Stone countertops can be a stunning design feature in a kitchen or bathroom. But you may be concerned about whether their aesthetic appeal is worth the trouble of maintaining them, especially if your kitchen or bathroom is a high-traffic area of your home, taking lots of use and abuse. While stone countertops do require some maintenance, it’s probably not as much as you think. Here’s how to maintain some of the most common stone countertops.
Love the look of granite but worried about upkeep? It’s actually not too bad. Some granite countertops do need to be sealed, generally about once per year. This is something you can do yourself, but you can also hire a professional to do it at a reasonable cost. Other granite countertops do not require sealing maintenance!
As for cleaning, you should clean your surface after use with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth, then rise and dry it. Avoid using harsh chemicals, and even though granite resists heat and scratching, use coasters, hot pads, trivets, and cutting boards.
Quartz is an engineered stone and not a natural stone, so in some ways it’s a lower-maintenance option for a countertop material. It doesn’t require regular sealing, and can be cleaned with a soft cloth and soapy water. Avoid bleach and pine oil, as they can alter the appearance of the countertop and leave a residue behind.
Quartz is heat resistant, but to increase the longevity of your countertops, it’s good to use hot pads and other heat protectors when setting hot items on the countertop. It’s scratch resistant, too, but again, to keep your countertop looking its best, we recommend not cutting with sharp knives directly on the surface.
Quartzite countertops require very little maintenance, other than daily cleaning with soap and water and annual sealing. Quartzite is incredibly resistant to scratching, but avoid abrasive cleaning agents anyway to protect the seal and finish of your countertop.
Marble is gorgeous and luxurious, but it is higher-maintenance than some of the other countertop materials we’ve listed here. Marble is relatively soft and porous, making it prone to scratching, so avoid cutting or chopping directly on the surface.
Additionally, marble etches, meaning that acidic substances can eat away at marble surfaces. For this reason, avoid using acidic cleansers or placing acidic foods (like citrus) directly on the countertop. Clean the countertop with a soft, non-abrasive cloth and a cleanser with a low pH.
Soapstone is another gorgeous countertop material with gorgeous coloring and excellent durability. It can be cleaned with soap and water and a soft cloth. It is a soft stone and can scratch or dent easily, and so cutting boards should always be used, as should trivets and hot pads.
Soapstone has some unique characteristics that make maintenance a little different for this stone than other countertop materials. It’s environmentally friendly and entirely recyclable, in part because if requires no sealants or chemicals. However, it does require regular application of mineral oil to prevent and repair scratches, as well as to maintain its texture and color.
Kowalski Granite & Quartz has more than just granite and quartz! Schedule an appointment or stop by our showroom today.