Home Improvement Designs: Kitchen Countertops That Every Home Needs

If the kitchen is the heart of a home, then the countertop is its essence. The countertop not only serves as the place where food is prepared, it can also be a sound investment as it can last longer and for those who intend to sell their home in the future, a well-kept kitchen attracts plenty of potential buyers.

Choosing the perfect material for the kitchen can be tricky and daunting for first time buyers. Once upon a time, the selections were limited; nowadays however, one has hundreds of materials, patterns, textures and even designs to choose from. Whether one is remodeling or building their new home, below are the top kitchen materials that one should consider.

Granite

Granite is very popular and has graced many high-end kitchens because of its sturdiness, heat and scratch resistance features. As the stone is quarried from different parts of the world, the designs, colors and features of each stone is unique. As the stone is made up from mixed mineral deposits and molten magma, original granite tends to be rough and textured and depending on the abundance of the minerals embedded creates its unique coloring. Below are some of the different granites available in the market today.

  • Arandis is a type of stone quarried from Namibia and its main characteristic is its gold coloring with veins
  • Bianco Romano is natural stone that comes from Brazil. The white granite is popular not only for countertops but also for stairs or vanity tops. Aside from the Bianco Romano, Brazil is also known for the CafĂ© Imperiale which is popular because of its long-lasting features.
  • Blue Eyes is a natural stone prized for its high scratch resistance and sanitary features as well as weather resistance. The stone is not only highly demanded for countertops but also a prized material for exterior cladding. The stone is imported from Canada.

Granite stones are popular for kitchens that experience heavy traffic as it stands very well with heavy use. That said, granite countertops need re-sealing as the stone is naturally porous which makes staining a possibility. Some would require a yearly re-sealing; however, the latest models would only require re-sealing once every ten years or so.

Marble

Marble is another natural stone material that is sought after because of its timeless beauty and elegance. Although this type of stone requires care and regular maintenance, regular care will allow it to age naturally. Its porosity would require home owners to use high-grade sealant to protect the surface as acid or base products can stain the stone. That said, high quality marble when treated properly enables them to be more durable and stain resistant. Below are examples of marble stones available in the market today.

  • Emperador Light is a brown marble that comes from Spain. Another is the Gris Pulpis, which is a slightly darker brown that also comes from the country.
  • Jerusalem Gold. The distinctive coloring of the marble resembles that of many stones that grace temples and palaces used during the Middle Ages hence the name of the stone.
  • Bianco Carrara. These stones are perfect examples of the “veins” patterns that marble stones are known for. From white to grey, these stones are said to have been from the Jurassic period. Small cavities called “tarolli” naturally occurred on these slabs of stones.

Marbles are ideal for people who spend less traffic in their kitchen area and are more interested in it for its aesthetic value. That said, lighter colored stones are ideal as scratches are less apparent with lighter stones than darker ones. Having it honed and sealed before installation and regular maintenance will also help the stone to age naturally.

Quartz

Quartz is an engineered stone thus is stronger and more durable than granite and marble. Not only are the stones durable, they are also heat and scratch resistant making them the perfect countertop. That said, it is slightly more expensive than granite making many homeowners having second thoughts using this material. Its durability however, makes it a sound investment.

Another feature of the stone is that it is made not only of quartz but also of other materials such as resin, polymers and pigments allowing for limitless colors and hues. As quartz is non-porous, cross contamination caused by molds and bacteria is highly unlikely. Coarse to finely ground materials also affect its final appearance. What benefits homeowners the most is that it is easy to clean and does not require any re-sealing or treatment.

How a Simple Home Improvement Guide Can Change Homes for the Better

Little changes in life can mean so many things. The same applies in home remodeling; such little changes can give your home a new and improved look. It can also enhance the living environment inside it. A simple home improvement guide can do great things for better living.

An effective home improvement guide must tackle important issues on building projects that alters and improve existing homes. These projects can be improvements to various areas like lawns, outdoor structures, gardens, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, attics, and so many more. Some examples of home improvement issues are the following:

1. Budget – These days, budgets will always come first, and will heavily influence the planning and other decision-making processes. Most of the time, we all need to come up with an economically sound budget before we can proceed with our home improvement activities. A home improvement guide will tell you to take your time and jot down each and everything that you will need for this undertaking, especially with the materials needed. Once written down, you can shop around and compare prices. Choose those that present you an opportunity to play with your budget.

2. Design and Planning – Now that you already have your budget, you can now start planning how your ideas and designs will be implemented, considering that everything revolves around your set budget. Venturing away from this can cost you more, and this will prove impractical along the way. If you want to get the best of the designs and the planning you pour through it, you can start by reflecting it on your mood. This will give you a sense of direction that will always lead to satisfaction.

3. Comfort – It can never be successful if comfort is not part of the plan. We renovate or remodel our homes simply because we want more comfort in it. Comfort can be defined by so many things; like upgrading the homes’ heating, ventilations, and air-conditioning systems. A modified plumbing and electrical systems is also very important. Such systems are the workhorses inside homes that when functioning well, can do so many things to support other areas. Waterproofing basements can make it a livable extension inside the house.

4. Maintenance and repair – You may have fancy and well-planned home improvement designs, but all these are for nothing if your precious home will be plagued with pesky maintenance problems or unfinished repairs. A real home improvement is one that includes maintenance projects for the complete package. Such projects can include replacement of roof tear-offs, concrete and masonry repairs surrounding the foundations or chimneys.

An effective guide must also encourage creating additional living space inside your home. Marginal areas can be effectively transformed into livable spaces. The basement is a very good example. If you are really serious about home remodeling, you can turn this dusty and unused room into a recreational area for the family, complete with home theaters and other entertainment systems, or as guestrooms. Whatever you reasons for home improvement are, remember that little changes always bring so many good things inside the house.

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