The Counters Blog

Quartz Countertops Engineered Stone

These and other misleading statements are used to try gain an edge somehow since granite has a long-established and better reputation. Quartz slabs have good resistance to heat but they are not as resistant to heat as granite. Like granite, they are incredibly durable and will last a lifetime. Quartz slabs slightly very in shade from slab to slab and may have color specks due to nature of natural stone used in the slabs. Doesn’t matter what project you have, you should be able to find an engineered stone that satisfy your needs. Quartz countertops are comprised of approximately 90% natural quartz – the hardest non-precious stone, mixed with resin binders and pigments. Quartz manufactures propagate that quartz is a non-porous material that is resistant to stain, scratches and heat. The resin or epoxy in quartz may discolor if subjected to heat. Cutting and edging of engineered stone is similar to cutting and edging of natural stone. Quartz counters can be made in bright, modern colors, or they can mimic the look of granite.

5 Quartz Countertops That Look Like Marble by

If you love the look of natural marble, but need the practicality of man-made quartz, check out these color options for your new kitchen counters. Its’ white and grey blend is subtle and versatile enough to look great in kitchens and bathrooms. It can take a certain amount of abuse and still look amazing, unlike the real marble that it’s modeled after. The quartz also has very fine, delicate veining that appears as a slight cloudiness against the white. Torquay is a popular choice for kitchens, not only for countertops but for use in backsplashes and flooring as well. It makes a beautiful countertop surface and looks stunning on accent walls and backsplashes. Flecks of color easily imitate the real deal and add tons of charm to the man-made material. It makes great countertops, but it’s often used as backsplashes and kitchen islands, too. The flexibility of quartz makes it a great choice for homes where a low-maintenance surface is needed. It has a milky whiteness and a natural sparkle that makes it stand out in any setting. The effect is soft and gentle, making it a great choice for kitchens or bathrooms. It’s durable, practical, and looks luxurious enough to completely transform your kitchen. It has a classic appeal without the maintenance and provides a surface that’s sturdy and appealing. However, unlike the real thing, this surface has flexibility and won’t stain or etch the way that natural stone does. It’s classy without being too showy and it looks great on counters, floors, or even on floors. It also makes a great choice for kitchen or bathroom flooring, particularly when you want to keep the area light and airy. This bold marble lookalike features shadowed veins in shades of grey set against a bright white. It has a look that’s similar to natural marble, but it doesn’t require the maintenance that the natural stones do. It’s a timeless style that will completely transform any room when you install it.

Large German Shammy by

It’s the most absorbent cloth you will ever use, and can soak up 21 times it’s weight in liquid. You will find all kinds of uses for this great cloth. You will be able to soak up tons of liquid and then walk to the sink without making another mess on the way, or dry your entire vehicle with one cloth after washing. Due to the unique material, they will never fray or fall apart when cut, so resize as needed to suit your tastes and preferences. Instead of using several disposable wipes to clean a mess, use a shammy to save time, effort and money. This makes them a very economical and environmental choice for cleaning. Use in the kitchen to dry spills, wipe down counters, line drawers in your fridge to absorb moisture, and much more. Use on your carpet to remove puppy pee, or soak up beverages that are accidentally spilled. When cleaning a fish tank, or changing the water, use one to wipe down the interior without worry of scratching. Eliminate all moisture in a single pass to prevent spotting and streaking. Also great as a sponge cloth for washing, or as a soft pad for polishing. When you press on it, it will suck up any liquid it touches, and lock it in. Not only good for soaking and drying, the viscose rayon material is also good for general cleaning too. To make a towel like this, an air spun process is used to create thousands of micro-pores like a very fine sponge. It will slurp up moisture from virtually any surface, yet never drip as you walk away. There is nothing similar that will work better than this cloth. This is especially handy when cleaning up pet stains or spills from small children. This makes it perfect for detailing a car or truck, washing windows and mirrors, and much more. It is also safe to use on any surface, no matter how delicate. Since it is machine washable, you can use the same one over and over again without replacement, and you can even make a custom size cloth for any job out of these extra large sheets. Do not use fabric softeners or dryer sheets when washing them as it can hinder absorbency by clogging the pores. It absorbs, releases dirt, is easy to be sanitized in microwave. They really soak up a lot of water and are perfect for washing the car etc. As long as there is even the slightest breeze, these act like a swamp cooler. I had my girlfriend make a a french hat with a tail in the back. My old boyfriend’s mom is the one who steered me onto using these by giving me my first one. I see where people use something and still look to see if there is something better out there. I also bought an extra package because we are using them to wick water up to water our plants. We use it daily to keep our shower, sinks, mirrors, dry and clean. It is a super high quality cloth that is guaranteed to work great and last for years. This makes it great for cleaning spills, wiping counters, cleaning floors, drying your car and much more. Our shammy will pick up amazing amounts of any liquid and will never drip or make a mess afterward. When compared to similar cloths, these ones will always be better. They come in an extra large 20″ x 27″ sheet, but you are able to cut them down to any size. They are commercial grade cloths that feature a 260 weight which is much thicker, and therefore more absorbent, than other brands. They are great for a number of jobs, but as just a replacement for paper towels, they will save you money. You will be done quicker, you will avoid making multiple trips to get more towels, and you will be using a product that can be washed and used again instead of thrown away. Place one under your dish rack to catch all of the drips and avoid a mess after washing dishes. They will not scratch granite or marble, and they work great on stainless steel. Simply press down to suck up the liquid like a vacuum and dry the rug all the way down to the padding. Use as a personal towel for drying your body when space is limited. Use on your car or truck to dry after washing without leaving spots. These tiny pores are what allow the sham to suck up an amazing amount of liquid and hold it in. Once the liquid is picked up by this cloth, it doesn’t let go until you wring it out over a sink. When drying a spill on carpet, this shammy will pull up liquid all the way down to the floor boards. When you wipe, dry and clean with this tool, it will never leave behind lint as you work. They will never scratch, mark or ruin anything you use them on, so you can clean all over with confidence. Machine washing after sizing will not result in raveling or falling apart, and will not affect performance. Also picks up dirt and debris as you wipe so it is good for general cleaning too. It is super absorbent and will soak up 21 times it’s own weight. I use these in the kitchen they are great because they absorb everything. I cut the large piece and different sizes for different functions. Just don’t put in the dryer or then will get softer and less absorbent. Great in the kitchen to wipe the moisture off the counter and sink. If you put in dryer after washing they will shrink some, but that is not an issue for me. I bought several of them from an impressive demo and could never find them again. You will never regret buying these superb cloths because you will just be amazed at how amazing they are. If we take better care how we wash them i think they could last much longer.

Best Substrate For Planted Tank by

Regardless of the complexity, all roots are used for nutrient intake. Ever wonder how to hold them “standing up” in your tank and provide them with the nutrients they need? Sometimes they are composed of different chemical compounds. With so many choices regarding substrate, it can be confusing to choose the most appropriate substrate for your tank. This substrate uses a new formula for enhanced root development. The substrate has highly porous spherical grains for higher diffusion performance, so the waste is less likely to remain on the surface but will be diffused and absorbed into the layer of substrate. It is black in color (hence, the name) so its appearance is best suited for planted aquariums, but it can also be used in any other aquarium environments that you might want. The substrate encourages root development for a healthier plant, and can be mixed with any other type of nutrient substrate that you see fit. It is fully functional without gravel modifiers such as laterite. There are very few complaints about this product from customers. Because of its formulation, the substrate can release lots of clay dust when first used in the aquarium. However, it will quickly sink and dissolve, and the water will be clear again. This product is made up of natural and mineral-rich organic volcanic soil. Volcanic soil contains many special components that are different from standard soil. The substrate also contains nutrients that are good for encouraging root system development. These bacteria will help maintain the water’s health and cleanliness at the most optimal levels. Even if it can act as a refuge for the baby shrimp, it won’t take long for the shrimp to outgrow the size of the substrate and not be able to hide anymore. They provide a great source of nutrients for the plants to grow and stay healthy. Furthermore, many freshwater dwarf shrimps and fish prefer the acidic, soft water environment that this substrate creates. This substrate can release quite a bit of dust when coming out of the bag. It is impressive how clear the water is when setting up with this substrate. This substrate on its own provides enough nutrients for the plants to grow and develop healthily. Thanks to the porous form, it is easy for this substrate to support the roots of the plants. But that has rarely happened, so it’s not something to worry much about. It contains calcium, potassium, sulfur, iron and more than 25 other nutrients. This substrate creates a biological balance within the tank, making the water being cycling out much easier and faster. Therefore, you don’t need to add any extra modifiers such as laterite. This matter is helpful since it feeds the plants and becomes food for the same fish again. This substrate also does not contain any dangerous artificial chemicals, dyes, or other additives. It does not affect the smell of the tank once you put it in, however. The roots of aquatic plants cannot hold onto glass surface, so a layer of substrate in the bottom is an absolute requirement. The layer of substrate in the bottom holds the waste within it after the waste sinks to the bottom of the tank. In nature, the bottoms of the oceans, lakes, and rivers are not bare. Having these materials at the bottom of the tank help the fish and other creatures feel more familiar and comfortable in their living environment. Some fish and snails need to bury themselves in the substrate to hide or find food within it. Many of these are necessary for the growth of plants and the overall water environment in the tank. Here are a few of the most popular substrates among aquarium hobbyists. It is an ideal medium for most tanks and for any type of fish or aquatic creatures. The aquarium gravel is shaped to have smoother edges, so it can’t damage your fish and will not easily move around. Aquarium gravel comes in multiple sizes and colors, giving you limitless options for mixing and matching the gravel to decorate your tank. Sand is ideal for fish that like to dig and bury themselves. However, because of how small sand particles are, they can easily cause damage to the filters if your fish are the types that like to stir up the sand. This substrate is made of calcium carbonate and it will slowly dissolve in water over time. The dissolving process works as a counterbalance to acid build-up and decaying organic matter in the aquarium. However, marbles are not usually the best substrate because of the big gaps between the individual marbles. On the other hand, it is a great substrate for breeding tanks. Regardless of the specific shape of each particle, the substrate is generally tightly packed. Even though they do not come in multiple color options like other substrates, they are the most practical and beneficial choice for your plants. Just remember to be careful and make sure you understand what each type of substrate does for your tank’s overall environment before putting them in the tank. The answer to this question depends a lot on your own preferences. Even though there is not a maximum level for how much substrate you can place in your tank, there is a minimum level. Some of these systems are simple, while others are very complicated. Since it is an essential element of your aquarium, it is crucial for you to choose the best substrate for planted tank. This one substrate provides for all your plants’ needs without having to add any other extra substrate or chemical. Not only beneficial for plants, this product is also good for your fish. However, there is one problem with this almost perfect product. It is not coated or treated with any chemicals, therefore it will contain no substance that will be harmful to your tank. The basic product alone is enough to provide a level of essential nutrients for aquatic plants. This substrate is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel. All of those special volcanic nutrients are very beneficial for spurring on healthy plant growth. These characteristics make it easy for nitrifying bacteria to grow and develop in the tank. The size of the particles allows the baby shrimp to hide within the substrate until they are large enough to come out of the “dirt” to fend for themselves among other shrimp and fish. Even though the substrate is gravel-like, the particle size is still pretty small. The substrate also encourages strong root development, helping the plants grow strong in the wavy environment of the tank. This characteristic creates an environment that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria which are essential for the overall environment of the tank. Thanks to that, you do not need to treat your water as often. One difference between this and other substrate brands is the size of the package it comes in. This is not a big problem, just requires a little more planning when buying the packages and you will be fine. When the substrate is first put into water, the water will become slightly cloudy for a few hours, then it’ll sink down and be perfectly clean and clear again. There is almost no dust released when the substrate is placed in the tank, so there is no clouding of the water when the tank is filled. The substrate provides many nutrients to the plants, and it’s a stand alone—you do not need any extra components or another substrate to support the mini-ecosystem inside the tank. This product also encourages strong root development, making the plants grow more stable. The only small issue is one very minor complaint about the bag sometimes being ripped before arriving at the door. This substrate is made out of volcanic soil that is chock-full of essential nutrients for healthy plants. All these nutrients are great for spurring the growth of plants. It provides a great base for the roots to grow in and also highly effective in promoting the root development that will enhance the plant’s stability. Besides all the necessary nutrients for plants, this product is also rich in iron. In the beginning, when you first set up the substrate, you can see that there is no dust released to cloud the water. One small complaint is that substrate can smell a little when you first open the bag. Besides, this is a freshwater substrate only – it is not intended for use in saltwater tanks. Substrates also help keep fish feces and food waste at the bottom of the tank instead of floating freely around the fish tank and polluting the water. The substrate provides an aesthetic and natural environment for the fish. They are covered in sand, mud, pebbles, or some sort of natural materials. Different substrates have different qualities and characteristics. Aquarium gravel is a bit different from the gravel you see on the street. You need to purchase aquarium gravel from an aquatic center or pet store. If you have one of those fish, sand would be your go-to choice. Coral sand serves a bigger purpose than just being tan k decoration. They are calcium carbonate based substrate, but heavier and not as porous as coral sand. They come in many colors, giving you many options to decorate your tanks any way you want. These gaps can trap large items of food between them and inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria in the tank. The eggs will fall between those big gaps, and will therefore be safe from being eaten by other fish in the tank. It can be as fine as sand or each particle can be little tiny balls. The nutrients provided by the substrate will help the plants grow, and the tightly packed texture helps the plants’ roots take a strong stable hold in the substrate. Among all those substrates listed above, it is easy to point out that the most suitable substrate for a planted aquarium is the soil-like substrate (which includes all the substrates we introduced in the list above). You can mix and match the soil-like substrate with a little of other substrates if you want other effects for your tank. You can use as much substrate as you want, depending on how you want your tank to look. If that is the case, then once you have added the substrate, you will need to monitor the water quality and adjust accordingly to your preferences. The substrate level in your tank should not be any less than 1”. For example, to create a 1” bed in a 10 gallons tank, you will need from 10 to 20 lbs of substrate.

Ranking Countertop Materials by

Even here, some criteria will be more important than others, based on your lifestyle and needs. These are usually quite attractive countertops made of good-quality maple, oak, ash, or other hardwoods. The companies that find it, re-mill it, and sell it do need to make a profit for their specialized work. Forget to do it, and you may find that red beets stain your counters a rich purple color. Hot pots and skillets rarely discolor or scorch reclaimed wood. But its chief value—and the one thing that distinguishes concrete from other counter materials—is that you can have a single, unified, seamless counter. They must be installed by skilled pros—usually from the same team who fabricates the countertop. Concrete is a risky choice when it comes to adding resale value. This is one of the most economical of all countertop materials, especially considering its now-impressive appearance. With refinishing, the base material stays the same but a special, thick coating goes on top to radically change the countertop’s appearance. Yet no matter how much the refinishing kit claims your resurfaced counter will look like real marble, it just won’t. While they cannot match the appearance of real or even engineered stone, solid-surface countertops still look better than laminate. While no longer considered a luxury material, solid-surface countertops are considered much more favorably than laminates or tile. This is due partially to the expense of the materials, but also because of the limited number of competent fabricators. When they make an offer, non-discerning buyers may look down on this material, mentally subtracting the cost of pulling out the steel counters and replacing with another material. It can be considered a “green” building material since it is made from leftover stone and doesn’t require quarrying. Because they partially use natural materials (as opposed to solid surface, which is all man-made), quartz counters have unparalleled depth and richness. However, extremely caustic substances such as lye or other strong chemicals may damage your quartz counters. But there are also objective criteria you can use to choose a countertop material that’s likely to work best for your needs. These are not mass-produced products—each countertop is unique. This is not difficult to do, but it must be done with religious frequency. Yet, surprisingly enough, concrete can be finicky when used for countertops. That’s because concrete countertops are difficult to fabricate and require special concrete mixes. And hopefully, buyers’ minds are congruent with your house’s contemporary style. Homeowners seeking something unique may very much like this look; others may actively dislike it. You buy zinc because you like it, not because you want to save money. Laminate is no longer regarded as the poor cousin among the countertop materials. Countertop manufacturers have been developing solid-surface materials that hold up better against heat, but the product still has a long way to go. You can buy hundreds of different kinds of countertop marbles and granites, but you can buy only one stainless steel. Because each granite slab is unique, this means that no two countertops have exactly the same appearance. On average, this is the most expensive of countertop materials in our list. Quartz countertops are made from natural stone byproducts (leftover rubble from the quarrying of quartz and other natural stone) which are pulverized and blended with resins to form slabs.


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