Monday, June 9, 2014

7 Low-Maintenance Countertops for Your Dream Kitchen


by Christine Tusher


Fingerprints, stains, resealing requirements ... who needs ’em? 
These countertop materials look great with little effort


Here are seven low-maintenance kitchen countertops to consider during your next remodel.


1. Engineered stone. Sold under brand names including Ceasarstone and Silestone and often referred to simply as quartz, this countertop material is made of crushed stone bound together by a polymer resin. 

Engineered stone countertops are nonporous and resistant to stains and scratches, and  the only maintenance they require is a wipe down with mild soap and water.


2. Soapstone. 
Soapstone’s durability has made this material a top choice for hundreds of years. Its density makes it resistant to stains and bacteria, and it’s unaffected by heat. To clean it, simply wipe it down with mild soap and water.

On the flip side, soapstone develops a darker patina over time and can scratch or chip. While some people feel this gives their countertops character, others prefer to sand soapstone regularly to keep it looking like new.



3. Laminate. Yes, that’s a laminate countertop. I did many double takes when I started looking at them, too. The newest laminate countertops not only come in a wide variety of gorgeous finishes, but they’re just as stainproof and easy to clean as ever.




4. EcoTop. This bamboo and paper composite with its trademarked name was completely new to me, but the green material quickly won me over. It’s scratch- and stainproof, it’s durable, and it won’t discolor over time. And cleaning couldn’t be easier: Just wipe it with a soapy sponge and you’re good to go.

You will, however, have to maintain the sacrificial layer that makes this surface so durable. The manufacturer recommends buffing and resealing it every three months to three years, depending on wear and use.


5. Zinc. While stainless steel will leave you wiping up every fingerprint, zinc darkens over time, developing a gorgeous patina. It is also nonporous and bacteria-resistant and needs only a quick wipe-down to be cleaned.


6. Lava stone. Impervious to heat, stains and cold and virtually maintenance free, lava stone might be the Holy Grail of countertops. But as prices start at $225 a foot and there’s a waiting list to boot, there’s a reason why you don’t see this material more often.

7. Recycled glass. Recycled glass is another green building material that’s becoming increasingly common. 

“These counters are very easy to clean. I use a light Scotch-Brite sponge and soapy water, or Method all-purpose cleaner and a sponge or paper towel,” says the homeowner. “Nothing — including oil, coffee, juice, etc. — has stained these counters.”



Need help deciding which countertop material would be best for your family?  To see the wide variety of countertop materials available, stop by Cabinet-S-Top's showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com

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