Tag Archives: marble surfaces

How Do You Make Countertops Look Good?

If you have worn-out or unpleasant-looking countertops, you might wonder how to improve their looks. Well, there are a number of ways to go about it. These ways include:

Install an interior film

This style of improving the look of the countertops is a relatively recent alternative in the North American market, but it has been a popular choice throughout Asia and Europe for several years. The good thing about this option is that you can update the kitchen countertop without replacing it.

It’s also quick and easy, with no noise, dust, or odors. If you want to refurbish countertops quickly and affordably, this is an excellent way to do it.

If you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t a handy person, let experienced countertop replacement professionals help you.

When installing the film, ensure that the surface is smooth and clean. Additionally, no water damage or warps should be present. You also should follow the proper film application process that involves these steps:

  • Make a flat surface with putty and gentle sanding.
  • Prime the surface where you need more adhesion, such as corners and edges. You should note that primer application requirements differ depending on the surface.
  • Measure and cut the material.
  • Peel and stick the film onto the surface.
  • Apply the film with a squeegee from top to bottom in a fan-shaped sweeping motion.

In most cases, refurbishing the countertop takes only a few hours. Furthermore, the vinyl layer replicates the original texture (whether it is wood, metal, or something else), so refinished worktops will be as appealing as natural ones.

When doing the installation, ensure that the countertops maintain their appearance. This calls for you to hire an experienced professional who knows what they are doing and will expertly install the surfaces.

Install a layer of concrete on your surfaces.

If you don’t like your countertops, you can pour concrete on them. The cool thing is that concrete is highly adaptable; you may modify the color, stain, texture, and even shape.

It is also pretty simple to make. You’ll need a mold and a frame to support the future countertop. Make a strong support because concrete is heavy.

You should then mix, pour, let it dry, then sand, finish, and install. You can skip the installation step if you pour concrete directly on top of the existing counter.

Paint your countertops to resemble marble.

If new counters are not in your budget, you can give them a paint makeover. You should note that this is not your typical simple paint color. There is a new, exciting way to paint your countertops like marble.

If you have painting skills, you can do the work yourself, but if you aren’t confident, let a professional help you.

For the best painting outcome, you should follow the right steps:

In a nutshell, the procedure goes like this:

  • Sanding, priming, and painting the surface white.
  • Only then can you begin to create veins using craft paint. It’s wise to practice veining on a tiny piece of wood before moving on to the counter.
  • Whitewash the surface before sealing to soften the veins. Then, seal your artificial marble.
  • You’ll also need primer, eggshell or satin finish white paint, three colors of gray craft paint, a foam roller and a roller tray, a feather, a sea sponge, a soft paintbrush, paper towels, a toothbrush, small mixing bowls, sandpaper, paste wax or a water-based polyurethane for the topcoat, and other supplies.
  • You can also buy a paint kit to change the appearance of your countertops.

If painting artificial marble sounds too demanding, consider using a marble interior film.

Consider installing terrazzo on your concrete countertops

Terrazzo countertops are resilient and resistant to scratches, stains, and chipping, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Furthermore, it is bacteria-resistant and straightforward to clean. It’s an ideal choice for kitchens where hygiene is a key priority.

Terrazzo is a composite material composed of cement or epoxy resin mixed with pieces of aggregate compounds such as marble, stone, glass, mother of pearl, abalone shells, and others. Terrazzo is the most often used flooring material, but you can always use it on your countertops.

If you believe terrazzo is perfect for you, the first step is to contact a terrazzo contractor, preferably in your immediate area, because the longer the supplies and machines have to go, the higher the costs.

If traditional poured terrazzo is too expensive or simply not perfect for the project you have in mind, you can consider terrazzo tile instead.

Regardless of the terrazzo countertop you want to install, ensure that the work is done by an expert that is knowledgeable of what the project entails.

Add tiles to your counters.

Another inexpensive option for a countertop makeover is to install tiles. Tile countertops add a distinct vibe to the area, so if you want a farm-style and rustic kitchen, this is the alternative for you.

While this is the case, you should note that it is a really complicated DIY project. To make things easier, place a tile membrane on top of the current surface before putting your tiles.

You also should work with experienced contractors to help you with the installation.

Parting shot

These are some ways to improve the look of your bathroom or kitchen countertops NC. As mentioned, you should always work with experienced professionals who will not only professionally install the surfaces, but also guide you on the right things to do.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of revamping your countertops every few years, you should take good care of them.

This calls for you to be ultra-cautious of what you place on the surfaces. You also should make it a habit to clean them regularly to eliminate stains that might ruin their look.

Things You Should Know About Marble Countertops

Are you looking to install marble countertops in your home? There are plenty of things you should know about them. These things include:

Marble patinates

Marble will develop a patina over time. The term ‘patina’ alone may send some people scurrying for the hills. However, many experts advise that patina should be embraced rather than feared.

Patina is a sophisticated way of saying used over time. If you go to Italy or France, or even a French restaurant, you will see marble on dining tables and worktops.

Those bits of stone have been around forever. And they remain lovely no matter how much they are used.

The stone’s beauty stems from its wear and tear. Each etch and trace of wear is a time capsule of all the hard work that has gone into your home.

And for many individuals, it is simply a part of life. We’re not all perfect and pristine all the time, so don’t expect your countertops to be either. Strive to embrace your patina. It will seem to be used, which is fine.

Marble etches

Etching is part of the patina. It’s an aspect of having marble surfaces that you’re either fine with or not. Whether marble—etching and all—is suited for you is determined by your expectations. This is especially true with marble in the kitchen.

You have to know what you’re getting into, and don’t assume that you are going to maintain the stone’s gorgeous, pristine, and polished perfection.

You’re going to spill something on it, and if you leave a glass out too long, something will happen. Then, you’ll learn a little bit about etching.

Marble etch marks form when an acidic liquid remains on the surface for an extended period of time, causing it to erode. Corroded surfaces have a dull or light appearance.

The impacted marble becomes rougher or less smooth than it was before the acidic spill.

People occasionally use various household cleaners that are generally effective for cleaning but are not suitable for marble surfaces.

The low pH of cleaning solutions instantly destroys the stone’s luster, leaving a damaged and drab surface.

As a result, you must exercise caution to maintain the marble surface’s overall appearance, sheen, and smoothness.

Some of the things you can do to prevent marble etching include:

Avoid using harsh cleaning products: It is best to avoid exposing the marble surface to any strong chemicals that could damage it. Even for cleaning, avoid using chlorine and acidic substances because they can alter the stone’s luster.

Hone the surface: A sharpened region is less likely to be etched than a polished surface. The matte finish will reduce the visibility of any scratches or stains on the marble surface.

Use chopping boards: You should use chopping boards in the kitchen to prevent acidic food drips from damaging the marble surface.

Clean spills as soon as they happen: Spills are always inadvertent. To protect your surfaces, make it a habit to clear the spills as soon as they happen.

Wipe the surface clean with a wet towel right away. Remember that the longer the acid remains on the surface, the greater the possibility of etching, and you don’t want this, do you?

Marble stains

Marble is a highly porous stone that has earned a reputation as a magnet for stains, particularly from acidic substances.

Your marble countertop, on the other hand, is not like your best white top, which is likewise stain-resistant—it can endure much more.

If you’re worried about stains, you can seal your surface to protect it. To be on the safe side, have your kitchen marble sealed once a year or refinished as needed.

Marble in the bathroom, on the other hand, is significantly less likely to absorb food stains. As a result, it is far safer and requires less sealing.

You can seal the surfaces by yourself but for the best outcome, let a professional help you out.

For the best outcome, you should apply two coats of the sealer.

Do not be alarmed if any ugly defects remain after applying the first coat of stone sealer. The second coat will effectively cover these defects and other minor wear indications.

Before applying the second coat, the first coat must be totally dry. After the first coat has dried, apply the second coat using the same way. Give the second coating an extra 15 to 20 minutes to dry.

After the second application of sealant has cured completely, polish your marble surfaces to finish the process. Polishing and buffing marble stones removes excess sealant.

To keep your surfaces nice, clean them using a microfiber cloth or any other type of towel. After you’ve completed, leave your marble surfaces overnight and be ready for elegant looking surfaces the following day.

There’s a misconception that marble stains easily, but it doesn’t. Those who have marble in their kitchen can speak from personal experience. It takes time to stain the surfaces.

There is marble in the US.

For those who value the “Made in America” label, don’t dismiss marble just yet. There is a prevalent assumption that marble must be imported from abroad; however, this is not always the case.

Marble is mostly found in Italy, China, India, and Spain. These four countries quarry almost half of the world’s marble. Marble quarries are also common in Turkey, Greece, the United States, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

The states with the most marble are Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.

If you love buying American products, you should insist on buying the ones produced in these states. Of course, the marble will be much cheaper as it will have lower transport costs. Also, since it won’t have import duty, it will most likely cost you less.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should know about marble. You should note that marble is one of the best materials you can install in your home. Whether you are having a countertop replacement NC project or installing new units, ensure that you have a professional install the surfaces.

You also should take good care of the surfaces so that they not only look good, but also last for a long time.

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.

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.

10 Reasons You Should Give Marble Countertops A Shot

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

Sophisticated look

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

Rich history

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

Plenty of color choices

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

Unique designs

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

Easy to clean

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

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

Heat resilience

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

Durable

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

Easy to fabricate

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

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

Readily available

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

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

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

Increase in home value

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

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