Car­ing for kitchen coun­ter­tops

The Bradenton Herald - - Real Estate - BY METRO CREATIVE SER­VICES

Kitchen re­mod­els are a pop­u­lar home im­prove­ment project that help home­own­ers re­coup large per­cent­ages of their ini­tial in­vest­ments at re­sale. A kitchen re­model can in­vig­o­rate a home and make the most pop­u­lar room in the house more func­tional.

Ac­cord­ing to HomeAd­vi­sor, a home-im­prove­ment in­for­ma­tional guide, home­own­ers spend an av­er­age of $22,000 on kitchen re­mod­els. How­ever, lav­ish pro­jects can cost more than $50,000. Pro­tect­ing such in­vest­ments is im­por­tant and re­quires that home­own­ers un­der­stand how to prop­erly main­tain kitchen fea­tures so they have the long­est life pos­si­ble. This in­cludes the new coun­ter­tops that make the kitchen look com­plete.

Coun­ter­tops come in var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als, not all of which should be treated the same way. Quartz, gran­ite, mar­ble, lam­i­nate, and tile coun­ter­tops re­quire dif­fer­ent types of main­te­nance.

QUARTZ

En­gi­neered quartz coun­ter­tops are pop­u­lar. Quartz coun­ter­tops are nearly main­te­nance-free and re­sis­tant to stains, scratches and even heat. Quartz will not need to be sealed like nat­u­ral stone and can be cleaned us­ing just a damp cloth with a mild, nonabra­sive soap.

GRAN­ITE

Pol­ished or honed gran­ite coun­ter­tops of­fer a high-end look that adds in­stant value to a kitchen. Nat­u­ral vari­a­tions in gran­ite give each kitchen a cus­tom look. To keep gran­ite coun­ter­tops clean, avoid abra­sive cleansers that can scratch, and opt for warm, soapy wa­ter in­stead. Stains are pos­si­ble, but can be reme­died with a bak­ing soda paste left to sit for a cou­ple of hours, ad­vises Angie’s List. Wipe up oils, acids and soda promptly to avoid stains, and fol­low ad­vised seal­ing rou­tines.

MAR­BLE

Mar­ble is a nat­u­ral stone that is por­ous and will need to be re­sealed pe­ri­od­i­cally. Be­cause mar­ble has high lev­els of the min­eral cal­cite, it can be re­ac­tive when acids come in con­tact with it, and etch marks may ap­pear. Promptly wipe away tomato juice, le­mon juice, per­fume, or tooth­paste. Mar­ble is softer than gran­ite and will wear at a faster rate. Avoid scratch­ing and ex­er­cise cau­tion when us­ing knives or sharp ob­jects around mar­ble.

LAM­I­NATE

One of the more bud­get-friendly ma­te­ri­als, lam­i­nate coun­ter­tops can be fab­ri­cated to mimic the look of nat­u­ral stone, wood or even quartz. Lam­i­nate is less re­sis­tant to dam­age than other ma­te­ri­als and will need a gen­tle touch. Formica® says to never use abra­sive cleansers, scour­ing pads or steel wool when clean­ing lam­i­nate coun­ter­tops. For tough stains, an allpur­pose cleaner should suf­fice when ap­plied with a ny­lon-bris­tled brush. Test any cleanser in a dis­creet area first.

TILE

Clean­ing tile coun­ter­tops re­quires get­ting into crevices along the grout lines. A tooth­brush and a mildew-fight­ing cleaner or bleach di­luted with wa­ter is ad­vised. Also, unglazed tiles need to be sealed yearly. Some soap may leave residue, which can be re­moved with a so­lu­tion of vine­gar and wa­ter.

Check with the man­u­fac­turer or in­staller of the coun­ter­tops to learn more about the ways to clean and main­tain new coun­ters.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

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