There are many types of countertops to choose from. There are synthetic countertops made using various materials. While cheap, you can be a bit on the fence about their quality. Then you have natural stone countertops which are easily more expensive but offer more bang for your buck. They are a clear favorite among homeowners.
There are many natural stone countertops to choose from. You have granite, soapstone, and even engineered stone countertops like quartz. However, out of all of them, the best choice is and will always be marble. In fact, marble is the prime choice for countertops and it’s very easy to see why thanks to their quality.
Marble is a rare natural stone that’s sourced directly from quarries in Italy only. Due to its rarity, marble has become one of the most expensive countertop materials out there. Marble as a countertop material is chosen for its amazing look and great durability. Since it’s so expensive, it’s often the symbol of luxuriousness too.
While almost perfect, marble does stain pretty easily. It’s not a countertop for those that barely have the time to maintain and keep their countertops clean. This is one of the few downsides of marble countertops and it’s easy to see why people get worried about getting one after they discover this serious problem.
Now one question remains, why is this a problem for marble countertops anyway? Does this mean that these countertops aren’t all that we hype them up to be? This time, we are talking about marble and why it can stain very easily. Of course, we are also going to post a few maintenance tips about it as well.
Why Does Marble Stain Easily?
It doesn’t have to do anything with how countertop manufacturers process their marble. In fact, you are going to get the same quality of marble countertop wherever you choose to get yours. What it does have to do with is the overall make of marble countertops and their natural properties that no one can change.
The main problem with natural stone countertops like marble and granite is that they are porous materials. What this means is that there are minuscule holes on the surface of the countertops. While tiny, these holes or pores are more than enough to retain any liquid that sits on the countertop surface and it makes it impossible for those liquids to go out.
Let’s put it as a great example. You spill soy sauce on your countertop, the tiny and unseeable molecules of the liquid are going to seep into your countertop. Since the tiny holes are so small, it will be near impossible to take those molecules out. The result if you let it be is a countertop that has a permanent dark stain.
This is why all manufacturers do their best to let the countertop undergo a process that’s called sealing. In this process, the marble countertop is sealed with synthetic resin. This synthetic resin makes the surface of the countertop somewhat waterproof, thus preventing the molecules from getting into the pores on the surface.
Basically, what sealing does is protect your countertop by using the resin as a shield for liquids and the pores. However, keep in mind that sealing isn’t a permanent solution. Most manufacturers will recommend that you have your marble countertop sealed at least once a year so that it remains stain-proof.
The porous quality of marble is present in nearly all natural stone countertops. However, some stones – like marble, for instance, are more porous than others. As such, it’s important that you know about the maintenance tips when it comes to taking care of your marble countertop and that’s what we are going to talk about next.
Taking Care Of Marble Countertops
Taking care of your marble countertop can be a chore sometimes but it is every bit as rewarding since you are going to get a countertop that can last you a lifetime. Marble countertops actually require a bit more maintenance than other countertops but once you get the basics down, it can be very easy to take care of your countertop.
First off, you should do your best to avoid spilling any form of liquid on the countertop. This includes solid-colored liquids like wine, soy sauce, hot sauce, and many other things you can see in the kitchen. Once you spill these on your countertop, you risk the chance of getting a permanent stain on your countertop which is one of the last things you’d want as a homeowner.
That’s why when handling these ingredients on their marble countertop, some owners try to make sure that there’s a thick cloth or at least another solid surface on top of the marble countertop. This can prevent the liquid from actually getting to the surface of the countertop, thus making stains less likely as well.
If it really can’t be helped, the best thing you should do is to always make sure that there’s a cloth that can be used to wipe off any liquids from the surface nearby. Ideally, you’d want to get absorbent and non-abrasive cloths like fiber cloth prepared by the side of your kitchen counter at all times.
It’s important that there’s a cloth nearby because the staining on your marble countertop depends on how long the liquid sits on the surface. The longer the liquid sits on the surface, the more likely it is for stains to develop as well. As such, fast action is key to ensure that your countertop remains stain-free.
Now, when it comes to cleaning your marble countertop, the last thing you’d want to be doing is to wipe your marble countertop with strong chemicals. This includes bleach, hard detergents, and other strong cleaning agents because these can actually cause discoloration on your countertop over time.
You should also avoid using acidic cleaning agents such as lemon and vinegar on the surface because these can cause serious discoloration as well. These are common cleaning agents but they aren’t as good for your marble countertop as they are for other surfaces inside the house. What are you supposed to clean the surface with?
As per experts, the best cleaning agent for natural stone countertops like marble is to simply mix one part water with one part mild dish soap. This is the perfect solution to sanitize your countertop with but most importantly, it will not cause any discoloration or staining on your countertop surface as well.
Now, as we’ve said before, sealing is an important service for any natural stone countertop. The best sealants can last your marble countertop surface for around a year even if you don’t use the countertop regularly. That being said, you should have your marble countertop sealed at least once a year as well.
You can find sealing surfaces in many places but it’s often best to have it done by the fabricators who installed your countertop in the first place. This is because they know what the make of your countertop is and what they need to do to keep it in top shape. It’s much better to have these done professionally so that you know that the process is done as properly as possible.
When all else fails, the best you can do is consult with your installers with regards to how you can properly maintain your kitchen marble countertop and how you can prevent any staining on it. Having stains on your countertop is not at all good for many reasons which is why it’s important to take care of things on your end.
For starters, these stains can actually affect the value of your countertop. Marble countertops increase in value over time because they are unique and rare. However, if yours is stained or is not in the best shape possible, then you can expect a price drop for your countertop which is obviously a bad thing.
Taking care of your marble countertop isn’t exactly hard. So long as you know what to do in the first place, you should not have any trouble in keeping your countertop free from stains and issues. Every good homeowner won’t have any trouble taking care of their marble countertop and you’re probably one of them.
Marble countertops are far from being perfect but aside from the staining issue, we can say that they are actually quite neat countertops to have. There are so many merits to getting a marble countertop and as long as you know how to maintain yours, staining shouldn’t be a problem at all.
With the tips we’ve said above, you should very much know how to care for your marble kitchen countertop. It can be a great way to avoid those permanent stains that many homeowners already have on theirs. Who knows, you might even be able to ensure that your countertop remains stain-free until the future.
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