Kitchen stone countertops are the most important workspace in your home. They’re custom, fabricated, and built to withstand regular cleaning, food prep, everyday use, nasty stains, and more.
Like most of us, you probably spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning kitchen countertops. With proper maintenance, stone countertops in your home can last for many years. Unfortunately, despite the durability of quality countertops, damage can still happen over time if you’re not careful! Many people develop bad habits when using countertops that are not conducive to the health of the stone.
Stone countertops made of granite, marble, quartz, or other materials can become damaged over time if not cared for properly. Although you may not realize it, there are a number of ways you can accidentally damage the countertops in your home. To avoid this, it’s best to learn about bad habits that can lead to countertop damage and correct them to prevent any costly mistakes.
Installing new countertops is a great way to add value to your home and give your space a more modern look. However, they can also be a great investment depending on the type of material you choose for your countertops, as some material options are not cheap. Suppose you have recently installed new countertops or are in the process of purchasing new countertops. In that case, you should know these ways people accidentally damage your countertops before you start using them, learn about all the ways you can avoid and prevent permanent damage, follow leading edge countertops, and learn about keeping your countertops at their best Many ways to get in shape.
Kitchen countertops are an integral part of your home, built to withstand regular cleaning, food preparation, and everyday use. But unintentional mistakes can damage yours. They include:
Many hard surfaces crack under pressure, and stone countertops are no exception when it comes to excess weight. Although stone countertops are very durable and hard, placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or seams can cause cracks, cracks and breaks if excessive weight is applied, and can be expensive and difficult to repair. You better think twice before buying an overweight microwave or standing on a countertop to reach a high shelf!
Some may be tempted to sit or stand on the stone countertop to reach the height of the cabinet, but we strongly advise against this. Stone countertops are very heavy, and they must be anchored to a solid cabinet base. Any additional weight from heavy objects or people can put a lot of pressure on the countertop surface, causing cracks or other breaks.
Stone countertops are a great investment and a beautiful addition to any kitchen, but it is also important to take the necessary steps to avoid and prevent permanent damage.
Harsh cleaning products containing bleach, vinegar, chlorine, or ammonia can cause stone and granite countertops to lose their luster and polished appearance by attacking and dulling the surface of the countertop. Likewise, antibacterial wipes can be harmful to the stone, especially if the stone has been left on the surface for an extended period of time.
If you can’t find a cleaning solution made specifically for stone or granite, a simple mixture of dish soap and warm water will do the trick. Neutral pH dish soap or soap and warm water are suitable for everyday cleaning. For best results, be sure to clean the surface immediately after use and do not use scrubbers, sponges or brushes with abrasive bristles as they can scratch the counter. Soft microfiber cloths and sponges for wiping and paper towels for dabbing are gentler options.
In addition to using a suitable cleaner for your granite or other stone surface, you’ll want to avoid sponges, steel wool, or brushes with abrasive bristles when wiping. These types of scrubbing tools will only scratch the surface of your countertop. Instead, opt for a soft microfiber cloth or clean paper towel.
Some stone countertops, especially marble and granite, have a chemical composition of calcium carbonate, which is chemically a base, meaning they are very sensitive to acids. Acidic foods and liquids, such as vinegar, lemon juice, wine, and tomato sauce, can damage stone countertops if not cleaned up immediately. These substances can cause discoloration and dark spots, also known as etching.
If you spill any acid on your marble countertop, clean it up with water immediately, then sprinkle baking soda on top to neutralize the stain.
Countertops come in a variety of surfaces such as granite, quartz, and ultra-compact surfaces that can withstand high temperatures. Many people choose these countertops for their convenience, especially when it comes to food prep, cooking and baking. It’s much easier to grab a hot pan and place it directly on the countertop, rather than looking for something to protect the surface.
Although granite countertops are highly heat resistant, repeated exposure to excessive heat may crack or discolor over time, or even leave permanent scorch marks. Placing hot appliances and appliances directly on top is a big no-no when it comes to quartz countertops. This is because the resin used to bond the quartz substrate can change color if it comes in contact with a heated object.
Always check the countertop manufacturer’s recommendations before placing toasters, slow cookers, and other heat-generating appliances on the countertop, as temperature changes may cause some materials to crack. Although some countertops can withstand high temperatures, we strongly recommend that homeowners place a trivet, pot holder, cutting board, towel, placemat, or hot pad between the appliance and the counter.
You have to remember that the better you take care of your counters, the longer they will last. In some cases, placing a hot pan directly on the countertop without protection may cause cracking or discoloration. You can also use trivets and pot stands as a barrier, which will help avoid permanent burn marks.
Residual water on the counter creates a white, crusty buildup that creates the stain. Hard tap water, especially rich in minerals, can lead to stains and white crust buildup if left on the kitchen counter. Even less porous countertops, such as granite and quartz, are still prone to stains from spilled water or water rings from wet glass.
Another way you can accidentally damage your countertop is by letting water sit on the surface for too long. While you might not think of this as damaging to your counters, standing water can be very harmful if not wiped down soon.
To avoid this, don’t let the water sit and evaporate. Instead, wipe up any spilled water immediately, and dry the area immediately with a soft towel. This will help prevent future damage to the stone. Also, if your countertops are neither professionally sealed nor have a protective coating, moisture can seep in and cause mold or mildew that can damage the countertops. This is especially true for porous natural stone.
Many natural stone surfaces, such as quartz, are advertised as scratch-resistant. However, another way people accidentally damage countertops is by cutting or scratching them. Avoid cutting and felling directly on counter surfaces. If you do, you risk cutting or scratching the surface of stone, wood or other materials. Even some harder stone surfaces present a risk of chipping or scratching, and we always recommend using a cutting board when chopping with a knife rather than directly on the countertop. Cutting directly on surfaces puts your counters at risk of scratches and dulls your kitchen knives.
Cutting, slicing, dicing and dicing directly on the kitchen countertop is not a good idea – even if the surface is butcher block. Small scratches can break the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to more damage down the road.
Scratches on natural stone, even very small ones, can destroy the waterproof sealant of the countertop. This makes your counter more vulnerable to damage over time. Except for cutting vegetables on a cutting board regularly, it’s best to avoid any stoneware that contains silica sand. Porcelain, pizza stones, porcelain and marble cutting boards can also scratch countertop surfaces and should be used with caution.
Everyone wants a sunny kitchen, but prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause natural stone countertops to fade or darken. Sunlight can also discolor some sealants used on granite and wood countertops. Simple precautions like pulling shades down during peak daytime hours and closing blinds during peak sun exposure can minimize long-term damage. If your countertop is outside, it is best installed in the shade to minimize sun damage, and consider covering it when not in use.
Do you always prepare food in the same place? People develop habits while cooking in the kitchen, which can mean working in the same position every time. Over time, preparing food on the same part of the countertop can lead to scratches, etching and other signs of corrosion.
For example, if you often bake cakes or bread and knead the dough in the same place, to avoid this, try to move to different parts of the countertop regularly to avoid uneven damage to the stone countertop. Also, whenever possible, be sure to use protection between the work surface and objects placed on it. This will give your countertop a uniform look and protect it from scratches and uneven wear, extending its life.
Not sealing stone countertops is one of the biggest mistakes a new buyer can make. Some types of granite do not require sealing before use, but most sellers will still recommend it. Granite and stone are more susceptible to stains, cracks and other damage when left unsealed. For example, even a simple splash of water can seep quickly into the porous surface of an unsealed stone counter. You can prevent stains in the same way. Sealing natural stone countertops also prevents the spread of bacteria and cross-contamination of food on the counter. Make sure to keep up with the sealing process and reseal if necessary.
Leaving casually on a stone countertop won’t cause any damage you need to worry about. However, placing heavy objects or objects near unsupported edges for extended periods of time can cause stress that can lead to cracks and minor breaks. Try to avoid placing microwaves and other heavy objects directly on top of stone countertop overhangs.
1. Apply mineral oil to butchery wood countertops and marine oil to non-butchery wood countertops to keep wood stains from fading.
2. To remove stains from quartz countertops, treat them topically with a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and flour. Let the paste sit on the stain overnight, then use the plastic edge to gently scrape it off.
3. Use a sponge with textured fibers on one side to remove grease and dry food splatter from laminate countertops.
4. To find out if a granite countertop is well sealed, splash some water on it. If the water is still beading after 10 to 15 minutes, the seal is correct. If it gets absorbed, contact your granite countertop contractor or installer immediately.
No matter what material you choose, some maintenance is required to keep your kitchen countertop surface looking good. It’s easy to not notice when you accidentally damage it by applying excessive weight, chopping vegetables, placing a hot pan directly on it, or making the other mistakes mentioned above. Kicking these dangerous habits before it’s too late will reduce wear and tear on your kitchen countertops.
If you’ve recently installed new countertops in your kitchen or other areas of your home, it’s important to treat them with care. Whether you choose granite, concrete, or any different type of material for your countertops, you should follow these guidelines to protect them. No countertop is invulnerable, so treat them with care to avoid accidental damage. Countertops are a huge investment, especially options like granite and quartz, so you want them to stay in good shape for as long as possible. By avoiding these mistakes, your counters will look great for years to come.
We know that countertops are designed to be used, which is why many people choose natural stone because it offers longevity that plastic laminates cannot. Remember that marble and granite need to be resealed every few months to maintain their stain resistance. How often depends entirely on how often the countertop is used. Following these 10 simple cleaning and maintenance tips will go a long way in protecting your countertops and keeping them in great shape.
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