Quiz: How Can You Ruin a Green Countertop?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

You might think that an eco-friendly countertops product made from all-natural materials is damage-proof. Think again. Just like some traditional countertops, many green surfaces need a little extra TLC to maintain their beauty and durability. Take our quiz to see if you know what will and won't damage some popular eco-friendly surfaces.

One of the advantages of a stainless steel countertop is that you don't have to use a cutting board when using your kitchen knives.

Stainless steel is very easy to scratch so you don't want cut directly on it. The good news is that the scratches can be repaired if they are not too deep. Actually, those little nicks and scratches -- that everyday wear and tear -- develop a patina, or specific sheen, over time. It's unique and gives the countertop a beautiful look.


With a green concrete counter, do you have to use any type of sealant to protect the surface?

You do want to seal your concrete countertop to keep out bacteria and water, and also to reduce stains. Choose a sealant that is also green and doesn't emit VOCs (volatile organic chemicals), as this pollutes the indoor air quality.


On a bamboo countertop, can spills and standing water damage the surface?

You want to wipe up liquid spills immediately because bamboo can warp or splinter from prolonged water damage. Also watch out for spills from soap and other toiletry items that often go unnoticed, like lotion, that can also stain your countertop.


One of the benefits of a stone countertop is that you can put hot plates or pans directly on it.

Stone is generally treated with a sealer to make it more resistant to water and stains. So continually placing hot pots and pans on the counter can destroy the sealer, and leave the stone susceptible to damage.


Can lemon juice stain granite or stone countertops?

The acid in lemon juice can easily stain the surface of granite or stone surfaces, eco-friendly or otherwise. Wine, soda, fruit juices, coffee, oils and mustard are other culprits that can cause some of the worst stains. Place toiletry items like lotions on a tray, and the rule of thumb is to wipe up the spill as soon as it happens.


Recycled plastic counters aren't as easily scratched as regular plastic counters.

Recycled plastic is very easy to scratch, so you have to be careful about what you put down on the countertops and protect them from knives and utensils. The good news is that the scratches can usually be sanded out.


Can you remove the scratches from a wooden butcher block countertop?

Actually, you can easily remove scratches from a butcher block by sanding them down. But, you need to follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Often, the wood needs to be oiled or resealed after sanding.


Can you cut directly on the surface of a paper composite countertop instead of using a cutting board?

Paper composites don't scratch very easily; in fact, the material is often used in cutting boards. This counter material holds up to cutting better than most. However, keep in mind the countertop is scratch-resistant, not scratch-proof. To preserve your countertop and extend the life of the surface, it is always better to use a cutting board.


Are the green laminates -- those made mostly of recycled materials -- a durable surface for a countertop?

Laminates are actually one of the easiest surfaces to nick or damage. They scratch and burn easily so be careful to always use cutting boards, trivets or hot pads. Unfortunately, damage on a laminate countertop is almost impossible to fix.


Is glass tile made from recycled glass a strong material for a countertop?

Recycled glass tile can be a bit deceiving because it is so durable. Some brands of recycled glass countertops can be just as strong as granite, and glass tile is heat and stain resistant and doesn't scratch easily. Of course, if you drop something very heavy on it, glass tile can chip or crack.


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