Tag Archive for: countertop

Common Problems with Granite Countertops and How to Prevent Them

  • Staining can occur if granite is not properly sealed

  • Cracking and chipping can occur if granite is handled carelessly

  • Etching can occur if acidic substances come into contact with granite

Silver Lennon from Arizona TileGranite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, like any natural stone, granite can be prone to certain problems. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common potential problems with granite countertops, as well as what you can do to prevent or address them.

One of the most common issues with granite countertops is staining. Granite is a porous material, which means that it can absorb liquids if not properly sealed. To prevent staining, it’s important to seal your granite countertops on a regular basis, and to wipe up any spills or stains as soon as they happen. Another way to prevent staining is to use coasters or place mats under any items that may leave a residue, such as wine glasses or vases.

Another issue that can occur with granite countertops is cracking or chipping. Granite is a strong and durable material, but it can still be damaged if something heavy is dropped on it or if it is exposed to sudden temperature changes. To prevent this, it’s important to handle your granite countertops with care, and to avoid placing hot items directly on the surface.

A third common issue that can occur with granite countertops is etching. Etching is when the surface of the granite becomes dull or discolored due to acidic substances coming into contact with it. To prevent etching, it’s important to avoid using acidic cleaners on your granite countertops, and to wipe up any acidic spills as soon as they happen.

In conclusion, granite countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any home, but it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that can occur. By properly sealing, handling, and cleaning your granite countertops, you can help prevent staining, cracking, chipping, and etching.

For more information about granite countertops, click here.

Tips for Routine Cleaning and Removing Stains on Quartz Surfaces

Routine Cleaning

Cleaning Quartz surfaces require only simple and routine care to maintain its good looks. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is all that is required to maintain the shine. For tougher blemishes, apply a non-abrasive cleaner such as Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach or a mild degreaser on a damp cloth and wipe the surface. Rinse with warm water to wash away the
residue and dry with paper towel.

Care and CleaningWeekly, the surface should be cleaned with Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach and thoroughly dried. We recommend a thorough cleaning of the Quartz surface on a regular basis (because of the patina that will develop on the surface from day-to-day use) to keep the surface as beautiful as the day it was installed. If you have heavy patina build-up from using non-approved cleaners, please contact our Customer Care department for detailed instructions on how best to remove it.

For a complete list of countertop cleaning supplies, click here.

Common Spills and Stubborn Food Stains

Includes stains such as: ink, markers, paint, food coloring, herbs and spices, red wine, mustard, coffee/tea, fruits

Cleaning product:
Dawn Soap or mild detergent
Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach

Thoroughly rinse off the soap or mild detergent with warm water after use and dry with soft cloth or paper towel. If needed, apply a generous amount of a non-abrasive cleaner, such as Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach, to a damp soft cloth (not directly onto the surface). Wipe the area using a circular motion, rinsing thoroughly with water and dry with soft cloth or paper towel.

Those wishing to use environmentally safe cleaners may also use a combination of 50/50 vinegar and water, rinsing and drying the surface thoroughly afterwards.

Dried Spills

Includes adhered material such as: food, gum, nail polish

Cleaning product:
Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach

To remove adhered material, first carefully scrape away the excess material with a plastic putty knife and then clean the surface with a damp cloth to remove any marks left behind and any residual dirt. Do not use any abrasive pads to clean tougher dirt as abrasives
can damage the finish/sheen of your countertops


Includes stains such as: olive oil, canola oil, machine oils

Cleaning product:
Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach
Dawn Soap

Apply a delicate cleaning product on the surface if necessary (soap and water will often suffice) and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and material disintegrates with ease.

Avoid soaps with plan oils as they may leave a film build-up on the surface.


Includes stains such as: hair shampoo, medical creams, make-up

Cleaning product:
Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach

Apply the cleaning product to a damp cloth. After a few seconds, wipe with a clean cloth and water then wipe dry.

Metal and Rust Marks

Includes marks such as: knives and metal pots

Cleaning product:
Bar Keepers Friend Powder

Special use for spot cleaning ONLY. Because of the abrasive nature of this cleaner, use Bar Keepers Friend Power only as follows: Place a small amount on a damp cloth. Using very light pressure, wipe the area where the marks are in a circular motion, rinsing thoroughly with warm water and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. Do not use a scouring pad.

Other Stains

Includes stains such as: soap stains, hard water deposits, blood, glue from adhesive tape

Cleaning Products:
Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach
• Alcohol
• 50/50 combination of vinegar and water

Soft Scrub® Liquid Gel with Bleach should remove most dirt and spills. For tougher spills or dried-on stains, apply alcohol to a cloth and let sit for a few minutes. Wipe clean with a damp cloth or paper towel then dry the surface. To remove hard water deposits, treat the surface with a 50/50 combination of vinegar and water before wiping.


Find the Perfect Sink for Your Kitchen Countertop: A Guide to Choosing the Right Type

• Overview of different types of kitchen sinks, including drop-in, undermount, farmhouse, bar, integrated, and wall-mounted sinks

• Considerations for selecting the right sink, such as the material of the countertop, the size of the sink, and the type of faucet

• Tips for creating the perfect look in your kitchen with the right sink choice

When it comes to selecting a sink for your kitchen countertop, there are several options to consider. These include:

Drop-in Sinks: These are the most common type of sink and are also known as self-rimming sinks. They are easy to install and are a great option for laminate or solid surface countertops. They sit on top of the countertop and have a lip that sits flush against the counter.

Undermount Sinks: These sinks are installed underneath the countertop, creating a seamless look. They are a popular choice for granite, quartz, or solid surface countertops. They are also easier to clean since there is no lip for food or debris to collect.

Farmhouse Sinks: Also known as apron-front sinks, these sinks have a deep basin and a large front apron that is exposed. They are a popular choice for traditional or country-style kitchens and are usually installed as an undermount sink.

Bar Sinks: These are smaller sinks that are perfect for a wet bar or a kitchen island. They are available in a variety of styles and sizes.

Integrated Sinks: These sinks are made from the same material as the countertop, creating a seamless look. They are available in a variety of materials, such as solid surface or quartz.

Wall-mounted Sinks: These sinks are mounted directly to the wall, leaving the countertop free. This can be a great option for smaller kitchens or if you want to create more counter space.

When selecting a sink, it’s important to consider the material of your countertop, your personal style, and the overall look you want to achieve in your kitchen. Additionally, you should also think about the size of your sink, whether it is single or double bowl, and the type of faucet that will be best for your needs. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a sink that will complement your kitchen and meet your needs.

For additional information about sinks options, click here.

MSI Stile Porcelain Countertop

Porcelain Countertop Cost: What You Need to Know

If you are looking for a new countertop, you may be interested in porcelain. But what are porcelain countertops? What factors into their cost? How much do they cost? In this blog post, we will explore porcelain countertop cost.

What are porcelain slab countertops?

Porcelain is made of a mineral called kaolinite. This mineral is mixed with other materials like feldspar, metal oxides, and silica to make porcelain. Porcelain often looks like other materials; for example, some companies manufacture porcelain that looks like marble.

Simply put, porcelain slabs are giant tiles like what used to come in a standard 4″ x 4″ dimension.

Pros and Cons

Many people love porcelain because it is exceptionally durable and beautiful. Porcelain is also considered to be very stain resistant because it does not absorb liquids.

In terms of chipping and scratching, it can resist most damage, but it is still possible. Porcelain shines when it comes to heat and UV resistance. It will not distort when subjected to high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use in direct sunlight.

Porcelain comes in a variety of designs, colors, and sizes. You can find porcelain that looks like wood or stone. Some porcelain is even made to look like fabric. The possibilities are endless with porcelain!

What do porcelain slab countertops cost?

Porcelain countertop cost from $100 to $150 per square foot. For comparison’s sake, quartz is usually $70 to $100 per square foot.

The higher cost is due to the complicated manufacturing process. Specialized blades and slow cutting speeds are required for cutting the material. Extra precaution must be taken throughout the fabrication process to guarantee a beautiful end result with sharp edges and seams.

If you’re in the market for a new countertop and are considering porcelain, be sure to give us a call. We can provide you with an estimate for installation as well as answer any questions you may have about this beautiful and durable material.


For more information about your next countertop project, contact Valerie at Olive Mill.
Call or text (714) 528-3789  |  valerie.olivemill@gmail.com  |  Contractor’s License #823217

Granite Countertops – Can They Burn?

Besides its stunning, long-lasting beauty, one of the top advantages of granite countertops is their durability. In fact, granite is one of the hardest materials on Earth. Natural stone is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. One of the most frequent questions homeowners ask is: Can granite countertops burn? Granite Countertop – Can they burn?

The simple answer is no, granite as a natural porous stone will not burn. Because it began as a liquid magma deep within the Earth, and over millions of years is cooled and compressed, it has a natural resistance to heat damage.

Unlike other natural or synthetic products that require trivets to avoid marring their surface from hot pots and pans, heat does not damage these counters. Pots and pans heated to nine hundred degrees will not scorch their lustrous finish, and even a direct flame applied to its surface will not leave burnt or scarred marks.

However, the long answer is that, while it is safe to briefly set hot cookware directly on top of your countertops, there are considerations that may make use of a trivet or hot pad wise.

Epoxy Resin Sealants

If your slab has been treated with epoxy resin sealants, the epoxy may soften with exposure to high temperatures. However, according to Stone World, small cracks and fractures will not be affected, and any visible patches of epoxy glue will soon revert to their original state once the surface temperature cools.

Surface Sealers

If you have applied a topical sealer to your counters, check the product label for any warnings about interactions with heat and damage to the finish. Some sealants, especially those with a wax base, may burn and become difficult to remove.


Granite, especially darker varieties, retains heat. Placing a flame-hot pan directly onto a counter will heat the surface. If someone touches this spot immediately after the pan is moved, there is a risk of injury from burns. Because the stone’s color does not change when extremely hot, there is no warning that the surface could be potentially dangerous.


Placing a hot pan directly onto an improperly sealed countertop can result in oily stains if the bottom surface of the pan is dirty. While the pan may look clean to the naked eye, metals in the pan may react with the burner, causing a residue that may stain.

Thermal Shock

While a granite countertop will withstand hot cookware, it is smart to allow pots and pans to cool before placing them on the surface. When heat is applied to a cold surface, the rapid shift in molecules can cause cracks, and over time may compromise your counter’s integrity.

Always check with your fabricator to avoid damaging the granite. To be on the safe side, consider using trivets and hot pads to absorb heat, prevent stains and protect your investment.

Porcelain Countertops Pros and Cons – 2022

Neolith Calacatta Countertop with Waterfall Edge

Neolith Calacatta Countertop with Waterfall Edge

Are Porcelain Countertops right for your home?


Porcelain kitchen countertops are a man-made product made from clay. The clay called ‘China clay’ is mixed with other minerals to create the strength and durability of porcelain.

The combination of these materials is put into a kiln and fired at extremely high temperatures. This creates a dense, durable material resistant to stains, heat, UV rays, scratches, chips, and cracks.

During the manufacturing of porcelain countertops, pigmented glazes are added to create different patterns and colors on the porcelain slab. Porcelain can be either glazed or unglazed. However, glazing increases the durability of the slab by making it shiny and less porous (which means there is a decreased risk of staining).


One downside to glazed porcelain is that the printing is only on the surface. This means that if it chips, you can see a different color on the inside. On the other hand, unglazed porcelain has the same color on both the surface and the interior of the slab.


Just like other countertops, porcelain countertops come in assorted colors and designs that look like natural materials, like marble, wood grain, or concrete. But remember that the pattern and color won’t be on the inside of the countertop since it’s applied only to the top surface during glazing.


Porcelain countertops are unique because of the printing on the surface. The patterns and colors are only on the top, so you can’t cut a rounded edge. Most people choose a simple square edge to keep the pattern and color.


Although porcelain slabs are durable, they are also lightweight and thin. The typical thickness for porcelain countertops is ¼ inch (6 mm) or ½ inch (12 mm). Porcelain slabs can also be made in large sizes, which is useful for covering an entire island without seams.

Once installed, however, porcelain is extremely hard and durable. Cracking is only a big issue during the handling, moving, and cutting of exceptionally large slabs.

Quartz, Porcelain and Granite Countertops Seams – Top 10 Tips

Quartz Seam

Poor Seam Quality

Many homeowners are interested in quartz, porcelain, and granite countertops for their homes. Both types of countertops offer a durable, elegant finish that can last for many years with proper care.

However, one thing to consider when choosing between these two materials is the seams. Seams are where the countertop material is joined together, and they can be more visible on certain types of stone than others.

Here are our top tips for making your quartz or granite countertop seams as inconspicuous as possible.

  1. Realistic Expectations – Have realistic expectations of the material. Although a good seam should be inconspicuous, do not expect it to be invisible. A seam in granite and quartz countertops will always be something that you can both see and feel. (Seam quality in picture to right is unacceptable.)
  2. Color and Pattern – The color and pattern selected can make a difference in the appearance of the seam. Light colors (white, beige, light grays) with a solid or small pattern will have more conspicuous seams than a material with multiple colors and patterns.
  3. See a Sample – Be sure your fabricator shows you a sample of their seam quality. A fabricator should either have a showroom that you can go to and view a seam, or they should provide a list of past clients willing to let you come to their home and see the quality of work installed.
  4. Seam Location – There is some controversy about whether a seam should be put in the middle of a sink or cooktop cut out. Some fabricators feel the seam is more vulnerable to breakage in those areas. However, if you prefer to have a seam in one or both locations, ask your fabricator if the material can handle such a small seam.
  5. Seam Layout – Seam layouts should be done before cutting material. Your fabricator should know the length and width of your material and should determine the exact position prior to cutting. If you prefer, discuss the seam location when the fabricator is making the pattern (template) for your countertop. Be sure to be present while they are doing final field measurements, so you can discuss seam location.
  6. Epoxy Seams – Countertop deck seams should be bonded with an epoxy similar in color(s) to the granite / quartz material. Deck seams should not be bonded with silicone.
  7. “Industry Standards” – This is a fancy term used to say the seam is “Good Enough”. Industry standards recommend deck seams can be up to 1/16” wide with a +/- tolerance of 1/64”. Veteran fabricators work to achieve a much tighter fit.
  8. granite seam lippage

    Quartz Seam Lippage

    Lippage – A good seam should be level. Many times, fabricators encounter un-level cabinets, varied slab thickness, and bowed or warped material. This requires the fabricator to shim the countertops or modify the material to get a quality seam. Even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable and sometimes unavoidable due to permanent warp in the material.

  9. Final Positioning – When your fabricator installs your countertops, it’s not typical to have the seam fit perfectly the first time. Most fabricators will layout the tops and do a “dry fit” the first time, and then take the tops out of the house to make slight modifications. This may need to be done multiple times to achieve a great fit. This is normal, and you should not be alarmed.
  10. See It Yourself – Be sure to be present on the day your fabricator installs the countertops. If you have any concerns about the appearance of the seam, it can be addressed immediately before countertops have been permanently set in place.

Quartz, porcelain and granite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners. When selecting a countertop, it is important to consider the seams. These are our top 10 tips to help you choose the best quartz or granite countertop for your home.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or text today. Our team would be happy to help you find the perfect countertop for your home.