How To Bring Back The Shine On Your Old Countertops

How To Bring Back The Shine On Your Old Countertops

Your countertops are a critical part of your kitchen. It is where you fix the food for your family and friends, where your children place their cookie while you pour their milk. Therefore, you want your counter to be as clean as possible, but you also want it to retain its shine. Some cleaners are too harsh for some types of countertops which may have dulled the shine over the years.

Instead of calling countertop resurfacing companies, these cleaning tips can not only help keep your old countertop clean, but will also bring back the shine they had when they were first installed.

Solid Surface

Solid surface cabinets are available in matte, semigloss and gloss finishes. If your countertops have a glossy finish, clean the surface with soapy water and an ammonia-based cleaner. You can also clean these types of countertops with abrasive cleaners like Ajax or Comet. Doing so once a month can return the counters to their glossy finish. If the counters are semigloss, clean with the abrasive cleansers more often. If you want a super-polished look, you may need to have your countertops refinished.

Solid Surface

Ceramic Tile

It is critical to keep older ceramic tile countertops clean as bacteria can get into grout due to its porous nature. Wipe down your counter after every use and do a deep clean two or three times each year. Start with the grout, spraying it with commercial grout cleaner or use a mild bleach solution. Allow the cleaner to sit for ten minutes on deep stains. Use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to clean the grout. Let the grout air dry and then seal with a commercial grout sealer. If you have glazed ceramic tile, you do not need to have them sealed, but unglazed tiles need sealant occasionally. After the tile is clean, rinse with hot water.


Laminate is not as strong as other countertop surfaces, but can be protected by using good prevention methods. Never cut directly on the surface, always use a cutting board. Clean the surface with a mild detergent mixed with water and then wipe the counters down with a dry cloth. Do not let water flood the surface or get near seams as it can cause swelling which will damage the counter. If your laminate is stained, you can purchase special paints designed specifically for laminate countertops. You can also purchase a countertop redo kit to add shine as well.

Natural StoneNatural Stone

If you have granite countertops, you can restore the shine by removing the layer of soap film that may build up. Don’t use dish soap on your counters as they could dull granite, limestone or marble counters. If your counter is soapstone, you may need to apply a layer of mineral oil to bring it back to its original shine. To remove soap film, use a commercially available cleaner designed for that purpose. Do not use homemade concoctions or cleaners meant for other purposes.

Wood or Butcher Block

Wood and butcher block countertops are excellent for food preparation and are heat resistant, but they are also susceptible to absorption of liquids and dirt. Remove stains with fresh lemon and wipe down the counter with a non-toxic cleaner. When it is dry, sand the surface lightly, with the grain, with 120 grit sandpaper first and then 180 grit sandpaper until the wood is smooth. A drizzle of food-grade mineral oil should then be rubbed into the wood with an old cotton rag and allowed to soak for 20 to 25 minutes before wiping clean.

Always wipe spills from your counter immediately, no matter what type of countertop you have, using both dry and wet cloths. Don’t scrub harshly as you could damage the surface. If you are looking for ways to bring new shine to old counters or are in the market to replace your kitchen counters, contact us today to learn how we can help. You can talk about your needs with our friendly customer services staff by phone or by completing the simple form online.

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

If your countertop has taken on some wear and tear, there might be a good solution to improve the appearance and durability without going through the trouble of replacement. Minor issues like removing stains and making other damage less noticeable is easy with the right information, but keep in mind that hiring a professional is always a good solution.

If the issues are simple enough, you might feel confident handling the job yourself with a do-it-yourself remedy.

Stains and Etching

Staining to marble or any natural stone can happen, but is rarely permanent. It’s not unusual for someone to confuse staining with more common etching. This usually occurs because the homeowner simply was never educated about the properties of marble, marble maintenance and protection or how to clean marble the right way. If you have dull spots or a glass ring appearance from exposure to acidic liquids or cleaners, you may have etching. The best solution for etch marks depends on the type of surface finish: polished, honed, etc.

There are products that remove etching on polished marble, but a honed surface has to be restored professionally. Sealed granite should have plenty of protection against stains, but any discoloration can be removed with mild dish detergent or a paste made from baking soda. Since soapstone and quartz are non-porous, the regular upkeep and maintenance should be very easy.

Chips, Pits, Scratches, and Cracks

Blemishes that are small and shallow are much easier to repair regardless of your countertop material. Marble paste is great for restoring the polished look if surface scratches are noticeable, but deep separations need to be filled by a marble repair professional.

Harder surfaces, like granite, are more susceptible to actual cracks than scratches because all natural stones can fracture from impact. If you have a broken edge or a deep pit, it might seem like the best thing to do is replace the entire countertop. It’s best to get a professional opinion to decide if a repair is possible depending on the size and severity of the damage.

A little chip or minor scratches in your countertop might not seem too bothersome to overlook. However, if you feel that the damage is severe and unsightly, you should give us a call at Flemington Granite. We are experienced with all types of countertop materials and want to help you with repairs if possible. If your surface damage is too severe to fix, we also have plenty of new countertop slabs available in the showroom.

Is There A Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite Countertops?

Is There A Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite Countertops

People mistakenly identify quartzite and quartz as the same material, although their only real similarity is in the name. Quartz is an engineered product that is reinforced with synthetic materials, while quartzite occurs naturally. Pressure in the Earth’s crust and high heat contribute to the appearance of the metamorphic quartzite stone.

Quartz Pros and Cons

• Maintenance is as easy as wiping with a damp cloth
• Wide range of color options
• Will not chip or dent under pressure
• Less durable as quartzite and can scratch easily from knives
• Can melt from exposure to high heat

Quartzite Pros and Cons

• All natural stone must be sealed once a year from stains and spills
• Limited choice in colors
• Susceptible to chips and dents
• Durable against high heat exposure

Quartz vs Quartzite Countertops

Color Options

Quartzite is typically limited to shades of pink, red, and gray that depend on the mineral deposits within the sandstone.

Although each slab is unique in appearance, quartz is a better choice for a larger variety. During the manufacturing process, synthetic materials are added to bring in different colors that are uniform. It will be susceptible to fading from sunlight, so it’s best to keep manufactured quartz countertops in the home.


There are some things you should always avoid when maintaining a quartz or quartzite countertop.

Never cut directly on the surface and never clean with abrasive products that could damage the surface.

Quartz is only slightly less strong as quartzite, especially when it comes to heat resistance. Exposing a quartz surface to heat exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit will cause it to melt.

Stone Countertop Maintenance

Since quartz is manufactured, it never has to be sealed at any point to maintain durability. However, quartzite needs to be resealed at least once every year if not twice.

Without sealing, discoloration from stains is going to be more likely unless you wipe with a damp cloth immediately after a spill. Cleansers stronger than warm water are usually not necessary to clean either surface.

Comparing Cost

The actual cost of both slabs is very close, but the real price difference comes with the cutting and installation process.

Quartz is basically ready to go from the moment of purchase because it is easily customized for the space. On the other hand, quartzite is more complicated because it has to be cut, buffed, and polished for a fitted installation.

Understanding The Background Of Soapstone Countertops

Understanding The Background Of Soapstone Countertops

Selecting a countertop to install is not as simple as choosing the one that looks the prettiest. Soapstone countertops are a great choice if you value very low maintenance, beauty, and the durability to withstand all types of use.

What exactly is soapstone?

Coming from natural quarries, the soapy metamorphic rock has a distinct presence of talc. Soapstone Slabs that have a lower talc content are going to make better countertops because they are the most durable. A higher talc content is best for artistic use because it’s very soft and easy to carve.

Soapstone is not going to be as strong as marble or granite, but it’s easy to cut and install. Since the slabs are typically smaller when quarried, it might be necessary to match several pieces for a single countertop.

Why is soapstone such a great countertop material?

Unlike a lot of other popular countertops, soapstone is actually a heat conductor that can withstand direct exposure to a hot pan.

It is not going to etch from acids like harsh cleansers or lemon juice, so it’s great in a kitchen. The nonporous surface is so dense that it is not going to stain, even if dark liquids are not cleaned immediately.

Is sealing necessary for soapstone countertops?

No protection is necessary to keep soapstone looking as perfect as the day it was installed. It actually offers a bit of an environmental advantage because no chemicals are needed for fabrication or care.

What colors are available in soapstone?

All of the soapstone slabs are some shade of gray, but they can feature unique undertones of green or blue.

Every quarry is going to offer a unique material that might have some degree of veining.

What is required for soapstone cleaning and maintenance?

As mentioned, the majority of people that choose soapstone are looking for little to no maintenance. Soapstone resists bacteria and it’s non-absorbent so cleaning rarely requires anything more than soap and water.

If the slab is on the softer side, it is a good idea to add a layer of protection with a cutting board when preparing food. If scratches do show, it is easy to eliminate on your own by buffing with a sandpaper.

Keeping It Clean! Quartz and Natural Stone Cleaning Tips

Keeping It Clean Quartz and Natural Stone Cleaning Tips


Cleaning your home is easy when you do it often enough to prevent a serious buildup of grime. Some of your bathroom and kitchen surfaces require special care, especially when it comes to avoiding harsh chemicals.

There are other ways to safely get rid of tough stains in natural stone, quartz, and engineered stone without causing damage. Our stone maintenance tips will help you keep countertops, sinks, and tiles in great shape for many years.

Natural Quartz

It’s common to find quartz installed in the kitchen because it is naturally a very hard material. When a combination of natural quartz, resin, and pigment are mixed in the production, it results in a stone that is resistant to stains and scratches. Sealing is not required, but some homeowners choose to have it added for a greater level of protection.

No stone is completely resistant to chipping if they are damaged by force, and this does include natural quartz.

Always use a soft cloth to clean up with a mixture of mild dish detergent and warm water. Since liquids do not absorb into the surface, you will not have to deal with any tough stains. However, you should never expose the surface to bleach or other abrasive products.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural Stone Countertops

All natural stone falls into one of two categories that will help you decide which cleaning products are safe to use. A siliceous stone that is made from quartz or silica particles include slate, sandstone, quartzite, and granite.

Any of these can be safely cleaned with a mildly acidic solution if soap and water are not enough. The calcareous stones, such as travertine, onyx, marble, and limestone each contain calcium carbonate and cannot stand up against acidic foods and cleansers.

It will cause a dulling reaction and also create a rough texture from the acid etching. Always blot spills rather than wipe because it will cause the spill to spread across the surface. If you prefer to use mild soap and water over special cleansers, make sure that you always use a soft cloth.

Engineered Stone Countertops


Engineered Stone Countertops

A combination of polymers and natural stone are combined to manufacture a very durable product that is resistant to stains and scratches. The only real concern with engineered stone is exposure to high heat that can easily damage the binding polymers.

It’s safe to clean with most detergents and multipurpose cleaners because it is a very durable surface. Tough stains can be scrubbed with a tough scouring pad without ruining the appearance. As with most countertops, always avoid ammonia, bleach, and any other harsh chemical that are unnecessary for an adequate cleaning.

An education in proper cleaning techniques and the composition of any stone surfaces featured in your home is absolutely necessary. Complete the contact form so that we can help you learn the best ways to care for your natural and engineered stone.

Before You Buy Granite Countertops, Think About This!

Before You Buy Granite Countertops, Think About This!


The same granite that was once exclusive to high-end homes is now a more affordable upgrade option available to all types of homeowners. There are a lot of different granite products on the market, and it’s common that the average person wouldn’t know what to look for when making their purchase.

You need to understand exactly how to find a quality product, and which questions to ask your fabricator regarding the manufacturing process and installation.

Is the Granite Fabricated Using a Machine or By Hand?

There are some products that turn out better when handled entirely by a machine, but this is not always true of granite. Each company has their preferred method of fabrication, including the option of hand-polishing after the machine.

Speak with the fabricator to find out more about their process, and consider the use of wax as a major red flag. If the company uses wax to improve the appearance of the edges, it’s going to wear off quickly.

Inquire About Seam Leveling

Multiple pieces of granite that are assembled for a countertop have to be pieced together carefully to avoid noticeable seams. A granite company might do this before the fabrication process for a more attractive edge. Anytime a fabricator uses a suction-automated machine during the installation, the seams are going to appear exceptionally level.

Ask If the Granite Company Performs Their Own Installations

Local suppliers are much more likely to handle the entire process on their own than a large warehouse chain. An out-of-towner or third-party company will be difficult to reach if you have an issue during or after the installation. If you want to have adequate support then you make it a point to work with a local company.

Accept Nothing Less Than 3-Centimeter Granite

There is a higher risk of breakage if you select a granite product that is only 2-centimeters. Many consider granite that is mined in Italy or Brazil will to offer the best quality, and you should consider the extra expense of working with a distributor a worthwhile investment.

Don’t rush into a long-term investment like granite without a thorough understanding of the exact product you are getting. We would be happy to teach you everything that you need to know if you reach out to our fabricators through the contact form.

With So Many Eye Catching Granite Countertop Colors, Which Do You Choose?

With So Many Eye Catching Granite Countertop

Every year more and more homeowners are discovering the benefits of granite countertops in their kitchens and baths. This surface is available in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, beige, blue and red. With so many options, it is a suitable option for any number of kitchen designs.These tips can help you choose the right color so that you will be happy with your granite countertop for many years to come.

Modern Look With Dark Granite

If you are looking for a modern look in your kitchen, you may prefer to choose a dark granite color. Dark granite pairs well with a contemporary-themed kitchen and is eye-catching when used with white cabinets. The surface is rather eye-catching when it is used in a kitchen that has stark white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Bold accents, like bright colored bowls on a kitchen island or an orange candles would also work nicely in such kitchens. Adding stainless steel appliances will make your kitchen even more eye catching.

In the Kitchen. Granite Countertop, Sink,

A Classic Look with White Granite

White granite countertops are classic and timeless, giving your kitchen or bath a luxurious yet comfortable look. If your kitchen or bath is small, white countertops will make the room feel open and airy, making your friends and family feel welcome.

White granite works well with dark cabinetry, lightening up the room and eliminating the feeling of stuffiness that dark cabinets can often create. To hide stains from cooking or beauty products, which can occur during normal wear and tear, consider a white granite countertop with a pattern .

White kitchen with white granite tops, island and hanging pot rack

Timeless Neutral Granite

Neutral colors in granite are perfect if you are seeking a subtle yet versatile look for your kitchen or bath. Neutral colors are elegant and allow you to accessorize with a wide variety of colors. Neutral granite is one of the most popular colors as it works with virtually every style of kitchen or bath, whether you are seeking a modern or a classic look.

Neutral colors work well with wooden cabinets and subdued wall colors as well as in rustic rooms with wooden floors and pedestal or country sinks. Like white granite, it may be advisable to choose a neutral granite with a pattern to help hide any marks that can occur during normal use, such as food spills, scratches or beauty product marks.

Timeless Neutral Granite

Choosing the right color granite is important as granite can last forever. Complete our easy contact form for more information on choosing the perfect granite color for your kitchen or bath.