The aesthetic appeal of natural stones is incomparable; marble and granite are popular choices for homeowners looking for a touch of elegance and grandeur in their kitchen.
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While scratches and chips are known to appear with time, natural stones still have a good track record for its durability. After all, the granite pyramids and pillars of marble in the ancient Greek temples are still standing – there is an appeal to naturally aged stone as long as it isn’t exposed to uneven heat.
Be prepared to shift your island out of the sun and whip out the coasters to avoid discoloration.
If you are unable to commit the upkeep required for marble, opt for granite instead. It is generally less porous and any chips or scratches can be easily filled up with colour matching alternatives.
Natural stones literally breathe – it is extremely porous if untreated. Homeowners will have to whip out their trivets and adopt a clean-as-you-go approach. Periodic stone sealing will form a protective layer for water resistance and bacterial build up.
In the meanwhile, day-to-day maintenance demands tender care. Use only gentle detergents as even organic lemon juice and vinegar can be damaging. Occasionally, wipe with a mixture of three parts detergent and one part rubbing alcohol for a deeper cleanse. Excessive use of normal cleaning agents will dull the surface, but tougher stains can be solved with a watered down solution of bleach.
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Pure quartz stones are extremely scratch resistant but brittle, making it too vulnerable for use. Blending a mixture of crushed quartz with a malleable polymer can help make countertops shock resistant. This combination gives you the best of nature’s beauty and the durability of man’s creation.
Made mostly of its natural counterpart, engineered quartz offers homeowners the best of both worlds – despite being on the pricier side, you’ll appreciate saving on periodic maintenance.
Quartz is a hardy material and better suited for the kitchen – a normal wipe down with the usual cleaning agent won’t dull its shine and you are more likely to blunt knives before scratching the countertop. Pure quartz can withstand extreme heat but with the introduction of polymers, it’s better not to risk it with pots hot off the stove.
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