By: Ann Kent
Once you have made the investment into redoing your granite and marble countertops, it is so important to create a plan for overall maintenance. Whether you installed granite or marble countertops, they each will require their own set of upkeep activities, with marble requiring more frequent sealing with Mr. Stone’s Superior Zero Ultimate Stone Sealer, and perhaps repairing with a marble and granite repair kit.
Mr. Stone offers a number of great products to keep your natural stone looking great year after year. The predominant trend in granite colors has been for white or natural colors, which often mimic the classic look of marble. The light-colored granite countertops can show stains and dirt more than the darker stone options, so the cleaning and maintenance process becomes even more vital to keep your countertops looking perfect. However, dark granite colors also continue to be popular, particularly when paired with white cabinetry for contrast.
Once your countertops are installed, we recommend a professional sealing to keep the protection maximized, but, moving forward, it is ideal to use Mr. Stone’s AGM Cleaner daily as your everyday countertop cleaner for natural stones. You can also clean with a mild mix of soap and water, but the AGM Sealer has a bit of sealant in its formulation, so you are adding to the level of protection that your granite and marble has by using it. You can order the AGM Cleaner in bulk to save a bit of money, and you will not regret it or let it go to waste.
Marble will need to be sealed up to 4 times a year, particularly in high traffic areas and around the sink, whereas granite will only need to be sealed 2 times a year. Mr. Stone’s Superior Zero Ultimate Stone Sealer is extremely easy to apply and provides a solid foundation to protect your marble or granite countertops. The formulation has a fluoropolymer bonding that provides the best penetrating protection against stains. It is a solvent-based formula that is VOC compliant, so you do not have to worry about harmful chemicals. The sealer will protect all natural stones for up to 6 months.
Now, a lot of the selling point of granite is that it is heat-resistant, but Mr. Stone still suggests that you use coasters and hot pads to protect your countertops. Granite and marble will not scorch like laminate, but it is best to protect your stone countertops as much as possible. Similarly, although people do claim that you can cut directly on granite countertops, we much prefer using cutting boards, both for the life of the knife and to better protect your countertops. Other stones like marble will scratch and potentially chip when you cut directly on the surface so cut on a cutting board. I also find cutting boards easier to clean, and you will not risk cross-contamination of unprepared raw foods.
Natural stone countertops can last up to 100 years, but will require the annual and daily maintenance. Over time, it is inevitable that marble will chip and etch, and even a stone as strong as granite can potentially have spots to repair. The good news is, they can be repaired. Other countertop materials would require that you replace the entire countertop. But marble, granite can be repaired, even by a homeowner as long as the chips are small. Mr Stone sells a Marble and Granite Repair kit that is the perfect solution to fixing any imperfections or chips that will occur in your stone countertops. As I said before, the light stone colors of marble and the ever-growing trends of natural and light colored granite countertops will only make any imperfections stand out more. The repair kit is extremely easy to use. After cleaning the area, you simply fill the chip with a translucent epoxy, spray with a hardener spray, and use a razor blade to smooth out the surface. Then, simply buff out the area with steel wool and apply a granite polish to make the surface shine. Your countertops will be as good as new.
Investing in a new kitchen will yield a long return as long as you are properly armed with the best products to protect your granite or marble countertops.
Daily use of Mr. Stone’s AGM Cleaner and routine sealing will make your kitchen look as new as the day you first had them installed.