Popular Countertop and Backsplash Combinations

What’s “hot” in most kitchens these days is not only the stove, but also a fabulous granite countertop and backsplash combinations. With just the contemporary luxury of a granite countertop, the home’s value and beauty will increase greatly. But for a unique style and décor that sets you further apart, design a backsplash to go with that countertop. Here are a few tips when creating your granite countertop and backsplash combination.

Granite’s the Star

It’s important to remember, whenever you’re choosing additional materials for your kitchen that they should all complement the granite. The additional design materials should always have their own flavor, but they should never disrupt the natural aesthetic created by the granite. One simple way to help this is by matching the backsplash color as closely to the granite as possible. That will add a more consistent and streamlined appearance to the kitchen.

Mix it Up

To add a little complexity in the design, the backsplash tiles could also be arranged in specific patterns.  These patterns could be made up of colors and shades that all complement the granite. This is a simple way to provide just the right amount of personal flair, and still maintain a consistent color scheme. There are a wide variety of options all depending on personal preference, and the originality of your vision.

Family Stone

Using another natural stone is also a popular option. Using a stone other than granite for your backsplash tiles will set them apart, but not necessarily make them incompatible. Granite can match well with many other stone materials, like marble, limestone, slate, soapstone, and others. The key is to make sure the colors complement each other, and do not foster any conflicting themes. The diversity of the two stones will only add to the beauty of each other.

Some homeowners are looking for a design that guests will never forget. This is when they will need to get creative. The backsplash tile must always match the granite, but the ways in which the backsplash is designed are almost limitless. And using a multitude of natural stone materials in the backsplash will definitely create a unique look. The mosaic of natural stones can create a beauty that’s rarely duplicated. Also, incorporating more of the kitchen in the backsplash design only re-enforces the desired themes.


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Choosing the Right Color & Patterns for Marble Countertops

Re-designing your home’s kitchen countertops is an excellent way to invest in its overall value. The options are varied and each one has its own unique advantages. Of them all, marble is probably the most versatile aesthetically. The clean and luxurious characteristics they add to any kitchen are immediately obvious to all. Marble has a more traditional elegance, but its diversity in colors and patterns make it possible to suit any preferences.

Like with any kitchen design, the totality of the room should be taken into account. The decisions on what type and color of cabinets and accessories will determine the color of your natural stone. It would only make sense to start with the countertop, and then design the rest of the room(s) around that decision. Some basic design principles to keep in mind are balance and theme. The style and mood of your kitchen can become different than intended if they’re not addressed.

White is The New Black

Not really, but you get the point. White is one of the most popular kitchen countertop colors. In the same way that black goes with anything, white countertops can provide a nice complement to most any decorative choices in the kitchen. If you want a light and clean atmosphere throughout, then you can start by choosing the white marble. This opens you up to the many options for your other accessories. For people with simpler tastes, choosing a black on white color scheme may be best.

Others may want to accentuate the clean white look by choosing a white on white color scheme. This transforms any kitchen into a heavenly-themed environment. Many people use all white as a common theme for parties or social gatherings. Designing a kitchen completely in the same distinguished-looking white will give it a refinement that will impress every time. White on white will also make everything else in the room “pop”, meaning they practically jump off of their white background.

Stop on Red Marble

To truly separate your kitchen and make it unique, you should choose a color that is as bold as your accessories. Red marble is different enough to make your countertops stand out from most others. The red doesn’t have to be a deep and rich red. It can be much more subtle. The color scheme should never be too aggressive in a kitchen. But rather, it should be a red marble swirl or shade that will complement other white or light-colored accessories like cabinets and fixtures.

For some people, red is their favorite color and being able to use a red marble for their countertops is perfect. This person may choose a deeper red than others. This is a fine choice, but it’s probably not for anyone who doesn’t want the red to define the room’s character. Red might even be a consistent theme throughout the home, and choosing it for the countertops would fit perfectly. When using the red marble, it’s a good idea to use dark wood tones to complement them.

Go Green

For homeowners with an affinity for more natural settings, a green marble surface may be best. Just like with the red, the green can still be subtle. One of the more popular ways in which a green countertop can be installed is as a honed surface. This is a process of the manufacturers sanding the stone without polishing it, which creates a rustic earthy look. A person that likes to use earthy tones throughout, plus accessorize with plants, can find a lot of use in honed green marble.

The variety of colors that you can used for your marble countertops is practically limitless. It’s always best to choose one that will work best with your vision for the rest of the kitchen and home. Always remember to balance and complement a consistent theme or mood.


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Decorating Options for Granite Countertops: The Backsplash

Anyone who has seen and felt granite as a home stone product knows how beautiful it can make any bathroom or kitchen countertop. Certain stone products, especially granite, are timeless. They’ve been used for centuries in ancient and modern civilizations throughout the world. Even though granite has stood the test of time, there might still be questions about how “dated” using granite is.

This is a fair question for anything that’s been depended upon for so many years. Technology, cultures, and trends bring about new ideas and new sensibilities all the time. Granite’s fairly recent popularity could add to a sense that granite may no longer be on the cutting edge of interior design.

Even if this thinking were popular, anybody who decided to make a change from their granite countertops would quickly realize all the aesthetic and tangible features they’d be missing. The practical benefits of granite, the beauty and the convenience, are more than enough to deter anyone from turning away from granite countertops. But, every once and a while, we may have an itch for a decorating change, or have an impulse to shake things up a bit. One of the changes a granite countertop can make is to the backsplash.

The backsplash options are numerous, and it would be wisest to make the backsplash the last choice in your kitchen design. It’s much easier to match the backsplash to the countertop, as opposed to vice versa. The color and material of the backsplash need to match or complement the countertop as much as possible. The most popular backsplash options are granite, marble, glass, and ceramic tile.

If the granite countertops have already been installed, and you are looking for decorating change, the backsplash is a great place to start. With so many options, it’s good to give them all the eye test, and see what best enhances the countertop. Check out different tile samples, or different shades of granite combinations. The backsplash is a place where homeowners can retain their quality of stone product while flexing some design muscle.

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Genuine Granite vs. Faux Granite

There is always a reasonable alternative to “the real thing”. A lot of substitutions have become widely accepted, if not commonplace. The cosmetic industry makes its highly lucrative living off of providing substitutes for what’s real. Giving people the personal look and feel that they want will usually come at a price. Designing or remodeling your home’s kitchen will take the same type of consideration that a new toupee or wig for your head would. Should you go with what’s real? Or should you take the most inexpensive route?

The Bottom Line

The answers really depend on personal preference, and priorities. For some people, it’s just not enough to cover a bald spot with a toupee. But it’s also important that the hairpiece looks authentic. For others, money is simply the bottom line. If the toupee can cover the bald spot, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg to purchase it, then that’s the one for them. That rationale may seem overly simplistic. But for many, these choices are not much more difficult. The rest of us may require a little more information on our countertop choices before deciding.

Consider The Costs

Before moving off of money, let’s consider pricing again. If the cost is the only determining factor, faux granite should win hands down. Even though the costs of faux granite are exceptionally lower than genuine granite, a consumer should still do their due diligence in researching. Many companies may promote costs that do not cover everything that’s going to be required. For instance, an advertisement for faux granite might appear really cheap, but may fail to include labor costs for installation. Failing to do simple research could have a consumer end up spending more than they ever expected. They might have considered getting real granite had they known the actual cost.

Genuine granite can be out of many homeowners’ budget ranges. When all factors are considered, its overall costs may be closer to the faux granite than originally expected. With that in mind, genuine granite countertops should be viewed as an investment. Granite countertops will definitely add value to your home, which will make its resell potentials much higher. On the contrary, faux granite may actually be a liability in the eyes of some future buyers. The money any buyer would have to invest in a home without high quality countertops will more than likely be deducted from any bid.


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Restoring Older Granite Countertops to Their Original Beauty

The addition of a granite countertop to any kitchen or bathroom design immediately gives the room a sophisticated glow. This quality transformation is evident to any witnesses to the before and after. That shine lasts for years if owners tend to even the minimal upkeep practices. However, despite the best efforts, time can be unfriendly even to granite. While its durability is one of the advantages that place it heads and shoulders above other countertop materials, time will eventually bring the need for restoration.

Sealing the Granite

Granite will embody that brilliance all on its own. And thoroughly wiping down the countertops will remove smudges, watermarks, and daily spills. The real routine maintenance is to occasionally seal the granite. Since natural stone like granite is porous to some degree, it’s necessary to seal the countertop.  If left undone, there is a higher probability of liquids penetrating the surface and leaving a stain, especially over time. The process of sealing the counter is very simple, taking minutes, while leaving about and hour between applications. It should also be done once every 1 – 3 years.

Polishing the Granite

Even if you’ve sealed the countertops, time will naturally bring a little dullness to that original glow. Polishing could be just the magic that older countertop needs. Polishing should probably be left to professionals, but the materials required can be purchased for any ambitious Do-It-Yourselfers. An appropriate sanding or smoothing machine with various resin pads, and polishing compound are needed to carefully smooth down the surface. This polishing can return any aged countertop to its original finish.

Scratching the Granite

Accidents are also a common problem. Especially when granite has not been properly sealed, it can be easier to scratch the stone. Repeatedly placing heavy, jagged objects on the counters will eventually dig in unsightly scratches. The process of smoothing the granite is similar, but more laborious, to the polishing. The good news is that scratches can certainly be removed, leaving no trace of the scratch. The more experienced the person is who tackles the job the better.

Cracking the Granite

Even in the most drastic of cases, there can be a crack that needs repair. A heavy enough kitchen object, like a refrigerator, impacting the counter is more than enough to cause visible crack. The crack will require an acrylic fill, and the sanding to make sure the countertop is smoothed evenly across the entire counter. A thorough inspection of your counter may present some unsightly blemishes, but there is almost no reason that your granite countertop cannot return to its original beauty.

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Color Choices: How to Select the Right Color Granite for Your Next Project

How exciting!  You’re using granite for your next remodeling project.  You won’t regret it.  Granite is a superior remodeling product offering durability and elegance.  You may struggle however with deciding which color granite to use, mainly because there are a surprising number of options. We here at Affordable Surface Products for instance offer the following colors: Bain Brooke Brown, New Caledonia, Santa Cecelia, Ming gold and white pearl.  Granite falls under six color palettes which are black, azul, white, gold and copper, green and rose. You can click here to see the full range and our blog offers some suggestions to help you select the right color granite.

Light versus dark

First, expert suggests choosing light versus dark granite.  Each will offer a different look and feel.  If your kitchen is dark, you may want lighter granite to offer a stark contrast, or, you may want to keep everything in the darker tones.

Black can make an area look smaller

Black granite is really popular because it offers a stunning, dramatic countertop to your kitchen or bathroom.  However, experts say black countertops will make your area look smaller, so keep this in mind if your kitchen is a relatively small space.

Lighter granite makes an area look more spacious

Adding lighter colored granite countertops to your kitchen will open up the kitchen, making it look more roomy and spacious.

Find granite that contrasts your cabinets and hardware

Another tip from the experts is choosing granite that offers a color contrast to your cabinets, refrigerator and microwave.

Find a color that would appeal to others

We suggest this only because granite countertops add so much to the resale value of your home.  Therefore, choose a color that may appeal to others.

Keep us in mind when planning your next granite project.  We would love to work with you!  Call us at 336-375-5672 today.


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Little Granite, Big Changes: Small Projects Can Add Value to Your Home

Granite has long been appreciated by renovators and decorators and what’s not to like? Granite is durable, gorgeous, elegant and affordable. This blog outlines some small projects using granite that can add value and style to your home.

Granite countertops

Adding granite countertops to your kitchen or vanity tops to your bathroom are quick fire ways to add massive value to your home. And this doesn’t have to be any major undertaking, especially when working with experts at Affordable Surface Products. Many customers find granite countertops look breathtaking and are super durable too. Experts say adding granite countertops can add at least 10% to the re-sale value of your home.

Add a granite island

A granite island is a stunning centerpiece for any kitchen and another great way where a little granite can make big changes to the value to your home. A granite island offers more room for kitchen, more elbow space.

Build a granite fireplace

A granite or stone fireplace is gorgeous, rustic and really lifts a living room, bedroom or den. Create this homey feeling in your home and add instant re-sale value too.

Call us at (336) 375-5672 anytime to discuss your ideas on some small granite projects for your home!





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What Makes Granite Best for the Kitchen

When considering the best materials to use to customize and upgrade your kitchen, nothing compares to the durability and luxurious appeal of granite, especially for countertops. Granite is a naturally occurring stone widely available. Because of the different mineral concentrations found throughout the world, it can come in relatively diverse color patterns allowing for a unique appearance. No matter what kind of granite you choose, you are guaranteed a custom look for your kitchen

Of all the natural materials available for custom kitchen countertops, granite is the most durable, able to hold up against heat and cutlery. It can withstand the heat of a pot removed from the stove and placed directly onto the countertop with minimal risk of discoloration. No need for cutting boards that can harbor bacteria over time and need replacing because granite is strong enough to resist scratching since the minerals comprising the stone surpass the strength of many utensils. With its naturally polished surface it is easy to clean with a simple wipe down or use of warm soapy water. No harsh or abrasive cleaners necessary.

Granite provides the best value for kitchen upgrades for a long lasting improved overall look. It is one of the only materials with an elegant form as well as complete practical functionality. With a skilled installation you can have a seamless integration with virtually any sink style. It is even possible to specially cut granite to allow for a customized soap dispensers or hose attachments around the sink.

As beautiful as granite is, with its customizable design, and unique color blends, it is an investment that does not necessarily go beyond your budgeting means. In some cases it may be possible to find precut granite slabs that meet the detentions of the countertops you are seeking to replace, which can cut costs.

Affordable Surface Products offers a variety of granite selections from standard to exotic options to create your ideal kitchen countertops. We service Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, and the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina.


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How to Choose a Designer for Custom Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops

Choosing a designer for your custom bathroom and kitchen countertops is essential to ensuring that you receive the best service and quality installation. A company with experience is preferable, as is a company that specializes in countertops and the materials you prefer, especially if you prefer the natural elegance and durability of granite.

Why a countertop focused company?

When it comes to redesigning or remodeling an entire room finding an all-in-one contractor may be preferable, but when you are focused on one aspect of a room such as countertops hiring a specialist is the way to go. By working specifically with a company dedicated to countertops or with a primary focus on them you are dealing with someone who knows their area of expertise. Those who specialize in countertops tend to have the best working knowledge of what materials would be ideal for meeting your needs, and they can find the best cost effective way to meet your budget.

A countertop specialist may be able to offer options previously not considered. Countertops for bathrooms do not have to be as durable as those intended for the kitchen. This knowledge allows someone skilled in countertop installation to take into account your wishes and help you select the ideal material for the purpose it will be put to. The dimensions of the space also differ in such a way that a company dealing solely in countertops understands. Even while seeking a customized look for your kitchen or bathroom a countertop specialist may have some precut pieces that could save you money and provide the customized enhancements you desire.

Why a granite focused company?

Another consideration for selecting the right designer is choosing a company specializing in the materials you are most interested in. For instance if you have your heart set on natural stone such as granite then it is best to find a company that specializes in customizing granite for countertops. Again by selecting a company with this specific focus they may have particular insight into helping you choose the best type of stone, best design, and best deal for your home improvement project. The skill acquired from working regularly with granite guarantees that details will be attended to efficiently for installation of your custom designed countertops for either bathroom or kitchen.

Choosing a company with the experience that incorporates both the skill of working with stone and countertop customization also supplies you with a company you can be confident of. Experienced companies are invested in the work they do, and those that have specific focus know how to serve their clients best in that area. A good company will offer you installation and maintenance, educating you on how best to care for your investment once it is installed.

For more information on custom bathroom and kitchen countertops contact Affordable Surface Products for a free quote or call (336) 375-5672. We service Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, and the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, providing custom stone design, installation, and maintenance services utilizing high quality stone.


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How to Design Luxury Bathroom Countertops

Unlike the kitchen where countertops are used as cutting boards and cooking prep space, bathroom countertops can be more about aesthetics and luxurious design. However, there is a way to enhance the luxurious feel of your bathroom and ensure its longevity.

When deciding what material to use arguably one of the finest is granite for its natural long lasting, stain-resistant beauty. Marble and glass can also look great, but are not nearly as durable. Though durability might not be at the top of the concerns list with bathroom countertops consider the effect of accidentally leaving a curling iron on. Both marble and glass can discolor under excessive heat exposure.

Choosing the design of your countertops will depend upon the kind of sink, whether it is an inset or raised design, the countertops will need to be cut with that in mind. Countertops that extend to either side of the sink for added space is a lovely feature for laying out hygiene products when dressing for work or evenings. Who says you don’t need workspace in the bathroom? Whether it’s a gentleman’s shaving utensils or a lady’s makeup the ability to attend to these things without having items constantly falling into the sink due to too little workspace is a much appreciated bonus.

When it comes to the look, nothing has a richer appearance than natural stone, especially with its subtle variations and tones. There is a color texture that can match and enhance the look of any bathroom theme, whether you are looking for a traditional color scheme or something more exotic. Few materials offer the richness and durability of granite, adding another layer of luxury to any bathroom.

Contact Affordable Surface Products regarding your luxury granite bathroom countertop needs. We service Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, and the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina and provide free quotes.


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