In many homes, the kitchen countertops are one of the main focal pieces in the kitchen. Because of this, many people invest a lot of time, research, and effort into selecting exactly what they want. Choosing the type of stone for your kitchen countertop isn’t an easy task. It takes a lot of consideration, especially with all the options available. Additionally, during the selection process, it’s important to consider how you’ll eventually need to care for your countertops in the future. It’s not as easy as simply spraying some Windex on it!
One thing to know beforehand is that natural stones are porous. This means that during the stone’s formation process, pores develop throughout the stone. The size of these pores varies by the type of stone and the way in which it was formed. For instance, if you opt for a granite or quartzite countertop, they have minimal pores. If you opt for limestone or marble, they are more porous.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that stones such as quartzite, granite, limestone, and marble don’t stay the same shape over time. This change alters the composition of the stone and is important for you to think about before choosing a stone. It’ll also affect your care of the stone.
There are some special ways for you to care for your natural stone kitchen countertops in Portland. There are different care tips depending on the type of stone you choose. However, the tips below are general care tips for any natural stone kitchen countertops to ensure they shine for longer.
Seal Your Countertops
Putting a protective seal on your countertops will help better protect them from spills, rusting, and any other sort of damage. It’s not an indestructible seal, though, so being careful is still a must. Don’t think that just because you’ve put a seal on your kitchen countertops that they’ll never stain or be damaged.
Additionally, even if you have finished your countertops with a sealant, this isn’t a forever thing. Normal, everyday use will begin to remove this seal, no matter how careful you are. You’ll likely eventually need to reseal your kitchen countertops. The amount of time between sealings varies depending on the type of stone, the quality of the stone, the color of the stone, and the wear and tear to which you subject your kitchen countertops. A good rule of thumb is that stones that are lighter colors tend to need a resealing every one to three years. Stones that are darker colors can last a bit longer, usually three to five years between resealing.
Wipe Spills Up Immediately
This may seem like common sense, but sometimes life gets in the way and we become distracted and don’t clean up spills within seconds. If you have natural stone kitchen countertops, it’s vital that you don’t let spills sit. They need to be wiped up immediately. Most stones are sensitive to foods and liquids with high acidity. This includes wine, salad dressings, vinegar, and so on. Even if you do have a seal on your countertops, strong acids or chemicals (like ammonia) can still cause stains and other forms of damage.
It’s also beneficial to be sure to always use coasters under all glasses.
Do Not Cut Foods Directly on the Stone
Investing in a cutting board (or two!) is a must when you have natural stone kitchen countertops. This will ensure that you don’t scratch your countertops with a knife or cause any sort of denting or other damage. Never chop or slice any food you’re preparing directly on the counter. Even if the counter is sealed, it’s still suspectable to scratches, especially if using sharp knives.
If you’re using china, silver, ceramics, or other somewhat sharp glassware or plates, use placemats. All of these items can scratch the surface of the stone, so be wary. If you do set them on the stone, don’t drag them; always place them directly on the spot where you want them.
Hot Items Should Not Be Placed Directly on the Stone
Similar to using coasters for all of your drinks, you should always use trivets under any dish or pan that’s hot. The stone can be burnt, even if it is sealed. In addition to burning, a large amount of heat can actually cause a thermal shock in the stone. This thermal shock can cause the stone to crack. When choosing a specific trivet, find one that allows air to flow under the hot item. This is especially important when you are using a slow cooker or any item that will remain hot for a long period of time.
Do Not Use Acidic Cleaners
As mentioned above, acidic liquids and foods should be placed with caution on natural stone kitchen countertops. This also applies in terms of cleaners. Many people use lemon juice as their go-to cleaner. You cannot use this when you have stone countertops. Vinegar is also a no, as well as any bathroom, grout, or tile cleaners that contain acid. Abrasive cleaners can also cause damage (this includes dry cleaners and soft cleansers).
Putting natural stone kitchen countertops in your Portland home will give it that beautiful aesthetic that will take your home to the next level. You want to make sure that these countertops remain beautiful and in pristine condition. Following the above general care guidelines will help ensure they remain great for longer. Please also take a look at the care guidelines for the specific type of stone you choose. This will guarantee even better care as you tailor it to your stone.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be! It’s easier than it sounds. At EleMar, we’re happy to help you with this process and talk more with you about your specific kitchen countertops in Portland. Our stone guide is a great place to start, but please give us a call today. We are happy to chat!