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New Countertop? Time to dress it up.

Ah, the satisfaction of having a new kitchen countertop installed. It’s smooth, clean surfaces beckons you to start cooking. Nothing beats a beautiful countertop, but have you ever thought about the accessories to complement and make everyday tasks simpler?

There are many types of add-ons and add-ins, plus accessories that you can integrate into your counter to increase its function. Other additions can be installed that will help extend the life of your countertop. You can even have little accents fabricated into your new countertop for a unique look.

Here are some options:

For the cook who’s all about function.
If you’re someone who cooks, bakes, and generally makes great use of their kitchen, then you should consider adding these convenient and practical add-ons.

Drain Slots
There’s nothing worse than standing water on top of a counter, whether it’s from washed veggies or drying plates. With these slots, you have integrated grooves to channel water down to the sink for a no-fuss dry countertop. Many people find that drain slots help keep a countertop cleaner.

Trivets/Cutting Board
While the previous item was for the sink area, this one is for around the cooktop. Trivets already exist as free-standing metal bars for cooling hot pans, but you can also have them set into your countertop. Brass, copper, and aluminum give you a varied color scheme to choose from that will match any kitchen design, and prevent accidental heat damage to the surface. Naturally, this is most useful for wooden countertops.  Ask your fabricator to make one out of matching material.  Make sure they attach rubber feet, since tone can scratch stone.

Storage
There is a plethora of options for keeping your kitchen neat and tidy that can discretely sit in your countertop. Soap and spice holders can be sunk into the counter, with a simple lid to hide them from view. This option also keeps your spices accessible whenever you need them. There are larger holders for knives and tableware, too. To keep cooking utensils out of the way without housing a bulky container on your counter, you can have storage holes built in for them as well. There’s even the option of having a drainer set into your counter.

Waste disposal button
While you can have an electrical button placed on your kitchen wall or next to your cabinet, having a switch on the counter is safer and much more convenient. This switch can’t be easily confused with a light switch because it’s not only in a different location, but it also displays a distinctive design. A countertop disposal button is also easier to reach when moving between the sink and the stove during cooking. Safety is the number one concern here because a countertop disposal button is safer to use, even near water, since it uses air pressure rather than electricity to function. It’s the same system that’s used in hot tubs.

Pop-up Outlets
A counter cluttered with appliances and cables is both unsightly and annoying. With a pop-up outlet, you have a safe and discreet place for all your cords, and your appliances can be stored out of view. There are various designs, but the most common design comes in a tubular shape. It’s slim, and takes up very little surface area on your counter. The pop-up outlet is designed to plug in multiple electronics such as mobile phones and tablets. It’s sleek and beautiful, and can even come with USB chargers for your gadgets, and even a hard-wire option for ethernet.

Inductive phone chargers
Another subtle way to charge your gadgets is the inductive charger. Consider having an inductive charger installed for easy stress free charging. While they’re not readily available for countertops right now, the idea is gaining momentum. We have done research, and are working with LG to test some of the components in natural stone and quartz. The technology is placed on the underside of the counter, so all you need to do is to place your phone on the appropriate part of the top. Your phone can charge and play music while you get on with cooking, eating or cleaning nearby. More to follow in future blogs on this subject matter.

 

Here today, here tomorrow.
If you’re investing in a quality countertop, you want it to last for a lifetime if possible. Here are a few ways to ensure that it does.

Chip minimizer
Some countertops, such as stone, can chip if knocked too hard by cookware, knives, or utensils in the sink cutout area. Having a chip minimizer, like a rounded edge on the sink, reduces the chances of this occurring.

Safety Corners

Have toddlers from 36″ -60″ tall, who run around too fast?  Consider asking for safety corners on your profile.  These profiled radius corners will soften the impact.

Permanent sealers
Materials such as granite, marble and quartz can be prone to staining. Temporary seals last for a while, depending on the brand, but will usually need re-applying every 1-3 years. A permanent seal only requires one application, and one expense. There are three main options: buy a countertop with a seal included; hire a professional; or do it yourself. You can buy a quality sealant that uses nanotechnology that will get into all the cracks, and is simple to use. Just check if your type of counter actually requires sealing first, as some types of granite are very low absorbency and staining is usually not an issue.

Extended warranties
Opinion differs on the necessity of a warranty, but for a countertop it’s probably a good idea. Ask questions at your place of purchase to decide whether you need one. Find out what the warranty covers. Always take proper care of your countertop, i.e. use stone-safe cleaning products, test the seal every 1-3 years.

 

Making your kitchen a statement piece.
Your kitchen can be practical and beautiful, and your countertop can be the statement piece.

Corbels
This fancy detailing adds a creative flourish that might remind you of grand pianos, antique cabinets, and picturesque dressing tables.

Hidden Brackets
The latest fashion is metal bracing that uses the inside of your cabinet for attaching “L” brackets, so your overhangs are strong, yet no visible corbel while walking around your kitchen, and no ‘knee bump’ when seated.

Whether you want utility, longevity, or beauty, countertop add-ons can help you make the most of your kitchen.

Our knowledgeable and friendly staff know what makes a great kitchen (or anything else you can dream up!) Give us a call and we’ll help you find something that’s perfect for your next project. As always, our estimates are free! Contact us at 804-379-2641.

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