Care and Maintenance
All of our countertop and stone projects will last you a lifetime, with the proper care and maintenance of coure. Follow the tips and advice below and your new countertop will always be as beautiful as the day you bought it!
General Care and Maintenance of Stone Surfaces
Although stone surfaces are tough, they can be damaged by various environmental factors, including air pollution, which can erode and stain the stone. Freezing and thawing can threaten the structural integrity and degrade the stone’s natural beauty. Even granite, the hardest of stones, will lose its polished beauty when exposed to high amounts of dirt and abuse. Use care in preventing problems by cleaning up spills right away, using coasters and placemats when possible, and placing hotplates under heated cookware. Rugs can be used on floors in high traffic areas.
Granite surfaces, untreated, are very easy to keep clean. The high density naturally resists material absorption and stains. Polished surfaces are easier to clean and less likely to stain than thermal surfaces, which might require an impregnator for cleaning.
On polished granite, regular maintenance of a mild solution of water and soap is all that is needed to remove dirt and grime. In high traffic areas, a stronger cleanser might be needed. It also might require a polish preserver or restorer to revive the luster. However, specific stains or conditions might require special cleansing agents. A neutral pH detergent can be used on granite kitchen counters.
Sealers, although used regularly, can cause problems when used on thermal finishes. They can create a build-up, creating a surface that can become less durable than the untreated granite. Sealers are not recommended on exterior granite projects. Sealers can catch moisture under the granite layer, which might cause it to crack when the temperature changes.
Polished marble only requires occasional washing with a mild alkaline cleanser and clean water. It is recommended that a soap-free cleanser be used, thus minimizing filming and streaking. A top dressing may be used after the marble has been cleaned and dried. Beeswax is an excellent non-oil based dressing. Colored or oil based dressings should not be used. A polished surface will resist dirt and staining more than a honed finish surface.
Honed interior marble surfaces can be maintained the same as polished surfaces. Honed surfaces, however, may need sealing to bring out the natural color and minimize maintenance. Make sure the marble is clean before applying a sealer. For high traffic area maintenance, do not allow liquids or other materials to accumulate, causing safety hazards or staining.
Honed exterior marble building surfaces, prone to environmental pollutants, should be cleaned with high pressure pumps. As with granite surfaces, stains and discolorations on marble can be treated with specific cleaning agents.
Slate can be cleaned with water and a mild alkaline solution. The natural finish of slate takes the least amount of care. Although, you do not have to seal the slate, doing so will keep maintenance of spills and stains to a minimum. Once installed, the slate should be cleaned of all loose particles before it is sealed. Wear might begin to show on the peaks of some textured slate. However, a periodic vacuum or sweeping is all that is needed. A water based acrylic finish floor finish can be used occasionally to enhance the look and prolong the life of the sealer.