3 low-maintenance building materials

March 20, 2023

What do you need to know about low-maintenance building materials?

Your clients likely have many priorities in mind when choosing building materials for a new home or a renovation. Many want not only high-performance, durable and cost-effective properties, but also low- (or even no-) maintenance homes.

Here is a rundown or refresher on common low-maintenance materials that won’t need much, if any, upkeep by your clients once you’ve got them installed.

Clean countertops

Although natural granite used to be all the rage for glamourous, durable countertops, it’s not exactly maintenance-free since it’s prone to staining and requires sealing. Neither is the popular butcher block, which also needs regular sealing, nor affordable laminate countertops, which can warp or peel in hot or wet conditions and hold on to stains forever.

Instead, your clients might be curious about quartz countertops, a manufactured material made of ground minerals, including natural quartzite, bound together with resins. It isn’t as high-priced as granite and provides a long-lasting, easy-to-clean, stain- and scratch-resistant surface. There’s a reason the composite material seems to be on many homeowners’ wish lists.

Streak-free appliances

Who doesn’t love a sleek stainless-steel appliance? Well, people who notice every streak and fingerprint mark. Stainless steel shows everything. Sure, it doesn’t “stain” and it’s easy to clean, but that’s not the point – your clients want to know options that still look classy and need less scrubbing.

To avoid fingerprints, water marks and other messes to clean up, consider a popular matte black finish beyond kitchen and bathroom hardware and use it for larger appliances like the refrigerator and range. They add a touch of drama and can anchor an otherwise simple room.

Vinyl – A good choice or not?

You would want to call vinyl a low-maintenance material since it is pretty good at repelling stains and just cleans up with a wipe. But its tendency to fade and become brittle in the cold mean it needs too much replacing, too often, to truly be considered low effort. Its weakness for denting and cracking under everyday wear and tear leave much to be desired.

Sweet stone systems

Many natural and manufactured stone and stone veneer products are virtually maintenance free. Any issues maintenance issues most-often occur when the mortar cracks and fails due to weather or age, or if moisture builds up after improper installation and causes rot or mould.

However, good quality mechanically fastened stone veneer eliminates the weaknesses that come with a traditional stone veneer requiring mortar. Fusion Stone is an elegant and affordable no-mortar stone veneer system that’s easy to transport and install. The specially designed air gap and patented rainscreen technology prevent moisture and rot. Plus, colour runs through the full stone, and it won’t easily chip or fade overtime, so your clients can enjoy its natural appearance for a lifetime – without having to lift a finger.

Will your clients be interested? Watch our how-to videos for some tips and tricks for the perfect installation.