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Weizter Magazine

These articles are written without prejudice by Weizter staff members and other independent writers, the views and opinions expressed here are the views of these writers which do not necessarily reflect or express the views and policies of Weizter.
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Choosing the right vanity for your bathroom

A bathroom is a smaller space, and you want to make the most of every change you’re making. This includes your bathroom vanity. It can easily become the main attraction of your bathroom, meaning you want to get it right the first time.

It can easily become the main attraction of your bathroom, meaning you want to get it right the first time.But how do you choose a bathroom vanity that not only looks good but functions well too? Do you follow trends or design according to your own style? Here are a few tips to help you find the vanity that will make your bathroom your favorite room in the house.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

As much as we’d like the process to be as easy as “A, B, C”, it does take more thought and careful consideration. You need to take into account everything from practicality to aesthetics. These steps will help you take into account all the information you need to choose the right bathroom vanity.

 

Consider Who Is Going to Be Using It, and How

The vanity you choose should take into account the people who are going to be using it, and the type of things they will be using it for.If you and your partner need the sink at the same time every morning, a vanity with a double sink might be the best option for you. If you’re by yourself, you could make do with something smaller.You also need to take into account how you will be using your vanity. If you are someone who likes to do their makeup and hair, you’ll want more counter space and storage to accommodate supplies.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Find out Where Your Plumbing Is Located

Plumbing will most likely be the part of your bathroom that will determine the position and style of your vanity. For example, a floor-mounted vanity can make use of the typical plumbing layout. A wall-mounted vanity would require moving the plumbing hookups for your sink.Moving plumbing is not impossible; it depends on what you want, and your budget. If you decide to work with the existing plumbing set up, this will help you narrow down your vanity styles.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

 A floating vanity looks great, but you have to make sure your plumbing is designed to work with it.

 

Potential Obstacles to Determine Placement and Size

Bathroom designs can always be changed in comparison to doors and walls. This limits the places you can put your vanity. Things you want to consider when determining placement include:

• Door swing: If you bathroom door swings inwards and hits the vanity, this is both ineffective and annoying.

• The shower: do you have a shower door instead of a curtain? This is another swing you should keep in mind when deciding where to place your vanity.

•The toilet: Do you want the vanity in front of, beside, or far from the toilet? Will you be bumping into the vanity when trying to ‘go’?

• Traffic flow: Your vanity shouldn’t make it difficult to move around the rest of your bathroom. If you’re constantly bumping into it trying to avoid something else, you’re going to get frustrated, not to mention bruised.Experiment by walking around the space. If you can’t completely visualize, try using a vanity substitute  like a box. This will give you an indicator of where the vanity would go, and how it would affect the trafic flow in the rest of the room. 

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Determine Your Sink Style

A sink is going to take up some counter no matter the style, but depending on which one you go with, you can minimize the amount of counter space it will take up. Compare standard sinks with vessel, undermount, and all-in-one styles to get a better idea of how you want your own vanity set up.The size of your sink will also depend on your priorities for the vanity. For example, if you’re working with a limited surface area, a smaller sink will help you make the most of it.

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An undermounted sink will give you more counter space to work with.

Remember that there are no wrong choices when it comes to personal style. Your vanity should look like a vanity you can’t wait to use and keep forever. There are no wrong choices when it comes to final designs – only your choice!

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Engineered Quartz and NEOLITH

The Rise of Porcelain and Engineered Quartz New countertops are the top feature most homeowners want in their kitchen. While granite remains popular for its look — despite its maintenance — other materials are catching the attention of homeowners. George Lisac, owner of Kerrock Countertops in Union City, California, is seeing a big rise in requests for engineered quartz. “Even more than granite,” he says. Engineered quartz is 97 percent crushed quartz mixed with 3 percent resin to create a nonporous material that doesn’t need to be sealed like granite. It was the most popular countertop material in the U.S. after granite, and the No. 1 choice in Canada, Ireland, Spain and Australia. But not everyone embraces the material. Burghardt, owner of Domicile San Francisco, says he’s been ripping out and replacing the engineered quartz countertops he installed years ago. “People are not happy with them,” he says. “People also universally seem disappointed with the matte finishes which are prevalent in the market. They show a lot of fingerprints and look dirty as opposed to the polished surfaces.” Instead, Neolith, a porcelain material from Spain, shown here mimicking Calacatta marble, has been taking over his clients’ kitchens lately. “You can’t scratch it, burn it or stain it,” he says. To demonstrate in his showroom, Burghardt says he scrapes the surface of Neolith with a screwdriver until it throws sparks. “No scratching,” he says. Then he takes a flamethrower to it. “We will brown the top of a crème brûlée, then aim the flame at the countertop and hold it there. No cracking or discoloration. Pour zinfandel, hot chili oil, blueberry and nothing happens. And no, I do not have stock in the company.” In Japan, artificial stone seems to be moving out of the way for materials like quartz and ceramics. “Our hottest one for next year is durable ceramic panel , originally developed as an exterior material,” says Imai of Kitchen House. Stainless steel also is a popular countertop material for the Japanese. In an informal Houzz Japan poll, stainless steel was the No. 1 chosen material for kitchen countertops. “People tend to choose it in order to give a cool and sharp image to the space, not only because of its durability and heat resistance,” Imai says.
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A REVOLUTIONARY MATERIAL The NEOLITH Sintered Stone slab is a trendsetting  material that is redefining the future of interior design. With an extensive range of colours and finishes, NEOLITH is a designer product that has created exciting possibilities for interior decorating applications and exterior cladding projects. Innovative and endless design options Comprehensive range of colour options and combinations Attractive Matte, Polished, Silk, Honed and Riverwashed finishes. Countertop and panel cladding material available in the same colour for perfect continuity and a holistic look Resistant to very high temperatures Stain resistant Hardwearing and durable Easy to clean and maintain Minimal seam joins due to large slab format
FEATURES & PRODUCT ADVANTAGES NEOLITH is an admirable competitor when compared to common surface materials such as marble, granite, engineered stone and other cladding materials. The versatile colours, consistency, durability and remarkable size of these sintered stone slabs make NEOLITH the preferred product, particularly for large construction and development projects. NEOLITH can withstand much higher temperatures than most competing surfaces and the larger slab size means increased cost effectiveness and project efficiency.
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As an environmentally friendly product, NEOLITH ranks amongst the best, surpassing every required standard (ISO) in every one of its characteristics with the use of technologically advanced operating systems. NEOLITH is currently the most versatile cladding product on the market.  RESISTANT TO HIGH TEMPERATURES Does not burn in contact with fire or let off smoke or toxic substances  RESISTANT TO UV RAYS Since the color is 100% natural, it does not deteriorate due to exposure to the sun or extreme temperatures.  LIGHT The 6 mm board is only 14 kg/m² and the 12 mm board, 30 kg/m².  RESISTANT TO ICE AND FREEZING Neolith is not damaged by low temperatures.  SCRATCH RESISTANT Resistant to scratching and abrasion due to the hardness of the surface.  EASY TO CLEAN Resistant to chemical cleaning agents.  RESISTANT TO BENDING A high modulus of rupture. Resistant to high pressure and weight loads.  HYGIENIC Does not release harmful substances. Completely suitable for contact with food.  SUITABLE FOR HEAVY TRAFFIC Due to the hardness of the surface.  100% NATURAL Resin-free. Does not release any harmful substance into the environment.  WATERPROOF Waterproof and liquid-resistant. With an absorption level near zero.  
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Is kitchens changing ?

 Just ask the people building and planning the kitchens of today. With that in mind, according to a survey was done  in 11 countries — the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Denmark — through a series of discussions, polls and interviews to describe the ins and outs of kitchen projects they had recently completed, have underway or are planning to start in the next three months. According to Houzz data shows that 41 percent of homeowners are remodeling kitchens that are 16 to 30 years old. Out off nearly 9,000 people 85 percent had completed or worked on their kitchen project  that means their choices in layout, materials, storage and special features offer insight into trends you’ll no doubt see in kitchens for years to come.
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But don’t expect Jetsons-style whiz-bang gadgetry anytime soon. Other than a few high-tech appliances, homeowners aren’t looking to impress NASA with their kitchens. Apart from TVs and iPads, the majority of homeowners in almost every country that was part of the  survey aren’t interested in many high-tech features. “Programming ovens from an iPhone is not something people are doing, and people don’t care about a refrigerator that will send a message to your phone that it needs to be defrosted,” says Ken Burghardt, owner of Domicile San Francisco. Instead, they’re focusing on materials and features that provide basic function and classic style. The local climate and size of the space dictate a lot about how a kitchen will look. But so do cultural influences. For example, step into a kitchen in Spain and you’re more likely to see a built-in coffee station and walk-in wine cellar than in other countries. Nearly a quarter of Spanish homeowners plan to add a built-in coffee or tea station, while almost 10 percent plan to add a wine cellar. But for the most part, kitchens from all the countries  surveyed are a lot alike. Homeowners almost everywhere seem to want white cabinets, pullout garbage and recycling bins, more pantry storage and new countertops, appliances, cabinets — new everything, really.
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Give Me a ‘U’ The basic layout of the cabinets and appliances dictates what kind of experience you’ll have working in a kitchen. It’s a matter of preference, and often depends on the layout you start with and how much time and money you’re willing to spend to change it. In the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany, U-shaped kitchens are the most popular, according to the survey. In the U.K., designer Conrad Hendrick of LWK Kitchens says history plays a role in kitchen layouts. “Unless you are willing to remodel, then your home’s existing architecture will often dictate what your layout will be,” he says. “And with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture still imprinted on many modern homes, it follows that these styles naturally influence kitchen design, and in many modern cases lean toward a U-shaped kitchen layout.” Aside from the historical influence, Hendrick says people desire the U-shaped layout because it provides a generous work surface and storage capacity. “They are also highly efficient and simple to use because of the limited number of steps required when moving between different areas of the kitchen,” he says. L-shaped layouts reign supreme in every other country except Denmark, where nearly a third of homeowners want a galley kitchen. In Russia, where the majority of homeowners choose an L-shaped layout, interior designer Andrey Maksimov-Pavlychev says a legacy of small-space mentality and nostalgia has a lot to do with the preference, and is likely to continue into the future. “Our people have always lived in tiny apartments, so they obviously did their best to make the kitchen occupy less space,” he says. “These layouts allow us to fit all the appliances you need in a very small space. Even when people move to bigger apartments, memories make them choose the angular configurations while they could afford an island kitchen or any other kind.”
New interpretations. Though Japan was not part of the survey, which was conducted online , reaching out to Toshiyuki Imai, manager of Japanese kitchen design firm Kitchen House’s Tokyo showroom. Imai says one of the most popular layouts in Japan is somewhat like an open galley style, in which the kitchen counter and dining table are linked seamlessly together. “This is efficient because it makes it easy to deliver meals from the kitchen to the dining, while it’s still possible to change the layout of the dining table according to the number of guests you are entertaining,” Imai says. And designers are responding to this with new interpretations of the traditional Japanese kitchen. Kitchen House recently launched the combination kitchen island and dining element seen here in collaboration with architect Kengo Kuma. It combines modern design and technology with “primitive materials like glued laminated bamboo board, black iron frame and cast aluminum,” Imai says.
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Points To Consider Before Deciding on Bamboo

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•    Bamboo Expands & Contracts
Bamboo, like wood, moves in response to changes in temperature and humidity and can't be restrained too tightly once installed. Some bamboo countertop and plywood manufacturers give detailed instructions for installing bamboo countertops. If you (or your installer) don't pay close attention to them, you might have problems with your countertops down the road.
This characteristic also plays a role when sealing the bamboo. Your bamboo countertop should be sealed in a "balanced" manner meaning that the top AND bottom of the material should be sealed with the same number of sealer/finish coats. Again, pay close attention (or make sure your installer does) to the installation instructions provided by the source of your bamboo countertop.
•    Do Your Homework
Good bamboo (durable and high quality) comes from reputable sources that harvest bamboo at the right time and use quality adhesives and finishes. When you investigate various makers of bamboo material check to see what information they provide about these aspects of bamboo sourcing. Is the bamboo harvested around 5 years of age (give or take a bit)? How much information do they offer about the types of glues and/or sealants they use? Are they safe for food-prep and do they contain any formaldehyde?
The bottom line here is that you don't want to get just any old bamboo from Joe's bamboo shop. Find out how long the maker has been working with bamboo and how well they stand behind their product.

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•    Warranties
Find out what kind of warranty (if any) comes with your bamboo worktop or the plywood you buy to have made into a countertop. What you want to look for here is some form of coverage against delamination and separation since bamboo worktops are a glued-together structure. As with all product warranties, make sure you read the fine print and understand both what is and isn't covered.

•    Sealing & Finishing
Think about how you plan on using a bamboo countertop, whether as a 'standard' countertop or like a cutting board. These decisions will affect the type of bamboo construction (grain orientation) as well as the kind of sealer you choose. Good sources of bamboo countertops and plywood typically provide information on the types of sealers they provide and/or recommend.
Also remember that some sealers, like mineral oil, require more maintenance in terms of repeat applications to maintain and protect the bamboo surface. And don't forget that Tung oil, although a good sealer, is derived from nuts and may cause allergic reactions as mentioned above.

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•    Larger Countertops May Have Seams
Because bamboo material used for countertops comes in finite sheet sizes like plywood there are limitations to how much area can be covered without seams. Seams might not be a big deal to you but just keep in mind that if you have a large kitchen island you want to cover that exceeds standard stock sizes, you may end up having one or more seams in your countertop.

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Bamboo Counter Tops Pros & Cons


Bamboo countertops might not be considered the most common form of kitchen work top material but that's not the result of any gross deficiencies with bamboo. Bamboo countertops have a lot of great features but like any material there are highs and not-so-highs that you should think about. Here's a list of pros and cons to consider:

The Pros . . .

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•    A Green, Eco-Friendly Material
Bamboo is a renewable, sustainable natural resource that regenerates quickly. If you're looking for some green options for your kitchen upgrade, bamboo ranks up there as one of the top choices.
•    Hard & Durable
The right type of bamboo (typically "Moso") that's harvested at the right time is a very hard material. In some cases, it's harder than oak and maple. That makes for a good countertop choice because with countertops, the more durable the better.
•    Moderate Price Point
Bamboo won't be the cheapest countertop you can buy but certain styles and brands can be very competitive or flat-out beat the cost of stone, quartz or solid surface tops.
•    It's A Renewable Surface
Bamboo, like wood, is renewable. That means if it gets scratched it can be sanded and re-sealed. Try that with quartz or laminate countertops.
•    Unique & Attractive Appearance
Obviously everyone's tastes are different but it's hard to deny the fact that bamboo has a unique and attractive appearance and one that's not really replicated in any other type of countertop material. It's available in several different styles (grain orientations) to suit your style and usability needs.

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. . . and the Cons
•    Yes It's Hard But Not Indestructible
OK, so bamboo is hard -- that doesn't mean your bamboo countertops will never dent, scratch or chip. Think about what the edge of a heavy can of soup would do if accidentally dropped on the countertop. You also can't put hot pans on the surface because the heat can damage the finish, the bamboo surface, the glues holding it together or all three.
•    Takes More Care Particularly In Wet Areas
Bamboo is a lot like wood in that it needs sufficient protection from water. If you install bamboo around wet areas like a sink you'll need to ensure it's well protected/sealed.
•    It's A Glued Structure
The fact that a bamboo countertop is a glued structure isn't bad in and of itself. However we are talking about a countertop surface (as opposed to a floor) so you'll want to make sure that the glues that are used are both food-safe and formaldehyde-free. Manufacturers of bamboo countertops and plywood should have this information readily available.
•    Limited Number Of Styles & Shades
Compared to other countertop surfaces bamboo has a limited range of "looks". The grain orientations provide a few style options and you can get a carbonized bamboo that's darker than the typical blond color of bamboo. You run out of options beyond that however. Staining bamboo might be a
•    possibility but be aware that results may be variable as explained in the 'color choices' section above.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Kitchen Remodel


You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a dream-worthy kitchen remodel in mind. Most of us long for the day when we’ll finally be able to customize our cooking spaces. However, when that day finally arrives, doing so can feel like a Herculean task. There are so many unknowns: How do you even start something like this? Which improvements will appeal to buyers down the road?
If you’ve been asking yourself similar questions, this post is for you. Consider this your outline while planning your project and keep it on hand once the renovations are underway.Thees tips will help you design a space that will be both functional and aesthetically pleasing for years to come.

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DO: Consider how you’ll use the space
When most people think about a kitchen remodel, they have a similar finished product in mind: professional-grade stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a huge island. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this vision, it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t your only option. Rather than just meeting the status quo, consider how your family will actually use the kitchen.
Maybe your kids do their homework there and you’d like a desk to be included in the design? Maybe you entertain often and need a long dining table to accommodate guests? Whatever your personal needs, make sure they’re a part of your design plan.

DON’T: Neglect your budget
This is true for all remodeling projects, but it’s especially important where kitchens are concerned. The average remodel costs thousands, so you need to make sure you’re spending your money wisely. As you design your ideal space, make two lists — a must-have list and a wish list. Then, price out each of your desired projects and compare them to your budget. The lists will give you a clearer idea of where to invest the bulk of your money and where to try and save.
There are many things you can do to make your remodel more affordable. Consider refacing cabinets rather than having them fully replaced or purchasing your appliance package from a wholesale supplier. If you’re working with a truly limited budget, simply replacing drawer pulls and fixtures is often enough to give the room a fresh look.

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DO: Pay special attention to the layout
The layout is a crucial element of a kitchen remodel, yet it is one of the most overlooked. It won’t matter how nice your new refrigerator is if you’re unable to open it fully because your countertop gets in the way. To ensure your new space functions the way it’s supposed to,you can always get in touch with us and we will help with the lay out, giving you a 3D design,this will give you a very good idea if you like or love the dream you have in mind.

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DON’T: Forget about storage
Kitchens are often one of the most overstuffed spaces in a home. Between cooking equipment and food storage, homeowners often find that they don’t have enough space to store what they need. If you’re going to spend the money on a remodel, be certain you include storage options that are both functional and stylish. The storage space will depend on how often do you buy groceries once a month, weekly or daily. If you buy monthly you will need big tall cupboards, weekly only one and daily, normal floor units will work. If you have a lot of appliances like blenders, soda streams, frying pots ect , deep drawer units work like a machine.
When undertaking this task, the first thing you’ll need to do is take stock of your current inventory. Be honest with yourself about which items you want on hand and which only get used on special occasions. Then, brainstorm options for how to store these items as effectively as possible. For example, you may want to include a cabinet for pots and pans next to the stove or include a pantry that will allow easy access to after-school snacks.

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DO: Make sure there’s enough lighting
There are so many visual components to cooking a meal — chopping up ingredients, measuring them out, reading the stove temperature. The last thing you want is to attempt any of these while squinting for more light. For this reason, kitchen lighting is one occasion where more really is more.
Try to envision yourself working in the space while considering where to add lighting. Of course, you’ll want to include some light by the stove, near the sink and over a kitchen island. Also take into account personal preferences, like where you’ll do the bulk of your ingredient prep or if you have room for an eat-in dining area. If you can, consider adding extras like under-cabinet lighting to make the room a little brighter.

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DON’T: Play it too safe
Return on investment, or how much equity you’ll get out of an improvement when you go to sell your house, is a common topic among those considering a kitchen remodel. It’s not hard to see why when you think about how often buyers name an updated kitchen as a top priority. Unfortunately, though, this intense focus often leads homeowners to settle for cookie-cutter designs. We’d argue that choosing a happy medium and adding a little personality will help your finished product stand out from the crowd.
For those who think they may be staying in their home for a while, the sky is the limit. Choose a colorful statement island or patterned tile floor to infuse the space with a little of your personality. Those who intend to hit the real estate market in a few years can still add visual interest through their accessories. Think about adding bold lighting fixtures, patterned rugs or using statement furniture to make your kitchen feel like home.

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Remodeling a kitchen can feel like an overwhelming task. Since it’s often one of the most used rooms in a home and one of the most sought-after features for resale potential, it can feel as though every detail needs to be perfect. With a little planning, you can ensure your vision for the space falls into place.


 

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Picture-Perfect Small Bathrooms

When your bathroom is short on space, the right vanity can help you live larger than your square footage. These small-bathroom vanities offer big style without overtaking the room.

Placing a vanity in a corner takes advantage of every inch of floor space and also allows for storage options on two walls. Corner vanities offer extra space that might otherwise go unused. Opt for a light colour to keep the area from feeling dark. An open unit with a shelf for a storage basket will also make the area appear less cramped.

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The best small bathroom vanities are those that are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. A light colour freestanding cabinet with mirrored doors is a great example. The mirrors visually expand the space.

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A wall-mount basin appears to float and lends an airy look to a small room by freeing up the floor space below.

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A lack of space doesn't mean a lack of style. To give your tiny bathroom a sophisticated look, use a dresser-style vanity. In addition to looking great, a dresser-style vanity offers plenty of storage space in its drawers to keep toiletries and towels tidy.

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A floating vanity is a great way to give the illusion of more space in a small bathroom. Installing a large mirror above the unit will further trick the eye into thinking the room is larger than it actually is.

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A rounded vanity seems more delicate and petite than its square or rectangular counterparts, making it a great choice for a small bathroom. Mimic the base's shape by choosing a round basin.

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A pedestal sink is a classic choice for saving space. Even if the top is quite large, the unit will appear smaller thanks to the slender base. To make up for lost storage, install a shelf above the basin.

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Many vanities have an open area below that’s hidden by two doors. A more space-savvy choice is one that offers wide and deep drawers to keep supplies out of sight and well organized. 

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Ceasarstone Kitchen Work Tops (Part2) Maintenance

Taking Care of Your Quartz Surface

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Taking Care of Your Quartz SurfaceCaesarstone quartz surfaces blend modern sophistication and timeless luxury with unbeatable strength and durability. The ever-lasting finish requires only simple and routine care to maintain its good looks. To clean Caesarstone, use warm water and a mild detergent or quality spray and wipe type cleaner in order to enjoy enduring beauty and unmatched performance for years to come. If you have stubborn stains or dried spills.If needed, apply a non-abrasive household cleaner (a non-abrasive cleaner will not dull the surface shine) and rinse to remove residue. To remove adhered material such as food, gum, nail polish or even dried paint, first scrape away excess material with a plastic putty knife and then use a damp cloth to remove any marks or residual dirt. For extra-stubborn stains, a no-scratch Scotch-Brite® pad is recommended along with the non-abrasive cleaner such as Method Daily Granite.

Cleaning Agents to Avoid

It’s important to be aware that like any other surface, Caesarstone can be permanently damaged if exposed to strong chemicals and solvents that can damage its physical properties. Never clean your Caesarstone surface with products that contain Trichlorethane or Methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers. Avoid the use of highly aggressive cleaning agents such as oven/grill cleaners and dishwasher polishing agents that have high alkaline/pH levels (pH 8.5 or higher). Products containing oils or powders may leave a residue and should be rinsed off thoroughly. Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with clean water to neutralize the effect.

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Minimal Maintenance

Virtually maintenance-free, Caesarstone’s hard, non-porous surfaces require no sealing to renew its luster and are simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your Caesarstone surfaces looking like new. If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue.

Heat Tolerance

Caesarstone is more heat resistant than other stone surfaces including most granite, marble and limestone; and is not affected by temperatures lower than 150°C (300°F). However, like all stone material, Caesarstone can be damaged by sudden and rapid temperature changes. Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the surface. We also recommend a hot pad or trivet be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster oven

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Scratch Resistant

Caesarstone is a highly scratch resistant surface; however avoid abuse of the surfaceby refraining from using sharp objects such as sharp knives or screw drivers directly onto the surface.


Click link below for a video on cleaning your Caesarstone topshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0mgYtUBzaI

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