Common Countertop Problems and Fixes

You rely on your kitchen countertops for so much and expect them to add to the overall appearance of your kitchen. They are designed with durability in mind, but even the toughest countertops have issues. To get the most out of your kitchen, countertops must be properly installed and regularly maintained.

Here are the most common problems and how you can fix them:

Ruptured surfaces

Many people fear that they will have to replace an entire countertop if just a small portion of it is damaged but, in many cases, the damage can be fixed separately. The type of rupture damage your counter experiences will impact the method used to fix the problem.

Countertops can rupture because of:

  • Being installed over an uneven surface
  • Poorly crafted joints
  • The glue not having enough time to dry during installation
  • Carrying too much weight in a certain area

Deeper cracks or damage from excessive weight can be fixed using special filler. It can be tricky to find a filler material that blends seamlessly with your countertops, but a professional can help you with that.

Cracks from appliances

The weight of heavy appliances can lead to the eventual breakdown of materials if countertops are not reinforced sufficiently. Adequate support is imperative for countertops that support heavy appliances, cabinets, or any type of weight. For appliances that emit heat, you will need specially placed vents to prevent counters, cabinets, and other kitchen features from cracking.

Water damage

Smaller kitchens are at greater risk for water damage as well as kitchens with laminate or wood countertops. Signs of water damage include the dishwasher not closing properly or parts of counters suddenly looking uneven next to cabinets.

The best way to prevent water damage is by using a vapour barrier during installation. You should also pay close attention to your sink and ensure it is sealed properly to prevent leaks. Check under the sink as well for leaks and make sure joints are sealed with silicone.

Dullness

Avoid using harsh chemicals on countertops as they can cause surfaces to dull over time. If this does occur, get a professional to buff and re-polish your countertops. Do not try this project on your own, or risk making the problem worse. For everyday cleaning, opt for soap and warm water as most commercial cleaners are too harsh for marble and granite surfaces.

Stains from hot plates

While cooking, you are bound to put all sorts of plates on your counter and some of them are likely quite hot. Despite their strength, countertops can still crack and stain from high heat. This is why it is important to always use potholders, trivets, and other barriers to keep heat directly off your counters.

In the case of a burn mark on laminate:

  • Clean the area thoroughly
  • Apply a layer of toothpaste using a rubber spatula
  • Allow the toothpaste to sit for at least 10 minutes
  • Use an old toothbrush or any soft-bristled brush to scrub the stain
  • Wipe the surface clean again with a moist towel

For other surfaces, use a similar method with a different cleaner. Stainless steel countertops can be fixed with club soda and for porcelain use a baking soda and water mixture.

Water buildup on granite

When mineral-rich hard water sits on countertops it can create a white, crusty buildup. There are a few different methods you can try to remove the stain:

  • Soft bristled brush and a gentle cleaner
  • Steel wool
  • A poultice or extractor specifically made for granite. The thick mixture can be applied over counters, and then covered with a plastic sheet secured with tape. Wait 24 hours, remove the plastic and paste before rinsing the counter thoroughly.

Scratches and chips

For laminate surfaces, you can use specially made repair pens or paste to fill scratches. For granite, the fix is a bit more complicated:

  • Apply tape around the area so only the damaged area is exposed
  • Mix epoxy resin with colour pigments that match your granite colour
  • Use a stick to apply the mix
  • Use a razor blade to scrape off excess
  • Place clear tape over the newly filled surface
  • Remove the tape according to the manufacturer guidelines
  • Start blending the area with 200-grit sandpaper, then move up to 800-grit, followed by 2000-grit
  • Remove surrounding tape
  • Apply granite polish
  • Buff granite and clean with a soft rag

Not everyone is comfortable taking on this much work for their countertops, nor do they have all the tools necessary lying around. Feel free to call a professional to help make your countertops look like new again.

October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
November 2017

How to Find the Perfect Cabinet for your Countertop

A beautifully done up kitchen adds warmth to your home. Similarly, a kitchen that is not visually appealing can bring down the look and equity of your house. You don’t need a large kitchen to do it up well. The key is to harmonize the colors of the countertops with the cabinets, to begin with. Plan a budget first, keep your lifestyle in mind, stick to a simplicity that can be easily modified over the years if needed. Cabinets are typically constructed from wood, metal, bamboo or glass. Popular countertops are those in granite, quartz, marble, wood, stainless, and ceramic. See how you can marry the two for years of kitchen bliss.

Match Made in Your Kitchen

 

  1. Work within a budget: Pre-built kitchen cabinets, called stock cabinets, are the most budget-friendly. They come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and finishes to suit your kitchen. To add your own touch, you can consider unfinished cabinets that let you paint or stain to blend the colors with your kitchen countertop. Unfinished cabinets are usually more budget-friendly than finished or custom – made ones.

 

  1. Plan your lifestyle: Make sure your kitchen plans match your lifestyle. For a large family, your cabinets need to be deep and spacious to provide substantial storage. If you like electrical appliances, the countertops need to be broad enough to hold them all and be heat resistant. Frequent use demands a more durable countertop that is easy to maintain. Granite, concrete, and wood require periodic maintenance, sealing or oiling. Marble, granite and wood stain easily. Stainless steel, laminate, engineered stone, and quartz are the most durable. Cabinets at the base work better than wall mounted storage for families with children or seniors who are unable to reach up easily. Another alternative is tall floor cabinets that allow easy access.

 

  1. Match the style: The style of your cabinets and countertops need to complement each other. If your home has modern decor, your kitchen needs to have a contemporary look too. Don’t blend too many styles together. Quartz, wood, and marble look sleek in a modern kitchen. To create old-world charm, pair dark brown or mahogany cabinets with granite countertops. Walnut colored cabinets sporting a distressed finish look rustic and elegant at the same time. White cabinets go well with ceramic tile, black quartz or granite countertops. For quaint cottages near the lakefront or deeper in the woods, natural elements such as bamboo cabinets and with wood countertops create a cozy feel.

 

  1. Colour Chart: Pick two colors and work around them. A color chart or wheel can help you determine which colors complement each other best. Countertops with contrasting cabinets add an interesting dimension. Antique white cabinets or honey-colored wood look cool and fresh against black countertops. Sometimes, an accent color can add a new dimension. Grey looks sophisticated in a modern kitchen. Paint cabinets a bright color, paired with wood or shiny stainless steel countertops. Wooden cabinets go well with granite flecked with brown flecks or beige countertops. Laminate countertops offer a wide range of colors and patterns to match any cabinetry you have in mind.

Nova Stone for Customized Stonework, North Bay, Ontario

First pick your countertop first, then plan your cabinet around it. You can also bring a sample of the cabinet material before you step into a countertop showroom. If you need help in visualizing and remodeling your kitchen, a contractor is the best choice. A contractor can offer options to pair the right colors, textures, and styles, or go beyond your expectations with designs you never contemplated, at a budget you never thought possible.

At Nova Stone, we have won the trust of our customers for years with high-quality products, services, and superior techniques. We follow the tradition of old-world craftsmanship with attention to the smallest detail. Contact us for any project, big or small, for the best finish.

October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
November 2017

4 REASONS WHY GRANITE IS STILL THE BEST CHOICE FOR COUNTER TOPS

Granite is a natural type of stone primarily formed as volcanic activity result from years of heating and compression processes below the Earth’s surface. Granite countertops are considered to be the best countertop choice for bathroom and kitchen around the world. These countertops are very popular. They are one of the hottest and most preferred choices for homeowners.

Granite countertops offer aesthetic value. It is made available in different colors that range from white up to dark black color. You may also find natural granite countertops that also compliment every style and design of your house. Here are some of the reasons why these countertops remain the best countertop choice of homeowners.
• Granite is affordable
Granite countertops are very affordable. Costs depend on the thickness of the slab you are installing in your kitchen. With so many colors to choose from, it is easy to determine which granite will fit in with your kitchen or bathroom design. Granite tiles also are available and may reduce the overall price of your countertop. Discuss your choices with the professional to know your exact cost
• Granite Resists Scratching and Chipping
One good reason to have granite countertops is its durability. They are so durable that they just may last the life of your house when properly installed. Granite comes in just behind diamonds, rubies and sapphires in the hardness of natural materials. You would have to bang with a hammer to mar a granite, and this is not a normal activity in a kitchen. Nevertheless, remember to be careful with extremely sharp knives and meat cleavers, as they may be sharp enough to mar the surface. Use a cutting board for chopping, slicing and dicing.
• Increases Home Value
Countertops which are made from granite convey sophistication and luxury. They also increase your property’s value at the same time leaves a good impression to all the people who are visiting your home. This is the reason why granite countertops are considered to be an excellent lifetime investment.
• Unique Style and Design
No two granite countertops pieces are the same. This means that each countertop made from granite has its own appeal and charm. These are also made available in rich tones of Earth, vibrant shades of different colors such as blue, green, yellow, red up to the basic gray, white and black tones. There are also granite countertops which are suited for interior or exterior part of the house. You may even find some granite countertops which are the same as the marble countertop but differs when it comes to its maintenance and durability.

October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
November 2017

The Evolution Of Kitchen Islands

Islands are a staple of kitchens. A lot of people appreciate the efficiency and convenience of a kitchen island. Islands can make a fantastic cooking station, and they can also serve as a dining table.
Over the years, kitchen islands have evolved in quite a few ways. Read on if you do not like to learn more about some of these changes.

Kitchen Islands Can Be Adjustable

If a lot of different people cook in your kitchen, you may want to consider adjustable kitchen islands. These state-of-the-art islands can be raised or lowered as needed. You can ensure that the island is always at the ideal height.

Adjustable islands can be incredibly helpful. Taller people would not have to hunch over in order to use a kitchen island, and shorter people would not have to pull out footstools. Everyone will be able to use the kitchen island comfortably.

Many Kitchen Islands Have Built-In Charging Stations

In this day and age, people always need to charge various devices. From cell phones to tablets, there are a number of devices that need to be charged at any given time. Modern kitchen islands are striving to meet this need. A growing number of islands offer built-in charging stations.

If your kitchen island has its own charging station, everyone in your household will be able to charge their devices with ease. If your children normally do their homework in the kitchen, having a charging station built into your kitchen island will make it easier for them to stay connected.

Many Kitchen Islands Contain Sinks

In the past, kitchen sinks were not usually connected to islands. Now, however, a growing number of homeowners are starting to install sinks in their kitchen islands. Farmhouse sinks are an especially popular choice. Because islands are usually fairly large, there is more than enough room for an oversized sink.

If your kitchen has a limited amount of counter space, you will want to use the additional space that your island provides wisely. You should look at some islands with built-in sinks and see if any of these ideas appeal to you. You might be impressed with what you see. You should look at kitchen islands that feature built-in appliances as well.

The evolution of kitchen islands is fascinating to watch. If you are considering upgrading your kitchen, you should look at some of the many islands available. It is likely that you will find a few  islands that are to your liking.

Come on by to Nova Stone in North Bay to see how we can help transform your kitchen into the dream kitchen that you have always wanted! We have over 25 years of experience when it comes to using granite, quartz, and marble to upgrade your kitchen counters, including when you build your new kitchen island! “Good enough” is a phrase we never use, if we don’t feel like it’s perfect then the job isn’t done. We strive to stick to your deadlines, timelines, and budget to ensure you are receiving the best quality product and satisfactory customer service. Call us at 705-840-1000 or visit our facility on 64 Ferris Drive to see everything we offer to help with your kitchen renovation!

October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
November 2017

The History of Countertops

The earliest countertop materials were made of stone and wood. This was suitable back in the time when people cooked over a fireplace or any other open flame – that hearth was all the countertop they needed. It can be said that wood and stone started being used as countertops at around the same time. Eventually when the cooks moved from the fireplace and into a designated kitchen area, the countertops were still made of the products available to them: stone and wood.

When did countertops start to change?

This began to change in the 1800s, when countertops took on a whole new appearance. Eventually soapstone and slate were more common, and soon after marble became used more, especially among pastry chefs, who liked the cool surface to roll dough on. Soon after that, granite began to be used.

Then the 19th century began. Countertops began to be made of more luxury materials like marble, fine woods and the occasional metals. These were often found in more upscale kitchen areas or in serving areas – not in the kitchen itself (wood was still mainly used).

That traditional wooden look eventually turned back into the common butcher block, but soon into the late 19th century, materials like tile became a choice product, as well as stainless steel and nickel. This quickly grew after World War II when laminate became a popular choice to use in the kitchen.

In modern days, now other materials have slowly begun to emerge as countertops such as concrete, glass, or even pressed paper.

However two main countertops materials that remain popular today are granite and quartz. Here is the history for those two types.

History of Granite Countertops

Nowadays, granite is often the first material that comes in mind for a kitchen counter. But how did it become such a high end luxury item to put in the kitchen?

Granite actually used to be the first choice for kings and wealthy people because of its incredible strength and its beautiful appearance. It was commonly used for the construction of buildings as evidenced by history with the walls of the Great Pyramid being lined by granite.

Soon, as time progressed, people started using granite for other purposes, which included constructing a kitchen countertop. Granite became popular to use as a countertop in the late 80s when it became available to the public in two colours. Soon, it became a famous countertop material because it is strong enough to bear any strain and still remain intact.

History of Quartz Countertops

Quartz is another popular material that is used as a kitchen countertop surface. However, the usage of quartz as a countertop is relatively recent. Quartz can be dated back to the early civilizations with the Egyptians believing that it could be used to slow down the aging process, or it being used as stone tools. Eventually an Italian inventor, named Marcello Toncelli, used a combination of quartz and resin to create slabs for countertops, and since then it has increased in popularity since 1963.

Now, quartz is known for being a durable, scratch-resistant material making it a favourite among people to use in the kitchen.

October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
November 2017