Caring for stone surfaces
How to preserve the beautiful exterior of your granite, marble or quartz worktop
Taking into consideration their appearance and ease of use, granite and quartz worktops are the best choice; however, to ensure worry-free everyday use and the long-term preservation of their beautiful appearance, it is useful to know a bit about the characteristics of these materials and some maintenance tips. Maintaining the perfect condition of the worktop requires no more than 30 minutes each year.
Mechanical damage and temperature
Even though we are talking about stone – which we associate in our everyday lives with strength – granite does have its weaknesses. During installation we support the worktops in such a way that their breakage is excluded; although, it is possible to cause damage through negligence or unfortunate accidents. This is true in particular for the edges of worktops, which, in the case of a strong blow, may lose pieces. Stone can be repaired, although the result will no longer be the same, and we would like to remind you that such damage is not covered by the warranty. Quartz has a clear advantage here, being more resistant to physical damage. We also don’t recommend climbing on worktops, for example, attempting to reach the highest kitchen cabinets. The worktop is more fragile in narrower sections – primarily around the sink and hobs – and the full weight of a person on the stone may cause it to fracture.
We always recommend using a cutting board because, even though knives sand other steel tools won’t scratch the stone worktop, repeated cutting without the use of a cutting board may result in the dulling of the shine of the polished surface, which can only be repaired using special tools. In addition, there is the danger that traces of metal use will be created on the surface, which are not scratches but are also impossible to remove without the use of specialised equipment.
The stone surface is sensitive to abrasive materials – don’t use steel wool to clean it, and make sure that the cloth you are using is clean, since a random grain of sand can damage the surface.
In terms of heat, granite is not sensitive; however, the best thing is to use a trivet under a pot or pan that has been removed directly from a heat source – the reason being that pots and pans (especially, for example, clay oven pots) may have a rough bottom and could scratch the stone.
When it comes to quartz, the use of a trivet is mandatory, since a certain proportion of the pressed granite is glue, which may react when it comes in contact with an extremely hot object, and the worktop may also fracture in narrower sections (around the sink and hobs) as a result of thermal shock.
Everyday maintenance and stains
Nothing special is required for the everyday maintenance of your worktops. A regular moist cloth or a cleaning solution diluted in water or window cleaner can be used for cleaning, when necessary. Neutral (pH 7), slightly acidic (pH 4-6) or slightly base (pH 8-10) cleaning substances are suitable for granite and quartz surfaces; in the case of marble, acidic substances should be avoided. Favour the use of cleaning substances that are water based, since these are environmentally friendly and are not harmful to your health.
A cream scrubbing paste (which must not feel grainy when rubbed between the fingers) may be used for removing more stubborn stains on quartz, although in that case worktops should not be rubbed too strongly. When cleaning granite or marble, a scrubbing paste must not be used.
The best way to avoid stains is to clean the worktop immediately after spilling or splashing – the longer the substance is allowed to remain on the worktop the greater the likelihood that a difficult to remove stain will appear. In the case of lighter stones one must be more careful than with dark stones; also, honed stones are more sensitive than polished ones. Marble requires the greatest care. One must be careful with substances such as coffee, tea, red wine (and alcohol in general), oils, acidic fruits (lemons, oranges) and juices. In the case of stronger stains, we recommend that you contact us, since removing stains depends to a great extent on the type of stone and the substance responsible for causing the stain.
Dark granites and quartz do not require special care; however, in the case of light stones, special means must be used once or twice a year to ‘seal’ the stone surface. This makes the stone more resistant towards stains. Corresponding products available in building material stores, as well as products offered by us, are suitable for this purpose. Products which promise to return the stone’s original shine are only temporary in nature – worktops will remain shiny with the right care and use.
Please note! Make sure to always confirm the suitability of care products for your worktop and carefully read the accompanying instructions. Since stone care products are chemical substances, always follow the requirements for their safe use!
If you have any questions or would like additional information, then please call or write to us.