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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.

Tricks To Make Your Countertops Look Better

Are you wondering how you can make your kitchen countertops look better than they do? Well, there are a number of things you can do. These things include:

Clean the countertops regularly

You should make it a habit to clean your countertops as regularly as possible. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that you don’t get out of the kitchen and leave your countertops dirty.

Some people think that you have to be fancy about how you do the cleaning, but this isn’t the case. All you need is a wet piece of cloth, soap, and you are good to go. You shouldn’t use tough cleaning products such as ammonia as they won’t make any difference. In fact, they often end up ruining your countertops.

Seal your countertops correctly.

If you have installed porous countertops such as granite and marble, you will need to seal them regularly to prevent them from staining and getting damaged. You should always seal the surfaces at the installation time and once a year after that.

When doing the sealing, always use the right sealant. Some people try to cut corners by using low-quality products, but you shouldn’t go this route as the cheap sealant wears out fast, leaving you exposed countertops. You don’t want this, do you?

After you have confirmed that your countertops need sealing, you should get high-quality ones that will withstand the test of time. If you have the skills, you can apply the sealant yourself, but if you have never done it before, let an expert do it.

Always protect your countertops with coasters and trivets

Even the toughest countertops, such as granite and quartz, will get damaged when you expose them to a lot of heat, so you should protect them from damage using coasters and trivets.

When placing hot items such as drinks and food, don’t place them on the naked countertops. Instead, always place them on a hot pad or any other material that will prevent the heat from reaching the countertops.

If you don’t have the protective materials, don’t place a hot pot on the countertops. Instead, let the pot cool completely before placing it on the surface.

In the same way, many homeowners have the impression that kitchen countertops are tough and can take heat abuse is the same way they think they can cut directly on them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

The countertops appear tough, but they will get damaged when you cut directly on them. Always use a cutting board when cutting or chopping food to protect your surfaces and keep them from scratching.

Add a backsplash

Many homeowners add backsplashes to their countertops to protect their walls from moisture and food splashes, but this isn’t the only benefit of adding a backsplash to your countertops. Adding a backsplash can also be an excellent way to update your countertops and make not only the countertops but the entire kitchen look better.

To get the most from the backsplash, use high-quality tiles that complement the design of the kitchen. You also should ensure that the countertops are installed by a professional that knows what they are doing. You don’t want someone that doesn’t know what they are doing to botch your project, do you?

Resurface your countertops

If you want to improve the look of your countertops but are strapped for money, resurfacing them is an excellent and cost-effective way to improve the look of your surfaces.

If you have done a similar thing before, you can resurface the surfaces but if you have never done it before, let an expert help you.

You should prepare the surfaces by cleaning them thoroughly, then sand them with coarse sandpaper.

If there are any damages to the countertops, such as chips and cracks, fill them with epoxy filler. Once the filler has dried, apply a primer coat and resurface the surfaces.

After the resurfacing material has dried, apply a sealer on your marble or granite kitchen countertops NC. As mentioned above, always use high-quality sealing materials that protect your surfaces.

How Do You Revive Dull Marble?

One of the primary reasons many homeowners install marble countertops in their homes is because they love their shiny, polished look. Unfortunately, the countertops lose their shiny look due to constant use and poor care.

When the countertops lose their original shine, many homeowners have the impression that the only way they can have shiny countertops again is to replace the dull ones with new ones.

Fortunately, this isn’t the case. This is because there are ways you can revive dull countertops. Some of the things you can do to achieve this include:

Clean the countertops

Sometimes all you need to do is to clean the countertops. And the good thing is that it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Start spraying the countertops with a mild stone cleaner, then wipe it off with a soft dry cloth. If you don’t have the budget or can’t find a commercial stone cleaner, you can always use mild dishwashing soap on a damp piece of cloth.

You should apply the soap on the cloth, then use the cloth to wipe and clean the marble.

When cleaning the surfaces, do not let the soap stay on them for too long, as it can cause stains. The best way to go about it is to rinse the soap off with water as soon as you are done cleaning, then wipe the surfaces dry after that.

If the above cleaning method doesn’t work, use one part of hydrogen peroxide and two parts of water. Take care not to use too much hydrogen peroxide, as you can easily damage the surfaces.

Sand the surfaces

Cleaning the countertops will eliminate minor stains, but if the surface damage is severe and the debris, soot, and dirt have seeped into the countertop surfaces, cleaning the surfaces won’t cut—you need a tougher way to go about it.

One of these ways is to sand the surfaces. Start with cleaning the surfaces until they are thoroughly clean and free of dirt or debris. You should then choose the right sandpaper depending on the nature of the surfaces.

If the surfaces are heavily scratched or damaged, start with a grit of 60, but if they are a little smoother, you can start with a grit of 120.

You should then wet the surface with a damp cloth to reduce the dust created by sanding.

Once wet, sand the surface in a circular motion while applying light pressure. To prevent the surface from clogging with marble dust, keep the sandpaper wet while you do the sanding.

You should continue sanding until you can no longer see the scratches and damage.

Once you are done, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust and debris.

Finally, dry the surface with a soft, dry cloth. If necessary, polish the surface using a marble polishing compound and a soft cloth.

Use an etch remover

If you have tried sanding the countertops but still don’t look as polished as they should, consider using an etch remover to remove the etch marks.

The etches on your countertops can be brought about by several factors, such as using acidic substances on your countertops.

An etch remover is designed to remove these etch marks leaving your countertops looking clean and shiny.

To remove the etches and polish your countertops, you should start by cleaning the surfaces to remove all the dirt and debris.

Following the instructions given on the etch remover, use the right amount of product. Using a clean cloth, you should apply the product on all the etch marks on the countertops.

For the best outcome, rub the etch remover gently on the etch marks in a circular motion. As you do it, take care not to use too much pressure that can lead to damage to the counters.

You should let the etch remover sit on the countertops for the recommended time, then rinse it with clean water. Finally, dry the countertops with a soft, dry cloth and if necessary, apply countertop polish.

Parting shot

These are some of the ways in which you can restore the dull on your marble kitchen countertops NC. You can do the polishing yourself, but let an expert do the work for the best outcome.

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.

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.

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.

What is the best type of kitchen countertop?

kitchen countertopHave you been thinking of replacing kitchen countertops in your home?  Look no further than The Countertop Factory for the widest selection of kitchen countertop options in North Carolina!  Some of our most popular kitchen countertop materials include granite kitchen countertops, laminate kitchen countertops, tile kitchen countertops, marble kitchen countertops and stainless steel kitchen countertops.  Take a look at all of our kitchen countertops pictures to help you decide which would make for the best kitchen countertops in your home.

Our countertop contractors have years of experience coming up with kitchen countertop ideas for countless homes throughout North Carolina.  Whether you are in need of kitchen countertop replacement or resurfacing of kitchen countertops, we have got you covered!  Our kitchen countertop design consultants will work closely with you to determine which discount kitchen countertops are right for you!

Choose from any of the above selections along with concrete kitchen countertops, Corian kitchen countertops, glass kitchen countertops and more.  Call us today to learn more about our kitchen countertops prices!