Common Kitchen Countertop Questions

How much does a countertop replacement usually cost?

The cost of replacing countertops depends on the size of your kitchen and the size of your existing countertops, whether you are adding counter space, or removing it, and what material you select for your new counter tops. The best thing is to ask a design consultant to come to your home to accurately measure your counter tops and discuss your options with you. After this consultation we will be better able to give you a price estimate. You might be interested in our Kitchen Countertop Cost Break-down.

How long does a countertop replacement usually take?

Countertop replacement can take anywhere between two days, depending on the size and shape of your kitchen. The planning of this projects will take the most time. Make sure you meet with a design specialist to discuss your options and your budget. Together we can make a plan for your kitchen that will optimize the colors, fixtures, appliances and lighting in your kitchen. Countertops are a great accent to make your beautiful kitchen truly stand out.

How can I best prepare for my countertop replacements?

The best way you can prepare for your countertop replacement is by making sure the countertops are completely cleared off, the sink is cleared out, and the contents of your bottom cabinets are removed and stored in a separate area. Make sure the kitchen floor is clear so that the construction crew can move around freely without delay.

How will I know if my old cabinets can support a new countertop?

Natural stone countertops (like granite and quartz) can weigh upwards of 25 pounds per square foot. It is imperative that the structural integrity of your cabinets is checked by a professional to make sure it can handle this weight, especially if you are electing to use existing cabinetry. If you are concerned about whether or not your cabinets can support your new countertops, you can always contact us and schedule your free no obligation consultation with a TSD design specialist today!

Common Kitchen Countertop Material Concerns

Can I set hot pans on quartz countertops?

Not recommended. While quartz countertops are a durable countertop surface for kitchens because under normal conditions they will not burn, however, high temperatures can discolor the manmade elements of the quartz such as the resin. Keeping your quartz looking like new will require some care and caution. We do not recommend placing hot items directly on the stone without some place-mat or silicone pad. Learn more about quartz and how to properly maintain it by reading Quartz Countertops: A Cost Comparison.

Is granite heat resistant?

Yes – Granite is ideal for kitchens because under normal conditions it will not burn, although many granite countertop stones now days are also treated with resin which may discolor or bun.  Granite is a non-flammable natural stone that will not be harmed by hot pots, pans or open flames. See how granite stands up to other stone counter alternatives by reading Countertop Guides: Granite vs. Quartz.

How do I know if I need to seal my granite?

One great test you can do at home to check if your granite needs to be resealed is to sprinkle some water on your countertops. If the water soaks into the stone and does not bead up, then we would recommend resealing your granite. Find out more about what granite can do for your kitchen and how to care for granite by reading Granite Countertops: Pros and Cons.

Will granite stain?

Yes. Any natural stone can stain, including granite. It is recommended that your countertops be sealed at least once a year. Granite is a natural material – and despite appearances it is porous. This will allow moisture to absorb into it and anything that can absorb moisture can stain. With proper sealing this porosity can be minimized, but not completely eliminated. Oil and oily substances are the biggest culprits for staining issues, usually from the bottom of a greasy pan. Wiping up spills and splatters as soon as they occur will help keep staining to a minimum. If staining is a big concern for your countertops you may want to look into the non-porous surfaces like quartz, solid surface and laminates.

Does granite chip or scratch?

Granite is a very dense material and under normal conditions it is chip and scratch resistant. However, we do not recommend a straight edge finish for countertops – pots, pans, and other heavy objects may chip the sharp edge of a straight edge finish.

Can I use my granite countertops as a cutting board?

Granite countertops are extremely tough, durable and in most cases can be used as a cutting surface without fear of scratching the stone. However, repeated cutting on a granite countertop can dull knives and can damage the granite if it is not sealed. Still can’t decide? Read this study on granite countertops for more information: Countertop Guides: Marble vs. Granite.

Is quartz resistant to stains?

Quartz countertops are highly stain resistant and have a very low water absorption rate. Therefore they do not require sealing. However, approximately 7% of your quartz countertop is composed of petroleum based resin and pigments. Resin will react with some chemicals. Be careful with paints, stains, and solvents around your quartz countertops. Learn more about quarts and the difference between engineered and natural stone by reading Natural Stone vs. Engineered Quartz.

What is the best way to clean my quartz countertop?

The manufacture’s recommendation should always be followed. However, in general terms, quartz is best cleaned and maintained with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Thoroughly rinse off the soap/mild detergent with water after use and dry with soft cloth or paper towel. If needed, apply common, non-abrasive, household cleaners with water and dry with soft cloth or paper towel.

Does marble need to be sealed?

Marble itself is not stain resistant before it has been sealed. This natural stone is more porous than most and liquids absorb deep into the material. However there are many seals available for do it yourselfers as well as professionals. The seal should be applied when the countertops are initially installed and again every few years after that. Make sure your design specialist consults you on the necessary steps to take to keep your marble countertops looking as good as new. Learn more about natural stone and its impact on the environment by reading Eco Friendly Countertops: Natural Stone.

Can I place hot items directly onto my marble countertops?

Marble can stand quite a bit of heat. Hot pots and pans will not damage this natural stone, and neither will a spark or two. This is a reason this material is also popular around the fireplace. It will not yellow due to the heat. However long exposure to hot tools or open flames can damage the stone in the long term. Always be careful when leaving heated items on countertops.

How can I best care for marble?

Marble is relatively easy to clean. Simply make a dish soap and water solution and spray this onto the counters. Wipe the soapy solution off with a warm and wet cloth. After the counters are clean, wipe them dry with a paper towel or a dry dish towel. For some extra shine, buff the countertops with a soft and dry towel. This is the best way to keep your marble countertops looking great for years to come.

What is onyx?

Onyx is a very soft and absorbent natural stone. It needs to be sealed at the time of installation, and every 1-3 years after that as well. Staining your onyx countertops correctly is the best way to keep them looking like new. Since this natural stone is so absorbent, make sure you are always keeping it dry. Blot up any water or liquid spills on your countertops immediately.

How do I keep my onyx countertops clean?

Onyx is best cleaned with a water and vinegar solution. Make a mixture in an empty spray bottle and spray the counters with it. Wipe the solution away with a damp towel. Another way to clean this stone is with a rag and clean water. Make sure to always keep this natural stone dry. After every wash or rinse, make sure to thoroughly dry your countertops. Be careful of any cleaners that are too acidic. Onyx is soft and calcium based and will not react well with acids. Always use low Ph balance cleaning products on this beautiful surface.

Is onyx heat resistant?

Onyx is a soft and brittle stone. Onyx slabs almost always have a fiberglass mesh material on the back to hold the stone together. This should be an indicator of just how fragile the stone is. Placing hot items directly on this natural material is not a good idea. always use a place-mat or a silicone pad between this stone and the hot object to prevent cracking and breaking.

Is quartzite easy to keep clean?

Quartzite is very stain resistant and therefore it will stay clean. It is a very hard stone and is very durable. Do not worry about staining this natural stone. Quartzite is a great choice for kitchen countertops for this very reason.

Can quartzite stand the heat?

Quartzite is very heat resistant. It is a very hard stone and is very durable. Do not worry about placing pots and pans on this natural stone. Quartzite is a great choice for kitchen countertops for this very reason.

How do I keep my quartzite looking like new?

Natural quartzite’s hardness protects it from scratching and etching, but as a natural stone, it does need sealing to help it resist stains. Wipe frequently with a damp cloth and use mild soaps or stone cleaners. Avoid abrasives anyway to maintain the like-new appearance of your countertop.

Is soapstone porous and absorbent?

This hard non-porous natural stone is stain resistant. Soapstone is completely non porous and therefore it will not stain. This is a perfect stone for any high traffic area such as your kitchen. Your family will enjoy these sturdy countertops for a long time.

Why is soapstone a good choice for kitchen counters?

This hard non-porous natural stone is heat resistant. Soapstone is a strong stone which can stand the heat. Do not be afraid to place pots and pans directly onto this surface.

How does soapstone stand up in a high traffic area like my kitchen?

Soapstone is an inert material and it is impervious to any household chemicals. Also since it does not absorb liquid, it does not matter which cleaner is used on this versatile stone. Oxidation does happen to this stone over time, and as it comes in contact with water, grease and oils. The recommended care for this stone is to rub it with mineral oils so as to make the oxidation more uniform over the surface of the stone.

Is travertine a type of marble?

No it is not. Travertine is very similar to marble and limestone, and these three natural stones share many of the same properties. travertine is porous and will stain if it is not sealed and resealed properly. But when this stone is seated properly, it is practically stain resistant. Remember to keep up with the staining of these countertops as the years go on.

Is travertine more heat resistant than marble?

Travertine is a great heat resistant natural stone. It does not absorb heat and it will always feel cool to the touch. This stone is great for kitchen countertops as well as for patio flooring. The heat from the sun will never make this rock too hot to talk on. Heat is dispersed immediately. Marble also feels cool to the touch. This is yet another way in which these stones are very similar.

Is travertine easy to take care of?

Travertine is sensitive to acidic substances (juice, wine, coffee) so it can etch (dull the polish or finish) rather easily… just like marble and limestone.
Travertine can stain as well, but sealing it will prevent the vast majority of stains. Travertine is easy to clean. You can keep this natural stone clean by regularly wiping it down with gentle household cleaners. Use any mild household products on this natural stone surface, and rinse clean with water afterwards. Wipe down these countertops with a wet rag and keep them dry with a microfiber rag.

Is marble the most expensive natural stone?

Marble and granite are very similar and are about the same in price. Unlike quartz, which is a man made material, marble and granite are both natural stones. These stones are cut and measured for your kitchen. This will make them have a higher price point than any man made material. Marble is also harder to care for and to use than either granite or quartz because it is much softer and more breakable. That is why you will see marble mostly in bathrooms rather than kitchens.

Sandstone and Soapstone: What is the Difference?

Sandstone is a grainy natural stone made up of sand-sized grains of minerals and rocks. Soapstone is a natural stone composed of talc and magnesium. Soapstone is available in varying degrees of density. The more dense variety is very popular as kitchen countertops for its durability and workability. Sandstone countertops are amongst the most beautiful countertops available to homeowners today. They add a rich texture, grain and color to any kitchen space. And while they do require a little more maintenance and TLC than other  natural stone countertops, their aesthetic value is among the highest there is. Find out more about sandstone countertops by reading Sandstone Countertops: Are They  A Good Idea? While both these materials are natural stone, they are very different in look, color and maintenance needs.

Let Us Design Your Perfect Countertops!

Schedule your no-obligation FREE consultation

Call Now: (972) 954-2476