How to Install Countertop

The design process is what the focal point is going to be. It’s a pretty open concept, and quite often you can see the kitchen from other points of your space. The main question is how is that going to blend in with the great room or the other rooms in your home? What’s going to be the focal point? What are your guests and what are you going to be looking at when you look into the space?

It may be that you’re starting with the countertops and that they will be the focal point, and then you’re replacing cabinets or floor tile or doing kitchen backsplash. You would begin to assemble those elements and select those elements based on your countertop pick. Could be that we’re talking about an existing kitchen where most of the elements will remain.

Or maybe you’ve got a floor that you’re going to keep, and the cabinets are going to remain the same. Or maybe it’s just the countertops that are going to be replaced. At that point thinking about that transformation when those new tops come in, the room is going to look quite different from where it was. The big and key issue is: How is that new countertop going to compliment what you already have in place?

The selection of materials is another matter on and in a source of this whole selection process where there’s much confusion out there in terms of recommendations. There will be a lot of commentary on whether you should consider a natural stone or an engineered material. We want to try and appeal to some of that information and get down to what we think is the truth of it all. There’s a fair amount of marketing that you’re sometimes reading about and sometimes it can be misinforming.

AGS StoneCredit: Fabuwood

People don’t fully understand the materials enough to offer good advice and we’re going to try to clear up some of that for you. We’ve mentioned this whole idea of the form, the color, texture, and shape. There’s quite a bit there to think about regarding the color and texture. There are different textures of countertops from polish to leather to honed.

Then, of course, the shape. We have the ability to shape these countertops to fit your space, and it could be the edge detail, it could be the way some of the radius things are done. But this is custom designed for your home, no one else’s. When this is all said and done, it’s going to be designed for you specifically with a customized design.

Different styles are an important place to start. There are three major design possibilities here, just in terms of trying to group individual tastes. One grouping would be a modern type of the contemporary design, where it’s going to be very clean, probably very sleek, and have a very modern appearance, which typically means it’s going to be a more modern look.

If you’re looking for a modern look, there are going to be some materials to choose from along the way. Those materials are shaped that will lend themselves more to that contemporary look than others would. The other choices go from contemporary; we have transitional, and it is kind of a mix. The idea here is, you can have elements of a more modern design along with some mix of traditional, and it is more eclectic, it allows you to mix a lot of things together that are going to have different textures.

There are wood types and different stone materials, even different lighting elements, which include something that could be more contemporary. You could have a more contemporary lighting scheme with more traditional elements as well, so the transitional is more of a bridge between the contemporary and the traditional, and it’s in a more eclectic look that allows you to experiment more with different ideas.

It requires a little more risk-taking because you’re not conforming to a pure modern look or a pure traditional look. So if you’re creative and you want to pull different elements together, that could bridge the gap between contemporary and traditional transitional design. This design stands the test of time. A traditional look should not be outdated, and there are certainly traditional elements that have evolved.

Cleaning Tips for Countertops

Let’s dive into the fun part of this; the functional aspect of this project.

If we’re talking about a kitchen, we know that the kitchen is the central point for entertaining our guests. It is an important room in the house for the purposes of whether it’s cooking, entertaining, storing things, or displaying things and some thought needs to go into the design.

We’re licensed general contractors, so if we’re looking at a design from start to finish, we’re going to be thinking about how you want to use that room. Whatever your priority is, what’s important to you when doing that when they’re working with you on that design that holds true for the countertop materials specifically.

Once we understand some of your concerns and your taste in terms of what you like to see, that’s going to be an important part of our dialogue with you to make sure we help guide you towards the right decision point. Anything that we sell you is going to be something we stand behind. We offer a five-year warranty on our installation.

Natural materials aren’t guaranteed themselves, and some other natural items don’t have a warranty, but we do have one for our installation of them. The engineered materials, the materials made by man are guaranteed, and those warranties typically go from 10 years to the life of the material. There are warranties associated with:

  • quartz
  • porcelain

products which are considered to be stone products.

Soap and water clean up one of the things we try to spell out when people come in because they’re confused by a lot of things. They read about how much maintenance and care is required with these different surface options. What we say is that if we properly treat the natural material, we seal it correctly and you take some cautions that we’ve discussed here, you should see longevity with that material without having any major issues.

But it comes down to common sense care. You want to use mild detergent and water to clean your surfaces, no harsh chemicals! Don’t use:

  • Vinegar
  • Clorox bleach
  • Some of other chemical 

Just use a mild detergent and water.

If you’re worried about disinfecting what we’ve done here, and certainly what we suggest works quite well, is to get some denatured alcohol from Ace hardware or some hardware store. You can put that in a spray bottle, and apply that directly to any of these surfaces. It won’t hurt them, and it will kill any germs that are residing there, so that’s an option.

In terms of cleaning, you should stay away from harsh chemicals. If you do have a polished surface once in a while you may need to restore the shinies. That is all you should have to do now with any natural material. There may be a day in the future where you’re going to have to reseal it, and we can’t tell you when that will be, as it depends in a large part on the type of material it is, how we sealed it, and how you’ve cared for it.

It’s going to be several years, as there is no way to count sure. You’re not going to be resealing your countertop services frequently, and if you do have to reseal, it is not a complicated process. Whether you have someone else do it or you do it yourself, clean the surfaces with denatured alcohol and wipes. Then unseal around them thoroughly, let it set according to the instructions, and wipe it off. It’s not a hard thing to do. 

When that day does come, it won’t be a difficult task, you’ll always know whether you might be at that point by putting some standing water on the surface; make a puddle with some water on the surface, and let it sit there for 20 minutes, then wipe it up and it shouldn’t have darkened. The material in darkening would suggest that some of that water was absorbed, and that’s a quick way to tell whether your seal is still working.

But you’ll probably even know before that when you put water on there, as it should kind of bead up, pull up very quickly like it would on your car. But let it sit there a while, wipe it up, and if it’s still dry underneath that and you don’t see a dark spot, then you’re in pretty good shape.

Using trivets when you’re placing hot items on any countertop surface, as we mentioned you’re not going to typically crack a natural stone material doing it. If you’ve got a hot pan off the stove with lots of grease on it, it is still not a good idea to sit it on a countertop for any length of time, as there’s still some risk there. So the warning here from us is to have a trivet or some way of isolating those pots and pans from the countertop directly by using cutting boards.

Another danger is you can crack any of these surfaces; if you’re dropping heavy objects, for example dropping a hammer from a distance, it’s going to crack it. Something bad is going to happen, so we can’t really protect against that. In conclusion, you need to be careful about the surfaces and keep them away from any dangers. 

AGS StoneCredit: Fabuwood

About AGS Stone

Our company is a family business. The business started in 2010, so we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. My two sons, Colin and Alex, and my wife, Jackie are in the business and we have our extended family. Most of those who have been with us for over that 10 year period were very fortunate.

We’ve got a tight-knit community here. We’re here to serve our clients in the best way possible and we are very proud of the people we have with us. We’ve worked hard to maintain a good rating. And so you can look at our Google reviews, which would be a good place to start if you want to learn a little more about us. You’ll find that most of the reviews are good and quite thoughtful.

We’re really pleased to have 131 reviews on Google. We have 180 on Angie’s List, and then you’ll also find us on the Houzz and a few other sites as well. But the reviews are important to whoever you’re going to consider. Ultimately we’re in your home and it’s a place where you’re obviously concerned about having quality work done by people you can trust.

We’re conveniently located on Adamo Dr, which is about 60 in Tampa, our place is not too far from Rt. 75. For those in the Tampa area, it’s a pretty short commute from 301 or 75 actually, not too far from downtown Tampa. We’re kind of in-between Brandon and Tampa. We’d love to have you come in and take a look at our showroom. We have an 18,000 square foot space here and a fair amount of that is dedicated to showing your stuff.

We have kitchen and bathroom vignettes that you can view as well as have tile displays. We have full slabs of engineered materials as well as natural materials for your viewing. Our goal is to make sure that you’re an educated consumer and at the end of the process that you feel like this is exactly what you were hoping for and it’s come true.

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As a family-owned and operated business we value close working relationships within our company as well as with the clients we serve. The more we get to know you the more helpful we become.

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