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What Is Sintered Stone? 
Embarking on a kitchen redesign project is a very exciting endeavour, but one that requires a lot of research and planning before the first tile can be laid, so you know that you’ve spent your money wisely and will enjoy your new investment for years to come. 
Material choice is a top consideration where your kitchen worktops are concerned and you’ll find you have a lot of options available to you, everything from granite and marble to quartz and natural stone. But there is one product out there that you may not have considered before - and that’s sintered stone countertops. 
This type of stone is similar to quartz in that it’s made from a base of natural stone but, unlike quartz, it’s made from nothing but natural materials, which makes it very strong and durable… so absolutely perfect for use in the kitchen. 
It’s vital that your worktops are very hard-wearing, especially if you do a lot of cooking at home, and sintered stone is very resistant to scratching and abrasion, as well as being resistant to high temperatures and high weight loads, so you won’t have to worry about it not being able to withstand heavy use. 
Another plus point with sintered stone that makes it perfect for use in the kitchen is how hygienic the surface is. It doesn’t release any harmful substances, so you don’t have to worry about it coming into contact with food. 
It’s also incredibly versatile and it can be used in other areas of your home, not just your worktops. It can serve as shelving and flooring, among other applications, so the only limit is your imagination! 
Check out the Better Homes & Gardens website for some kitchen design inspiration. 

5 Top Tips For A Kitchen Remodel 

Renovating the kitchen can be a lot of fun, but as with any home improvements, it’s essential that you plan the project out properly so you know you’re going to like the end result, that it will add value to your home and that you won’t waste any money on fixtures and fittings that you won’t enjoy in a few months’ time. 
Bear in mind that a complete overhaul of your kitchen space is a big undertaking and it can be costly, so budgeting is vital or you could find yourself seriously out of pocket. 
Decide what you want to spend money on and where you’re happy to cut back a bit, such as investing heavily in granite worktops and lighting (advisable), and opting for bargains on your kitchen sink taps, for example. 
Once you have a budget in mind, the fun can really begin. It’s a good idea to go and visit some showrooms and shops to get an idea of how much items are likely to cost and what you’re able to afford. Don’t forget to do some online research as well, as you may well pick up a few design ideas along the way. 
The layout of your kitchen is an important consideration, as well. Think about how you intend to use the space, as this will inform all sorts of decisions later down the line. There are all sorts of apps out there that could prove particularly beneficial if you find yourself coming unstuck. 
You’re also sure to want to do some of the work yourself but only tackle those jobs you know you have the skills and experience to carry out properly, or you could end up damaging your home and costing yourself a lot more money into the bargain. 

5 Benefits Of Granite Worktops 

When you’re redesigning your kitchen, one of your main considerations has to be the kind of material you want for your kitchen countertops. If you do a lot of cooking and you know they’re going to be in constant use, you need to make sure that you have something hardwearing that will really stand the test of time. 
In this instance, granite worktops may well be the very best choice for you and your home. The material is an incredibly durable option and will handle whatever you choose to throw at it, resistant to scratches, as well as heat - so it’s perfect for use near your stove. 
Because it’s so resistant to heat, you won’t need to worry about putting hot cups of coffee down on surfaces and you also have nothing to worry about where stains are concerned either, as long as the granite has been properly sealed. Once this has been done, the granite won’t absorb any liquid, looking as good as new for years to come. 
It may seem like a bit of an investment - be aware that granite can be more expensive than other materials - but once it’s bought and paid for, you won’t need to replace it and it should last for as long as you want to have it as a feature in your kitchen space. 
In terms of aesthetics, you also really get what you pay for with granite. It’s a very luxurious material and will really elevate your interiors, so if you want both style and substance, granite could certainly be the way to go. 

What is The Difference Between Quartz, Marble, Granite and Sintered Stone? 

A stone worktop adds a lovely luxurious finish to a kitchen, not to mention providing a hard- wearing feature that should last for years to come. But what is the right stone for your kitchen surfaces? Here are some of the main differences between the most widely used types of stone. 
Granite worktops are made from 100% natural sawn stone. They look stunning, adding a timeless elegance to any kitchen. They are super hard wearing, scratch resistant, and can handle hot pots and pans with no trouble. However, granite is a porous material which requires proper and regular sealing to prevent staining. 
A marble worktop is also completely natural stone, and brings an opulent beauty to any room. It is also porous, and because it is generally a light colour, staining can be an issue if not carefully maintained. It is also relatively soft, making it more prone to chips and cracks than granite. 
Quartz, also known as ‘engineered stone’, is typically composed of 90% crushed quartz mineral and 10% pigments and resin binders. It has a similar appearance to natural stone, but is available in a greater range of textures and colours. 
A quartz worktop is non-porous, meaning it doesn’t require regular sealing and is more stain-proof. It can be cleaned with mild detergents, and won’t harbour bacteria. It is however much less heat-resistant than granite. 
Sintered stone is natural stone which has been transformed by intense heat and pressure to form a hard mass of material. It is non-porous like quartz, but far more heat-resistant, so you can put hot pans on it. It is also harder and much less prone to cracks or chips than granite or marble. 
There are many plus points for each type of material. Some people love the unique look and feel of natural sawn stone, and with careful maintenance it will endure for years. Others prefer the greater choice of colour and ease of care that more processed materials offer. 
If you need any advice about choosing a kitchen countertop, then contact your local supplier today
4 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes 
As with any big interior design project, a kitchen makeover requires an awful lot of planning to make sure that you’re going to like the end result and also that you will be left with a functional living space that works hard for you and your family. 
The look and layout have to be well considered, or you may well find that this important room of the house doesn’t meet your particular needs. 
One of the most common mistakes often made with kitchen design is not thinking about the floor plan and whether your kitchen will be serving as a thoroughfare into another room. If you have a narrow space to work with, make sure you think about your worktops and cabinets, so that they don’t protrude and make it hard to navigate your way through. 
Talking of countertops, you need to make sure you plan enough space upon which to work. You need to have room to make your meals, store appliances, do the washing up and so on… so factor this in at the beginning. 
Another mistake that is often made is not providing enough storage space, beyond the typical kitchen cabinets. Make sure you use the available space effectively, whether that’s with magnetic panels on unused walls or pull-out storage options to maximise what you’ve got. 
It’s also easy to get the lighting wrong but it’s essential that you give this a lot of thought, as the kitchen is a very functional space and needs to be lit accordingly. You’ll need task lighting for preparing food, for example, as well as softer lights for any dining areas you may have. 
Considering sintered stone countertops? Get in touch with Manimpex today. 

How To Turn Your Bathroom Into A Spa 

Having somewhere to escape to, where you can get away from the stresses of everyday life, is becoming increasingly important at the moment, with all that’s going on in the world at the moment. Being able to switch off and indulge in a bit of self-care can truly be reviving - and one of the best ways to do this is to transform your bathroom into a luxurious spa. 
Nothing quite says luxury like underfloor heating, so perhaps have this installed if it’s within your budget to do so. You’ll love nothing more than getting up in the morning (especially during the winter months) and feeling that warm floor beneath your feet. 
Material choice is also very important when it comes to creating an at-home spa in your bathroom and, in fact, it can make or break the space. 
Look out for the likes of quartz, granite, natural or sintered stone, and you can’t go wrong. These all look wonderful in bathrooms and they’re durable as well as beautiful, so you can continue to enjoy them for years to come. 
And don’t forget about the lighting scheme in this part of the house. Lighting systems have a big impact on the look and feel of your rooms, so consider having up and down lighting, as well as a dimmer switch installed so you can create a really calming space in which to relax. 
Have a strong overhead light or task lighting around the mirror and sink area so you can see what you’re doing, but make sure that you have options where lighting is concerned. 
For help designing your luxury stone bathroom, get in touch with Manimpex today. 

Why Choose Natural Stone For Your Kitchen? 

The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms for remodelling and refurbishment projects in the UK, and there is an endless selection of options for materials and style to choose from. While some modern countertop materials have some benefits, the advantages of natural stone are nearly endless, and it will never go out of style. 
Many people have been refreshing their homes and kitchens during the lockdowns, and opting for easy and inexpensive ways to give the busiest room in the house a whole new look. But for a material that will last as long as your home, and still be in-demand feature decades from now, natural stone is the material to opt for. 
Here are some of the benefits of using natural stone in your kitchen. 
We are all wanting to do more to protect the planet, and natural stone is a sustainable material. While modern alternatives may be cheaper and easier to install, they often contain chemical and plastics that contribute to greenhouse gases, do not have the same lifespan as stone, and often cannot be recycled at the end of their use. 
Durability and sanitary 
Stone makes the ideal material on which to prepare meals as it is durable and sanitary. It is naturally highly resistant to bacteria and can be sealed for even greater protection. It also is very resistant to heat damage and is scratch-resistant, maintaining its beauty for much longer than the alternatives. 
Attractive to Buyers 
Natural stone adds luxury to the kitchen, making it very desirable to homebuyers. The durability of stone and minimal maintenance adds to the marketability of your home. If you are going to invest in your home to increase its value, then the kitchen is the place to do it. 
If you’re looking for granite kitchen worktops for your refurbishment project, visit our site today

The Kitchen Styles To Look Out For In 2021 

Are you thinking about a kitchen renovation in 2021 and one that’s going to grab all the likes on Instagram? 
According to a study of US kitchens from Wren Kitchens, the way to go for the coming year is for modern-style kitchens, featuring granite or quartz worktops. 
The kitchen firm analysed 50,000 Instagram posts from around the US and found that modern kitchens with strong angles and lines were ranking high as a top choice for Instagram using interior designers in late-2020, leading to predictions that they will become a favoured trend for 2021. 
The report from the company said: “The modern kitchen style featuring a simple and sleek design was found to be the most Instagrammable style of 2020, with 44,458 posts.” 
It added that specific details within the kitchen such as granite and quartz gained 49,619 and 23,652 hashtags respectively throughout 2020 on the popular social media site. 
A modern, monochromatic colour scheme appears to be the thinking too for kitchen design, with white getting tagged 48,753 times, followed by black with 27,528. 
A search on Instagram for #ModernKitchen will fill your feed with streamlined black and white kitchens with silver-toned accents, as well as a mix of wood, stone and tiled textures. 
It certainly doesn’t mean the end of farmhouse style kitchens though, as they came in second place in kitchen aesthetics with 20,364 tagged posts, but a search will reveal that the black and white theme continues in the rustic styled kitchens, as do granite worktops. 
Why not get the best of both worlds by choosing a ‘modern farmhouse’ look for your kitchen redesign. Clean lines with character, neutral colours with natural textures, chippy paint paired with streamline appliances, and natural stone worktops. 
If you need granite worktops in the Watford area, then get in touch today

Top Tips For Caring For A Granite Worktop 

Granite worktops look stunning in a kitchen and this material is an excellent choice for your home as it’s known to be highly durable, not to mention aesthetically pleasing. 
As an article for Ideal Home recently pointed out, granite is actually one of the most durable materials on the planet, with worktops made from this natural stone “resistant to heat, scratches, water and staining”. 
All of those qualities are why granite is such a great choice for countertops. What’s even better is that it’s relatively easy to maintain and clean. 
In 2020, there’s been a greater focus than ever on keeping our homes clean, so what is the best way to keep your granite worktops clean and looking at their best? Earlier this year Real Simple offered advice about how to care for a range of real stone worktops. 
The publication explained that often all that’s required is a solution of hot water and washing up liquid. You wipe the countertop down with a damp cloth and then finish off by using a dry cloth to remove any excess water. 
Disinfecting our surfaces is important too, especially in a room like the kitchen where we’re preparing food. 
It’s best to use bleach-free cleaners to keep your granite at its best, with the news provider noting that you can even make your own disinfectant spray using one part isopropyl alcohol and one part water. 
Even though granite is relatively scratch resistant, it’s still important that you don’t use overly abrasive cleaning products on it. This goes for heavy-duty scrubbers, as well as for the cleaning products you’re using.. 
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How To Keep Granite Worktops Spotless This Christmas 

Christmas is fast approaching, and with that we see more food preparation and your kitchen countertop getting more work. 
Even with Christmas set to look a little different this year, the chances of stains and damage to your sparkling worktop increase due to the increased workload of your kitchen as a whole will get. 
Granite worktops are beautiful, filled with irregular sparkles and are exceptionally hard-wearing. However, if you want to retain its finish, here are some top tips to maintain your worktop’s finish, take care of stains and avoid damage. 
Take Care Of Stains Immediately 
Prevention is the best medicine in a lot of cases when it comes to stone countertops, so make it a habit to wipe up spills and stains. 
For the most part, granite is not difficult to clean if there’s a spill. Mild dishwashing liquid, warm water and a microfibre cloth will handle most stains, providing you use a second microfibre cloth to dry it. 
The key to it is time; the longer you wait, the more chance a stain has of seeping into the granite. Sealing can help, particularly for water stains, but make a habit of using coasters, preparation boards and being ready to wipe up stains. 
Avoid Acids 
Most stone countertops do not like acid at all. Acidic cleaning products, drinks and foods can wear away at sealants and damage the stone itself. 
Wipe away spills such as fizzy drinks, coffee and juices quickly, and avoid using cleaning products that use citrus oils or acids. 
Be Frequent 
Granite countertops do not need a lot of effort, but they do need to be wiped down and cleaned frequently to avoid etchings and stains. 

How To Feature Granite Worktops In Kitchen Design 

When it comes to luxurious kitchen design, you certainly can’t go wrong with granite worktops. They’re stunning, very hard-wearing and highly durable, so they’ll go the distance and continue to look beautiful over the years, no matter how much cooking and entertaining you do. They truly are an incredible investment and one that you will thank yourself for making time and time again. 
However, you do need to do a bit of research and planning before you have your worktops installed, so you know you’ve chosen the right colour, shape and style for your home, fitting in well with the rest of your interior design decisions. 
First of all, you need to measure the kitchen space so you know what you’ve got to work with and where you want to put your countertops. Also make sure you know that your walls are strong enough to hold the granite in place without falling down - something certainly worth considering, since granite is on the heavier side and you don’t want any nasty surprises. 
Once you know how big your worktops will be, you can then start thinking about the style of granite you’d like to go for. There are all sorts of different variations in grain and colour out there so make sure you do your research and find your favourites before making any final decisions. 
You may find it a little overwhelming, given just how much choice there is, but a good rule of thumb is to match your worktops with your kitchen cabinets. You could do this by ensuring the granite is in the same colour or by matching the flecks in the material to the cabinets. 
To help steer you in the right direction with colour, also bear the size of your kitchen in mind. If you have a smaller space, granite in a lighter shade could be the best option, while if you have a kitchen with lots of natural light, don’t be afraid to go for something in a darker colour. 
Something else to consider is how you intend to use your kitchen. Do you know you’re going to be doing a lot of cooking, for example? Do you think you’ll need a breakfast bar? Or what about a kitchen island? Making decisions like these early on can make the project far easier and will ensure you have a cohesive design scheme at the end. 
As with any home improvement project, planning is essential when redesigning the kitchen so you know you’re going to like the end result and aren’t going to spend money on products that you’re not going to enjoy or use in a few months’ time. If you’d like any further help or advice, get in touch with the Manimpex team today. 
Check out the Real Homes website for some expert interior design tips. 

What To Consider When Choosing A Kitchen Cleaner 

The kitchen is the most multipurpose room in the entire house, where house members congregate to eat, chat, work, learn, etc. So keeping this busy hub of the home clean and disinfected is vital for the health and comfort of all who gather there. 
If you’re considering in a kitchen remodelling project, you will want to ensure that not only it is kept at its best, but it’s maintained to last. The choose the best cleaning products for your kitchen, you should consider the types of dirt and stains and the surfaces that need cleaning, as well as the various ways to apply a cleanser. 
Regularly cleaning and disinfecting your kitchen surfaces is a great defence against food poisoning, as well as protection against the coronavirus. Keep in mind that while a spray-and-wipe routine may clean, it’s often necessary to give cleaning products several minutes to sit on surfaces to allow time to thoroughly disinfect. 
Furthermore, different kitchen messes, such as grease, stains, spills, crumbs, and dirt may each require a different plan of attack. You might also want to avoid products with harsh chemical ingredients such as bleach and ammonia, preferring natural cleaning products. 
Surface Type 
Kitchen surfaces may come into contact with foods and ingredients that can stain, foreign materials that can contaminate, viruses and bacteria, as well as grease, grime, and dust. Kitchen cleaning aims to banish these offenders without damaging your hard-working surfaces. 
A cleanser that works for the backsplash might not be appropriate for granite or marble countertops, or stainless steel appliances, or wood cabinets. There is a wide range of multi-purpose kitchen cleaners available, however, these tend to be for use on non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal, and ceramics. 
There are specialised cleaning products for porous materials such as wood and natural stone. Some porous surfaces can be permanently damaged by the wrong cleanser, especially if it’s been left on long enough to soak in and stain. 
Always read the package directions to understand the correct way to use any product you purchase for maximum safety and effectiveness. 
If you are looking for sintered stone worktops for your new kitchen project, then visit our site today

Antimicrobial Materials For Your Home Upgrades 

The COVID-19 has changed our lives in nearly every aspect, and while the virus may be short-lived, it will have a long term effect on home design, and how we want to ensure the home is germ-free as much as possible. 
If you’re planning on renovating or redesigning your home in 2021, then we have some suggestions for the most frequently-touched surfaces in our homes, including kitchen countertops, kitchen cabinets, bathroom surfaces, flooring, handles and knobs, to name a few. While these should be cleaned frequently, they also should be anti-bacterial in nature. 
One of the most preferred antibacterial kitchen countertop materials in quartz. It is made from a composite of man-made and natural materials and can come in designs that look like marble, granite and other natural stone materials. 
It is non-porous and scratch resistant, meaning bacteria cannot settle on the surface, and it easy to clean and disinfect. 
It is not just kitchen countertop work surfaces either, breakfast and dining bars, islands, and tables are frequently touched and vulnerable to germs and bacteria. 
Antimicrobial porcelain slabs that can be used for kitchen cabinets, bathrooms and other furnishings. Porcelain slabs are one natural antimicrobial surface which keeps bacteria at bay and can be introduced in the form of the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. 
Porcelain tiles not only are superior for keeping bacteria at bay compared to other materials but also have a show-stopping look. If looking for an immediate and affordable germ fix, eliminate knobs, handles and drawer pull and choose porcelain slab surfaces that operate with a magnet. 
If you’re looking for quartz worktops in Watford, get in touch today
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