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How to remove hard water stains?Hard water stains are easy to avoid / remove with regular cleaning and wiping dry. Sadly, Calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)₂ is added to tap water to stabilize pH and improve taste. Calcium precipitates as limescale from water as it dries. Removal of limescale that has formed requires a substance that is more acidic, it is best to resort to more natural methods prior to hard and abrasive chemicals. Squeeze a lemon or add vinegar over affected areas or into a cloth and leave for around 10-15 minutes, for heavily affected areas, it may take several applications.
Windowsill Made from offcuts?With a large amount of offcuts in stock, a Windowsill can be made in all different materials such as quartz, granite, quartzite and marble. Windowsills are a made to measure product and cutting and polishing will still be required to tailor these to requirement. Generally sold as supply only as they are easy to transport and install and advice is provided. Want to match a material you already have in place? unless you are lucky, please expect your search to be more challenging than you expect!
Can you put a hot pan on a Countertop?Placing hot pans on countertops should be avoided regardless of the countertop surface material, using a trivet is strongly recommended. Although hard surfaces are resistant to heat, especially granite and quartzite, thermal and localised shock can cause the material to crack along fissures in the material. Natural material resistances can differ from one end of your countertop to another due to veining and mineral content. Engineered surfaces have pigments and resins which can dis-colour and are also susceptible to thermal shock.
Do I need drainer grooves?Drainer grooves are useful for draining excess water into the sink and they are an aesthetically pleasing addition to a kitchen worktop. However, as these grooves are cut into the surface, a larger surface area is produced creating a higher surface tension in the draining water. As the undrained and standing water dries, calcium hydroxide in the water will precipitate leaving behind limescale (hard water) build up on the edge and within the grooves. If resting water is cleaned and dried after every use, the drainer grooves will remain in great condition.
Do I need support bars for sink and hob?Support bars for sink and hob are advised for some natural materials, this recommendation depends on the stone type chosen and advise is given prior to order. Generally advised for Marble, granite and quartzite materials where the sink and hob are cut outs are. The narrowed sections become liable to cracking under the weight of the material on each side. The support bars are fibreglass rods that are resin fixed into grooves cut into the underside of the worktop to front and back of each sink and/or hob cut outs.
Does a quartz worktop need support bars?More often than not, quartz worktops do not require support bars because the base units spacing is sufficient to support the weight of the worktop. If the kitchen worktops need to bridge a large area then support can be added to the wall, across base units, adding an end panel, or strong and appropriately placed 'L' brackets. With more detail of the need for support, advice can provided by contacting us. Resin fixed fibreglass supports are rarely used for quartz but often used for natural materials in locations of sink and hob.
What is a Breakfast bar overhang?Breakfast bar overhangs are standardised providing sufficient leg room at 300mm. Generally, breakfast bars are part of the island or peninsular and the structure of the base units should provide enough support. If the breakfast bar is separate and without base units, support may include wall brace /s, floor fixed legs and 18mm ply base, Suitable 'L' Brackets. Advice can be provided and several factors must be considered before installation.
Do I need to seal worktops?Sealing kitchen worktops is a requirement for natural materials and helps to maintain the natural resistances. We seal your natural surface prior to installation and advise that sealing is done yearly, in the case of marble we suggest every 6 months. Natural surfaces may have some tiny holes and fissures, allowing ingress of dirt and water. Engineered surfaces such as quartz do not require sealing as the resin and high polish provides sufficient resistance. Worktop sealers are easy to find appropriate for you worktop material and most are inexpensive.
Can a windowsill be made in same material as worktop?A windowsill made from the same material as the worktop is attractive and complimentary. Providing there is sufficient material from the material after cutting your kitchen worktops we always offer this popular and easy to clean product. For herbs or plants in pots, instead of wiping underneath consistently we advise that these are placed in a plant pot so that loose dirt and excess water do not leak onto the surface.
How to remove Turmeric stains from a kitchen worktop?Turmeric stains are stubborn and can be removed gradually if acted on promptly. Substances higher in acidity than turmeric will help to clean away this easily, without resorting to chemical products. Use a lemon or vinegar solution and apply it the stain with a soft cloth as soon as possible, leave for several minutes before wiping and repeating the process until the stain is removed. If the stain still persists add a little baking or bicarbonate soda as an light abrasive and repeat the process.
Is it good to have an upstand?As well as asestheically pleasing and a great finishing touch for your kitchen worktop, upstands have a practical use and are a good option to consider. Covering the gap between the surface and the wall and as a preventative of liquids and spills running down the back of your units. Upstands are easily cleaned with a soft cloth and soapy water compared to repainting or the regrouting of tiles. Upstands are standardised at 100mm in height and 20mm thickness, however, overall height may depend on material available after cutting your worktops.
Should there be a gap between upstands and worktop?If your kitchen worktops are fitted correctly, there should not be any gap between the upstands and the worktop. Well fitted base units should be level across the top of the carcass, any small adjustment needed to ensure worktop is level is done using spacers. If an upstand is cut by a properly calibrated bridge saw it will be square making for a perfect join. Gaps along upstands could also be visible at worktop joins if not fitted correctly.
Will the joins in a kitchen worktop be seen?Kitchen worktop joins should be flush, no wider than a 3mm and filled with colour matched resin. Silicon should only be use for securing worktops to your base unit, upstands and splashbacks to wall. Depending on the material and its design, care should be taken as much as possible to match or hide veins that cross at joins, although this is not possible in all cases. This method is the same for all hard surface materials except in the case of Corian which is designed to be seamless at all joins.
What is a hob splashback?Hob splashbacks are best placed behind a hob or cooker where splashes from pots and pans are most likely. Splashbacks are designed to protect walls from splashes of liquids and grease, in the same material as your kitchen worktop, it will not only compliment aesthetically but be as easy to clean as your worktop surface.
What is an Undersill?An upstand that fills the gap between the windowsill and the kitchen worktop surface is what we call an undersill. Aesthetically, this allow the worktop to flow and compliments the windowsill. Its practical uses though, are what makes an undersill worthwhile and makes for easier cleaning 'losing' that difficult to maintain strip of wall. We will provide option for an undersill with every purchase of a windowsill.
What is the best way to clean a worktop?Using as soft cloth and soapy water is all that is needed and is the best way to clean your kitchen worktop surface. Washing liquid is low in acidity (Low pH) compared to other detergents. Anything acidic may eat into the surface or any coatings that may be applied to your worktop. Avoid using an abrasive to clean dried in dirt, instead soak it with soapy water for a few moments to soften it and wipe with a soft cloth or sponge and repeat if necessary.
What is the difference between quartz and quartzite?Often mistaken for one another by name and yet the differences between quartz and quartzite are remarkably different. Put simply, quartzite is a natural and quartz is engineered. Naturally tough and heat resistant, Quartzite vary from plain to colourful striking veins and consists of approx 90% natural quartz content. Engineered quartz material is approx 90% refined quartz grains bonded with 10% resins, colours and pigments. Designed for all round resistance, quartz colours and patterns mostly try to imitate naturals stone.
Which worktop is best for a kitchen?Finding the best choice kitchen worktop, should take into consideration the resistances that each material provides, usage and your kitchen design ideals. Engineered quartz is designed to have all round resistances and is on average cheaper than its alternatives. Granite and quartzite are hard materials and have great resistance to heat. Marble is softer and may scratch easily, but is heat resistant. Corian is quite durable but lower resistances than its competitors. Porcelain has great all round resistances.
What is the difference between Calacatta and Carrara?Calacata is in fact one of seven types of carrara, quarried in the Apuan Alps region of Northern Tuscany, Central Italy. The types of carrara marble appearances are seen duplicated in quartz surfaces, some of which use or take on a variation of the names given to the seven types. By comparison, Carrara is known for its softer veins of light to mid grey, whereas, Calacata has long swathes of veins of varying thickness' of greys, yellows, gold, and browns. The actual spelling of the natural carrara 'Calacata' has only one 't'.