Is there anything more beautiful than a high-end marble countertop in your Long Island home? The detail of this natural stone makes your kitchen counters pop. While marble is gorgeous, it’s undoubtedly one of the more high-maintenance options you can use in your kitchen. It has a beauty that is unparalleled to other stones, but it can show wear and tear the longer it’s in use.
You should know that this type of counter will not look pristine no matter how well you try to maintain it, as it’s the nature of the stone, and it’s going to have some flaws. Remember, that individual patina has given it character rather than making it look distressed and in need of replacement. Additionally, the little bit of wear can be quite an asset, especially in specific settings.
However, whether dealing with marble or granite, you must care it. Here are some great ways to ensure your countertops are protected and able to stand the test of time.
Always Use A Good Sealant
Your Long Island home is your showplace, and you’re kitchen the heart of this abode. So, to keep your counters looking grand, you want to invest in a good sealant. Since this stone has a porous nature, you want to make sure that you seal it to keep stains from penetrating. Remember, these are natural stone counters, and they don’t come sealed. Most installers will be more than happy to add a protective coat for you, but this could be costly.
You can quickly seal your counters without much effort. You have a choice of finish once your counters are installed. You can go with a matte surface or choose a polished or high gloss look. However, most of these marble tops are preferred to have a honed finish. This is because it doesn’t show all those scratches from knives when you forget to use a cutting board. However, it will be more problematic when it comes to stains.
To install an excellent penetrating sealant, you want to make sure that your surface is cleaned and is perfectly dry. Apply the sealant is as easy as using a dry cloth and wiping it on. Thankfully, you can find it at your local hardware store for a great price. Typically, these seals last for about a year, give or take a few months depending on use. You cannot use anything harsh on marble, so you need to make sure that your seal stays intact.
How do you know when it’s time to reseal the surface? If you drop some water on the counter and it no longer beads up, then it’s time to redo that protective coating. Repeating as needed will give you the quality and durability you desire, and cleaning will be a breeze.
Cleaning and Maintenance
You don’t want to destroy the protective surface you worked so hard to put on your stone. So, to keep things in good shape, you need to wipe down the counters daily. If you should spill something like food or juice, don’t let it sit for too long. It would help if you wiped up any spills right away. It’s best to use a nonabrasive cleaning cloth or a sponge. You can also use a mild dish detergent.
When it comes to marble care, you will find that leaving spills sit overnight will result in stains the next day, even with a sealant in place. It’s best to keep a few cutting boards around your home to ensure that you’re not tempted to cut anything without a protective covering. Also, coasters are a great option, especially if you’re drinking red wine or the kids have a bright colored beverage. The most common stains on your counters will be from coffee, wine, or juice.
Many Long Islanders question the quality of their stone after just a few months. The stone is delicate but not hard to maintain if you know what you’re doing. Remember to use the right cleaners, and don’t use something that will strip away the sealants and leave them susceptible to staining. Stains are a concern, but so is etching.
When anything acidic encounters the stone, it can leave marks on it. Acidic substances are commonplace in the kitchen, and your home is full of them. Things like spaghetti sauce, lemon juice, and vinegar are just a few of the obvious ones. Sadly, these marks aren’t something that you can wipe away with a little soap and water.
Handling Stains and Etching Issues
If you get stains or etching on your stone, you will find that soap and water probably won’t cut it. Thankfully, using a cleaner with bleach is helpful. Additionally, it would help if you had an abrasive sponge that can rub away the protective sealant so that you can get down into the stained or damaged area.
You will notice that this area of your counter looks brighter than the others once you’re done, but this is normal. Don’t worry; soon, it will look just like the rest. Once you’ve allowed the stone to dry, you need to reapply the sealant to protect it. Don’t just do the area you worked in, but you will need to redo all the countertops.
Knowing When to Call for Help
If you have a stubborn stain or etching that is deep, you take a chance on ruining your counters. A professional Long Island stone refinisher can use grinders to get down into the marble and work out those imperfections. You can use sandpaper to buff out issues in some instances, but if you feel uncertain, then it’s time to call for help.
Additionally, remember that part of the character of having marble counters is that it’s a natural stone. Its durability depends on your care, but a few little flaws and imperfections add to the charm. If you were to visit a home in Italy, there wouldn’t be stains that come jumping out at you when you tour the kitchen. Instead, you would see the rustic charm of a room well-loved.
The bottom line is a little wear and tear on your counters is normal. If you do the required maintenance to ensure that you don’t have anything too unsightly, a few quirks just give it a more loved look. Having marble is nothing to fear; it only requires a bit more attention to detail, but it will last much longer than any laminate style on the market.