Home Care

Home Care

How To Protect Natural Stone Countertops

Homeowners will turn to granite countertops as a way to beautify their kitchens because they are easy to maintain and don’t require much attention beyond a routine cleaning. Granite is not the only type of stone that is chosen as a material for countertops as there are other options such as marble, limestone, travertine and soapstone, all of which have varying degrees of hardness or softness.

That part is important to keep in mind as the softer stone, the more porous it can be. I realize it may be tough to consider any form of stone as “soft” but that distinction is used to describe how easily it can be scratched or suffer the slings of everyday wear and tear.

Even more critical to consider is the idea that a stone can be porous and demonstrate an ability to absorb moisture and the bacterial contaminants within, all of which are easily soaked into the stone itself.

This can pose two significant problems, the first being that moisture and the various elements within, some of which may be acidic, can have an impact on the aesthetic of the stone. This may not only prove damaging to the appearance but could have a weakening effect on the structural integrithy of the material.

The second issue is the amount of bacteria that can seep into the material through that moisture, creating a very unhealthy situation for you and your family. If the countertop in your kitchen becomes infested with food-borne germs and bacteria, it can be difficult to disinfect, making that countertop all but useless and risky to keep inside the home after a while.

If you seal your stone countertops you can prevent both of these dangers from occurring, preserving the look, feel, and safety of the material. Adding a protective layer is not hard to do either, but you should first determine whether your natural stone is already properly sealed or if it needs an application.

Testing your Stone

Granite northern va should be checked periodically, even if you are sure that the material was given a protective sealant prior to installation. The same goes for many of the other types of stone we’ve mentioned. These protective coatings can break down over time and in order to reduce the effects of scratches and other consistent wear and tear, the sealant may need to be re-applied every so often.

The best way to find out if your countertop is well-protected, fill a glass with some water. Then pour some of it onto your natural stone material and let it sit. If the water beads up and disperses, your stone countertop has been sealed correctly. But if that water is absorbed through the pores in the surface, the stone material is still exposed and it may need to be given a protectant.

Sealing Stone Countertops

Having said all of this about the need to seal your countertops and all of the good it does, you may not expect the next thing you read to be that you may not need to seal every type of stone before it’s installed as a countertop.

In fact, some materials simply can’t be sealed properly and you shouldn’t attempt to do so. That’s because the sealant won’t be effectively absorbed as to react properly to the coating being applied. In cases such as these, the protectant will remain on the surface of the stone and all you’ll be left with is a cloudy mess on your once beautiful natural countertop.

Sealing Your Countertop

Once you’ve determined if your stone material will benefit from being sealed, you can take the necessary to steps to do so. The good news is that it’s very easy to protect your countertop by applying the sealant yourself.

First thing you need to do is clean the stone by wiping it down with a clean, dry cloth to eliminate any dirt and grime on the surface. Follow that with a disinfecting cleanser, washing down the entire countertop thoroughly. Be sure to let the stone dry completely before you do anything else.

Next you’ll apply the proper sealant that is suitable for the type of stone material you have in your home. Apply it evenly and in sections of about three to four feet at a time. Remember, you want the sealant to absorb into the pores of the stone so give it about four to five minutes for this to be done effectively.

After you’ve finished, apply a second layer of the sealant and wipe it away with another clean rag or cloth. Once it’s all dried, wipe the stone down again to clean it and voila, you’re done!