Western Marble Craft offers advice on how to care for your natural stone countertops. Don’t let marketing hype or internet myths and misinformation tell you how to maintain a granite or marble countertop. Have questions after installation? Feel free to contact us; we are here to help.
Granite Is Tough & Clean
Granite’s ability to withstand constant abuse is legendary but true. Nearly impossible to scratch, a granite countertop will dull your knife if you cut directly on it and not show one mark. With regular cleaning and normal use, granite also stands up to bacteria and stains. Actually, granite and quartz are the most hygienic countertop surfaces.
Clean According to a Stone’s Natural Character
When you choose natural stone countertops, knowing the particular stone’s characteristics and composition is important when it comes to the right sealing and cleaning products. You have two basic types of stone commonly used in homes: siliceous stone or calcareous stone.
Siliceous stone has a composition of silica or quartz-like particles, which gives it durability. Countertops made of this stone are fairly easy to clean with mildly acidic cleaning products. The siliceous stones include: granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone.
Calcareous stone is mostly calcium carbonate, so acidic cleaning products can damage it. You don’t want to clean them accordingly. What works on a granite countertop may not suit marble countertops at all. Types of calcareous stone include: marble, travertine, limestone and onyx.
All natural stone is porous and should be sealed before use. Sealers will not only prevent the surface from getting stained or discoloured but will also make the surface more durable against wear and tear.
Sealer – or impregnator in professional terminology – is either water or oil-based, giving you a choice of natural or glossy finish. If your countertop is polished and shiny, you don’t need the glossy finish. Water-based sealers have two advantages: they are easier to apply and safer for the environment.
Applying sealer in most cases is quite simple, does not require any special tools, and can be completed in a few minutes. Every year, it is a good idea to determine when you need to reseal. However, that does not mean you should be sealing every year. It depends on the type of stone.
Want an easy way to plan on resealing? If you notice that water around the sink darkens the stone, the stone is absorbing water and needs new sealer. That simple absorbency test is all you need, and sealing your granite countertop is quick and easy too.
Wait at least two hours before applying an additional coat. Generally, one coat is sufficient, but in a high-traffic area, as many as three coats may be your best protection.