Caring For Your Stone

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Caring for Your Marble

Marble is a beautiful natural product that has been in use for thousands of years. Although not as durable as granite, the natural aging / wear of marble is to be expected in high use / volume areas and can be beautiful. Be aware that honed finishes (less shiny) often show less wear than high polished surfaces on marble. The greatest concerns for marble tends to be in kitchens where acids from foods and drinks are common. Vanities, sills, and fireplaces tend to be the ideal use for marble.

What is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock. Originally limestone, over time the combination of heat and pressure caused the limestone to re-crystallize. Foreign substances that often entered the stone during this process created an infinite variety of colors, textures, and veining. In its purest form marble is crystalline white calcite. Impurities of dolomite, silica or clay provide variations in color and significant movement.

How Durable is Marble?

Marble is a much softer stone than granite and needs to be treated accordingly. In fact, a good way to treat marble is as if it were a fine piece of furniture. Marble scratches easily when harder objects are rubbed or dragged across the surface. Marble that is honed (polished so that the face is less shiny) tends to show less scratches or etch marks. If a deep scratch does occur, leave it to a profession to fix the problem since the mark will most likely need to be polished out.

Does Marble Stain?

Marble is a porous stone, hence staining is possible. Unlike granite, marble is easily etched by acids, bases, and strong chemicals. Marble should be regularly sealed (yearly for high use areas) to protect it from staining. Also, compounds such as craftsmen polish can be used on marble to help provide extra protection. Such products act like wax on a car, often giving the stone extra luster while protecting its finish. However, these compounds are not recommend for use on granite.

What Should I Use to Clean My Marble?

Neutral PH cleaners such as windex without ammonia or mild soap and water are excellent for cleaning marble. Never use chemical like ammonia or vinegar and water. These products will not only strip the sealer, but they will also etch the stone if it has a high gloss finish.

Caring for Your Granite

Your granite is an investment that will not only increase the value of your house but with proper care, it will probably outlast the house itself. There is no other counter top product more durable or more beautiful on the market today then granite. Please enjoy it an thank you for your business

What is Granite?

Granite is an igneous rock formed from the solidification of magma deep in the earth. It contains 45 to 65% silica(quartz) and the remaining minerals are mostly feldspar, mica and iron ores. The minerals found in igneous rocks are usually dense and packed tightly due to their formation under extreme pressures and heat.

Can I Cut on My Granite Tops?

Granites tend to be extremely hard with hardness ranging from 6 or higher on the Mohs scale of hardness. A common test used to identify igneous rocks is a scratch test which uses an ordinary knife blade to try and scratch the stone; if the stone is difficult to scratch it is most likely a granite. However, this does not mean that granite is impossible to chip or scratch. Although many people may tell you that you can cut on your granite it is often wise to use a cutting board just to be safe. New carbide knives that you may have seen on television sawing through pennies can and will scratch granite. Diamonds are harder than granite and so have the potential to scratch it. So watch those diamond rings!! However, granite is extremely hard and durable, scratching is rare, and the granite you own will probably out last your current kitchen, if not the house itself.

Does Granite Stain?

Granite is a porous stone, hence staining is possible. Granites with high, brilliant shines are more difficult to stain then those with a honed (matte) or antique / textured finishes. Granite generally will not react with acids except for hydrofluoric acid (HF) which reacts with the polished surface. Hydrofluoric acid is normally found in rust removers. Many types of oils can penetrate a granite’s surface and leave stains. Sometimes these stains can be removed with a poultice, sometimes stains can be permanent. However, Cole Brothers seals your granite with a high grade sealer that protects your granite for an average of fifteen years (harsh cleaners can shorten the life of the sealer). Do not worry too much about staining. Most granites do not stain easily and with proper care and sealing your stone will look like new for years to come.

***Spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible as some chemicals may eat through the sealer when left exposed to the stone for long periods of time. Also, dish detergents left on the stone for days at a time may eat through the sealer, so it is recommended that the dish soap not be left on the counter.

What Should I Use to Clean My Granite?

Strong acids and bases found in many cleaning products will cause your granite sealer to breakdown more quickly over time. Ammonia, bleach, and vinegar mixed with water are not appropriate cleaners. In fact, one of the best cleaning products you can use is Windex without ammonia (also called known as Windex Crystal Rain which can often be found at your local grocery store. Other cleaning agents such as a mild soap and water or stone specific cleaners (Perfect Granite etc.) will also work fine. If you notice any build up or residue on your tops you can use fine steel wool (#000, triple zero) to remove these substances.