Having an oak worktop in the kitchen can be a great option for those who like to spend time cooking and preparing various dishes. It is a great surface for cutting, preparing dough or for trimming various cuts of meat. Not only is the surface very functional, but it can look great as well. However, using this type of surface requires some special care. When the below tips are followed, the wood surface can remain attractive for many years down the road.
Oiling kitchen worktops made of wood should be done periodically. Twice a year is all that is required for surfaces that have been in use for a while. Newly installed surfaces will need to be oiled three or four times in the first few weeks after installation to condition the wood and protect it. Linseed, tung and teak oils are the best for extending the life of the wood surface.
It is recommended that the underside and edges also be oiled to prevent bowing of the wood. Not as much care is required with surfaces that will not be seen, but they still need some protection. Any excess oil should be wiped off, and the oil should soak into the wood overnight. It may be an inconvenience to not use the surface for a while, but the longevity and the look will be worth the wait.
To get a smooth, glossy finish, some light sanding with fine paper should be done between oil applications. This accomplishes two things, it smoothes any rough spots that already exist. Oil also raises the grain of the wood, so sanding is necessary to remove the slight roughness or uneven feel on oak worktops.
Keeping the surface dry is another part of caring for the kitchen oak worktop. Promptly removing any standing water or other liquids is necessary for several reasons. The moisture from standing water will aid in rotting or destroying the surface over time. Standing liquids can also cause dark, unsightly stains.
For scratches or nicks, sanding of the surface may be required. It is a good idea to take care of such imperfections right away. Any depressions or areas where food particles can get trapped can lead to the formation of harmful bacteria on the oak kitchen worktop, which may get into food. For deeper scratches, it may be necessary to use wood filler or putty on the oak kitchen worktop. Colors should be matched as closely as possible, and then followed by sanding and oiling the entire surface for a more uniform effect.
The surfaces in the bathroom are exposed to extreme temperatures from steam and from appliances, such as hair dryers, curling irons and other hair appliances. Some of the appliances can even cause marks or burns to appear unsightly and may not be easily removed.
There are natural and man-made surfaces available for a bathroom counter top. Man-made surfaces include laminates and formica. They are often chosen for the low cost and the ease of cleaning surfaces with soap and water. However, laminate or formica can easily be burned by appliances and can come away from the base of the counter when exposed to moisture from a steamy shower.
Natural surfaces include marble, ceramic tile, granite and cement. Ceramic tile can hold up to heat, but may be chipped or cracked when heavy items are dropped on it. It does hold up to extreme temperatures and can look very attractive on the top of a vanity. If it does get damaged, it provides the advantage of requiring replacement of the individual tile, which is very inexpensive. Marble can withstand high temperatures, but can become stained over time. It will then need to be sanded or replaced in extreme circumstances. Under some circumstances, marble can also chip or crack.
The best materials to withstand the extreme warmth and heat from appliances are granite or cement. Cement can now have color chips added, to make it more attractive and to blend with a room’s decor. If used for a bathroom counter, it must be mixed and poured properly, with the right amount of time to allow it to set up properly. Otherwise, it can also crack over time.
Granite is a great substance to use on any vanity or bathroom surface. It comes in a variety of color shades to coordinate with walls, floors and fixtures. It stands up to both moisture and heat. It cleans easily and lasts a long time. It may cost more than other materials, but can provide a look of elegance that man-made materials may not offer.
While there are many types of materials used for a bathroom counter top, those that are made of natural stone are best able to withstand the elements of the bathroom. Some cheaper materials are easy to care for, but will not offer the durability of natural stone materials. The extra money spent on better materials is worth the cost when the life of the surface is considered.
Granite is one of the most popular materials used for countertops, as it combines durability with a modern, sophisticated look. Granite is in fact often chosen over marble, as while it may not be a more economical alternative, it provides a harder surface that is more resistant to damage. There are some disadvantages when using granite, however, which includes the maintenance the stone will require after installation, although proper care can ensure a beautiful kitchen counter for the life of your home.
The use of granite for kitchen worktops has long been popular because the stone is naturally resistant to heat, which can prevent the scorch marks that ruin many other materials. In addition to being heatproof, it is also resistant to the etching caused by the acids in liquids such as orange juice, coffee and alcohol, and it is a sanitary material, as it does not encourage the growth of bacteria. The hardness of granite also reduces the risk of scratches that result from heavy use, making it durable enough to withstand the daily task of cooking.
The appearance of granite consists of large, tightly packed crystals, which create a mottled pattern that not only creates a crystalline appearance on its surface, it also is ideal for hiding stains. The natural color variations range from browns and reds to darker colors that include black and green, which can then work with virtually any kitchen decor. However, granite is a naturally porous stone, which means that it will need to be regularly resealed to prevent the damage and stains that result from seeping into the stone. Replacing a damaged area of the counter can also be difficult, as the distinct patterns can be nearly impossible to match when new sections are added.
The expense is also a drawback to this material, as a granite slab countertop can be as expensive as marble. Granite tile countertops offer a more economical alternative, as tiles are often thinner and lighter than slabs, and they allow for more flexibility in terms of color combinations. However, while this can make replacement much easier, grout lines will be apparent, which can add to the amount of care that counters will require.
Granite is often considered a more durable alternative to marble, as it is naturally resistant to both heat and damage. The tightly packed crystals create a mottled appearance that is ideal for hiding stains, as well as, allowing them to work with virtually every kitchen decor. The distinct pattern can make replacing a single area of a kitchen counter difficult, which may make granite tile countertops a less practical choice. However, individual tiles can create a more unique look, while making replacement an easier process. A granite countertop will require resealing from time to time because if the sealant is worn away the porous nature of the stone can absorb liquids. While the cost of granite countertops can be as high as marble, granite can be a worthwhile investment, as the addition can increase the overall value of the home.