Many people don’t realize the importance of taking care of your kitchen countertop. Most counters nowadays are made of granite, marble, quartz, laminate, or wood. In other words, they’re made of very durable materials. Why should you bother taking care of a material that seems to take care of itself?
Kitchen countertops need more attention than you might think. Left unattended, a countertop can get quickly scratched and stained from regular use. If you have a large family, children, and/or pets, the risk of damage increases: chipped corners, cracks, and deep scratches can become commonplace. With winter and the holiday season fast approaching, you may be spending even more time in the kitchen than usual, and your counters may be subject to undue wear and tear.
If you’ve ever taken part in renovating a kitchen, you know that kitchen countertops are made of many different materials, including:
- Recycled glass
- Stainless steel
Knowing what material your countertop is made of and taking the proper steps to clean and maintain it can be key to keeping your kitchen looking clean and undamaged. After all, the countertop is the first thing many people see when they first enter your kitchen! Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a few of the most common types of countertops, as well as some good practices for maintaining them.
Granite countertops are known for being distinct, elegant, and durable. They look natural and give your kitchen a great sense of character. They’re very heavy and they can be pricey, but if you’re committed to care and maintenance, you’ll likely never need to replace or repair it.
Because granite is porous, it needs to be properly sealed when it’s installed and re-sealed if subsequent damage occurs. Therefore, when cleaning, ensure you use mild cleaners and soft cloths, as a harsh or acidic cleaning agent can remove the protective coating. When wiping it down, use a warm, wet cloth.
Marble is similar to granite in a few different ways: they’re both made from solid stone, they’re both heavy, and they both tend to be very expensive to install. For those reasons alone, it’s worth taking extra care and caution when protecting your marble countertops. After all, you’re not just protecting a big slab of stone; you’re protecting an investment!
Marble is unique, elegant, and exotic, and comes in a rich spectrum of colours from many different places in the world. Its beauty is unsurpassed, and each marble countertop is one-of-a-kind. However, like granite, it’s porous and should be cleaned often using a soft, warm cloth and a low-PH cleaning agent. Moreover, it should be resealed as often as once per year, as it scratches and chips very easily and is highly susceptible to staining if exposed to anything acidic, including cleaners, foods, or drinks.
Unlike granite and marble, quartz is not made of solid, natural stone; rather, it’s composed of ground quartz mixed with binding agents and pigments to give it a richer colour. Because this combination includes so much resin, it’s lighter and more flexible than solid stone, meaning it’s less likely to chip or scratch. Moreover, it’s non-porous, so it’s more durable and more resistant to staining and bacteria.
However, quartz is not without its drawbacks, and it still needs regular maintenance. It’s very susceptible to heat damage, so any hot kettle or pan that touches the surface is likely to leave permament burn marks. Moreover, quartz countertops can fade, crack, or warp due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which will require professional restoration.
Laminate countertops are made of layered particle board and plastic. They come in a wide variety of colours, patterns, and textures, and due to recent technological improvements, they’re now higher quality than ever before. They’re much more affordable than stone or wood, and they’re relatively easy to clean and maintain, but they tend to lack the “natural” look afforded by other options like granite or marble (though they can be finished to resemble solid stone).
In terms of care, laminate countertops are low maintenance, as their non-porous finish makes them easy to clean and sanitize, and they generally don’t require re-sealing. However, because they’re popular choices for households with pets and children, they’re still susceptible to chips, scratches, and burns, and will fade over time in direct sunlight.
Wood and butcherblock remain popular choices for kitchen counters due to their warm, natural look and their functionality as cutting and preparation surfaces. They can come in a variety of wood types and finishes (which allows for nearly infinite customization, depending on your budget), they’re easy to clean, and the finish of the wood can help easily hide cuts and scratches.
However, wood counters need to be sealed when they’re first installed and resealed as often as once per year in order to prevent water and other liquids from bleeding into the wood, which can cause warping and swelling over time. Moreover, if the finish becomes too scratched, the damaged surface needs to be oiled immediately to prevent damage. Wooden counters need to be wiped dry anytime they get wet, which can potentially become frustrating and time consuming.
Damaged? Call New Creations!
Sometimes, damage to your counters is unavoidable! No matter what material your kitchen countertops are made of, nothing is 100% impervious to day-to-day life. Sometimes, it’s possible to take every precaution and still find unexpected chips, stains, burns, or scratches left by hot skillets, spilled juice, and dropped tools and utensils.
If this happens, New Creations can offer an alternative to replacing your whole countertop: our mobile technicians can come to you quickly and seamlessly repair virtually any counter, no matter what it’s made of! Our goal is to get your kitchen looking pristine and functioning perfectly, and we love to take on new projects.
If you’d like to get in touch, click here!