Performance Standard: HBR articles 16-14, 16-16, 16-17   Click icon to view book

All material types – Countertops will be free from significant scratches or material defects at the time of the final walk through.

Granite – Veining and color or pattern variation in natural stone is common and to be expected. Natural stone is a product that has been created from many different mineral deposits over millions of years. Dry veins that may appear as hairline cracks are also common and will not inhibit the performance of the material. The variety of mineral deposits in some natural stone will prohibit the surface to be polished to an even luster. This condition while rare is normal and cannot be corrected. These inherent qualities are not to be considered defects but part of the beauty of a natural material.

Corrective measure: NONE


Refer to your completed quote from the countertop supplier for your countertop selection information.

Homeowner Operation and Maintenance

Caulking – The caulking between the countertop and the wall, along the joint at the backsplash (the section of counter that extends a few inches up the wall along the counter area), and around the sink may shrink, leaving a slight gap. Maintaining a good seal in these locations is important to keep moisture from reaching areas under the countertop. Caulking the separation is part of routine homeowner maintenance.

Laminate Tops Care & Use

With proper care and due diligence, a laminate countertop can last for many years.

Cleaning – All you really need to use is mild soap and water to remove most stains. Avoid harsh abrasives or scrub pads to avoid surface damage.  Avoid abrasive cleaners, such as Soft Scrub and Comet, which will damage the luster of the surface.  Better recommendations for cleaning are Windex, Lysol and Formula 409.

Be sure to use baking soda and water for difficult stains.

Protection – Use a cutting board to protect them when you cut or chop. In addition, protect the counter from heat and from extremely hot pans. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot put your hand on it, do not put it on an unprotected the counter.

Avoid dropping large objects on or near edges and laminate will last you for years.

Repair – Sooner or later, you’re going to get a chip, cut, or scratch in your laminate countertop. Besides looking terrible, water can travel through the open area and damage the base. Check at a home center for some SeamFil chip filler kit and a brand-new, well-polished putty knife.  A SeamFil kit comes in 20 colors (mix them to match your countertop).  It dries to a satin finish, and a gloss additive lets you match shiny surfaces.  Just follow the directions on the package.

Neither SeamFil nor any other similar product can make a countertop gouge invisible; they just make them less noticeable. However, the repair does become water-resistant.

Granite and Stone Tops Care & Use

Blot up spills immediately – Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas can etch the polish or stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not wiped up.

Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth – Preferably use a specially formulated stone cleaner, but warm water and a basic liquid dish soap will do for quick clean-ups. However, repeated or excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop’s shine. Simple Green is another option.

Use coasters under all glasses, bottles and cans – Will a beer bottle set on your granite for five minutes leave a ring? Not if it was sealed properly, but why risk forgetting?  Many common foods and drinks contain acids that may etch the polish or damage the surface. So for easy solid surface, natural stone and granite counter top maintenance always use coasters.

Use trivets and hot pads under pots, pans and dinnerware – Yes, you can take a hot pot off the stove and put it right on granite, quartz or soapstone without any problems. But you must consider other issues as well.  Grit that gets trapped between the pot and the countertop surface may scratch the surface–even granite. Granite is very hard and can take tons of abuse without any damage, but it does contain some softer minerals that could be chipped or scratched. The likelihood is pretty slim, but it is possible. Better safe than sorry. If it does happen, don’t fret too much. Most chips and scratches can be easily repaired, but it’s best to avoid them by following the granite counter top care tips.

Use cutting boards – Again, avoid the possibility of scratching the surface and protect your knives. Cutting on stone will dull and damage your knives’ edges quickly

Re-sealing – Re-sealing is a good idea although the frequency for proper granite counter top care really depends on the type of stone (porous or dense) and the quality of the sealant. It’s a very easy job and unless you have a stone that really shouldn’t be sealed (i.e. some black granites), then re-sealing every few years will ensure that your countertops are well protected against staining.

Sealing is a must for marble, travertine and limestone. For assistance contact a professional granite distributor (like Roma Tile) when you are ready to have your tops re-sealed.

Don’t use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners or degreasers – These products that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that can etch or damage the countertop surface or degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.  Trying to save money by using these chemicals only ensures that you’ll spend a lot more time and money on you granite counter top maintenance in the long-run.

Don’t use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners

Don’t use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners – The powders and even the “soft” creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.

Don’t sit or stand on your countertops – Unlike laminate countertops, granite, marble and quartz countertops are very hard, but not flexible and they do not have plywood backing, so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.

Don’t place toiletry products directly on your countertop surface – Hair products, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions and potions may stain or damage the surface or etch the polish leaving a ring. Protect your countertop by placing these products on a decorative tray like they do in fancy hotels!

Solid Surface Tops (Corian, Zodiac, etc) Care & Use

Clean up – Many of the solid surface materials are unharmed by virtually any liquid you would normally have around your house. However, to be on the safe side, always clean up spills promptly. These materials clean up with ordinary soap and water very quickly.

Hot stuff – Do Not place hot items (pots, pans, pizza pans, cookie sheets, etc.) directly on these tops! Many of them can be permanently discolored and damaged by excessive concentrated heat!  Always place hot objects on trivets.

Minor scratches and burns can often be buffed out using readily available abrasive cleansers, very fine sandpaper, or a 3M Scotch Brite pad. However, do not attempt to buff scratches or gouges unless you receive specific instructions from a local distributor. Each solid surface material has its own distinct method of repairing scratches, burns, gouges, etc.

Repair kit – Many solid surface manufacturers make a maintenance and repair kit.  If you do not have one contact your installer. Check out the manufacturers’ web sites for excellent care and maintenance information. As you can imagine, they want the countertops to look brand new at all times. What better selling tool, than your satisfaction!

Sealing – They never need to be sealed.

BUILDER Limited Warranty Guidelines

All countertops will meet the performance standard.  During your final walk through we confirm that all countertops are in acceptable condition. We repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks, and scratches noted at the final walk through. Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to this is a homeowner responsibility.





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