Beautiful, natural stone worktops are having a moment, with luxurious marble, stunning granite and hard-wearing quartz adorning the kitchens and bathrooms of homeowners who want to upgrade their home. Because natural stone worktops are incredibly strong, hard-wearing and timeless, their appeal lasts far beyond any passing trend, especially if you have them polished regularly.
Polishing a natural stone worktop is essential to keeping their look and overall quality as exceptional as it should be. In this article we want to help you understand the benefits of natural stone worktops and having them polished regularly, so that you can enjoy having this high-grade surface in the best possible condition year on year.
First Things First… Why Natural Stone Worktops?
Homeowners invest in natural stone worktops because they combine exceptional physical qualities and impressive aesthetics that are a cut above the majority of alternative worktop materials. They can be placed in kitchens and bathrooms across the home (including en-suites), adding functional, visual and financial value that lasts.
Key Natural Stone Worktop Benefits:
- Hygienic, easy to clean
- Adds value to your home
- Maintains its value
- Durable, hard-wearing
- Many colours, patterns and styles to choose from
- Timeless style to suit any home design
- Can be cut to suit any kitchen or bathroom design
- Marble, granite and quartz are scratch and stain resistant
- Marble and granite are heat resistant
- Quartz is non-porous and highly stain and scratch resistant
Why Do Natural Stone Worktops Need To Be Polished?
Natural stone worktops are highly valuable, and high value worktops should be cared for so that they can remain in phenomenal condition. Without the right care, any dirt can build up over time, and the worktop may become discoloured.
By spot-cleaning any spills and mess as they happen, sealing the worktop every 6-12 months (where relevant), and surface granite worktop polishing should take place every month, you’ll restore the worktop, protect it, and help keep your stunning stone surface strong and beautiful.
It is also worth having professional maintenance and restoration every 1-3 years just to maintain the best possible quality of the stone overall.
How To Polish Stone Worktops
The term polishing can sometimes mean a light buff and clean, or it can mean a deeper cleanse and restoration. It depends on the situation and the material. If you’re unsure on what your worktop needs it is best to speak to a professional natural stone worktop company who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Please note –
Very strong cleaners and abrasives can actively damage stone worktops, which can stain if the wrong products are used on it. This includes any strong unsuitable chemicals, and even natural materials like lemon juice. You’ll want to check the instructions on a worktop cleaner before using it, and will likely need to source a specialist natural stone worktop-suitable cleaner.
Quartz should not need polishing unless it needs resurfacing/ resealing. Instead, you can simply clean it and polish it with quartz-specific products, helping to maintain its natural glossiness and shine.
How To Polish Marble Or Granite Countertops
- Brush or vacuum any loose debris from the worktop and then spray with a suitable, mild surface spray before wiping it off. You’ll then want to use a specialist marble cleaner, gently wiping the surface and working a little harder on stained areas.
- Once the general worktop cleaning has been done, you can apply a commercial marble stain remover to the stained areas using a clean, dry paintbrush, then seal it with cling film (masking tape the edges down) and leave it for around 12-24 hours. Once this time period is done, the cling film can come off and the stain remover can be allowed to dry out. Once it is dry, use a decorators knife or similar to gently scrape away the stain remover, carefully avoiding digging at the marble itself. You can then clean away any remaining residue and wipe the surface dry.
- If you have etching, you can deal with minor issues yourself by using a marble suitable polishing powder. You simply wipe the etching and then sprinkle it with the polishing powder, gently buff it and work it in according to the instructions on the powder container. You can then wipe the area clean.
- The next step is to seal the marble (needs doing every six months, or even seasonally) as per the marble sealant manufacturers instructions.
Using Polishing Pads
Some people use polishing pads on an angle grinder to buff their natural stone worktops. Whilst this is possible, it is generally best left to the professionals as it can cause a lot of damage when done incorrectly.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Although natural stone worktops will need maintenance to keep them in the best shape, there are preventative actions you can take to avoid undue damage and staining, including:
- Protecting counters from hot dishes/ pans which may cause cracking
- Avoiding standing or sitting on the worktop
- Clean and wipe spills as they happen
- Be careful with acidic liquids/ foods and colour heavy substances like beetroot
- Do not chop onto the counter directly
- Avoid the use of any harsh abrasives or chemical cleaners
- Consider using water softening on the water you use for cleaning if you live in a hard water area
When You Need A Professional Touch
Maintaining your natural stone worktops with regular cleaning (using the right products), polishing and resealing helps to keep your stunning surfaces in great shape. However, sometimes a professional touch is needed for tough stains, etching and cracks that require specialist restoration.
If in doubt, contact a professional stone worktop company like EGKW for more information and advice. They can use various skills and techniques to get your worktop back to beautiful. In the event it does require replacing, they have a wide range of exceptional granite, quartz and marble worktops for you to choose from.