A kitchen countertop is one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are primarily two types of countertops. One is synthetic countertops made out of man-made materials such as plastic, PVC, glass bottles, and many others. The other, usually better type of countertops are those made out of stone.
Of all the countertop options available, one of the best ones to get has to be stone. Although it is more expensive as compared to man-made countertops, it’s still more durable, beautiful, and more importantly, valuable as compared to others. If you are hoping to get a stone countertop for your home, it’s going to be a good investment.
There are two types of stone countertops. One is a natural stone, these are stone countertops that are cut directly from quarries and then polished or shaped to be a part of your kitchen. The other type is engineered stone countertops which are crushed stones mixed with binding resin. A good example of this is quartz.
Regardless of what type of countertop you choose, one thing remains common between stone countertop owners – they can be quite hard to maintain and clean. Although durable, these types of countertops can be susceptible to stains and damage. Failure to take care of stone countertops greatly reduces their value over time which is important that you know about it.
Taking care of your stone countertop can be quite tricky but as long as you know what to do, you should have no problems in doing so. The countertop you have now is going to look fresh and new years from the day you bought it. This is how you can maintain your stone kitchen or bathroom countertop easily.
Know What Type Of Countertop You Have
As we’ve said, there are various types of stone countertops. Although the make of most of them is the same, what differs is whether or not they’re porous. The porosity of countertops matters because these can dictate how important it is to clean your countertop and we’ll explain what it means here.
Porosity refers to whether or not your countertop has small pores on the surface. Most natural stone countertops are porous. Those tiny holes can absorb liquids and if the liquid is colored, it’s going to leave a dark stain on your countertop as well. Porous countertop materials require a lot more love than others.
Non-porous countertops are those that don’t have pores. The truth is that all-natural stone countertops are porous. However, the fabricators try to coat them with a resin or a sealant which makes them virtually waterproof. Do keep in mind that eventually, you’ll have to reseal the countertop ones again so that it becomes non-porous.
As we’ve said, it matters that your natural stone countertop is non-porous. Non-porous countertops are harder to stain and they can be easier to maintain too. You can know what type of countertop you have simply by asking your fabricator about it. With that out of the way. Let’s proceed to some dos and don’ts.
Dos Of Maintaining Your Stone Countertop
The most important thing you should do for your stone countertop is to ensure that you don’t let any spilled liquid dry on the surface. Once something like wine, soy sauce, or soda spills on the counter, clean it immediately. What would happen if you get lazy and let the spill dry out on the surface?
Since stone countertops are naturally porous, what would happen is that the liquid is going to be absorbed by the surface. Once that happens, you’ll have a permanent stain on your countertop’s surface. This is one of the most annoying things about stone countertops but fast action is often the best way towards preventing it from happening.
To make cleaning a lot easier, what you should do is to keep a piece of soft cloth near your countertop at all times. This will let you clean any spills almost instantly. Remember that you’d want to get clothes that are non-abrasive. Make sure that the cloth is absorbent as well as this can make it easier for you to clean your countertop.
The last thing you’d want near your countertop is anything abrasive such as steel wool. The problem with this is that they can cause permanent scratching on your countertop surface. Although some countertop surfaces can be buffed out, most leave a permanent scratch that’s more than annoying.
Of course, it’s best to avoid spilling anything on your countertop all in all. You need to be very careful to avoid spillage. One way you can prevent serious damage from spilling is if you put a place mat or anything that’s water absorbent on the countertop surface if you are using a dark colored liquid for prep work.
If you want to avoid scratches while doing other things, then it would be best to invest in a butcher’s block. You can use a butcher’s block to chop and prep ingredients. This will prevent you from scratching or damaging, or even causing cracks on your valuable countertop surface.
Last but not the least, make sure to have your countertop sealed regularly. Sealing doesn’t just make your countertop waterproof, it can also make it scratch proof. You can avail sealing services from where you got your countertop from and this is usually done annually.
Don’ts Of Maintaining Your Countertop
Now let’s talk about the don’ts. In terms of don’ts the last thing you’d want to do on your kitchen countertop is to chop anything off of it. We get that it can be tempting to do so but countertops aren’t made for slicing. You’ll end up having a countertop with a ton of scratches instead so make sure to avoid doing this.
While the countertop can carry things such as appliances and other heavy objects, it can get damaged if you slice things on it. As we’ve said, it would be best to invest in a butcher’s block where you can chop things up instead as this is usually the safest way to prep your ingredients inside the kitchen.
Now, when it comes to cleaning agents, there are quite a few things that you’d want to avoid. First off, you’d want to avoid using harsh chemicals on the counter. These include bleach, hard detergents, and other things with copious amounts of strong chemicals. These can not only ruin the sealing, these can also cause serious discoloration on your countertop as well.
It’s also advisable to avoid using acidic cleaning agents for your countertop. These include vinegar, lemon, and other acidic agents. These can cause discoloration on your countertop and it can ruin the overall texture of the countertop as well. Do your best to avoid cleaning with these even though acidic liquids are used for other surfaces.
As for the cleaning material itself, we suggest using a mixture of mild liquid soap and water. This is the perfect solution to clean your countertop with as it doesn’t cause discoloration and it can sanitize the surface too. Alternatively, you can also choose to buy multi-surface cleaners on your countertop which can help give your countertop a deeper clean.
Last but not the least, be very careful with your stone countertop. Although these are very durable, the problem with stone countertops is that some of them can chip easily. This is the case for countertops such as marble, granite, and quartz. Once the surface chips, there’s no other solution than to get a replacement for it.
When all else fails and you feel like you are still lacking when it comes to kitchen maintenance, then it would be best to call your fabricator and ask them for help. They can provide you with the best tips on how to maintain your countertop. In some cases, they can also offer services that give you a means to clean your countertop more effectively as well.
A good reason why you’d want to make sure that your countertop is safe is because you’d want it looking good. Countertops made of stone actually become more valuable over time so it’s best to take care of them especially if you are planning to sell your house in the future.
As you can see, although intimidating, taking care of your natural stone countertop is indeed possible. All you really need are the right materials and know-how to do so. Hopefully, our tips here help you out greatly as taking care of a stone countertop can be quite problematic. Especially if you don’t know what to do.
A good kitchen countertop that’s well-taken care of can last you for as long as your house stands. As the value of natural stone grows over time, this means your home is going to be more valuable in the future as well. Hopefully, you’re able to take care of your stone kitchen countertop before it gets damaged.
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