When shopping for different options for granite countertops, you may encounter the choice between a honed finish or a polished one, leaving you to wonder: What’s the difference? The main factor is how the surface appears. Continue reading
Granite countertops are a popular option to install in homes, as the natural stone material is durable and available in a wide variety of styles and colors that can match any kitchen’s theme. If you’ve embarked on the journey of selecting granite counters, however, you may have come across the different denotations of a granite’s level. What does the granite level indicate? Continue reading
When renovating your home, building a new kitchen, or simply replacing that leaky sink in the bathroom, there are hundreds of sinks on the market. It can be overwhelming to make such an important decision: after all, the sink is a crucial part of both the kitchen and bathroom, but these tips will get you started in choosing the perfect sink for your home.
While functionality is a major concern when selecting a kitchen countertop, this feature is less crucial for bathroom counters. With heat, utensils, and heavy usage less of a concern, you can focus more on the cost and appearance of your new bathroom counter, opening up the possibility of new ideas. There are a myriad of options available to choose from that run the gamut from industrial-themed concrete to elegant marble.
Among the many materials available, most can also be used in kitchens or outdoor areas, but you may want to look at your bathroom as a separate opportunity to select something that really fits the look you’d prefer. A bathroom countertop can easily becomes the focal point of the room, even without choosing a more expensive option. Continue reading
Whether your home features a poolside barbecue or outdoor kitchen area, it’s important to know what materials to use in an outdoor countertop. Withstanding the elements while still offering a stylish preparation area is important, and there are many materials that can accomplish this. When installing an outdoor counter, there are three main options available: stone, concrete, or tile.
Types of Outdoor Counters
Stone is a popular option for outdoor countertops, and is considered by many to be the optimal choice. Among the types of stone available, granite is the toughest and can stand up to any outdoor elements. If properly maintained, including sealing when needed, granite counters can look great on outdoor kitchen areas for years. If you’ve got a budget in mind, granite can even run cheaper than concrete, and some options are dense enough that you won’t even need to worry about sealing them. Other stone options include soapstone, slate, and marble. These can vary widely in durability and price, so it is important to thoroughly research these options before a purchase. For instance, soapstone is highly resistant to staining when sealed, but when left unsealed it can be highly susceptible to fingerprints, liquids, and oils. In general darker stones can also heat up in the sun, so if you live in a warm area it may be important to keep this in mind.
Concrete is quickly becoming a common choice, as it offers limitless options for designs. Although this material is durable, it can crack easily if it is installed incorrectly. The color can also yellow in the sun, but choosing certain colors or coverings can alleviate this issue. Chips and scratches can occur with enough wear, but if you take care of concrete and seal it regularly, it can last for many years, even in freezing climates. With a bit of creativity, you can embed anything from recycled glass to seashells in the countertop for a unique flair.
Tile is the most economic option, especially in the short-term. After time, some grout may need to be replaced or refreshed. Lots of options are available, although you should be sure that your chosen preference is designed for outdoor use, or it may wear out quickly. Keeping tiles clean is also easy compared to other materials, but the maintenance to keep the grout clean can be a hassle. If you pay regular attention to it, however, you can keep a tile countertop looking fresh for years.
There are many options available, but you may want to avoid Corian or Quartz, as these materials will fade and become discolored in sunlight. Even seasoned experts may disagree over the best choice, so you may want to weigh the pros and cons of each versus your own budget and preferences. If you have any questions about the available options, contact a countertop installation company with experience in outdoor counters.
Marble as a building material has been respected as a symbol of elegance and beauty for centuries. When used as a countertop, it can easily become the centerpiece of a stunning kitchen. The variety of colors and intricate veins make this material a popular choice that homeowners can be proud of, but to maintain a shiny and clean marble surface, steps must be taken to care for it. Although marble shares some similarities to granite and other stone materials, there are important differences that require specific maintenance for marble.
Preparing a marble surface to be cleaned and polished is an important step that can prevent scratching and discoloration. Generally, simply using a soft cloth and distilled water will be enough to clean most spots. If a deeper cleaning is required, though, a ph-neutral dish-soap or clear ammonia mixed with water can be used. In addition, you can use acetone on dark marbles and hydrogen peroxide on lighter marbles to remove stubborn spots. The Marble Institute of America provides a helpful and detailed guide on removing a number of stains from marble, ranging from organic materials to ink.
Protecting your marble from potential damage is just as important as regularly polishing it. Cleaning away food, spills, and other messes from your marble counters as soon as possible is important to prevent stains. In a similar way, never let water dry on the counter, as marble is very prone to water spots. Use coasters under glasses and don’t place any hot dishes onto your counters. You can also prevent rust stains by using stone or ceramic containers rather than metal ones.
Once it’s time to polish marble counters, there any many available materials and methods to choose from. The most basic way is to use a chamois cloth on a damp marble surface, leaving a shine behind as it dries. Other options include commercial polishes and a combination of baking soda and chalk. You can also always consult a professional, including asking the contractor who installed your counters if you have any maintenance questions. If there are any scratches on your counters, a professional can also give you an assessment on whether it can be repaired.
Sealing stone countertops is important, and marble is no exception. Although sealers will not make your marble waterproof or impervious to damage, it will resist stains and extend the life of your countertops. With diligent sealing and maintenance, your counters can remain shining and moisture resistant for many years. Depending on the sealer used, counters may require resealing once a year, or you may be able to wait longer intervals. If you choose to select your own product, ensure that it is safe for food preparation.
These steps may seem tedious or exhausting, but this relatively simple maintenance will keep your countertops in good condition for years to come. Not only will it save you money in replacing them, it will keep your kitchen looking its best.
Cleaning your granite countertop can get tricky, as natural stones are porous and may allow liquids to penetrate their surface, which could potentially cause stains. The simplest way to prevent this from happening is to properly seal and clean your granite countertops regularly. Continue reading
For Houston’s natural stone enthusiasts, marble countertops come with many pluses. Marble has many positives, including the fact that is stays cool and does not conduct heat well. Continue reading
Rock Fin Countertops in Houston offers a wide variety of granite for your countertops, so making sure the granite you choose matches your cabinets and the rest of your kitchen decor may seem like no easy feat! There are ways, however, to make sure your granite nicely compliments your kitchen cabinets in just a few easy steps: Continue reading