1. My kitchen tops are Granite and Quartzite; these surfaces are hard and resist everything!
Just because stones are sold under the names “granite” and “quartzite” does not mean that they necessarily perform like the average granite and quartzite countertops. In other words, some do react (etch) when acid, ammonia, or alcohol is spilled.
Always stick to neutral stone cleaners such as Lavenet. You also want to control calcium deposits around sinks with Crystal Clean. Also, don’t forget cutting boards, coasters and trays in the kitchen.
2. Natural stone is just too difficult to take care of; I’m just going to go with an engineered material instead.
Let’s face it: kitchen tops and our bathroom tops are heavily used, so no matter what material you choose, it will need some sort of maintenance. I’ve seen acid etch marks on natural stone and I’ve seen scratches and dinged up edges on engineered, man-made materials. The good news is: International Stoneworks can restore and refinish wear and tear on natural stone surfaces.
3. I prefer a honed finish over a high gloss on my stone countertops because the honed finish does not acid etch
Actually, the finish does not determine if the stone reacts to acids. It is the stone itself. If you have a honed marble countertop and you spill vinegar on the stone, the marble does etch, but it may not show as much because the finish around the etch mark is not a stark, high polished contrast. Honed finishes are a great option if you prefer a more matte-look. It also helps to camouflage acid etch marks if you are a messy cook (like me!)
4. I have too many spots and scratches on my stone. I just need to replace it.
Not so! Stone restoration is your solution. International Stoneworks uses fine abrasives and water to re-hone and re-polish stone back to the original finish. I usually recommend replacement only when the customer simply does not like the color or look of the stone – example if you don’t like green granite, restoration can’t make your green granite into a white marble. However, we can remove many surface imperfections such as acid etch marks, scratches and white calcium deposits.
5. I don’t want marble for my tops because it is too “soft” and my family and I are very hard on our countertops
Marbles are not necessarily “soft.” Many people say that marble is a “soft stone,” but really what they mean is that it has a tendency to react to acids. Actually, the minerals in marble are not the softest on the Mohs scale; it is a common misconception that stone softness has a correlation to chemical (acid) resistance.
To state these facts simply, most marbles etch when they come in contact with acids, ammonia and alcohol (etch marks look as if the shine or the finish of the stone has been removed). The wrong cleaner, tomato sauce, even the condensation on the bottom of a glass can all etch marble, so be sure to use coasters, cutting boards, trays and neutral cleaners such as Lavenet.
Hope this Stone Countertops Myth Buster blog clears up some of your stone misconceptions! If you have other concerns or more specific questions, drop us a line or don’t hesitate to contact us.