Common Misconceptions About Natural Stone

Common Misconceptions About Natural Stone

April 26, 2018

 When it comes to maintenance, having the right information on your particular natural stone will help your countertops look beautiful for a lifetime. Photo via Houzz Kitchen by Pegasus Design-to-Build LLC

The internet is a great tool for learning what we don’t know. Just “ask Google” and you can convert cups to ounces or find out where the first football game was played under lights. Unfortunately, when it comes to natural stone, there can be as much misinformation as there is good information on the internet. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about natural stone and set the record straight. 

Marble is a poor choice for kitchen worktops: FALSE
Not only is this false, but when it comes to baking, the exact opposite is true: marble is a great choice for kitchen worktops! Because the surface stays cool, marble is an ideal surface for rolling out dough for pies and pastries. For many bakers, marble countertops are a must. It’s true that you’ll want to frequently clean your marble surface, especially if you want your countertop to always have a “pristine” look to it. But some people actually prefer the “lived with” look that’s been popular in Europe for ages. 

Granite requires a lot of maintenance: FALSE
Granite is among the hardest countertop materials available and is not easily damaged. Granite is resistant to stains, scratching, heat, and chemicals so as long as you clean up any spills in an appropriate amount of time, no harm should come to granite countertops. 
It is important to keep granite countertops clean. You’ll want to dust and wipe it on a daily basis and wiping up spills as soon as possible is a must to avoid stains. But in general, granite doesn’t really require that much extra work to look great. 

Natural stone needs to be sealed constantly: FALSE
In general, all natural stone countertops should be sealed whenever they are installed and then once a year, thereafter. But it all depends on the particular stone you’re using.  Talk with your stone supplier to be sure you understand the appropriate maintenance for your stone. There are some sealants available that offer a lifetime warranty against staining with just one application. Plus, regular cleaning and the use of potholders and trivets will also help to extend the life of any seal job. Also, understand that it IS possible to seal a stone countertop too much. This can lead to a white haze that seems impossible to get rid of.

You don’t need to seal your natural stone countertops at all: FALSE
Conversely, the blanket statement that a marble or granite countertop NEVER needs to be sealed is also false. All stone has some porosity, therefore it’s incredibly likely that sealing will be part of regular maintenance. The best course of action is to always ask your stone provider and follow their instructions for increasing the longevity of your particular countertop selection. 

If I have natural stone countertops, I can’t ever serve coffee or red wine: FALSE
Of course, staining is a big concern with any natural stone countertop, but the truth is if you’re a red wine drinker or coffee lover, there is no need to give them up. Sealers help buy you time to clean up spills. So as long as your countertop has a proper seal, and any spill is cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time, no staining should occur. 

Granite is so out of style: FALSE
Granite countertops have been a staple in today’s homes for quite some time, and for good reason. Granite is strong, sturdy, durable, and beautiful. There has been a visible shift toward manmade quartz surfacing, such as ColorQuartz, but that is to be expected. Advancements in technology mean more options in manmade surfaces like quartz, plus since granite has been popular for so long, some folks are looking for something a little different. But granite is hardly a passing fad. Granite’s popularity has spanned the decades and will likely last a lifetime. 

Oiling soapstone and slate several times a year will help them resist staining: FALSE
The application of oil or wax is not a “must” for soapstone or slate. It’s purely an aesthetic choice since it darkens the appearance of the stone. These materials are soft and will scratch and all that oiling won’t stop it. But, over time, these scratches will blend into the patina of the stone. They’ll become part of what makes these types of stone so appealing. There is no set “schedule” for when you should apply mineral oil to soapstone or slate. It’s all about personal preference. 

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to talk with your stone supplier. Be sure you know the ins and outs of the required maintenance for your individual natural stone selection. Our team of experienced stone professionals at Marble & Granite, Inc. are on hand to answer any questions you might have about natural stone and natural stone maintenance. Give us a call at 877 39 STONE or come by one of our three Northeastern showrooms. We’re happy to show you everything you need to know to take care of your stone and ensure it brings you a lifetime of happiness. 



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