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    Other tips »  |  Desert Safety  |  Household Tips  |  Identify Rocks  | 

    Rockroost Household Tips

    CARE OF GRANITE AND MARBLE COUNTERTOPS AND FLOORS

    Whether you have just bought a new home with a granite or marble countertop or floor or have invested in one when remodelling, you will want to protect that investment to keep its lasting shine and beauty unblemished.

    Many homeowners would think that one of these kind of countertops and floors are care free and they can be with a few simple maintainance tips.

      Granite Composition:

      Granite is a hard natural igneous rock having visible crystalline texture.
      It is formed essentially of Quartz and Orthoclase or Microcline.
      The principal constituents of Granite are Feldspar, Quartz and Biotite Mica.
      However the percentage composition of each varies and accordingly
      impart different color and texture to the final product.
      The percentage composition of Feldspar varies between 65-90%,
      of Quartz can extend from 10 to 60% and that of Biotite lies between 10 to 15%.

    Granite is very resistant to most acids and will not etch or leave a dull spot on the surface. It will not scratch as easily as marble. However, Hydroflouric acids found in products such as rust removers will mar it's surface and should be avoided. Also, one common misconception many people have with granite worktops is that they are scratch and stain resistant. They are not. Granite, although 'rock hard' is very porous, so fat and oil will easily stain the surface. The acetic acid from lemon juice will also leave a stain on an untreated granite worktop.

    Granite can be cleaned with ordinary window cleaner as often as you like.

    Natural stone surfaces need to be sealed when they are new and then resealed on a regular basis depending on the softness of the material, (Usually, at least annually).

    Our Mohs Hardness Scale shows the hardness (or softness) of many natural stones. Remember that even though your countertop is made of 'rock hard' material, it is not as hard as you would think and can be damaged by many different elements. Both Marble and Granite can be broken down in their natural state by weathering or erosion, so it is easy to understand how acidic foods and harsh chemicals can affect your finished countertop.

      Marble Composition:

      Marble is an example of a rock that may be formed by contact metamorphism.
      Contact metamorphism occurs when rocks undergo metamorphism because they come in contact with a heat source (usually a magma body). Essentially the rocks are getting cooked. A comparable change occurs in roasting meat or baking bread - the initial composition does not change but the texture of the material does.
      Marble forms when Limestone is heated to high temperatures.
      Both Marble and Limestone may have the same composition but marble typically has larger grains and is composed largely of Calcite.

      If Marble is sealed properly it can be cleaned with warm water and a non-abrasive cloth.

      Marble is relatively soft when compared to other stones such as granite. It will scratch very easily. Marble is also very sensitive to acidic chemicals such as vinegar which will leave a dull spot on its finish. Most household products that contain acids will have their ingredients listed on the bottle label. Avoid using any of the following on or near any marble surface:

    • Vinegar
    • Lemon or other Citrus Juices.
    • Tomato and Tomato Sauce
    • Bleach
    • Coffee
    • Body fluids such as urine, vomit
    • Ammonia
    • Tile cleaners
    • Toilet bowl cleaners
    • Household cleaners with Lemon
    • Pool Ph degreaser (Muriatic Acid)

    Here are more care guidelines for granite and other natural surfaces:

    • Clean spills as soon as possible. Blot, don't wipe and spread it around.
    • Plain soap and water won't stain, but they will leave a residue that attracts dirt.
    • Household cleaners may contain ammonia or bleach that break down sealers and leave surfaces open to stains.
    • When sealing dark colored granite, or other stone, use one coat.
    • For a lighter color use two or three coats.
    • Clean stone floor surfaces frequently with a dust mop or vacuum. Abrasion caused by sand, dirt and grit are responsible for the greatest damage to natural stone floors.

    There are good sealants available at most retail home supply stores. Make sure you follow the instructions on the sealant container for application and recommended frequency for follow-up use.

    An easy test to determine if your sealer is still performing is to pour a small amount of water on the stone surface and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. If it appears to darken the stone, that is an indication that the stone needs re-sealing.


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