14

May

4 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Although granite counters are one of the most popular countertop materials in the market, they aren’t perfect. Like other materials, they come with their fair share of negatives that you should be aware of if installing them for the first time. To help you out, here are 4 disadvantages of granite countertops and how to go around them:

They are prone to heat damage.

Although the countertops are tough and heat resistant, they aren’t heatproof. While you might get away with placing hot pots and pans on them a few times, repeatedly doing so increases the chances of leaving an ugly scar on the countertops, and you are forced to replace them.

It’s true the countertops are prone to heat damage, but you can prevent it from coming about. One way to do so is to never place hot pots or pans directly on them. When cooking, always have a trivet or hot pad in the kitchen.

If you don’t have the protective devices in place, don’t remove the hot pot from the stove. Let it cool and only place it on the countertops when it has completely cooled.

They are highly susceptible to staining.

Granite is porous in nature. This means that when a liquid or any substance spills on the countertops, it quickly moves to the stone’s inner layers and stains it.

While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid installing the countertops simply because they will stain. You can prevent the staining from occurring in the first place.

One way to do it is to seal the countertops. At the time of installation, ask the contractors to seal the surfaces. You also should seal them at least once a year to maintain the protective barrier.

The purpose of sealing the countertops is to reduce the surface’s porosity, so the liquids don’t absorb too quickly.

Although the liquids won’t absorb quickly when you seal granite countertops, it doesn’t mean that you should start spilling the liquids haphazardly on the countertops. Remember, even if the countertops are sealed, the liquids can still seep through and stain the surfaces, so keep any liquids off the countertops.

When a spill happens, move fast and remove it before it soaks into the deeper layers.

The granite surfaces tend to harbor bacteria.

The granite pores that allow water to seep through also harbor bacteria. If you haven’t sealed the countertops, wiping a cleaning towel across the unsealed surface pushes the food, liquid and bacteria in the pores where they grow and develop, and they can be harmful to your health.

For example, if you cut meat or vegetables directly on the countertops, the bacteria will get into your food leading to food poisoning upon eating the food.

One way to reduce the bacteria population is to seal the countertops. You also should disinfect the surfaces at least once a week.

Granite countertops are heavy.

Even when you are in the stores, on picking the countertops, you will notice that they are heavy. While the heavy nature of the countertops might mean the countertops are tough and indestructible, it brings about an installation challenge.

If you had not thought it through when building the cabinets, placing the heavy granite slabs on the weak cabinets will bring about a plethora of problems, including binding, cracking or even the ultimate breaking of the cabinets.

The weighty nature of the slabs also means that the granite contractor you hire can’t do the work by himself or with his assistant—he has to hire many people to help with the installation, which increases the installation cost.

To counter this, hire the right contractor from the word go. The experienced contractor will help you install the right cabinets that will carry the countertop’s weight.

Installing the countertops isn’t cheap, but you don’t have to redo it when you hire an experienced contractor that knows what they are doing.

If you are looking to install granite on your surfaces, don’t be in a hurry to settle on the first granite installer you come across. Take your time and interview several granite countertop installers Rockville, then settle on the most qualified.

Remember, installing the countertops is expensive, and you don’t want someone that will install the countertops, then you will have to redo them.

30

Apr

What Color Granite Is Cheapest?

Granite countertops don’t come cheap, and one of the factors that affect the price of the countertops is the countertop’s color. Common colors such as white and black are cheaper compared to rare colors such as green and red. This means that if you are looking to save money, you should go for common countertop colors.

Are you wondering what color granite is cheapest? Tan and black granite are the cheapest, so if you are strapped for money, these are the ones to go for. While this is the case, there are plenty of other cheaper alternatives, including white granite, that you can buy if tan or black isn’t your color. These cheaper alternatives include:

Dallas white

Although it’s known as Dallas, this isn’t where it’s mined. The countertop is quarried in Aguia Branca, Brazil. The countertop is characterized by low water absorption and low porosity, making it an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

The countertop has a white background and dark crystals scattered throughout, giving your home an interesting appeal.

Although, most slabs have crystals, it’s not uncommon to find some slabs with brown or golden cream veins that make the countertop resemble an abstract art painting.

Due to the tight grain structure of the countertop, you don’t have to install a face resin on the countertops. The lack of resin means that you can place a hot pot on the countertop without worrying about damaging the countertops.

Although, the countertops are tough to take the heat, you should note that continued exposure to heat increases the chances of damaging them. To protect the countertops from damage, use a trivet or a hot pad every time you place a hot object on the countertops.

To get the most from the countertop, ensure that it’s installed by a professional. The Dallas white color pairs excellently with white cabinetry, but if you don’t want your entire bathroom or kitchen to be white, pair it with dark wood cabinetry such as dark walnut.

Azul Platino

Azul Platino has been around for hundreds of years, and it features an off-white background with small bluish-gray specks. It’s also common for the slabs to have black spots or even black or white veining.

Most of the Azul Platino slabs are large, making them ideal choices for kitchen islands and other areas where you need to install large-sized slabs.

Uba Tuba

It’s named after the place it’s mined. Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil. Besides being affordable, the countertop is also beautiful, and when you properly install and take good care of it, it will last for a long time. The countertop features a dark green background with brown, green, and gold flecks scattered across the granite slab.

In some cases, the slab has small veins that can be white, gold, or turquoise.

When you install the countertops, pair them with dark cabinetry to bring out exciting features. You can also pair them with white cabinetry for an elegant contemporary look.

New Caledonia

This is another countertop quarried in Brazil. Although it’s natural, it’s unique in that it has a uniform look such that two slabs look almost similar.

The natural stone countertop features a white background with gray or brown speckles that run uniformly throughout the slab giving it an interesting look. The heavy grain pattern makes it easy to hide the stains, so you don’t have to worry when liquids and foods spill on the countertops.

Since the countertop has a uniform look, it perfectly fits both traditional and contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. To bring out the brown and bedrock minerals, pair them with dark wood-stained cabinetry. On the other hand, if you want to bring out the charcoal flecking, pair it with light cabinetry.

Valle Nevado

It’s one of the most popular, affordable countertop granite colors, and it’s loved for its ability to coordinate with many design styles. The countertop features a tight grain structure that minimizes the need to apply a resin to it.

Due to its versatility, you can effectively pair it with both black or white cabinetry. When you pair it with white cabinetry, you bring out the tiny back crystals. On the other hand, when you pair it with black cabinetry, you bring out the pale gray tone of the countertop.

The key to getting the most from it is to work with experienced granite installers Rockville that know what they are doing.

28

Dec

Can You Remove Granite Countertops and Reuse Them?

Imagine this. You have spent thousands of dollars renovating your house with premium granite counters then due to unforeseen circumstances, you have to move out of the house or sell it.

You can’t imagine moving to the new house without the seamless design, durability, ease of maintenance, and color patterns of granite.

Can you remove granite countertops and reuse them? You wonder. The simple answer is it’s most likely impossible as there are plenty of hurdles you have to go over for it to be a success. These hurdles include:

You have to match the kitchen space layout

Since you had already cut the slabs during installation, the only way you can use them in your new home is if they fit the footprint of your new kitchen cabinetry.

This means if in the old layout the granite had cutout around the wet bar area or around the sink area, for you to reuse your countertops in the new kitchen you should have the exact layout, which as you can guess is highly improbable.

Even if by miracle the old and new kitchen layouts match, you have problems if the new kitchen is larger than the old one.

In such a scenario you have to find matching granite pieces which can be difficult if the granite pattern and color is unique.

Even if you manage to get the piece, you will have a visible seam where you attach the additional slab. As you can guess this can significantly affect the look you are trying to achieve.

So to conclude, for you to successfully remove and reuse your kitchen countertop, the two houses should have similar cabinet layouts. The length and width of the countertop should fit the cabinet dimensions.

If you have excess granite, your contractor can trim it down, but if the granite is not enough, you have plenty of issues to solve.

High granite damage risk

Most homeowners install granite for its tough and indestructible nature, but you should know that granite is heavy and brittle.

This means it’s almost impossible to remove the countertops in one large slab as the risk of damage is high.

For you to safely remove the countertop, hire a professional to come with special tools, which as you might guess isn’t cheap.

You also have to involve several people to hold along the countertop’s length to avoid pressure points that might lead to cracking.

Even when you hire experienced contractors, most of them will require you to sign a contract that frees them from liability should the granite crack during removal. This is due to the high risk of damage that comes with removing the stone.

Before you decide to remove the granite, find out the type of granite you have. Granite can be weaker and fragile or it can be harder and stronger. Obviously, you should go for one that is harder and stronger as it will be easier to handle and move without risking a lot of damage.

You also should consider the thickness of the granite counter. It’s better to remove a thicker slab than a thinner one. To tell how thin your countertop is, check it from beneath the cabinet.

If there is plywood below the granite, then the countertop is thin and has high chances of cracking but if there is no plywood, the stone is thick and there are chances of removing it with no issues.

Work with an expert contractor

There are plenty of perks that come with removing and reusing granite counters. One is you don’t leave behind your precious countertops you spent a lot of money on.

Secondly, you don’t have to break the bank to purchase new countertops in your new home.

While this is great, as discussed above, it comes with plenty of challenges you have to be strategic when approaching them. To increase the chances of the process being successful, work with experienced granite contractors Rockville.

The contractors should have removed and reused other countertops in the past. When you hire the right ones, they will help you decide whether it’s wise to remove the countertops or not.

The contractors will also remove and reinstall the countertops if the stone is healthy enough for reuse.

29

Nov

How Much Weight Can You Put On Granite Countertops?

If you are asking, how much weight can you put on granite countertops? You must be thinking about standing or sitting on your countertops and unsure whether your countertops will take the weight, right?

Granite is fairly thick, often at the very least ¾ of an inch. If the weight is evenly distributed over a large area, the countertops can hold up to 1000 pounds.

If you are planning on standing on the countertops either to change the lights or reach to the top shelf, you most likely won’t have your weight evenly distributed, which increases the chances of damaging the countertops, especially if your countertops have a weak point or small fissures.

While granite is tough and can handle a lot of weight, granite technicians highly discourage sitting or standing on them. If you have to stand or sit on the countertops, place sturdy plywood on the counters where you will now stand or sit on.

The plywood will help distribute the weight over a large area reducing the chances of caving in the countertops with your weight. To avoid splinters, wear shoes.

Besides sitting or standing on the countertops, there are plenty of other things you should avoid doing to maintain your countertops in top shape. They include:

Placing kids in the sink

If you have a double sink, it might seem cute having your little one there as you are cleaning the dishes but don’t do it. Sinks are often the countertops’ weakest areas, and having your three or four-year-old there you will be damaging your precious countertops.

If you enjoy cleaning the dishes or preparing your meals with the kids in the kitchen, bring them seats to sit on the kitchen island as you go about your duties.

Allowing a lot of sun in the kitchen

Every homeowner wants a well-lit kitchen, and there is nothing wrong with this, but allowing a lot of direct sunlight in the kitchen can cause your countertops to fade. Sunlight can also fade some of the sealants you used on your countertops, giving your surfaces a cheap look.

To avoid this, pull down the shades during the peak daylight hours.

Preparing food in the same area

Do you prepare food in the same spot all the time? Over time, the area suffers from etches, scratches, and other signs of wear and tear.

It’s normal to have a favorite food preparation area, but don’t be too attached to it.

Now and then, prepare your food in different areas of the counter. Who knows, you might even discover a new favorite area you never knew existed?

Placing hot pots and pans on the countertop

Granite is a natural stone, so it has a tough look but don’t fall for it. Placing a hot pan directly on it will cause cracking and discoloration. In some cases, you destroy the granite slab to the extent you have to replace it.

To keep your surfaces in good condition, make it a habit to use potholders and trivets to serve as barriers to avoid burning the surfaces.

Leaning on the edges

What happens when you are preparing your meals with your better half in the kitchen? If there are no chairs in the room, they often lean on the edges, isn’t it? This is wrong as, just like standing or sitting, you put extra pressure on the counters, increasing their chances of getting damaged especially if there are fault lines.

As you should avoid sitting, you should definitely avoid opening a beer bottle on the counters.

Dicing directly on the countertops

The same way homeowners think they can place hot items on the countertops and get away with it is the same way they think they can chop directly on the granite kitchen countertops Rockville and cause no harm.

Oh boy, how wrong are they? When you cut directly on the surfaces, you cause fine scratches that can disrupt the waterproof sealant on the countertops, making them more susceptible to damage.

To maintain your countertops in top condition, always use a cutting board whenever you are chopping, slicing, or dicing.

29

Jun

Granite Counter top Installation Process

Installing a granite countertop in your kitchen is one of the best investment to perk up the value of the house. The process of choosing and installing the granite can be overwhelming and in this post, we guide you on what to expect during the installation. The first step is to get a professional granite installer to help you choose the best granite edges and the best color for your kitchen. Your choice of granite should leave your kitchen trendy and up to date.

Granite Installation Process

  • Visit the Showroom

You start by visiting the granite company and visiting the showroom to see the various granite samples available. Learn about the various granites available, various colors and the pricing for each. Ask the granite  countertop installer the price per square foot for each color and the labor cost for installation.

  • Decide on your Sink

Choose the sink that you want to be installed in you’re the kitchen countertop. It’s important that you decide the sink to use because the granite contractor will need to cut the granite out of the space occupied by the sink.

  • Choose the Granite Edge profile

The edge profile is the outer edge look of the kitchen countertop. Choose the edge that works for your depending on the kitchen size and safety.

  • Install the Granite

On the installation day, the granite fabricator will bring the slab home and set in place. The cabinets that hold the weight of the granite should be ready and installed. The granite countertop should handle with care to avoid breaking or cracking. The granite countertop installers will make sure there is space for the faucet and the granite is properly placed on top of the cabinets. It will take approximately two hours to complete the installation but that depends on the size of granite. If you have the time, it’s important that you take part in the process. Let the expert explain the process to you as that will guide you on what to expect.  Confirm details such how the granite countertops will be attached to the cabinets, what will be used on the backsplash and any other query that you may have.

Tips to Ensure a Smooth Granite Countertop Installation

  • Prepare the cabinets for the granite installation before the granite arrives. That will save you hassles of storing the granite
  • Talk to the granite installers on where the seams will be to make the cutting of the granite easier
  • Choose the sink before you choose the granite
  • Let the granite installer visit your home to determine how the countertop will line up with the oven

How to Choose a Granite Installer

The result of your kitchen countertop will depend on the expertise of your granite countertop installer and it’s therefore important that the one you choose has the required skills and knowledge

  • Expertise and Knowledge

Make sure the installer you choose has previous experience and the required expertise for a professional outcome. Granite is a huge investment and you, therefore, need a person who is a granite who will bring the best out and leave your kitchen looking trendy. Ensure that the installer has all the required tools that they will need during installation. Ask family and friends for a recommendation and visit the previous site to view the works done

  • Labour Cost

Before you choose the installer to get several quotes from the granite companies and compare. Choose one that charges a fair price and ensures all the cost are included. Make sure the granite cost, transportation, installation cost and any other accessories cost is part of the quotation.

The first step to a professional installation is understanding the process and clearly stating the expectation. View other installations to have a visual picture of what you expect and ask questions during the installation process. It’s imperative that you make sure your installation is quality and perfect and its therefore important that the granite company you choose should have the skilled granite installers Rockville. That will make the installation process easy. Make sure you gather as much information as possible as this will help you know the perfect installation. Once the installation is done add all the accessories your kitchen need and enjoy your beautiful kitchen.

09

Jun

8 Reasons Why You Should Get a Granite Counter top for Your Kitchen

Your Kitchen is the focal point of your home and the materials and appliances you choose will give your house style and value. One of the most crucial parts of the kitchen is the countertop and the material you use on the countertop determines the value of your house. Granite countertops are among the hottest high-end options for kitchen countertops and if you are looking to perk up the value of your house then granite is the ultimate kitchen countertop choice.  Despite the many options available for kitchen counter granite has remained the premier kitchen countertop material. The kitchen is one of the most commonly used room and its therefore imperative that the kitchen countertop you choose id durable, easy to clean and maintain. Before you choose a new countertop, we take you through what you need to know about granites and why Granites countertops are still the most stylish kitchen countertops.

Why You Should Choose a Granite Countertop for Your Kitchen

  • Durability

Granite is made from hard rocks and its second to diamond in terms of hardness. When well installed by the granite installers then you can be sure that your kitchen will stay in style for the longest time. Granite is extremely strong and therefore durable and the only time you will call your countertop replacement company is when remodeling your kitchen. It resists chipping and cracking and thus it will last you a lifetime.

  • Easy to Maintain

When properly sealed after the installation then it’s easier to clean and maintain the countertop. Proper sealing will ensure there are no bacteria on your kitchen countertop. To clean the countertop, you need to warm water and a piece of cloth to clean any spills. Sealing makes granite countertops nonporous and that makes it easy to clean.

  • Exquisite Beauty to your Home

Granite countertops are one of the best additions to your home as it adds style and exquisite beauty to your home. Granite comes in a variety of colors and that gives you the choice to choose one that will give your house the regal effect and compliment with the cabinets and floor. Choosing granite will give you the advantage of having a unique countertop that you will not find elsewhere.

  • Boost the value of your home

If you remodel your home with granite countertop you can be sure that the value of your home will go up. With expert installations, your home is going to get a sale more quickly when it has a granite countertop.

  • Heat Resistance

Granite is able to withstand heat from pans and other hot objects from your kitchen making it a viable material for your countertop. You can set hot pans and pots on the granite without causing any damage.

  • Easy Installation

As you will notice, when the granite installer is installing, it’s relatively easy and fast to install granite tops.

  • Cost of Granite

Granite is relatively cheap and it can cost from $ 40 per square feet depending on the granite company you buy from and the size you need.

  • Long-term investment

When you remodel your kitchen countertop with granite, you can be sure that it will last a lifetime and thus its longtime investment. Granites will last more than any other countertop.

Tips for Taking Care of your Granite Countertop

  • Seal the Countertop

The first and most important step in ensuring the countertop is clean is ensure your granite installer has sealed the top. Sealing will protect the countertop and make maintenance easy. After the sealing then follow the below steps to keep your granite shiny and stylish

  • Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners and sponges.

Acidic cleaners like lemon, ammonia, and bleach should not be used to clean the granite as this will destroy the sealant and dull the top. While cleaning use warm water and mild soap to clean the top. The granite contractor will advise you on the best cleaning materials for your countertop if you want to purchase cleaning products meant for granites.

Granite remains the leader in the pack and you can never go wrong when you install a granite countertop in your kitchen. It’s however important that the installation and sealing are done professionally by the granite installers Rockville to ensure there is no damage to the countertop and outcome gives your house the stylish look.