kitchen with holiday decorations

How to Breathe New Life into Your Kitchen Countertops for the Holidays

Getting the house ready for the holidays is stressful enough. The last thing you want to do is worry about the state of your kitchen countertops. Unfortunately, you will have to, because kitchen countertops are among the first things anyone coming into your house will see.
Kitchen countertops have a significant impact on the look and function of the kitchen, and by extension, your house. You want it to look awesome, and it can be with just a little effort on your part.

It does not really matter the material of your countertops. Specific maintenance and restoration techniques apply to specific materials. Of course, it is much easier if your kitchen countertops are granite or quartz. However, if they are not, there is no need to despair. Below are tips on how to breathe new life into your kitchen countertops for the holidays.

General tips

granite countertops
Different countertop materials require specific types of attention and care. However, there are some general tips that apply to all kitchen countertops.
• Clean up spills immediately using a dry or wet cloth
• Coax out dried-on food and spills with a plastic scraper or an old plastic card
• Avoid applying too much pressure when scrubbing your kitchen countertops
• Mild dish soap diluted with water is a good way to remove grease and dirt from any countertop


wood countertops
Rustic or country style kitchens frequently have kitchen countertops made from wood, referred to as butcher-block style countertops. Wood actually works quite well as kitchen countertops because they are heat resistant and durable.

The biggest problem with wood is it is highly porous, so it absorbs liquid and attracts dirt very easily. Applying varnish to wood repels most liquids and dirt effectively, but it is not an option with kitchen countertops where you prepare food.
Applying mineral oil on wood countertops regularly is the usual way to prevent liquid absorption for wood kitchen countertops. This is usually much more work than many homeowners today are willing to do, so the result is less-than pristine wood kitchen countertops.

To breathe new life into your fabulous countertops and get it shiny again, you will have to do some work on it. First, you need to remove any stains by rubbing it with a fresh-cut lemon. You then have to wipe it all down with a non-toxic applied with a sponge and let it dry.

Taking a piece of 120-grit, sand down the wood lightly, moving with the grain. Go over it again, this time with 180-grit sandpaper, until the wood feels smooth before applying a liberal coat of mineral oil on the surface. Rub the oil in using a clean, cotton rag and leave it for half an hour before wiping it clean. You should have end up with good-as-new, shiny wood countertops.

Ceramic tile

ceramic tile countertops
Many homes have ceramic tile is the bathroom and kitchen. This is because ceramic tiles are low maintenance and inexpensive. However, the problem with ceramic tiles is they typically go hand-in-hand with grout. Bacteria and toxic microorganisms usually find a home in grout, which is extremely porous. You will have to deal with that when you use it for your kitchen countertops.

In cases when regular maintenance of the ceramic tile countertops neglected the grout, you are looking at regrouting. Stains in grout, unless they are removed immediately, are not coming out once they dry on. It is also very difficult to remove mildew and molds from old grout. It is simply easier, and more hygienic, to remove the old grout.

On the other hand, if your grout is in pristine condition, all you really have to do is apply grout cleaner for a deep clean. You can use bleach or a commercial product, or a solution of baking soda, dish soap, vinegar and water. Whatever you choose, spray it on the grout and leave it on for a few minutes. Use an old toothbrush to remove any dirt. Rinse with hot water and dry with a clean cotton cloth. That should do it!


laminate countertops
Some kitchens still have laminate countertops, and that is perfectly fine if they are in good shape. You want to keep your laminate countertops intact by avoiding spilling anything near the seams, or cutting directly on the surface. That would make it easier to keep it presentable.
If they are looking less than impressive, you can spruce it up for the holidays. You can apply a coat of special paint that can make your laminate countertop look like wood or stone. Of course, nothing beats the real thing, so consider replacing your laminate countertops with granite or quartz at the first opportunity. In the meantime, painting it should work nicely.


soapstone countertops
Soapstone has a wonderfully soapy texture, hence the name, which is unusual in a natural stone. It is somewhat limited to shades of gray, but it can work with some kitchens. As a kitchen countertop, it does require a bit more care than other stone countertops because it requires a regular application of mineral oil to keep it looking nice.
That said, soapstone is stain resistant and non-porous, so it makes good kitchen countertops for the occasional cook. To make it shine for the holidays, you can buff the surface with a special polish.


Granite countertops
You do not have to do anything special to make granite countertops guest-ready for the holidays. Regular wipe-downs with diluted dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth for drying is all you need to keep it in great condition. You can disinfect it occasionally with a solution of 91% isopropyl alcohol and water, especially after a heavy out of cooking. Otherwise, you granite countertops are always ready for bear.


Breathing new life into your kitchen countertops is easy if you know what to do. These tips on how to revitalize your kitchen countertops and make them holiday ready should put you on the right track. However, if you are replacing your kitchen countertop, you want to make sure you have a reputable remodeling company helping you with that.

KNC Granite is a local company servicing the states of Maryland and Virginia, with a large collection of granite, marble, and engineered stones from which to choose. You can check actual granite and marble slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland, as well as representative samples for engineered stone from the top brands in the industry including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
We deal directly with stone manufacturers and fabricators, so we can give you the best prices possible for your new kitchen countertops. In fact, we have a best price guarantee. Additionally, you only pay for what you use, so it does not matter how big or small your project is; you will not be forced to buy a whole slab.

We do not only supply top-quality stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote!

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