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Home Maintenance Tips: Countertops

January 13, 2020 12:15 am Published by Comments Off on Home Maintenance Tips: Countertops

One of the many joys of using a new home builder in Jacksonville Beach FL like Glenn Layton Homes is the fact that your home is built to last and you should have few if any major issues for years to come. However, you do still need to maintain your home to keep everything looking as good as it did when you moved in on day one. From countertops to caulking and a variety of other areas of your home, with regular, simple care, you can keep your home in outstanding shape long past the warranties. This month, since your countertops have probably been in heavy use thanks to all of the holidays, here are some maintenance tips to keep them looking their best.

Ultimately, after the last walkthrough, countertop care is up to you. Whether you’ve chosen glazed ceramic tile, plastic laminate, cultured marble, acrylic, granite or other materials, it is important to know how to care for them. Regardless of the material, here are some basic tips that apply to all countertops.

  • Always use a cutting board when preparing food. Over time, the minor scratches that occur when you don’t use a cutting board can dull the finish and begin to show. Think about the surface of your cutting board. You don’t want your counters to look like that.
  • Wipe up spills immediately. Some liquids, particularly hot ones, can cause almost imperceptible stains on ceramic tile grout, plastic laminate and cultured marble. These stains can accumulate over time, marring your counters.
  • Try to avoid dropping pots and pans and other heavy or sharp kitchen items on your counter tops. This can lead to breaking or chipping of the counter’s surface.

If you have ceramic tiles, be extra careful to avoid chipping or breaking, because finding a perfect match to replace a tile is almost impossible, unless you have leftover tiles from the original lot. Each lot is slightly different. Also wipe up spills immediately to protect the grout from staining. It is also recommended to seal the grout at least once a year to further protect against staining.

For cultured marble, it is important to remove spills right away, because most foods and drinks are acidic and can etch the finish of the marble. Avoid placing any items on the counter that may scratch the surface. Use coasters, towels and other protective mats with items such as small appliances, etc. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on your marble. Warm water and a soft cloth or sponge are best, although there are some products specifically made for caring for and maintaining marble. At some point in the future if your counters start to look dull, consider hiring a professional to polish the marble.

Granite is a popular countertop material choice. While it has a very hard surface, it can be scratched and broken if hit with a heavy object. Ideally, check with a professional to determine the best methods and products to keep your granite countertops clean and protected.

Laminate counters are a popular choice for many, and generally do well over the years. However, it is important to always use a cutting board, because the knicks and cuts can soon show up and mar your countertop. To keep it clean, use liquid soap and warm water, but be careful not to let any seams get saturated, as they can swell and split, though caulking can help repair some damage.

Solid surface counters, such as Corian™ and other brands, are hugely popular because they have a high-quality, luxury surface that lasts for years with minimal care. Incidental damage may be repaired easily to maintain a new appearance indefinitely. However, there are some tips for cleaning and maintenance that will prevent the need for professionals. Typically, it can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge and a general purpose, non-abrasive cleaner. If you’ve chosen a matte finish, abrasive cleaners can be used, plastic abrasive household sponge pads may be used, helping to even up the surface appearance. If you have spills that are likely to stain, prompt cleanup usually minimizes the chance of staining, even with things like food dye, fruit drinks, etc. If a spill has been missed and is proving stubborn, full-strength bleach can be used on polished surfaces for two to five minutes, followed by general cleaner, and then water. The same procedure can be used on matte finishes or a bleach abrasive cleaner may be used. Otherwise, normal cautions should be taken, such as using trivets or pot holders if you need to put a hot pan on the counter. As always, use a cutting board to avoid potential damage.

To keep your counters looking their best, in both the kitchen and bathrooms, try to avoid letting any spills set, be careful with items that can burn or scratch, always use a cutting board, and use the appropriate cleaner on a regular basis. The result will be counters that look as good as when you first received the keys from your new home builder in Jacksonville Beach FL.

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