Stone countertops have the ability to add an elegant touch to any kitchen and are time-tested to be a durable addition to any home interior. Those looking to install stone countertops can choose from a variety of choices, including granite, marble, quartz, and quartzite.
One of the best things about stone countertops is that they are incredibly durable. However, they do require some care. Given their relatively high cost, it is vital to know how to care for your stone kitchen countertop if you want it to last a lifetime.
Certain stones may require specific care, but you’ll find that the three following points apply to all countertops:
Avoid placing hot pots or dishes directly onto the countertop. Extreme heat can cause thermal shock, causing the stone to crack.
It is common for people to sit or stand on countertops, especially to fix or repair light fixtures located above it. However, it’s best that you do not subject your countertop to excessive weight to avoid cracks. Use a step ladder or a chair instead.
Use a chopping board instead of cutting directly on the countertop to avoid scratches.
Now, here’s a breakdown of what you can do to care for specific types of stone countertops:
How to care for granite countertops
Granite is a very hard stone that must be sealed well as it may absorb oils, spills, and stains when improperly sealed. An effective way to check if your countertop is properly sealed is to put a drop of water onto the countertop. If beading occurs, then it is properly sealed. If it is simply absorbed by the material, however, you will need to seal it well to keep it from damage. Since granite is anti-bacterial, it is a popular kitchen countertop material.
When cleaning your granite countertop, remember to use a gentle microfiber cloth and avoid harsh chemicals. As mentioned earlier, granite is antibacterial. That said, you can disinfect it with a gentle solution of water and soap. Remember to rinse it with warm water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.
How to care for marble countertops
Marble is a durable but delicate material. It is made of calcium carbonate, thus making it sensitive to acidic solutions. Even a splash of lemon juice or vinegar can cause streaks on your marble countertop, creating dull spots. Cleaning this material is quite simple. All you’ll need is a pH-balanced soap or cleaner. Remember to avoid acidic cleansers at all costs and always keep your countertop dry to avoid bacteria.
Marble countertops should be resealed every 3 to 6 months to avoid staining.
How to care for quartz countertops
Quartz countertops are an engineered stone product that is composed of 95% natural quartz and 5% resin. It has higher heat resistance but can catch fire at extreme temperatures; however, this temperature is highly unlikely to be reached in a kitchen environment.
Unlike granite and marble, which are affected by acidic foods, quartz is not damaged by it.
- Quartz can be cleaned with warm soapy water.
- You may use a putty knife to remove gunk on the surface of the countertop but avoid abrasive scouring pads.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains.
- To protect your quartz from extreme heat, use mats or trivets when putting hot pans onto your quartz countertop.
There may be some extra things to remember for each different stone, but most homeowners will simply need to remember a few important points: (1) Protect your precious countertop by using a mild non-acidic cleanser. (2) Avoid putting hot items directly on your countertop to avoid cracks and stains. (3) Always make sure to wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratches. These three things will help to keep your countertop safe from harm and allow you to maintain it for years to come!
If you’re looking for granite, marble, or quartz kitchen countertops in Seattle, get in touch with us to see how we can help.