Stone Products: What You Should Know
The topic this month comes from Taylor, a Client Representative and Designer with Renovations. Taylor has been getting questions over the past several months about the different stone countertop products and how to care for them. We haven’t touched on this for some time so Bill wanted to run with it.
Here we go! For starters, there are basically four different stone products that are used for counters, granite, quartzite, quartz, and marble.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT EACH ONE
A natural stone found all over the planet. However, the majority of granite is quarried in Brazil, Italy, India, China, and even right here in the United States of America. Each quarry has different colors and patterns, which makes granite one of the most unique countertop materials. The grain patterns vary in both color and how they ‘move’ through the slabs.
Granite is an igneous rock, born of fire. Because of this, many different minerals are present in granites making a variety of colors and patterns. Granite is a very hard surface, resistant to damage and normal wear and tear.
GRANITE CARE & MAINTENANCE
Being a stone though, it is porous and needs to be sealed every 2 or 3 years to prevent staining. Cleaning granite is quite simple, warm water with a little soap works well on the surface. Be careful not to use caustic or acidic products on the tops as they may etch the surface making it prone to discoloration. Hot pans will not damage the tops, though it is a good idea not to put hot pans in the same spot consistently. Discoloration could happen with some granites.
This is also a natural stone. It is quarried mostly in the United States, but other countries like Canada, Brazil, and the UK also supply the stone. Quartzite is slightly harder than granite and is less likely to be damaged by a knife or other kitchen uses.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock meaning it is formed from sediment under great pressure. This product tends to have more muted color variations, making it popular when muted kitchen tones are sought after. As with granite, other minerals can make their way into the mix causing some color variations.
QUARTZITE CARE & MAINTENANCE
Caring for a quartzite counter is similar to granite. It is slightly more porous than granite and should be sealed annually. Also, this product is more prone to etching from acidic products. Quartzite is very susceptible to damage by heat. Do not place hot pans or pots directly on the surface. Even a crock pot can cause the counter to discolor and crack. Warm water and mild soap are all you need to keep this counter clean on a daily basis.
We all have heard of marble. This stone product is known for its elegance. This metamorphic rock is formed similarly to quartzite and is limestone based. As with quartzite, other minerals make there way into the mix providing a variety of color options to consider. Marble is a bit more porous than granite or quartzite. Being a bit softer as well makes it prone to chipping. Hot baking pans and such are ok for this naturally cool stone, but it is still not a good idea to put very hot pans directly on the surface. Discoloration could happen from staining and also from direct sunlight over time.
MARBLE CARE & MAINTENANCE
Being slightly softer and more porous than quartzite or granite means it should be sealed annually and polished every few years as the surface gets dull. Once sealed, cleaning on a daily basis is as with the other products, warm water with a mild soap.
Unlike the other three natural stone products we talked about, quartz counters are a manufactured product. Quartz stone is ground down and bound together with resins. This manufacturing process offers just about any color variation you might want. These counters are a hard and stain resistant surface. This product, because of the resins, does not require sealing. Hot pans can cause some damage to the resins. Manufacturers strongly suggest using a hot plate or trivet between the pot and the counter.
QUARTZ CARE & MAINTENANCE
Quartz counters are not as porous as the natural stone products, and while more resistant to being stained, prolonged exposure to some stain causing products can leave a discoloration. Daily cleaning with a mild soap and water is usually sufficient.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Stone and stone product countertops each have their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right product depends on how you use the countertop and the design you like. Our in-house designers would love the opportunity to visit with you and help make those choices less stressful.
Make an appointment with Rod or Taylor
CALL TODAY (928) 445-8506