Preserving Natural Stone’s Timeless Beauty
Stone is the most popular surface used in the home today. The applications are endless and the stone often finds its way into showers and custom countertops. Natural stone used to be in a limited number of colors. The amount of color and texture options has changed over the years and the introduction of new resins makes it possible to match the decor of the home easily.
• Low maintenance
Following a simple maintenance schedule is the ticket for one of the most durable surfaces on the market. Quartz and granite material are rated for their durability against bumps and heat during everyday cooking. Flooring is more resilient to chipping that ceramic or vinyl.
• Excellent thermal mass for floors
Natural stone looks beautiful and works great with radiant floor heating systems. It’s often the preferred flooring material for these types of heating systems. The stone can absorb heat and radiate it throughout the room. The summer is the best time for efficiency. It naturally cools the floor by slowing down heat transfer.
• Home value
Natural stone adds value to the home and is a great selling point in the home for the future. Most stone investments bring back the value cost into the overall appraisal value of the home. It also adds value in terms of low maintenance and appearance compared to other synthetic surfaces that are more prone to burns and stains over the years.
Tip 1: Keep Cleaners Gentle
Natural stone works best with mild and gentle cleaning. Harsh cleaners with abrasives can distort the surface and create pitting. This distortion makes it easier for stains to stay in the surface of the stone. Many of the cleaners used on Formica and synthetic surfaces should not be used on stone.
Using natural products are great for the home. However, they may be limited in their use on natural stone surfaces. Be sure to avoid using vinegar or lemon juice on the surface. These acidic ingredients can etch the stone. Some of the best products use gentle cleaning agents that can be wiped off.
Products such as Granite Gold Clean & Shine contain a polish and cleaner in one bottle. These products leave a clean scent and are pH balanced to avoid etching the stone surface. The Granite Gold all-surface wipe is another option to quickly clean the countertops in a hurry. They are also available in a disinfecting formula.
Tip 2: Seal it Up
Sealing a stone surface is one of the best ways to protect your investment. A quality sealant can prevent water from penetrating and staining the stone. It also makes clean up much easier during heavy spills. Most sealers are applied in a buffing action much like waxing a car. Most products are applied to sit for a few minutes and buffed out later for a luster. For example, the Granite Gold Sealer is a great product for penetrating the stone and providing a barrier against water build-up. The sealer also works well with the polish to provide maximum protection.
Outdoor surfaces can be sealed as well. Carefully designed patios are a significant investment and an outdoor power cleaner and sealer can prevent pitting from the elements over the years.
Tip 3: Develop a Regular Cleaning Schedule
Maintenance is minimal if a daily cleaning schedule is maintained. This schedule doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as wiping the surface down nightly and checking for any water penetration. Water penetration can be checked daily by pouring a small amount of tap water onto the surface and ensuring that it beads up. If it doesn’t bead up and begins to penetrate, it’s time to seal.
Regular cleaning with products designed for a stone surface allows the sealer to last longer. For example, the Granite Gold Daily Cleaner is usually sprayed on and wiped off without any buffing agents needed. A good quality sponge should be smooth and free of any abrasive material for wiping. Keeping a large refill container on hand is good for mixing in several bottles around the home if you have multiple surfaces to clean.