Archive for March, 2011

How to Cut a Blue Pearl Granite Counter

Blue pearl granite is a popular choice for modern kitchen countertops, mainly because of the granite’s durability and the blue pearl color’s beauty. Normally, these countertops can be ordered pre-cut to suit most applications. However, if you want to have a more unique shape for your granite counter, then you may need to cut the blue pearl granite down to size. Here are the things you need to make it happen.

Like all construction projects, it comes down to preparation. The main tool you will need is a cutting instrument. You have three choices here: a grinder with a diamond blade, a circular saw with a diamond blade, or a laser-sided saw, the one which uses a short-pulse laser for cutting. After obtaining your cutting instrument, you will also need a vacuum to suck up the granite dust particles as you cut. Ideally, this vacuum will be an attachment to your cutter, but it can also be separate equipment. To protect yourself, you will also need a mask and goggles.

Before the actual cutting, you need to do very careful measurements first. You need to measure the final location, as well as any cutouts you need to fit in (some faucets, for example). To make the job easier, you can fit pieces of plywood over the final counter location, glue them together, and place the thing on top of your blue pearl granite as a template. Now you can trace the outline with a piece of chalk to serve as your guide for cutting.

A beautiful blue pearl granite counter

Now, turn on the vacuum and begin cutting. As you cut, you need to work slowly and cautiously, keeping the saw steady at all times. You should also ready the different blades for your saw, to cut the edges and curves as you go along. Check the manual to see which blades are appropriate to use at any given time. When you finish a section, smooth them out with a small grinder. Then, when you are finally done, clean and polish those areas you have grounded.

Now that you know these steps, you should select a good location to do all the cutting. The process is very, very messy, so somewhere outside the main house is most ideal. But needless to say, it is best if you have some cutting experience beforehand, because a steady hand is very crucial to the final beauty of your blue pearl granite. That being said, however, there is always a sense of fulfillment in doing it yourself, and some trial and error should not deter you from this project.

 

Effective Ways to Remove Stains from Bathroom Countertops

Bathroom countertops can get stained very easily. It is a great challenge to keep them clean. Different types of stains may require different methods of cleaning. You can either follow some standard cleaning products or use your own formulas for removing various stains from the counter.

Cleaning using hydrogen peroxide: If you notice some yellow stains on your bathroom counter you can remove them easily using hydrogen peroxide. All you have to do is dip a clean cloth in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide and wipe it on the stains. Let it dry and then repeat the process 2-5 times for completely removing the stains.

Scrubbing and soap solution: A simple way to remove the day-to-day stains is by using a scrubber and a soap solution. Make a solution by mixing a little dish wash soap and water. Dip a cloth or sponge in the solution and wipe down the stains. Doing this regularly can help you to maintain a clean countertop.

Commercial cleaners: If you have tough stains which are difficult to remove, you can use some of the commercial cleaners available in the market. Look for specific types of solutions which are meant for removing stains from your countertop material. Use it according to the instructions given and get rid of the stubborn stains. Some of them may have harmful chemicals, so use appropriate protective gear while cleaning.

Commercial cleaners for bathroom countertops

Toothbrush and baking soda: If you have scorch marks on your bathroom countertop you can easily remove them by using simple items like a toothbrush and baking soda. First use a soft cloth dipped in soap solution to remove the discoloration as much as possible. Apply a paste of baking soda and water on the scorch marks. Scrub the area gently with the toothbrush. Use a soft cloth and wipe the area clean. If the stain still remains, use the Barkeeper’s Friend and clean the marks.

Corn starch: if you have oil stains on your countertop, you can use corn or whiting starch to remove the stains. When you notice the stains spread, put some of the powder on the stains immediately. After sometime use a brush and gently remove the dirt. If the stains persist, reapply the powder and leave it for 24 hours. You can either scrub the stains with a hot detergent solution or wipe them with a cloth dipped in ammonia.

With so many methods available you can easily remove any type of stains from your bathroom countertop. Follow these simple procedures and keep your bathroom stain free and clean. The best way to take care of your counter is to clean the surface regularly. In this way your cleaning becomes easy and you need not deal with tough stains.

 

Caring for and Using the Oak Worktop in the Kitchen

Having an oak worktop in the kitchen can be a great option for those who like to spend time cooking and preparing various dishes. It is a great surface for cutting, preparing dough or for trimming various cuts of meat. Not only is the surface very functional, but it can look great as well. However, using this type of surface requires some special care. When the below tips are followed, the wood surface can remain attractive for many years down the road.

Oiling kitchen worktops made of wood should be done periodically. Twice a year is all that is required for surfaces that have been in use for a while. Newly installed surfaces will need to be oiled three or four times in the first few weeks after installation to condition the wood and protect it. Linseed, tung and teak oils are the best for extending the life of the wood surface.

It is recommended that the underside and edges also be oiled to prevent bowing of the wood. Not as much care is required with surfaces that will not be seen, but they still need some protection. Any excess oil should be wiped off, and the oil should soak into the wood overnight. It may be an inconvenience to not use the surface for a while, but the longevity and the look will be worth the wait.

A durable oak worktop can double as a cutting board.

To get a smooth, glossy finish, some light sanding with fine paper should be done between oil applications. This accomplishes two things, it smoothes any rough spots that already exist. Oil also raises the grain of the wood, so sanding is necessary to remove the slight roughness or uneven feel on oak worktops.

Keeping the surface dry is another part of caring for the kitchen oak worktop. Promptly removing any standing water or other liquids is necessary for several reasons. The moisture from standing water will aid in rotting or destroying the surface over time. Standing liquids can also cause dark, unsightly stains.

For scratches or nicks, sanding of the surface may be required. It is a good idea to take care of such imperfections right away. Any depressions or areas where food particles can get trapped can lead to the formation of harmful bacteria on the oak kitchen worktop, which may get into food. For deeper scratches, it may be necessary to use wood filler or putty on the oak kitchen worktop. Colors should be matched as closely as possible, and then followed by sanding and oiling the entire surface for a more uniform effect.

 

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