Maintenance and cleaning become very crucial in order to ensure to have a long-lasting countertop. Kitchens are usually among the most used spaces in houses. And countertops cannot be avoided for that matter. Since kitchen plays an important role in most homes, it is important to pay attention to some of the advices in this blog because caring for your kitchen countertops are a must especially after renovating your space.
In this article, we will mention various countertops and their maintenance. You can evaluate them individually and get more information how to take care of your countertop for a better experience.
Cleaning and maintenance of granite countertops
Granite is still among the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. The fact that it presents various design options, finishes and durableness attract home owners. Like in all natural stone options, granite’s maintenance is actually easy and only requires few steps.
Home owners usually want to avoid sealing, however, it is really not that big of an issue if you know how to do it properly. First thing to know is that, sealing is recommended for all types of granite countertops. Why? Because natural stones are naturally porous and sealing helps the countertops to last longer by acting as a protector.
It is important to consider that there are different types with various densities, however, the question is not about whether to seal it or not. The main question is about how frequently your granite countertop needs sealing. You can have an idea of this frequency by testing your countertop. And even if you need resealing, do not forget that it is necessary to do so once in every one to three years.
As for regular cleaning, you can easily clean any kinds of spills or liquids with a damp cloth. It is important to clean them immediately after they occur in order to avoid any kinds of stains. Granite countertop surfaces that are lighter color or are not properly sealed are more likely to have stains or scratches.
If you take care of your granite countertop on a daily basis, then you do not have to worry too much about stains. But please keep in mind that the strong cleaning products or liquids should not be left on granite surfaces for a long period of time. They can harm the sealing of the natural stone and damage the countertops. Once the sealing is broken, your countertop becomes less durable to stains and scratches. If you damage the sealing of the countertop, repairing of it will become much more expensive. Please try to use a quality natural stone cleaning spray especially designed for granite and marble countertops.
Cleaning and maintenance of marble countertops
Marble, travertine and limestone countertops have some demands when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. Some may think that polished stones may not need sealing since polishing enables to close the pores, however, sealing is still a crucial part of maintenance. Polishing may help to close some pores on the surface but does not seal all. But of course, sealing is more significant when it comes to honed finishes to prevent stains.
Many homeowners believe that it is easy to stain marble. This is not true. There is a difference between stains and etches. It is true that marble etches easily but you also need to understand what etching is if you are interested in marble countertop or have one for that matter.
Etching occurs after the marble countertop reacts to some cleaning products or especially acidic foods/liquids. This interaction causes the spot to have a shape of a glass ring, become dull or have a spray mark. Etching is less likely to occur on marble bathrooms or floors since it is less likely to encounter acidic elements in those spaces.
To avoid this incident, it is important to clean up any spills immediately after they occur. You need to use the appropriate cleaning products for your marble countertop and try to lessen the contact of your food with your marble countertop. One of the best ways to do this is to use a cutting board and/or coasters.
One more thing to point out is that stains usually occur when the materials absorb the liquid. Etching, on the other hand, can be described as a kind of chemical burn. Sealing cannot prevent from the occurrence of etching on the marble surface.
Good news is that there are etch removers available in the market. You can easily repair such marks that occur on your marble countertop surface since it is really difficult to prevent such etching from occurring. Using products that are made especially for marble surfaces also helps to prevent stains as well as damages that may occur.
Cleaning and maintenance of more environmental options: Porcelain slabs or ceramic slabs
Porcelain and ceramic slabs are reasonable choices in terms of budget and durability. Both porcelain and ceramic have many different design, color and pattern options. Both slab types are similar in terms of stain resistance and damage control. The difference is that porcelain slabs are almost as hard as stone whereas ceramic is not as hard. Also, porcelain is more expensive when compared to ceramic.
The caring and maintenance is easy since there is no sealing required for glazed surfaces. However, unglazed and/or polished porcelain usually requires sealing. On the contrary to marble, the process of polishing actually opens up the pores on porcelain slabs. Please consult your manufacturer for more information on the necessity of sealing for your porcelain countertops.
Stains are not as much of a problem as it is in natural stones such as granites or marbles. However, cleaning on daily basis is always recommended. Common cleaning products can be used both in ceramic and porcelain countertop surfaces.
It is important not to put your food in direct contact with your surface. Pay attention not to put hot pans directly on the porcelain or ceramic surfaces, either. This will prevent the production of scratching and/or chipping.
Cleaning and maintenance of engineered slabs: Quartz countertops
Quartz countertops offer a lot to the customers. Since they are engineered materials, they can be made in different design and color options. They are durable and low maintenance.
First of all, quartz countertops do not require any sealing. This is a plus for many homeowners. However, it is important to realize that this does not mean the surface does not hold any stains. In fact, when quartz countertops contact direct sunlight for too long, there may be some fading of the color.
Even though, quartz countertop surfaces are not easy to stain, there are some foods/drinks as well as cleaning products that may damage or cause discoloring on the quartz surfaces. Among the lighter colors, white is the most delicate one in terms of stains and discoloring.
The bad news is, when stains or color fainting occurs, it is permanent. However, it is a very low possibility for stains to occur in quartz surfaces. So, you should not let this discourage you from selecting a quartz countertop for your home.
In addition, it is
very unlikely for quartz to get scratch marks. You should still be careful of
putting hot pans directly on quartz countertops. And instead of using a regular
soap, it is better to use a granite and marble cleaner for quartz surfaces as well.
This will not only prevent the residues, but also prevent possible discoloring.
Kitchens are among the busiest spaces in most households. So it is likely to get exposed to lots of abuse and traffic. When it comes to choosing the right countertop, cleaning and maintenance are among the top influencers of the customers’ decisions. At Terra Granite, we offer a large selection of both natural stone countertops as well as engineered, man-made countertops. Please see our website or visit the store in Houston, Texas for more information and options. Our trained professionals are always ready to help.
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