Stones have pores, not unlike the pores on our skin. Natural stones have different levels of porosity subject to the type of stone. Granite, marble, onyx, and limestone are porous and, in most cases, need to be treated with a sealant to protect them from stains and etching. Quartz, however, has few pores and is classified as a non-porous stone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Etching is surface damage caused by corrosive chemical reaction when acids from foods or liquids interact with the stone on calcareous natural stone. This process then causes physical damage in the form of dull spots or water rings. Products such as lemon juice, red wine or other acidic foods can penetrate the stone if not cleaned up immediately. Marble, a softer stone, is particularly prone to marking because of its calcium carbonate makeup. Etching can usually be repaired to a good condition by removing the damaged stone and polishing it back to its original finish. In all cases it pays to reseal the stone tops at least twice a year to reduce any major etching damage.
To the untrained eye, there is hardly any noticeable difference between natural stone and engineered stone. Consequently, many homeowners are unaware that they are purchasing materials manufactured from the lab when they are shopping for countertops. Granite countertops are constructed using slabs of granite sourced from natural quarry sites, however, on the other hand, engineered stone countertops are created in a factory, using both natural and human-made materials. Natural stone and engineered stone are both aesthetically pleasing and durable, however, you must note the essential difference between the two options. Click below to read the full report of engineered stone vs natural stone.
Depending on what type of porous stone you are thinking of, the following will give you a good idea whether it needs sealing and at what rate of frequency.
Marble, limestone, sandstone, or onyx definitely needs sealing and repeating annually if not six monthly, subject to porosity.
Granite is sometimes required every 3-5 years, subject to its porosity and in some cases where the density is high, black granite, maybe never.
Quartz engineered stone; sealing is not required.
Simply put hot water and a drop of dish-washing soap in a spray bottle, wipe over the countertop with a damp microfibre cloth and rinse with clean water. Then dry with another clean microfibre cloth. Avoid using harsh and acidic cleaners as this could dull the tops finish.
Engineered stone is made from powdered stone, usually natural quartz or granite. It is then mixed with filler, resin, and pigment to give it the same colour all the way through the slab. Consequently, this technology makes the slab naturally uniform, tougher than natural stone, non-porous and long lasting. Therefore, you only need to seal the stone every two to three years to maintain its lustre. Click the link below for the full story of engineered stone.
Stone tops are heat-resistant as opposed to heat-proof, so don’t place extremely hot items such as pots and dishes directly from the oven directly onto the benchtop. If you continue to do this, it could result in discolouration or even cracking. It’s best to use a place mat or trivet for all types of stone benchtops. With engineered stone it’s wise to not place hot items on the benchtop at all.
There are numerous benefits of using natural stone. When you choose natural stone for your benchtops or countertops you have the choice of so many colours and stones which are uniquely beautiful and can complement any type of décor in your home. It is durable, easy to clean and maintain, environmentally friendly, and not only looks good, it adds value to your home at the time you might be selling your property.
Granite is an igneous rock. It is formed from magma that cools and solidifies after a volcanic eruption. It is grainy in appearance and can be pink or various shades of grey. It is a very hard rock and extremely durable as noted by it having been used in construction throughout the centuries. Granite benchtops are extremely popular throughout the world.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock. It is formed by at least 50 per cent calcium carbonate, grains of carbonate and fragments of coral. It is mainly white, but the presence of iron oxide can give it a brownish or yellow tint. Over the years, limestone has played a big part as a building material. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is a perfect example of a building made entirely of limestone.
Marble is considered a softer stone and more porous than other stones. There are many marble colours and varieties. It is long lasting, as borne-out by the number of buildings and artworks built in ancient times that are still there many centuries later. Marble makes great benchtops and flooring for homes and certainly adds that touch of class.
Natural – This finish is suitable for cladding and cobblestones.
Polished – Highlights the colours and properties of the natural stone. Ideal for benchtops, countertops, interior wall, or floor covering.
Aged – Created by constant vibration on the stone surface to simulate aging.
Tumbled – This aging process is used to achieve an antique finish.
Bush Hammered – Created by using a bush hammer to generate craters of different sizes. Makes surface non-slip which is ideal for high traffic external areas.
Sandblasted – Achieved by blasting sislica sand against the material. Generates very small craters to highlight the colour of the stone.
Mushroom – Mushroom finish gives the stone a distinctive rustic appesrance.
Leather – This results in a slightly undulating surface. Very soft, warm, and smooth to touch.
Flamed – Created by exposing the surface of the stone directly to a high temperature flame. It generates this roughness.
Sawn – Sawn finish makes the stone lighter and gives it a matte tone. Ideal for external pavers, steps etc.
Marble – If you want to make a statement, marble natural stone flooring is first choice. More expensive than other products, but the polished creamy Carrara variety looks and feels exquisite.
Granite – This natural stone suits flooring where there is heavy traffic such as kitchen flooring. Being less porous than other stone it is not subject to staining as much, particularly if you choose darker tones with red and green veining.
Limestone – The product is very durable but also quite porous, so you must keep it clean, plus be prepared to seal it frequently.
Porcelain – Porcelain for indoor and outdoor application has become one of the most popular choices for outdoor kitchens. Due to its density and much lower absorption rate, it is ideal for exterior application for the following benefits:
- It is resistant to stains and scratches
- It is easy to maintain
- It does not warp or rot
- It is resistant to high temperatures
- It is chemical resistant
- It is hygienic
- It is resistant to ultra-violet rays
- There is a great range of colours available
Granite – Probably the number one natural stone selection for outdoor kitchens to date. Granite benchtops and splash backs offer many attractive benefits such as:
- It is highly sturdy
- It is attractive and timeless
- It adds value to your home
- It is heat resistant
- It is easy to clean
It resists bacteria
If you can, supply a drawing with all dimensions, however, if you are not able to do this, we will arrange a free measure and quote.
Our office in Welshpool has a broad range of stone available on display for you to choose from should you not have details of the stone you have selected. Our professional staff are on hand to offer you advice.
If the quotation is accepted a deposit of 40% is required before proceeding.
Travertine dates back to ancient Rome, where it was used extensively in building the Colosseum.
These days it is still used extensively, but in residential and commercial buildings. It has the same look as marble when polished, however it is also used in its rough state. It has many benefits including:
- It is more affordable than Marble.
- It come in a wide variety of colours and designs.
- It is very durable.
- It is easy to replace.
- It is all natural.