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The Ultimate Bathroom Vanity and Countertop Care Guide – by James Martin Furniture

Wood is a natural material that is subject to changes in moisture and temperature. In other words, it moves and changes ever so slightly when exposed to humidity, heat or cold. Properly sealed and maintained wood and stone tops and bathroom cabinets are durable, beautiful and easy to use, but it is important to carefully follow the installation and care and maintenance instructions for your specific type of finish. If you follow these directions carefully your vanity will be easy to maintain, will look great, and will last for many years. Your vanity, wooden backsplash and both wooden or stone tops have all been finished with a water resistant finish.

James Martin Providence 72″ Double Bathroom Vanity Cabinet, Urban Gray

In the case of the backsplash and wooden top, an additional sealing finish was added to make the top virtually impenetrable to water. These steps are essential to maintain your top and its warranty.

DO NOT use bleach based cleaning products on the finish. Bleach and ammonia are chemicals that we have found that will harm this finish. Be aware that some dishwasher detergents, such as Liquid Cascade, have bleach in them. If this type of detergent comes in contact with the finish, it should be wiped up immediately. If allowed to sit, it can harm the finish.

DO NOT use abrasive materials to clean your vanity or top. These would include bristle pads or similarly rough pads or dry cleaning products such as Ajax or Comet.

DO NOT cut, drill or change your top in any way without refinishing all exposed surfaces thoroughly. After you install your sink in your wooden top, you should reseal the affected area with a wood sealant. We recommend Cabot 8065 which can be found at

Cleaning your top: Wash your stone or wooden top with mild soap and water, and then rinse and dry. Disinfect with a weak solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, if desired. Be sure to dry the top thoroughly. We also recommend using only professional quality products (Guardsman or Guardian) to polish or clean your wooden cabinet and top.

Problem Solving: Nicks, Scratches, etc; Touch ups can be done at any time. Lightly sand the area and reseal the affected area using Cabot 8065 (or similar professional product).

Color Variations: Dark streaks can occur in wood. These are caused by a natural discoloring of the wood due to mineral deposits in the tree. Other color variations are natural characteristics of the wood. This is not a flaw or problem. It is normal and adds to the individuality of your top.

Natural Stones: Quarried natural stone by nature have conditions that cannot be controlled, i.e. Color, size, veining, fissures, & thickness, etc. Granite, marble, limestone, travertine & any quarried products offered have been cut from carefully selected stone blocks produced by Mother Earth. As a natural stone product, please understand that some stone may contain naturally occurring imperfections, which are characteristic to the stone. These characteristics will include color and shade variations, geological flaws, irregular markings, voids, veins, fissures, cracks, lines and/or minor separations. It is a standard practice by the manufacturer to repair these separations by one or more of the following methods: waxing, filling, or reinforcements with non-stone products. All of these variations and characteristics are common and present to some degree. However, part of the beauty of having natural stone is the characteristics, which will not impair the function or wearing of the materials.
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Quartz Top Cleaning and Care

James Martin’s Quartz countertops are easy to clean and maintain by following a few common-sense tips. For routine cleaning, simply wipe down your countertop with a damp cloth or paper towel and, if necessary, a small amount of non-bleach, non-abrasive cleanser. Even though Quartz surfaces are self-sealing and resistant to staining when exposed to liquids (such as shampoo, soap, hair conditioners, and oils), you will want to wipe up liquid spills as soon as possible. For stubborn or dried spills, use a nonabrasive cleaning pad such as a white scrub pad coupled with Formula 409 Cleaner or a comparable cleaning product.

Copper and Aluminum Top Cleaning and Care

We recommend allowing the metal to develop a natural patina based on its use. Therefore, it is best to use cleaning techniques and products that fit best with your household or business.

Promptly wipe up liquids to prevent spotting and glass rings.

Mild soap and water, or Windex, is all that is required for daily cleaning.

Patinated Finish:

Windex is great for day-to-day cleaning. Patinated finishes have NO protective coating. Sanding or buffing will remove scratches, but will also remove the patina. The top will again darken over time, but may not exactly match the rest of the countertop. Acidic items such as lemon juice and metal polish may remove the patina. Some food items will add to it.

As copper has a “living finish”, your finish will change with wear, tear, and time. Your countertop may darken over time and will develop its own, unique pattern of use. The patination process is unique to each countertop and no two will end up looking exactly alike.

Leather Top Finish and Care

Your leather counter top will carry characteristics of the environment and the lifestyle of the area in which it is installed. It will develop both character and a lovely patina over time. Your leather counter top will carry characteristics of the environment and the lifestyle of the area in which it is installed. It will develop both character and a lovely patina over time.

• Wipe up spills quickly with a soft cloth or sponge and clean with the products noted below.

• As required, in addition to a damp cloth, you may use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, Swedish Formula, pH Neutral & Non Toxic – a pH neutral cleaning product – on recycled leathers.

• Once installed, the EcoDomo leather tops do not require additional maintenance, like moisturizers or conditioners.

Stone Top Cleaning and Maintenance

Granite & Marble Identification & Care

Granite is a resilient natural surface, popular for countertops and flooring and come in many different colors. Granite can best be identified by its crystal like or salt and peppered appearance. As you can see in these examples of Granite, there is a distinct crystal look to it. Yet other Granite has more of a speckled or salt and pepper look.

Caution: Some cleaners that contain acid can be harmful to granite and most cleaning products will leave a residue, causing a dull film and leave oils trapped in the pores of the granite that emit odors, as the oils become rancid.

The proper care for Granite is to use a high quality cleaner that is not only safe for the granite, but will travel into the pours of the granite, lifting out oils trapped inside, without leaving a residue. Cleaning is the most important step with granite followed by applying a sealer.

Sealing Granite is applying a safe clear durable substance to fill in its pores, which helps to keep out liquids which may cause stains.

The only polishing of granite should be done by a professional as this is serious work. A gloss conditioner may be applied to help bring out the inner beauty of granite, but beware that some granite does not change its appearance with gloss conditioners.

Marble is a beautiful natural surface with character which ranges from subtle to bold. It is best identified by its veins and swirls. Marble typically has a more flowing look to it, almost as though you can see the layers of sediment building up over the years.

Travertine is a type of marble with very large open pockets. This is great for providing a rustic look. Most Travertine has had its pockets filled, which can be detected by looking for many solid uniform colored spots that look different than the rest of the stone such as what you see in these photos. Travertine is cared for same as marble and is included in this marble section.

Caution: Marble is largely made of calcium carbonate like that in an anti-acid. Acid will eat the calcium out of the marble causing a damaged spot called an etch. Liquids which contain acid include coffee, sodas, most fruit juices, wine, vinegar, pickle juice, limes, lemons, oranges, many sauces, room fresheners, perfumes, glass cleaners and many cleaning products actually contain acids as well.

An etch can look like a dull spot, or the surface may have a slight uniform etch to it, where the entire surface has a dull or warn look. Adding a little vinegar to mop water is a frequent cause of this.

The proper care of marble is using a high quality cleaner to keep it free form oils and debris that cause it to look dull, have an odor and may even stain it. Keeping acids away from marble is essential for maintaining a high appearance. Sealing marble is highly recommended; however it will not protect the marble from acids, but it will help protect it from stains.

Stone Countertop Stains & Spills

Blot the spill with a paper towel or soft absorbent cloth immediately. Do not “wipe” the area as it will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and very mild soap and rinse the area several times. Then dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat these steps, if needed. If the stain is still apparent, please follow the stain removal tips below.

Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is essential, as it will assist with removal.

Oil-based stains will darken the stone and need to be dissolved to achieve successful removal. Use a nitrocellulose lacquer thinner (available at most home improvement and hardware stores) to treat this type of stain. Nitrocellulose lacquer thinner (NCL) may also be used to stains caused by ink and magic markers.

Paint related stains can generally be removed by scrapping the surface (carefully) with a razor blade, or with the use of NCL.

Metal related stains (iron, rust, copper, bronze) are difficult to remove and generally require the use of a poultice to draw out the discoloration. Deep seated rust stains are extremely difficult to remove and may cause a permanent stain. When in doubt, consult a professional.

Water spots and rings can generally be removed by lightly buffing the area with dry 0000 (very fine texture) steel wool.

Etch Marks may be treated with marble polishing power and using a damp cloth to buff the area.

Stone Countertop Care Do’s and Dont’s:

DO: Clean surfaces with very mild detergents or specialized stone soaps.

Do: Double check cleanser contents before use. Remember , no acid-based products.

Do: Thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.

Do: Blot up Spills immediately.

Do: Promptly blot up common use items. e.g. Toothpaste, shampoo, hair dyes, polish remover.

Do: Re-seal your stone surface once per year.

Do: Use coasters and protective pads to prevent water rings and scratches.

Do: Consult a professional regarding any large projects or major stains or scratches.

DO NOT: Use vinegar, lemon juice other or other bathroom cleaners containing acid.

DO NOT: Use bathroom cleansers with abrasive or “gritty” contents.

DO NOT: Use cleaning pads with abrasive surfaces.

DO NOT: Stand on the counter top to change overhead lights or clean the top of the mirror.