Q: What Is the Difference Between Granite and Marble?
Although both are stones, quarried from the earth, Granite and Marble are actually quite distinct. Granite originates from deep within the earth’s mantle, formed at extraordinarily high temperatures. Granite is a very hard, resistant stone, made of crystallized minerals. Marble, on the other hand, begins as sediment (animal skeletons and shells, plant matter, silt) at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years, Marble solidifies into stone. Composed of calcium, Marble is vulnerable to acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.
Q: How Frequently Should I Clean My Countertop?
Always bear in mind, natural stones are porous. That means that your countertop can be penetrated by water, oils, and chemicals. The result is the fact that Granite and Marble countertops may eventually need to be resealed. Most light to medium colored stone requires resealing every 3 to 5 years, using a high-quality heavy-duty penetrating sealer. Dark-colored stones may not require sealing, depending on the type of material. Beyond that, you can occasionally wipe down and dry your counter as needed without compromising its integrity.
Q: If I Notice a Change in My Countertop, How Do I Know If It's a Crack or Fissure?
Granite and Marble are natural stones that can display veins, pits, pores, and fissures on their surfaces. These surface marks are in no way a defect and in some cases, these elements can be said to enhance the beauty of your stone’s surface.
Q: How to Clean Marble
For routine maintenance and spills you catch quickly, warm, soapy water is the best for the job—just make sure to rinse well, sop up any standing water, and thoroughly dry the surface. Also note that for marble, acid is kryptonite—so do your best to keep things like wine and lemon juice (or even cleaners that contain vinegar) away from the surface. And if they do spill, tend to them as quickly as possible. For marble floors, start with a dust mop; you want to avoid anything abrasive on the surface, and dirt and sand being dragged around by a vacuum could do more damage than you intend.
If you don’t catch a spill quickly (hello, red wine spilled at a lasts-until-2am dinner party), there’s hope. For most organic food stains, the Marble Institute recommends cleaning with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia; if you spilled anything oil-based, like a vinaigrette, and the stain has set, attack it (gently) with a liquid cleanser that contains “household detergent, mineral spirits, or acetone.”