Archive for February, 2011

A Granite Countertop Offers Attractiveness And Durability

Granite is one of the most popular materials used for countertops, as it combines durability with a modern, sophisticated look. Granite is in fact often chosen over marble, as while it may not be a more economical alternative, it provides a harder surface that is more resistant to damage. There are some disadvantages when using granite, however, which includes the maintenance the stone will require after installation, although proper care can ensure a beautiful kitchen counter for the life of your home.

The use of granite for kitchen worktops has long been popular because the stone is naturally resistant to heat, which can prevent the scorch marks that ruin many other materials. In addition to being heatproof, it is also resistant to the etching caused by the acids in liquids such as orange juice, coffee and alcohol, and it is a sanitary material, as it does not encourage the growth of bacteria. The hardness of granite also reduces the risk of scratches that result from heavy use, making it durable enough to withstand the daily task of cooking.

The appearance of granite consists of large, tightly packed crystals, which create a mottled pattern that not only creates a crystalline appearance on its surface, it also is ideal for hiding stains. The natural color variations range from browns and reds to darker colors that include black and green, which can then work with virtually any kitchen decor. However, granite is a naturally porous stone, which means that it will need to be regularly resealed to prevent the damage and stains that result from seeping into the stone. Replacing a damaged area of the counter can also be difficult, as the distinct patterns can be nearly impossible to match when new sections are added.

granite tile countertops

A shiny granite countertop.

The expense is also a drawback to this material, as a granite slab countertop can be as expensive as marble. Granite tile countertops offer a more economical alternative, as tiles are often thinner and lighter than slabs, and they allow for more flexibility in terms of color combinations. However, while this can make replacement much easier, grout lines will be apparent, which can add to the amount of care that counters will require.

Granite is often considered a more durable alternative to marble, as it is naturally resistant to both heat and damage. The tightly packed crystals create a mottled appearance that is ideal for hiding stains, as well as, allowing them to work with virtually every kitchen decor. The distinct pattern can make replacing a single area of a kitchen counter difficult, which may make granite tile countertops a less practical choice. However, individual tiles can create a more unique look, while making replacement an easier process. A granite countertop will require resealing from time to time because if the sealant is worn away the porous nature of the stone can absorb liquids. While the cost of granite countertops can be as high as marble, granite can be a worthwhile investment, as the addition can increase the overall value of the home.

Cutting Board Types and Maintenance

Among the types of kitchen worktops that we use is the cutting board. From the novice cook to the professional chef, cutting boards are an essential tool to have in the kitchen. There are several types of cutting boards to choose from, and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. 

Wooden Cutting Boards

Many people prefer wooden cutting boards because that’s what they started using as a beginner. Until recently, most wooden cutting boards were made from a maple hardwood which resists knife marks. While the standard wooden board may be preferred, it is not the easiest to clean. Eventually small cracks from cutting can harbor bacteria and become a health hazard. Wooden boards can not be placed in the dishwasher, but can be sanitized with a bleach solution.

Recently, new wooden boards have entered the market, including a bamboo cutting board. Bamboo is a little more expensive than the extremely economical maple, but typically lasts longer and resists bacteria better than other woods.

Oiling wooden cutting boards is recommended to prevent them from drying out and cracking. To extend their life, they should be rubbed with a light mineral oil intended for food use. Other options are poppy seed, linseed oil, or you can buy cutting board oil.

Plastic Cutting Boards

Plastic is an option that many cooks choose when shopping for a new cutting board. Plastic boards come in many colors, thicknesses and price ranges. Plastic is a good choice because it is easier to sanitize, and smaller boards can be run through the dishwasher to clean.

Bamboo Cutting Board

Bamboo Cutting Board

Other Materials for Cutting Boards

Some people choose glass cutting boards because their hard surface makes them easy to clean. While this is true, the hard surface is also hard on knives, which can dull faster and actually be difficult to cut on. Glass cutting boards can double as trivets, which makes them handy to have around.

Corian, while typically a countertop material, can be used to make cutting boards. It’s non-porous, so it is easy to clean too, but it is a more expensive option than wood, plastic, or glass.

Some people use slabs of marble as a cutting board, but it’s hardness can actually damage knives. It will also deteriorate when exposed to acidic foods.

Choosing a cutting boards is a personal decision, and favorites vary from person to person. Whatever cutting board is chosen, it is important to sanitize it after each use, and replace them when cracks or grooves appear.

The Importance of Kitchen Worktops

One of the biggest concerns of homeowners and contractors when creating or renovating a kitchen is selecting the right kitchen worktop. According to decorating experts, if you desire to have a beautiful and functional kitchen, then you must carefully select the best kitchen worktops. To make your kitchen functional and attractive, it is best to choose quartz kitchen countertops.

Quartz kitchen countertops have a reputation for making kitchens stylish and functional. It is known that quartz is the one of the most common minerals on Earth. Quartz comes in different colors such as: purple, black, white, green, yellow and brown; this will provide a lot of options for those trying to match the rest of the décor of the kitchen.

Quartz countertops are not just popular for their attractive appearance, but they are also popular because they are very durable and functional.  Quartz countertops that are purchased from big companies are designed to resist stains, heat, and scratches.  In other words, these countertops are tough enough to handle every day wear and tear. And these worktops are sold in different moldings to fit any kitchen.

Quartz Countertops

A beautiful piece of quartz that will be made into a worktop for the kitchen!

There are huge debates about purchasing quartz because they are as expensive as granite countertops. These countertops are worth around 100 dollars per piece. Quartz worktops will actually win this debate, because they are tougher than granite countertops. Like other kitchen countertops that are available in the market, granite countertops only come in one variety and they emit amounts of radon. Radon is a radioactive element that can cause a huge health concern. Therefore, it is best and safer to choose kitchen countertops that are made from quartz. Quartz countertops are definitely your best choice, if you are planning to transform your kitchen into a haven for cooking. You do not need to look for other worktops, because quartz countertops are guaranteed to give your kitchen the exact makeover you were looking for.

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