Tag Archives: Marble Countertops

Things You Should Know When Buying Marble Countertops

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

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

If you are worried about stains, go with white marble

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

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

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

Consider how the different slabs will come together

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

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

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

Take veining into consideration

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

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

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

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

Consider the best finish to transform your marble

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the edging of the countertops

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

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

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

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

Take time to know the difference between fissures and cracks

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

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

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

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

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

Know the origin of the marble you are looking to buy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parting shot

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

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

White Kitchen Countertop Options

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

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

White marble

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

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

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

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

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

Quartz

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

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

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

Quartzite

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

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

Solid surface

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

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

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

Laminate

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

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

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

Things to think about when installing white kitchen countertops

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

Cabinets

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

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

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

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

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

Stains

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backsplash

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

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

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

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

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

Your Guide to White Kitchen Countertops

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

White marble

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quartz

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

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

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

Quartzite

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

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

Solid surface counters

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

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

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

Laminate

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

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

Tips to keep your white countertops in top shape

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

Clean them regularly

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep an eye out for stains.

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

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

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

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

Keep your surfaces residue-free

Follow these guidelines to keep your countertop residue-free:

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

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

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

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

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

Parting shot

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

How to Remove Stains From Your Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are the foundational feature of a busy kitchen, and keeping them in a condition where they’re as beautiful and bright as when you first got them is crucial not only for maintenance purposes but also because they bring character to your cooking space.

Unfortunately, due to the busy nature of the kitchen, most countertops tend to develop stains. Thankfully, you can remove these stains.

To help you out, here are some of the best tips to resort to, depending on the type of countertop you have, to guarantee that your kitchen looks great with no stains or markings that could depreciate its value.

Laminate countertops

Laminate countertops are made of plastic resins and are extremely stain-resistant. If you have a stain or mark from a spill or slip, spray a baking soda and water solution over the area before wiping with a clean cloth.

The most common cause of laminate damage is laying hot pots or pans on the surface, which can cause stains.

Coffee, wine, ink, and food stains are the most common on laminate counters. Depending on the type of stain, the procedure you employ to remove it may differ.

Begin by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel if it is still new. Rubbing the discoloration will only push it deeper into the laminate, so don’t do it.

After blotting the stain, prepare a cleaning solution. The solution you prepare depends on the type of stain you have.

Combine warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap to remove general stains.

For grease stains, use warm water mixed with a few drops of dish soap or a grease-cutting cleanser.

To remove stubborn stains, prepare a baking soda and water paste.

Rub rubbing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) on ink stains. Apply a small amount on a cloth and dab the stain gently.

To avoid stains in the future and protect your countertops, wipe up spills immediately, protect the surface with cutting boards and hot pads, and avoid using harsh abrasives or scouring pads.

You also should make it a habit to use coasters or trivets at all times before placing anything down.

Quartz countertops

Because of their non-porous nature, quartz countertops are easy to maintain in terms of stain resistance. Since they are scratch-resistant, you can put almost anything on them.

Although quartz worktops are durable and stain-resistant, they can become damaged if spills are allowed to rest for an extended period of time. Thankfully, there are several ways of getting off the stains when they happen.

Start by preparing a cleaning solution. The solution you prepare depends on the type of stain you have.

Combine warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap to remove general stains. This solution will remove most of the stains on your countertops.

To remove stubborn stains, make a paste by combining baking soda and a tiny amount of water.

For oil-based stains such as grease or frying oil, use a 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water solution.

A 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide (3-10%) and water is ideal for organic stains such as coffee, tea, or wine.

You can also use rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove ink stains.

To avoid future stains, wipe up spills as soon as they happen, protect the surface with cutting boards and hot pads, and avoid harsh abrasives or scouring pads.

Marble countertops

Because marble is porous, it is considered a ‘soft’ stone. The stone’s porous nature means it is easily damaged and stained.

You should start by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel if the stain is new. Avoid touching the discoloration because it will spread.

To remove stubborn or deep stains, make a poultice. A poultice is a material that draws stains from the stone’s pores. The poultice you prepare depends on the stain you want to remove.

For organic stains (such as coffee, tea, and wine), make a thick paste by combining baking soda and water.

For oil-based stains (for example, grease), make a paste by combining baking soda and acetone or mineral spirits.

You can use acetone or hydrogen peroxide to remove ink stains.

Spread the poultice over the stained area, allowing it to spread slightly beyond the stain’s margins. To establish an airtight seal, wrap it in plastic wrap and glue the edges down. Allow it to sit for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the degree of the stain.

To avoid future stains, seal your marble countertop regularly (every 6-12 months, depending on use), and use cutting boards and hot pads to protect the surface. You also should make it a habit to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.

Concrete Countertops

Since concrete is a porous material, it’s highly susceptible to staining.

You should create a cleaning solution appropriate for the stain you want to remove.

Combine warm water and a few drops of dish soap to remove general stains.

To remove stubborn stains, make a paste by combining baking soda and a tiny amount of water.

For oil-based stains, combine warm water with a few drops of dish soap, or use a 3-part water/1 part ammonia solution.

For the grease stains, remove them using ammonia.

Soak a cloth or sponge in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to remove ink stains and lay it over the spot. To keep it moist, cover it in plastic wrap. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

After preparation, apply the cleaning solution to the stained area.

Clean and reseal the countertop regularly to prevent future stains from your kitchen countertops Durham. Use cutting boards and hot pads to protect the surface, and mop up spills immediately afterward.

Tricks to Keep Your Kitchen Countertops Clear of Obstructions

Keeping the top of your countertop clutter might feel like a never-ending battle. This is because kitchens are the center of most homes, hence they rapidly become a catch-all for all the random things that don’t have a home anywhere else.

When you combine that with their practical function, the surfaces quickly get overrun with junk.

What is the best way to keep your modern kitchen counters clear? You need to make tiny but significant adjustments rather than making large commitments.

When the clutter becomes unbearable, it’s tempting to believe that a major kitchen renovation is required, but as any expert organizer will tell you, it’s the simple improvements that make the most difference.

Adopting a few basic habits and incorporating them into your normal routine will most benefit keeping your kitchen countertops tidy rather than just the short term.

To help you out, here are methods and suggestions for clutter-free countertops that you can immediately implement in your home.

Give your homeless items a place to live.

What’s the first step toward a clutter-free kitchen counter? Providing a home for all of your possessions. It’s all too easy for a stray utensil or a stack of letters to become permanent fixtures on your surfaces, but the key is not to let them stay too long in the first place.

You should allocate them a home. Begin by making room in your cupboards. You should collect anything lying about on worktops, shelves, and tables, and assign it a place. Label the shelves or containers so everyone in your house knows where to return the items.

Get countertop organizers

It may seem obvious, but investing in some creative organizer purchases is one of the finest ways to organize a kitchen. There are some kitchen organizers that no one should live without, from sliding countertop gadgets that make it easier to access your heavy equipment to a good old-fashioned spice rack to keep all your ingredients contained.

Countertop organizers help to ensure that everything in your kitchen has a place. When you lack systems of organization and don’t know where to place things, they’re likely to wind up in general locations, like countertops, where they make the surfaces dirty and ugly. You don’t want this, do you?

Put the dirty dishes in the sink.

We’ve all been guilty of stacking dirty dishes by the side of the kitchen sink or allowing them to accumulate on a spare countertop – especially if you don’t have a dishwasher. Unfortunately, this is a proven way to have cluttered surfaces.

To avoid this, place the dirty dishes, mugs, and glasses straight into the sink to keep your counters clean and neat.

This will keep them out of sight and urge you to wash them once the sink is full, preventing a washing-up marathon later on.

Keep the appliances you don’t use out of the countertops

Countertop gadgets like toasters, coffee makers, and air fryers can make meal preparation much easier, but only when they’re not taking up too much space. If your counters are cluttered with gimmicky equipment you rarely use, put them away when not in use.

Thankfully, it’s a quick and basic task.

Most people rarely use the crock pot, standing mixer, or automated drip coffee maker (they prefer pour-over coffee). Appliances take up important real estate, so consider storing them in a cabinet and enjoying the extra space they generate.

Have a kitchen command center.

Everyone has that one area of the kitchen island or the spot in front of the windowsill where they keep their daily essentials. These can be things like keys, glasses, and letters, which easily pile into small clutter. When it’s been a fixture on your kitchen counters for so long, getting rid of it is easier said than done.

To keep your countertops clean, create a designated drop zone for these often-used things. This could be anything from a fancy catch-all dish to a box or shelf. 

A command center will help you keep your paper, keys, spare change, bills, and school assignments off your kitchen’s surfaces.

You can create a command center in a corner of your kitchen or near your entryway by adding hooks, magazine folders, calendars, and whiteboards. It’s all on you and you don’t have to complicate it. 

Have a one-touch rule.

If you want to break bad habits with your belongings, decluttering ideas can be life-changing, and the ‘one-touch’ tidying guideline is ideal for kitchen counters. This rule does exactly what it says on the tin. If you pick something up, you have to return it.

Returning an item after using it reduces clutter and saves time.

You should make it a routine to return items to their proper places as soon as you have finished using them. For instance, if you run the dishwasher overnight, unload it as you wait for your toast or oatmeal to be ready in the morning.

That way, anytime you use a glass or another dish, you may rinse it and immediately place it in the dishwasher.

Have a kitchen closure routine.

Kitchens get more traffic than any other room in the house, and while they’re a social hub for the entire family, there has to be a point where you draw the line.

Set a bedtime boundary when everyone should vacate the kitchen so that you can work on it.

You should load and run the dishwasher every night, wipe down the worktops, table, and appliances, put your belongings away, and quickly sweep or vacuum the floor.

You could even go the extra mile and arrange the breakfast table for the morning.

Follow these steps, and before you know it, your entire family will be on board with your structured habits, and clutter-free granite countertops Raleigh will soon become the standard in your kitchen.  

Tips to Consider When upgrading Your Kitchen Countertops

Your Kitchen countertops can make or break your kitchen. Unfortunately, any well-used kitchen surface experiences regular wear and tear over time. 

If your countertops have seen better days and you feel trapped in a kitchen design rut, you may need to upgrade them.

Countertops play an important role in the aesthetic and functionality of a kitchen. This means that a quick update instantly modernizes the kitchen’s look and changes how you cook and enjoy the space.

To get the most from your kitchen, here are some of the tips you should consider to upgrade it properly:

Aim for low-maintenance countertops.

To have an easy time keeping your countertops in tip-top shape, you should go for those that require minimal maintenance. 

While there are many countertops in the market you can go for, the best ones to consider are engineered stone worktops that are resistant to damage and stains. This makes them ideal for red wine and coffee aficionados, as well as home chefs who routinely cook with olive oil (which can wreak havoc on real stone).

Of course, you should ensure that the countertop is installed by a professional who knows what they are doing. 

As much as the countertops are tough and long-lasting, you should note that this doesn’t mean they are indestructible. To avoid scratches, avoid dumping heavy objects on the surfaces and utilize cutting boards.

You also should protect the countertops from heat damage. This calls for you to use trivets or hot pads under hot cookware to avoid damage.

When cleaning, clean your countertops with gentle, non-abrasive cleansers. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers as they can cause finish damage, and you don’t want this, do you?

While most engineered stone worktops are non-porous and do not require sealing, if your manufacturer advises it, adhere to the sealing schedule.

If you don’t like the look of engineered stone countertops in your kitchen, you can always go with granite countertops.

The countertops are tough, but you must take more care of them to last for a long time. Besides protecting them from heat and abrasive cleaners, you will need to regularly seal them to prevent water and other liquids from easily seeping through and damaging them.

Consider mixing and matching the countertops.

Countertop mixing and matching can create a visually appealing and dynamic effect in your kitchen or other rooms. If this is the first time you are doing it, here are some pointers on how to mix and match countertops effectively:

If you’re using various patterns on different materials, make sure that the patterns complement one another rather than conflict. Patterns can be scaled similarly or contain complementing features.

You should select a secondary countertop material that contrasts in color or pattern with the dominant material. This is appropriate for specific locations such as an island, a baking station, or a wet bar.

If you choose a statement-making or one-of-a-kind material for the secondary countertop, pair it with a more subdued and neutral material for the prominent countertop. This keeps the space from becoming too crowded.

While mixing materials, it is critical to maintain some amount of consistency. This could be done through the space’s color palette, design style, or overall attitude.

When mixing the countertops, consider including design components that provide cohesiveness between the various materials. These include cabinet hardware, lighting fixtures, and decorative embellishments.

You should always consult a kitchen or interior designer if you need help mixing and matching the countertops efficiently.

Consider the countertop trends.

Trends come and go, so never clutter your kitchen with design decisions that will age poorly. While this is the case, several contemporary countertop trends will last.

A great example is when the countertop material matches the backsplash material. When properly installed, the countertop creates an immaculate European style appealing to many people.

If you have the space, a waterfall-edge kitchen island is a great option to go with. Such an island is full of drama and instantly pulls your eye into the space.

You should also consider the thickness of the countertop that you are purchasing and go for smaller styles. A thinner countertop is typically less expensive and easier to install.

While keeping up with countertop trends is vital, keep in mind that your personal preferences and the overall style of your kitchen should drive your decision.

As mentioned above, trends come and go, but a countertop that complements your lifestyle and aesthetic choices will last.

If you aren’t sure about the best countertop design or trend to go with, consult a professional, and they will assist you in making informed decisions that are consistent with your vision and the functionality of your kitchen.

Go green

As time passes, more homeowners are emphasizing eco-friendly materials with lower carbon footprints. If you feel that you should follow this trend, you are in luck, as there are numerous options available for you to choose from. The common ones are:

Bamboo countertops: Bamboo countertops are made from a rapidly growing renewable resource. They have a distinct appearance and can last as long as hardwood. When purchasing, look for bamboo countertops verified for sustainable sourcing by groups such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Recycled glass: Recycled glass countertops blend broken glass with a binder to create a vibrant, unique surface. They are eco-friendly because they reuse materials that would otherwise wind up in landfills.

Recycled paper: Paper-based countertops are made from recycled paper and resin to form a solid surface. They are lightweight, long-lasting, and available in various colors and patterns. These counters are frequently sealed with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) coatings for further sustainability.

Eco-friendly concrete: Some concrete countertops are created from environmentally friendly resources such as recycled aggregates or fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion. These countertops are long-lasting, and you can personalize them in color and pattern.

Engineered quartz: While not fully natural, engineered quartz countertops Durham frequently contain recycled components, giving them a more environmentally friendly option to real stone.

When considering eco-friendly countertop options, consider the source of the material, manufacturing procedures, transportation distance, and end-of-life disposal.

In addition, seek certifications from reputable organizations that verify the material’s long-term viability. Ensure the countertop matches your values, budget, and general style choices.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Kitchen Countertop Company

Hiring kitchen countertops installers for the first time? Here are things to look out for to hire the right ones:

Online reviews

Online reviews have become an important part of any business, and customers base their buying decisions on them. 

Is the company’s reputation based on independently verifiable reviews? If so, how many do they have, does management respond to them, and how highly regarded are they?

Take a look at Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other online review sites. Read the reviews thoroughly to determine what to expect, how well the organization addressed problems, and how satisfied the consumer was.

Installing kitchen countertops is a big investment, so researching ahead of time could save you a lot of headaches later.

While hiring a company with many positive reviews, you shouldn’t go for one with a perfect score. This is because it’s rare for a company to have all the reviews positive regardless of how good they are.

While true, you shouldn’t work with a company with many negative reviews. If a company has many negative reviews, you should avoid it as it’s most likely an awful company and will give you a bad experience.

To stay on the safe side, work with a company that has at least four stars.

Price Transparency

Before you start working with any company, you should ask for price quotes. Of course, you should ask for quotes from at least five companies to compare them.

When you receive the quotes, take your time going over them. Don’t be fooled by the price alone and fall for the typical bait and switch. Some businesses will quote a lower-quality product to get you in the door, only to upsell you to a much more expensive product. You don’t want this, do you?

Companies may, for example, quote a thinner or less expensive countertop material with a standard edge to make the price appear lower. One of the things you will hear in such a scenario is the expected costs after installation.

As you can tell, you end up paying more than you planned.

To avoid this and have a better idea about the amount you should expect to pay, you should work with a company that is transparent about its price.

When asking for a quotation, don’t ask for the ballpark. Instead, ask for the price of each item.

Before you decide to work with a company, review every item they will use and confirm that they won’t increase the price later.

To protect yourself, it would be better if you have the company sign an agreement that the amount they quote will remain unchanged.

Communication

A lack of communication is one of the most common concerns about any home renovation project. Look for a company with customer support and scheduling teams to which you may turn for project updates.

When interacting with a company, ask yourself whether you will have a dedicated team to answer all your questions. If you have been trying to contact the company without success, chances are you won’t reach it when you start working together.

Many businesses are concerned with completing as many jobs as possible but don’t place communication at the top. Choose a company committed to keeping you informed about what is happening, and you can easily reach them when needed.

Besides communication, you must ensure that the company maintains the highest quality standards. The quality assurance department is the first thing you should check before working with a company.

You want a company with such a department that gives you peace of mind and will provide you with the best service possible.

Professionalism

How long has the company been in operation? Will they still be there in a year if you encounter problems on the job? What is the size of the operation?

You’d be shocked at how unskilled and small many enterprises are, frequently failing to meet demand and, as a result, delaying your installation. Choose a business with extensive experience in their field.

Ask if the measurement and installation teams are outsourced when getting an estimate. You also should ask about the technology they use during the installation.

You want a company that uses cutting-edge technology to ensure accurate measurements the first time. Nothing is more frustrating than going through the entire process only to have a poor installation with uneven seams and gaps that don’t look correct.

Protection Plan

Make sure that the company will stand behind their work. Be aware of companies that do not provide a warranty. The plan should cover everything from countertop installation to sinks, faucets, and backsplash for at least five years.

When you work with a company with a protection plan, you have peace of mind as you know they will give you excellent service.

Physical location

Can you visit a convenient location, look at kitchen ideas, and speak with a representative? There’s no substitute for seeing Quartz, Quartzite, Granite, and Marble countertops Durham in person.

Feeling the stone and observing the beautiful, unique patterns and veining is much better than seeing the stone in pictures or videos.

To better understand how your property will look once the countertops have been installed, work with a company with a physical office. This way, you can visit the location and experience the stone, which helps you make a better decision.

A wide range of services and products

Ideally, your remodel partner should provide multiple services to eliminate the need to shop around.

The last thing you want is someone that only provides one service. As much as they will do the task better, you will have to work with multiple contractors, which might be too much for you.

For example, you don’t want to hire a contractor to install the countertop stone, and they can’t install the cabinets. To be safe, work with a contractor that is all around and provides all the services in-house.  

Kitchen Island Countertop Ideas

Are you thinking about installing an island countertop in your kitchen? Here are ideas that will be of much value to you:

Use a mix of materials

If you are still deciding which material to choose for your island countertop ideas, why not combine them?

Using various materials to create an island countertop design can add a stunning element of contrast while producing a functional, sectioned design where different island portions have different uses. 

A great way to go about it is to use an island countertop made of warm wood and smooth marble countertops

The marble half is perfect for food preparation and cooking, while the wood section provides an attractive surface for socializing and pulling up a bar stool.

Use tiles

Using tiles for your island countertop may produce a unique, textured surface that is enticing to touch and pleasing to look at, which is a fantastic way to add color and character to your kitchen.

A great way to do it is to install black tiles to lend a delicate amount of drama to the space, gracefully contrasting with the white cabinets and painted walls to generate a modern, monochromatic effect. 

You should install tiles with reflective properties, giving an eye-catching, shimmering aesthetic that will instantly entice guests to your kitchen island space.

Add color

An island countertop is a terrific place to go bold with color. You can make a statement by choosing a material or color that contrasts with the rest of your scheme, or you coordinate with your other worktops for a cohesive, striking look. 

You can use gorgeous, green Amazonite quartzite to produce a show-stopping room. The stone’s exquisite natural beauty and color provide a magnificent kitchen design and serve as an instant discussion point when guests enter the space. 

The unusual blend of hues and shapes inside the precious stone adds striking color and texture to this kitchen room.

Coordinate with other kitchen worktops.

A simple island countertop idea for a smooth, united look, harmonizing your island countertop with the rest of your kitchen’s worktops will always establish a smart and well-thought-out design.

For a truly striking design, opt for a full block of stone as your kitchen island, and for a seamless contemporary appearance, pair your natural stone choice with a similar cabinetry color.

You can pair polished, pale granite stone worktops with the dark gray units, creating an elegant concept highlighting the natural stone’s beauty.

Embrace the wood

Wooden island countertops can be used in both rustic and modern designs. Wood is a classic material that is an excellent choice for kitchen counters. It is both a functional and appealing solution for a kitchen space. 

One of the benefits of selecting wood for the worktops is the inherent natural beauty of the material since each piece has its unique character and characteristics.

A great way to go about it is to use reclaimed wood worktops that breathe new life into the original material, making them an excellent alternative if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly solution in your kitchen that doesn’t sacrifice style. 

Furthermore, if stained, the wood surface may be quickly sanded back and is generally a softer, more tactile material.

Use different materials

You can use various materials to create a barrier between a bar and the remainder of an island. 

You can make a raised bar from a warm dark wood that complements the wood cabinets while creating an appealing contrast with the black and gray island and overall monochromatic pattern utilized throughout.

Consider mixing countertop materials for visual interest and depth: for example, if the surfaces are mainly granite, consider wood for a breakfast bar or stainless steel near the range or elsewhere.

Extend the design of the countertop.

Simple but effective. If you want your island countertop to stand out subtly, extending the countertop design to create an overhang can result in a smooth surface where your selected material can be completely appreciated. 

This kitchen’s basic and straightforward worktop design is made more eye-catching by extending the white quartz countertop slightly over the dark wood base. 

An overhang allows you to neatly wedge chairs and stools beneath the countertop surface while not in use, freeing up room and protecting them from wear and tear over time.

Consider metal countertops

Using metal for your island countertop ideas at home can provide a stunning, industrial look, which is commonly found in a chef’s kitchen.

Industrial decor honors the versatility and practicality of dealing with raw materials, and choosing metal for your island countertop ideas can create a one-of-a-kind design ideal for a minimalist and modern aesthetic. 

Metal worktops throughout this kitchen give a sleek and streamlined look in which the overall design truly (and physically) shines. 

Metal is also a useful material for island countertop ideas. The material, commonly used for worktops in professional kitchens, is antibacterial and easy to clean and maintain.

Use luxurious marble

With the popularity of veined kitchen countertops Durham rising, marble is generally a popular choice when contemplating island countertop designs. This natural material may form an attractive feature of your kitchen island, with various styles and colors to pick from.

The marble island contrasts with the more traditional cabinets and wooden features, establishing a lovely design that innovatively mixes materials and styles.

Marble can seamlessly merge into traditional and contemporary environments, whether you want your island countertop ideas to stand out or fit in.

Use limestone

Limestone is a stunning natural stone used for ages in interior and outdoor building and design. It can be used to create timeless bar countertop ideas. 

A limestone countertop, both durable and stylish, may provide an appealing texture and a stunning natural accent to a kitchen. 

The countertops provide a tranquil and relaxing vibe. The larger countertop serves as both a dynamic bar area and a functional surface for cooking duties.

Here Is How to Clean Your Countertops

kitchen countertops

For your kitchen countertops to look good and sanitary, you need to keep them clean. To help you out, here is a guide on how to clean the various countertops in your home:

Quartz countertops

Due to their durability, quartz kitchen countertops are one of the most common countertop materials.

While true, it doesn’t mean it’s invincible to stains. You should immediately wipe up spills and use cutting boards to protect the quartz surface. If you still have a mess, avoid abrasive and acidic cleansers, bleach, and vinegar. For the best outcome, use a quartz-specific cleaner.

Use Goo Gone or any other similar product for the more difficult-to-remove stains. First, to ensure that the product won’t damage your surfaces, use it on a small, inconspicuous area.

You should then dab a small amount on the stain, wait a few minutes, and gently clean it away with a microfiber cloth. Rinse and dry the affected area with a clean microfiber cloth.

To keep your countertops in pristine condition, make it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen. This is especially vital if they contain acidic or staining substances such as wine, coffee, fruit juices, or oils.

Use a soft cloth or sponge and mild dish soap to clean the area thoroughly. When you act fast, you prevent the liquid from penetrating the porous quartz surface.

Despite the fact that quartz is quite resistant, it is still best to avoid cutting or chopping directly on the surface. This is because sharp blades and other metal items may scratch or chip the quartz. Use cutting boards or protective mats at all times.

Granite countertops

Avoid using bleach, vinegar, or strong chemicals with granite surfaces, just as you would with quartz. Try a granite cleaner if you need something more powerful than dish soap and water. To remove a stain, make a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water and apply it to the stain with a microfiber cloth.

A thick paste of baking soda and water (the consistency of toothpaste) is another alternative for stain removal. Begin with a heaping tablespoon of baking soda, followed by a teaspoon of water, or just enough to make the mixture stick to the surface.

Spread the paste over the stain and wrap it in plastic for at least 24 hours. Use a microfiber towel, water, and mild dish soap to remove the paste. You should note that you may have to repeat the method several times. Thankfully, it is safe and mild and will not damage the granite.

Marble countertops

Because of its porous nature, marble is always the most finicky of all the countertops. Use a specialized marble or pH-neutral stone cleaner if soap and water are ineffective.

A non-natural stone cleaning product may not have a neutral pH, which may dull the marble surface or produce uneven spots. Cleaning product manufacturers are not obligated to list the pH level on their labels, but you can measure the pH yourself using a pH test strip.

Some brands’ websites link to the safety data sheets of certain cleaning solutions, which may include pH levels, so also check here.

Even if you merely clean your marble with soap and water, dry it off because water can permanently stain it quickly. Some watermarks will fade as the stone dries, which may take weeks.

Use a marble-specific cleaner to remove surface-level stains, particularly those created by evaporated water.

Alternatively, use the same method described above for granite: Cover the stain with a thick mixture of baking soda and water, wrap it in plastic wrap, and leave it for at least 24 hours. Clean it with a microfiber cloth, water, and mild dish soap, and repeat if necessary.

Marble is porous and can absorb liquids, causing stains. To prevent the stains from coming about, blot any spills immediately with a soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel. Wiping the spill can spread it and make the stain worse.

After cleaning, carefully rinse the marble with clean water. This is because if cleansers or detergent residue is left behind, it can reduce the luster of the marble.

Laminate countertops

Because laminate is man-made and less expensive than natural stone, some homeowners believe they don’t need to be as cautious with it. However, aggressive cleaners, such as vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, and ammonia, can wear down the surface.

Try baking soda paste if you have a stain that won’t come out with soap and water. The best way to go about it is to add a heaping spoonful of baking soda with a teaspoon of water or just enough to make a thick paste that adheres to the top. Mix it into the dye or dab it on with your fingers.

After 24 hours, wipe it away with a microfiber towel.

If you have stains that aren’t coming out, use a magic eraser to remove a stain. While this is a great move, proceed cautiously because these can create microabrasions.

Stainless steel

Even if your complete countertop isn’t stainless steel, it’s common to locate it as a stove component connected to the rest of your counters.

Because stainless steel is easily damaged, I don’t think you can clean it with the same product you use to clean the rest of the countertop. Use a specialist product or a stainless steel cleaner for deep cleaning. A wipe-down with mild soap and warm water will suffice for routine cleaning.

Use a microfiber cloth to apply whatever cleaning product you’re using. Once you scratch stainless steel, it’s difficult to remove the scratch.

If you’ve already scratched it, you can try buffing it out with a pad, but doing so without inflicting further damage requires precision. Hiring an expert may be a better option.

Parting shot

These are some of the ways you can clean your various kitchen countertops Raleigh. As you can see, it’s easy to do the cleaning even without involving a professional. To easily clean the countertops, take good of your surfaces.

Marble Alternatives to Consider

As much as marble is beautiful and gives your home an elegant look, it’s not for everyone. If you are looking to install countertops and you don’t like marble countertops, there are plenty of other alternatives you can go with. These alternatives include:

Onyx

On a spiritual level, onyx gives off strong vibrations of energy, protection, and strength, which anyone would like to tap into every morning.

The most popular onyx is black, but this isn’t the only color it comes in—it also comes in a beautiful range of soft neutral, and brighter colors.

As much as onyx is a great marble alternative, you must ask whether it will last for a long time. 

Well, like marble, it should not be installed in highly traffic areas as its porous and fragile. This calls for you to avoid installing shower walls or kitchen countertops, which will likely get stained easily.

If you have to install it in the bathroom, ensure that you do it in the master bathroom, where you will take good care of it. Even when installing it here, ensure that you simply install it as a decorative strip—don’t install it on the floor and shower walls.

Quartzite

You shouldn’t confuse quartzite with quartz as they aren’t similar. 

Like marble, quartzite is highly versatile and can look like almost anything. Designers often use quartzite to get the dramatic look of marble. 

The good thing is that since it is crystalline, its patterns are often softer and more ethereal than most marble types.

Quartzite is more durable than marble, and you can confidently use it as an alternative. The beauty of it is that it combines the beauty of marble with the functionality and durability of granite. Due to this, you can even install it in highly trafficked areas without worrying about it suffering from extensive wear and tear. 

Since it’s made by volcanoes, it’s very strong, doesn’t get stained by citric acids, and can take a lot of heat. Although anyone can install it, it’s most recommended for people who cook a lot and love natural stone.

It comes in a huge range of colors and patterns, so you have plenty of options. 

Soapstone

If you are looking to replace your black kitchen countertops with something other than marble, you might want to think about soapstone.

Soapstone is an excellent alternative because it can handle heat. It comes in different colors that range from dark green to charcoal to black, and its face has a lot of movement.

Since it’s non-porous, you don’t have to worry about it getting stained or damaged by water.

If you are thinking about installing soapstone countertops, there are some things you should know. 

One of the things you should know is that soapstone gets a natural patina as you use it. To ensure that it wears out evenly, it’s recommended that you oil it regularly.  

It’s also hard to find it in large slabs, so you need to work with your contractors and assemble smaller pieces to get the large countertops you are after. 

Granite

Granite is not an unusual material to find in a kitchen. In fact, it has been one of the most popular natural stone countertop materials for a long time. 

But this has both pros and cons. Since the 1970s, granite has been a popular choice for surfaces. As a result, many people have granite countertops Raleigh that are so old that they don’t look good in a modern kitchen.

Granite comes in many styles, some of which look like marble. It even comes in creative colors.

Granite is much stronger than marble and less likely to break or chip. It’s also much less likely to get stained.

Parting shot

These are some of the options you have when it comes to marble alternatives. When choosing the options, choose those that will give you the service you are after.

For example, if you are looking to install a countertop in a highly trafficked area, you should stay away from onyx or soapstone and instead go for granite or any other tougher material.