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Chantilly, VA

25391 Pleasant Valley Rd.
Chantilly, VA 20152
Phone: (703) 259-9021

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Alexandria, VA

5655 General Washington Dr
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Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone: (703) 256-2199

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Fredericksburg, VA

15 Sage Ln.
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Phone: (540) 628-7535

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September 20, 2021 by aster

7 Reasons To Stay Away From Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are generally preferred by some homeowners due to their affordable costs compared to other countertop alternatives. Also, DIYers prefer laminate kitchen countertops since the installation requires less craftsmanship. 

Nevertheless, laminate countertops are away from being a smart countertop choice, not even close. Although you can find good bargains such as lowes laminate countertops or shiny-looking ads like home depot laminate countertops, the following post will tell you about why you should consider other alternatives instead of laminate.

What Is A Laminate Countertop?

Laminate countertops are a mixture of plastic and resin. The mixture is laminated on paper or particleboard. Generally, the lamination copies some natural stones like granite or marble

The kitchen sinks or bathroom sinks can be under-mounted by some manufacturers during the production; however, you need to buy a drop-in sink in many cases. Formica® and Wilsonart® are famous brand names, and many people even think that they are material names similar to laminate. 

As the brand names might suggest, laminate countertops were very popular between the 40s and 60s. They are still available today since they look like granite countertops, not the quality. Being cheap and easy to install, laminate countertops appeal to DIYers with tight budgets.

How Thick Are Laminate Countertops?

Laminate countertops are usually composed of three layers. The first layer is the base made of heat-fused kraft paper sheets compressed on each other. The second layer is foil or printed paper giving the laminate the color and pattern that you see on the surface. Finally, on the top of them, a protective top layer is applied. This layer is transparent, and you can see the second layer through the third layer.

All of these layers are fused onto each other in the production process. The total laminate countertop thickness is generally 1,5 inches, but the manufacturers can also produce custom-made thickness in laminate countertops. Some people prefer to mimic the natural stone countertops or butcher’s block wood countertops with their laminate countertops so that they can use slightly different thicknesses like 1,16 inches.

How Much Are Laminate Countertops?

The cost of a square foot laminate countertop ranges from $20 to $60. Therefore, it makes laminate countertops one of the cheapest alternatives. Although the price can vary depending on the color and pattern selection, these countertops are mainly preferred due to their relatively affordable prices.

Why Should You Avoid Laminate Countertops? (INFOGRAFİK)

Any countertop is supposed to serve as a storage area, a cutting surface, or a decorative element in the kitchen design. There are many countertop options on the market, and laminate countertops are one of the least expensive ones. However, laminate kitchen countertops fail to serve as an ideal countertop option due to the following reasons. In order to help you understand the issue better, we will refer to the laminate vs. granite comparison when needed. 

1- Appearance

Some companies manufacture laminate countertops, and they tend to mimic the patterns and colors of granite stones. However, granite stones are completely natural, and since the mineral compositions vary in nature, it is hardly possible to find two exactly the same granite countertop color or pattern. 

It means laminate countertops cannot offer you a unique appearance. Instead, you have to buy one of those uniform appearances dictated by the producer company.

2- Heat Resistance

You can never put hot items on a laminate countertop. If you buy a laminate countertop, you will be advised to use a heating pad between the hot items and the laminate countertop. This might sound practical at first, but you may be tired of this in the long term. However, granite or any other stones are resistant to heat, so you can directly put your hot items on them. 

3- Hardness

Laminate countertops are one of the least hard countertop alternatives you can get. They are made of softer materials such as paper and plastic, and thus they are not as hard as other countertop alternatives such as granite or quartz. However, laminate countertops are highly prone to cracks or water damages due to their softer structure. Granite, quartz, or marble is hard, and they are more resilient to damages.

4- Sinks

Many people prefer under-mounted sinks over drop-in sinks as under-mounted sinks give a more integrated look. Although some special laminate countertops can provide you with an under-mounted sink, most of the laminate countertops require a drop-in sink. 

Even if you buy a laminate countertop with an under-mounted sink, the installation needs more professionalism and delicacy, so the DIY option is crossed out, which is normally one of the most significant advantages of laminate countertops. On the other hand, under-mounted sinks are widespread in other stone-originated countertops.

5- Durability

The durability of the laminate countertops is closely related to the vulnerable surface due to the poorer hardness they offer. Unfortunately, durability is a big problem for many laminate countertops on the market. 

Since the surface is laminated industrially, it can be delaminated in time due to applying excess water combined with some chemicals for maintenance. Also, cracks on the surface make it easier to be peeled. Granite and other stones, on the other hand, offer you greater hardness and thus durability. 

6- Maintenance

Although laminate countertops are supposed to be low-maintenance countertop alternatives since they don’t require sealing, they are still more problematic when it comes to maintenance. Since they are scratched easily, you will need to repair them with some special repairing kits. 

Considering the good bargain it offered at first, you can tolerate this countertop restoration job for a while. However, it will not take a long time for you to get tired of this.

7- ROI (Return on Investment)

Whatever improvement you make in your house, you should always think if your investment will add value to your home. Although laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive, they don’t look attractive after a few years of use. Thus, when you want to sell your house, laminate countertops may affect your selling negatively, as most homeowners would like to have a granite countertop rather than a laminate.

Bottom Line

Many people buy a new house or get a new kitchen only a few times or less in their lives, and the cheaper doesn’t mean the better. But, by avoiding laminate countertops, you can make the most of your countertops and kitchen.

September 13, 2021 by aster

7 Popular Bathroom Vanity Tops in 2021

Bathroom vanity tops are one of the most distinctive details in your bathroom decoration. Bathroom vanities with tops that are attractive and classy turn many heads to your bathroom. You, as the homeowner, will also enjoy the time you spend in your bathroom if your bathroom vanity is a nice one.

Having a bathroom vanity top is not a big deal if you don’t care much about the aesthetics or functionality. Actually, there are a lot of bathroom vanity tops on the market, and the only thing you need to do is choose one and make the payment. However, if you want to have one of those hilarious bathroom vanity tops, you should consider some points before making a contract with an installer.

Many people think that popular vanity tops are popular just because of their striking looks, but what makes them popular is not just their look. Many people take durability, maintenance, real estate value, and some other factors into consideration while choosing their bathroom vanity tops.

In this post, you will find a list of popular bathroom vanity tops in 2021. Although the list is based on materials, you will find some decorative tips, too. Enjoy!

Granite

Granite bathroom vanity tops are some of the timeless beauties that you can have in your bathroom. It is a classic countertop stone that you can hardly replace with any other option around. Besides looking luxurious and bright, granite is also well-known for its durability and easy maintenance. In addition, a granite countertop is highly resistant to heat, or scratch and you can easily clean it.

Granite Vanity Top
Granite Vanity Top

Granite slabs are mined as large slabs, and they are not processed through any industrial process. They just polish it and cut them into smaller sizes to fit your bathroom vanity tops. Since granite is 100% natural, its colors and patterns come purely from nature, so when you buy a granite countertop for your bathroom, yours will be different than other granite bathroom vanity tops around. This will make you feel really unique. 

Price is one of the most minded issues about granite vanity tops. However, considering the uniqueness, naturality, durability, and easy maintenance they bring, granite bathroom vanity tops pay off in the long run. In fact, a well-maintained granite countertop will add more real estate value to your house. Another thing you should consider about the granite bathroom vanity top is the installation. Since it is a really heavy material, you cannot do the installation work yourself. Instead, we advise you to get help from a professional for the installation.

Quartz

Another popular home design product among homeowners is quartz bathroom vanity tops. Quartz is not purely natural, but it is an engineered stone (around 95% natural). The quartz pieces are mined from the earth and mixed with synthetic materials. The additives make this beautiful stone a piece of art and one of the hardest things you can see in the world. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need sealing on the surface, thanks to the resin added during production. 

Quartz Vanity Top
Quartz Vanity Top

Quartz is also famous for its great durability. Therefore quartz bathroom vanity tops keep their color and brightness for many years. In addition, the surface is highly resilient against bacteria, stains, or chemical liquids. Also, the maintenance of quartz bathroom vanity tops is even easier than granite. You can simply clean a quartz surface with a piece of damp cloth.

Vast color options are another plus for quartz stone. As mentioned above, the synthetic additives make the range of color alternatives almost limitless for the quartz bathroom vanity tops. 

Considering the granite vs. quartz details, both of them are the most expensive options on the market. However, the durability and beautiful look it offers will pay off in a short time. Also, increasing the real estate value, quartz bathroom vanity tops will never make you regretful once it is installed.

Quartzite

Thanks to recent technology, sandstones are exposed to heat and pressure at high degrees to make something even harder than granite; quartzite. Basically, quartzite is made of quartz in nature, but quartzite is even shinier, and thus it looks more attractive to some homeowners. Quartzite bathroom vanity tops look sparkling, and you can find many color and pattern options for your bathroom.

Quartzite Vanity Top
Quartzite Vanity Top

As for pricing, quartzite is not much different than quartz. It is another high-end stone on the market. One downside of quartzite bathroom vanity tops is that the stone needs to be sealed since it is not naturally non-porous, and it is not added resin to get it non-porous. You should always use quartzite with a seal on it, making you more precautious about cleaning and maintenance. You should avoid using abrasive cleaning or heavy chemical cleaners.

Marble

Marble top bathroom vanity is another popular selection among homeowners. Marble has been a representation of wealth and glory since ancient times. 

Marble is quarried as white with black or gray streaks or dark gray background with white streaks. Although the color options seem limited, you can use marble bathroom vanity tops in almost any bathroom. The surface of the marble is not very shiny nor matte, which makes this elegant stone decorative in a wide range of bathroom designs.

Marble Vanity Top
Marble Vanity Top

Many people think that marble is prone to scratches and stains. Actually, it is just one side of the coin. Although stain can stay on the marble surface, unlike granite or quartz, you can easily get rid of those stains or even scratches using certain cleaning products. Moreover, you can even seal your marble bathroom vanity top before it is scratched or stained.

Travertine

Travertine is a kind of limestone that people like to use in their bathroom vanity tops to evoke relaxation and calmness. One of the biggest motivations for people to choose travertine is the matte looking of the stone which perfectly matches showers, backsplashes, and bathroom vanity tops. 

Travertine Vanity Top
Travertine Vanity Top

Travertine is not always matte. You can also find travertine bathroom vanity tops with a polished finish. Also, polished travertine will make your bathroom a contemporary one. Furthermore, you can even consider a double sink bathroom vanity top using polished travertine. Your family and guests will love this magical environment in the bathroom.

Limestone

Limestone bathroom vanity tops are gaining popularity due to the sophisticated and soft look they give to the bathrooms. The color of limestone varies from white to sandy yellow, and the texture seems really soft. It is a good alternative to those seeking natural elements in their bathroom. As you might already know, limestone is formed by shells, algae, and other organic marine debris. Thanks to its natural color and texture, limestone bathroom vanity tops give a sense of relaxation in your bathroom. 

Limestone  Vanity Top
Limestone Vanity Top

Another good thing about limestone is although it provides high durability and a nice look, the price of this beautiful stone is relatively affordable. However, since limestone is naturally softer and less resistant to chemicals, you should be extra careful while cleaning and maintenance.

Onyx

Onyx bathroom vanity tops are one-of-a-kind alternatives that are always stunning and functional. Certain minerals form onyx in lava, and the volume of the minerals makes the distinctive stripes in the stone. The colors naturally range from white to brown. 

Onyx  Vanity Top
Onyx Vanity Top

The beauty and translucence of onyx attract many homeowners. Although onyx slabs are expensive and brittle, many people still prefer that since it really looks good and adds real estate value to the house significantly. Also, onyx is very easy to clean. You can simply wipe it using a damp cloth. However, you should be careful about the chemicals. Onyx is allergic to many chemicals, and thus, you should strictly avoid using hard cleaning. 

As you know, bathroom vanity tops don’t have heavy traffic on the surface as much as kitchen countertops. Therefore, using this luxurious stone on your bathroom vanity top with a sink is better since onyx is vulnerable to chips and cracks. 

Other Options

We have just listed some of the most popular bathroom vanity tops on the market. However, there are still many other options if you really want something out of common. For example, you can consider soapstone, recycled glass, tiles, porcelain, wood, or concrete to create a way different atmosphere in your bathroom. They are very fashionable and functional as long as you or your interior designer agree on your needs and style.

Tiles are distinctive with their pretty affordable price. If you are on a budget, it might be a good option for you. If you don’t mind much about the price, you can also consider concrete bathroom vanity tops. Although concrete tops seem more like industrial stuff, people have recently turned to concrete due to its solid and modern look. 

If you are into recycling and want something that is both eco-friendly and good-looking, you can consider recycled glass or wood. Recycled glass is non-porous and highly distinctive, yet it is not much durable. As for wood bathroom vanity tops, both recycled and regular wood types are on the market, and they are used to create a warm atmosphere in the bathrooms.

September 6, 2021 by aster

Granite vs Quartz Countertops? Which one to choose?

Granite and quartz countertops are popular in many kitchen and bathrooms. They both improve functionality and overview of the places.

August 29, 2021 by aster

The Most Popular Granite Countertop Colors 2021

There are a lot of granite countertop color alternatives offered on the market today. However, when it comes to picking a granite countertop color, you should also consider your interior design.

August 23, 2021 by aster

8 Details Which Bring A Spotless Countertop Installation

Countertop restoration projects are some of the most exciting and, at the same time, the most stressful times. People usually dream of having a spectacular and highly functional kitchen at the end of a countertop restoration.

August 9, 2021 by aster

21 Popular Quartz Countertop Colors In 2021

Quartz countertops come in various colors and styles which give you freedom of choice. Landmark Surfaces prepared a list of 21 popular quartz countertop colors.