Countertop Options: Marble or Laminate?

Countertop for kitchen San DiegoWhite marble is one of the most popular countertops right now. Out of every other countertop on the market, the white marble is sought after by so many. It’s been done quite well, over the years. While White marble is a favorite, there are pros and cons to using it. Below is a detailed account of the different pros and cons for the white marble countertop.

THE PROS:1) It’s a lot cheaper then some of it’s contemporaries. Look around and do some window shopping. You will find that white marble is one of the least expensive materials to use for your kitchen countertops.2) It looks nice. When you see the pictures of it online, the images hardly do it justice. You need to see it up close and personal. White marble will add a brightness to the room that you never had before. It’s also a natural brightness. Other materials have to try harder, sometimes too hard. White marble doesn’t have to try, it just does.THE CONS:

1) One of the more obvious cons is that it stains. Nothing is perfect, not even white marble. If you leave something on the counter and it picks it up, you will have to work to get it out. You won’t have to spend all day on it, but you will need to use some elbow grease.

Laminate is another material that is used in the kitchen. It does look quite nice. Never underestimate the power of laminate. If you do use laminate, I have some tips on keeping up with the maintenance. As with any countertop, it does require some maintenance and laminate is no different.


THE PROS
:
1) Laminate countertops are non-porous. That means they won’t pick up the bacteria. This is a good thing. For this reason alone they are considered very low-maintenance. To clean the top, all you do is take a wet wash cloth and some mild soap. You can also use dish detergent, but make sure it’s mild. Once you have finished wiping it all down, wash it off. You need to clean up any leftover soap residue that is sticking to the surface. You will cause more damage to the surface by not doing this.

THE CONS:2) Dry it all off after rinsing. You don’t want to have any pooling going on.3) Never use bleach. If you do, only use a small amount. Bleach will cause major discoloration to the surface, as would any strong chemical. It’s also going to cause scratches on the surface and make it look nasty. After that, you might as well get a new one installed.4) For stains, use the 3:1 ratio. Take baking soda and water, mix into a paste. Smooth over the stained areas and let sit for about 5 minutes. Once done, smoothly wipe away the paste. Never rub, that will cause more damage to the surface.

To keep the laminate surface looking new, never put hot items on the top.

Image Credit: White Marble Countertop – http://rickrobinsonbuilders.com

How long does your remodel take?

When homeowners decide to take on a big project and work with a contractor to construct an addition or oversee a room remodel, they often don’t understand the full scope of work that the contractor will need to accomplish to meet their needs.

A common complaint that homeowners have with contractors is that projects take longer than the initial estimate provided when the contract was signed. Although every project is different, there are a few things that can slow renovations down. Avoiding some of these sticky areas can help keep renovation projects on track and finished as soon as possible.

Room Addition

When a room addition occurs, it usually means the addition of square footage to the house. Any time a project increases a structure’s square footage, it likely means that appropriate permits need to be obtained. Permits are often a difficult area that can slow down a project. Homeowners should make sure they understand the regulations for obtaining the correct permits before work begins. Often, permit issues can cause work in the home to be halted until the problem is cleared up with the proper officials.

Second Story Addition

The addition of a second story also increases square footage, so the same permit issues apply with this type of project as well. In addition, homeowners may find they need to obtain permission from neighbors to increase the height of their structures, a process that could also call for public hearings or a period of public comment. If these issues aren’t straightened out before work starts, they can cause headaches for the homeowner and contractor alike.

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen projects are often the most difficult and time consuming work that a contractor will take on. Many choices need to be made in planning out a kitchen makeover, and each of these decision points is also a possible slowdown point. Homeowners should do their research early, and decide on their selection of cabinets, countertops, appliances and hardware, so the contractor can order the correct pieces to complete the job. Leaving decisions to the last minute, or changing the fixtures or plans of a kitchen layout can be costly, and can also drag the remodel on much longer than anticipated.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom upgrades are similar to kitchen remodels in that many decisions need to be made, and should be handled early in the process. Because of the detailed plumbing work involved in bathroom makeovers, homeowners need to have their minds set on the layout and fixtures early in the process, to prevent major plumbing changes once walls have been put up, and floors have been laid down.

Planning Prevents Delays

For the majority of remodel jobs, the key to a successful project is proper planning and communication from the very beginning. Securing permits, making decisions on fixtures, and approving construction details while keeping an open dialogue with the contractor will ensure a speedy completion of most home improvement jobs.

Do it Right – Remodeling Your Bathroom – Tub Conversion

If you are ready to give your bathroom a facelift there are many small caveats involved with the process that an experienced contractors know which many homeowners skip if doing on their own. This article is created for the homeowner; SJB Construction Inc. always recommends hiring a professional. In this specific example Steve is going to turn a tub into a shower. Keep in mind not all steps are included as the piece is meant for a more experienced homeowner or to offer “tricks of the trade” that most people would skip.

Step 1 – Preparation for Tub Conversion

Prep the room with masking off. You can use painter’s plastic – Home Depot sells Husky Brand 12×400 ft for about $25. Use 3M blue tape around doors and region to create a barrier that will trap 90% of dusk/debris inside demo area.

Step 2 – Best Demolition for Remodeling

This step is straightforward. Eye protection and dust masks are must. Keep any eye out for being too aggressive with plumb lines as they can be a big headache and costly if broken.

  • Remove Wall (Drywall, Tile, ect.) as complete as possible
  •  Use Jackhammer to make remove concrete for new drain (see )

 

• Typical Dimensions standard tubs are all 60” wide ( 5′ ) they vary slightly in depth, from 30” to typically 32’’; hence the shower will be typical of the existing footprint of the existing tub. Of course this can be modified if space is available

Step 3 – Extension of Drain – Once concrete is removed

2” Pipe 2” Drain 2” P-Trap – The new 2” drain pipe needs to have 1/4” per foot fall (from the center drain to the newly located santee fitting).

  • Santee aimed at drain – Center Drain to Center New Shower Value – More custom and aesthetic
  • Foam around ABS pipe in concrete prior to backfilling
  • Backfill with 3” of sand then 3” of concrete

Backing Needed – 2x12s “vertical” around perimeter – Roll up the wall to seal bottom of the shower pan. Now you are ready to create Dam for leading edge of the shower.

Drainage and all Plumbing for Shower should be installed and tested prior to moving on.

Step 4 – Create Dam to contain water flow

Backing Needed – 2x12s “vertical” around perimeter – Roll up the wall to seal bottom of the shower pan.
Now you are ready to create Dam for leading edge of the shower

  • 3 – 2x4s Douglas fir – 6” inches from edge to fasten. These will serve as the dam.

Step 5 – Hot mop for weather protection

  • Should have about 10″ Buildup around the edge.
  • Drywall will overlap 3/4″ the new hot mop this serves as weatherproofing.
  • After Hot mop is completed Plastic Cement will be floated on top.

Step 6 – Tile and Completion

Denshield is a tile backer

  • Do not use standard drywall as bathroom has high volume of moisture and you will not get this remodel passed through inspection.

What if I do not have a Level Surface?

  • Use plastic cement, typically sold in premixed bags at most of the tile supply centers. This will help float tile aesthetically. Set this and let dry 24 hours to start for best foundation.

Finally, Set the Tile and Grout!

Overall, make this a fun project and do not be afraid to hire an experienced general contractor. Such phases as the demolition, plumbing, hot mop ectera should definitely be contracted out if not comfortable. Keep in mind many steps of the process were neglected due to magnitude of project but this is just to give some secrets how to start or what to think about