Countertops are a big investment as part of your dream home journey so you want to do everything you can to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible. With all the different stone countertop materials available though, it’s hard to keep track of what to do and when for maintenance work.

 

That’s why this cheat sheet will come in handy right from Day 1, no matter what countertop material you have:

 

Granite countertops

Highly durable and stain-resistant, granite countertops are a popular choice for kitchen counters as well as vanity tops. With its naturally porous surface though, regular maintenance is a must.

Installation day

  1. Ask your countertop fabricator how often this particular granite variety needs to be re-sealed as well as what sealant should be used.
  2. Based on their recommendation, set a re-seal reminder for yourself on a digital calendar – especially if it’s in more than a year’s time. In general, re-sealing is needed once a year with regular sealants or once every two to three years with high-grade sealants.
  3. Purchase or place an order for the recommended sealant.

Every day

  1. Wipe up spills immediately.
  2. At least once a day, clean the countertop with a warm solution of mild dish soap. Good daily cues to remember this task: for the kitchen counter, clean it after doing the dishes in the evening; for the bathroom vanity top, clean it after you brush your teeth at night.

Re-sealing day

  1. When the re-seal reminder pops up, check the wear-and-tear of the sealant by sprinkling a few drops of water on different areas of the countertop. If the water remains in droplet form five minutes later, it means the sealant is still doing its job. You can then push back the reminder three to six months and repeat this step when the reminder pops up again.
  2. If you notice that the water is absorbed into the granite in just five minutes, it’s time to re-seal. Follow the instructions on the sealant your countertop fabricator recommended for your countertop’s granite variety. If there are no pre-cleaning instructions on the sealant, make sure to clean the countertop as you do daily and dry it thoroughly before sealing. After re-sealing, set the next re-seal reminder for yourself again based on your countertop fabricator’s recommendation.

 

Marble countertops

There’s a wide variety of patterns and colours to choose from for marble countertops. Because its calcium carbonate material is susceptible to both staining and etching though, it requires a high upkeep.

Installation day

  1. Ask your countertop fabricator how often this particular marble variety needs to be re-sealed as well as what sealant should be used.
  2. Based on their recommendation, set a re-seal reminder for yourself on a digital calendar – especially if it’s in more than a year’s time. In general, re-sealing is needed once every six months with regular sealants or once every two to three years with high-grade sealants.
  3. Purchase or place an order for the recommended sealant.

Every day

  1. Wipe up spills immediately. This is essential especially when the spills are from acidic substances like vinegar, lemon juice or wine.
  2. At least once a day, wipe the countertop first with a damp cloth of warm water. Then spray the cloth with a warm solution of non-acidic and non-abrasive soap to gently clean the countertop. Dry the counter with a soft towel that’s free of lint. Good daily cues to remember this task: for the kitchen counter, clean it after doing the dishes in the evening; for the bathroom vanity top, clean it after you brush your teeth at night.

Re-sealing day

  1. When the re-seal reminder pops up, check the wear-and-tear of the sealant by sprinkling a few drops of water on different areas of the countertop. If the water remains in droplet form five minutes later, it means the sealant is still doing its job. You can then push back the reminder three to six months and repeat this step when the reminder pops up again.
  2. If you notice that the water is absorbed into the marble in just five minutes, it’s time to re-seal. Follow the instructions on the sealant your countertop fabricator recommended for your countertop’s marble variety. If there are no pre-cleaning instructions on the sealant, make sure to clean the countertop as you do daily and dry it thoroughly before sealing. After re-sealing, set the next re-seal reminder for yourself again based on your countertop fabricator’s recommendation.

 

Quartz countertops

As an engineered stone of high durability, quartz countertops require no sealing. Add that to their stain-resistant non-porous surface and you’ve got an extremely low-maintenance countertop.

Every day

  1. At least once a day, clean the countertop with a warm solution of mild dish soap. Good daily cues to remember this task: for the kitchen counter, clean it after doing the dishes in the evening; for the bathroom vanity top, clean it after you brush your teeth at night.

 

For the next part, we’ll cover the maintenance schedule for onyx, porcelain, and quartzite countertops.