Kitchen Concepts Countertop Replacements!
If words like “durable”, “long lasting”, “sanitary” and “easy-to-clean” sound like music to your ears, then natural stone countertops are the kitchen or bathroom surface for you! The secret to a good countertop replacement is preparation. Getting the finished results you desire involves a lot more than selecting which surface material to use. While countertop installation is one of the last things to happen in your kitchen or bathroom renovation, Kitchen Concepts will be there with you every step of the way to assure no necessary preparation step is overlooked.
Your kitchen is likely the most popular room in your home. Many Colorado Springs residents are working with Kitchen Concepts to make their kitchens worthy of that family appeal, attention and entertainment potential by allowing fantastic granite or other natural stone countertops to take center stage.
Likewise, your bathroom and dressing area is your private pampering place. Nothing will set the right mood and quiet elegance better than granite or other natural stone vanity tops.
Among our preferred natural stone countertop choices locally inventoried in Colorado Springs are:
- Gem Stone
While we’re known for our natural stone countertops, we can provide any surface type your desires and budget dictate.
Why Choose Kitchen Concepts?
Simply because we’ll build you better countertops! Our countertops are all custom designed and fabricated locally at our workshop and factory at 812 S. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO. We’ll work closely with you during the design process to meet your needs, realize your vision and get the most out of your available new countertop budget. Below are 16 valuable tips for planning a better countertop replacement:
1) Your Budget Comes First
Ideally you’d likely prefer a completely remodeled kitchen or bathroom. When that isn’t possible, you’re still sure to get those appreciative ohs and aws from new granite or other natural stone countertops. Let Kitchen Concepts help you get the biggest possible “bang” from your remodeling buck. Our design team will work with you to decide what (if any) current components, hardware or appliances should be replaced. Our custom cabinetry group can reface your existing cabinets for a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
2) Natural Stone Counters are Today’s First Choice!
While Kitchen Concepts can assist you with any type of countertops, you owe it to yourself to first consider natural stone! Homeowners are moving away from tile countertops, which are dated and difficult to maintain, in favor of solid natural stone surfaces, an environmentally friendly “green” material harvested from nature.
No problem with properly sealed natural stone surfaces!
If you’ve heard suggestions to avoid stone surfaces because they were reported to stain and scratch, that’s just not the case with the modern stone sealers we use today. These greatly improved sealers and a routine maintenance schedule are all it takes to turn your new natural heirlooms into rough-and-ready countertops that will be with your family for literally generations.
Kitchen Concepts is also exploiting a new trend in natural stone countertops combining different textures. To get this exciting look, our designers use stone with two different finishes, one sandblasted to a matte finish (for backsplashes, as an example), the other polished to a smooth gloss (for the countertops themselves). Above you see a matte surface complimented by a polished edge bevel.
For a guaranteed “wow” consider naturally translucent onyx countertops lighted underneath with thin, low-powered, long-life LED panels … perfect for both home and commercial applications!
3) But Which Natural Stone?
We could right a book on this topic but here are a few brief notes:
Granite remains Kitchen Concepts’ most popular option as it is a durable, timeless and scratch and heat-resistant countertop surface. Granite is available in a wide variety of natural hues and colors eclipsing the traditional charcoal gray you’re probably picturing. It’s easy to clean and is solid throughout making it the ideal option for a heavily used kitchen area. Granite surfaces do require periodic resealing to preserve their glossy natural look.
Marble is a gorgeous and luxurious countertop choice, and bakers love the surface because its inherent cold temperature provides the perfect workspace for kneading dough. Like granite, it is important to periodically reseal marble countertops.
Quartz’s growing popularity is primarily due to its wide range of color choices. Its finished appearance is rich, even luxurious, and has a “depth” that is not present in other natural stones. Quartz is non-porous so it resists staining even better than granite, marble and other durable alternatives.
Sandstone countertops, while less common, are gaining in popularity nationally and even more so in Colorado. Like granite and marble, sandstone is quarried and cut from solid stone. This natural material can be finished in a number of ways. Cutting and standard finishing leaves countertops with a bit of texture that retains a natural appearance. Polished sandstone countertops have an elegant sheen. The coloration of sandstone is superb … earth tones with rich depth predominate, and hues vary throughout each slab like canyon walls in the Southwest.
Soapstone is natural stone material that has been used for centuries in countertops. It’s milky appearance gives it a rustic feel when compared with the urbane and elegant look of granite or slate. If you’re looking for a natural stone with an amazing amount of warmth, this is it. That’s one of the reasons that soapstone countertops are a favorite in country kitchens. Soapstone is easy to clean and maintain requiring only a periodic oiling that keeps it looking its best and produces a natural patina as the years go by.
If you’re looking for something beautiful, rare and unique; onyx could be right for you. As mentioned previously, part of onyx’s growing appeal is its translucent qualities allowing it to be illuminated from below as the photo above illustrates. While it’s hard to beat for appearance, be advised that onyx requires more frequent resealing than other natural stone surfaces.
Slate countertops have a lot going for them including stellar good looks, great durability and a non-porous surface that makes them easy to clean. Slate requires less maintenance than granite or marble countertops. This is a versatile countertop product that works well in kitchens, bathrooms, wet bars and can also be used for backsplashes and sinks. The hardness and durability of slate is very appealing in both kitchens or bathrooms. It won’t easily chip or scratch and it stands up very well to heat. Hot pans or hair tools will not mar slate’s surface.
Learn more about the natural stone surface choices available in Kitchen Concepts’ local Colorado Spring inventory by clicking here.
4) A World of Color Options
All these granite choices and many, many more!
If you think of granite countertops all as a bland range of dark gray colors, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Natural granite is available in a wide array of colors from very light, nearly white, gray to creams, golds, browns or near blacks.
A sampling of the wide array of available quartz color choices!
While granite is still the “biggest” thing out there, Kitchen Concepts is seeing increased demand for less common stone materials like marble, limestone, soapstone and slate which further increase your color options. Gaining popularity rapidly with homeowners looking to jazz up their modern kitchens with bright, bold natural countertops is quartz! Quartz is available in colors not typically seen in other natural stones like lime green and electric blue. For those who may not appreciate other stone’s natural pigment variations, quartz offers consistent color from both top to bottom and side to side.
Get an idea of the large array of stone and color choices Kitchen Concepts has available in our local Colorado Springs inventory by clicking here.
5) The Value of New Countertops
Of all the home improvements you might make, few will return a higher percentage of their cost in your home’s resale value than granite or other natural stone countertops. They are a much better investment than a swimming pool, as an example, and increase your enjoyment and entertainment potential in a way most other investments can not!
In fact, Zillow research indicates a mid-range bathroom upgrade returns an average of 171% in home resale value versus the cost of the original remodel!
6) We Love Working With Do-It-Yourselfers!
If you’d like to do part of your kitchen or bathroom remodel yourself, we’ll work with you handling any “heavy lifting” tasks you’d rather avoid.
Granite and other natural stone surfaces are heavy, difficult to transport and must be cut with specialty tools. Though stone is known for its hardness, if it’s not handled correctly or installed with proper support, it can crack or, worse, break. There are few acceptable fixes for a broken slab of granite so we work closely with DIYs to insure this doesn’t happen.
We also have the specialized stone routers to add the edge effect of your choice: beveled, bullnosed, coved and more. See all our edge options by clicking here.
We can also provide delivery. Granite and other stone is heavy – a small 2′ by 6′ countertop can weigh in excess of 400 pounds! Countertops must be transported and carried vertically with specialty designed and often custom supports to prevent breakage or chipping.
Call us at 719.362.0193 to see why Kitchen Concepts, with our workshop and factory located at 812 S. Tejon Street in Colorado Springs, CO can provide much more personalized support and faster turn-around than any big box store!
7) Understand Templating
No replacement countertops can turn out better than the “templates” they are crafted from. Kitchen Concepts employs the latest high-tech templating methodologies, including laser measurements, to insure flawless fit and results.
Once the templating is done, your wait will be less than offered by any other local provider as your new countertops will be expertly built and fabricated in Kitchen Concepts’ local workshop and factory at 812 S. Tejon Street in Colorado Springs, CO.
While we’ll do as much work as possible in advance and off-site, your sink will be clamped and siliconed in place, faucet holes drilled and related plumbing completed on installation day. We pride ourselves in minimizing our installation time and will hand over your “new” remodeled kitchen quicker than you likely expect!
8) What About Seams?
Often we’ll be able to completely craft your new countertops without seams. With very large stone areas, however, this may not be possible. You’ll, of course, pre-select your exact granite, quartz, marble, onyx, slate or other surface materials from Kitchen Concepts’ local Colorado Springs inventory, the largest in the area! You’ll know during the selection process if a seam or seams will be required.
Joining two stone countertop pieces with a nearly invisible seam you’ll hardly notice!
When seaming is required, Kitchen Concepts’ expert installation team has the knowledge, skill and special bonding fillers to carefully fit your adjacent stone pieces together with seams as close to invisible as possible (as shown in the photo below). When possible, we’ll locate cuts below cutouts for sinks or rangetops minimizing the amount of visible seaming.
Mirrored pattern continuation achieved by reversing and mating a sister stone from the same slab.
For longer counter runs, we’ll work with you to choose adjacent cuts from the same slab which we’ll install reversed and mirrored to create perfect continuing natural patterns as illustrated in the mirrored quartz countertop seam above. In stone with veining, Kitchen Concepts is often able to hide a seam along a vein, and our carefully matched colored epoxies should make all seams hard to spot!
9) Consider a New Sink and Faucet Hardware
While Kitchen Concepts can replace your countertops leaving your existing sink neatly in place, it will likely begin to look a little dated and worn against your shiny new countertops! If you need to economize to fit your budget, Kitchen Concepts is happy to work with you to find the best opportunities to shave expenses!
10) Sink and Faucet Installation
Always have your new sink on-site before templating. For standard undermount or drop-in sinks, Kitchen Concepts will make sure they will fit properly in your sink cabinet. If your cabinetry needs to be altered to accommodate your new sink, our custom cabinetry team can handle this quickly and efficiently.
If you are installing an apron-front sink as shown above, there can be several different ways to place the bowl. Think about the spot where the front edge of the counter and the sink meet. Some sinks have a notch into which the counter fits. In the above photo, the counter was coped around the edge. The way this detail will align with your counter overhang should be decided in advance of templating.
As for placement of the faucet, it shouldn’t always be centered on the sink. The sink drain may be offset. You may prefer to center the faucet on a window or other architectural detail on the wall rather than on the sink.
Decide how much of the sink will show on an undermount install as pictured above. If keeping the sink clean with little hassle is a priority, Kitchen Concepts will bring the edge of the countertop flush with the walls of the sink. If you prefer the look shown above, where some of the top flange is visible all around, let us know.
11) Wall-Mounted Faucets
It is much easier to wipe a counter down with a wall-mounted faucet. If you’d like to make this transition, Kitchen Concepts can handle the necessary backsplash and plumbing modifications. To get this piece right, you’ll need to know where the finished wall surface will fall once the backsplash is installed and where the sink will be centered so you have a faucet that comes out directly above the drain. We’ll handle all these details so you have no concerns with elements that don’t work well together.
12) Countertop Support
In most cases, your existing cabinetry will provide the necessary support for your new, and likely heavier, countertops. In potential trouble areas, Kitchen Concepts’ design team will work with you to eliminate future issues. As an example, what additional support may be necessary around your appliances? A slide-in range will probably have a 2 to 3-inch strip of counter behind the cooking surface. Because it is tricky to move two large slabs connected by a narrow strip, we’ll usually seam this spot together on-site. Our installation team will install necessary wood blocking under and flush with the height of new countertops and adjacent cabinetry so this narrow stone strip can be properly and securely installed.
Another common trouble spot is where a counter ends on a dishwasher, trash compactor or other undercounter appliance. These appliances can’t support the countertop weight properly but Kitchen Concepts will construct the proper and necessary side support to prevent any issues.
If any section of your new countertop will overhang the cabinets (for a breakfast bar as one example), Kitchen Concepts will work with your aesthetic objectives to show you attractive options to support this area. Overhangs of 6 to 12 inches are possible without bracing, depending on the material; but an unobtrusive bracket, support column or overhang encasement adds support and peace of mind should someone hop up and sit on your new counter.
14) Counter Height
Different individuals and tasks require varying counter heights. If custom cabinets aren’t in your budget, one way to vary the finished counter height is to use materials of different thicknesses set on top of your standard cabinets. Standard kitchen counters are 36 inches tall, but if you have a tall family member, 39 inches might be a more comfortable height. Here, Kitchen Concepts can, as an example, install a thick hardwood butcher block section set higher than adjacent tops creating a more comfortable workspace.
As we suggest with old faucets and sinks, you’ll likely want new backsplashes to match or compliment your shiny new countertops. If your budget doesn’t permit this, Kitchen Concepts will work carefully to preserve your current backsplashes during installation.
Kitchen Concepts’ design team can show you a number of backsplash alternatives across a wide price spectrum to meet your budget and aesthetic objectives.
With new backsplashes, we’ll always install these after your new countertops are in place. Your countertop height sets the lower line for your tile or other backsplash material making it easier and more sensible to install this last.
16) Need Outdoor Countertops?
Are you considering an outdoor or patio kitchen, wet bar or dining area? Since our stone surfaces come from nature, it’s no surprise that they stand up better to nature’s elements than virtually any other surface choice. They’re not only elegant and attention getting but, with proper maintenance, will look as good years from now as the day you installed them!