Stone kitchen countertops are as awesome as you can get when it comes to upgrading your kitchen. They are quite beautiful, very durable, and low maintenance.
Some people say that concrete and wood are much more attractive, but we will not go into the higher cost of and massive amounts of maintenance needed for either of these materials as kitchen countertops. As a busy homeowner, you do not need that kind of stress. Your best bet is to choose granite, marble, or quartz stone.
That said, while stone countertops are low maintenance, it does require some maintenance. You will not need special cleaners as some companies might try to tell you, but you do need to clean, sanitize, and occasionally, remove stains to keep them in top condition. Here are general tips for maintaining stone kitchen countertops.
Granite, marble, and quartz countertops will require slightly different maintenance. However, basic tips apply to all three types of stone.
- Use a solution of mild, non-alkaline, dishwashing soap to wipe down counters every day, and rinse it off thoroughly with clean water. This applies for all types of stone countertops.
- Always dry countertops thoroughly after cleaning using a soft or microfiber cloth. Tap water is rarely pure water. It will always have some traces of calcium and magnesium carbonates. If you leave even a bit of water dry on your countertops, it will leave behind a whitish film.
- Avoid anything abrasive in cleaning stone countertops to avoid dulling the finish. This is most applicable when you have a high gloss finish; less if you have a matte finish.
- Clean up spills immediately. This is easy enough when you are the only one using the kitchen, but that is seldom the case. Make a habit of regularly checking the kitchen countertops for spills, especially acidic ones such as vinegar, wine, or any type of citrus juice.
- Use a chopping board for cutting meat and vegetables. Quartz stone and granite countertops are tough enough to dull the cutting edge of knives, but the knife point might gouge or chip the stone. The same is true for any other pointed implement. Marble is relatively soft, so cutting directly on it is definitely a bad idea.
- Apply sealer regularly. Granite and marble are natural stones and have a level of porosity. Granite is much less so than marble is, but may still require an impregnating sealer to minimize stains. If your kitchen countertops require a sealer, you have to make sure it is intact. Check by dribbling water on the surface. If the water drops bead up, the seal is intact. If it spreads and darkens the countertop, it is time to reapply the seal. You can do this yourself.
Some people maintain that marble countertops in the kitchen area bad idea. This is a reasonable belief. Marble is beautiful and a credit to your home, but it is relatively soft and acid sensitive. You need to be vigilant about spills, placing coasters under guests’ glasses, a ready supply of heat pads and trivets. Compared to granite and quartz, marble does require a bit more TLC.
However, it is still a durable material, and you can repair minor etches and scratches with polishing powder. If you see stains, you can usually remove them quite easily.
If it is a rust stain from the wet bottom of a can, you can try to scrub it off. Get steel wool specifically made for marble (Grade #0000) and rub the area gently. If it comes off, it was just a surface stain. If some of the stain remains, you will need a non-acidic rust remover. You can also try making your own, which will work for other stains as well.
To make your own stain remover, add enough hydrogen peroxide to a quantity of ordinary baking soda to make a paste roughly the consistency of peanut butter. Put a thick layer of the paste on the stain, tape plastic film over it, and leave to dry. Remove the dried paste using a plastic palette knife and check if the stain is gone. If it is not, repeat the process until it is.
Granite is very tough, which is why it is still very popular today for kitchen countertops. Aside from the daily cleaning regimen, it is also important to check it for stains. Granite is only slightly porous. But stains can still happen.
If this is the case, you can use the same stain removing paste and process described above to remove most of them. It works for most stains resulting from wine, coffee, or other organic materials.
Quartz countertops are even tougher than granite countertops, and they do not even need sealers. Just keep it clean every day, and it should always look like new. Stains are almost unknown. So, you will not need to do any stain removing. Surface stains such as spilled nail polish will just scrape off with an ordinary plastic scraper. The only exception is permanent ink from a marker, which for some reason does not come off.
Another problem with quartz is that it is not heat resistant and the color fades under direct exposure to sunlight. If this happens, you cannot fix it. The best thing you can do is to avoid these things from happening in the first place.
Maintaining stone kitchen countertops is a breeze. As long as you take reasonable care and keep these basic tips in mind, you should not have to worry too much about keeping them in good condition.
What you do need to worry about is finding a reliable countertop specialist to put in your new stone countertops. Keystone Granite & Tile is your best bet in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. We will walk you through each stone slab and explain how each can benefit you in your kitchen or bathroom remodel. If you prefer engineered stones. We also carry the top brands in the industry such as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all with manufacturer warranties.
Once you have chosen your slabs, we provide free professional design consultation and quotes you know exactly where you are before committing. We also have a quick turnaround. So, you will get your products on time and on budget.
We are experts at fabricating and installing engineered stone, marble, and granite countertops. So, you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality. Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to set the ball rolling!