It seems that a resurgence of sandstone as a countertop material has become an adventurous new look for countertops today, even though it has been used in different capacities in years past, a renewed interest has surfaced and that seems to be due to the natural look of this type of stone as well as its earthy, vibrant and updated color and design combinations, its closeness to nature and its environmentally friendly footprint.
So, given its niche in the world of countertop choices, what does a homeowner need to know about sandstone countertops? An overview of what sandstone is, how it compares to other stone materials, how it should be maintained and how often it should be sealed are all necessary need-to-know factors with sandstone countertops.
What Type of Rock Is Sandstone?
Sandstone is a common sedimentary rock that can be found in basins where sediment accumulates. It is composed of existing rocks, small grains of mineral fragments and previously living organic materials. It forms from the buildup of these materials on the surface of the earth.
In addition, it contains binding or cementing materials that hold the small grains together, and it may also contain a base of particles that consist of clay or silt that take up the areas between the grains of sand. It is used for both manufacturing and construction related materials. Sandstone can also act as an aquifer or reservoir.
Sandstone VS. Granite Countertops
In comparison to granite, sandstone is extremely porous while granite is seemingly non-porous. Sandstone will easily absorb liquids, and it is susceptible to water marks, staining, crumbling and eroding, particularly when contact is made with oil, acidic food or drink, or improper cleaning materials. Granite is not nearly as susceptible to damage through typical everyday use. It is hardy, durable, long lasting and resistant to heat and scratches. It is easier to clean than sandstone, but even with its non-porous nature, it still requires routine maintenance with spills and possible stains.
Though installation is more routine with granite slabs, sandstone installation should be completed through a qualified professional that is familiar with the proper sealing procedures with sandstone. Granite is usually sealed before it is installed and does not require continual resealing. Granite patterns, colors and textures vary while sandstone selections are available in rich, natural earth tones and colors that are striking in their depth and appearance.
How to Maintain Sandstone Countertops
Sandstone countertops require regular ongoing maintenance and tender loving care in the form of quick action, which means getting to any spills immediately. Liquids, such as hard water, juices, wine, oil and any acidic food or drink should not be allowed to remain on a countertop for more than a couple of minutes.
The counters should be cleaned with a mild soap and limited amounts of water, and the area wiped with a clean, dry towel. Any kind of commercial or over the counter cleaning product should be tested on an inconspicuous area before using it on newly installed countertops, as they could be damaging.
How Often Should You Seal Sandstone Countertops?
Sandstone countertops should be resealed on a regular basis and an initial sealing should be completed at the time of installation. Sealants are made to last between three to seven years, but consulting with a sandstone expert about a durable and lasting sealant is an important first step before any sealing or resealing occurs.
If you need to know more about sandstone countertops and whether they are the right choice for you and your home, give us a call and a sandstone expert will get back to you with the answers you need to help you make an informed decision.