5 Tips for a Low-Maintenance Kitchen

by Sam Ferris
If we had you at "low-maintenance," don't feel ashamed. There's nothing wrong with wanting a shorter to-do list, especially when it comes to your kitchen. From quartz countertops to glass backsplashes, these five tips will reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning your kitchen. ??
Porcelain wood look tile in kitchen
Photo courtesy of Mannington Residential.
Choose porcelain tile floors
There are perks to hardwood, natural stone, laminate, vinyl and ceramic. Hardwood is beautiful and has a high resale value. Ceramic is affordable. Vinyl is soft and easy to clean.

But if you want the lowest possible maintenance in a kitchen floor, porcelain tile takes the cake.

It doesn?t absorb much moisture. It?s hard to scratch. Even better, porcelain is perhaps the easiest floor to clean (water and a mop is all it takes).

Porcelain can also last for more than 30 years, so you won?t be paying to replace your floors every decade.
If you?re worried about sacrificing style, don?t be. Porcelain can mimic travertine, hardwood, and marble. So, yes, you can have the best of both worlds. ?
Quartz countertops installed in a kitchen
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
Stick with quartz countertops
The granite vs. quartz debate is a hotly contested one, but you can?t argue with how durable and easy to clean quartz countertops are.

What separates quartz from a stone like granite is the fact that it?s a manmade product. This normally makes it twice as strong as granite. It also isn?t porous.

That means less scratches, less chips, and no sealing. If you?re not licking your chops, you should be.

One thing to keep in mind: hot pans can damage quartz countertops because they?re sensitive to heat (this is why most styles aren?t recommended for outdoor installations).
Oh, and always use a cutting board when you?re chopping vegetables. Blades can leave marks. ?
Undermount kitchen sink
Photo courtesy of Cambria USA.
Install an undermount sink
Farmhouse sinks rule the roost right now, but they can be harder to clean than undermount sinks. You have to make sure the apron front looks spick and span.

How about a drop-in sink, you ask? Well, that?s not exactly low maintenance either. Drop-in sinks can get messy. The sink?s lip can be a magnet for water and crumbs.

Undermount sinks do a better job of keeping water and crumbs inside the sink bowl. When sealed correctly with Liquid Nails or an epoxy, the upkeep with undermount sinks is a breeze.
Bonus tip: Opt for Silgranit or porcelain instead of stainless steel for a low-maintenance sink finish.?
Glass kitchen backsplash
Photo courtesy of Sonoma Tilemakers.
Whether it?s a mosaic or individual tiles, glass is easy to wipe down and can handle most detergents. There are also less visible grout lines, as glass is packed tightly together when it?s installed.

Ceramic, porcelain and travertine will all have prominent grout lines that can attract dirt. Travertine can only handle mild detergents.

Avoid marble. It?s a softer stone that can scratch and stain easily. You also have to be selective about the cleaning product you use to clean it.
If you?re set on travertine, don?t fret. Natural stone can be easy to clean too. What gives glass the edge is that you don?t have to seal it.?
Detailed kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Wellborn Cabinet.
Include less details in your cabinetry
We all love a decadent crown molding or raised panel door front, but decorative cabinet details are rife with crooks and corners that allow dust and dirt can build up.

Since your kitchen cabinets are a large part of your kitchen, smart cabinet design can go a long way to your shorten your to-do list.

Follow these suggestions for an easy-to-clean cabinet design:
  • Choose Shaker-style or slab door fronts. They?re easier to clean than raised panel styles.?
  • Lose the crown, corbels, and decorative legs. They?re yet another surface to wipe down.?
  • Avoid glass door fronts. Are they easy to clean? Yes, but they show dust and fingerprints more easily than a wood front. Mullion-style door frames are dust collectors.?
  • Minimal open shelving. You have to dust the shelves regularly, as well as ensure your displays are kept organized.?

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    ?for your kitchen design