Our use of stone as the ideal countertop surface dates back as early as cooking itself when the rocks surrounding an open flame were the only work surface needed. And while granite has been the most popular choice for stone counters for about the last decade or so, there are other stone choices that should be considered for kitchens and bathrooms as well.

For your kitchen countertop, some consider quartz to be the ideal choice. While some quartz countertops are made of quarried stone, most is made of an engineered material comprising approximately 95 per cent ground natural quartz with 5 per cent polymer resins.

Easier to install than granite because it is more flexible, quartz does not require any sealing, making it a no-maintenance option that’s more durable than granite and is non-porous so won’t stain the way granite might. But it doesn’t have the natural veining that granite does, which is such an appealing design factor for many.

Marble, while a beautiful material for countertops, should not be used in the kitchen. Better suited for bathrooms, marble is porous and light in colour, which means it can stain very easily with as little as a spilled glass of red wine. Marble, like granite, needs to be sealed, but even a sealant can’t guarantee stain-resistance and while there are some cleaning solutions and recipes that claim to help lift stains, it’s better to just avoid using marble in the kitchen altogether and instead use it in the bathroom.

No matter what stone surface you use for countertops in your home, cleaning them remains the same. Do not use any chemical on any type of stone counter surface. It’s best to simply wash with hot water and soap. Chemicals will break down the sealant on marble and granite surfaces and the polymer resin in quartz counters. Don’t be fooled by products that claim to be safe to use. There is no guarantee and you may regret it.

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