Kitchen Countertop Designs that Create Open Plan Homes

Kitchen countertop designs play a major role in open design plans for homes all over the Middle Tennessee area. Here are five ways that you can use your kitchen countertop designs to get that open plan feel in your home.

Creating open plan homes with kitchen countertop designs that work

Adding a bar to your large island

No, I’m not talking about Australia: the island kitchen in your home is a great place to add a bar. How this works with kitchen countertop designs is by simply extending the countertop surface so that you can fit a few stools under them that people can sit at. This opens the room up to socializing.

For next level design ideas, try a two tiered bar at your countertop island. This popular design idea is taking off in the Middle Tennessee area as it allows for taller bar stools and a better sitting height.

Allowing for modern technology in your kitchen countertop designs

Nothing opens up a home like allowing for a space to be used for multiple purposes. Having USB ports ready to charge an iPad that has the recipe on it, or a movie to watch while cooking, makes your kitchen feel more like the rest of your home as technology is an increasingly important aspect of home design.

Regular plugs are also important – put them everywhere in your kitchen countertop design plans for maximum diversity of use.

Integrating appliances into your kitchen countertop designs

The days of kitchen countertop designs being shaped around appliances is over in the Middle Tennessee design world. Incorporating your fridge, stove, microwave and other appliances into the kitchen countertop designs make for a plan that feels more open as more of your appliances feel like they belong, rather than being separate entities.

Matching other rooms

Choosing colors for your kitchen countertop designs that match the rest of the color choices in your home makes for more harmonious living, and a connectedness that is essential in an open plan home. Look around the Middle Tennessee area to find which types of curves are found naturally around you.

Kitchen countertops that curve

Something about curves in kitchen countertop designs that extend to other rooms offer a feeling of connection that straight lines don’t. There’s a natural feeling about them which lends to the opening feeling.

Choosing kitchen countertop designs for your home

If you’re in the Middle Tennessee area and need help with your kitchen countertop designs, contact the team at Stone World today!

How to Care for a Marble Countertop Baking Center

Baking stations that are set aside for baking only are popular here in kitchens all across the Nashville, Tennessee area. A marble countertop is almost a must for every serious baker, and for good reason – they look great and make for a smooth baking prep surface.

For all those in Nashville who are using a marble countertop for their baking center, here are a few tips to keep it looking as great as the day it was installed.

Caring for a marble countertop baking center

Sealing your marble countertop properly is the most crucial step in keeping your countertop functioning for years to come here in Nashville. All too often, people expect that their marble will just last and last, but neglect the periodic care that any type of countertop would need. Follow these steps to keep the marble countertop in your baking center lasting a long time:

  1. Purchase an impregnating sealer for your marble countertop. There are countless choices, stop by your local hardware store in Nashville and you’ll find a few.
  2. Pour this impregnating sealer directly on to your clean marble countertop. If your baking center is large you may want to do this in sections as time can be a factor.
  3. Use a white cloth to spread the impregnating sealer all over your marble countertop.
  4. Check the sealer you have chosen for your marble countertop for the time you’re suppose to leave it on. Four minutes is the common time.
  5. Just before it dries, spray some more sealer onto your marble counter baking center. This helps with the clean up in the next step.
  6. Use another clean, white cloth and begin removing any sealer that your marble countertop didn’t absorb.
  7. If you chose to do your marble countertops sealing in sections, repeat the steps above until your entire baking center is done.

How to choose a marble countertop for your baking station

For all those in the Nashville area who’d like some help choosing the right marble countertop for their baking center, contact the team here at Stone World.

What are the Strengths of Granite Countertops?

Granite countertops are more popular than ever here in Nashville. Some may think that it’s just a trend or fad, but this has been going on for years and shows no signs of slowing down. And why should it? Granite countertops last for years, have a unique look, and fit into a range of kitchen styles.

If you’d like to learn more about why granite countertops are so popular in the Nashville area, read on.

What are the strengths of granite countertops?

Granite countertops are regularly chosen by homeowners in Nashville due to four main reasons. We’ll look at them now.

  1. Granite countertops are strong

Granite countertops are strong enough to handle any of your daily chores for decades. Causing granite countertops to crack also takes a hard hit, one which is pretty uncommon for your average day in any kitchen or bathroom in Nashville.

  1. Granite countertops look great

Granite countertops come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. This diversity allows them to easily fit into any style you’ve chosen for your kitchen or bathroom.  You can find a lightly colored beige, a daring red, or stark black granite countertops for nearly any application in your home.

  1. Granite countertops are easy to care for

Granite countertops require less regular care than the other popular stone countertop material in Nashville – marble. Granite countertops typically require sealing every two years, although more often could help keep it sealed even better.

  1. Granite countertops are hard to chip or scratch

Granite countertops are made from one of the hardest natural substances on Earth – granite! It isn’t often that you’ll hear of one breaking, not every after the craziest party that Nashville can throw at them.

Are granite countertops the right choice for your home?

Many people in the Nashville area have been choosing granite countertops solely due to their popularity. For help getting the right one into you home in the Nashville area, contact the team here at Stone World.

Quartz Countertops Are Not Indestructible: Never do These 5 Things

Your quartz countertops are likely the most durable thing in your home. People in the Middle Tennessee area like to boast about how strong they are, but sadly they are not indestructible.

Here are five things that you should not do to quartz countertops to help them last forever, and make your life easier while you’re at it!

5 things to never do to quartz countertops:

Put hot pans right on them – Yes, quartz countertops are heat resistant and if you have to drop a hot item in a hurry due to it being hotter than you planned then drop away. In an ideal situation you will have a heat pad ready so that a rapid heat change doesn’t warp your quartz countertops.

Use them as a cutting board – A knife slip here and there is fine. It will not damage your quartz countertop. The real problem is the mess. Have you ever tried fitting quartz countertops in the dishwasher or sink? It doesn’t work! A cutting board will help you with the mess.

Clean quartz countertops with harsh chemicals – They are much more resistant to bleach, acetone, and paint strippers than other stones, but that doesn’t mean that you should use them as there are limits to what they can take before they begin to damage. Use normal soap and elbow grease to clean them.

Leave cleaners on for a long time – Most disinfectants used in the Middle Tennessee area only need around 10 minutes to work. Leaving them on for longer can lead to them starting to eat at your quartz countertops while providing no benefit to you. Be sure to rinse all cleaning agents off, and dry your quartz countertops off quickly to prevent the possibility of damage.

Using abrasive cleaners – The chance of you damaging your quartz countertops is low, but abrasive cleaners, even rough sponges, can wear at it over the years. Put the steel wool away and just use the soft cloths that you find easily in stores all over the Middle Tennessee area.

Having quartz countertops in your home

Much of what has been discussed above is precautionary. You can cut on quartz countertops here and there with no noticeable damage. Time, however, can ruin anything if acts are repeated.

The design team here at Stone World have yet to see any quartz countertops in the Middle Tennessee area that damage as quickly as other materials. The advice above will help you extend their life nearly indefinitely! Contact them today to have durable quartz countertops installed in your home.

Granite Countertop Care Guide: Cleaning and Maintenance

Granite countertops are some of the most popular types in all of Nashville. Be sure to follow this guide to keep them looking as good as the day you had them installed. As it’s designed to keep your granite countertop looking nearly brand new for years to come.

Granite countertop care guide: Cleaning and maintenance

What to not use on your granite countertop

Every granite countertop will be damaged by harsh cleaners, especially those that contain bleach or abrasive material. Be sure to never use them on your granite countertop so you don’t cause damage to them

Basic cleaning tips for a granite countertop

  1. Start with a large bowl, or a bucket full of warm water. Now add in a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Swish it around a little and get it sudsy.
  1. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the water and use it to wipe away at the worst of the mess. Rinse the sponge or cloth repeatedly as you clean it further.
  1. Once you have cleaned up the whole mess, rinse out the sponge or cloth so that all soap is out of it. Now rinse the granite countertop with plain water to get rid of all soap residue.
  1. Wipe your granite countertop with a dry cloth and remove all remaining moisture.
  1. Periodically you will want to use a natural stone or granite cleaner, instead of the soap and water, to bring back the shine that built up soap residue can cause. Natural stone cleaners for granite countertops can be found at most hardware stores in Nashville.

Remove a stain from a granite countertop

Your granite countertop will resist stains better than marble, particularly if it is dark. Here is what you can do to get rid of those stains which do occur:

  1. Blot at spills, don’t wipe as that will spread it and make your problem worse.
  1. Mix up your own poultice, which is a mixture of baking soda and water to a toothpaste like consistently, or purchase one from a local hardware store in the Nashville area.
  1. Apply the poultice in a 1/4 inch thick layer. Overlap the stain on your granite countertop by at least 1/4 of an inch on all sides.
  1. Cover the poultice completely with plastic wrap. Tape the edges of it down to the granite countertop and seal it completely.
  1. Leave the poultice on the stain for at least 24 hours, and up to two days if needed. Allow it to dry completely.
  1. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe up the poultice.
  1. Rinse the granite countertop with plain water, and then clean it as normal.
  1. If there is still a stain there, you can repeat the steps above as many times as you need to.

For difficult granite countertop stains

If you are still having a problem with your granite countertop, you can call up the team here at Stone World. They’ve seen every granite countertop stain you’ve imagined, and have helped at least lessen it for everyone who has come to them here in Nashville for help.

Should I Choose Granite Countertops, or Quartz Countertops?

Stone World Granite countertops have been popular in Nashville for decades. Quartz countertops are just starting to get noticed in a major way. Which of these two excellent countertop materials are going to be a better fit for your home in Nashville? Take a look at this comparison article to judge whether you want granite countertops or quartz countertops!

Comparing granite countertops and quartz countertops

Good points for granite countertops:

The strengths of granite countertops have lead to them being the most popular choice in Nashville for years:

  1. They are incredibly durable and will only chip or break if hit REALLY hard by something solid.
  2. Granite countertops are resistant to stains, a darkly colored one will hardly show stains at all.
  3. Due to them being a naturally formed substance, no two are ever exactly alike.

Problems with granite countertops:

  1. They are very heavy and require professional help for a smooth installation.
  2. They are porous and must be resealed regularly: every year, or every other year.
  3. Seams are visible where two pieces of granite come together.
  4. They will stain more than quartz countertops.

Granite countertops are popular in Nashville due to their durability, unique patterns, and lower maintenance issues when compared to other non-stone materials.

Quartz countertops

Good points for quartz countertops:

  1. As strong as granite, but slightly easier to install than granite due to it being slightly flexible.
  2. Never needs to be sealed as it is non-porous. Busy Nashville homeowners love this point.
  3. Require little to no maintenance: you can install them and forget about them.
  4. Resistant to all staining

Problems with quartz countertops:

  1. Discoloration can occur if they’re exposed to direct sunlight. This does take quite a few years to happen.
  2. Quartz countertops are even heavier than granite – this is not a DIY material, and your cabinets had better be well made!
  3. You will see seams where two pieces of quartz meet.

Low maintenance and no staining – what’s not to love about quartz countertops!

Are granite countertops or quartz countertops the right choice?

If you need more help choosing granite countertops or quartz countertops for your home in Nashville, contact the stone experts here at Stone World!

Dos and Don’ts for Granite Countertops

Granite is a very resilient surface that can take some abuse. Minimizing this abuse can help extend the life of a granite countertop almost indefinitely. The dos and don’ts of granite countertop ownership outlined here can help old and new granite countertop owners in Nashville protect their investment.

A new granite countertop owner can put this up near the granite countertop after it’s installed to teach their family about proper care. Some of those in the Nashville area who had their granite countertops installed ten years ago can still use them as reminders of granite countertop dos and don’ts to new guests before parties, or during family gatherings.

Granite countertop dos:

  • Clean up spills immediately by blotting, the longer they sit the more chance there is that it will stain
  • Clean the surface with a mild soap and warm water, using a soft cloth
  • Dry the surface of any moisture right away
  • Have cutting boards ready for all slicing
  • Use coasters under all drinks to keep moisture off the countertop
  • Seal your granite countertop regularly – every 6 months to 2 years depending on use

Granite countertops are pretty tough, and can stand up to most of what people in Nashville will throw at it on a routine day, but following these ‘do’ tips will extend its natural beauty even longer.

Granite countertop don’ts:

  • Place hot pans directly on a granite countertop, thermal shock can damage it
  • Wipe up spills, blot at them to try and soak them up rather than spreading them around
  • Use abrasive cleaners
  • Use chemical filled cleaners
  • Cut directly on the surface
  • Allow acidic drinks to sit; though not as sensitive as marble, acids can eat away at the finish if given time

Having granite countertops in your home

The list of dos and don’ts for granite countertops above should have given you an idea of how you can care for a granite countertop in your home. It isn’t too hard, and being prepared with the right accessories and cleaners helps.

If you’ve decided that granite countertops are right for your home, contact the design team at Stone World right now. If you still have questions about granite countertop dos and don’ts, you’re still free to call and chat about granite countertops, and how they’ll function in your home.

Choosing the Right Black Bathroom Countertop Material

Black bathroom countertops are an incredibly popular choice in Nashville amongst those who want a modern or contemporary look. Choosing the right black bathroom countertop material can be difficult as there are so many choices out there.

This article will help homeowners in Nashville who are unsure which black bathroom countertop material is right for their bathroom renovation.

Black bathroom countertop materials: Quartz

Quartz bathroom countertops have been becoming a more common feature in homes all over Nashville. Its use in bathroom is particularly important as it is completely resistant to water and microorganisms. Sounds like the type of bathroom countertop material you need, right?

Quartz bathroom countertops are available in many colors, but black is a very definite option. You can choose something that is stark black, or one with a few flecks of color in it that will help bring your bathroom design alive.

Black bathroom countertop materials: Granite

Granite may be the most diversely used material in the world, and works perfectly as a black bathroom countertop material. They may not be as resistant to water and microorganisms as quartz, but they’re likely to outlast anything else in your bathroom.

Granite is popular as a black bathroom countertop due to its unique color range. It does complete black, as well as various flecks of color within black that add dynamic elements to your black bathroom design.

Black bathroom cabinet materials: Marble

Black marble? Whaaaat? The famously white material can be found in black here in Nashville if you shop around, request it, or ask. While marble is never going to be a black bathroom countertop material like quartz or granite, it can still be found in a very dark shade. They will also have brown and grey shades in them.

Choosing a black bathroom countertop material for your home

Choosing the right black bathroom countertop material for your bathroom renovation or new build can help set the mood for your room. Call up the team at Stone World for the great advice that they’ve given many people in Nashville with design problems!

The Most Valuable Updates for Your Home

Updating your kitchen wisely pays off

There are two things common amongst those who are looking to upgrade their home in Nashville: they want the best value added to their home for the least money, and they want to remodel a room which will most greatly improve their home.

The kitchen is the answer to both of these needs as not only are you in there all the time preparing the food which feeds you and your family, but it also quickly becomes a popular entertainment room during parties. Here are the most valuable updates for your home that quickly upgrade your kitchen for increased value:

Granite countertops for a kitchen that looks great and lasts

Granite countertops are not just a trend due to some fluke, they’re trending because they look great and last for decades when treated properly.

When we’re talking about adding value we’re talking about adding materials and objects which either last long, or add to the visual appeal. Granite countertops do both of these things, all while being easy to maintain with soap and water, along with some periodic sealing.

Coordinating kitchen appliances

Once you have that perfect kitchen countertop taken care of, turn your attention to the appliances. A set of matching appliances adds great value to a home if you’re selling it with the fridge, stove, and washing machine left installed.

If you’re not leaving everything, as most take a fridge with them, there is a way that this can still add value: Choose stainless steel appliances for your kitchen. It is easy for a new homeowner to locate a matching stainless steel appliance. One which is sunset orange…may be more difficult!

Another benefit of already having stainless steel appliances installed is that they go with any paint scheme chosen. Diversity is definitely valuable!

Most Valuable Updates

Most Valuable Updates

A simple paint job

A paint job just may be the easiest and cheapest way to add value to your home. Painting it that perfect color to go with your granite countertop creates a unified and exciting look that the next owner of your home will appreciation.

Paint is great at covering up all of those little scratches and wear marks that occur with time. This is where the value comes in as your cabinets look new, even if they have seen a few decades of wear.

How to choose a new kitchen countertop and upgrade the value of your home

There is no one else in the Nashville or Middle Tennessee area that has helped as many people upgrade their kitchen as the design team here at Stone World. Check out our kitchen gallery for kitchen renovation ideas that add value to homes: notice how many of them center around a striking granite countertop that our team helped locate and install.