FAQs: Stone Care and Tips

Caring for Your New Granite or Marble Countertops

Here are a few tips to ensure your natural stone countertops will provide decades of lustrous beauty and trouble-free use.

How long will you hold my remnant?

REMNANT POLICY – All remnants remaining over 60 days after the work has been completed will be deemed abandoned, and GMT Stoneworks would have the right to dispose of the remnant properly. Upon customer request, we will hold remaining material up to 60 days. After 60 days, a monthly $25.00 storage fee will apply. Customer must make their own pick-up arrangements.

I love the look of marble and I want to use it in my kitchen…..

As a general standard, marble is not recommended for use in kitchens. Everyday use of kitchen countertops can make for an unfriendly environment for marble countertop care. Pots, pans, utensils, cups, tools, etc. will scratch the soft marble surface. Marble surfaces are more susceptible to staining by many common liquids such as mustard, oil, vinegar, citrus juice, toothpaste, mouth wash, hairspray, etc. Any acidic substance that may come in contact with your marble countertops will cause a chemical reaction that will etch and remove the polish of the marble. 

  • Marble is a natural product that is more porous than granite and therefore, more susceptible to staining and chipping

  • Marble is a soft material which will easily scratch

  • Marble comes with surface scratches and fissures (a form of crack that has no stone content and is usually filled with clear resin)

  • Marble has extrusions (small visual cracks that are not faults in the marble slab)

  • Marble has marks of efflorescence (appears as a white powdery residue on the surface of the stone)

  • Marble can come with shade, veining, and pattern variances from one end of the slab to the other

  • Marble loses shine with wear

  • Marble requires frequent applications of sealant

  • Seams in marble countertops are visible and felt when you run your hand along it

  • Seam locations are at the sole discretion of the fabricator unless specified in writing before production (change in seam location may necessitate the quote to be revised)

 

Now that I understand risks of marble countertops, how should I take care of them?

Below are some quick tips to consider in your marble countertops care:

  • DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
  • DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
  • DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch your stone’s surface.
  • DO dust countertops, islands, vanities frequently.
  • DO blot up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
  • DO seal your countertops. When sealing, remember that sealing the stone does not make the stone stain proof, it makes it more resistant to staining.
  • DO clean surfaces regularly with neutral cleaners designed for stone.
  • DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia, other general purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
  • DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.

 

Are there any other materials that look like marble that would could consider?

Quartz is a beautiful alternative to marble. Quartz countertops are more durable than marble and they are now created to have the look of marble but have a functional, everyday use in kitchens. CONTACT US to learn more about Quartz countertops options!

When can you install my new countertops?

This is the most common question we are asked and possibly the most complex one. We are typically scheduled out 4-6 weeks any time of the year for kitchen installations. The sooner we can start the process, the better we can help plan your project. Communication is one of the most important parts of the project!

There are several questions that need to be answered before an installation date can be given:

  • Where is your material coming from? Is it in-stock where it can be delivered to our shop now or on-order? If it is on-order we need to wait until the material has arrived to determine the installation date.
  • Are you re-using existing cabinets or are you installing new cabinets? If you are installing new cabinets, when will they be completely installed and in place so that we can get our template? We need cabinets 100% installed prior to template.
  • Are you doing any alterations to cabinets? If so, when will those be completed?
  • Is your sink on-order or in-stock? If it is on-order, when will it arrive? If you are using a Farm or Apron style sink, it will need to be installed prior to template.

TIP: Contact us as soon as possible to start the process.

In most cases, estimates can be given without having to go to your home if cabinets plans/measurements are available to be emailed. Fill out our CONTACT page and upload your plans so that we can have complete information about your project and give you an accurate estimate.

 

Do you offer a warranty?

We do offer a warranty on the installation but the material warranty is offered through the vendor that the material is purchased from.

Warranty Terms: 10 year limited warranty which covers the fabrication and installation of the countertop from the time it is originally installed. It is our option whether we will repair or replace the countertop piece if it fails due to any installation defect during the first 10 years after initial installation. This warranty does not cover countertops that have been subjected to chemical or physical abuse. This warranty also does not cover countertops that have been moved from their original installed location, and it does not cover the natural characteristics of the stone, which include, but are not limited to, color variations, water lines or surface marks. This warranty also does not cover damage to your countertop caused by items out of anyone’s control, such as house settlement, fires, tornadoes or other acts of nature.

Care and Maintenance: The countertops must be cared for in accordance with the guidelines set forth on our website, www.gmtstoneworks.com, for the warranty to be valid.

How do I clean my new granite countertops?

Maintaining your countertops is not as difficult as you might think. Just follow a few simple, common sense rules and your granite or marble countertops will provide decades of beauty and value.

  • Use mild soap and warm water to clean the surface, rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Remember, using too much soap or cleanser can leave films, streaks or spots.
  • Change the rinse water frequently.
  • Dust surfaces frequently with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining and etching.
    • The following items can damage stone surfaces, so it is especially important to clean them as soon as possible: Soda, juices, alcoholic beverages, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, rock salt, sand, shaving cream, perfume/cologne, polish remover, dishwashing soap, hair perm chemicals, shampoos and body soaps that contain EDTA, toothpaste, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, household cleaning products and any fluid that contains an acid or alkali.
  • Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
  • Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on your stone countertops; their high acid content may etch the surface.
  • Always make sure your natural stone countertops are sealed once a year to help maintain the beautiful look of your granite.
  • Always use clean mops, sponges, towels or rags, and replace old mops, sponges, towels and rags as they age.

How and when do I need to seal my granite counter tops?

We recommend sealing your granite counter tops at least once a year. When you start to see water rings or dark marks in your granite, this is a sign the granite needs to be sealed.

You can purchase a granite sealer at your local hardware store. A small can will last you for many applications. We use a sealer called Hydrex made by Tenax and we get this from our supplier. It is also available online through various vendors.

You will want to make sure your counter is clean before you begin, washing the counter with soap and water is fine. Take a paper towel and fold it in half and then in half again, making a square. Place the paper towel on your counter and saturate it with the sealer. Drag the paper towel over the counter so that the sealer covers the entire surface. You will notice the sealer is similar to the consistency of vegetable oil and your counter will start to darken, especially in the lighter colors. This is normal. Wait about 2 minutes after covering the surface and then take dry paper towels and wipe off any excess sealer. You can tell your counter is complete when the paper towels are no longer absorbing the excess sealer. Your counters are now ready to enjoy!

 

You just installed my granite but what are those spots?

On some occasions you will notice large dark spots after the installation. These spots you see are from the caulking we used to mount the granite to the counter. It is water-based and will need some time to dry. Lighter colored granite will show the spots more than darker colors. Since granite is a natural stone, it will absorb moisture and look like dark spots. This is temporary and will go away when dry.

Why choose natural stone countertops for your kitchen counters, bathroom vanities or custom installation?

Granite and marble are popular choices for these applications because of their timeless beauty, versatility, and ease of care. If you follow just a few simple rules for their cleaning and maintenance, your natural stone countertops will provide a lifetime of beauty and elegance.

 

I know granite is beautiful, but how durable is it?

Granite is one of the hardest naturally occurring materials in the world; only diamonds match its toughness and durability. Because it’s highly scratch, stain, heat and burn resistant, granite is ideal to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use in the kitchen or bathroom.

Granite and marble look great and would really bring some class to my remodeling project, but aren’t they really expensive?

Thanks to improved stoneworking technology, granite and marble are surprisingly affordable choices for kitchen and bathroom remodels. But just as important as their up front cost, granite and marble enhance the long term value of your project because of their attractiveness, simple care and maintenance, and strong resale potential.

Natural stone materials seem like a great investment, but isn’t it complicated to maintain them?

It’s not as difficult as you might think. Just follow a few simple, common sense rules and your granite or marble countertops will provide decades of beauty and value.

  • Use mild soap and warm water to clean the surface, rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Remember, using too much soap or cleanser can leave films, streaks or spots.
  • Change the rinse water frequently.
  • Dust surfaces frequently with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • Clean up spills immediately to prevent staining and etching.
    • The following items can damage stone surfaces, so it is especially important to clean them as soon as possible: Soda, juices, alcoholic beverages, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, rock salt, sand, shaving cream, perfume/cologne, polish remover, dishwashing soap, hair perm chemicals, shampoos and body soaps that contain EDTA, toothpaste, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, household cleaning products and any fluid that contains an acid or alkali.
  • Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
  • Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on your stone countertops; their high acid content may etch the surface.
  • Always make sure your natural stone countertops are sealed once a year to help maintain the beautiful look of your granite.
  • Always use clean mops, sponges, towels or rags, and replace old mops, sponges, towels and rags as they age.
  • Important safety tip. Never mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a lethal toxic gas.