07

Apr

How to Keep Your Granite Kitchen Top Clean and Shiny

After you have invested in a granite countertop installation, you must understand how you should maintain its beauty for a long time. These tips are easy to follow, including cleaning ideas and polishing tricks for maintaining your granite countertop.

Granite Countertops are expensive, but maintenance is easy. However, should still know how to do it right. These tips will help you remember to practice regular routine maintenance to make sure that your countertops can keep their glossy shine for many years.

Since granite is expensive, and those who have it normally want their kitchens to look excellent, they always read about tips on how to do that. Keep in mind that you must read and follow the tips even if your countertop is new.

Make Sure it is Sealed Properly

Granite countertops are made using natural stone, so each slab is unique. Relatively, granite is non-porous, and a lot of manufacturers seal slabs before shipping it out, but you should still periodically reapply the sealant. Factory sealants will last for years, depending on the tear and water level present. In order to check if your countertop requires sealing, you must contact your manufacturer or do a bead test. You can put a few drops of water on the countertop, and see if it forms a bead. Your countertop must not be sealed. If the water gets absorbed into the stone or a watermark is left, you must seal your counters.

Retain the Shine

An excellent way to maintain the shininess of your countertop is by keeping it clean. As you wipe the surface with mild-warm water, dish soap, and a paper towel, you will see that it is perfect for cleaning effectively. You would have to use a granite cleaner that is specially made for that. Never use just any common household cleaning product on your granite countertop. Using products like that can damage the granite or cause it to become dull. You do not want this to happen.

Remove Water Spots and Stains

For granite stains – dark spots, rings, or oil stains – you must try using baking soda and a water poultice. After that, place the paste mixture on the stain. You need to cover the paste using plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 24 to 48 hours. Baking soda might absorb the counterstains.

In case that is not working, you need to try sprinkling cornstarch on the stain. You need to cover it using plastic and then wait for a couple of hours. The cornstarch could suck up the leftover stain.

Scrub it

Since granite countertops are sealed so they stay shiny and stain-resistant, you might want to avoid using anything that is too acidic or basic to clean your countertop. If you frequently use vinegar or the basic ones, it is going to make the granite dull and weaken the sealant as well. Instead, you need a little soap and water.

Add Shine to it

If you want to make your granite shiny, you need to pour cooking oil on a cleaning cloth and wipe it across the kitchen countertop. You need to gently buff it, and this makes the counter a little stain-resistant, giving it a glossy shine.

Even if you already know how to clean countertops, your granite should be periodically sealed. Normal wear and tear is going to wear off the sealant, which leaves the counter susceptible and dull to the stains. If you know how to clean the granite countertop, you can make the sealant last longer.

Granite countertop installers Rockville will build the best for you, all you need to

07

Mar

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Kitchen Designer

These days, there is an abundance of interior design blogs that make it seem like anyone can just start finishing their remodeling project.

If you are an ambitious homeowner, you can look for a professional designer and hire a good granite contractor who can install the countertop you prefer. You cannot just do it all on your own if you are not an expert. You will see that hiring a professional has a different effect on your kitchen, and it is not a small project you can just take on.

You might have to pay quite a bit for an expert, but the benefits are all worth it. You can find out what they are right here.

They Follow the Right Coding and Licensing

When you want to do a major redesign of your kitchen, you have to make sure that you are not violating coding and regulations where you live. These guidelines about construction projects should be met, and they must be followed. If you call a hire licensed expert kitchen contractor, you can just find out that they will follow all the required regulations.

Knowledgeable About the Budget

Kitchen renovations cost a lot, which is why you want to be sure about spending your money properly. A designer helps you stay within your budget, and they can source better materials as well. Most of the time, they know where the better deals are, so you will get more for your budget. The connections and knowledge they have to help you achieve the kitchen you want but within the range of your budget.

You are Getting Good Materials

Your designer is helpful in making sure that you will get the best materials for your investment, which helps you sort out your goals and ideas to come up with a great plan. At the same time, they will sometimes ask you to fill out a questionnaire and from here, they can understand what the most important thing is to you. At the same time, your designer guides you through all the options and gives recommendations in a couple of meetings, and prioritizes all of them for yourself – this makes it less stressful. You can always splurge, but knowing that you can lower the costs is excellent.

Eligibility of Your Warranty

Kitchen renovations will not be only about replacing the backsplash or repairing the old cabinet doors. You have to make important decisions about the design, styles, layout, materials, as well as electrical and plumbing systems. Kitchen designers consider and make sure that every appliance, furnishing, or attachment is going to suit your needs.

A kitchen remodeling expert can give you professional advice and a different perspective that you will not find anywhere else. They know what goes well together and what the best layout is for your home.

It Takes Less Time

The remodeling process of your kitchen will most likely last twice because you are not getting any expert opinion. Professional kitchen designers will coordinate a schedule with you, know the right plumber for you, and even figure out how long the flooring cures itself before you can install cabinets. The process ends up taking a lot longer, more confusing, and it might not go as planned if you think you can do the designing on your own.

Professional Commitment

Kitchen planning is a non-stop process and the initial design goes through a couple of changes before the final output. The designer will look closely through all the aspects and will continue to do so until the project is finished.

These are the benefits you will get from hiring a kitchen designer, and looking for the best granite companies Rockville.

07

Jan

How Do You Make Granite Countertops Look Good?

Granite countertops look magnificent in any home, and this is one of the primary reasons many homeowners go for them. If you have had your countertops for a long time and they have started losing their original exquisite look, you must be wondering, how do you make granite countertops look good, right?

Well, there are plenty of ways you can do it. Some of these ways include:

Shine the countertops

When you installed the countertops for the first time, you must have noticed an inviting natural shine. The shine is largely due to the high quartz content in granite.

While the shine is inviting when new, over time, it fades off, giving your countertops an old, cheap look.

To make your countertops look good, you need to maintain this shine. Besides cleaning the countertops regularly, you also should regularly polish the surfaces.

Thankfully, there are plenty of polishing products in the market you can use. All you need to do is find those that match your countertops and give your surfaces a perfect look you are looking for.

When polishing the countertops, take care not to use rough cleaning tools that scratch the surface. As a rule of thumb, use a soft cloth, precisely a microfiber cloth, that won’t cause any harm to the surface.

Use the same soft cloth to buff the surfaces and buff in a circular motion to don’t cause any harm and reach the entire surface.

Other ways to keep your granite looking good

Besides polishing the countertops, there are many other ways to keep your granite looking good. Some of these other ways include:

Take good care of the countertops

Like your car, clothes, appliances, or any other thing, if you want your countertops to look good, you have to take good care of them.

The beauty is there are plenty of ways to take care of them. Some of these ways include:

Clean spills immediately: As soon as spills happen, you should clean them to avoid hard-to-remove stains from forming.

Use coasters: Coasters come in handy at preventing the hot pots placed on the countertops from coming into direct contact with the countertops. As a rule of thumb, use high-quality coasters that will provide the countertops with maximum protection and last for a long time.

Use cutting boards: The same way you should use coasters and hot pads is the same way you should use cutting boards when cutting meat, vegetables, and other food items. As a rule of thumb, never cut directly on granite surfaces.

Don’t sit on the countertops: It’s normal for most homeowners to sit on the countertops as they wait for food to cook. Others will come to the kitchen and sit there as they chat. This is wrong.

To avoid cracking your countertops, avoid sitting on them, especially on the edges. You also should avoid standing on them to reach the top shelves or replace a burnt bulb.

Clean the countertops regularly

As mentioned above, cleaning the countertops goes a long way towards keeping them looking good. When doing the cleaning, use the right cleaning products.

In most cases, water and soap are enough to keep the surfaces in top shape, but you can use commercial cleaning products when looking for that extra shine. When buying the cleaner, use one specifically designed for granite surfaces.

Never use ammonia, citrus, or vinegar to clean the surfaces as they are highly acidic cleaners, and using them will dull the surfaces.

The right way to clean the countertops is to spray or mist the cleaner across the entire surface, then let it sit for a minute, after which you wipe it with a soft microfiber cloth until it’s dry.

Seal the countertop

The final thing you should do is seal the countertops to lock out any materials that might try to find their way into the countertops. You can seal the countertops or hire granite countertop installers Rockville to help.

When sealing the surfaces, work in small sections to don’t spray the same area more than once. After applying the sealant, wipe the surfaces with a soft cotton cloth until completely dry.

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.

30

Sep

Why Is Marble So Popular And Not Granite Countertops?

With so many kitchen countertop options available such as quartz and granite countertops, when you mention countertops, the first thing that comes to the minds of most homeowners is marble. You must be wondering, why is marble so popular? There are plenty of reasons for this.

Humble beginnings

Before we go into details as to why marble is so popular, we need to go back down memory lane and first understand the history of the stone.

Marble was first used by the ancient Greeks, who used it to construct fireplaces, walls, fountains, kitchen hoods, and many other structures. Some of the notable masterpieces include: the Pantheon, Pisa Cathedral, the Taj Mahal, and Lincoln Memorial.

Why marble is so popular

Marble has plenty of attractive features that make it popular. These features include:

It’s durable

The main reason you will find marble in structures that have been around for centuries is because it’s exceptionally durable and resilient. When properly installed, it won’t chip or dent. When you install it in your kitchen or bathroom, you don’t worry about damaging it when you drop something on it or run into it.

On first look, marble appears fragile, but this isn’t the case. After all, some buildings are still standing centuries after construction.

Marble significantly improves your home value.

When you were scouting for a house, what impression did you have when the real estate agent told you the counters were made from marble? I’m sure you had the impression the house is a high-end property, right? This is what marble does to every home.

The premium stone not only gives you a sense of prestige, it also increases the value of your home. So if you are looking to sell the house at a later date, you sell it at a higher price.

Marble is beautiful

One of the reasons marble was used even in ancient buildings is due to its beauty. Marble comes in a wide array of colors and hues from which you will find one that will fit your décor and home design. If looking to give your house a sense of space, there are white countertops to go for.

If you have a large kitchen and looking to give the impression of elegance, go with one of the many dark options. You only need to ensure a professional undertakes marble countertop installation.

The countertops are easy to maintain

In addition to significantly improving your home value, marble is extremely easy to maintain. To clean it, you need to use mild soap and water. Use a soft cloth to wipe it down. If you have sealed the surfaces, you don’t need to scrub sticky spills. Wipe them as they happen.

Guide to buying marble countertops

Now that we have learned why marble is popular and the ways it can benefit your property, now let’s look at how to buy the ideal slab for your home. You need to consider plenty of factors such as:

Veining patterns

Different quarries have different ways of cutting marble that gives the stone different veining patterns. Some of the ways to cut the stone include: fleuri cut, crosscut, and many others. When making the purchase, carefully consider these patterns and only buy a stone that complements your home.

Cracks and fissures

You need to know the difference between cracks and fissures. Cracks are often large, and they are a sign the slab has been dropped or improperly handled. Don’t buy a slab with cracks on it.

Fissures, on the other hand, are small and natural. They aren’t a sign of a deformity, and there is no harm in buying a stone with fissures, especially if looking for a stone that will give your house a more rustic look.

Origin

Where is the stone mined from? You need to consider this when making the purchase. The best stones are those from Italy, so do your due diligence and make sure the stone you are buying is from Statuario or Carrara. Avoid buying those from china as they aren’t as beautiful and don’t last long.

Parting shot

Above are some of the reasons marble is so popular, and if you love it, you should go ahead and install it in your home. For best results, make sure professional granite countertop installers Rockville or other professionals install it. After installing the stone, finish the look with a penetrating sealer to give the stone a long life.

11

Jul

Do Granite Countertops Scratch?

Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials in the world. It’s referred to as the hardest, scratch-resistant materials you can invest in. While this is the case, you must have heard some of your friends or even family members saying that their countertops developed scratches.

Do granite countertops scratch? They do. The countertops can be scratched by other items that are equally hard or harder than granite itself. These include stones such as diamonds. So you should avoid pressing your diamond ring into granite or pulling it along the surface.

Quartz and other cutting devices designed to cut through granite will also scratch the countertop material. In most cases, contrary to popular belief, knives won’t scratch granite, but using them directly on the surface will dull them. So to preserve them, you should always have a cutting board in place.

Why do the countertops scratch?

While the countertops are tough and durable, they aren’t scratch proof. When you roughly use them, or an accident happens, the countertops can crack, chip, or even develop major scratches.

Some of the reasons the countertops can develop scratches and cracks include:

  • Falling of heavy objects on the countertops
  • Cutting vegetables with a sharp knife directly on the countertops
  • Using abrasive products on the countertops. This often happens when you are cleaning the surfaces.
  • Sliding heavy utensils or pottery with hard pointed parts on the countertops.

Even a minor scratch on the countertops will spoil the beauty of the countertops. The scratches also trap dust, creating a space for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow.

Due to this, you should move with haste and fix the scratches.

Ways to fix granite scratches

There are plenty of ways you can fix the scratches, and it varies depending on the depth and size of the scratch.  You can group scratches into three main categories:

  • Hair like scratches
  • Scratches deeper than 2mm
  • Scratches deeper than 3 mm

You can fix the minor scratches on your own, but for scratches deeper than 2mm, you should seek professional help.

Fixing hair-like scratches

Hair like scratches are easy to fix, and you can easily fix them on your own using one of the following methods:

Washing the scratches with water and dish wash: Here, you need to find a course rag and wash the scratched area with warm water and dish wash. You should saturate the granite surface with a dishrag soaked with hot soapy water and let it sit for some time.

With little pressure and cleaning, some of the scratches will fade and others disappear. If there are any deeper scratches, they will remain as they are.

Use penetrating sealers: You can apply a penetrating stone sealer at least once a year to add extra protection to your granite counters. All you need is to buy a brand that is recommended by the manufacturer and follow the application directions. After applying it, give it time to dry completely. The sealer soaks into the scratches and fills the scratches, making them invisible to the eye.

Other ways you can fix the hair-like scratches include: using resin scratch stick and ultra-fine steel wool.

Fixing scratches deeper than 3mm.

As mentioned above, you should refrain from attempting to fix scratches deeper than 2 mm. If you got larger scratches, you are better off hiring granite experts.

Most of the contractors will use a diamond polishing or sanding pad to repair small or medium scratches. Since diamond is harder than granite, it will remove the annoying scratches.

Preventing scratches from coming about

Prevention is always better than cure, so you should always strive to prevent the scratches from coming about instead of repairing them. According to granite installers Rockville, the best way to prevent scratches from coming about is to seal the counters regularly.

After sealing it at installation, you also should seal it once every year. By sealing the surfaces, you provide a protective coating that is hard to remove unless you dig too hard into it.

It’s also wise to keep damaging materials such as precious stones and other materials stronger than granite away from the counters.

10

Apr

Tricks On How To Save Money When Buying Granite Countertops

This is what homeowners do when they are looking to buy granite countertops and other countertop materials: they find a local stone yard, pick a slab they like, get the price, and buy.

While this might seem like a highly convenient way of buying the countertops, it’s wrong, and you end up spending a lot of money than you should. Are you looking to save money when having a kitchen remodel project? Here are some of the tips to consider when buying the countertops:

Shop around

You will find kitchen countertops in big box stores, countertop fabricators, kitchen and bathroom design studios, and in other companies specializing in countertop materials.

For you to get the best price, don’t buy from the first company you come across. Take time to visit different companies and see what they have to offer. If you have friends and family that recently installed countertops, ask them where they got them from.

Visit different stores until you find a store selling high-quality countertops at the least price.

Buy the countertops in wholesale

As you are doing your research, keep a close eye on the companies that allow you to buy the countertops in wholesale. Just like any other item, when you buy in wholesale, you end up saving a lot of money.

For you to get a wholesale offer, you have to buy the countertops in bulk, so this option will work in your favor if you have a large kitchen.

Don’t waste the countertop material

To maintain a uniform countertop, countertop experts recommend you buy the entire slab in one piece. When you do this, it’s not uncommon to be left with more material than you need. The cool thing is that you don’t have to throw away the remaining material.

You can use the leftover stone in many ways, such as using it to cover a backsplash, use it as a durable finish for the sides of an island, or as a flooring transition between the kitchen and dining room.

Scour the boneyard

If you have a small kitchen and color consistency isn’t an essential factor for you, you don’t have to buy premium countertop materials from a countertop store. You can visit the local boneyard and get the countertops at a fraction of the cost.

Boneyards are areas in stone yards where homeowners return the stone slab leftovers once they can’t use them anymore.

Buy a more common color

Granite countertops and other stone countertop materials have tremendously lowered their costs, mainly due to improvement in manufacturing technology. While this is the case, you should note that countertops of a rare color are still expensive.

Luckily, the countertops come in many more affordable colors. To save money, avoid the rare colors. You might argue that the unique color will add more value to your overall house, but this isn’t the case.

Unless you have extra money and you want the look, there is no point in spending a lot of money on a rare color.

Go for a prefabricated material

A prefabricated stone is one that is already cut and polished. This stone is perfect for simple counters requiring few cuts. Highly consider going for prefabricated materials if your countertop cabinets are standard.

The materials come with three finished edges and a polished surface. While they are as good as the new ones, they cost half as much, which saves you a lot of money.

Buy from a local supplier

When you buy from a distant supplier, you have to handle the shipping costs, which can be high, especially if you are getting them from a different state. To save money, buy the countertops from a local supplier.

This way, you won’t pay much for shipping. When you place a large order, the supplier delivers the countertops at no cost.

DIY wherever possible

If you are a handy person, there are plenty of ways you can save money on your kitchen remodeling project. If you have the skills, instead of hiring granite countertop installers Rockville, do the work yourself.

Countertop installation isn’t an easy feat, so if it’s beyond your skill level, do the easy tasks such as sealing the countertops after the installer has installed them.

30

Jan

How Can You Get The Most From Granite Countertops?

In addition to being beautiful, granite countertops offer an excellent return on investment. When you install the right countertops, you significantly improve the look of the entire room and keep it looking fabulous for years, if not decades. It’s no doubt granite is a significant investment and one you will be proud of for years.

The only catch is that you have to buy the right countertops and install them professionally. Luckily, you can do it using these tips:

Always view the entire granite slabs

When you visit the granite stores, the countertop company will show you countertop pieces. If you aren’t experienced, you will be satisfied with the pieces, which ends up being problematic.

Since granite is a natural stone, it varies widely in color, veining, and patterns. These variations don’t appear accurately on countertop pieces, so you might be mistaken about how the countertops will look upon installation.

To avoid surprises, ask the countertop company to show you the entire slab so you can be aware of the color variations and veins. Keenly inspect the slab keeping your eyes out for areas that show significant variations and where the contractors will place a seam between two slabs.

To reduce the number of seams that will be on your countertops, select the largest granite slab. Granite slabs are often available in sizes of up to 10 feet in length. You should note that while they significantly reduce the number of seams, they are often brittle and heavy to handle and transport. So you should be ready to make the sacrifice.

Strive to keep the countertop prices down

Due to the popularity of the countertops, some sellers tend to markup their prices to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. For you to avoid buying the countertops at extremely high prices, take time to do your research.

Visit different companies and see what they have in store. Expect the prices to vary depending on the location of the company and the quality of the stone.

Of course, avoid companies located in high-end areas as they will be more expensive due to the high rent. You also should avoid the big chain stores. In addition to selling countertop stones at high prices, they also don’t have variety, so you are stuck with only a few options.

While you should strive to keep the prices as low as possible, be cautious of a company selling the countertops at meager prices. The chances are that the slabs aren’t genuine and will come apart after a few months.

Take time and hire the right installation company

If you are like other homeowners, when you are looking for an installation company, you go online and key in your search term. You then proceed to contact the first company that shows up first in the search results. Don’t do this.

You are better off working with a contractor with a proven record. So the first thing you should do is to ask your friends and relatives that recently installed countertops about the contractor they used.

You also should visit the review sites and see some of the top-rated contractors in your area. Select a few and schedule an interview.

During the interview, ask them how they are going to install the countertops, how they are going to address the issues in your kitchen, and any other questions that will help you gauge their expertise.

Once you have found an ideal contractor, have a written quote. This will protect you from future attempts by the contractor to increase the price.

Go for a simple design

Although every homeowner wants a new look for their home, you shouldn’t go for an intricate countertop design that is not only expensive, but also hard to execute.

You should note that the countertop installation professional charges depending on several factors such as the size of the work surface, presence of matching backsplash, presence of cutouts for fixtures and plumbing, and other details.

A design doesn’t have to be complex to be elegant. Work with experienced granite countertop installers Rockville and install a simple design that will cost you less to install and last for a long time.

Parting shot

For you to install countertops, you will be proud of for years, buy a high-quality slab, and ensure an experienced contractor installs it.

24

Dec

What Should You Look Out For When Hiring Granite Installers?

Choosing the right granite slab for your kitchen or bathroom is fun. You see the slab in the showroom, you take a sample home and see how it looks on your counters, then go back to the store and make the purchase.

After buying the most appealing countertop slab, you move onto the next stage—finding the best granite installers. The contractor you hire can make or break your project; therefore, you should take your time and ensure you hire the right one.

What should you pay attention to when hiring?

References

Has the contractor worked with other homeowners in the past? This is vital as it will give you peace of mind that the contractor knows what they are doing. An experienced contractor will have references of people they have worked with before.

Ask for their contacts and go ahead and reach out to them. Ask them about their experience with the contractor, how long the contractor took to complete the project, and any other details that will help you make an informed decision.

While an installer affiliated with a showroom will be experienced, you should avoid them as the showroom often pays them less; hence they are less likely to give you an excellent service. If you have the budget, you are better off finding your contractor.

Photos of previous work

In addition to asking for people the contractor has worked with before, you also should ask to see pictures of projects they have handled before. Experienced contractors will be eager to show you their work, and this is a good sign.

Carefully go through the photos and confirm they aren’t all the same. If they are similar, it means the contractor is only experienced at installing pre-cut counters, which isn’t good. You want an all-around contractor.

You also should be on the lookout for the nature of the installation. If most of them are counter installations, that is a good sign, but if most of them are flooring installations, you have a reason to worry. For a great experience, go with a contractor who is more concerned with countertop projects.

Ask about cuts, edging, and seams

The granite batch you buy from determines how the contractors will handle the project. If the batch requires the contractors to join many slabs, you should discuss it in length before the project commences.

Experienced installers will be excited telling you about the different joining options that will result in a seamless surface based on the pattern variations on the slabs.

When discussing the edges, the experts will present ideas that are not only possible for the grade of stone you bought, but those that will also be aesthetically pleasing depending on your kitchen cabinets.

You also should get to see their equipment. Modern equipment creates accurate and clean cuts and beautiful seams. Even if you have never seen any granite cutting tool, you can easily tell a modern from an antique tool, so don’t be scared about asking to see the tools of work.

Area of expertise

Granite technicians can specialize in two areas: installation and fabrication. While you will be more interested in a person who specializes in countertop installation, you also want someone with fabrication experience.

This is because you are bound to come across areas that the contractor will need to fabricate.

Price

How much is the contractor charging for their services? The amount charged greatly determines whether you will hire the contractor or not. You should note that high fees don’t always mean the contractor will give you an excellent service.

At the same time, you shouldn’t go for the cheapest contractor as they are most likely inexperienced; hence they will most likely provide you with substandard services.

The best way out is to identify a contractor who provides you with excellent service at an affordable price.

You should note that some contractors will give you a low quotation but end up selling you later on, so the project ends up being too expensive.

To lock the price, get a written quotation from the contractor.

When you are searching for good granite countertop installers Potomac, you should get quotations from two or more contractors. This way, you have an opportunity of comparing their services and fees.

19

Dec

7 Ways You Are Destroying Your Granite Countertops

Did you know you could be destroying your granite countertops without even knowing? Here is how you could be doing it:

Failing to use a cutting board

Granite slabs are tough, so nothing can destroy them, right? Wrong. When you cut directly on the countertops, fine scratches develop that disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops. This makes the countertops more susceptible to damage.

Placing vegetables directly on the countertops is also harmful as the vegetables tend to contain acids that etch at the countertops leading to damage.

For you to keep the countertops in top shape, avoid cutting anything directly on them. The best way out is always to have a cutting board in place.

Putting the car keys on the countertops

After a long day at work, what do you do? You throw the car keys on the countertops, right? This is wrong because the keys cause scratches on the countertops.

Just as you shouldn’t place keys on the countertops, you also shouldn’t place handbags there either. The metal dots on the bottom of the bags scratch the countertops leading to damage.

What should you do?

You should create a specific area to place the keys after work. Most people have a unique bowl at the door entrance to place the keys. You should place one there too. For the handbags, hang a few nails on the door where you will be hanging your bag after work.

Using the wrong cleaning products

Did you know that the cleaning products you use to clean kitchen countertops has a significant impact on the life of your countertops? As a rule of thumb, don’t use vinegar as it dulls the countertops. You also should avoid products that are too acidic as they are known to destroy the countertops.

If you regularly clean your countertops, soap and water are enough to leave your countertops in top shape. If you have to use cleaning products, find those that are specifically designed for your countertops.

Placing frozen food on the countertops

It’s common for homeowners to place frozen foods on their countertops when unpacking their groceries. This is wrong as the moisture from the frozen foods ends up damaging the countertops.

You should place the foods in another area way from the countertops such as on the floor. If you have to use the countertops, lay a plastic paper before placing the foods. This way, you prevent the water from getting to the countertops.

After unpacking the groceries, wipe the countertops thoroughly to prevent stains from coming about.

Placing hot appliances on the countertops

Even if your countertops are tough, heat from heat-producing appliances such as ovens can destroy them. So always work at preventing damage to the countertops as much as possible. You can easily do this by placing a barrier between the appliances and countertops.

You can use a dish towel, plate, or cutting board.

Failing to clean the spills when they happen

When spills happen, some homeowners ignore them as they feel that their countertops are sealed; hence they can’t allow the liquids to get in. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Even if you have sealed your countertops with the highest quality countertop sealing products, liquids are bound to pass through if you allow them to sit on the countertops for a long time.

As you might guess, for you to prevent the spills from destroying your countertops, you should get rid of them immediately. To prevent spills, have coasters in place all the time.

Placing heavy objects near the edges

This often happens when homeowners are from grocery stores. They will come with heavy grocery loads and put them on the sides of the countertops. If the edges or joints are unsupported, they will fracture, crack, or even rupture.

When you are back in the house from the grocery store, place the groceries on the floor. If you have to put them on the countertops, place them at the center—not on the edges.

Just as you shouldn’t place heavy loads on the countertops, granite countertop installers Rockville also advise against standing or sitting on the countertops. You also shouldn’t place heavy kitchen appliances such as microwaves on the surfaces.