We always consider care when selecting countertop options for our clients. And, of course, our clients play an integral role in making that final decision as well.
We are fortunate to live in a time with so many countertop options, but it is important to know how to care for whatever option you select. (Or even let the care drive your selection.) Here are our most sourced countertop materials and some general care tips. This being said, it is essential to check out the manufacturer's instructions on specific care for your product.
Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms because they are durable, resistant to stains and scratches, and require minimal maintenance. Here are some tips for caring for your quartz countertops:
Clean up spills immediately. While very family-friendly, they are not entirely stain-proof. Be sure to wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent them from seeping into the surface.
Use a mild detergent: For day-to-day cleaning, use a soft cloth and a mild detergent or soap. Avoid using abrasive or acidic cleaners, such as vinegar or bleach, which can damage the surface.
Use a cutting board: Although quartz countertops are scratch-resistant, it's still a good idea to use a cutting board to avoid any damage to the surface.
Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface: While quartz is heat-resistant, sudden temperature changes can cause cracking. Be sure to use trivets or hot pads when placing hot items on the countertop.
Use a non-abrasive cleaner for tough stains: If you have a tough stain, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for quartz countertops. Apply the cleaner to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft cloth.
Quartzite countertops are a beautiful and durable natural stone product, which means they require specific care to maintain their appearance and function. Here are some tips for caring for your quartzite countertops:
Clean up spills immediately: Quartzite is porous, which means it can absorb liquids if they are left on the surface for too long. To avoid stains, clean up spills immediately using a soft cloth and a mild detergent.
Use a non-abrasive cleaner: Avoid using harsh cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia, on your quartzite countertops. Instead, use a non-abrasive cleaner that is specifically formulated for natural stone.
Avoid acidic substances: Acidic substances, such as citrus juices, vinegar, and wine, can etch the surface of your quartzite countertops. To avoid damage, wipe up spills immediately and avoid leaving acidic substances on the surface for too long.
Use cutting boards and trivets: While quartzite is heat-resistant, it is still a good idea to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from direct heat. Similarly, use cutting boards to protect the surface from scratches and nicks.
Seal the surface: Quartzite should be sealed periodically to protect the surface from stains and moisture. Consult with a professional to determine the best sealing schedule for your particular type of quartzite.
Marble countertops can add elegance and beauty to any kitchen or bathroom, but they require proper care to maintain their luster and appearance over time, and are probably the more high-maintenance materials that we source. (With so many great materials available, I prefer to source marble only for lower-use spaces versus busy kitchens.)
Clean up spills immediately: Marble is porous, which means it can stain easily. Wipe up spills immediately using a soft cloth and a mild, pH-neutral cleaner.
Use coasters and trivets: To prevent scratches, use coasters and trivets under glasses, dishes, and hot pots and pans. Avoid placing anything acidic or with vinegar or citrus directly on the marble surface.
Don't use abrasive cleaners: Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as these can scratch the surface of the marble. Instead, use a soft cloth and a gentle cleaner.
Seal the surface: Marble should be sealed periodically to prevent stains and damage. You can use a marble sealer to protect the surface of the marble.
Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause discoloration or fading of the marble. If your countertop is in direct sunlight, consider using blinds or curtains to prevent direct exposure.
Regular maintenance: Regularly clean your marble countertops with a soft cloth and warm water. For deeper cleaning, use a marble cleaner recommended by your countertop manufacturer.
Soapstone countertops are a popular choice due to their durability, natural beauty, and unique properties. Here are some tips on how to care for soapstone countertops:
Clean spills immediately: Soapstone is resistant to stains, but it is porous, so spills should be wiped up quickly to avoid discoloration.
Avoid acidic or harsh cleaners: Soapstone is sensitive to acidic substances like lemon juice, vinegar, and bleach, so avoid using these on your countertops. Instead, use a gentle, pH-neutral cleaner.
Apply mineral oil: Soapstone naturally darkens over time as it reacts to oils and moisture. To maintain a consistent appearance, apply mineral oil to your soapstone countertops every few weeks or as needed.
Use cutting boards: Although soapstone is scratch-resistant, it can be scratched by knives or other sharp objects, so use cutting boards when preparing food.
Avoid excessive heat: Soapstone can withstand high temperatures, but sudden changes in temperature can cause it to crack. Always use trivets or hot pads under hot dishes or pans.
Concrete countertops are a popular choice for their durability, versatility, and modern or rustic aesthetic. To care for your concrete countertops and maintain their appearance, follow these tips:
Sealing: Concrete is a porous material that can easily stain, so it's essential to seal the countertops properly. Use a high-quality sealer that's suitable for concrete and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Reapply the sealer every year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Cleaning: Wipe down the countertops regularly with a soft cloth or sponge and a mild cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive sponges that can scratch or damage the surface. For stubborn stains, use a non-abrasive cleaner that's safe for concrete.
Avoid heat and sharp objects: Concrete is heat-resistant, but it's not heat-proof, so avoid placing hot pots or pans directly on the surface. Also, avoid using sharp knives or cutting directly on the countertops, as this can cause scratches or damage.
Don't use acidic cleaners: Avoid using acidic cleaners, such as vinegar or lemon juice, as they can etch the surface of the concrete and leave permanent marks.
Use trivets and coasters: To prevent water rings and stains, use trivets and coasters under glasses, bottles, and other items that can leave moisture on the surface.
If you've made it this far in the post, you can see that the major takeaway on all of the materials is wipe up spills when they occur, use a soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaners, and remember that while your surface is durable, treat it with longevity in mind - protect it when possible by using cutting boards and trivets.
We hope these tips are helpful in either caring for your counters or selecting your countertop material. This post is written as a general guide to care. Only you are responsible for your own countertops.