Kitchen counters are the workhorses of the home and they can really take a beating. Stone countertops are built to be durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Many homeowners don’t even realize they’re doing things that are ruining their countertops. Today we’d like to cover simple ways you can make sure your investment lasts a lifetime.
Watch the heat!
There’s a lot of confusing information out there about the heat tolerance of different countertop materials. It’s true that granite, quartz, and other ultra-compact countertops can tolerate high temperatures. If you’re in jam and need to set down that hot serving dish or pan for a second while you dig up a potholder they should be fine. Just don’t make it a habit or you risk cracking or discoloration.
Take Care with Cutting
Investing in a durable material is a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you can abuse it without consequence. Granite, marble, and quartz countertops may be scratch-resistant but they’re not a substitute for a cutting board. Every cut increases your chances of damaging your countertops, not to mention your knives! Even fine scratches can disrupt the water-proof sealant, making your countertops more susceptible to damage down the road.
Water Build Up
Stone is seen as such a strong material that we often forget its natural nemesis is water. Just think about how mountains are carved out by rivers over time! Waterproof sealants can prevent liquids from seeping through to cause a stain but they won’t stand up to puddles left sitting. Pools of water can cause a white crusty build-up and even break down your sealant faster. While you don’t have to run and while up every spill immediately, you shouldn’t leave it there to evaporate on its own. Drying counters off between uses will prevent future issues.
Lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, wine, vinegar, and tomato sauce are all kitchen staples that can do some real damage to your countertops. Even a splash could etch or dull the surface. If you use these ingredients frequently it’s best to be cautious and wipe up any spills right away. Even stain-resistant countertops have their limits.
Watch the Weight
Stone seems like an impervious material, but many hard surfaces will eventually crack under pressure. If you keep heavy items near unsupported edges you can expect cracks or ruptures that are difficult to repair. Avoid placing heavy appliances like microwaves or toaster ovens on overhangs or other unsupported areas. Proper planning can help you avoid this countertop ruining mistake.
Heat, water, acid, weight, and excessive cutting could all be ruining your countertops. Limiting their effect on your counters will keep them looking great for decades!
Not sure which material is best for your busy lifestyle? Contact one of our experts today!