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.



How Do You Get The Best Deal On Granite Countertops?

As much as everyone wants to install granite countertops in their homes, there is the issue of money.

Good quality granite counters don’t come cheap, so most homeowners look for ways to cut the costs.

How do you get the best deal on granite countertops? If you are asking this question, you should know that there are plenty of ways you can do it. Some of these ways include:

Take your time

One of the major mistakes homeowners make when they are looking for countertops is being in a hurry. After they have decided on the countertops they want for their homes, they rush to the nearest store and make the purchase. This is wrong.

To secure a great countertop deal, you need to take your time. This calls for you to start the countertop-hunting process early enough. Experts recommend you start the process at least three months before you install the countertops.

This way you can visit various stores and compare their prices.

When you aren’t in a hurry, you will confidently bargain the price without worrying about the seller rejecting your offer.

Buy wholesale

Another way to get a great countertop deal is to buy the countertop slabs wholesale. As you can guess, this calls for you to avoid the retail stores and go straight to wholesale.

Like other products in the market, countertops sell at lower prices in the wholesale stores, so if you have one in your area, buy from there.

Even when you have several wholesale stores in your area, don’t buy from the first store you bump into. Visit different stores and see what they have in stock. You should obviously buy from a store giving you the best deal.

Buy from small local stores.

You might have the impression that the larger stores will have the largest countertop options and give the best deals, but there is nothing from the truth than this.

As a matter of fact, these stores are the worst, and you should avoid them like the plague.

For one, these stores have few countertop options, so you are limited on the number of countertops you can buy from them. Second, the prices in these stores are set in stone—you can’t negotiate.

The small local stores, on the other hand, are a completely different case altogether. Since highly motivated countertop enthusiasts run them, they tend to house plenty of countertop materials, so you have a wide range of materials to choose from.

Since you have a one-on-one conversation with the owners, you can negotiate on the prices, so you walk out with an excellent deal. These small stores often install the countertops free or at a small fee which sees you saving a lot of money.

Go for regular granite colors.

Did you know the color of the slab you choose has a significant impact on the overall price? So to avoid spending an arm and leg on your countertops, go for regular colors such as black, white, and gray. As a rule of thumb, avoid rare colors such as red as you will pay a premium for it.

The same thing applies to veining, and patterns—choose common patterns to get a good deal.

Go the prefab way

A prefabricated stone has already been cut and polished, and it goes for half the price of a custom granite counter.

While prefabricated stones will save you a good chunk of money, you should note that they aren’t good for all situations.

They work best for simple counters requiring few cuts, such as when your cabinets are standard, and you don’t need to make any customization.

Use granite remnants

Are you looking to cover just a small area, such as the backsplash behind the stove? Don’t waste money on full granite slabs. Instead, visit the granite stores and buy granite remnants. These are small granite chunks that have been leftover from previous projects.

Since these pieces are too small to outfit an entire kitchen, most countertop stores sell them at huge bargains.

If you want to give a small area in your kitchen or bathroom a high-end look at a budget, visit these stores and make a purchase. You should work with your granite installers Rockville and expertly install the remnants in a fashionable style.



How Can You Tell Quality Of Granite?

If you have been shopping for granite countertops, you must have realized that they don’t come cheap. This calls for you to be cautious when purchasing, so you buy high-quality granite surfaces that will look good for long and last for a long time.

Wondering how can you tell quality of granite? There are plenty of ways you can go about it. To help you out, here are some of these ways:

Check the price

This is a dead giveaway. Like any other product, low-quality granite will sell at a much lower price. Hence, if you pop into a countertop store and you find the countertops selling at a lower price than the standard  market prices, chances are the countertops are poor quality, and you should look elsewhere.

Check the color and pattern.

Another way to tell the quality of the stone is to check the color and patterns. As you are inspecting the stone, you should note that granite is natural, so like any other natural product, you should expect diversity, so if you come across a slab with the same color and pattern, it’s most likely not natural granite, and you should avoid buying it.

As mentioned, granite is a natural product, so you should expect every granite slab to be unique. This means that the color, texture, and veins on the countertop surface shouldn’t be the same in all sections of the slab.

Tap the countertop

Did you know you can tell the quality of the slab by simply tapping on it? When you are in the countertop store, simply give the countertop a tap and listen to the sound. A natural, good-quality granite should give a ringing sound when tapped, while a cheap, manufactured granite, won’t give the ringing sound.

The poor quality granite won’t make the unique sound because it’s made from resins and quartz crystals that are non-porous, and due to this, the sound produced will be muted or dull.

Do the water test

It might sound like you have to go to the laboratory and test, but this isn’t the case. All you have to do is to pour water on a granite slab and see how it behaves.

If the granite slab is natural and of good quality, it should absorb water, but the water should run off the slab if low quality.

This is because manufactured granite is made from epoxy resins that are nonporous, so they won’t absorb water after pouring it there.

Natural granite, on the other hand, will absorb water. The easiest way to tell that the stone is absorbing water is by looking at the stone. Does the stone darken as the water stays on the surface?

Inspect the granite seams

If you have already installed the countertops, you want to confirm whether you installed the right pieces and take a look at the seams.

If the countertop is poor quality or artificial, it won’t have any change in the pattern along the seams, but with real, good-quality granite, you will have a noticeable change in pattern.

Although most experienced contractors do a good job at minimizing the pattern change as they are lining up the seams, you should still see the seam changes on a closer look.

Check the polish quality.

In the same way, you would judge the quality of a car by the quality of paint, you should judge the quality of granite by the quality of the polish.

As you can expect, the higher the granite quality, the better the polish quality.

The best way to tell the quality of the polish is to gently brush a coin on the polished granite surface. If the surface easily scrapes, the polish and the granite countertop are low quality, but it’s high quality if the polish is resistant to the impact.

Measure the granite thickness

The final thing you should pay attention to the thickness of the slab. According to granite installers Potomac, you should avoid thin granite as it will not only be unpleasant to look at but also brittle upon installation as it can easily break even from the slightest impact.