stone, exposing the countertop to stains.

Are there stains on the countertops? Use a baking soda and water paste to remove the oil-based stains. If the stains are water-based, remove them using hydrogen peroxide paste.

Apply the paste on the countertop, then cover it with plastic wrap. Tape down the edges, then let the paste sit on the stained area overnight.

The following morning, rinse off the paste. If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it goes away.

You should note that the paste can sometimes affect the color or the finish of the stone. To ensure this doesn’t happen to your countertops, spot test the paste before applying it to a large area.

To protect the countertops from stains, seal them regularly. As a bare minimum, seal them at least once every year.

How to clean wood countertops

To clean wood countertops, you need: distilled white vinegar, warm water, lemon, salt, spatula, nonabrasive cleaner, spatula, and microfiber cloths.

For spectacular-looking wooden countertops, clean them daily with a homemade mix of warm water with a splay of distilled white vinegar or a non-abrasive cleaner.

Before cleaning, always get rid of any food residues using a scraper or metal pastry. Once the countertops are clean, wipe them, so they are completely dry.

If there are any stains on the countertops, remove them using a lemon. Cut a lemon in half, then sprinkle salt directly on the stain. You should then use the lemon half to rub in the salt then once you are done, clean off the salt and lemon juice with water and vinegar.

While it might sound weird, you need to seal your solid wood countertops with food-grade oil or wax. This is to prevent the countertops from warping and cracking.

Cleaning laminate countertops

To effectively clean laminate countertops, you need: baking soda, water, mild household cleaner, and microfiber cloths. Cleaning the countertops is easy as all you need to do is clean the surfaces with a clean cotton cloth with water and a mild liquid detergent.

Are there stains on the countertops? Remove them using a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, then let it sit for five minutes, after which you should rinse it off with a soft cloth.

You should note that baking soda is a mild abrasive, so don’t scrub it when cleaning. The stain should go away on the first try, but repeat the process if it doesn’t.

Unlike the other countertop materials, you don’t need to seal the countertops, but this doesn’t mean they are invisible. To protect your surfaces, use cutting boards and trivets to avoid burns and scratches.

Cleaning stainless steel countertops

These countertops are popular in commercial kitchens, but if you are one of the unique people that have them in your home, you still need to keep them in top shape.

Unlike granite kitchen countertops Raleigh, these countertops require the bare minimum to keep them spotless. All you need is to regularly wipe them down with soap and water.

To keep off scratches and eliminate smudges and streaks, use a microfiber towel, and cleaner especially made for stainless steel, to buff them out.

Although the countertops are tough, avoid using steel wool or abrasive scrubbing pads as they can scratch the surface.

You should note that with poor care, stainless steel can develop unsightly stains. To get rid of them, mix a paste of dish soap and baking soda. Use a soft cloth to rub in the direction of the grain.

Which Granite Is Best For Kitchen Countertop?

If you have been searching for granite kitchen countertops, you must have realized that there are many granite countertops in the market you can go for.

Which granite is best for kitchen countertops? If you are asking this question, you should know that there are many granite types you can go for, with the common ones being:

Black granite counters

Have you always dreamt of a sleek and elegant kitchen? Black granite counters are the way to go. Besides the countertops giving your kitchen an exquisite look, they are dark; hence any stains won’t be too apparent.

For a great look, pair the countertops with wooden cabinets. Going for a modern, sleek look? Match the countertops with gray or white cabinets.

Since the countertops are dark, they will darken your kitchen and give it a smaller look. To counter this, install them in a large kitchen. You also should be having large windows in your kitchen that will bring in as much natural light as possible.

If your kitchen is small and doesn’t get as much natural light, but you still want to install black countertops, pair them with white or light wood cabinets to keep the room feeling open and bright.

White granite countertops

White is known to give any room a fresh, clean, and open look, so white countertops are the way to go if this is the look you have always wanted.

The countertops look their best when you pair them with stainless steel appliances and sleek white cabinets. For a classic vibe, pair them with vintage appliances.

When buying the countertops, you should note that they come in different shades that can give your kitchen different looks. For this reason, you should be ultra-cautious of the shade you go with.

Most homeowners want to install pure white granite, but it’s hard to find as most slabs come with colored flecks.

To avoid investing in an expensive slab you don’t like, take a few samples of the slab with you to your home and see how they look under different lighting environments.

Red granite countertops

Although, you won’t find them in most homes, red granite countertops have been around since time immemorial. A clear indication of how far back they date is their presence in Egyptian pyramids.

Like other granite counters, red granite countertops come in many shades and patterns ranging from bright pinkish-red to deep burgundy. It’s also not uncommon to find red granites with blue, white, or even silver highlights.

Although red seems like an interesting color, it’s not wise to install it on the entire of your countertops.  Instead, install it at the focal points of your kitchen.

To avoid overwhelming your kitchen, keep all the other finishes neutral. For example, go with wood cabinetry in warm tones, then use red accents such as in the backsplash tile to tie your space together.

Green granite countertops

Due to their close association with nature, green granite countertops bring a natural and calming feel to your kitchen. Like the other granite countertops in the market, you will rarely find pure green countertops—most of them come with brown and gray undertones. Most of them will also have interesting flecks, patterns, and swirls.

For the best look, pair green countertops with white cabinets and shiny hardware. The countertops will also look great if you pair them with wood cabinetry, especially if the wood color has cooler tones that complement the green shade.

To know what you are committing to, take a sample slab to your home before making a large purchase.

Blue granite countertops

Did you know there are blue granite countertops? Yes, they are there, and they are valued for their beauty, and as long as you install the right shade, they won’t disappoint.

Green granite countertops work excellently with white cabinets and shiny hardware. They also look exquisite when you pair them with wood cabinetry, especially when the wood color has some cooler tones that complement the countertop’s green color.

Have the countertops professionally installed

Choosing the right granite countertops for your kitchen isn’t enough—you have to ensure they are professionally installed by expert granite contractors Raleigh.

What Is The Best Way To Care For Granite Countertops?

If you recently installed granite countertops, you are aware that the countertops don’t come cheap, so as a responsible homeowner, you would want your countertops to last for as long as possible. And to do this, you need to take care of the countertops.

Are you wondering what is the best way to care for granite countertops? There are many of them, with the common ones being:

Have the countertops professionally installed

Everything begins here, as no amount of care will keep your improperly installed countertops in good shape.

Countertop installation begins from the countertop store. When you are in the store, take care when buying the granite slabs. As a rule of thumb, carefully inspect every slab and ensure it doesn’t have glaring flaws such as large fissures and cracks.

When hiring an installation contractor, ensure that the contractor is experienced and has handled similar before.

Seal the countertops

After the countertops have been professionally installed, the next move should be to seal the countertops. Most countertop installers will seal the countertops immediately after installation, which is vital as it prevents the liquids from getting into the deeper countertop layers and staining them.

To get the most from the sealer, ensure its high quality and specially designed for granite surfaces.

Protect the surfaces from heat

As much as granite is a tough stone, regularly exposing it to a lot of heat puts it at the risk of getting damaged, and you don’t want this, do you?

So, you should keep the hot cooking pots and pans off your countertop surfaces. After cooking, let the pots and pans stay on the stove. If you want to use the stove, hang the pots and pans on the shelves.

If you are eating or drinking on the countertops, make a habit of using coasters to protect the surfaces from the heat. Coasters also prevent juice and tea stains from getting on the countertops and staining them.

Clean the countertops regularly

Cleaning the countertops regularly is vital as it prevents dirt and debris from adhering to the countertop surfaces and staining them. Cleaning the surfaces also keeps your countertops looking great, which comes in handy at improving the countertops’ aesthetic appeal.

Due to the high-end nature of granite, many people feel they need to use special products to clean their countertops. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. All you need is a simple piece of cloth and water.

As a rule of thumb, don’t use any materials that can damage the countertops. For example, don’t use bleach, glass cleaners, and other degreasers that might be containing alkalis, acids, and other chemicals as they will degrade the granite sealer exposing your countertops to harmful liquids that can stain them.

Protect your countertops from scratches

As long as you are using the countertops in your day-to-day activities, they will develop scratches here and there, but they shouldn’t be too big that they deface your countertops.

The best way to avoid having large scratches is to protect the countertops from any items that can damage them. As a rule of thumb, protect the countertops from knives and other materials that can scratch them.

When you are cutting anything on the countertops, ensure that you do it on a cutting board. Never cut directly on the countertop as the stone will dull and damage the knives’ edges.

You also should avoid placing cooking pots and pans with dirty bottoms on the countertops as they will scratch the surfaces, and you don’t want this.

Protect the countertops from excessive pressure

Make no mistake about it. Granite is tough, and it can withstand a lot of abuse, but when you go overboard, you are bound to cause excessive damage to the countertops. As a rule of thumb, don’t put a lot of pressure on the countertops.

This calls for you to avoid placing heavy pots on the countertops. You also should avoid sitting or standing on the kitchen countertops Durham.

Some homeowners with large kitchens and sinks use them for bathing their kids. Don’t do it, as it’s a matter of time before the countertops get damaged.

If you have to reach the top shelf or change the kitchen bulb, don’t stand on the countertops. Instead, step on a ladder.

Does Painting Kitchen Countertops Work?

If your countertops are old or washed out and you don’t have the money to replace them, one way to improve their look is by painting them.

Most homeowners don’t paint their countertops so you will hear them asking, does painting kitchen countertops work?

The good news is that it works but you have to consider several tips to get ideal results. These tips include:

Prepare the surfaces properly

The paint won’t adhere properly to the surface so you need to ensure that you properly prepare it. How do you go about it?

After removing all the items from your countertop, get out the sanding block and sand your countertop surfaces. Avoid using the electric sander as it creates so much dust that you have a problem clearing it and getting the smooth finish you are looking for.

Although the hand sander takes a longer time to give you the results you are looking for, you are able to get the smooth finish you are looking for.

Remember that if you don’t properly sand your countertops, it’s a matter of time before the paint begins to peel.

Use the right painting tools

There is no way you are going to achieve ideal results if you use the wrong tools. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you use paint designed for countertops. This calls for you to avoid wall paints, as they aren’t made to withstand a lot of abuse, heat and spills.

When you are in the stores making the purchase, let the sellers know that you want countertop paint.

When it comes to painting, use a paint roller instead of a brush. The reason for this is because the brush will leave brush strokes on your counters regardless of how good of a painter you are. And you don’t want brush strokes on your surfaces, do you?

To avoid a bumpy counter., use smooth-textured rollers. You should only use a brush when you are applying paint on the edges or other delicate areas. When applying the paint, use the same brush to ensure that the brush strokes don’t show.

If your kitchen is large, you have a large countertop space and you will be too tired painting it with a roller. To save time, hire or buy a paint sprayer.

The cool thing is that besides the sprayer making it possible to complete your work fast, it also gives you a seamless finish and you can paint even the corners and edges even better than with a brush.

Take your time

Like any other project, there is no way you will achieve ideal results if you are in a hurry to get things done. When you are in a hurry painting the countertops, you won’t sand the surfaces properly so the paint will start peeling after a few weeks.

When you are in a hurry, you won’t give the paint enough time to dry which increases its chances of peeling off later on.

To avoid this, have enough time to dedicate as much time to the painting project as much as possible.

As mentioned above, you need to thoroughly sand the surfaces for the paint to properly adhere to the surfaces so you need to have enough time to do it in no hurry.

Each coat of paint requires at least 24-48 hours to dry before you apply another and for the best outcome,  apply at least three coats. You need to have this time to see your project to fruition.

To ensure that you aren’t in a hurry, ensure that you have at least a week for painting and a week or two for the sealant to cure. This calls for you to do the project during your holidays or on your job leave.

To ensure that the paint doesn’t take too long to dry and the sealant to cure, do the project in the summer.

Seal the countertops

Once you are done with the painting, apply a sealant to prevent the paint from chipping. Granite countertop installers NC advise that the sealer can make or damage your countertops so splurge on the best sealer in the market.

As a rule of thumb, avoid a cheap sealer, as it will ruin your project.

What Should You Avoid With Granite Countertops?

If you recently installed granite counters, you know the price they come at—they are not cheap, and you wouldn’t want to reinstall them after a few days or months, would you?

To ensure that the countertops last for as long as possible, avoid doing things that can harm them. Are you wondering what should you avoid with granite countertops? Well, there are plenty of things you should avoid, with the common ones being:

Sitting on the countertops.

The countertops appear tough and solid that when you are in the kitchen preparing the meals or having a friend over, you sit on the countertops. Others step on the countertops when reaching the top shelf or replacing the bulb. This is wrong.

While the countertops look strong, they have small fissures that can crack when you place a lot of weight on them, so you should avoid sitting or stepping on your countertops. You also should avoid placing heavy items such as large water bottles on the countertops as these too can lead to the countertops cracking.

To avoid sitting on the countertops, always have a chair in the kitchen to sit on. You also should have a stool or small ladder to step on when you are looking to replace the bulb or reach the top shelf.

Leaving spills on the surfaces

Since you regularly seal granite counters, you don’t have to worry about spills as the water can’t get into the deeper granite layers, right? Wrong!

Even with sealing, the water and other liquid spills can penetrate deeper granite layers when you allow them to sit on the countertops for too long.

So regardless of how often or the quality of sealer you use, ensure that you remove the spills as soon as they happen. Never leave them on the surface for too long.

Cutting materials directly on the surfaces

The same way people stand or sit on the countertops as they appear strong and tough, they cut materials directly on the surfaces, which, as you can tell, is wrong. Although, they are made from stone, chopping your meat or vegetables directly on the surfaces puts the surfaces at the risk of cuts, chips, and scratches that can dull them.

There is also the risk of dulling the knives, which increases the risk of lacerations.

To keep your countertops in top shape for a long time, avoid chopping directly on them.

Whether chopping meat or vegetables, ensure that you use a cutting board.

Remember that knives can cause damage even when you leave them laying on the surfaces, so don’t simply leave them on the countertop surface—keep them inside a protective knife block.

Cleaning the countertops using acidic cleaners

When you have stains, it’s only logical to clean them using vinegar and other tough solutions, right? Wrong.

While you might be having clean intentions, your execution is wrong, and it can lead to countertop damage.

Regardless of the stains on your surfaces, steer clear of acidic materials such as vinegar, citrus fruits, ammonia, and others.

The best way to clean the surfaces is to use basic dish soap. If the stains don’t come off, get in touch with an expert to clean the surfaces professionally. The professionals often use cleaners that are tough on the stains but kind on the countertops, so they don’t cause any damage to the countertops.

If the countertop experts attempt to eliminate the stains, but they won’t come off, consider removing the countertops and replacing them with new, stain-free counters.

Storing liquids and toiletries on the counters

In the kitchen, it’s common for homeowners to place cooking oils and other kitchen liquids on the granite kitchen countertops NC. You will find homeowners placing perfumes, lotions, creams, and other products on the bathroom surfaces in the bathroom.

While this might seem harmless, the creams, oils, and lotions can leak from their bottles and spill on the countertops. These products often contain ammonia, mercury, and other materials that can harm your surfaces, so they end up damaging the countertops when they spill.

The situation is even worse if you don’t use the spilling bottle and the harmful chemical stays on the countertops for weeks.

To protect your bathroom and kitchen countertops, don’t place the liquids and toiletries on the countertops. Instead, place them on shelves or decorative trays.

4 Excellent Kitchen Countertop Options

Kitchen countertops set the tone for the kitchen, so you need to be cautious and ensure that you buy the right material that reflects your style and stays in line with how you use your kitchen.

Thankfully, there are plenty of kitchen countertop materials in the market you can choose from, with the most popular ones being:

Granite countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. The material is quarried into blocks and then sliced into slabs. Granite is obtained from different countries, including Italy, China, and South America.

Good quality granite doesn’t come cheap, so you should have a large budget to install the countertops of your dreams. You should have an even deeper pocket if looking to install countertops of unique colors such as red.

While anyone can install these countertops in their kitchen, they are best suited for those that love countertops with unmatched natural beauty and at the same time don’t mind occasional maintenance to keep the countertops in top shape.

You should note that while the countertops are tough, they are highly porous which makes them highly risky to own as the kitchen liquids can easily seep into the deeper layers in the event of a spill.

To protect your investment, ensure that you seal the countertops at the time of installation. You also should seal them at least once a year to maintain the sealant.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, mined and formed with binders and pigments. Quartz quality varies depending on the source so take your time when purchasing and ensure that you buy quartz with a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rating. For a durable surface resistant to marking and staining, go for a countertop with 93% natural quartz and 7% binders/pigments.

You should highly consider quartz countertops if you are looking to give your countertops a high-class look without having to do a lot of maintenance.

Quartz also makes a great countertop material if you have a high traffic kitchen with plenty of young children, therefore, looking for a surface that is less susceptible to staining and marking.

Although quartz requires little maintenance, you still need to keep an eye on it especially if you have installed lighter colored surfaces.

Marble countertops

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term marble is the luxurious pillars and breathtaking sculptures. In short, elegance comes into the minds of most people.

If you want to give your low traffic kitchen a classic luxury look, marble is the way to go.

Marble comes in various textures and colors such as black, creamy white, slate gray, beige and many others. Your color of choice should be influenced by your likes and the color of the cabinets. For example, if you have white cabinets and a white backsplash, go with gray toned marble to create a unique premium look.

Like granite, the cost of marble varies depending on the marble species. If you don’t have a large budget but still want the high-end marble look, go for Carrara marble. Although the material has a high end look, it’s not as pricey as the other marble countertops in the market.

Carrara marble has also been shown to be highly effective at disguising unsightly chips and stains, so your countertops retain the spectacular look for a long time.

Before installing marble countertops, you should note that they are porous, so you will need to seal them at least once a year. You also should regularly clean the countertops to prevent dirt and other forms of debris from penetrating the deeper layers.

Solid surface countertops

Do you prefer your kitchen countertop surface warm to the touch, with a modern matte look that gives you seamless molding options for the sink and other technology integrations? Solid surface countertops are your answer.

Popularly known as Corian, solid surface countertops are made from a synthetic product formed from mineral derivatives and binders.

Unlike marble countertops NC, the countertops are nonporous, so you don’t need to seal them. While this is the case, the countertops aren’t resistant to stains and can scratch so you need to handle them with care and keep a keen eye on what you place on them.

Why Is Granite So Popular?

If you have been searching for kitchen countertops, you must have realized that everyone recommends you go for granite countertops.

Why is granite so popular? You must be wondering, right? Well, there are plenty of reasons for this. The most common ones being:

Granite is durable

Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials, and if you take good care of it and protect it from cracks, chips, dings, and scratches, it will last for years.

One way to keep your countertops in good shape for a long time is to seal them. You should seal the surfaces the first thing after installation, then once every one year. You can do the sealing by yourself but for best results, let a professional help you out.

The key to getting the most from the sealing is to use a high-quality-sealing product, preferably specifically designed for granite countertops.

Granite stays clean

No, we are not saying that granite will self-clean itself. Since granite is tough, it easily shields itself from mold, mildew, and bacteria, so as long as you have taken good care of the material and there are no cracks, and you routinely seal it, you won’t have to worry about mold growing on the surfaces.

Every piece of granite is unique.

Given that granite is a natural stone, all the granite pieces are unique, meaning that you won’t find any two similar slabs when you go to a countertop store.

The unique nature of the countertops means that when you buy a given slab, you are sure that there is no one else in the world with an exact similar slab. This makes you feel unique, doesn’t it?

The distinctive nature of granite also means that you can find all types of countertop colors you might be interested in. So, whether you fancy black, pink, silver, white, or even green countertops, you will find them in the countertop store.

Granite countertops are form-fitting.

This means that granite easily attains your intended shape without you having to put in a lot of work. Using wood countertops as an example, to attain your intended shape you have to sand down the edges after cutting them, which can be a lot of work.

This isn’t the case with granite countertops that don’t have a lot of imperfections after cutting. Since the granite edges are much smoother after cutting, you don’t need to put in a lot of work to attain your desired shape.

The result is a better-looking countertop that is easier to install.

You can repair granite counters.

It’s true granite is tough, but this doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. Now and then, granite will develop cracks and chips that give the countertops a beaten-up look.

Should you remove the countertops and dispose of them due to tense imperfections? Absolutely not, as you can fix them using DIY granite epoxy resin.

All you need to do is to buy the resin from your local store and apply it. The beauty is you don’t need to hire a professional to help you apply it—you can easily do it by yourself, even with no home improvement experience.

Granite instantly increases your home value.

If you have been house shopping lately, you must have realized that houses with granite surfaces tend to sell at a higher price. This is because these houses have a higher perceived value. And you can justify it as the kitchens and bathrooms look stunning.

While the countertops will increase your home value, don’t go at it blindly. If you are simply revamping your house to sell, don’t install premium and unique granite countertop colors such as red and others, as you won’t recoup your money. The reason for this is because the unique slabs go at ultra-high prices than the potential house buyer is willing to pay for.

To ensure you don’t lose your money, work with experienced and knowledgeable granite contractors Durham to advise you on the best slabs to install.

Granite countertops are a great choice.

If you are looking to install new countertops in your home, seriously consider granite. The material is classy, timeless, natural-looking and a perfect fit for any home.

4 Problems with Quartz Countertops

Although quartz has its perks, such as beautiful appearance and durability, it also has its unpleasant side. To help you out, here are 4 of the most common problems with quartz countertops:

They discolor

When you visit many countertop stores, the salespeople move with haste to point out that quartz doesn’t stain so you don’t need to give a lot of care to it. While this is true, it’s not the entire truth.

Quartz is ground down into a fine powder and then mixed with resins before it’s reformed into a countertop. Even though the stone itself is resistant to stains, the resins used to make the countertop vary in stain resistance from one manufacturer to another.

This means that if you buy the wrong type of countertop, you will have to deal with stains hence the countertops requiring almost the same care as granite.

Most countertop stains result from spills, but these aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Quartz counters change their color when exposed to direct sunlight so if your house has large windows allowing a lot of sunlight in, you have to keep closing and opening the drapes to keep the sun out.

Also, the color changes mean you can’t use the countertops outdoors or in grilling spaces.

The countertops have also been shown to stain due to hard water exposure. The iron, magnesium, and calcium in the water leave unsightly deposits on quartz that sometimes come off but sometimes they don’t.

They are expensive to install

Quartz surfaces don’t come cheap so if you are operating on a tight budget, you should look for other options. The reason for the high cost is due to the process involved in their installation. The process involves:

Fabrication: The contractors cut and smooth the slab to the needed shape and size. The larger and more complicated the shape is, the more expensive it’s going to be so if you are looking to save money, you should go for a simple design.

Support addition: If there are areas on the countertops that don’t have cabinets or appear weak, the contractors install extra support on them. The purpose of the extra support is to reduce the risk of the countertops breaking or cracking.

The contractors can install the supports in different ways. They can add extra wooden beams to the wall or secure them close to the cabinets.

Leveling: The purpose of leveling is to reduce the risk of the countertops cracking. The contractors can raise or lower the countertops or cabinets depending on the needs.

They are not resistant to heat

Quartz itself is highly resistant to heat, but the resins used in making the countertops aren’t. This means that placing a hot pan or baking dish directly on the countertops will cause them to have a white discoloration or a cloudy appearance.

To keep your countertops in top shape and avoid damaging them, avoid exposing the countertops to temperatures exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that you don’t damage the countertops, always use a hot pad or trivet instead of placing the hot items directly on the surfaces.

When it comes to cutting on the countertops, don’t cut directly on the surfaces. Instead, have a cutting board in place, as the countertops are prone to scratches.

They tend to have ugly seams

When you hire inexperienced contractors to install the countertops for you, they don’t put the slabs together as well as they should and as a result, you have ugly seams that ruin the appearance of the countertops.

Installing the countertops isn’t DIY friendly

Installing quartz countertops is complex thus not fun especially if you love engaging in DIY projects. Although there are easier to install slabs in the market that you can go for, they too require specialized tools to properly install them.

Moving the countertops is also a problem as they are too heavy. Due to this, you have no way out other than to hire professional contractors to install your quartz kitchen countertops Durham.

When hiring the professionals, ensure they are experienced enough. They also should be authorized to practice in your local area. It also doesn’t hurt hiring insured contractors.

4 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

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

They are highly inconsistent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Granite counters have plenty of fissures and pits

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

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

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

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

The countertops come with too many color variations

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

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

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

The countertops don’t have the same durability.

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

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