In North American homes, kitchen islands have been a strong aspect of open floor plans since the 1950s. Interior designers believe soldiers coming back from World War II noticed tables moved into the center of Italian kitchens, which often merged with living rooms instead of having separate dining spaces.
For home builders, open floor plans allowed them to save on construction materials and extra labor, and interior designers saw them as an opportunity to create focal points. Hardwood was initially used for kitchen island countertops. This trend would later shift toward natural stone, solid surface materials, and ceramics. These days, the countertops of kitchen islands often feature quartz, a durable material that not only looks great but can also last decades when it’s adequately maintained. Here are the steps you must take when caring for a quartz kitchen island.
Always Use Cutting Boards
Although quartz won’t scratch as easily as natural stone, putting enough pressure on it with a sharpened steel knife may result in a damaged surface, particularly if the surface finish is honed and polished. A single scratch will likely be invisible. However, a series of small scratches and slight nicks may eventually become noticeable under certain lighting conditions.
Use Hot Pads and Trivets
The problem with hot pots, pans, and baking sheets being placed directly on some quartz surfaces is that they may cause discoloration over time. Keep in mind quartz slabs are manufactured with resins and pigments that can slightly burn when exposed to temperatures higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. They won’t become scorched, but they may start losing their color after a while.
Avoid Common Household Cleaners
Similar to natural stone, quartz is a material that shouldn’t be cleaned with the products you normally use on ceramics, laminates, glass, porcelain, and stainless steel. The problem with common household cleaners is that some contain strong chemicals that could break up the bindings between the polymer resins and natural-stone fragments that are used to make quartz slabs. This isn’t a problem when using a specially formulated quartz cleaner. Granite Gold Quartz Brite® is an easy-to-use cleaner and polish specifically formulated to clean engineered stone.
Avoid Using Abrasive Scrubbing Pads
Steel wool and the scrubbing pads commonly used in commercial kitchens should never be used to clean quartz surfaces. You can safely use paper towels or microfiber cloths for daily wiping with Granite Gold Quartz Brite®. Should you need to scrub away a food stain that has crusted, you can do so with a non-scratch pad. Keep Granite Gold Scrub Sponge® handy to remove stubborn surface stains.
If you’d like to learn more about caring for quartz, reach out to Granite Gold®. We also provide a wide array of cleaning, sealing, and polishing products that are safe to use on natural stone such as marble, slate, and granite. Care for your quartz and natural stone properly so it lasts for many years to come. Call the Stone Care Experts at 1-800-475-STONE (7866) if you have any questions.
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