Should I use marble or granite for my kitchen benchtop?
Granite is a more suitable and durable stone than marble to use for a kitchen benchtop as it has a high resistance to scratching and heat, will not etch with acidic liquids and does not absorb moisture like marble. It is also more resistant to bacteria as it is less porous. Beware of cheap imitation granites though as these contain some calcite and will etch. Test with some lemon juice to ensure the stone you are purchasing is pure granite. If the stone contains some calcite it will etch or develop a dull spot. If you use marble expect it to stain and understand that to keep it looking good it will require regular repolishing.
To Seal or Not to Seal
Do I need to seal my marble bathroom vanity?
Yes you need to have your marble vanity sealed with a good quality penetrating sealer as it is a soft, porous stone. Unsealed marble will absorb liquids, which will lead to staining. Although sealing your stone with a penetrating sealer will not protect it from etching it will protect it from staining and it will help preserve the look of your marble for longer. A penetrating sealer is recommended instead of a surface sealer as a waxy surface sealer will sit on top of the stone and eventually become scratched and dull. There are now film type applications such as Tuffskin available to protect the stone surface from etching.
Can I use supermarket cleaners on my marble floor?
Natural marble contains a variety of minerals that can react adversely to some supermarket cleaners. These cleaners can disturb the delicate PH balance of the minerals in the marble and destroy the look and feel of the stone. Some supermarket cleaners, not specifically designed to clean stone, contain citrus or vinegar, are acidic and can etch the surface of the marble. Specially developed Marble and stone soaps and cleaners are PH balanced and designed to gently penetrate the porous stone surfaces and lift in-grained dirt. To avoid damage to your marble Benchtop and other stone surfaces use only recommended products.
Will a scouring pad damage my glossy marble kitchen benchtop?
Most scouring pads especially the green type will scratch the surface of natural stone and damage the glossy finish. It is best to use a cotton mop or micro fibre cloth to clean and polish your marble benchtop as these are gentle on the surface and will not scratch. If scouring is necessary to remove stubborn stains, use only professionally recommended products such as the SCRUB A DUB white scourer and follow the directions given by your stone care professional. Change the water regularly when rinsing. In most cases stubborn stains and discolouration may need to be removed by professional polishing.