Installing stone counters in your kitchen and bathrooms can drastically increase the home value (and aesthetics!), but watch out. Stone counters can be damaged without proper protection, quick cleanups, and generally practicing a little extra caution in these high traffic areas. Contrary to popular belief, stone counters from granite to marble aren’t completely solid. All natural stone is porous, which means everything from grease to food particles can seep into them. Ideally, your stone counters are installed with a sealant applied, but that’s not always the case.
There are a number of products on the market that promise to seal and protect stone countertops. Look for a product that was created for your specific type of stone, that has good reviews, and with a re-sealing schedule that works for you. Some products last one year, some last several. The only stone that doesn’t require any maintenance or sealers is quartz, and that’s because it’s been pressurized by man so strongly that it’s virtually pore-free.
Even with a protective sealant, some stones are a little more sensitive than others. After quartz, granite is one of the toughest stones. It’s very durable, although it can be prone to staining without a regularly applied sealant. Still, the incredible beauty of granite—and diversity of patterns and colors—make it well worth the maintenance for several homeowners.
Choosing a darker granite and one with more patterns can also help hide any future stains or chips. Soapstone and marble are softer stones, and are more prone to chipping, etching, and cracking. Of course, if you go with a classic, light Carrera marble, stains will also show more readily.
Spilling red wine or juice on a white marble countertop can certainly make your heart miss a beat. Don’t worry. If you clean it up quickly and thoroughly, and if your marble counters have a sealant, you will likely be able to preserve your countertops. Make sure you have a marble cleaner on hand before such an accident occurs.
Clean and Tidy
Only use cleaning products specifically designed for your stone because general purpose products can remove the sealant and even damage the counter. Acidic cleaners designed for porcelain can etch natural stone surfaces. Choose a cleaner that’s gentle and pH-balanced for daily maintenance. If there’s a spill, remove as much as you can to prevent spreading. A non-abrasive sponge and special stone cleaner should be all it takes to restore your counter to like-new condition.
Many common household items can stain stone including perfume, food, drinks, and toothpaste. Practice caution around stone, and go with quartz if you’re especially worried. Stone does require a little extra TLC, but the majority of homeowners say that it’s worth it.
Today, granite remains the most popular and desired type of countertop, and it easily tops most homebuyer’s wish list.
Contact Intermountain Stone & Marble today for your best countertop options.