Stone kitchen countertops can be quite an investment, but they also can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Due to their durability and tolerance to heat, homeowners with high-end countertops sometimes feel that their countertops are indestructible.
Yes, they are much stronger than others and built to last, but damages can still happen if you are not careful. Lexmar USA, Pittsburgh’s premier countertop fabricator and installer, shares ways you can easily keep your countertops looking brand new.
Hot Pots, Pans & Appliances
Despite their high tolerance to heat, if repeatedly exposed to excessive temperatures, stone countertops can begin to crack or discolor over time. To avoid this possibility, always use hot pads, placemats, trivets, and pot holders under hot pots and pans. In addition, before using heat-generating appliances, such as toaster ovens and slow cookers, check the countertop manufacturer’s recommendations for these items to avoid unwanted discoloration or burn marks under the appliance. If you are unsure, use a hot pad or placemat for protection between the appliance and the counter.
Cutting and Chopping
If you want your Pittsburgh countertops to last, always remember they are not a substitute for cutting boards. Even though your countertops may be touted as scratch-resistant, that does not mean they should be abused. Repeated slicing, dicing, cutting and chopping directly on your countertops will only increase the chances of damage. Additionally, small scratches can potentially affect any water-proof sealant on your countertops—opening them up to more damages in the future. Protect your investment and use a cutting board.
Buildup of Water and Acidity
Water left on counters can create a white crusty buildup, resulting in stains. This is especially true if you have mineral-rich hard tap water. To prevent any issues, be sure to clean up any spills and thoroughly dry your countertops after wiping them. Another potential problem with stone countertops is their exposure to acidity. Acidic foods and liquids, such as lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and tomato sauce, can break down the sealants and etch the surface—making your countertops vulnerable to further damage. The best prevention in the case of a spill is to wipe clean with water and baking soda.
Harsh Cleaning Products
To clean daily messes, use mild soap and hot water. Do not use harsh abrasives or scrubbers, like Comet or Scotch-Brite, to clean your stone countertops, as these will cause scratches to shiny, smooth surfaces. Also, never use bleach or cleaners containing ammonia, which can damage the stone and cause permanent discoloration.
Stone kitchen countertops are extremely hard and durable, but hard surfaces can crack under pressure. Therefore, it is important not to place excessive weight on your kitchen countertops. Never stand on your countertops and do not place heavy appliances, such as microwaves on the corners or joints of your countertops. Cracks, fractures, and ruptures caused by excessive weight are expensive and difficult to repair.
Stone countertops are a great investment and beautiful addition to any kitchen, but taking the necessary steps to avoid and prevent permanent damage is important.
Serving the Pittsburgh area, Lexmar USA, located in McKeesport, PA, specializes in the fabrication and installation of custom kitchen countertops. We offer high-quality granite, natural stone and solid surface countertops in a wide array of colors and styles. If you would like an estimate on installation or more information on keeping your Pittsburgh countertops in pristine condition, please contact our team at 412-896-9266.