Protecting the Natural Surfaces in your Kitchen

Keep that herb-infused vinegar and that fresh lemon juice off of your kitchen counter!    The longevity and appearance of your surface depends greatly on the care and treatment used to maintain it.


You finally have installed the kitchen of your dreams; whether the countertops are granite, marble, concrete, tile, limestone or any other decorative surface, knowing the right way to protect the surface is imperative for its longevity and beauty.  Using sealants to protect a counter will help cut down on the amount of liquid absorption, but it is important to remember that the procedure will not make the surface stain proof.  “Sealing penetrates the stone and can help to achieve stain blocking,” suggests Jim Del Nero of Empire Stone Care in Lebanon, NJ,” But you will still need to blot up any spill immediately to prevent permanent damage, particularly on marble.”

Sealing does create an invisible barrier of protection, but this is mostly to allow the time to clean up any offending substance, such as tomatoes, citrus or anything acidic.  To know if your countertops are properly sealed, do this simple test.  Sprinkle some plain water on top.  Does the water bead?  If so, your surfaces are well protected.  If not, consider using a commercial sealant.   Various sealants are available, depending on what type of surface you have.  It is critical to ascertain the correct material that you want to protect; different varieties of stone, tile, and slate require different treatment.  If you are unsure, check in with your contractor or your vendor.  One surface can often look like another, for example, polished granite can appear to be marble.  Ceramic can look like slate and give off that “stone –like” look.  Marketers have learned to promote lower-priced materials to create a higher-end look, just ensure that when it is time to seal and clean your surface you are using the correct products for the material that you actually do have in your home.

Once your product is properly sealed, use a neutral PH cleanser for regular cleaning, avoiding anything that contains soap, acids, or abrasives.  

Color Enhancing

 “If you think your surface is too light, doesn’t have enough variation or even if it looks better when it is wet, there are various procedures that can virtually change its appearance,” offered Del Nero.  To see if the material looks better when wet, run a wet sponge over a patch to see if a simple color-enhancement project will beautify the look.  With color enhancing, the stone will maintain its honed look and should not appear shiny as when it is wet.  “Color enhancing deepens the colors and variation of your stone, while adding to stain protection,” he added.  Enhancing the color will make the natural colors pop and will emphasize the natural variation of your stone, while adding to stain protection.  

It is imperative to analyze closely the look of your stone and decide if you want to use a color enhancement before the surface is sealed.  Once a sealer is applied to the stone, it cannot be color enhanced.  

With a little bit of care and planning, you can maintain or even improve the natural surfaces in your kitchen.  For help with determining what surface is currently in your kitchen and the best way to care for it, or for design inspiration in changing your look, contact Virtue Tile in Summit.  

Virtue Tile has an excellent collection of beautiful designer handcrafted and machine made tiles that will fit any budget.  From Traditional to Contemporary design solutions, our vast array of environmentally friendly and handcrafted ceramic tile, natural stone, glass and metal tiles will be sure to transform any space in your home. Our experienced personnel are ready to assist you in your choice to bring Elegance and Beauty into your home.  For more information, visit

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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