If you are preparing for a kitchen remodel, you may be wondering what type of countertops you should purchase. Many homeowners are choosing stone countertops due to their hardness and durability as well as the way they make a kitchen look. If you are considering marble or granite countertops, these are a few things you should know.
Granite and Marble Explained
Granite, which is made of quartz, mica and feldspar, is an extremely hard material, one of the hardest on earth. The minerals and chemistry of this igneous rock, which is made from cooled molten lava, create unique colors, patterns and textures. Marble is a sedimentary carbonate rock that is typically made from limestone. It is seen as a warmer, more interesting stone with unique veining patterns.
Due to its hardness, granite is very durable. It is resistant to damage from acids and heat, especially when compared to marble. In addition, it is difficult to scratch or stain. Marble is susceptible to acid damage from acidic foods, such as citrus, vinegar and wine. Harsh chemical cleaners can also damage marble countertops.
Granite countertops typically need little yearly maintenance, but like marble, they should be sealed at least once every year. However, both stones are porous, so your yearly seal does not always protect them from staining, but it does take longer for a stain to set in. Therefore, be sure to clean your stone countertops regularly, and clean up colored spills, such as red wine, immediately.
When you clean your stone countertops, don’t use abrasive or acidic cleaners. Instead, use mild soap and water. Never use bleach on these countertops. In addition, do not cut food or place hot pans on your countertops because it will cause damage.
Small cracks, scratches or chips can be repaired, but it is better if you save any chips that came from the stone. However, you cannot completely disguise the damage. Major cracks require full replacement of the slab.
As you choose your marble or granite countertops, ask your stone suppliers about the best ways to preserve their beauty.