When it comes to maintenance, having the right information on your particular natural stone will help your countertops look beautiful for a lifetime.

A marble island in the kitchen in the style of Infinity Countertops of Portland, Oregon

Dark Emperador Marble Island – Street of Dreams -Dornbecher house

The internet is a great tool for learning what we don’t know. Just “ask Google” and you can convert cups to ounces or find out via Shazam what piece of music is playing. Unfortunately, when it comes to natural stone, there can be as much misinformation as there is good information on the internet. In this blog, this covers most of the common misconceptions about natural stone.

Marble is a poor choice for kitchen worktops: FALSE
Not only is this false, but when it comes to baking, the exact opposite is true: marble is a great choice for kitchen worktops! Because the surface stays cool, marble is an ideal surface for rolling out dough for pies and pastries. For many bakers, marble countertops are a must. It’s true that you’ll want to frequently clean your marble surface, especially if you want your countertop to always have a “pristine” look to it. Even though marble is soft and will scratch – some people actually prefer the “lived with” look that’s been popular in Europe for ages. 

Granite and Quartzite require a lot of maintenance: FALSE
Granite and Quartzite are among the hardest countertop materials available and is not easily damaged. Both are resistant to stains, scratching, heat, and chemicals so as long as you clean up any spills in an appropriate amount of time, no harm should come to granite countertops. 
It is important to keep granite countertops clean. You’ll want to dust and wipe it on a daily basis and wiping up spills as soon as possible is a must to avoid stains. But in general, granite and quartzite doesn’t really require that much extra work to look great. 

Natural stone needs to be sealed constantly: FALSE
In general, all natural stone countertops should be sealed whenever they are installed and then once a year, thereafter. But it all depends on the particular stone you’re using.  Talk with your stone supplier to be sure you understand the appropriate maintenance for your stone. There are some sealants available that offer a lifetime warranty against staining with just one application. Plus, regular cleaning and the use of potholders and trivets will also help to extend the life of any seal job. Also, understand that it IS possible to seal a stone countertop too much. This can lead to a white haze that seems impossible to get rid of.  Our benchmark to re-sealing – if your stone is not beading like the wax on your car – it is time to reseal – but use the same sealer as mixing different sealers may add a haze to your stone.

You don’t need to seal your natural stone countertops at all: FALSE
Conversely, the blanket statement that a marble or granite countertop NEVER needs to be sealed is also false. All stone has some porosity, therefore it’s incredibly likely that sealing will be part of regular maintenance. The best course of action is to always ask your stone provider and follow their instructions for increasing the longevity of your particular countertop selection. 

If I have natural stone countertops, I can’t ever serve coffee or red wine: FALSE
Of course, staining is a concern with any natural stone countertop, but the truth is if you’re a red wine drinker or coffee lover, there is no need to give them up. Sealers help buy you time to clean up spills. So as long as your countertop has a proper seal, and any spill is cleaned up within a reasonable amount of time, no staining should occur. 

Granite and Quartzite is so out of style: FALSE
These countertop materias have been a staple in today’s homes for quite some time, and for good reason. Both Granite and Real Quartzite is strong, sturdy, durable, and beautiful. There has been a visible shift toward manmade engineered quartz surfacing. Advancements in technology mean more options in manmade surfaces like engineered quartz, plus since granite has been popular for so long, some folks are looking for something a little different. But granite is hardly a passing fad. Granite’s popularity has spanned the decades and will likely last a lifetime and Quartzite has become very popular of recent.

Oiling soapstone and slate several times a year will help them resist staining: FALSE
The application of oil or wax is not a “must” for soapstone or slate. It’s purely an aesthetic choice since it darkens the appearance of the stone. These materials are soft and will scratch and all that oiling won’t stop it. But, over time, these scratches will blend into the patina of the stone. They’ll become part of what makes these types of stone so appealing. There is no set “schedule” for when you should apply mineral oil to soapstone or slate. It’s all about personal preference. 

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to talk with your stone supplier. Be sure you know the ins and outs of the required maintenance for your individual natural stone selection. Our team of experienced stone professionals at Portland Marble are on hand to answer any questions you might have about natural stone and natural stone maintenance.