Stone is an excellent choice for countertops because it is durable and generally low maintenance. With the proper care and treatments, your countertops will serve you well by staying in good condition.
Whether you choose natural or engineered stone, understanding the basics for care and maintenance is important to keeping your countertops beautiful over time. Here are 6 easy ways you can keep your stone surfaces spectacular:
1. Avoid heat
Most natural stones can weather some heat but not a lot of direct, intense heat. And, while some types of natural stone, such as granite, are impervious to heat, the sealer protecting the stone is not. So, no matter what type of stone countertop you choose, you must remember that you are also caring for the sealer. Heat is one element that can deconstruct your countertop projection faster than anything. So, keep anything very hot such as pots and just-used hair appliances from direct contact with the surface. In the kitchen, use a heat pad or trivet for kitchen counters and allow some space between slow cookers and the stone surface, as this exposes the stone to heat over a prolonged period. In your bathroom, install a handy hook for your heated hair appliances so they can rest and cool safely above the counter rather than directly on it.
2. Use a cutting board
Granite and engineered stone (i.e., Silestone, Caesarstone, or other quartz products) can handle slicing and chopping directly on the surface, but why risk leaving an indentation or scratch when you don’t need to? Take a second to pull out a chopping board and cut away! A chopping board is easier to clean, and it is probably cleaner than your countertop as well.
3. Keep weight off the edge
Setting heavyweight on the edges of the stone counters can lead to cracks where there is no support under the countertop. In natural stone, micro-fissures are common, and even engineered stone may develop them over time. Ultimately, it’s a risk to place something heavy on your countertop overhangs and edges. So, be sure you think before jumping up and sitting on the counter’s edge or setting a heavy object onto the countertop.
4. Act quickly on spills
Wipe or blot any type of spill as soon as it happens, and make sure you rinse and dry it off afterward, especially if it is some type of acid. Wine, coffee, and orange juice can etch or stain marble and other types of natural stones if left long enough, even if the stone is sealed. If your counters somehow get a deep or persistent stain from something like red wine or coffee, you can use a poultice to lift it out of the stone. There are many ways to pull a stain out but it really depends upon the type of stain and stone surface you have. Removing stains from natural stones can be tricky so be sure you do your research (or call your True Blue Surfaces rep) before embarking upon your stain removal mission!
5. Use the proper cleaning equipment and solutions
You want to clean your granite countertops daily to keep them in top condition. But, you should always avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals and abrasives to keep the seal from becoming dull from tiny scratches on the surface. Ammonia (usually found in glass cleaners) and vinegar as cleaning agents are too harsh. We recommend making your own cleaning solution. Simply add 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent to 1 liter of distilled water to a spray bottle and shake to combine. At the end of the day, give your countertops a quick spray with the cleaning solution and dry using a clean microfiber cloth. That’s it!
6. Seal your marble and granite countertops
To help protect the natural stone from stains, True Blue Surfaces applies sealer to the marble and granite countertops which completes the installation. However, the seal doesn’t last forever. You might want to evaluate if it’s time for a new seal each year. To see if your countertops are due for a new coat of sealer, you can perform a water bead test. In general, light-colored stone requires more frequent reapplications than dark-colored stone.
While stone countertops are durable, they cannot be taken for granted. A beautiful stone countertop can really increase the value of a home so you want to treat it as it deserves. A little bit of care can go a long way. To see what type of stone will suit your kitchen and bath countertop needs, request a consultation and we’ll help you select the right surface for your home.