Caring For Your Counter

Stone Counter Tops – The Importance of After Installation Maintenance and Care

Professionally crafted stone counters don’t come cheap. Although state-of-the-art cutting equipment helps your vendor provide price-effective excellence in product and delivery, working the stone still demands precise attention to detail. The beauty and quality of the finished product reflects the workman’s knowledge of:

  • The selected stone
  • How granite and other stones conform to modification
  • AND how installed counter top stone changes over time.

If you intend to provide effective and proper after installation care and maintenance of your stone counter top, you too must get to know the stone.

Geological Compositions Of Counter Top Stone Materials

Whether working in the bathroom, kitchen, or elsewhere, effective after installation care of your counter demands that you grasp the distinctions between different geological compositions of material. Typically, light-tinted slabs of granite are less dense than dark-tented slabs of granite. To avoid stains, you need to modify your choice of cleaning agents according to the geological classification of the stone. Some stones typically require more frequent applications of sealer. Other counter materials exhibit extreme reactions to acid-based cleaners. Making the right choices during your after-installation counter maintenance. Three classes of counter top material are involved:

1) Igneous Rocks – Granite Counter Products)

Formed deep within the earth by the solidification of magma, igneous rocks consist of 45-66 percent quartz. These rocks exhibit in crystalline forms that grain-in at various measurements ranging from tiny up to several inches. Typically, a granite counter will not have a negative reaction to acid-based cleaners. However, stone cleaners that contain Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) may negatively react with the polished surface of your granite counter.

Other materials commonly found in granite include iron ores, feldspar, and mica. Identify by the following color code:

  • Gray… Primary material rich in combinations of mica and quartz
  • Pink… Typical of calcium-rich feldspar and sodium
  • White.. Rick in potassium.

2) Metamorphic Materials – Marble and Sometimes Slate Counter Products)

Metamorphic rocks occur when limestone naturally metamorphoses due to long-term exposure to pressure and high temperatures. Metamorphic rocks display distinctive bands, swirls and veins. In some cases, the veins may contain feldspar or quartz. Darker veins are a sign of biotite and hornblend. All marbles are primarily composed of calcium carbonate. Exposure to acidic cleaners will most likely damage the polished surfaces of counters crafted from calcareous stone types.

3) Sedimentary Materials – Your Limestone or Sandstone Counter Solution

Produced by the erosion of other components, long-term compression, and as a by-product of underground water erosion, sedimentary rocks are common to 75 percent of the Earths surface area. For concerns associated with counter care and maintenance, limit your focus to limestone and sandstone products. Limestone products consist of calcite, and typically contain magnesium carbonate. Unless crushed before use, magnesium carbonate (dolomite) does not react with acid.

Sandstones are created when quartz minerals bond loosely together with various other minerals such as calcite and iron oxides. This stone is prone to fractures.

Some Tips to Simply Counter Care

Cleaning…

  • Stick to a neutral cleaner or just plain mild dishwashing liquids
  • Use a soft surface cloth
  • Rinse away all soap residues
  • Avoid use of acidic solutions even on materials defined as acid resistant
  • Deal with stains quickly, using a cleaner designed for the specific type of stain as well as for your specific counter product.

Primary Protection…

  • Use coasters and trivets
  • Clean spills quickly, with a soft cloth, and use a blotting motion
  • When dealing with acidic components, effectively flush the contaminated area with water
  • Dust often and with care

Periodic Counter Care…

Not all stone products require sealing, but when re-sealing is necessary make certain to apply according to the specs for your precise counter top material. Also, when sealing areas designated for food preparation, avoid toxic-based sealing agents.