What is Specialty Stone? Caring for These Premium Surfaces

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Have you ever flipped through your favorite magazine or Pinterest Board and been blown away by other homes’ luxurious countertops? Maybe they shimmered with a delicate veining or boasted a dramatic, dark hue. Well, those beauties are most likely what we call a specialty stone – luxurious materials like marble, dolomite, and quartzite. These natural materials elevate a simplistic kitchen or bathroom from functional to awe-inspiring, but their premium status comes with responsibility and proper care.   

The Allure of a Specialty Stone

Unlike the trusty laminate countertops, you might have grown up with, specialty stones are all-natural wonders quarried from Mother Earth. This means each slab is unique, with that wonderous veining and patterning you’ve seen time and time again. They’re incredibly durable too, with some slabs easily lasting for decades with simple, proper maintenance.   

You’re likely to get a great, personal touch with these three stones:  

Marble: An undisputed queen among luxury countertops, marble is famous for its soft, ethereal beauty. Its trademark delicate veining easily adds a touch of timeless elegance to any space. However, this surface will require a little extra TLC from you and your family.  

Dolomite: Often mistaken for its close cousin – marble – dolomite offers a similar aesthetic. The extra kick, dolomite comes with an extra dash of resilience, making it a fantastic choice for busy kitchens! It even comes in a wider range of colors, from creamy whites to deep browns. While not as sensitive as a marble countertop, you’ll still need to be careful.  

Quartzite: This natural stone packs a serious punch of durability that you just won’t find anywhere else. And while it’s often mistaken for quartz (which is a man-made material), quartzite has a stunning, natural crystalline structure that makes your home shimmer.   

How to Care for Marble Countertops  

  • Seal it Up: Although marble is naturally porous, meaning it can easily absorb spills, maintaining a recurring sealing routine. Reapply a high-quality penetrating sealer every 6-12 months, depending on usage.  
  • Acid Attack: Marble’s Achilles’ heel is a higher sensitivity to acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar, so keep these harsh cleaners away. Instead, go with a gentle stone cleaner, or even just a simple mix of warm water and your favorite mild dish soap.  
  • Stain Slayer: Leaving spills to linger can etch your marble counter, leaving permanent marks and stains. So, if you have a little accident, immediately blot it up with a trusty, absorbent cloth. But if you notice a tough stain where elbow grease just won’t cut it, get in touch with a stone care specialist.  
  • Carefully Heat it: Yes, marble is heat-resistant, but it’s not invincible. Rather than directly setting hot pots and pans down on the counter, use trivets and/or heat pads to avoid any scorching.  

How to Care for Dolomite Countertops   

  • Seal with Confidence: While dolomite is naturally denser than marble, it’s a good rule of thumb to reseal these countertops every 1-2 years.  
  • Mind the Acids: Just like with marble, always avoid harsh cleaners and acidic liquids. Instead, just go with that neutral pH stone cleaner or warm water and dish soap.  
  • Speedy Cleanup: Promptly clean up any and all spills to prevent many stains. You can do this by blotting up any liquids with a clean, dry cloth and rinsing with a different damp cloth.  
  • Heat with Caution: Yes, dolomite is heat-resistant, but extreme temperatures will cause damage. Like with marble (you’re probably noticing a theme at this point) use trivets or heat pads for all hot items.  

How to Care for Quartzite Countertops  

  • Seals are Still Important: Quartzite is naturally non-porous and highly stain-resistant but still can be damaged by acidic substances. Additionally, their calcium content makes them prone to scratches. Plus, we’re all human, so an extra layer of protection from a topical sealer will definitely come in handy.  
  • Clean with Confidence: Quartzite really is a breeze to clean! All you need is a stone cleaner or that same mixture of mild dish soap and warm water solution.  
  • Spill No More (Almost): Yes, this stone is highly resistant to staining, but it’s not completely resistant. Just clean up any spills immediately, and you should be fine!  
  • Heat Doesn’t Faze It: Finally, unlike its marble and dolomite cousins, quartzite can handle hot pans and pots. However, feel free to pull out that heat pad or trivet if you’d like some extra peace of mind.   

Get Started on Caring for your Specialty Stone Today!

If you somehow couldn’t tell already, we love countertops! But, even more than that, we love pulling your home together with the best-in-class countertops and surfaces. Our team would love to help you make that house of yours into the dream home you deserve, so stop by one of our showrooms and get started today! 

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