Natural Stone Countertops – Why to Go Natural and How to Care for it

Countertops are available in natural stone and engineered stone and as we’ve outlined in a prior article, there are reasons why homeowners choose either product for their kitchen remodel or new construction. Natural stone used for counters are granite, dolomite, quartzite, marble, and soapstone. The natural patterns they present are unique to every piece.

Because these are truly natural (nothing added to them, nothing engineered), the pitting and fissures, a certain degree of scratching, and differing levels of sheen per stone are all completely normal. These elements add beauty and interest to your surfaces and should not only be expected, but embraced.

Why we love natural stone at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry

Mont Blanc

When you visit our Fishkill showroom, you’ll see all the beauty of grains, crystallizations, flecks or color and sheen, and unique mineral formations that result from the pressure below Earth’s surface or underwater environments. Unlike engineered stone, no two natural slabs are exactly alike, enabling you to create a truly unique kitchen or bathroom. Our team will work with you to find the color and design pattern that fits with your interior design, and our fabricator will cut slabs to order.

Natural stone countertops are noted for their durability and can increase the value of your home. Natural stone will stand up to kitchen traffic and use for many years, and are stain resistant with proper care and precautions. However, unlike their engineered counterparts, the minerals in natural stone counters are somewhat porous, and depending on the material, they may calcify and etch upon contact with acidic foods, or be sensitive to heat and moisture.

It is easy to maintain natural stone’s beauty and keep your countertops in good condition with a few measures to follow.

Maintaining your natural stone countertops

At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we apply a 15-year sealant on every granite countertop we install for an extra layer of protection against stains. We also recommend homeowners check out Granite Shield, an excellent product that protects all types of natural stone—granite, dolomite, marble, quartzite, and soapstone—against scratching and etching with a lifetime guarantee.

After installation:

  • Be mindful of the cleaning products you use on stone. Only use specially formulated stone cleaners—no harsh cleaners, chemicals, or scouring powders; and use soft towels or wipes (nothing abrasive). Stone cleaner will clean, disinfect, and protect these countertops.
  • Toiletry products are also harmful to natural stone (lotions, nail polish, colognes, hair care products, etc.) so do not place these directly on the surface.
  • Blot up spills quickly, even after the surface is sealed, to avoid stains from water and acidic beverages such as coffee or tea, wine, fruit juices, and sodas. Cooking oils can also stain.
  • While granite and soapstone tolerate hot pans and pots without issue, other natural stones do not, so trivets and potholders are the way to go when removing hot dishes from the oven.
  • Also use a cutting board for your food prep—never cut directly on the countertop surface, which will dull the knives and scratch the softer minerals.
  • Resist the temptation to use your countertop as a step ladder. Although hard, stone countertops are not flexible and can crack under too much weight in one spot.

Notes about granite

Did you know that granite is one of the hardest natural stones on Earth? Polished granite retains its gloss forever and moderate use of knives, cutlery and cookware will not harm the surface. However, no stone is impervious to occasional scratches, even granite! Don’t panic if your granite countertop suffers a scratch; this is easily repaired (call us for help if this happens).

With “granite” in our name, you know that Affordable Granite & Cabinetry is your one-stop shop for home remodeling when granite and other natural stone countertops are in the plans. Call us at 845-564-0500 for an appointment to see what’s possible to add lasting beauty to your home.