There are a lot of helpful articles on ceramic countertops on the Internet. Here is a summary of some of them.|
Countertops: Your Options by Kitchens.com
This article features an introduction to all the surfacing materials for countertops, with definitions and fabrication techniques for each material. The article also cites the benefits and drawbacks of each material. Information on pricing, and how best to use the material, is included in the article as well.
In the section on ceramic tiles, the article mentions the heat- and scratch-resistance of the material as its strengths. It also mentions the versatility of ceramic tiles in creating unique designs and mosaics. However, the article goes on to say that the porous grout used in between the individual tiles may stain, and because it is porous, the grout may also develop mildew and bacteria. The article also mentions that ceramic tile is not smooth enough for slicing, or rolling out dough. The article suggests creating a mosaic design from different tiles, to maximize the material's versatility.
How to Maintain by CrossvilleInc.com
This article deals with the care and maintenance of ceramic tiles. The company who released the article is one of the leading names in the ceramics business.
On ceramic tiles, the article recommends cleaning the tiled area immediately after installation. Leftover grout and debris can leave a patina of dust that can ruin the finish of ceramic tiles. Once the countertop has been cleaned, using a sealant on the countertop is not necessary.
The article goes on to say that cleaning a ceramic tile is relatively simple. Allowing a solution of warm water and household detergent to soak into the tile, and rinsing it away after five to 10 minutes should be sufficient. The article says that rinsing it is an important maintenance step. Simply wiping it away could leave soap scum that can stain the grout.
Restoring Ceramic Tile by BetterHomeAndGarden.com
Over time, tiles can chip or get scratched, so this article will prove a useful tool to keep a ceramic countertop sparkling. According to the article, painted tiles can be repainted and refinished, with a simple solution of household items. Mixing a part of trisodium phosphate and two parts of calcium carbonate with some water will yield a paste that can be applied onto the tile to strip of cracked or worn paint. For best results, the article recommends leaving the paste on the tile for at least 30 minutes. It also recommends the use of a plastic putty knife, to preserve the finish on the tiles. Repainting the tiles can be done with basic oil enamel paint.
Refinishing the glazing of dull tiles requires a water-based finished available from most hardware stores. However, the article says that the finish should not come into contact with the tile grout. The finish can inhibit the grout's ability to expand and contract with the tile, resulting in cracked tiles.
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