Natural Stone

Homeowners deciding to remodel their kitchen or those who are building a new home will eventually need to make some decisions about Natural Stone. There are many choices out there and one of the most popular is natural stone.

Why Natural Stone?

Natural stone adds a sense of high-end quality to your home and you are not limited in choice or color because there is an array of types of stones to see. It will serve you best if you look beyond the stone style and color and consider other aspects, such as how durable they are and how to maintain their beauty, before making a final decision

Types of Natural Stone

Seven types of natural stone are the most popular among homeowners:

Granite

Granite

Granite is a versatile hard stone and comes in hundreds of colors. It can be used for both kitchen and bath countertops, as well as around fireplaces, wall decor and even floors. It is extremely durable but can stain under immense heat. You can look for high quality granite that will complement your home at stores, such as Home Depot, Marble.com, Lowe’s and The Tile Shop.

The secret to cleaning granite is to use non-abrasive materials. Get a soft sponge, wet it and use a mild dish soap to clean your countertops. Use circular motions. Rinse the sponge and re-wipe your countertops. Be sure to dry them with a microfiber cloth. Removing stains from granite is a simple process. Mix baking soda and a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl and use it to remove a water stain. Use baking soda with water to remove an oil-based stain.

Limestone

Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary stone. Made from calcium deposits, it isn’t as hard as some of the other stones. It has been used for thousands of years for all types of things, from seating to walls, and remains popular today for things like countertops as well as outdoor use.

Cleaning limestone requires a couple of products you may not be familiar with purchasing. You will need a neutral pH cleaner, a microfiber cloth or a non-metallic, soft-bristled scrub brush. Use the microfiber cloth to apply the cleaner to the limestone and then scrub it. Use the brush for areas that are more troublesome. Use warm water to rinse the area and wipe it dry with another clean, microfiber cloth.

Marble

Marble

Marble has long been associated with rich and elegant homes since ancient Greek times. It is popular in a variety of styles but is particularly known for accenting Mediterranean and French designs. As crystallized stone, it has gorgeous colors and lines that sweep across it. It is hard and durable, making it a highly desirable stone.

Keeping marble clean is easier than you would think. Preparing a dish soap solution with warm water and put it in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the solution on the counter and wipe with a dishcloth that is hot and wet. Rinse the cloth and wipe again to remove all the solution. One thing to realize about marble is there are things you can’t use. Experts advise not to use anything that contains lemon juice or any type of acid.

Slate

Slate is the result of compressed sediments like shale and clay. It is a dense rock and has more texture than other types of stone, although it can come in either a cleft of a smooth finish. It sometimes has a mix of colors, which makes for an interesting look.

Keeping slate clean is relatively simple and requires little time. The first thing to remember is to wipe countertops after every use with a damp clean rag, then you only need to deep clean it once a week. When you are ready for a deeper cleaning, mix two teaspoons of mild liquid dishwashing soap with two cups of water in a spray bottle and spray the countertops. Follow up by wiping countertops with a wet cloth. For tough food stains, lay the rag over the stain for 10 to 15 minutes and then scrub it with the wet cloth. Wipe the countertops dry.

Onyx

Onyx is one of the richer types of stones. Made from a finely grained quartz, onyx is known for its brilliant colors that are translucent. This makes for a gorgeous effect when it is backlit.

This stone is a bit trickier to clean than other varieties because you can’t spray cleaner directly on it. It is an absorbent stone and could soak in the cleaner, causing damage. To clean onyx, use a non-acidic cleaning product and spray it onto a soft, dry cloth. Home experts say it is best to purchase the manufacturer’s cleaner for onyx. Use the cloth with the solution to wipe down the counters. Wipe with a damp cloth and then dry it immediately.

Quartzite

Quartzite is one of the best types of natural stones on the market. It is created by combining quartz with sandstone and the process makes it a much harder material than quartz. The reason it’s so popular for countertops is not only its durability but the fact that it is also stain and heat resistant. It comes in a variety of colors.

With quartzite, you will need a pH balanced dish soap, a damp cloth, and a soft-bristled brush to clean up tougher spills. To do basic cleaning, put a little of the soap on a damp cloth and wipe. Use the brush as necessary. Rinse the cloth and wipe again to pick up any of the soap.

Travertine

Travertine has long been known as an essential element for Italian design but has many other uses as well. It is made from limestone and is sometimes concentric in its look. It is also fibrous. It is typically used for floors and wells as well as countertops. It doesn’t have as much color options as other types of natural stone. Travertine comes in tan, white, cream and reddish-rust color options.

To keep travertine looking great, all you need is a mild dish soap, warm water, and a cloth. The ratio is a half teaspoon of soap for half a sink of water, so you don’t need much. Wet your cloth and wipe counters. Then rinse the cloth and repeat.

There are no bad choices when it comes to natural stone. Your choice of stone for countertops depends on your personal style, budget, and how much time and effort you are willing to put into maintaining them. Choosing a stone that is right for you will give you beauty and ease of use for years to come.

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