When choosing your countertop surface, consider which room the counter will be in. Will the countertop be in your kitchen or in your bathroom? What sort of elements will this countertop be exposed to? These are important factors to consider so you can choose the correct type of countertop for your home. Understanding how to care for your countertop surface properly is also something to consider when finding the perfect countertop.
Types of Countertop Surfaces
From classic granite to wood, there are a variety of countertops to choose from when you choose a Clayton home. Depending on the home building facility where your home is built, there are different types of countertops to choose from, such as granite, laminate and much more!* Each countertop has its own style and price point to fit your budget. Check out these five common types of countertops you can find in a Clayton home!
Common countertop surfaces include:
- Solid Surface
*Not all options are available in all manufactured or modular home models. Be sure to speak with a home consultant at your local home center to discover available options.
How to Care for Your Countertops
Depending on which countertop you have in your home, you should care for each surface per the manufacturer's instructions. Check out these tips on how to care for your countertops by surface type.
General countertop care tips:
- Use coasters under drinks
- Use hot pads under pots and pans
- Clean all spills immediately
- Use cutting boards, avoid cutting directly on countertops
Caring for Granite Countertops
- Immediately clean all spills - especially for acidic substances such as coffee, wine or sodas.
- Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the surface – and always use a specially formulated natural stone cleaner.
- Don't use generic cleaning products such as bleach or glass cleaners, as these products often contain acids and other chemicals that can degrade your granite sealer.
- Don't use bathroom grout cleaners.¹
Caring for Laminate Countertops
- Clean the surface with a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap or detergent.
- Make sure to rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Completely dry the surface.
For difficult stains like tea or coffee:
- Use a mild household cleaner or detergent with a soft bristled brush.
- Continue to scrub until the stain disappears.
- If the stain remains, use a baking soda paste with water, lightly scrubbing with a soft bristled brush for about 10 to 20 strokes.
- Don't over scrub, although baking soda is a low abrasive, too much force could cause damage to the decorative surface.²
Caring for Solid Surface Countertops
- Never place hot pans directly on the counter surface.
- If there are deep cuts and cracks, contact a professional fabricator for repair.
- We recommend not using strong acidic cleaners around your solid surface countertops. If they do come in contact with the counter, wipe them up immediately. Prolonged exposure to acidic cleaners on your solid surface countertops could cause whitening, which may be difficult to remove.
- Since the solid surface countertop is nonporous, you only need to use a damp cloth and mild cleanser for regular cleaning.
- If you have a matte finished countertop, you can use a light abrasive cleaner. We recommend not using regularly, and when you do use an abrasive cleaner, make sure to clean in a circular motion.
Spills and Stains:
- If you find that a stain is not coming up when using the routine cleaning methods, you can use full-strength bleach.
- Bleach contact with your counter should be limited to less than 5 minutes.
- Immediately follow bleaching by rinsing your counter with clean water and a general cleanser.
- If a lit cigarette comes in contact with your countertop, it may leave a scorch mark or nicotine stain - you can remove this by buffing in a circular motion with a cleaning pad or using an abrasive cleaner
- For smaller scratches on the surface, use a wet buffing pad and rub in a circular motion.
- For deeper scratches, use 120 grit sandpaper and carefully sand the affected area. Follow this by 220 and 320 grit sandpaper. You can find this at your local hardware store. Afterwards, rub the affected area with a wet buffing pad in a circular motion.
- After the surface has dried, apply a non-wax polish cleaner if you want added protection. Wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Then wipe dry with another clean cloth.3
Caring for Wood Countertops
- Clean immediately after using your wood countertop surface – especially if your wood countertop is exposed to moisture, stains or spills.
- Avoid contact with acidic substances - such as vinegar.
- Use a soft sponge to wipe down the entire surface - and always use a non-toxic cleaner.⁴
Caring for Ceramic Tile Countertops
- When cleaning, simply wipe down tile countertops with a mild soap and soft cloth - tile countertops are easy to maintain and are typically budget friendly.
- Tile works great for high moisture areas - consider using tile in your bathroom where it will likely be exposed to moisture more frequently.⁵
Caring for Quartz Countertops
- For new spills, make sure to immediately wipe up the mess and wash with mild washing detergent afterwards.
- For dried spills, use a glass or surface cleaner with a nonabrasive sponge to effectively remove the mess.
- If there's leftover cooking grease left over on your quartz countertops, use a degreasing product to first loosen the grease from the surface. Review the instructions for the degreaser to successfully and safely remove the grease.
- Permanent marker stains can be a hassle since they were created to be permanent. A solution for this type of stain is using an adhesive removing product and rubbing it into the stain. Rinse the area with warm water to remove any residue from the cleanser.⁶
Remember to refer to the manuals provided with your countertops to ensure that your cleaning method won't void the manufacturer's warranty.
Follow these tips to keep your countertops beautiful and hopefully stain free! For more ways to stay on top of home maintenance, check out our Home Care Guide tips.