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Stone Furniture Care: Marble, Granite, Quartz, Terrazzo

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Many different types of stone and stone-like materials are used for table tops. Foremost among them are marble, granite, and quartz (re-constituted stone). Concrete and terrazzo (combining marble chips and a cement-like material) are also used.

It goes without saying that stone is a very durable material, but this does not mean it will not stain and mark; in fact, some do very easily. Generally, the more porous a stone is (i.e. how easily a liquid will soak into it), the more easily it will stain. This can be particularly visible on some darker stone surfaces.

Sometimes it is not possible to predict how vulnerable a stone surface might be – being natural, they are all different. Some cuts of marble stain very easily, while other, seemingly similar cuts do not. Limestone is generally vulnerable. Even water can sometimes stain stone surfaces.

To help counter this vulnerability, the stone table tops we provide are sealed. This helps, but does not solve the problem.

We do not advise stone table tops are used if stains matter.

The most common causes of damage to stone surfaces

    • Acidic liquids and foods including (but certainly not limited to): ketchup, mustard, fruit juices, coffee and tea. Red wine is a prime culprit.
    • Excessive heat appears to increase staining-power.
    • Tannins mainly in tea, coffee, wine and chocolate.
    • Abrasive cleaning materials scratch stone; can give a surface a matt appearance and can damage the protective seal.
    • Contact with neighbouring table tops (in particular) will chip stone table tops. Sharp edges and corners are especially vulnerable.

Acid Etching

Acid etching is an unwelcome process that can happen to some stone table tops. Acid penetrates a table top and dissolves a thin layer of stone, which then re-calcifies (ie sets) on the surface, creating a matt area, which can be felt when you run your fingers over it. Acid etching can sometimes be polished away.

Cleaning Stone Surfaces

Use a non-abrasive cloth, warm water and standard soap or detergent. We also can recommend Relay Spray. Wipe table tops immediately a spill occurs.

Sealing Stone Surfaces

Applying a penetrating seal is the most effective way to protect a stone or marble surface (but will definitely not fully protect it or remove most existing stains). Use a stone sealing product (such as from Premium Stone) at least once a season, following product instructions.

Polishing Stone Surfaces

Stone surfaces can be polished using standard domestic-type products (check they are appropriate for stone). Polishing may help remove etching (see above) and give a surface a welcome consistent sheen. Polishing is unlikely to remove coloured stains.

Deep Cleaning Stone Surfaces

Difficult stains can sometimes, with care, be cleaned off using white spirit or a cleaning product such as Vanish Oxi Action Stain Remover. These types of products chemically react with materials they come into contact with, leaving a dull finish (or worse) – take great care and first test on the underside of the table. It may be best to treat the whole of the top to avoid creating a contrasting area – and to seal or polish it afterwards. The photo below shows a stained marble table top.


Outdoor Stone Table Tops

Stone table tops can and are used outdoors, but rain will dull the surface. Read more about other types of outdoor table tops in our guide: Outdoor Table Top Options.

Take care moving tables with stone tops!

Stone tops are glued not screwed to their bases, making them more vulnerable if treated roughly. We have seen many examples of tops that have become detached from bases. Do not drag tables with stone tops.

Need a new table top?

We have a wide selection of tops available on your product page: Stone Table Tops and on display at our  Hammersmith furniture showroom. Chat to our friendly team on our Live Chat or shoot us a query on the contact form, and we will be happy to answer any questions and provide a free, no obligation quote.


Topics: Furniture care,

By Charles Nicholson Charles Nicholson on 11/09/17 12:29
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