When shopping for granite countertops or natural stone floorings such as travertine or marble, make sure you pair the right stone with your project.
In this week’s blog post, we are writing this article to educate consumers about the different types of stone that can be used in the home and questions to ask the dealer BEFORE forking over your hard-earned money for a stone that may not be suited for your particular needs.
It seems like weekly; we hear from homeowners disgusted that their freshly installed countertop or floor covering is starting to show scratches or stains from spills or improper cleaning agents.
When visiting their home, we discover that the WRONG stone was used for the application, and either it is too soft for the client’s current usage, or the stone was never sealed, and acidic spills or improper cleaning agents have started to stain the surface of the stone.
A newly installed natural stone surface can be stunning but look worn and dull a year or two later. The location and intended use of natural stone makes a big difference in the longevity of its elegance.
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself as you consider what type of natural stone to select.
What appeals to you aesthetically?
Think about the grain and sparkle of granite, the lazy ribbons of veining in marble, the aquatic elegance of limestone, the unpredictable charm of travertine, the backlit mystery of onyx, or the velvety ruggedness of soapstone. While you should select a stone that you admire, your decision should not be based on appearance alone. You should consider whether the stone you want will hold up to its intended use and purpose.
Where do you plan to have the stone installed?
The place your stone resides will determine what kind of use it gets. Will it serve as the walls of a shower or tiles around a pool? Will it be a vanity top for a bathroom several teenagers share? Will the stone serve as tiles for your flooring?
If special consideration is given to select a stone that is appropriate for its intended use, then untimely wear patterns or damage can be avoided.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the stone?
Some stones are harder than others. For example, granite generally ranks at a 7 on the MOH’s scale of hardness, but marble usually is about 4. The higher the MOH rating, the harder the stone. When purchasing a stone, ask the salesperson for the MOH rating. The softer stone is, the easier it is to scratch. Harder stones should be used in areas that see higher traffic and use.
Some stones have higher calcium carbonate content than others. The higher the calcium carbonate content, the more prone a stone is to etch damage from acidic substances. So, if you are selecting stone for a bar top that will be exposed to a lot of acids from fruit juice or wine spills, your best bet would be to shy away from selecting a stone with high calcium carbonate content.
What are your expectations?
In some parts of the world, natural stone is scratched, etched, and worn, and people don’t seem to mind. Like your favorite blue jeans or comfy pajamas, signs of wear to you might simply mean you are putting your stone to good, practical use. Soapstone is an excellent choice for people who want laid-back, casual elegance because it tends to look better with signs of wear.
For people who prefer immaculate, luxurious stone, signs of wear will be considered unacceptable. If your expectations are high, and you select backlit onyx, for example, simply keep in mind that a restoration contractor will need to perform regularly scheduled refinishing services to maintain a flawless factory finish.
Tru-Clean Surface Care is the “cleaner and restoration company” of choice to many of SW Florida’s leading stone fabricators, interior designers, stone retailers, and clients who are looking for a company that can be trusted and performs phenomenal work. Our natural stone cleaning, honing, polishing, and sealing services have been trusted by thousands of homeowners and businesses throughout SW Florida since 2007.
Tru-Clean Surface Care is A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau and a seven-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award. We are Stone Pro Certified and a surpHaces Pro Certified Partner. Our cleaning and restoration solutions are allergen-free and safe for pets and small children.
For all your natural stone cleaning, restoration, polishing, grinding, and sealing needs, you can count on Tru-Clean Surface Care.
For more information about our stone cleaning and restoration services, please visit us online at www.TruCleanSurfaceCare.com or call us anytime at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples and Marco Island, or 941-424-8171.