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How to Choose Countertop Material

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If you are in the middle of a kitchen renovation and you want to replace your countertops, you might be surprised to find that there are dozens of different materials to choose from. So knowing how to choose countertop material can be tricky. From stone to ceramic to butcherblock, each countertop surface is unique and offers its own set of advantages. Keep reading below as our Neolith Zaha stone experts show you how to choose countertop materials that are right for you.

How to Choose Countertop Material

The most important thing to consider when choosing a new countertop surface is what will best satisfy your needs. Durability, maintenance ease, size, shape, pattern, color, design, and overall cost are big factors that come into consideration when choosing a new countertop. Both style and utility are important, which is why so many different materials exist on the market today. While some materials are known for their rich designs, others are known for providing flexibility on a small budget.
Finding the Right Materials

Countertops are the cornerstone of the kitchen, and they should be as sturdy as they are decorative. Let’s take a look at some of the best countertop materials available:

Granite

Natural stone is a popular favorite among homeowners across the globe. Granite countertops offer a look of luxury without breaking the bank. There are a wide variety of colors and sizes available. As a natural stone, granite can resist stains and a lot of heat. It is important to be gentle with your cleaning products, however.

Porcelain

Porcelain is a heated and cured stone slab that provides an alternative countertop option to granite or natural stone. While sometimes more expensive, porcelain is a versatile material because any kind of pattern or design can be printed on top of it. One downside about porcelain is that it can sometimes be too thin.

Sintered Stone

Another heat-pressed stone slab, sintered stone is a long-lasting countertop option. On the surface, the differences between porcelain vs. sintered stone are not inherently clear. It is during the production process that these two materials start to differ. Sintered stone offers thicker stone slabs with more durability and greater customization options. As hard as natural stone and with a seamless surface that accommodates modern style, sintered stone is quickly becoming one of the most popular options on the market.

Slate

A dense stone with several dark color options, slate is a good countertop material for those who are interested in having matching sinks. This is a versatile and cheap material that can provide a smooth countertop. It should be cleaned with natural products, as slate can be soft on the surface.

Quartz

If you don’t plan on doing a lot of cooking in the kitchen, quartz might be a budget-friendly option. While not very heat-resistant, quartz offers a blend of natural and human-made materials for a durable and smooth countertop. Plus, there is a multitude of color and design options.

Rebuild Your Countertops Today!

Ultimately, the best countertop for your new kitchen is the one that works best with your budget, needs, style, and space. You want a reliable surface that is resistant to stains, scratches, heat, and spills. Whether you plan to cook a lot or a little, you want a countertop surface that can handle just about anything. The best way to get that without going over your budget limits is to invest in sintered stone slabs.

To learn more about our Neolith sintered stone production process, and how this versatile stone material can be the perfect fit for your countertops, get in touch with our experts today. At Neolith, we make quality sintered stone our passion. Get in touch with us today!

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How to Arrange Furniture for Gatherings

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Arrange furniture for gatherings to make the most of space

Planning a gathering takes a lot more work than you may initially think. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome to create the perfect evening is figuring out how you will arrange your high-end furniture and decorations. You want everything organized in a way that puts them on display and makes them functional for many people at a time. Knowing how to arrange furniture for gatherings is vital.

At A. Rudin, we are always finding new ways to structure our luxury furniture in an aesthetically pleasing way. Below, you’ll discover some of the best tips and tricks for arranging furniture to better accommodate your cocktail party, wedding reception, open house viewing, and more. 

Find Your Balance

To arrange your furniture for gatherings, you need to organize your furniture and items to spark a balance throughout the whole room. However, this vague concept is easier said than done. There are multiple things to consider when aiming for balance, including:

  • Placement and size of each furniture piece
  • Grouping furniture in a way that inspires a variety 
  • Combining different shapes to not overwhelm the senses

Don’t put all of your large pieces together and all of your small pieces together. Mix them up to create a better look. If you have a lot of sharp angles and corners in your space, consider adding in rounded tables and other items with smooth curves to balance it out. 

Establish a Focal Point

What is the difference between a good photograph and a great photograph? In most cases, it comes down to the focal point. This is where the eyes naturally go when you step into the room. Is everything pointing in a certain direction? Is your focal point natural, or are you going to create it with an elaborate table centerpiece? According to the Spruce, a good focal point in a living room would be a fireplace, piece of art, wallpaper, or even a big window. 

Don’t Worry About Seating

When it comes to big gathering, most first-time hosts will worry about adding plenty more seating for additional guests. But actually, too much seating can be a bad thing. It can take up too much space and leave not enough room for people to walk. 

A general rule of thumb is to have enough seating for about 15% of your guests and no more. It might seem like that is too little, but when you think about it, most guests spend their time standing. Occasionally people will get tired and will want to rest for a bit. But that is what the furniture is for. For the most part, you can’t expect that all of your guests will need to sit down 100% of the time. 

Keep Some Things in the Center

You should have ample space for people to easily walk from room to room, but that does not mean you should push all of your furniture against the walls. This will only suffocate the room. Instead, you should leave at least a few inches between the wall and the backs of your furniture. Some smaller pieces can even remain closer to the center. It’s important to have a few different spaces where small groupings and separate conversations can take place. That’s how you bring a true party to life!

Make Your Next Social Gathering a Success!

Whether you are hosting an intimate bachelorette party or a sponsored evening of drinks and dancing with your company, there are plenty of ways that you can range your furniture in a pleasing way. Mix things up to achieve balance and remember not to overwhelm the space with too many seats. Your guests will naturally find pockets of the room to gather in, and the party will take on a personality of its own. If you’re looking for more ideas to help decorate your space in a charming or elegant way, check out our high end luxury furniture

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Top Countertop Cleaning Mistakes

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Cleaner making some countertop cleaning mistakes

Depending on the type of material you choose to build your countertop out of, you may find it very easy to clean. Most countertops are made with low maintenance and high durability in mind. And you should have the satisfaction of coming home to a clean kitchen every day. At Neolith, our sintered stone products are incredibly easy to clean.  Still, you won’t want to make these countertop cleaning mistakes.

Durability doesn’t mean that countertops can easily withstand any and all cleaning materials. In fact, some of the more common household cleaners may prove to be too abrasive for a countertop surface. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when cleaning their countertops. 

Using the Wrong Cleaning Supplies

Every type of cleaning product contains a specific formula of chemicals and other ingredients to wipe away stains, dirt, and grime. However, some of these chemicals might be harmful to the stone. According to Rock Doctor, cleaning products that contain bleach, ammonia, citrus, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide have to high abrasiveness for stone countertops. Avoid these to keep your countertops in good shape. Popular brands like Windex, Clorox, and Pledge can damage granite and other similar stone countertops. 

Too Much Water

It is important that you don’t leave too much water puddling around on your countertops. Too many pools of water can actually cause damage and can encourage the buildup of bacteria. Sometimes, leaving water on your countertop can result in a white, crusty stain that must be scrubbed off. Make sure that any and all spills are quickly cleaned up and dried to prevent permanent damage. 

Harsh Cutting on the Surface

Of the countertop cleaning mistakes, this is perhaps the most obvious. No matter what your countertop is made out of, you should not be cutting and chopping vegetables directly on top of the surface. This is a sure-fire way to cause fine scratches from your knife. And this is a permanent mark of damage on your countertop. These scratches can damage the finishing seal on the surface. Usually, this finishing seal is designed to keep the countertop waterproof and damage-proof. When this seal is broken, your countertop becomes susceptible to more destruction.

Placing Hot Pans on the Surface

When cleaning your kitchen and preparing a meal, you may put a hot pan down on the countertop to let it rest for a moment. You should never do this, even if your countertop doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of wear or tear. While most stone is naturally heat-resistant, forming a habit out of putting hot pots on the surface can cause damage over time. You may notice a discoloration in your countertop surface or even a burn mark that won’t go away. 

Repeated Motions

Like any physical thing, a countertop can only withstand so much pressure and movement before it starts to crack. If you always scrub really hard when you clean, or you always choose a particular spot on the countertop to beat dough and mix ingredients, you might incur a little bit of wear and tear. Not to mention, leaning on the countertop surface can loosen the entire slab and cause structural damage. 

Keep Your Countertops Clean and Free from Damage!

With this list of countertop cleaning mistakes, it can be frustrating figuring out what the right thing to do is. A general rule of thumb to remember is that the gentler you are with your countertops, the less damage they will sustain. Stone is very durable in many ways. But over time can start showing signs of scratching, cracking, or discoloring due to the way you use the surface or the products used to clean it. 

Stay aware of what’s best for your countertops and keep them clean with dustrags and non-abrasive cleaning supplies. If you would like more assistance or information about the best ways to clean your countertop, please contact our professionals today. You can call us at 076-897-8407 to speak with a representative directly. We look forward to helping you with all of your countertop needs!