Countertops made from stones like granite, marble, and quartz are highly praised for their durability and longevity. They’re aesthetically pleasing and pragmatic, virtually indestructible, and can last for decades. However, they’re not exempt from routine maintenance.
Stone countertops are vulnerable to etching, staining, and scratching if not looked after properly. As a premium countertop installer and fabricator specializing in stone, we’ve compiled a list of classic mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your countertops in pristine condition.
Hot Pans & Appliances
Can you put hot pans on granite countertops? While granite, marble, and quartz (to a lesser degree) are heat-resistant, we’d advise using placing a protective barrier between the counter and the hot object like a trivet, mat, board, or potholder. Extreme heat can cause discoloration and weaken the seal of natural stone. For example, putting hot pans on granite is not advised as the heat can cause cracks, especially if the stone contains unseen fissures under its surface.
Severe Cleaning Products
Severe cleaning products like vinegar, Windex, or bleach can erode countertops and dull the stone, especially those with a polished finish. A neutral pH dish soap and warm water is suitable for everyday cleaning. For best results, always clean the surface as soon as you’re done with it, and don’t use scourers or sponges or brushes with abrasive bristles as they can scratch the counter. Soft microfiber cloths and sponges for wiping and paper towels for dabbing are a far gentler option.
Acids & Water Buildup
Can water damage granite countertops? You might be supposed to learn it can. While quartz and granite countertops are less porous to the effects of acid and water buildup, it’s best to take precautionary measures to avoid costly or time-consuming stain removal procedures down the line. Acid from food and water spills or rings left from glasses placed directly onto natural stone counters can cause etching; this is especially prevalent in marble and, to a degree, granite countertops. Try not to place raw product directly onto the countertop and wipe away spills as soon as possible.
Too Much Load
Stone countertops are incredibly heavy and require strong cabinets to support them. They do not have the same flexibility as laminate countertops, nor do they have a plywood base. Excessively sitting, standing, or placing too much weight on them can cause cracks.
Cutting and Chopping
Natural stone doesn’t scratch easily unless it comes into contact with a harder surface. Knives won’t scratch granite, although we always recommend cutting and chopping on boards as the countertop can dull knives. Diamonds can leave minor scratch marks, so take caution with jewelry. Certain stoneware that contains silica sand, pizza stones, silver, ceramic, china, and marble cutting boards can scratch countertops and should be used with discretion.
Leaning on Edges
Casually resting on countertops won’t cause any damage you need to worry about. However, placing heavy items or objects near unsupported edges for long periods of time can cause stress that leads to cracks and minor fractures. Try to prevent placing microwaves and other heavy items directly on your countertop overhangs.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading or darkening on natural stone countertops. Simple precautions like closing the blinds during peak sunlight hours can go a long way in preventing damage. If your countertop is outdoors, then consider covering it when not in use.
Cooking in One Spot
Most people tend to prepare food and cook around the stove because it’s convenient, but working on the same surface area exposes it to increased wear and tear. Try to work on different areas to avoid uneven damage to your countertop. And, always put something protective between objects and your counter’s surface when possible.
We know countertops are made to be used, which is why many people opt for natural stone because it offers them the kind of longevity that plastic laminates can’t. Remember that marble and granite require resealing every few months to keep them stain-resistant. How often depends entirely on the frequency at which the countertops are used. Following these eight simple cleaning and maintenance tips will go a long way in preserving your countertops and keeping them in mint condition.
Granite Selection is one of the best fabricator and stone countertops suppliers in Chicago. As industry experts, we’ve helped many clients achieve their dream interiors with our custom-made stone countertops. We provide a variety of finishes and edges and have over 14 000 slabs of quartz granite and for you to choose from. Contact us for a quick quote or give us a call at (888) 906 3317!
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