Beginning your home renovation is an incredibly exciting time! Home improvement is one of the best things that you can do for your peace of mind and ease of living. When starting your project, you have a huge amount of freedom in deciding what’s best for you and your home spaces, and that includes kitchen and bathroom surfaces, which are some of the most-used areas of our home. With that immense freedom comes a bit too much responsibility-- how do I know what to choose? What do I need to know? What type of options should I be looking for when choosing new countertops?
Fear not, we’re here to guide you through your quest for new countertops and make sure that you get all of your boxes checked in the process!
Probably the first big thing you’ll want to consider is the material that your countertop is going to be made of. This is important for many reasons, including durability, design, as well as functionality. There are many options on the market, and we’ll talk more in detail about the top 3 countertop surface materials.
Quartz Countertops Building your countertop out of quartz can have many benefits, and quartz countertops are quickly becoming one of the most popular countertop options. Quartz countertops can give you a modern and natural stone appearance without the upkeep and maintenance of some other stone countertop materials. It has an incredible durability and won’t be prone to scratches, stains, or other impacts. You can find a plethora of design options with quartz and it will definitely keep your kitchen happy.
Marble is truly one of the most stunning countertop surface materials that you can find on the market. Marble offers a feel of luxury but can truly end up being quite affordable as far as building materials go. Marble is a natural stone with a number of variations and a longstanding durability. It will no doubt be a crowd pleaser in your home, give you that little spark of luxury, as well as offer you a long lasting countertop surface that performs very well.
Granite is an excellent natural stone material with a wide variety of looks and patterns and an air of sophistication and natural beauty. The benefit of granite is that it’s extremely heat-resistant, which will give it more durability than other stones depending on how you’re using your countertops. Granite is also going to avoid scuffing and staining, which is excellent for the long-term preservation of your countertops.
So, now you’ve heard about three incredible countertop surface materials, but still aren’t feeling any more decisive than you were before. No problem! You should always get a feel first-hand for any building materials that you’re going to use in your project. Your countertop design and installation professionals should be happy to show you the materials to get a feel for how they might do in your home; perhaps there may even be a sample to take home. Don’t be shy about partnering with your design and installation team as they are the professionals who are ready to help you!
Countertop Edge Options
Now that you’ve thought about what material you want to use, you should take into account the shape of your countertops’ edges. It seems like a minor detail but can in fact bring a lot of cohesiveness to your design as well as practicality for your family.
There are many different designs and edge profiles when choosing your countertop design. This is the benefit of having an interior design professional at your side! Make sure that you discuss this with your design expert and installation team, and be sure to keep in mind the shape of your countertops for the most seamless look.
Deciding on a height for your countertops is also going to be an important factor for practicality and aesthetic. Take into consideration your family’s needs when deciding on the height, and keep in mind that the thickness of your countertop can adjust the height by a few inches depending on the thickness.
For the kitchen, the average countertop height is 36 inches, respectively. For the bathroom, you’re looking at an average countertop height of roughly 31 inches. This will depend a bit on personal preference and on your own personal height, but these are useful points of reference.
When working together with your installation team and design experts, you want to make sure that you have an accurate understanding of your project size, including square footage and other basic information for the project. While your expert team will be in charge of dealing with most of this technical stuff, it will be useful for you to understand your home renovation project specifications when it comes to understanding the project as well as pricing terms. Plus, it helps you get straight to the point when working with your installation and design team and avoid wasting any time in getting the project off the ground.
Hopefully you feel a little more at ease knowing that you will be working with a team of countertop installation experts in Vancouver like Van Countertops and interior design experts to guide you in this process, but you can start to make these decisions on your own!
Consider the needs of your family first. Then, give some thought to the aesthetic that you’re going for. Are you looking for a natural feel? Do you really want to add a bit of luxury style to your home? Do you love a natural and comforting look? There are many possibilities. With some ideas in mind, take a look at options such as countertop surface material as well as countertop edge profiles. Once you know your project specifications and the height that you’d like your countertop, you’re as good as on your way to the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams!
You’ve got the countertops of your dreams, and you want them to last. What are the big no-nos? We’ve got the tips to help you avoid mishaps involving your countertop.
Kitchen countertops are arguably the most important surfaces in your home, with bathroom countertops coming in at a close second. Kitchen and bathroom countertops are made with great care and built for durability to tolerate all kinds of tasks, from regular cleaning and chemicals to daily use and food preparation, among many others.
Most countertops you’ll find are extremely durable to begin with, and they may even be scratch-proof and/or stain-proof. but there are still a slew of things that homeowners can do innocently without realizing they can damage their countertops in the long-term! Even the top-of-the-line countertops made with the best materials can be damaged if we’re not careful.
So, we want to help you avoid these unsuspecting mistakes that are all too easy to make! We’ve got 5 tips for you to help keep your countertops in pristine condition.
Tip 1: Watch Out For Water
While it’s true that having proper sealing on your countertops can avoid most issues in regards to keeping water out of the countertop, that doesn’t mean you’re totally in the clear. Leaving pools of water gathered on the surface of the countertop for too long can cause white crusting and eventually lead to water stains that are not easily removed.
It’s important that you always keep the top of your countertops wiped up and free from water pools. It’s not something that you should worry about doing within 5 seconds, but don’t leave them there over prolonged periods. This will help the overall appearance of your countertop stay stain-free over time. You’ll also avoid the frustration of accidentally setting down your cell phone or something important in a big wet spot!
Tip 2: Be Wary of Excessive Weight
Putting excessive weight on your countertops can also eventually cause damage over time. One example of this is putting heavy appliances or items on a less-supported area of a countertop, such as an overhang, or an area that already supports a lot of weight. Be mindful of how much weight you’re putting on your countertop.
On that same note, your body weight can also cause issues for your countertop, especially if you like to lean on them. The occasional lean won’t hurt you, but if you’re always leaning over the edges in the same spot, you might see some wear and tear.
Tip 3: Be Mindful of Hot Objects
One of the biggest benefits of natural materials such as granite, marble, and quartz is that they can withstand high temperatures. It’s extremely convenient when cooking to take a hot pot or pan and set it right on the countertop to keep prepping or begin serving your food. Also, for women, when using hair appliances such as straighteners or curling irons, setting them right onto the countertop helps avoid some inconvenience.
While it’s true these countertops can tolerate high temperatures, it’s strongly recommended that you take the extra step to protect your countertop and use a towel, hot pad, placemat, or other barriers when setting down hot objects. It never hurts to take precautions, and if you don’t, you run the risk of your countertop suffering a burn mark, cracking, or even discoloration, especially when consistently placing hot objects in the same spot.
Tip 4: Look Out For Acidic Substances and Strong Cleaners
They give a zing to our foods and a pucker to our lips, but acidic foods and substances can also make our countertops go sour. If your countertop is made of a chemical base like calcium carbonate, your countertop can be especially sensitive to acidic foods or chemicals. Some examples of these include vinegar, wine, lemon juice, tomato sauce, and lime juice, among others. Believe it or not, just a splash of these substances can cause discoloration or staining to your countertop, regardless of whether or not they are stain-resistant. Always be cautious and be aware of how to clean your countertops effectively.
When considering how to clean your countertop effectively, often we think about having the right chemicals or cleaners, and this is another thing you just want to be mindful of. If you use cleaners that are heavily saturated with ammonia or bleach, over time your stone or granite countertop can lose its shine. Be mindful of what’s in your products and if you start to see a negative effect on your countertop, stop using it and find something else.
Tip 5: Cut, Slice, and Chop with Caution
While this won’t typically apply to bathroom counters, we still want to make sure that you’re chopping with care when you’re in your kitchen.
When we remodel or design our home with high-quality granite, marble, or quartz countertops, we tend to think they are invincible. While they do have extremely high durability and may be scratch or stain-proof, it’s always better to lead with caution and take preventative measures to protect and preserve your countertops.
Even though they may be scratch-proof, people who cut, chop, dice, and slice directly on their countertops are allowing for the possibility of damage. Sometimes, especially over time if done in the same place, little scratches or nicks can affect the surface, which could tamper with the sealant that was applied during installation. Better safe than sorry; use a cutting board!
Better Safe Than Sorry!
So, all in all, these are small things that may not have an immediate effect on your countertop if you’re lucky. However, placing hot objects on your countertop, cutting food on them, leaving water stains, or loading them up with weight can cause damages, especially over time depending on how you use them. Harsh chemicals and some food acids can also cause discoloration or a lackluster appearance.
The good news is, all of these are easily prevented without hassle! So, our motto for the day in countertop care is “better safe than sorry” always take that extra step to protect your beautiful countertops and preserve your investment.
So, you’ve made the exciting decision to revamp your home. Whether you’re starting from the ground up in remodeling every square corner of your room or you are looking for ways to refine and enhance a room with some changes and modern touches, we are here to help. Your countertops and backsplash areas are often overlooked, replaced with home renovation projects that focus on cupboards or flooring. Countertops hold gravity when dictating the overall appearance of a space, and because of this, we have created an ultimate guide to kitchen and bathroom countertops, comparing the benefits of various countertop materials and focusing on the best maintenance tips and tricks to help you with your home improvement projects.
If you can’t decide on where to start with your room renovations, the initial selection of countertop materials is oftentimes the hardest one. At Vancouver Countertop Installations, we are the experts in all matters countertops and are here to assist in any way we can. We provide homes access to gorgeous and durable granite for their countertop projects. Known as one of the most traditional kitchen countertop options it’s favored highly in the industry with heat resistance and durability. Available in gorgeous hues, patterns, and colors, granite is a scratch-free and stunning option for any kitchen or bathroom countertop.
As a man-made construction material, quartz is designed to stand up to the test of time, remaining scratch and scuff free, resisting the heat of hot pans and dishes, while offering a modern and chic overall aesthetic. Quartz is particularly excellent for kitchens and bathrooms as a low-maintenance countertop choice, easily wipeable and stain-resilient. Whether you’re looking for natural marble-like quartz colors, or are looking for a hue to match your personal style, quartz manufacturers in recent years have continued producing this countertop material in a larger color palette leaving you with almost too many beautiful choices.
Oftentimes referred to as the ‘pinnacle of modern homes’, marble is a luxurious countertop material available in a full range of colors, hues, and patterns. Customers invest in marble countertops as the final results are truly stunning every time. With an almost unrecognizable kitchen and bathroom at the conclusion of our professional countertop installation services, marble instantly creates an opulent appearance. Softer than granite or quartz, marble may be more susceptible to long term wear and tear, which is something to be aware of.
Cleaning Tips and Maintaining Tricks For Your New Countertops
Countertops, in general, are designed to bear the brunt of daily wear and tear. With the kitchen and bathroom being two of the most-used rooms in a typical household, at Van Countertops, we take care and consideration into our work making sure all countertops are sealed and protected for years of use to come. We recommend our clients to perform regular countertop maintenance care with countertop sealants, and investing in specific granite, quartz, or marble cleaners and polishes to keep your countertops as glossy and streak-free as ever.