Thursday, October 14, 2010

Granite and Other Stone...

Where Some Natural Stones Should Not Be Used and the Best Care For Them

Granite is one of the most popular materials to use in a kitchen remodel, but there are several more natural stone options for use as kitchen countertops or other surfaces throughout the home. In fact natural stone such as marble or soapstone are perfect for bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, surrounds for drop in tubs and so on. There are certain aspects of each type of stone which will lend itself better to particular uses in the bathroom than in the kitchen.

Granite is one of the hardest materials in existence. It is largely impervious to extreme temperatures and staining from liquids. Despite this durability some fabricators still recommend applying a protective sealant. Because of the durability of granite, the material may be used in any area of the house from granite floor tile and window sills to a countertop of an outdoor kitchen.

Marble and soapstone are much more porous than granite, but still durable. As a result additional care is necessary to maintain the new appearance of the stone. It is very common for marble to yellow with age if left unprotected. A penetrating sealer is almost always recommended for these softer and more porous stones. Soapstone is a little different. As soapstone ages, oxidation takes place giving an old world feel to the stone.

Marble can be successfully used throughout the home in the form of mantle pieces, shelving and even window sills or thresholds. In this manner it can create a more organic flow through the residence. There are exceptions to using more porous materials in the kitchen area.

Because porous stone absorb liquids it is not recommended for using natural stone of this type in an area where spills do occur. Liquids should not be allowed to stay on any stone surface for any length of time and must be cleaned up. Even condensation from a glass can leave a permanent stain on a softer stone such as marble or soapstone. Damage from a hot pan is also another possibility.

There are cleaners available for marble and the like, but after applying the solution the home owner may find that the finish has been dulled. If this does occur, re-polishing the marble may restore the original finish. As always the home owner should follow the cleaning and care instructions for the particular type of stone work which has been installed. Should a piece ever become damaged, finding a suitable color tone and veining pattern will not be very likely due to variations of natural stone even from the same quarry.

For additional information on the topic of granite and other natural stone countertops visit Universal Stone, Inc.

Article independently authored by Daniel P. Elliott. The content herein may or may not reflect the views and opinions of Universal Stone, Inc. Click for search engine optimization and search engine marketing or visit's Blog.

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