Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops Countertops
 
   
 
                                           CARE & MAINTENANCE 

DISCLAIMER:  Rembrandt believes that all of the following information is accurate.  The information written below has been amassed over many years of direct experience in dealing with the materials and products mentioned.  Some of these recommendation, comments, and observations may be in direct conflict with the material manufacturer’s printed warranties.  It is left to the consumer to determine what product and procedure to follow based on their own experience and evaluation and on their specific countertop material.  Rembrandt is not liable for any damage to the material that may result from the use or misuse of the following information or recommended products, ALLWAYS test any cleaners, sealers, or other cleaning products before use on the entire countertop.


GRANITE AND OTHER STONES:  Granite, Marble, Limestone, Travertine, and other Natural Stones

The following comments refer to Granite but also apply to Marble, Limestone, Travertine, and other natural stones.

Granites can be very porous and must be properly sealed to prevent staining and absorption of liquids.  Natural stones are also susceptible to being etched by chemicals found in many commercial cleaning products.  Granite and all other natural stones require cleaning products that are specifically made for the stone's unique mineral composition.  For everyday cleaning Rembrandt recommends soap and water, or other commercial cleaning products specifically intended for stone use.

Deterioration is the result of a chemical reaction between the Granite and the chemicals used in many products to break down hard water and minerals; i.e. Windex, 409, etc.  Most over-the-counter general cleaners are not specifically formulated for Granite and may break down the seal coating and remove its protective properties.  Without this protective coating, the Granite becomes susceptible to stains and deterioration.  Worse yet, many cleaning products, including those that contain lemon, vinegar, bleach or ammonia can eat away the Granite's surface finish, or may discolor the surface.  Abrasive cleaners could even scratch the stone.

Granite should be resealed on a regular basis.  Usually once a year is recommended.  However, the intervals between sealing will vary based on use, the porosity of the stone, and the original sealing process used.  There is a simple visual way to determine if the Granite needs to be resealed.  If a spill beads-up on the Granite surface, it is properly sealed.  If the spill appears to darken the Granite or spreads over the Granite, the liquid is being absorbed into the stone and indicates it needs to be resealed.

Rembrandt treats all new countertops it installs with Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It.  Among other benefits Seal-It seals the Granite surface with a penetrating coating that will not readily wash away.  This sealer helps prevent staining and deterioration and should be re-applied periodically, as the stone loses its ability to repel liquids. 

Rembrandt also offers Stone Wizard's Gran-It Super Seal-It as an upgraded sealing system.  Super Seal-It is the latest high-tech product to be introduced into the stone market.  It has a greatly enhanced sealing capability and appears that its extended longevity and ability to repel spills is worth its added cost.

Should Granite need to be resealed, Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It or Super Seal-It can be applied by the user or Rembrandt can provide a technician to do the work.  Both are available for purchase through Rembrandt.

Daily Cleaning & Occasional Sealing

Clean daily using soap and water or a specialty product designed specifically for stone.  Read labels carefully to make sure that the cleaner is compatible and recommended for stone.  Even with the manufacturer’s recommendation, it is always advisable to test the cleaner in a small inconspicuous area of the countertop to make sure that the cleaner will not have an adverse effect.

Use Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It or Super Seal-Itas needed to reseal, brighten, and rejuvenate your countertop.  Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It or Super Seal-Itis rated “food-grade.”

Rembrandt offers Stone Wizard's products.  Contact info@rembrandtcountertops.com to place an order.

 

ENGINEERED QUARTZ (aka Engineered Stone)

DISCLAIMER:  Should any of the following cleaning and maintenance recommendations conflict with the manufacturer’s recommendations, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as other actions could void the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Engineered Quartz requires simple routine care to maintain. For everyday cleaning Rembrandt recommends soap and water, or other commercial cleaning products specifically recommended by the manufacturer of the Engineered Quartz.

Because quartz is promoted as being impervious to stains, it should withstand daily exposure to spills in a kitchen environment.  Note: See contradicting comment in the Engineered Quartz ‘Daily Cleaning & Occasional Sealing’ section below. Just wipe and the surface is like new again.  Unlike granite, Engineered Quartz should not need to be re-sealed, making it a relatively maintenance free surface.  Most of the Engineered Quartz brands have a “Care & Maintenance” section on their web site.  For specific cleaning recommendations, consult your countertop's brand's web site.

In general, any multipurpose non-abrasive cleaner or detergent can be used on stubborn stains and dried spills.  For extra-stubborn spills carefully use a 3M white scouring pad to remove the spill residue.  Cleaning liquids like bleach are also good for removing stubborn stains.  Always test a small inconspicuous area of the countertop to make sure that there are no adverse chemical reactions to the Engineered Quartz.

To remove non-soluble adhered materials, carefully scrape away the excess with a sharp blade.  If there are any gray metal marks remaining on the surface, use a regular cleaning agent to remove it.  Finally, wash and rinse the surface in with soap and water.

CAUTION: Contrary to the manufacturer’s claims that engineered quarts is tolerant to high heat, Rembrandt has experienced that intense heat can permanently damage the engineered quarts countertop.  The following comments on hot objects are from Rembrandt’s firsthand knowledge and experience.

Engineered Quartz can tolerate moderately hot temperatures for brief periods of time without being damaged.  However, avoid direct contact with very hot pots, even for a brief period of time.  If the heat from a pot is allowed to transfer into the quartz top the resin binder and quartz crystals could be damaged.  This can create a crackling appearance or a hazy dull spot.  This damage can NOT be repaired.  Therefore, always use a trivet under any hot object.

There are several Engineered Quartz products that come in a honed finish.  A honed finish will require more daily maintenance than polished finishes.  Honed finishes will show more metal marks, finger prints and other signs of daily use.  Most of these marks can be easily removed with little effort with cleaning products such as a white 3M Scotch Bright® pad or Windex®.  For tough stains, use Softscrub® with bleach.  CAUTION: Before using a white 3M Scotch Bright® pad or Windex®, always test a small inconspicuous area of the countertop to make sure that there are no adverse chemical reactions to the Engineered Quartz.

As with any surface, Engineered Quartz can be permanently damaged by exposure to strong chemicals and solvents that undermine its physical properties.  Do not use products that contain trichloroethane or methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers.  Avoid any highly aggressive cleaning agents like oven/grill cleaner that have high alkaline/PH levels.

Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with water to neutralize the effect, then call Rembrandt.  Rembrandt has a highly trained and skilled restoration and repair staff that may be able to correct the problem.

CAUTION: In the intense Arizona sun, Rembrandt has witnessed that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight) can cause the fading of the pigmented color in the exposed area of the engineered quartz.  To minimize this potential problem, Rembrandt recommends windows be shaded during the hours that direct sunlight can shine on the countertop.

Daily Cleaning & Occasional Sealing

Clean daily using soap and water or a specialty product for stone.

Engineered Quartz is promoted as being non-porous.  Although this statement may be applicable to the factory finished surface, Rembrandt has seen that cut edges and refinished surfaces of Engineered Quartz will become porous and will absorb liquids.  There is a simple visual way to determine if the Engineered Quartz needs to be resealed.  If a spill beads-up or runs off of the Engineered Quartz surface, it is properly sealed.  If the spill appears to darken the surface or edges, or spreads over the surface, the liquid is being absorbed into the Engineered Quartz and indicates it is time to reseal.

Use Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It or Super Seal-Itas needed to reseal, brighten, and rejuvenate your countertop.  Stone Wizard's Gran-It Seal-It or Super Seal-Itis rated “food-grade.”

Rembrandt offers Stone Wizard's products.  Contact info@rembrandtcountertops.com to place an order.

SOLID SURFACE

DISCLAIMER:  Should any of the following cleaning and maintenance recommendations conflict with the manufacturer’s recommendations, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as other actions could void the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Solid Surface requires simple and routine care to maintain. For everyday cleaning Rembrandt recommends soap and water, vinegar and water, ammonia based liquid cleaners (glass cleaner), and most conventional non-abrasive household or industrial cleaners.  The cleaning liquid depends on the mineral and dissolved solid content of the water.  As water quality and hardness vary greatly, it is up to the individual user to determine what works best.

There are several Do's and Don'ts on follow.  Use soap and water, vinegar and water, ammonia based liquid cleaners (glass cleaner), and most conventional non-abrasive household or industrial cleaners.  Use of abrasive cleaners like Ajax® or Soft Scrub® will dull the surface finish and in general is NOT recommended.  Depending on the color of the countertop, the dulling of the surface may not be noticeable.  The darker the color of the countertop the more visible the dulling of the finish will become.

Solid Surface can tolerate moderate hot or cold thermal shock for brief periods of time without being damaged.  However, avoid direct contact with very hot or cold objects, even for a brief period of time.  For example, if the heat from a pot is allowed to transfer into the Solid Surface top the countertop could be damaged.  This can create a crackling appearance or a hazy discolored spot.  This damage can NOT be repaired without extensive labor and identical virgin material.  Therefore, always use a trivet under any hot object including but not limited to hot pots and pans, the feet of crockpots, coffee pots, etc.

NEVER pour boiling water, ice, or ice water onto the countertop or into a solid surface sink.  Before pouring boiling water into the sink, turn on the cold tap water.  AVOID harsh chemicals such as bleach, drain cleaners and paint removers.  Cleaners containing bleach will whiten any Solid Surface if left on the product for more than 10 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly with water, after use.

AVOID sliding hard or rough bottom objects across any surfaces as they may scuff or scratch the countertop.  Should superficial scuffs and scratches occur, they can usually be removed by the user.  If the surface finish is Rembrandt's Standard High Satin finish, use 000 steel wool to buff out the scuffed area.  The steel wool should restore the damaged area to the original finish.  If there is a visible difference in the finish of the repaired area and the balance of the countertop, the entire top may have to be re-sanded.  Also, sandpaper will remove deeper scratches.  In either case, Call Rembrandt for instructionsWARNING!  Excessive sanding in one area can cause low spots in the solid surface.

Most of the Solid Surface brands have a “Care & Maintenance” section on their web site.  For specific cleaning recommendations, consult your countertop's brand's web site.

Should you experience any damage to your countertop, call Rembrandt.  Rembrandt has a highly trained and skilled restoration and repair staff that may be able to correct the problem.

Daily Cleaning & Occasional Sealing

Clean daily using soap and water, vinegar and water, diluted bleach and water, or other commercial liquid cleaning products specifically intended for Solid Surface use.  Since Solid surface is non-porous, and doesn’t have a topical coating to create its finish, the Solid Surface doesn’t require resealing.


 
 
 
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