Protecting Your Stone Countertops
Protecting your stone counters is your first priority once they are installed. Natural stone countertops are beautiful and durable, but stone can stain and etch. Proper protection and maintenance will make the beauty last for years.
Protecting Your Stone Counters: The two primary damages come from stains and etching. These are two different problems with different causes and solutions.
Stains result from a material (typically a liquid such as red wine or sauce) penetrating the stone. This stain may be difficult to remove since it can change the color of the stone.
Etching occurs when an acidic material (such as harsh minerals in tap water) dissolves the surface of the stone. This typically happens when the water is allowed to sit on the stone. Etching usually creates a white residue where the stone is damaged.
Protecting Your Stone Countertops: Solutions
Prevention is your best protection. Immediately cleaning up any spills on your stone counters is the best way to avoid damage.
Stains: To help prevent stains, apply a high quality sealer immediately upon installation of your new stone counters. This is especially helpful with marble, since it can stain easily due to its porous nature. Marble also has veins which easily absorb stains. Stone should be re-sealed periodically, and is not a one time application. Sealers can help prevent stains, but are not designed to prevent etching.
Stain Repair: Once stone countertops are stained, there are several methods to help remove lighter staining but heavy stains may require professional help or may not be repairable.
Etching: In addition to removing standing water, another step may be to apply a long term epoxy coating which creates a protective shield on the stone. This is applied by professionals, and oftentimes carries a 10 year warranty.
Etching Repair: Should your counters already be etched, a treatment will be required which may involve grinding and polishing of the stone surface. Once complete, a protective coating may then be applied.
As beautiful and durable as stone counters are, they still require protection and maintenance. This should be kept in mind when you are ready to select your new stone. When it’s time to remodel your home, call BMF Construction at 415.699.9124. Serving San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo and all of the Peninsula. Install, protect and enjoy!