Caring for Your Stone Surfaces
Premier Stone Design Offers These Care Tips for Your Stone Surfaces
Natural stone adds elegance and durability to any surface in your home. The following tips will allow you to enjoy your stone product for years to come.
Cleaning products should always be tested in a discreet location before using them on the entire surface. Look for a neutral cleaner that is formulated specifically for your surface, or use a dab of mild dishwashing detergent dissolved in warm water and a soft, microfiber cloth. Less is more: keep in mind that excess soap will leave a film or streaks on your surface. Make certain to thoroughly rinse the surface after washing, and buff dry with a soft cloth. Window cleaner should help quartz retain its luster.
Things to Avoid
Steer clear of souring pads or abrasive cleaners as they may scratch your stone surface. Acidic substances such as bathroom cleaners, grill cleaners, floor strippers, toilet bowl cleaners, lemon juice or vinegar should never be used on quartz, marble, travertine, limestone, or onyx, but vinegar may be used in limited amounts on polished granite. Rinse your countertop immediately and thoroughly with water should it come in contact with these materials.
Granite and marble are heat resistant, and setting a hot pot, pan, or curling iron directly on the surface for a short time will not damage it. The resins in light colored quartz may discolor due to heat. We always advise using a trivet under hot items.
After fabrication, we treat countertops with the highest quality silicon-based impregnating sealer to protect the stone from staining. Contact Premier Stone Design for a maintenance schedule specific to the type of stone you have selected.
WHAT ARE SOME BASIC QUALITIES OF STONE SURFACES?
- Marble: Calcite is the main component of marble, which makes it a fairly soft material. The veining, clouding, and color that give marble its unique qualities are due to impurities such as silica, iron oxide, and graphite. Because it scratches and chips easier than other stone materials, it is typically favored in kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms, fireplaces, and table tops.
- Granite: Granite is made up of extremely hard components, such as quartz, feldspar, hornblende, and mica, making it one of the hardest materials found in nature. It is a great choice for countertops because it resists scratching, chipping, and discoloring due to heat, and is available in a wide variety of naturally-occurring colors and patterns. Finishes include polished, honed, leathered, antiqued, flamed, and brushed.
- Quartz: Quartz is a high-end surface material that is popular for kitchen counters, bathroom vanities and showers, window sills, fire places, and more. Because quartz is engineered, almost any color can be incorporated into its surface, and materials such as stone and glass can also be added. While it is not prone to staining or scratching, we suggest using a cutting board to protect its shine and luster.
- Limestone, Travertine, and Onyx: These are all fairly soft materials, which makes them unsuitable for use in kitchen countertops. They are very popular choices for bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, and other accent areas because they can be easily cut to fit unique designs.
- Soapstone: Consisting of talc, chlorite, dolomite, and magnetite, soapstone feels soft to the touch and comes in gentle colors with light veining. Oxidization causes it to change from a light to darker color when cut. Because it is soft, soapstone is prone to scratching.
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE RESISTANT TO HEAT?
- Granite: A hot pan set directly on its surface will not damage granite, although prolonged, excessive heat may soften the granite and lead to gouging or discoloration, but this is an extreme situation.
- Quartz: Because it is manufactured with synthetic poly-resin materials, light colored quartz surfaces can discolor with extreme heat. While quartz is quite durable, it is recommended that homeowners use trivets under hot items.
- Marble: Due to its heat resistance, marble holds up well to hot pans and pots or hair styling tools. It’s a great choice for fireplace surrounds as it resists yellowing from heat and the occasional spark.
- Limestone, Travertine, and Onyx: These products do accept heat, but are prone to scratching, etching, and staining due to their softness and are suggested for low-use areas.
IS IT SAFE TO CUT ON MY GRANITE COUNTERTOP?
While cutting on your granite countertop will not affect its surface, it will dull the edge on your knife. No records exist with the CDC suggesting granite harbors bacteria, nor are there reports of illness from bacteria in granite.