Choosing countertops is among the most important (and challenging) decisions when undergoing a kitchen or bathroom remodel. There have never been more choices — including granite, Silestone, laminate, quartz, marble, Corian, ceramic, and porcelain — or installation considerations. You’ll want to make sure that the right choice is appropriate for your lifestyle and the overall look of your kitchen or bathroom.
We’ll help you make the right choice and weigh all of the considerations to give you the peace of mind you need to ensure a successful, satisfying and affordable remodel.
Formed over millions of years from compacted quartz, granite can stand up to the wear and tear of kitchen use and is naturally anti-microbial and stain-resistant, making it a safe surface to prepare food.
Formed deep within the earth, marble is recrystalized limestone that obtains new minerals through intense pressure, creating a stone that as graceful and subtle soft, ideal for spaces where a formal and glamorous look is sought.
Highly durable, quartzite features brilliant sparkles that lend it depth and sheen. Though typically silver to white in color, it can also be found in pink, purple and blue stones.
Easy to care for and available in a wide variety of colors, laminate is an attractive and durable yet affordable option.
Created by DuPont, Corian is a nonporous, easy to clean, anti-microbial, stain-resistant and available in a plethora of colors and style. Recently, Corian has unveiled a new line of Zodiaq Countertops that are engineered with pure quartz crystals, giving you the look and feel of quartz with more durability, heat and scratch resistance, and affordability.
Ceramic tile is one of the more popular choices for countertops and backsplashes. It’s available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and styles; can be easily repaired; and is reasonably priced. It also gives you the option to place unique decorative tiles intermittently to give it your own distinctive flair.
Like ceramic tiles, porcelain is easily reparable, affordable and available in a wide variety of colors and patterns but is more heat resistant and often mimics the look and feel of natural stone.
Tile countertops give you limitless potential for unleashing your creativity while offering an affordable way to create stunning countertop surfaces.
Stone counterops are typically sold in slabs while prefabricated materials like laminate and Corian are sold in sheets. Both options can be custom cut to accommodate sinks and other distinctive shapes.
- Clean often, with Neutra Clean stone cleaner.
- Use cutting boards and hot pads when possible.
- Disinfect weekly with Disinfect Clean.
- Apply stone spray weekly.
To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface. Wipe down the granite countertop daily and as needed using water. Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. For oily stains, try a poultice made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of sour cream or yogurt. Place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight, before washing away the poultice.
Seasonal Maintenance of Granite Countertops:
- Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up.
- If there are stains or damage, contact a stone-care professional for repair.
In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your quartz countertop looking like new. If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue.
Stubborn Stains or Dried Spills
If needed, apply a non-abrasive household cleaners (a non-abrasive cleaner will not dull the surface shine) and rinse to remove residue. To remove adhered material such as food, gum, nail polish or even dried paint, first scrape away excess material with a plastic putty knife and then use a damp cloth to remove any marks or residual dirt. For extra-stubborn stains, a no-scratch Scotch-Brite® pad is recommended along with the non-abrasive cleaner.
There are three types of Corian® countertop finishes: matte/satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss*. Most countertops are finished with a matte/satin finish. All Corian® sinks have a matte/satin finish. (*Contact your local Corian® sales expert if you are uncertain what type of finish is on your countertop.)
Soapy water, ammonia based cleaners (not window cleaners as they can leave a waxy build up that may dull the surface) or commercially available solid surface cleaners will remove most dirt and residue from all types of finishes. Stubborn residue will require a little stronger cleaner.
Follow the recommendations below to properly clean your countertop and sink.
Experience has shown that a film builds up on the surface if water is left to dry on the countertop. This film will dull the look of the countertop making the finish appear blotchy and uneven. To prevent build up of the film, it is very important to wipe the countertop completely dry after spills and cleaning.
Some colors of Corian® may require more frequent cleaning to maintain a uniform finish. Darker colors tend to require more attention than lighter colors. Over time, even with proper care, your countertop will acquire a patina, changing the appearance of the finish. You may restore the look of the original finish by following the refurbishing guidelines below.
A KEY TO KEEPING YOUR COUNTERTOPS LOOKING GOOD IS TO THOROUGHLY RINSE AND WIPE COMPLETELY DRY AFTER CLEANING
To clean laminate countertops use a clean cloth and a mild dish soap and water. Dry the countertop after washing to prevent water from pooling in the seams.
Stained areas can be treated with a baking soda paste. Mix a 3:1 ratio of baking soda and water. Spread over the stain. Let sit for 3-5 minutes before wiping away. Don’t scrub the countertop because, although it’s a mild abrasive, the baking soda can damage the finish of the countertop.
Laminate Countertop Maintenance:
You can use a special paste for laminate countertops to repair small scratches or chips. Several colors of paste are available in hardware stores.
No regular maintenance is usually required.