06

Dec

How Do You Measure A Countertop For Replacement?

When you are looking to undertake countertop replacement, you can go at it in two ways—do the work yourself or hire countertop replacement services.

If doing the work yourself, you have to measure the countertops so that you know how much to buy. Are you wondering, how do you measure a countertop for replacement? Here is how to go about it:

Get the measuring tools

You can’t measure the countertops without the right tools, can you? Some of the measuring tools you need for the work include:

Tape measure: You should use retractable tape with a steel blade. When using the blade, ensure that you can read the fractions of an inch. The tape should read in total inches and break into foot increments. For the best experience, stay away from cloth tape measures as they flex and stretch, giving you inaccurate results.

Pencil: You use a pencil to jot down figures. A pencil is better than a pen because you can correct any mistake you make. Use one with a hard lead that won’t break when using a pencil.

Graph paper: Although you can record your shapes and measurements on plain paper, graph paper provides a better and more accurate surface. When plotting, use a formula such as one square equals two inches.

Calculator: Unless you are a math whiz, you need a calculator to multiply, add and even divide the large figures. The beauty is that your calculator doesn’t have to be complicated—a regular calculator that can convert fractions to decimals then do some multiplication and division is enough.

Helper: Although not a tool, an extra pair of hands and eyes will go a long way towards helping you make correct measurements. The helper will help hold the tape end solid while stretching and recording. Ensure that you are on the reading end while the helper holds the tape at zero to avoid mistakes.

Draw a rough drawing of the countertop

Begin with making scale drawings of your countertop layouts. Remember to keep the countertop drawings complete where the sections join, such as in an L-shape or U-shape design.

You should note that you don’t have to be concerned about scaling the aisle separations when it comes to the galley kitchens or island situations. You only need to focus on the actual countertop surface you are dealing with.

Breakdown the countertop parts into blocks

To avoid overlaps, experts recommend you take measurements in rectangular blocks. Even the rounded or oval island, you should treat it’s a square.

Measure the countertops

You deal with two main dimensions when taking the measurements: length and width. The length is the lateral run across the counter surface, and width is the depth from the back of the wall to the front face. Make length your longest measurement and width the shortest one for the island and peninsula designs.

Take measurements of all the countertop areas from the sinks, backsplashes, faucet locations, and cooktops. Remember also to include the counter overhangs such as eating bars and nosings.

Transfer the measurements to the graph paper

After taking the measurements, transfer them to your graph paper and label each rectangle with a letter such as “A,” “B,” and so on. The purpose of doing this is to keep track of each zone, and at the same time, it makes it easier to describe the layout of your countertop supplier.

At this point, write the fractions as ¼, ½, ¾, etc. Don’t worry about converting them to decimals at this time—you will do this when you start calculating the final square footage.

Add all the rectangles and squares.

To get the total area in square inches, you need to add all the separate sections. To convert the area to square feet, divide the area in square inches by 144. You can alternatively plug the figures into a free online calculator or convertor.

Work with an experienced contractor.

Countertop installation is tough and requires extra care to get it right. You can also easily mess up, which ends up being too expensive. To minimize losses and ensure the work turns out perfect, work with experienced granite countertop installers Rockville or other professionals that know what they are doing.

31

Jan

7 Excellent Kitchen Countertop Cover-Ups

Don’t like the current look of your countertops? Don’t rush to hire countertop replacement services providers, as there are several ways you can cover your countertops without requiring contractor services. To help you out, here 7 excellent kitchen countertop cover-ups:

Tile the countertops

Tiles are excellent at covering floors, walls, and showers, and there is no reason you shouldn’t use them to cover up your old countertops. When choosing the tiles, go for glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles as they are the most stain and heat resistant.

They also come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Avoid natural stone tile as it requires periodic sealing that can be too much work on your part.

You can install the tiles directly on your countertops without removing the old countertops. You only need to ensure the tiles are flat and stable enough to prevent the new tiles from cracking.

As you are installing the tiles, you should note that while tiles are durable and easy to maintain, the grout joints are prone to staining. To minimize the stains, seal the countertops as soon as possible after installing the tile. You should then apply the sealer every few years to maintain the protective barrier.

Lay laminate over the countertops

If you have old laminate countertops with square edges, you can cover them with a new laminate layer. The layers are sold in sheets of up to 5 feet wide and 12 feet long, and all you need to do is to visit your local store and place your order.

If your countertops have raised and rounded edges, often known as waterfall edges, you can’t cover them with new laminate surfaces as the new material can’t conform to the edge contours.

Use a countertop refinishing kit.

Refinishing kits have everything you need to cover your countertops. The refinishing kits include an epoxy-like paint and decorative stone chips that create the natural stone look.

To cover your countertops using the kit, you simply need to follow the kit’s instructions. While this method is highly effective, you should note that it involves a lot of hard work, it’s messy, and you need to pay close attention to the kit’s details.

Cover your countertops with wood

Have you always wanted butcher block, or are you drawn to the beauty of real wood countertops? You can cover your old, beaten countertops with wide planks of solid hardwood. You can even get creative and use a blend of hardwood and bamboo plywood.

The cool thing with hardwood is it’s more durable and repairable than plywood. Only plywood comes in larger pieces and is more affordable.

Bamboo plywood offers the best of both worlds. It has a thicker top layer that ensures it’s durable and easy to repair and at the same time comes in 4 x 8-foot sheets like regular plywood.

You should note that covering your countertops with hardwood requires woodworking skills and the right tools. You can do the work by yourself if you have the skills or hire a professional to help you out.

Install modular granite

Also known as granite or stone overlay, modular granite is a system of small thin stone slabs designed to cover old countertops. The stones are 16 by 18 inches wide, which means there are fewer joints between the pieces.

For the problematic inside and outside corners, there are special pieces made for these sections, as well as the optional edge pieces.

Cover the countertops with film

Countertop film is thicker than shelf or contact paper. Many people refer to it as a cross between vinyl flooring and shelf paper and have a self-adhesive backing for sticking directly to the old countertop surface.

To install the film, layout the film, trim it to a rough size, and align it to the countertop edges. You should then stick it down using a squeegee tool to remove the air bubbles.

While the film will cover your ugly surfaces, you should note that it’s not a long-term solution, so use it as a temporary way of covering your surfaces.

Paint the countertops

Painting your countertops is easy, fast, and gives you immediate results. You can also do it by yourself without involving granite contractors Rockville or other professionals.

12

Aug

What Is The Best Stone For Kitchen Countertops? Countertop Replacement Services Providers Answer

With lots of countertop materials in the market, many homeowners are confused about the right ones to go for. Are you wondering, what is the best stone for kitchen countertops? Here are some of the options to choose from as given by countertop replacement services providers:

Granite

Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. It has been around for centuries and is loved by homeowners as it completely transforms the kitchen when properly installed. The countertops give modest houses a pleasing, luxurious look.

For years, many homeowners have shied away from granite due to its high cost. Thankfully, due to technological advancements, its prices have drastically come down, making it more affordable.

Pros of the stone

  • Significantly adds value to your kitchen
  • Easy to maintain
  • Strong and durable
  • Almost impervious to heat
  • Comes in plenty of colors and designs

Cons

  • Tends to crack when exposed to a lot of stress or improperly installed
  • Not suitable for DIY installation
  • Expensive
  • Porous, so you need to seal it to prevent stains from coming about
  • Knives tend to quickly dull when you cut directly on the stone

Marble

Like granite, marble has been around since time immemorial, where you can see it even in palaces and other buildings that date back to the Roman era.

One of its most significant setbacks is its high price tag, which makes it impractical to install in large kitchens. Homeowners also see it as the material to install in specific areas of the kitchen, such as the island or sections of the countertop reserved as baking centers.

While marble is highly-priced, it doesn’t easily stain or scratch. To reduce its maintenance, you should seal it with a high-quality sealer.

Concrete

Does your kitchen have an unusual shape, and you would like to maintain the unique look? Why not install concrete countertops? Homeowners have the impression the concrete used is the same you find in the sidewalks, but this isn’t the case.

The concrete used on the countertops is usually highly polished and often textured or even acid-stained to give it unique colors.

Pros of the stone

  • You can tint it to your preferred color
  • Gives your kitchen a unique, exotic look
  • Heat and scratch-resistant

Cons

  • You can’t install it on your own—you have to hire a professional to install it for you
  • You have to seal the surfaces to reduce the porosity
  • Cracking can happen
  • Gives the kitchen an industrial look which might be off-putting to potential homebuyers—if looking to sell the house later on.
  • Due to the customization, the cost of the stone might be high.

Quartz

Also known as engineered stone, quartz comes in a wide range of colors and features a nonporous surface that is resistant to staining and scratching.

Pros

  • Even with minimal skills, you can install the countertop material
  • Quartz slabs are uniform, without any imperfections
  • You can custom fabricate the slabs into any size and shape
  • Due to its nonporous nature, the countertops are resistant to stains and impervious to heat and acid
  • Concrete is easy to maintain as you don’t need to seal it.

Cons

  • The countertops are expensive so unaffordable for many people
  • Quartz is heavy, which can add on a lot of weight on your surfaces.

Ceramic tile

Compared to quartz, marble, and other natural stone countertops, ceramic tile is much more affordable. The countertop material has undergone great transformations, so you will easily find porcelain tiles with different designs. You will find tiles that resemble wood, cork, marble, and even leather.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes in a wide range of colors and styles
  • Resistant to heat damage from hot pans
  • Ideal for DIYers as they are easy to install
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • If looking for custom tiles, they can easily get too expensive
  • They don’t carry the same prestige as quartz or granite which might put off future house buyers
  • Ceramic tiles are brittle and can easily crack when put under a lot of stress.

Over to you

There is no definite best stone countertop you can install in your home. The choice solely depends on your tastes and the look you want to create. To choose the right material, consult granite installers Rockville, or any other professionals.

24

Apr

Countertop Replacement Services: Understanding Faux Stone Countertops

Also known as faux stone, manufactured stone veneer is a manmade material designed to replicate the look of natural stone.

It comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and you can use it in different areas, including: stone backsplash, interior walls, fireplaces, and even in your countertop replacement project, especially if you are strained of money.

Would you like to know more about the stone veneer? Here are a few things you should know about it as given by the countertop replacement services provider:

How is stone veneer made?

The stone is composed of lightweight natural aggregates, Portland cement, and iron oxide that adds the color. The materials are put in a mold then pressed in high pressure resulting in highly dense, realistic-looking finished stone.

The first stone veneer was made in the 19th century and interesting enough, it was made from natural stone.

The manufacturers sliced natural stone into thick slabs then sold them. Although cement is a significant component of the veneer, it wasn’t part of it until the 1950s. Currently, most of the modern veneer stones are made from molds taken from carefully selected natural stone.

Some of the manufacturers go to the extent of replicating the rough and unique textures of natural stone, making it almost impossible to differentiate the two.

Is the stone veneer right for your home?

This is a subjective question. If you don’t like the natural look of stone veneer, you won’t like the surfaces in your home regardless of how good of an investment they are. On the other hand, if you like the natural look, then you will be proud of having the veneers in place.

How does veneer compare to natural stone?

In addition to being highly versatile, manufactured stone is cheaper, where it costs up to 1/3 the cost of natural stone. Since most of the manufacturers aim to produce veneer stones that closely resemble solid stone as much as possible, veneer stones tend to exhibit the same variations in size, shape, texture, and color to natural stone.

Just like natural stone countertops, stone veneer is maintenance-free. All you need to keep it looking spectacular is washing it to remove dirt and dust.

Since the material is cheap, you can save on your project without sacrificing on custom details.

Can you install the veneers by yourself?

Yes, you can install the material by yourself if you have the skills, but for ideal results, you should handle the project by yourself. If you have never done it before, let an expert veneer contractor help you out.

If you are confident in your skills, you should go ahead and try to install the veneers by yourself. Before you begin the project, check with the building inspector about the local building code requirements. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law, do you?

You should then choose veneer from different boxes that vary in shapes and color. When it comes to the installation, begin working from the corners, then work your way down from the top. This prevents mortar from staining the stones below.

If you discover the mortar dripping on one of the stones, wait for a day or two for it to dry before brushing it off with a whisk broom. If possible, hide the edges that you trimmed by pointing them up or down, above or below your eye level.

Once you are done, you can paint your new countertops to your preferred colors or let them retain their original color.

Conclusion

There is no denying that manufactured stone veneer comes with plenty of benefits. It’s cheaper, lightweight, comes in a wide range of colors, and ideal for both domestic and commercial applications.

If you feel it’s right for your home, work with reputable granite installers Rockville or any other professionals that will not only help you find the ideal material for your home, but also help you with the installation.

You can find contractors from friends or relatives. If none of them have hired a contractor in the recent past, try a Google search. When doing your research, pay attention to the reviews as they will guide you on the reputation of the contractor.