There are many considerations when selecting a kitchen and bathroom countertop. Apart from initial cost, aesthetics and durability, you need to factor in the maintenance of your countertop. Some countertops require more care than others, especially sealed countertops.
Sealed countertops come in various materials. Let’s explore the various types of sealed countertops that are popular.
Granite countertops take your kitchen sophistication a notch higher. Known for its hardness, durability and unique aesthetics, granite is one of the favourite premium natural stone countertops that can increase the value of your home.
Due to its resistance to heat, granite is always cool to the touch. Also, granite is highly scratch-resistant. You will blunt your knives first without even scratching the surface. That is how tough granite is.
Marble countertops exude a luxurious appeal that can instantly transform your kitchen and bathroom into a class of its own. However, its expensive look also comes with its pros and cons, one of them being high maintenance.
Unlike granite, marble is more prone to chipping. While you may blunt knives with granite, you can easily scratch your marble countertop surface if not careful. Besides, acidic products are marble’s kryptonite. So, check your cleaning products and don’t make these marble care mistakes before you start applying it onto your surface.
With regular maintenance and routine sealing, your marble countertop will stay pristine for a very long time.
Do not be confused when comparing quartzite and quartz countertops. Quartzite countertops are made of natural stone while quartz countertops are engineered.
This marble-like beauty is tougher than granite, and hence, super resistant to scratches. As long as it is sealed regularly, you will have a countertop that will last you a lifetime.
Wooden kitchen countertops lend a very warm and organic feel to the home. They are available in various designs made of different tree species. Environment-conscious consumers can opt for more eco-friendly options such as reclaimed wood or bamboo.
A butcher block countertop is made by layering wood strips atop another to create a solid slab. It’s kinder to your knives and quieter when working on a wooden surface compared to a stone one.
However, wooden countertops are high maintenance. They are easily scratched, and without proper sealing, water can easily damage the countertop causing wood rot.
Are you a fan of industrial chic designs? Then concrete countertops are for you. Concrete countertops can also be eco-friendly if the materials originate from recycled concrete.
When you think of concrete, you picture a super strong and solid fixture. While it is durable, it still can crack. Ever seen hairline cracks on buildings made of concrete? Yes, you may spot such potential cracks on your countertop too. However, thankfully such cracks are fixable.
Concrete is porous. Without proper sealing, it is susceptible to absorbing moisture, foreign particles, scratches and possibly harbouring bacteria and mould.
That is why to truly enjoy the functionality of this countertop material, you need to routinely seal it. Depending on usage, your countertop needs resealing from a gap of 1 year to 10 years. Despite sealing it, water spots may still appear when it is wet.
Reasons for Sealing Your Countertop
Natural stone, wood, concrete and any organic material surface that are porous have to be sealed. The sealant prevents moisture, oils, and particles from absorbing into the surface, thus protecting the integrity of the countertop.
An unsealed surface is easily damaged by stains and water. When the pores are left open, it is easy for germs to breed and becoming unsafe for food preparation.
For marble especially, even a sealed surface may be damaged by acidic based cleaners and citrus food that have been left too long on the countertop.
Sealed Countertops – A Story of Everlasting Love or Brief Romance?
It is easy to fall in head over heels with the beauty of natural stone and the warmth of wooden countertops. However, the maintenance part will quickly make your love fizzle out if you’re a busy professional, or parents of young children.
Thankfully, there is an alternative material that is as hard as granite, as classy as marble and doesn’t require any sealing. Quartz is an engineered stone that oozes as much elegance like natural stone but minus the yearly maintenance. This material is non-porous, hence, it is highly resistant to water and stains. Because of this quality, it stands out as a very hygienic countertop for food preparation.
If you’re unable to give sealed countertops the commitment and TLC, then quartz is the answer to your kitchen and bathroom countertop needs.