Florence Perchuk - who's been designing kitchens for 38 years - shares her expert advice on countertops made of marble, granite, and other types of stone.
spill on counter1. Spills Should Be Wiped Up Immediately
With her years of experience, Perchuk has seen stains from wine, cranberry juice, all citrus juices, salad dressings, vinegars, and coffee. Her advice? "The key is to wipe a spill up as soon as you see it: I can't emphasize that enough. If you don't let the spills sit there, they won't penetrate," she says. "Also, oils are less of a problem, once the stone has been sealed, and kids with sticky fingers are no problem at all."
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2. A Proper Seal Is When Water Beads Form
A supplier should seal the stone a few times as soon as it's installed. "You'll know it's sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface," she says. "Then have it sealed again a year later - that should do the trick." And while you can seal it yourself, Perchuk says a professional will know the best sealer for your particular stone.
Photo: Momoko Takeda
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3. Durability Varies Between Stones
There's a big difference between stone types. "Granite is good and strong. Marble is more porous than granite, but tougher than you'd think. French limestone has intense color, veining, and is more durable than the lighter limestones from Greece or the Baltic regions," says Perchuk. She also points out that slate and soapstone aren't the most practical choice. "They require more maintenance and constant mineral oil treatments."
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shirt and tie with button 4. Always Get a Second Opinion
"Don't take advice from a retailer who has a vested interest in selling one particular product," Perchuk says. "The same goes for everyday cleaners - StoneTech is a good one, but there are slews on the market."
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5. Don't Assume Black is the Easiest to Keep Clean
While a white kitchen may seem like the hardest color to keep clean, Perchuk says that it's actually black that's more work. "It's the hardest to maintain in any stone or finish, polished or honed," she says. "You can seal and seal and seal, but you'll still see every finger-mark. There's nothing you can do."
Photo: Kara Brennan/iStock
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What tip do you have about caring for marble, granite, or other stone countertops?
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.