Can Natural Stone Be Used Safely in the Kitchen?

Natural stone makes a beautiful addition to any room and many different types of natural stone are very popular for use in kitchens.  There are many different countertop material options for kitchens and there is a wide range of both price points and durability.  And, while natural stone is undoubtedly aesthetically pleasing – is it really a practical choice for use in kitchens where spills an stains can be abundant?  There are ways to safely and effectively use natural stone in a kitchen to enhance aesthetics and beauty without risking damaging your investment.

Natural stone countertops are certainly an excellent investment in your home’s beauty and value.  The key to safely using natural stone in your kitchen is to both protect it and maintain it.  Protection begins with installation when your natural stone installer assists you in properly sealing it.  When you apply a seal it helps reduce the risk of spills permeating the pores of the natural stone and causing permanent stains or damage.  Anything that has dye, a deep concentration of color, is acidic or has certain other features can instantly damage your natural stone so a seal is very important.  But, a seal only lasts so long.  It is important to have your natural stone countertops routinely sealed by a professional to ensure that they stand the test of time without incurring permanent damage.

Every kitchen is going to see some level of use and abuse and if you cook or prepare food in your kitchen every day, your countertops will be at risk of scratches, chips, stains, and more.  To prevent unnecessary damage it is important to protect your workspace by using a cutting board – do not cut directly on your countertop.  Fortunately, if your countertops have been professionally sealed and you forget this rule, many times a seal can be buffed or reapplied and the scratch will no longer be visible.  And, while many countertops can handle the heat of a hot pan being placed on directly on the surface, it could potentially damage the stone.  With such a luxurious investment, why tempt fate?  If at all possible, do not risk it!

Finally, proper maintenance is key.  Only used approved cleaning solutions or natural cleaning solutions so that staining or damage to your seal does not occur.  Use a soft cloth or sponge and use a simple mixture of vinegar and water or other stone supplier-approved cleaning solution to keep your natural stone countertops looking their best.