Ask the Expert
What is the difference between granite and quartz?
Quartz: An engineered stone created by using ground natural mineral quartz. Needs no maintenance. Quartz is heat, scratch, and stain resistant, but customers should be cautious. May have difficulty repairing chips or scratches.
Quartz typically is less “busy” than granite and offers solid colors. However, as quartz have become more popular, there are many options that mimic the “natural” look of granite.
Granite: A natural stone, comes straight from nature from quarries all over the world. Granite is very resistant to heat, stain and scratch as well, but because it is natural stone and each kind might react differently to chemical products and substances used in the kitchen, its is recommended to be sealed.
How often do I have to seal granite?
Most granite will only have to be sealed once a year. Sealers are progressing their lifespan every year and there are sealers available that would last 25 years.
Dos & Donts
DO clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth.
Using a specially formulated natural stone cleaner is recommended to keep your tops in the best condition and protect the sealer, but hot water will do for quick clean-ups.
DO use cutting boards.
Again, avoid the possibility of scratching the surface and protect your knives. Cutting on stone will dull and damage your knives’ edges quickly.
DO use trivets and hot pads under pots & pans.
Yes, you can take a hot pot off the stove and put it right on granite countertops without any problems. It is possible for granite (or any stone or quartz) to suffer “thermal shock” and crack, but rare.
DON’T use generic cleaning products.
Bleach, glass cleaners, de-greasers or other common household cleaners that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer (and will etch marble) leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.
DON’T use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners.
Again, most common and name-brand household products are not good for cleaning granite countertops (and definitely cannot be used for marble, travertine or most other stones)
DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
DON’T use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface.
DON’T sit or stand on your countertops.
Unlike laminate countertops, granite, marble and quartz countertops are very hard, but not flexible and they DO NOT have a plywood backing so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.