Stone and engineered stone countertops are well known for being durable and easy to maintain. They perform best when cleaned regularly and some types of countertops require regular sealing as well. After installing natural or engineered stone, it is important to know your role in keeping these materials looking their best for years to come.
1. Choose the Right Counters for Your Lifestyle
Not all countertops perform exactly the same. When trying to make the decision between synthetic material or stone, it’s important to know each type’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can purchase countertops that make sense for your lifestyle.
Natural stone countertops are the product of choice for homeowners who prefer natural materials and who have time to maintain them. Stone is porous and needs some preventative care to avoid stains.
Engineered stone is stain-resistant, crack-resistant, and durable. For homeowners with small children, busy careers, hectic lifestyles and for homeowners who just do a lot of cooking and are hard on their counters, this type of countertop material is top choice.
2. Clean Regularly
All types of countertops need to be cleaned regularly because of the potential for germs and food-borne illnesses. To clean your countertops, use a damp, soapy rag. Wipe away all food particles and dust. Do this between meals and at the end of every day. If you spill anything on your counters, especially anything acidic like red or white wine, or tomato sauce, clean it up as soon as possible to avoid staining.
Do not clean your counters with abrasive material or acidic cleaners like vinegar. Acidic cleaners can etch the surface of your counters, leaving the surface vulnerable to staining.
3. Seal if Needed
Some natural stone countertops, marble and granite included, need to be sealed periodically. Most engineered stone and soapstone do not need to be sealed, but read the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty for more information.
Sealer prevents the material from absorbing liquids like wine and cooking oil. Failure to seal natural stone countertops can result in stains. How often your counters need to be sealed depends on how you use your counters, what kind of material your counters are made from, and the quality of the sealer used.
Your stone dealer can help you choose a quality sealer that will protect your counters for the longest time possible. You will be able to tell when the sealer wears off because your counters will start to absorb liquids. Spill a tablespoon of water on your counters and leave the water there for a few minutes. When you wipe the water away, all moisture should be wicked away by the rag. If a water stain is left on the counters, the counters need to be re-sealed. (By the way, the water stain will evaporate – just give it a little time.)
4. Read the Warranty
Read any warranty that comes with your countertops. In the warranty, you’ll see helpful information about what to do and what not to do with your counters. Follow instructions in the warranty to avoid damaging your counters.
Questions? Call Us
With proper care, your countertops could outlast all other fixtures and features in your home. They’re that strong. For more information about how you can take care of your stone countertops, feel free to reach out to us.