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Care & Maintenance

how to care for your surface

Natural Stone Care & Maintenance

Congratulations on your decision to choose the most durable, natural and long-lasting countertop material available today. Your natural stone countertops will provide you with many years of use with little or no aging in the look or feel of the countertops. As with any natural product, there are some simple steps to take which will enhance and lengthen the life of your tops, as well as a common sense approach to learning its limitations.

  1. As a natural product, natural stone will vary in color from slab to slab and in some instances will vary in the same piece. This provides character uniqueness to each individual top and guarantees you a one-of-a-kind look.
  2. Visible seams are necessary for natural stone countertops and can be up to 1/8” wide. CCS uses a seaming material to hold the two pieces together for a secure fit and good adhesion. The seaming material is color matched as close as possible to the primary color of the stone.
  3. One important facet of understanding your natural stone countertops is that it is a porous material. Sealing is strongly recommended for newly installed natural stone to provide maximum below-surface stain protection. Be careful to select a high-quality sealer to protect your natural stone. A premium natural look penetrating/impregnating sealer is the normal choice for polished or honed marble, limestone, and granite. A stone enhancer sealer is often used on tumbled, antique stones, or slate where a darker, enriched, or highlighted character is desired. Stone products should be tested periodically to insure that the sealer is working effectively. Penetrating/impregnating sealers are rated to protect the stone from 1 to 3 years (refer to manufacturer’s instructions).
  4. Natural stone requires a different maintenance routine than traditional man-made products. Many of the cleaners acceptable for use on man-made products can stain, damage, or dull stone. Even a light solution of vinegar and water will etch and eventually damage natural stone. Natural stone should be cleaned with pH-neutral cleaners. Stone cleaners should never contain acid or bleach as they can be detrimental to sealers and wax-type coatings. A solution of the cleaner and water mixed to manufacturer instructions should be sprayed on the surface, allowed to sit for the manufacturer's specified time, wiped clean and buffed dry with soft cloth. To avoid soap scum build-up on shower walls, squeegee after each use.
  5. Granite is stain and scratch resistant not stain and scratch proof. Under normal use, granite resists scratches better than any other natural stone surface on the market. For stains and spills, use a paper towel to blot up liquids as quickly as possible. Avoid wiping the spill as it could cause the stain to spread. Use a soft cloth to dry the area completely. If the stain remains, first determine the cause of the stain. Different types of stains have different removal methods. The five most common stains are:
    • Organic: coffee, tea, foods and cosmetics
    • Biological: mold, mildew and fungus
    • Metals: rust, iron, copper, bronze
    • Inks: pen and magic markers
    • Oils: grease, cooking and/or skin oil and tar

Stone poultice is a fine, non-acidic, absorptive clay cleaning powder that removes deep-set oil stains, grease, and light grout haze from polished and unpolished natural stone. CAUTION: Poultice may dull the shine of polished stone. If the polish has become dull, scratched, or etched, restore the natural shine using a marble polish. Some polishes are available in kits. CCS recommends the services of a stone professional for the aforementioned work.

Do and Don'ts

  • DO: Dust clean surfaces with mild detergent, stone soap, or specialty stone cleaner and soft cloth
  • DO: Blot up spills with a paper towel immediately
  • DON’T: Use vinegar or lemon-based cleaners
  • DON’T: Use cleaners such as bathroom, grout and tile, or tub cleaners
  • DON’T: Use cleaners containing abrasives
  • DON’T: Allow fruit juices or acids to sit on natural stone. This will cause the stone to etch. Hot items such as pots and pans should not be placed directly on natural stone surfaces. Use hot pads or trivets.

Quartz Surface Care & Maintenance

Regular quartz countertop maintenance is easy. Simply wipe down with a soft cloth and warm water — use a mild soap if desired. Recommended cleansers are listed below.

SPILLS

Occasionally spills dry on a countertop. Materials that harden as they dry, such as gum, grease, nail polish, or paint, should be removed by gently scraping away the residue with a blunt, plastic scraper. Once the material is removed, clean the quartz with a vinegar/water solution (always follow the manufacturer’s dilution instructions) or with a non-abrasive cleaning pad and non-bleach, non-abrasive liquid household cleaner. Rinse surface thoroughly with clean water and dry with a clean, white paper towel or white cloth.

RESISTANCE TO STAINS AND CHEMICALS

Quartz countertops are non-porous, meaning most spills and stains are not absorbed into the surface. Exceptions include permanent markers, inks, and some chemicals, solvents, or dyes that may cause permanent discoloration to the surface. Should these agents come into contact with the quartz, wipe up immediately and rinse with plenty of water. If the stain persists, moisten a cloth with Goo Gone® or a comparable product and rub into the stain. Allow to sit according to the manufacturer's recommendations and rinse thoroughly with warm water..

DO NOT expose quartz to abrasive, strong alkalines, free radicals, acids, oxidizers, or other harsh chemicals.

DO NOT expose quartz surfaces to cleaning products including, but not limited to, bleach, oven cleaners, abrasive cleaners, steel wool pads or products with pumice, paint removers, furniture strippers, oil soaps, or silver tarnish remover.

DO NOT use abrasive scrub pads.

DO NOT apply sealers, penetrants, or topical treatments to quartz surfaces under any circumstances. These products will wear off and cause the gloss to appear dull or inconsistent.

HEAT RESISTANCE

Quartz countertops ARE NOT heat proof, chemical proof or fracture proof in any form. To maintain the beauty of your quartz countertop, DO NOT place hot pots, pans, or baking dishes directly on the surface. Electric grills, crockpots, and other heat-generating small appliances can potentially damage quartz surfaces. CCS recommends using trivets and hot pads to reduce heat exposure and cracks resulting from thermal shock.

CUTS OR SCRATCHES

Quartz is one of the hardest materials in nature. That’s why your new quartz countertop will not easily scratch or chip. We do; however, recommend the use of a cutting board to protect the surface and avoid dulling your knives.

ACCEPTED CLEANERS:

  • Windex® Crystal Rain® Glass Cleaner
  • Windex® with Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • 3M™ Glass Cleaner
  • Clorox® Anywhere® Hard Surface Sanitizing Spray
  • Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach-Free Cleaning Wipes
  • Goo Gone®
  • Saniten N-313
  • Simple Green d PRO 3 PLUS™
  • Simple Green® All-Purpose Cleaner -  Lemon Fresh Scent
  • Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes
  • Lysol® Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner
  • Denatured/Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol

Goo Gone® is a registered trademark of Weiman Products, LLC.

Windex® Crystal Rain® Glass Cleaner is registered trademark of SC Johnson.

Clorox® and Clorox® Anywhere® are registered trademarks of The Clorox Company.

Simple Green® and Simple Green d PRO 3 PLUS™ are trademarked by Sunshine Maker's, Inc.

Lysol® is a registered trademark of Reckitt Benckiser.

Types of Stone

QUARTZITE: A highly hardened, typically metamorphosed member of the sandstone group. Quartzite contains a minimum of 95%- free silica. Quartzite can look similar to slate but is actually harder and denser.

SLATE: A micro-crystalline metamorphic rock commonly derived from shale. Slate is primarily composed of mica, chlorite and quartz. Slates are predominantly available in cleft-finished tiles; ideal for use in internal or exterior non-freeze settings.

TRAVERTINE: A type of crystalline or micro-crystalline limestone with a distinctive layered structure. Some layers contain pores and cavities which create on open texture. Depending on the product selected, the pore may be filled or unfilled. Travertine is available in warm earth tones, making it one of the most popular stones for interior and exterior countertops.

QUARTZ (MAN MADE): A slab that is manufactured with 93% quartz and 7% resin. There are a variety of monochromatic and highly varied features depending on the color and manufacturer. Quartz slabs may have inclusions of a different color and/or variations in distribution.

GRANITE: A visibly granular, igneous rock; generally ranging in color from near-white through the spectrum of golds, pinks, greens and blue, to grays and blacks. Granite consists primarily of quartz, mica, and feldspar. It is the hardest architectural stone, making it ideal for countertops and high-traffic areas. Most stones in this category are sold commercially as granite but do not meet the geological criteria. This is due to the wide variety of minerals introduced into the stone to produce more beautiful selections effecting the “hardness” qualities.

LIMESTONE: A sedimentary rock composed principally of calcite (calcium carbonate), dolomite (double carbonate of calcium and magnesium), or a combination of the two. Limestone is generally softer and less dense than granite and more homogeneous in appearance.

MARBLE: A metamorphic rock possessing a distinctive crystalline texture. Marble is composed principally of calcite (calcium carbonate), dolomite (double carbonate of calcium and magnesium), or a combination of the two. Marbles are typically softer than granite and are available in a wide spectrum of color and veining.

ONYX: a semi-precious sedimentary gemstone of the calcite variety with an extremely fine crystal formation. Onyx is valued for its translucent quality and can be backlit for dramatic effect.

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