How to Get Stains Out of Stone Countertops

How to Get Gnarly Stains Out of Stone Countertops


Ughghghghgh. That Pinterest beet salad seemed like such a good idea at the time…and now your beautiful granite countertop is a bloody shade of purple. But fear not. We’ve got a sneaky trick for cleaning up easy.

What do I need? Flour, hydrogen peroxide and plastic wrap.

What do I do? Mix the ingredients to the consistency of peanut butter, spread on the stain and cover with plastic overnight. Scrape the whole thing off in the morning.

What if I’m worried about slopping hydrogen peroxide all over my beautiful Caesarstone? Do a test first, on a small area in hidden spot that nobody will see.


Read more: How to Get Gnarly Stains Out of Stone Countertops | Home | PureWow National



Using stuff you already have in your house

Source: How to Get Gnarly Stains Out of Stone Countertops 

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Putting an Island in your Kitchen Design

A kitchen Island or at least a peninsula that works like an island has become a standard for upscale kitchen designs.

A well design island provides added work space, storage space, and even a place to put built in appliances such as oven, microwave, wine cabinet, under-counter refrigerator or a vegetable sink. A poorly designed island with very little circulations space or poorly placed features can become a major impediment rather than a centerpiece of the kitchen.

You should consider the following when considering an island.

    • Size of room: obviously the size of the room will limit the size of the island but also consider making the island proportional to the room. Too small can be as bad as too big. You also need to consider the surrounding space. If you follow all the recommendations included herein and the island extends into and limits other spaces – family room, dining area – then it will not be successful.
    • Size of island:  If only a small island will fit consider custom or undersized cabinets. Islands with wheels are also an option if the island fits for everyday use but is in the way on days when major meals are prepared; think Thanksgiving and Christmas. Usually forty inches square is the smallest usable size for and island.
    • Clearance required between cabinets and other work areas and island: The rule of thumb is three feet but if more than one person will be using the kitchen regularly at one time or the kitchen is used for a lot of entertaining this may need to be increased.
    • The work triangle which is the triangle formed by your cook top, sink and refrigerator. If you are adding an island to an existing kitchen do not block the triangle or make it uncomfortable or awkward.
    • What work spaces or appliances will you want to place in the island.
    • Dining space: do you want a breakfast bar on the island. Is there room and if so what height. I did a kitchen for a customer with a peninsula which a lower second row of cabinets with knee space on the side away from the work space so the children could use it as a desk and do their homework while Mom made dinner.
  • Can you convert the kitchen into a single row galley kitchen and use the space created by removing a second line of cabinets or dining space to accommodate and island with cabinets or even dining space.
  • If you are creating a large island make sure the top will through the doors for installation.
  • Look at alternative islands such as table with open shelves. A table is also a great way to try and island in your kitchen it see if it works before tearing up your kitchen to install and island. You may even consider using a dresser as an island with a granite or other kitchen type countertop installed – see here.
  • All the same considerations can be applied to a peninsula which may be easier to fit into your kitchen design.

Source: How Much Room Don You Need for a Kitchen Island?

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The Work Triangle in Your Kitchen Design

Kitchen Designs must be more than just about looks. Kitchens need to be functional. One Kitchen work Triangleof the critical elements is what is referred to as the Kitchen Work Triangle.

The “work triangle” is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. The NKBA suggests these guidelines for work triangles:

  • The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet.
  • The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches.
  • If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
  • No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.

Work_triangleThe goal of the work triangle is to keep the major workstations close enough for efficiency without being too close and crowded. The triangle assumes a single person doing the cooking which in modern homes is not always the case. It also assumes that only four stations are in use: sink, cook top and refrigerator. Today’s kitchens have ovens that increasingly are not co-located with the cook top. There are also many other appliances such as microwave, steam oven, toaster oven, bread oven, spaghetti maker and many others.

The appliances you have and how often you use each item should determine the layout of and individualized kitchen.

Source: The Work Triangle – The Work Triangle – Layouts – Design – ;

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Where to Place the Microwave in Your Kitchen Design

When our daughter was born no one we knew had a microwave much less considered one in their kitchen design. Three years latter when our son was born  nearly everyone had a microwave. They were much bigger than today’s designs. They were noisy and the cooking was uneven.

Today they are sleek, efficient and necessary for the modern kitchen. So where do you put the microwave? Here are some suggestions.

  1. Below the counter: Yes below the counter. It frees up counter space but it can be harder to load and small children can be a problem. Our youngest grandson is obsessed with the beep on the microwave. Luckily our is high and he cannot reach it.
  2. Built into the cabinets like a built in oven: The good thing is you can put it any height but it is hard to put into an existing kitchen. Make sure there is counter space near by to set a hot pan.
  3. Put it in an unused cabinet.… as if there is such a thing in modern kitchens: Many designs today can be put in a shelf built by removing a drawer or pair of drawers. If you find a space it is an easy retrofit. Leaving the door open and crumbs in the cabinet can be a problem. You will need to add electric and perhaps change the swing on the cabinet door.
  4. Over freestanding stove: Many microwaves designed for this application have built in exhaust fan making dual purpose.  You need to make sure the stove and microwave match in finish and design. The microwave might be too high for some users.
  5. In a corner of the countertop or in a corner cabinet: This solution can make use of a corner but it also create dead space and if exposed a place for dust and other kitchen debris to build up.
  6. In a butler pantry area instead of the kitchen cooking area: The advantage is it can be used for items such as coffee or side dishes and not interfere with main cooking area. If the butler pantry becomes a place to make coffee, breakfast or snacks it can become a second area that needs to be cleaned regularly.
  7. In appliance garage; This gets the microwave off the counter and out of site but it has the same disadvantages as putting it in a cabinet such as collecting crumbs.
  8. In the island: This has the same advantages and disadvantages of having it under the counter. It also can put the microwave out of site but be careful when designing in a island with a larger overhang so you do not make the oven difficult to use.
  9. Over a built in oven: This puts all the cooking in one area but may make the microwave too high or the oven too low for some users. It is also difficult to add unless you are replacing the cabinets.


See the pros and cons of locating your microwave above, below and beyond the counter

Source: 9 Places to Put the Microwave in Your Kitchen

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How to Choose a Kitchen Sink to Compliment Your Design

There are a lot of options when you choose a kitchen sink. Here are some of the most common.

  1. Big single basin: These are becoming far more popular because the double bowl was invented so you could fill one side to wash dishes and rinse in the other side. With the advent of dishwashers and larger pans the double bowl has become less necessary and the single bowl more desirable. Be careful because some single bowls are so large they require larger customer sink base cabinets.

    Stainless Steel Sink

    6040 Drawn Stainless Steel Bowl

  2. Two bowls equal size: Often called a 5050 sink these are the biggest seller. They leave room for the faucet and are the easiest for the countertop fabricator to cut and install.
  3. Two unequal bowls: These come in two common configurations 6040 and 7030. They look good but have the disadvantage of having to offset the faucets because the big bowl is larger.
  4. Three basin: While these sinks look nice they might be too much of a good thing. They will often not fit in standard cabinets and require a large cutout in the countertop which weakens the top and makes it much harder to install the top without cracking or breaking. If a disposal is mounted in the center sink you cannot scrape food dir
    ectly from counter into sink.
  5. Zero Radius and VSR -very small radius – sinks are square with vertical sides. these have a very modern look. The countertop opening for Zero radius sinks are hard

    Very Small Radius Sink 6040

    to cut and polish and are an excellent place for a crack to start. The VSR sinks have a small rounded corner but are otherwise the same as zero radius. Both the ZR and VSR sinks are hand made so sizes may vary slightly.  They have a very similar look once installed. Note there are some smaller radius sinks with the sides sloped instead of vertical. These are drawn bowls and are much less expensive but do not have the distinctive look of the VSR.

  6. Farm sinks: Farm sinks have a distinctive look but can have disadvantages. The front is lower than the surrounding countertop so they are more susceptible to water splashing over. They may also stick out past cabinets and be more prone to scratching. They require modification to the cabinets so they are harder to replace should your tastes. change.

Farm sink

Source: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Sink

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Checklist for remodeling your kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen which is the heart of your home can be stressful. It is best if you follow a plan like this kitchen remodel checklist below from start to finish even if you do it a step at a time. If you plan to put in cabinets, a new counter tops and a tile backsplash it is best to do in a specific order. You do not start with the tile and end with the cabinets or you will damage the previous steps.

If you are doing the remodel one step at a time over a long period of time consider and plan for the fact the tile or counter top you want may be discontinued by the time you get to that phase. Be flexible, for example, choose white tile rather than a specific white tile.

If you are  doing all your remodel at the same time remember this is the heart of you home. Where will you cook, store your food and eat? How long will the project take.

Ten step checklist for remodeling your kitchen:

  1. Consider what you need, want and can afford
  2. Set you budget
  3. Research and plan
  4. Find professionals you will need – even DYI project may need help from specialist such as electrician or plumber.
  5. Create rough plan – see item 2
  6. Make selection – cabinets, counter tops, appliances, faucet and sink, light fixtures, flooring, backsplash. decorative hardware – see item 2
  7. Get contractor estimates – revise item 2?
  8. Get ready for demolition
  9. Coordinate materials, labor and family!!!!!
  10. Make a list of unfinished items so you actually finish.


Source: Homeowner’s Workbook: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

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Changing your kitchen sink and faucet and other quick kitchen remodeling ideas

Houzz recently published an article on 19 projects the every homeowner should know about. The article lists the following items:

  1. Choose a new sinkthis article is very good on picking a style but fails to mention most of the sinks will not work unless you replace the countertop and possibly the cabinets in order to work. It also focuses of style and not the materials. When selecting a stainless steel sink for example you need to consider will it match your appliances and does it meet building code. Many stainless steel sinks on the market today do not meet code, use inferior production processes, will not match stainless steel appliances and are purchased solely on price. 
  2. Pick a new kitchen faucet – Picking a low lead faucet – is
    New head for 3029

    Eclipse Shasta faucet

    also important. Many faucets are called lead free but are not. Eclipse faucets are truly lead free and made to last a lifetime like granite.

  3. Install a new faucet – I am not sure why this is a separate item because if you select a new faucet let’s assume you are going to install it. Before you start to do your own faucet install please note there is likely a lot less room under your sink that shown in the pictures in the article. Also make sure you flush the existing water lines before you hook up your new faucet or any minerals or debris you shook loose when you disconnected to old faucet will plug up your new faucet.
  4. Resurface kitchen cabinets
  5. Paint your cabinets a new color
  6. Learn how to talk about cabinet door styles
  7. Choose new cabinet knobs and pulls
  8. Add toe kick storage
  9. Organize everything
  10. Build a mail and message center
  11. Keep your white space looking white
  12. Clean tile grout
  13. Clean you cutting board
  14. Get the right tools for the job
  15. Shop for appliances wisely
  16. Make a stand for tablets and cookbooks
  17. Make a funky charging station to hide all those wires.
  18. Install a kitchen back splash
  19. Add storage to your backsplash for hanging pots, pans and utensils.

Source: 19 Kitchen Projects Every Homeowner Should Know About

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Cool Kitchen Gadgets For Food Lovers

There are a lot of cool and unusual gadgets to add to your new kitchen design in addition to you new countertop and Lead Free faucet from ANO.


Tea Infuser

Tea Infuser

Tea Infuser


Egg Yoke Seperator

AD-The-Coolest-Kitchen-Gadgets-For-Food-Lovers-1 AD-The-Coolest-Kitchen-Gadgets-For-Food-Lovers-8 AD-The-Coolest-Kitchen-Gadgets-For-Food-Lovers-32












Here is the link to more:

Source: 50+ Of The Coolest Kitchen Gadgets For Food Lovers



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The Problem with the Free Sink with Your Granite Tops

A few years ago some granite countertop fabricator began offering a free sink as an incentive. Some hid the cost in the price of the countertop. But nearly all looked for cheaper sinks because if you are giving away a free sink then the most important thing about the sink is not the quality but the price of the sink.

Stainless sinks are required by the major model codes in the US and Canada to be certified by an independent agency to meet ASTM112.19.3. This is an expensive process that includes testing in the factory and aftermarket.  A certified sink must be marked with the manufacturers name and the certifying agency. Most cheap sinks are not certified.

Sinks should be made of appliance grade 304 stainless steel so they match the appliances now and in the future. Many uncertified sink are made from unknown materials. It may look good out of the box but not match your appliances or hold up over time. Even some certified sinks are made from 301 stainless steel. 301 has less chromium so it will not be as lustrous and will not match appliances.  301 Stainless also has less nickel so it will age faster.

Most free sinks are double pressed so they are lighter which means they are will be noisier and do not resist denting.

Many free sinks are unbranded so there is no one to stand behind it if there is a problem.

If you install an uncertified sink and there is a problem it can only be replaced with a sink from the same manufacturer because the cut outs are manufacturer specific.

Here is a video except from a recent presentation we did for a customer.

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How to Clean, Shine, and Sanitize your Stainless Steel Sink!

ANO is often asked “How do I clean my Stainless Steel sink?” while we still stick by our answer – BarKeeper’s Friend and Scotch Bright Pad  – here is a third party solution.

Source: How to Clean, Shine, and Sanitize your Stainless Steel Sink! – The Creek Line House


A couple of weeks ago I told you all about how I learned the right way to mop and how that makes such a big difference for me in getting my floors looking nice and clean. I also shared with you that I usually use my kitchen sink for this process instead of a mop bucket. Not surprisingly, a few readers were pretty concerned about whether or not that practice was safe and sanitary, so today I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about how I like to clean my stainless steel kitchen sink and sanitize it after I use it for heavy-duty cleaning like that.
I use my kitchen sink for almost all of my big cleaning jobs, just like it’s a big bucket of hot soapy water, but more convenient! So if I’m wiping down walls and cabinets, or doing any Spring (or Summ14sinkcleaning1er, Fall, or Winter) scrubbing, I use that sink. It actually doesn’t get used for dishes all that often since we got our new dishwasher about a year and half ago, because I just love that dishwasher! The sink does get used daily though and I actually clean it out and wipe it down several times a day. If it gets really in need of a good deep-cleaning itself or if I’ve done something like mopping the floors with it, here’s how I clean it afterwards!

So here’s my sink!

After being used for cleaning, rinsing off plates and dumping that last little bit of coffee out of the mugs for a few days, it can start to look pretty dingy.

I like to start out by filling it up with hot water and a few cups of vinegar.

Really hot water from your tap is often enough for cleaning, but if you really want to give it a good sanitizing, boil a big pot of water and dump that in there. If you’re using the hot water method of sanitizing, then your surfaces need to be in contact with water that’s 180 degrees for at least 30 seconds to kill off any unpleasant microorganisms. I love this method because it’s fast and it’s effective! Don’t hesitate to use a thermometer either! You might look crazy but at least you’ll know it’s really clean!

So I let the sink soak for a bit while the temperature of the water comes down. I take this time to grab an old toothbrush and scrub around the edges of the sink and the faucet.

I just dip the brush into the hot vinegar water and use that. Also, if I have any caked on mess, like ketchup that somehow managed to splash up onto the faucet, I take a rag, dip it into the hot water and just let it hang out on the mess for a minute to completely take it away.

Once the water in the sink has cooled, I pull the plug! I like to take my toothbrush again and get into the cracks around the drain and also get any grimeyness out of the drain itself.

I’m pretty sure that all those dark spots are all coffee stains from all the coffee we drink around here!

The next step is for those of us with old, well-worn sinks. If your sink gets dings and scratches in it like mine does, you can gently buff them out using one of these green scrubbies.

Next I take a damp rag and wipe down the whole sink, followed by a dry rag. At this point the sink always looks much better, but even if you think it’s much shinier than before, I guarantee that there’s still shining to be done!

The final step is to take some rubbing alcohol on your dry rag and go over the whole sink with it. This removes any greasy food residue that was hanging around after your soaking and scrubbing and it even further disinfects everything. So take your time and wipe down your faucet and the counter surrounding your sink too!

Here’s how it looks when I’m all done! Pretty great for an old sink, right?

So bright! So shiny!

So that’s how I clean my sink. You can see now why I’m not worried about a couple of floor germs! Do you use you sink for everything like I do?

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