Tag Archives: Marble Countertops

Marble Countertop Care Dos And Don’ts

Do you own marble countertops? You should know that it’s your responsibility to keep them in top shape. For this to happen, you need to observe a set of dos and don’ts, which include:

Don’t leave grime on the countertops

If you have small children or a large family, it’s common to have stains on your countertops.

It’s easy to forget about these stains, especially if tired.

You should note that when you let the stains stay on your countertops for long, they permanently stick on the surfaces, and you have an extremely hard time removing them.

Sometimes you are even unable to remove them, and you have to replace the countertops.

You should always wipe your countertops after using them to prevent this from happening. To protect the surfaces from stains, always cut your fruits, vegetables, meat, and other food items on a board—never cut directly on the surfaces.

Don’t use acidic cleaners.

As much as you want your countertops to look exquisite, you shouldn’t clean them using acidic cleaners. This is because the cleaners will dull the professional finish and eat away at the stone surfaces, leading to etching.

Etching resembles watermarks or surface stains, but they are chemical burns that have damaged your surfaces. If you used a lot of acids and the etching is extensive, you may need the services of an expert to restore the damaged areas.

To be on the safe side, use the right cleaning products. As a rule of thumb, use products specially formulated for use on marble and other natural stones. If you aren’t sure about the right one to go for, get the input of a professional.

In the event you find your countertops with a stain, there are several ways you can remedy the situation. If you have oil or grease stains, create a baking soda and acetone mix, then apply it to the affected area.

Let the mixture sit for 24 hours before wiping it away and rinsing it with water. If the stains sit deep into the countertops, you may have to apply the mixture two to three times.

Once you are done removing the stain, remember to apply a sealing agent to provide your countertops with an extra layer of protection and prevent more stains.

If your countertops have wine, coffee, tea, fruit juice, or any other organic stains, remove them by mixing one part laundry bleach with one part water, then spray it onto the surfaces. Let the mixture stay on the surface for 15 minutes, then rinse it with water.

You can also place a clean paper towel over the stain, then pour a 3-4% hydrogen peroxide solution to the towel to the point of saturation. Allow the solution to sit on the countertop for at least 24 hours before wiping away and rinsing the area with water. If the stain doesn’t go away, repeat the procedure.

Seal the countertop at least once a year

Marble is highly porous, so it needs regular sealing to prevent stains. You should always seal the countertops the first thing after installing them, but this isn’t enough—you need to seal them at least once every year.

To tell whether it’s time to seal the countertops, undertake a water test. Here you pour 3 inches of water on several areas of your countertop then let it sit for at least 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring on the countertops, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal the surfaces.

You can do the sealing if you have the skills, but let it be done by an experienced professional for the best outcome.

Polish the countertops

Besides sealing the surfaces, you also should polish them to maintain a shiny, clean look.

There are plenty of products you can use to do the cleaning. From cleaning agents with neutral pH to acetone and hydrogen peroxide, there are plenty of options you can go with.

Unlike sealing, you can polish the kitchen countertops Durham by yourself. You need to ensure that you don’t overdo it as marble is highly delicate and can easily break if you over polish it.

What Shouldn’t You Do To Your Kitchen Countertops?

To keep your countertops in top shape and have them last for as long as possible, you need to be cautious of what you do to them. What shouldn’t you do to your kitchen countertops? There are plenty of things, with the common ones being:

Don’t use knives on your countertops

As much as your countertops look tough, they can easily get damaged by knives and other sharp objects, so you need to be cautious about how you go about it.

When you cut directly on your surfaces, you leave surfaces with slice marks that are not only unpleasing to look at, but are also unhygienic as harmful bacteria and other microbes can hide inside.

To avoid damaging the countertops or even your knives sometimes, make it a habit to use a cutting board. Of course, get a high-quality cutting board that will last for a long time.

Don’t use bleach when cleaning the countertops.

When used properly, bleach is one of the most effective cleaning tools you can use to clean the various parts of the house. While this is the case, you shouldn’t use it in every situation. As a rule of thumb, keep it out of your countertops as it will discolor the countertops, making them look too old than they are.

You shouldn’t use bleach the same way you shouldn’t use harsh cleaning pads such as steel wool or Brillo pad.

Most of the countertop dirt can be removed with a soft piece of cloth, soap, and water. If you have tried cleaning the surfaces, but things aren’t getting better, chances are the countertops are stained, and you need to hire a professional to use specialized products to clean them.

Don’t store cleaning supplies on your countertops.

The cleaning supplies are safe to place on the countertops. After all, you clean the surfaces using them, right?

Well, as much as you clean the surfaces using the products, you shouldn’t place them on the countertops. This is because the products contain plenty of chemicals that can stain the surfaces, especially when you let them sit on the countertops for a long time.

The chemicals can also get to the food, putting your life and that of your loved ones at risk.

The best way to go about it is to store the products under your sink, or any other place far away from where you prepare the food.

Don’t let the dishes dry on your wooden countertops

Wooden countertops give the kitchen a character. They can also look as excellent places to place your dishes, waiting for them to dry, but they aren’t.

This is because, with time, the seal on the surfaces wears out, meaning that the water from the drying dishes seeps through, creating mold spots.

Some people place a towel across their counter to prevent water from seeping through, but this also isn’t enough as with time, the towel too gets moist, and water starts passing through. The wet towel is also a huge source of germs in the kitchen, putting you at risk of food poisoning.

Never place dishes on your wood countertops to be on the safe side. Instead, use a drying rack at all times.

Don’t sit or stand on the countertops.

If you visit most homes, you will find the homeowners sitting on the countertops while waiting for food to get ready. Others will stand on the surfaces as they reach for the top shelf or replacing the bulbs. This is wrong as it puts too much pressure on the countertops, increasing their chances of cracking.

To keep your countertops in top shape, don’t sit or stand on them. If you want to sit while in the kitchen, get a chair. Do you want to reach for the top shelf or replace the bulb? Get a ladder or step on a stool.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you shouldn’t do to your countertops to prevent them from getting damaged and being forced to undertake countertop replacement Durham.

If you notice even a minor issue with your surfaces, get in touch with a professional to have the issue looked at and fixed before it worsens.

How Do I Keep My Kitchen Counters From Cluttering? Here’s How To Go About It

You can install marble, granite kitchen countertops, or any other countertop, but your kitchen will never look good if it’s cluttered. Do you have stuff lying everywhere, and you are wondering how do I keep my kitchen counters from cluttering? There are plenty of ways to go about it, with the popular ones being:

Take the appliances out of the counters

There is no way your counters will look clean and organized if there are appliances all over. So, to maintain a clean look, remove the appliances from your counters.

A good rule of thumb is to remove all the appliances you don’t regularly use and store them in the cabinets or any other place. This means that your surfaces should only have the units you use for your daily needs. These include: a toaster, dish rack, coffeemaker, fruit basket, a crock of cooking tools, and microwave.

For the items, you regularly use, find a permanent home for them in a convenient and logical spot. For example, you can put the coffeemaker under the mugs cabinet, put the crock of cooking tools near the stove, etc.

This is to prevent the items from spreading all over the kitchen when using them.

Keep the items in the cabinets.

Your kitchen will look neater when the various items are behind closed cabinet doors—they don’t look good when in the open.

If you love shelving, avoid having too many items on the shelves, as it gives your kitchen and counters a dirty look. Instead, take up a minimalist style and only have what you need.

When choosing the various kitchen items, settle with a unified color palette. You can also opt to display the items in nice-looking containers that will keep the various items looking intentional and tidy.

Come up with ground rules to keep the counters clutter-free

There are several ground rules that you can use to keep your counters clutter-free. They include:

  • Ensure that the dirty dishes go directly into the dishwasher or sink. They should never go on the counter
  • Before you go to bed each night, wipe off the counters
  • Never place papers on your counters
  • Even if no one can see them, keep the cabinets and drawers properly organized so that every item in the kitchen has a designated space.

Group similar items together

When you group similar items, you make the kitchen appear less cluttered and provide easy access to the various items. There are plenty of things you can use to keep the various items organized—you can use cutting boards, cake stands, trays, etc.

Minimize the decorations

As much as you love art and decorations, you should be cautious of the number you display. This is because they can easily turn your counters into an eyesore. To be on the safe side, keep the decorations to a minimum.

It’s okay to have a picture here and there, but it should be in a strategic area. If you aren’t sure where to place it, get the input of a professional.

Have a messy drawer

Even if you aim for a clutter-free kitchen, it’s impossible to have completely clutter-free counter surfaces. The same way every good diet requires a cheat day is the same way you should have a cheat spot which is a messy drawer.

Here you stash everything until you find a better location or purpose for it. It makes more sense putting it in the cheat spot than leaving it out and giving your counters a cheap look, right?

To maintain decorum in your kitchen, be specific and intentional about the location of the cheat spot. A good rule of thumb is to choose one shelf or drawer and don’t let it spill out into the entire cabinet.

Add storage options

If you have items that are giving your marble countertops NC a cluttered look, add storage options for them. Great options include:

  • Installing a wall hanging fruit basket or wall mounted paper towel holder
  • Having magnetic strips on the backsplash for knives and other utensils
  • Installing hooks for keys
  • Having a wall mount rack for the commonly used spices.

What Happens If You Don’t Seal Marble?

best kitchen countertop

Marble countertops are highly porous, and all experts agree that you should seal them the first thing after installation to protect them from damage. What happens if you don’t seal marble? You must be wondering, right? Well, plenty of things can happen:

They will be stained by foods and drinks

When you leave your countertops unsealed, it means that the countertops aren’t protected. This means that in the event of a food or drink spill, the materials will quickly absorb to the inner layers of the countertops, making them hard to remove.

An unsealed marble surface absorbs even the smallest amount of liquid. For example, you will leave a glass of juice on your unsealed countertop, then five minutes later, you find a large circular stain on your countertops.

Certain cleaning products will damage them.

If you are like other homeowners, you use commercial cleaning products to clean your surfaces. While many natural cleaning products are harmless to the surfaces, many products contain citrus and other materials that quickly eat away at the calcium on the marble countertop.

These products are harmful even to the sealed countertops, so you can imagine the damage they cause to the unsealed surfaces.

Water will discolor them.

One of the crucial roles of the sealing agent is to repel liquids and prevent them from getting to the inner layers of the stone. This means that if your surfaces aren’t sealed, the liquids easily get to the inner layers, making them hard to remove.

This means that even leaving a cold glass with condensation on the unsealed surfaces can change the color of the countertops as the condensation gets to the countertop inner layers.

How often do you need to seal marble?

To avoid the problems that come with failing to seal your countertops, you should make it a norm to seal them as frequently as possible.

How often do you need to seal marble? The frequency depends on how you use the countertops. If you love cooking, you need to seal the surfaces more often than a bachelor who rarely cooks.

Experts agree that you should seal the countertops at the time of installation, then at least once every 3-6 months, depending on how you use the surfaces.

How do you tell its time to seal the countertops?

You can’t just look at the countertops and reach a verdict that they are ready for sealing—you need to test them. Some of the tests you can do include:

Mineral oil test

Here you use a petroleum-based liquid or solvent. Put a few drops of the mineral oil on your countertops, then wait for at least 10 minutes before wiping the oil off the surface with a dry cloth.

If you have a dark stain upon wiping the mineral oil, it’s time to reseal the countertops.

Water drop test

If you don’t have mineral oil, you can always use water for testing. Find an inconspicuous area of the countertop, sprinkle a few drops of water then set a timer to track how long it takes for the countertop to absorb water.

Once the timer is off, check whether the marble stone darkens and absorbs water. If it absorbs the water and leaves a dark spot, it’s time to reseal the surfaces.

How to properly seal marble surfaces

If your surfaces are ripe for sealing, go ahead and do the sealing. You can do the sealing by yourself if you have the skills, but let an experienced professional do it for you for the best outcome.

The marble contractor should begin with thoroughly cleaning the countertops and removing any dirt and debris on the surface.

Once clean, the contractor should apply the sealing agent with a soft cloth, lamb wool, or any other material that won’t damage the marble kitchen countertops NC.

Of course, for the seal to last long, you need to use a high-quality one. Avoid cheap sealing agents as they won’t provide you with the protection you need. They also tend to fade after a short time.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Countertops?

If you don’t have money to replace your countertops, one of the best ways to improve their look is painting them. What kind of paint do you use on countertops?

Well, there are plenty of paints on the market you can go for. They include:

Water-based acrylic paints

Whether you want to paint bathroom or kitchen countertops, you can use water-based acrylic paints. The beauty of the paints is that they are highly convenient to use as you can easily clean any messes you make using water without leaving any odor behind.

After applying the topcoat, the paint will take 14 days to cure fully. This means that you will have to stay away from the countertops or be gentle in how you use them.

Water or oil-based latex house paint

Latex paints are known for their low cost, so if you are operating on a tight budget, these are the best to go for.

Textured spray paint

They are easy to use and highly cost-effective, making them a great addition to your arsenal. You also don’t need to use a primer and topcoat to increase their strength and durability.

Two-part water-based epoxy

This paint can be highly intimidating, especially as a first-time DIY. This is because you have to mix the two paint components.

The cool thing is that if you are used to the paint, you will easily mix the two.

The paint components take only four days to cure to full hardness, and you don’t need a primer.

As you apply the epoxy, you should note that the fumes tend to be too harsh, so be cautious and properly ventilate the area you are working on. Going for brands with lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also doesn’t hurt.

There is no right or wrong paint to use on your countertops—it all depends on your preferences and budget.

What should you consider when choosing the paint to use on your countertops?

Location of the countertops: Are the countertops in the kitchen or bathroom? If they are in the kitchen and you have many people living with you, it means they are heavily trafficked, and you need to use durable paint.

In such a case, the best paint to use is an acrylic paint that tends to dry extremely hard and is good for your countertops. To increase the hardness, use a resin topcoat.

Color of the countertops: It goes without saying that you need to use paint that complements the color of the countertops. In most cases, you will need to hire a professional to help with this.

Desired finish: Do you want a smooth or textured finish? If you want a textured one, you will need to use three or four different paint colors, but one color is enough if you want a smooth finish.

Odor: While it seems like a useless factor, it’s important to consider. If you are asthmatic or you can’t stand strong smells, it’s wise you go with water-based acrylic paints as they have a low odor.

Even when using the low odor paints, turn on the fan and open the windows.

Valuable countertop painting tips

You need to consider several countertop painting tips to get the best results. These tips include:

Remove all the chips and scratches: If your countertops are buckling or peeling, you should smoothen them to remove any chips or scratches that might be present. One of the best tools to use for the work is fine-grit sandpaper.

You should sand the entire countertop, including the edges and backsplash. The purpose of doing this is to remove any rough spots and create a nice smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.

Protect the areas you don’t want to paint: To prevent the paint from spreading to the areas you don’t want, use painter’s tape to protect them. These include the walls, taps, sinks, floor, and cabinets.

Use a smooth foam roller: Instead of a brush that will leave streaks on your precious granite or marble countertops Raleigh, use a foam roller.

Just like the walls, first, apply the primer, then let it fully dry and harden before you apply paint. You should then let it fully dry for at least four hours before applying the second layer.

Where Can You Use Marble Countertops?

Marble countertops are beautiful and luxurious, and they have been gracing structures for hundreds or even thousands of years, a classic example, being the Greek and Roman architecture that still stands strong to date.

If you are new to these countertops, you must be wondering where you can use them in your home, which is a great concern. The beauty of it is that there are plenty of areas you can use marble. Some of these areas include:

Kitchen countertops

These are probably the most popular areas homeowners use their marble countertops. If you would love to give your kitchen a luxurious look, marble is an excellent material to go with.

Before you install marble in your kitchen, you should know that the material tends to be highly porous hence highly prone to stains. This means that installing it in the kitchen might not be a great idea, especially if you have a busy kitchen or have small kids.

You should note that this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t install marble in your kitchen. It’s just that it will get damaged quickly if you are always in the kitchen cooking or have small kids that will jump on the countertops, hit the countertops, among many other things.

Marble will give your kitchen a classic and perfect look and even last for a long time if you are single and rarely in the kitchen.

Kitchen backsplashes

Well-installed marble gives the kitchen a dramatic look. The look is even more interesting if you have chosen a simple, rustic feel for your countertops.

For an industrial look, choose a subway tile. You can also go for a full, solid marble backsplash to display the various patterns provided by your marble.

Kitchen islands

Marble kitchen islands are an excellent way to make your island stand out from the rest of the kitchen. Install marble slabs of the same color and ensure they are installed by an experienced professional who knows what they are doing for the perfect look.

Tub and show surrounds

Marble walls are an excellent choice for bathrooms, especially tub and shower surrounds. Like kitchen islands, ensure that you have a professional expertly install the surrounds to reflect the bathroom’s theme.

How to choose marble countertops

Regardless of where you want to use marble, you need to ensure that you buy the right one. To help you out, here is a guide to help you choose the right marble counters:

Install white/graying marble in your kitchen

When people think about kitchen countertops, their minds automatically go to cream-colored marble. While you can still install this, install white/grayish marble in your kitchen for the best outcome.

The reason for this is because there are plenty of acids in the kitchen, from juices to fruits, and when they spill on your marble, they lead to acid etching that leaves a whitish mark that is more noticeable on cream and other colored marble than on white marble.

So, by installing white marble, you hide the stains that might come about.

Think about the veining patterns

Veining patterns on marble heavily rely on the quarry the marble is mined from, and it’s vital to factor this out when making the purchase. Two of the most common veining patterns are cross-cut and vein cut.

Cross-cut veining results in stone slabs with “an open flowered pattern” that looks fairy random and ideal for book matching.

On the other hand, the vein cut slices the block the other way to achieve a linear, striped appearance.

The veining you should go for depends on the look you want to create. If you aren’t sure about the right veining to choose from, get the input of a contractor highly experienced with marble kitchen countertops Raleigh.

Think about how the slabs will come together

Since they are natural, marble slabs are different from each other, so you should be cautious of the slabs you choose. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the slabs you choose will naturally come together to give you an elegant look you are looking for.

Again, to have an easy time, work with an experienced professional who knows what they are doing.

How Do I Choose A Kitchen Countertop?

Are you looking to buy countertops for your kitchen and wondering, how do I choose a kitchen countertop? Well, there are plenty of tips to consider. These tips include:

Your budget

This is probably the most important thing to consider, as many countertops go at different prices. If you don’t have money, go for laminate countertops but if budget isn’t an issue, try your hand at granite and marble countertops.

As you make your budget, you should note that different stores sell countertops at different prices. For example, the large stores often have limited options and sell their countertops at extremely high prices. On the other hand, the smaller stores sell their countertops at favorable prices and have a wide selection of countertops to choose from.

Before you settle on your budget, first visit these stores, see what is available and compare the prices.

Your cabinets

While cabinets are important, only consider them if you plan to keep them. If you will keep them, as you are choosing the countertops, you should consider the cabinets’ materials, colors, style, and design. If you aren’t sure about the right countertops to go for, get the input of a professional that will help you match all these factors.

Use of the countertops

How will you be using the countertops? This is an important factor to consider. If you love cooking and spend long hours in the kitchen, you should go for tough, durable countertops. If you entertain a lot, chances are there will be people sneaking into the kitchen and seeing what is going on there. Install beautiful, high-end countertops such as granite and marble to impress the guests.

If you have young kids, it would be unwise to buy high-end, white countertops as it’s a matter of time before they stain out from finger paints, jelly, Kool-Aid, and other materials.

Kitchen layout

The countertop materials you choose should match the kitchen layout in color palette and finish. The purpose of this is to build a connection between the kitchen, living room, and other spaces and, as a result, create a sophisticated look.

In most cases, you have to consult an experienced professional to help you choose the right countertop.

Aesthetic look

Your kitchen and even the entire house at large should function as one. This means that the countertops, kitchen cabinets, and other kitchen features should tie together and give you a unique look and feel.

Before you head to the stores, you need to think about the look you want to give your kitchen. Do you want an expensive look? Contemporary or modern? Farmhouse or non-traditional? You need to think about this.

There is no right or wrong look—it all depends on your preferences.

Care and maintenance required.

To keep the countertops in top shape, you have to take good care of them. The beauty is different materials require different levels of care and maintenance. While you will need to clean almost all countertops, some require extra care.

For example, granite and marble countertops are porous, so you will need to regularly seal them to prevent water and other liquids from seeping through and staining them.

Others such as butcher-block countertops need regular sanding to remove scratches and knife marks. They also need oiling to prevent water damage.

Think about your time and the work required to maintain the countertops. If you have the time and don’t mind putting in the work, you can go for plenty of countertops, but if you are lazy or lead a hectic life and don’t have time to give attention to the countertops, go for laminate countertops.

Parting shot

Choosing the right kitchen countertops Raleigh takes time and dedication. Due to the many countertop materials available in the market, it’s easy to be confused about the right one to go for. To have an easy time, work with a professional to guide you.

After getting your desired countertop, have it installed by a professional who knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is wasting so much time and money finding the countertops of your dreams, then they are haphazardly installed.

Can You Have Two Different Countertops In Kitchen?

kitchen countertop replacement

If you are wondering, can you have two different countertops in kitchen? Yes, it’s possible. Besides doing this, giving your countertops a unique look, also can save you money. To get the most from the two countertops, you need to consider several tips that include:

Practicality

As much as you want to have kitchen countertops of different materials, you should ask yourself whether the countertops are practical. If you are installing them in your kitchen, can they withstand the stains, spills, and moisture?

In most kitchens, the spills happen next to the sink and cooktop. In these areas, you want to place easy to clean and maintain countertops. One of the best materials to go for is quartz.

Balance

The two countertops you choose should give your surfaces some balance. To do this, you should install the shiny, attractive countertops on the focal point of the house, such as the kitchen island, and the less shiny countertops on the hardworking areas of the kitchen.

For example, you can install marble and other luxurious countertops on the kitchen island while you fit quartz, granite, or butcher block on the cooking surfaces. When choosing the best material for the countertops, go for one that complements your lifestyle.

The last thing you want is to install countertops with two styles that clash. You should remember that when you install countertops with significant movement or pattern, pairing them can overwhelm your kitchen design and distract the eye.

If one material has busy designs, find a complementary countertop that is solid colored or minimal pattern. By so doing, you ensure that, one countertop material doesn’t compete with the other.

One great combination is pairing marble, granite, or other natural stone with toned-down quartz or solid surface countertops.

Color

To avoid giving your countertops a two for one, salvage yard look, ensure that the two materials connect visually.

For example, pair the warmer marble such as Marfil marble with quartz or granite with brown or taupe undertones. If you are going to install a marble island with cool, gray veining, black or dark gray granite are the ideal perimeter countertops to go for.

For the perfect balance, ensure that you have contrast lightness. For example, if your kitchen island is neutral in nature and light in color, choose a darker accent surface for the remaining countertops.

Flair

There is no point in using two different countertop materials if you aren’t going to showcase your style. If you want to give your surfaces a luxurious, sophisticated look and feel, go with marble such as Carrara white or Calacatta gold, then pair it with granite or quartz.

Edge

With a mixed and matched look, contrast and variation are key. To extend the look and beauty of marble and add a modern sentiment, install a waterfall edge. Install the right edge that will beautifully frame the countertops if you want to create a beveled, eased, or bullnose look.

If you aren’t sure about how to go about it, get the input of a professional to guide you through.

What are the common countertops you can go for?

If you are wondering which are the best countertops you can go for, there are plenty of them, with the common ones being:

Laminate

Laminate countertops are made from sheets of plastic laminate bonded to a particleboard core. The beauty is they come in a variety of colors and styles to choose from. They are often affordable, and due to this, they are attractive to budget-conscious homeowners.

While they are great, their major downside is they are susceptible to splitting, bubbling, warping, scratches, and other forms of damage. Due to this, you are advised against installing them in highly active areas of the kitchen.

Marble

We have been mentioning marble as it is a highly popular material known for its luxurious look. Although marble countertops Durham are elegant to install, they are expensive, so not the best for those working on a tight budget.

Other popular countertop materials include: quartzite, travertine, granite, and soapstone. There is no right or wrong material to go for—it depends on your intended look and budget. If you aren’t sure about the right material to go for, get the input of a professional.

How to Pick Countertops for Your Kitchen

Is this the first time you are looking to buy kitchen countertops? You must be wondering how to buy them, right? To help you out, here is how to pick countertops for your kitchen:

Think about how you are going to use the countertops

What kind of a homeowner are you? This will significantly affect the type of countertops you go for. If you are a heavy cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you should get tough, easy-to-maintain countertops such as quartz.

On the other hand, if you rarely cook or spend time in the kitchen, you can get away with high-end, luxurious countertops such as limestone, granite, or marble.

If you are in the middle homeowner, you can mix and match the countertops. For example, you can install the easy-to-maintain countertops on the kitchen island then place the other countertops in the adjacent counter spaces.

Your budget

This is another important factor that significantly determines your choice of countertops. Of course, you want to go with countertops that are within your budget.

Many homeowners don’t know the right amount they should set aside for countertops. If you are in such a predicament, a good rule of thumb is to never spend more than 15-30 percent of your budget on the countertops.

To avoid buying extraordinarily cheap and low-quality countertops, never go below 15% of your budget. At the same time, don’t spend more than 30% of your budget on kitchen countertops as you will be overdoing it.

The look you want to create

We all have different tastes that significantly affect the pick of countertops that we go for. Before you head to the countertops store, you need to think about how you want your countertops to look like.

What color do you want for your kitchen? What about the appliances? Which ones do you want? All of this will influence your choice.

To be on the safe side, you want to choose a kitchen countertop with a versatile color. This way, you don’t have to change the countertops every time you change the kitchen appliances and colors.

When it comes to the countertop material, choose a material with veins or splashes of color that will help you keep your options open.

The size of your kitchen

Some countertop colors will be unideal for your kitchen, so you will have to avoid them depending on the size of your kitchen. For example, if you have a small kitchen, you should avoid dark colors as they make your kitchen look too small.

In such an instance, you are better off with brighter colors that will make the kitchen look much bigger.

What countertops are available in the market?

Well, there are many types of countertops you can buy for your kitchen. They include:

Natural stone countertops

They have been around for a long time, and they are loved by many as they provide interesting veining and unique patterns. One of the most popular natural countertops is granite, and it comes in different colors ranging from pinks, reds, browns, greens, and blacks.

When you are buying natural countertops, you should note that not all are made equal. This calls for you to be cautious when making the purchase. As a rule of thumb, pay attention to the porosity and hardness rating of the stone.

Man-made quartz countertops.

Quartz countertops have recently risen in popularity majorly due to their durability and stain resistance. They also come in different designs, colors, and veining styles.

Paper composite countertops

Paper composite countertops are comprised of recycled paper and/or cardboard that is resin soaked and heat pressurized.

The beauty of composite countertops is they are environmentally friendly and easy to work with and customize.

Their major flaw is they have limited colors to choose from and are easily damaged by scratches and hot pans, as they aren’t heatproof.

Parting shot

It’s good, but buying the right countertop isn’t enough—you need to ensure that it’s properly installed.

So, regardless of whether you have settled on marble or granite countertops NC, you should take your time and find an expert that knows what they are doing.

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.