Granite cleaning and maintenance .
Daily Care and Use
Clean your countertop daily with a soft cloth and a neutral, non-abrasive cleanser for best results. Mild dish soap and water work best.
Using household cleaners such as, Windex, Lysol Disinfectant and 409, can be used but may leave a film. Using these products on occasion, is fine. Keep in mind, the harsher the product, the quicker it will break down your sealer. Your safest bet? Warm water and a sponge!
A solution of vinegar and water works great to remove streaking, smudges, and body oil.
Avoid products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble, limestone, or Black Absolute granite. They are susceptible to acid etching.
An occasional application of furniture polish can keep fingerprints off dark colored granite and will give the countertops a nice feel.
High and low temperatures will not harm your granite in any way. You can take a pan off the stove or a dish out of the oven and set it right on your countertop without damage.
If you have a seam in your countertop, it is best to avoid setting hot materials on this area. The epoxy in the seam can melt if exposed to heat for an extended period.
Cutting foods directly on your countertops will not harm your granite but is not recommended. Your knives will dull very quickly.
Your granite work surfaces were sealed after installation by your installer. This helps prevent the absorption of any compound that can stain your tops but is not foolproof.
Resealing depends greatly on the type of stone you have and how much use your work surface gets. Sealant may need to be reapplied anywhere from 1 - 4 years, or never.
To test if the sealer is working, place a few drops of water on your work surface. If the water soaks in quickly, then it is time to reseal. If it beads up, it is protected.
You can purchase sealer at a home improvement store or hire GLB to do it for you. It may not be necessary to reseal your entire countertop. Concentrate only on your trouble areas when needed.
Stains, Lime Build Up, Stuck on food -
1. Sealers are not perfect. The best way to avoid a stain is to wipe up any spills within the first 30minutes.
2. While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking.
3. Do not store bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite. Do not store rusty pots, pans, or cans on your countertops as the rust can stain the granite.
4. Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
5. If your granite darkens when it is wet, do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. This is an indication that resealing is necessary.
6. If lime builds up occurs around your faucet, do not use Lime products. Gently scraping the lime off with a straight razor is the best solution.
7. Use the flat side of a straight razor blade for removing stuck on tape, residue, dried paint, glue, dried food, etc.
8. If a stain occurs calls us first. We wil send a technician if needed.
Be sure in inspect the caulking between your sink and countertop. If the caulking has deteriorated be sure to remove the old caulk and apply new sealant. Failure to do so may allow water to run up into the stone and rust out the embedded metal rib that supports the front and rear neck of the sink cutout. Rusted metal will expand and can cause cracking.
One more thing: Cleaning your countertops on a daily basis with mild soap and water will slowly age your granite
countertops. The oils in the soap will build up and fill the pours of the stone, after a few months you will notice a big
differencein the absorbency level of your granite.
Scratches, Chips, Repairs
Certain stoneware dishes contain rough silica sand and pose a risk of scratching. This includes some pizza stones when spun around while cutting the pizza.
Use trivets or mats under dishes that could scratch the surface.
If you use a marble cutting board, make sure the rubber or plastic feet remain secure.
Chips in granite are not a common occurrence. When they do occur, they are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the countertop.
If a chip does occur and you can find the piece that chipped out, save it and Call GLB
Granite is very restorable. Most of the time, chips can be epoxied back into place.
Also, don’t neglect yearly maintenance of caulk joints. Caulking at backsplashes and at seam where sink is attached to stone needs to be maintained.
Failure to do so could cause water to seep into the reinforcement channel below the stone causing rusting and expansion of the metal reinforcement rods.
This could cause the stone to crack.
Cleaning & Maintenance of Marble Countertops
Marble countertops are not really commonly seen in homes because they are expensive and hard to maintain. Marble countertops require periodic resealing that should be done by the manufacturer or contractor. Marble is a porous material that can stain and scratch easily if it is not sealed or if the seal has worn off. But despite this, marble is a really beautiful stone and it can make any kitchen look elegant and classy. To maintain the beauty and finish of your marble countertop, it should be properly maintained and cared for. For the seal to last longer, wipe off spills immediately. Avoid spilling acidic liquids on it because the surface can etch. Make sure to use coasters or place mats when setting beverages on your marble countertop to avoid getting moisture rings.
To clean your marble countertop, use a damp chamois so it would not leave streaks. Wipe it down occasionally with lukewarm water, and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Once a year, wash the marble countertop with dishwashing detergent dissolved in water. Rinse well and wipe dry. A coat of colorless wax can help seal your marble countertop and protect it from stains. However, do not use wax on white marble because it can cause it to yellow. For best results, buy professional marble sealers from your marble countertop manufacturer or distributor.
Over time, your marble countertop can become dull and require polishing. Professional polishing to make your marble countertop look like new can be our team of professional refinishers.
Different chemical mixtures are recommended for taking out different types of stains on a marble countertop. This something that should be left to the professionals at GLB. In most instances
we can remove satins completely from the stone. Call us to schedule an appointment.
The only maintenance required for soapstone (steatite) is the application of mineral oil to enhance the natural darkening process the stone goes through. Once mineral oil is applied, the stone will turn into a very dark charcoal gray, sometimes black. Often times, varieties of soapstone will keep a hint of green. Steatite (soapstone or soaprock) is virtually heat proof and used in the construction of masonry heaters because of its excellent thermal qualities. It is also used in creating pizza stones, cooking pots, oven interiors and numerous related applications. You can take a pot right from your stove and place it on your soapstone countertops without harm.
Oiling a Soapstone Countertop
We recommend oiling your countertops to ensure that the stone will evenly darken. The oil is not sealing or protecting the stone, it is only "speeding up" the natural darkening process that soapstone goes through. Soapstone is non-porous and, unlike marble and granite, does not need to be sealed.
There isn't a set rule of how often you should oil the countertops. Oiling too little or too much will not damage the stone in any way. We recommend oiling the countertops as soon as the previous coat of mineral oil has started fading away (evaporating). Once you oil the countertops for the first time you will see the stone will become much darker. A few days from the first oiling, most soapstone will lighten back up. You can re-treat your countertops every time this happens. The soapstone will take approximately 3 coats of mineral oil to reach its final color, getting darker after every oiling. Every time you oil your countertops, the stone will hold the oil longer than the last time, until about the 6th or 8th month the stone will stay permanently dark.
You can oil the countertops any way you like. You can spread some oil on the counters, then rub it with a rag, or you can put the oil on the rag and oil the counters. To make the next oiling easier, keep the same rag in a zip lock bag, you will see that the rag will soak in the oil and spread easier on the countertops.
Immediately after you've oiled the soapstone, you can remove all the excess, until the countertops no longer feel slick. There is no such thing as "let the oil soak in". Remember, soapstone is impermeable, nothing penetrates the surface.
Cleaning a Soapstone Countertop
Any common household cleaner can be used to clean soapstone counter surfaces. Chemicals and acids do not harm it. However, we do recommend that you use regular soap and water because harsher solvents may remove the mineral oil treatment, therefore generating more maintenance. Soapstone, being softer than granite and marble, is also more prone to scratches. The great advantage is that any scratches can be easily removed with a light sanding and/or mineral oil.
Eventually the countertops will get scratched. Most scratches can be hidden by lightly applying some mineral oil. If you get a deep scratch in there, you will need to do some sanding. With a small piece of 120-grit sandpaper, sand the scratch area in a circular motion until the scratch is almost gone, then using a 220-grit sandpaper do the same thing but this time using water. Clean up the countertop and oil in that section again. Sanding will remove the mineral oil, and remember that the stone will take 3 coats to reach the final color. You may notice a slight color difference on that spot. Do not worry, you can oil in the morning, then again in the afternoon and so on until the color evens out.
Call GLB for refinishing and restoring your Soapstone countertops. We also sell
Soapstone oil. Call us for more information.
Quartz Maintenance, Caesar Stone and similar products
It’s hard, nonporous surface makes Caesarstone simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is all that is required to maintain its luster. If necessary, apply common, non-abrasive, household cleaners such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel with Bleach or Comet Soft Cleanser Cream With Bleach directly on a damp cloth or sponge and wipe the surface, rinsing thoroughly after cleaning. To remove adhered material such as food, gum, or nail polish, first scrape away the excess material with a plastic putty knife and then clean the surface with a damp cloth to remove any marks left behind and any residual dirt.
Please understand that HONED, TEXTURED and MOTIVO finishes will require more daily maintenance than our polished finishes. Since there is more exposed surface area with honed finishes, metal marks, finger prints and other signs of daily living will show on honed material. Most of these marks can be easily removed with little effort and non-abrasive cleaning products such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel.
How To Clean and maintain Ceramic Tile Flooring.
Dirt adheres easily to the surface of ceramic tile, especially styles with textured surfaces. Regular sweeping loosens and removes most dirt. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to sweep, but make sure you use one without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. Vacuum cleaner attachments are great to suck up dirt along edges or in between tiles.
Use doormats to keep dirt being from coming into your home. And shake them out often. This will reduce the amount of dirt being tracked across your ceramic tile floor, and will reduces the wear to the finished surface.
Ceramic tile floors should be damp-mopped using a mild soap or detergent. For heavier soil, spot clean the floor with a sponge or clean cloth using the same recommended cleaners.
Mild scrubbing with a soft brush or electric polisher/scrubber may be required for textured tiles. After cleaning with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove leftover residue. If necessary, wipe the tile dry with a clean towel to remove any film.
For soft water situations, an all-purpose cleaner may be necessary. Apply it to your floor and let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Then lightly scrub with a sponge, rinse well and you’re good to go.
Cleaning products available from your local grocery or hardware store can be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew stains from ceramic tile. Be sure to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to ensure the product is recommended for your type of tile. After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry for a sparkling shine.
Dos and Don’ts
Do clean up spills as quickly as possible so your grout won’t become stained.
Don’t use steel wool, scouring powders, or other abrasives that can scratch the finish of your ceramic tile.
Do remember that while ceramic tile is very durable, it’s not indestructible and may crack or chip under extreme force.
Don’t use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners — these products can discolor your grout if used too often.
Do take the proper precautions when moving heavy objects across a ceramic tile floor.
Do cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against scratching.
Do remember that if a repair is necessary, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the original tile, however, with time and usage, the replacement tile will blend in with its neighbors.
Caulking and Sealing
Once your tile has been laid and grouted, it’s your responsibility to caulk areas that may be exposed to water. Caulking will prevent expensive subsurface damage and keep the tiled areas looking as good as new.
Depending on your lifestyle, sealing your tile and grout may also be an option. After installation, sealing the grout and tile can provide protection from dirt and spills by slowing down the staining process.
Regular care and maintenance will keep your ceramic tile floors looking their very best for years to come.