Contact Natural Stone Fabrication and Design LLC  with any questions or comments about stone care.
 
 
Sealing Your Granite Countertop
 
Sealing is the first and most important step in helping preserve the natural finish of granite and stone. Natural Stone Fabrication and Design LLC know exactly how to seal your stone. We provide the best possible finish and seal it correctly.  Sealing does not prevent etches on marble, travertine, or limestone. Penetrating sealers are invisible to the naked eye and will not change the appearance of the stone.
 
Common Staining Liquids
Common Etching Liquids
Oils
Juice
Coffee
Coffee
Markers
Lemons
Red Wine
Alcohol
Red Fruits
Vinegar
Liquid Hand Soaps
Glass Cleaners
 
Mildew Cleaners
Tips and Comments about etching, staining, and sealing:
 
  • Test whether your stone is porous. Place a wet glass on the stone for approximately 5 minutes then wipe up the water. If it discolors, then the stone should be sealed.
  • Re-seal stone every 1-3 years as recommended. Heavily used areas and exposure to water or weathering will require more frequent sealing.
  • Sealing is a necessary step that has proven results! The cost is minimal considering the benefit of applying it. For new installs Natural Stone Fabrication and Design LLC  includes the cost of sealing with every job.
  • Sealing and proper care helps prevent mineral deposits from attracting to the surface, such as around faucet handles or at water run-offs.
  • If you like the “worn and aged” appearance of stone, then don’t seal it. There are thousands of scenarios where stone has not been sealed and it looks great over several years. Sure it could have stayed cleaner, but it still looks great!
 
Care and Cleaning Dos
 
·       Daily cleaning of your countertop should be done with mild dish detergent followed by drying with a paper towel or a soft cloth. Use of a natural stone specific product is also recommended.
·       Clean up spills immediately with an absorbent paper towel or a soft cloth.
·       For dried on foods, let the cleaner soften the foods, and then wipe as usual. You can also use a stiff edge plastic tool or utensil. Do not use metal tools.
·       For heavy oil residue, apply two drops of dish soap to a wet sponge and wipe clean. Follow up with the non-rinse stone cleaner.
·       After cleaning, apply stone enhancer and polish for added shine and protection.
·       Cover stone when using acidic liquids on marble, limestone and travertine.
·       Hot pans can be set directly on stone. If any dulling or clouding is noticed, call Natural Stone Fabrication and Design LLC.
·       Cutting   on granite is ok, although it may dull your knife. Marble and limestone will scratch. If scratches are noticed on granite, stop cutting and use a cutting board. Cutting boards are recommended for most situations.
·       Schedule routine professional cleaning and sealing as recommended.
 
Care and cleaning Don’ts
 
·       Do not stand, sit, kneel, or drop heavy objects on counter tops and overhangs this can cause undue stress and may result in cracks and chips.
·       Do not use abrasive sponges to clean your countertops.
·       Do not use household cleaning chemicals that contain bleach or acids such as, bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, and drain cleaners. All chemical spills on your countertop should be cleaned up immediately and rinsed thoroughly using clean water.
·       Do not abuse the countertop. Abuse includes, but is not limited to, use that is unreasonable considering the normal and expected use of a typical kitchen countertop.
 
 
 
Problems and solutions:
 
Etches – Etches occur when an acidic type liquid causes a dull spot or ring on the stones surface. Etches usually occur on calcium rich stones such as marble, travertine and limestone. Rarely will etching occur on granite, this is why granite is the most practical material for kitchens.
Repair Solutions – Refinishing is the best approach for removing etches. After refinishing, polishing will be required on polished stones.
 
Scratches – Scratches occur when an object or a sharp tool drags or rubs repeatedly across the stone or counter top. All stone scratches appear white, making it more noticeable on darker stones. Granite is composed of harder minerals and does not scratch as easy as marbles.
 Repair Solutions - Removing scratches from marbles and granites requires refinishing with course abrasives. Granites are very difficult to refinish and should not be worked on unless the person is completely confident they can remove the scratch and restore the original finish.
 
Cracks and Broken Edges – Cracks or broken edges can occur for many reasons. Some reasons are: applying excessive weight on the counter top, settling, water intrusion, natural weathering, transportation and installation. All these situations can be prevented or minimized through common sense and simple prevention techniques; yet, the fact of the matter is, sometimes cracks and broken edges happen from time to time.
Repair Solutions – The method of repairing a cracked or broken edge varies depending on the situation. Generally, the crack needs filling with an adhesive that matches the color and grain of the stone. Then the area may need refinishing to blend in the appearance. Sometimes the slab or tile is moving and needs additional repairs at the sub-top under the stone. This is very difficult yet highly effective and definitely requires an experienced and skilled stone repair expert.
 
Dullness – Dullness of the stone occurs when any abrasion or previous refinishing has been performed. Older stones dull with normal wear and with repeated use of abrasive or acidic cleaners and course cleaning pads. Newer stones usually dull from an abrasive pad used on stone.
 Repair Solutions – Dull areas are also refinished and polished like etches and scratches. Remember, granites are very difficult to refinish and should only be performed by an experienced stone expert.
 
Light Colored Edges – Light colored edges are when edge profiles ( i.e. Bullnoses and Ogees) don’t match the surface color of the stone. When granite is being processed in the factories around the world, they treat the stone with a strong resin that penetrates the surface. This resin causes the stone to appear darker or more enhanced than the original slab. They treat the granite with resin to strengthen the stone and provide more variations of color. After installing your granite it can appear lighter than the surface depending on the reflection of light.
 Repair Solutions – Darkening lighter colored edges after installation is a challenge to say the least. It must be uniquely treated with a combination of abrasives, enhancers and polishers. This repair should only be attempted by an experienced granite specialist. It may cost you a bit extra, yet the long-term benefits are well worth it.
 
Honed Granite – Honed granite is beautiful when treated correctly. Yet due to its unique finish it can appear a little blotchy and inconsistent at different angles. Attempting to apply various enhancers to produce a rich dark color, often comes out streaky, blotchy and spots quickly under normal use.
 
Repair Solutions – The repair to honed granites can be as basic as removing previously applied sealers or chemical treatments, then re-applying the appropriate treatment to produce the desired results. If inconsistencies are still an issue then refinishing may be needed. It is very important an experienced fabricator assesses the stone prior to refinishing, determining whether or not refinishing will achieve the desired results.
 
Natural Stone Fabrication and Design LLC  is experienced in all these areas and would be happy to assist with any problems or questions you may have.            
 
 
 

Last Updated
Sep 26, 2018
Natural Stone Fabrication & Design, LLC
2535 Hwy 2 East  - Kalispell , MT 59901
Phone:406-257-8081