Granite Countertops: Rock Solid

When it comes to kitchen remodeling projects, there are a few popular items that nearly every kitchen renovation client chooses to address as part of their needs. While some opt to increase their storage space (and the style quotient) by upgrading their cabinets, another area that’s just as important and just as popular is the countertop. And when it comes to kitchen countertops, few materials come close to granite countertops in matching its look and durability. Granite is Beautiful Because granite is a natural material, it possesses unique style characteristics not found in any other possible countertop material. Millions of years in the making, granite is made up entirely of various minerals and crystals that have bonded together seamlessly under extreme pressure, heat, and over an unimaginably long amount of time. This process creates a crystalline rock that’s incredibly hard and magnificent in its beauty. Composed of countless grains of color, granite is also accentuated by long, random lines of color that cross the slab to catch light and add visual interest. And because granite is made up of different types of crystals, it makes it easier to match the colors of your specific design plan. Synonymous with elegance and luxury, granite is the perfect material for anyone looking to add sophistication to their kitchen. Granite is Durable It’s almost silly to have to point out, given the fact that it’s a material that’s millions of years old, but granite is an incredibly durable material to use for a kitchen countertop. The interlocking crystals that have been pressed together under intense heat and pressure are what give granite its durable characteristics, making it an ideal material for the kitchen. For example, those who love to cook can chop and slice on the counter without fear of chipping or scratching the countertop. Another benefit for cooks is that granite resists heat, which makes it ideal for a resting place for hot pots and pans. In addition, properly sealed granite resists stains from spilled liquids and is easy to wipe up and keep clean. Go Green for Granite Just as you can trust granite to be a spectacular option for the kitchen countertop, you can trust Atlanta’s hometown favorite, Green Remodeling, for all your remodeling and renovation needs — even beyond the kitchen. For more information on any of our other contracting services or a free consultation regarding your specific needs, contact us today and see what sets Team Green apart from the rest!

The Luxury of Custom Built-In Cabinets and Shelving

Few things do as much for the aesthetics of a home’s interior than the look of custom built-in cabinets and shelves. You’ve probably seen them in magazines or million-dollar model homes and marveled at how much they truly add to a living space. Fashionable and incredibly functional, custom cabinets add detail, sophistication, elegance, and visual interest to any room. In addition to offering much needed storage in the form of shelves and/or cabinets, but they also help to draw the eye upward, giving the impression of a taller ceiling and thus, a larger room. Not just for the kitchen anymore, custom cabinetry and shelving can now be used in literally every room of the house to maximize available space. Living Room Since this is more than likely the room that the family uses most frequently, built-ins can be used to not only display the TV and all its accompanying components, but also DVDs, books, photos, and other familial keepsakes. Utilize cabinet doors to keep board games and other items stowed away conveniently, yet hidden from view. Home Office Install a custom built-in cabinet in the home office area for a convenient study nook where the kids can do homework and parents can sit down and catch up on bills or correspondence. In addition, you can utilize the available space above and around doorways to store frequently used items and books. Bedroom If you have a TV in the bedroom, consider a built-in entertainment center to house the TV and all the other electronic components. To keep it elegant and discreet, you can even incorporate folding doors that can be closed to hide the TV when not in use. You can also incorporate bookshelves to keep your favorite bedtime books nearby. In addition, since the bedroom requires a lot of additional storage space for clothing and bed linens, built-ins could also take the place of your traditional dresser and chest, if need be. Laundry/Mud Room As we get closer to winter, a mud room becomes a convenient feature that not only adds to the beauty of your living space, but adds functional, usable storage space for snow boots, rain gear, and other items you don’t want tracking mud and snow into the house. Install custom bench seating where users can sit down to remove boots and individual storage compartments in which to store them. Utilize wall space and create areas where you can hang keys, backpacks, umbrellas, and other frequently used items that you’ll need to grab again the next time you leave the house. Also, a well-appointed laundry room could include convenient features such as a folding area and storage space for detergents and other chemicals. The Sky’s the Limit You’re limited only by your own imagination when it comes to all the different ways and spaces in which you can use custom built-in cabinets and shelving. For professional service and craftsmanship, call on Green Remodeling for your custom carpentry needs. With top-notch service and the dedication necessary to making the most out of the space you have, you can trust the build pros at Green Remodeling to help you create the space of your dreams. Be sure to visit our showroom or contact us for more information regarding our expertise in custom cabinetry or any other aspect of remodeling or renovating your home.

Get Custom: Incorporate Unique Touches in Your Home

Custom touches make your home unique, so have you considered breaking out of your cookie cutter style and adding an eye-catching feature (or two) to your home? Custom barn doors, barrel vault ceilings, dumbwaiters, hidden pantries, and safe rooms are just a few ways you can make a statement in your home. Barn Doors Barn doors are beautiful and extremely functional. They eliminate the empty space necessary for a regular door’s range of motion and they are easier to open and close. A majority of the door’s weight and strain is removed from the user, with a door hung on a track. This type of door would be perfect for a tight space in your home. Barrel Vault Ceilings A barrel vault ceiling features a continuous arched brick or stone surface, resembling the inside of a barrel. Originally used in ancient Egyptian and Roman architecture, in medieval Europe the barrel vault was often seen in monasteries, castles, tower houses, cloisters, and great halls. What a perfectly decadent feature to add to one of your home’s long hallways. Dumbwaiters If you’re only looking to move objects between floors of your home, rather than people, there’s no need for a full elevator. Dumbwaiters are an ideal solution for many multi-story homes. You will not only reduce you and your family’s physical strain from lugging heavy bags, groceries, cleaning supplies, and meals between floors, you’ll add a great amount of convenience. No more spilling drinks on the stairs! Hidden Pantries and Safe Rooms Cover the entrance to your kitchen’s walk-in pantry to give a sleek unified look to your space, all while maintaining the functional properties of a pantry. With a streamlined row of cabinets, unless you already know the pantry is next to the stove, no one would ever guess. Another hidden feature that has seen a rise in popularity is a safe room. When a tornado or hurricane strikes you need a safe place for you and your family to take shelter, especially if your home does not have a basement. These safe rooms are usually on a ground-floor in an area where the foundation has been reinforced with steel and concrete. You can also elevate the security of this space to create a panic room for protection against home invasions. In business for over 10 years, with two showrooms, one stop contracting, and design services, Green Remodeling can help you turn your home into the unique piece of art you and your family deserve. Contact us today to “Get Custom” and find out why Green Remodeling is smart remodeling.

Hot New Trend Alert: Leathered Countertops

The hottest thing in countertops is leathering. That doesn’t mean they’re made of leather, it means they look and feel like leather! Just as other home design trends have moved toward more textured surfaces (i.e. hand scraped hardwood floors, distressed furniture,) so have countertops. Leathered countertops bring a different dimension and an additional layer of design to a space, by giving the stone a textured surface while retaining its natural color. This specialty finish lends an air of sophistication to any space and looks especially striking alongside polished countertops. A leathered finish has a sheen to it, but it doesn’t possess the glossy look of a polished slab. Think of a matte finished photograph rather than a glossy photograph.  To leather countertops a rough slab of granite is placed on an automated conveyor system where a series of diamond-tipped brushes and polishing wheels brush across the surface to add texture. The brushes’ varying levels of grit produce a slightly dimpled surface and the final texture will vary depending on the type and composition of the stone. The process also helps retain the stone’s natural color and closes its pores, much like polishing, making it more stain resistant. Leathered countertops are lower maintenance than polished countertops because fingerprints, watermarks, smudges, and crumbs are less noticeable than they would be on a shiny, polished countertop. This means less day-to-day wiping up, which appeals to busy homeowners. Leather countertops are stylish conversation starters and a great way to lend some individual personality to your space. They are great for kitchens, bathrooms, and work especially well for wet bars. The textured surface adds an extra sensory element to a countertop design and you’ll find it hard to resist constantly running your hands along its surface. If you’re in the market for new countertops or looking to upgrade a kitchen or bath, consider how the countertop surface finish you select will affect the look and feel of your space. At Green Basements & Remodeling we are always on top of the newest design trends for our clients. Leathered countertops are an amazing way to put a unique twist on a traditional design. We invite you to come into one of our showrooms to see and feel them for yourself. We also invite you to come to our slab yard and look through our massive selection of granite, marble, quartz, and more. We proudly fabricate each of our clients’ countertops ourselves. Whatever type of countertop you want, we can do it!

How to Clean Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops

Kitchen and bathroom countertops need frequent cleaning. To keep your home’s countertops germ free and looking their best, here are few suggestions for cleaning each type. Stainless Steel Dry clean stainless steel with a microfiber cloth and wet clean with a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Thoroughly dry after wet cleaning to prevent water spots, discoloration, or mineral deposits. Use a small amount of vinegar and rinse with water to remove these spots, stains, and deposits if they occur. Never use steel wool, rough cloths, or scouring pads since they will scratch the surface and ruin the reflective finish. To remove fingerprints and smudges, use a commercial stainless-steel cleaner. Granite Granite’s natural properties and unique color variations have made it one of the top countertop selections in recent years. To clean granite countertops, use warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly with a wet sponge or soft cloth. To clean dirt out of crevasses, use a soft bristled brush or a clean toothbrush and the same solution of water and dish soap, then wipe clean with a damp, soft cloth. To remove stains, make a paste of baking soda and water or talc mixed with a diluted solution of bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush and rinse thoroughly. Don’t use ammonia or vinegar based cleansers or scrub pads because they may dull or scratch the surface. Due to its porous quality, granite should be cleaned and sealed before it’s installed to help prevent stains and ensure easier cleaning. Consider resealing your granite countertops every 6 months. Marble Just like granite, marble countertops are porous and susceptible to stains. To clean marble, use warm, soapy water or rub borax onto the surface with a moistened cloth, rinse with warm water, and buff dry with a soft cloth. Never let marble air dry because it is prone to water spots. If necessary, a mild bleach solution may be used. Avoid abrasive cleaners, oil polishes, soft waxes, and scrub pads. To remove stains, make a paste of baking soda and water or talc mixed with a diluted solution of ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush and rinse thoroughly. Wood Wipe up all spills quickly to prevent stains on your wood countertops. To wash, use a mixture of mild dishwashing soap and water, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a soft clean cloth. Another option is to mix 1/2 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water, rub the paste into the wood using a synthetic scouring pad, then rinse well and blot up excess moisture. To remove odors, rub the surface with a slice of lemon, or sprinkle with baking soda and rub in with a damp sponge. After cutting raw meat, wash your wood countertop with hot water, dishwashing liquid, and a scrub brush. Then use a disinfectant cleaner or a diluted bleach solution (1-tsp. bleach to 1-qt. water) on the surface to eliminate bacteria. Sprinkle stains with salt, then scrub with the cut side of half a lemon. Apply oil to your wood countertops monthly to prevent drying and cracking. Wipe the wood with a light coat of mineral oil, letting the oil soak into the surface. Wipe up the oil that does not soak in to prevent the surface from becoming tacky and attracting dirt. If you have any questions about how to clean your countertops, give Greens a call today at 678-445-5533.    

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day with These 4 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Countertops

Will you be making some eco-friendly choices this year on Earth Day? Maybe you’re considering a eco-friendly kitchen countertop? Bamboo, recycled paper composites, recycled glass, and stainless steel are all eco-friendly countertop materials, but when choosing which is right for your home, a decision can be difficult. Here is a little background as well as some pros and cons for each type. Bamboo Bamboo is often one of the first materials that come to mind when people think of eco-friendly alternatives. It is naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods, formaldehyde-free, and naturally bacteria-resistant. Although a rapidly renewable resource, almost all commercial bamboo comes from China, so the energy used for its transportation to the United States is a drawback. It also stains easily and is susceptible to scratches and burning. Recycled Paper Composite Paper composite countertops are made of post-consumer recycled paper and other fibers held together by a resin. They are durable, easy to clean, resistant to nicks, somewhat stain-resistant, and heat resistant to 350 degrees. They are harder than wood and a great deal lighter than natural stone or concrete. However, recycled paper composite countertops aren’t scratch-proof, are susceptible to chemical damage (no abrasive cleaners!) and they will need an occasional rubdown with mineral oil, possibly even sanding, to refresh them. Although these countertops come from non-petroleum recycled sources (excluding the resin), they are not recyclable because of the small amount of plastic resin content. Recycled Glass Shards of colorful recycled glass pieces are mixed into a cement, concrete, or resin base creating endless texture and color options. Large shards can create a modern, contemporary look or the glass can be finely ground to resemble a traditional solid surface. Recycled glass countertops are durable, easy to clean, non-porous, and heat- and stain-resistant, but cracks, chips, and breaks can be a problem since they can’t be repaired, only replaced. For durability, choose glass that’s tempered and at least 1 inch thick. Stainless steel Most stainless steel products are already made from 60% recycled stainless steel and because it can be recycled again and again, this selection has a long life (possibly before and after being your countertop.) The top reasons this is the number one material in commercial kitchens is its durability and cleanliness but it is difficult to keep free of smudges and watermarks. When considering the best eco-friendly countertop for your kitchen be sure to research each company’s sustainability policy. Find out how the product is sourced, what makes the material a better choice, and if it’s green certified. Look for certifications from groups like LEED, the Forest Stewardship Council, and GREENGUARD. Know that whichever eco-friendly countertop material you choose, you are making every day Earth Day in your home.

Which Countertop is the Top?

One of the biggest ticket items for remodeling projects is often the countertops.  Historically granite has been the most popular choice; however, many are turning to quartz because of new advancements and how well quartz has been mimicking other countertop types such as marble, concrete, granite, etc.  So, what are the difference between granite and quartz? Granite is a 100% natural material thus every slab has unique color and pattern. Granite will last a lifetime and will not lose the natural pattern of the veins or color.   However, granite as a natural stone contains air and can therefore harbor bacteria and stain if not sealed on an on-going basis. Quartz is a manufactured stone and therefore color and pattern are very consistent from slab to slab and even over time.  Quartz will never need initial or continued sealing and is much less likely to stain or crack due to the presence of man-made resins. Should a quartz countertop be chipped, it can simply be repaired instead of needing replacement.  From a “green” aspect, quartz uses waste materials rather than quarrying new stone materials.  However, you wouldn’t want to install it next to a window unless it was an outdoor rated quartz (such as Dekton), because there is a possibility of discoloration due to UV light. Normally the decision comes down to one of two things: price or pattern.  A common granite is less costly than a standard quartz; however, exotic granites can be much more expensive!  Quartz manufacturers have been trying hard to have products that mimic the look of granite, but some feel these man-made stones can never replicate the beauty of a natural stone.  Either will be a good choice if you are well informed and know how to care for your countertops!