Caring for Your Stone Countertop in Edmonton

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.

Sealing Stone

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.

Before Sealing

  • Wait to seal natural stone at least 72 hours after your countertops are installed.
  • An absolutely clean countertop seals best. Mild detergent works but wiping down a natural stone countertop with denatured alcohol is best.
  • Let the stone completely dry before applying sealer.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the particular sealer you are using.

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.

Dos and Don’ts with Granite

Please Do:

  • Blot or wipe up spill, especially acidic wine, juices, soda and coffee. These and cooking oil can stain granite if left to sit.
  • Use only soft cloths or sponges with hot water and cleaners that are neutral or formulated for stone. Dish soap can build up and is not recommended for regular cleaning.
  • Using coasters under glasses, bottles and cans is not necessary for granite countertops but a good rule of thumb for all materials, especially marble.
  • Granite rarely cracks from the sudden heat from a hot pan or pot but using hot pads or trivets is a wise move.
  • Granite is so tough that it will dull your knives. Use a cutting board on your granite countertop though scratching is less likely.
  • Rather than using a vacuum cleaner on your granite floors, use a clean, dry dust mop. A mop doesn’t have gritty wheels or metal parts that can scratch your natural stone floor.

Please Don’t:

  • Don’t use general household products or harsh cleaners on granite countertops or floors. Strong chemicals and compounds eat through sealers, leaving granite and marble vulnerable to stains.
  • Even natural acids can degrade sealers. Don’t use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange on granite – and definitely not on marble.
  • No abrasives when you clean granite means staying away from bathroom, tub, grout and tile cleaners – even soft soaps or creams.
  • In the bathroom, keep your hair and nail products, perfumes, soaps and lotions off your granite countertops. They can dull the surface or leave stains.
  • Even when sealed, granite can stain and marble can etch when the wrong substance sits on stone for an extended period. Be proactive with your granite countertops; store your toiletries on shelves or decorative trays.
  • Do not ever stand or sit on your granite countertop. Stone is strong but not flexible, making it vulnerable to cracks.

If you have any questions, please call 780-955-2343 or 780-443-4343.

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