Maintenance of Natural Stone: 10 FAQs!
1. What are the main differences between granite and marble?
Although both materials fall under the category of natural stone, the large difference between the two is their porosity. Granite is generally resistant to staining because of how low its porosity level is (minimal absorption of outside substances). On the other hand, marble is a popular choice- despite its maintenance- simply because of its elegant look.
2. What is the best stone for countertops?
This depends on if the space will be a high-traffic or low-traffic environment. For minimal maintenance, granite countertops are a practical choice. HG offers a wide variety of colors that originate from the best quarries around the world. However, marble countertops have been a popular choice amongst many New York designers because of its exceptional beauty. In fact, despite its maintenance, many people do choose marble for their countertops and simply use natural stone sealers once every 2-3 months for extra protection.
3. Can I cut directly on my marble or granite countertops?
Granite is such a durable surface that cutting it on it will not result in scratches. If you are in a rush and need to cut directly on your granite countertop..no worries! But for the sake of not wearing out your knives, we still recommend using a cutting board. As per marble countertops, we advise against cutting directly on the surface because it is prone to scratching.
4. What happens if I spill on my countertops? (wine/lemon juice)
To keep your countertops (both marble or granite) is its best shape possible, we recommend using sealers that are produced for your specific surface. Spills that involve acidic substances, such as wine, lemon juice, or vinegar, may cause etching on your surface. To learn more about etching click here. By applying a sealer, you are creating an additional barrier between outside substances and your beautiful natural stone!
5. What is sealing? Can I do it or does it have to be professionally done?
By sealing your surfaces, you are creating a barrier between your marble/granite and any outside substances. Sealing is especially important if you have a honed finish surface as opposed to a polished finish surface because polished surfaces already have a sense of coated protection (the polish). Sealing can easily be done by any individual; simply purchase a natural stone sealer and follow its instructions. However, there are professional who can do it on your behalf.
6. How often do I need to seal granite or marble?
We recommend sealing lighter colored surfaces every 2-4 months simply because of the higher visibility of staining or etching. On the other hand, darker colored surfaces can be sealed every 6-12 months because they are more dense, creating minimal visibility of staining or etching. Lastly, depending on the brand, sealers can potentially last for 1-2 years so its application really depends on your personal use of the surface. In hindsight, we advise you to use trusted brands while also enjoying your surface without any worries!
7. What do I do about scratches?
Experienced professionals can potentially repair, re-polish, and seal the stone on your behalf. However, if you wish to use a DIY method then the first step is to analyze the severity of the scratches. If they are minor, then no worries. Try buffing out the surface using a polishing paste. More info here. If the scratches are severe, then we highly recommend seeking the expertise of a professional to avoid any further damage.
8. Can I use granite/marble outdoors? How does the weather and temperature affect it?
Yes! In snowy climate conditions, the consistent freezing, expanding and thawing process of polished stone may wear down the surface so we recommend using honed stone surfaces.
But, here is a better alternative! Neolith surface solutions. This engineered stone mimics the characteristics of natural stone while upholding traits such as scratch resistance, bending resistance, freezing resistance and much more. Not only is it durable for high-traffic environments, but it is also suitable for outdoor spaces while having an elegant natural stone appearance. Check out our portfolio of neolith projects here!
9. How much does granite weigh?
Typically, a 3 cm thick piece of granite weights 18 lbs/sq ft.
10. Do all slabs of the same color look the same?
Yes and no at the same time! The special aspect of natural stone is that because it is a product of our beautiful Earth, there is no such thing as replication the exact vein patterns, shading, and overall aesthetic of two slabs. While the slabs may be the same name and general appearance, every slab is individual and unique in its own way. So in hindsight…you are the only individual who can have that exact stone surface in your space! Happy hunting!