Sandstone is a material that has grown in favor as a countertop material because to its texture, look, and several additional applications. It has been used to create a variety of structures, including bathrooms, kitchens, and numerous building projects. As lovely as these sandstone furniture are, they require extra care to stay in good shape.
What Are Sandstone Countertops?
You may typed this question in google, but all you end up is a bunch of article about SOAPSTONE countertops not SANDSTONE countertops! Which are not the same thing at all. Not by any mean.
Sandstone is a natural sedimentary rock that is made from quartz sands, that got compacted by pressure and heat to form a hard sandstone rock. Sandstone countertops are made from the natural sandstone that can be acquired from quarries, and it’s not a man made material.
Sandstone countertops started to gain attraction since 2014, and it’s getting more and more trendy in kitchen and bathroom countertop, bars counters besides other uses, as you can use sandstone as flooring or as a construction material for buildings.
Sandstone countertops are known for their durability and beautiful natural appearance, besides the reasonable price of sandstone countertops with an average of 80$ per square foot, which seems very reasonable comparing it with other materials.
The main drawback of sandstone countertops is the high porosity that make of them an easy to stain material, but with a good and regular sealing, you can avoid such problem.
Are Sandstone Countertops Durable?
Sandstone countertops are made mainly by quartz grains, these latters are in the 4th position after Diamond, Corundum and Topaz in the hardness scale, so you can image how durable sandstone countertops are.
Sandstone countertops are scratches proof, and impact resistant, which make of them one of the best materials for high traffic countertops, such as bars counters.
The mineralogical components of sandstone is very simple, with more than 90% quartz, making sandstone countertops acid-proof and heat proof, so you don’t need to worry about putting your hot pan directly on it.
On the other hand, the main drawback of sandstone countertops is the high porosity, which is a normal thing as sandstone is a sedimentary rock that didn’t underwent a very high pressure during the formation.
The high porosity make of sandstone an easy material to get stained. Liquids can easily penetrate your countertop surface, causing very hard if not permanent stains. This problem can be avoided if you’re using an appropriate sealing, and you apply a regular re-sealing.
Do Sandstone Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
Considering the high porosity of sandstone, sealing is major requirement to maintain your sandstone countertop for a long time.
By sealing your sandstone countertop using the right sealing product, you can maintain the color and the appearance of your sandstone countertop, and prevent discolorations and stains.
The high porosity of sandstone countertops works as a sponge that can soak liquids such as coffee and wine, causing permanent internal and external discolorations.
The sealing need to be changed once every year, and sometimes sooner depending on the status of your sealing. The status of the sealing can be determined by applying the water absorbing test.
You can do that by dropping few droplets of plain water on the quartzite surface and see what happens over the next five minutes. If the water drops are still there on the quartzite’s surface, the sealant is protecting it. If you return to the counter and find the droplets have absorbed into the quartzite, it’s time to seal it.
How to Seal Sandstone Countertops?
Sandstone countertops must be sealed as soon as they are installed. Because of the porosity of the sandstone, it must be sealed on a regular basis. Choose an impregnating sealer developed for sandstone and other porous surfaces.
Check to see if the countertop needs to be sealed. Put a few drops of water on top of something inconspicuous, like a corner of the counter, and a few inches away, put a few drops of oil. After 15 minutes, check to see if the water or oil has seeped into the sandstone and darkened it. If this is the case, follow these steps to seal a granite countertop. If not, the countertop has already been sealed, and sealing it again will not provide additional protection but will instead leave an unsightly hazy film.
Before sealing, clean the countertop for 24 hours, avoiding potentially damaging vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, bleach, or harsh commercial cleaners. To begin, remove everything from the counter and thoroughly clean it with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any surface dust. Then, in a pint spray bottle, combine one teaspoon dishwashing detergent and two tablespoons isopropyl alcohol and fill with cool water. Spray the countertop liberally and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth while polishing in a circular motion. Wait at least 24 hours before proceeding: Because the cleaning agent occupies the same space as the sealant, you must ensure that the cleaning liquid has completely evaporated.
To understand the application method, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s directions. If our instructions differ from those on the label, please consult the manufacturer. Ventilation can be obtained by opening nearby windows and doors. If it’s raining, don’t open windows that could let rain fall on the countertop; instead, open windows in other parts of the room or adjacent rooms.
Put on your protective gloves and pick up the rags. Test the sealant in an area normally covered by a small appliance to ensure it will not affect the finish. Apply a small amount as directed by the manufacturer by spraying or pouring it onto a cloth and rubbing it evenly over the test area.
Wait the recommended time for the sealant to absorb into the sandstone, which is usually 15 to 20 minutes but can be much longer in some cases. Allowing it to sit for any longer than recommended may cause the stone to discolor.
Apply the sealant all the way around the counter, starting at one end and working your way to the other. To ensure even coverage, apply in sections of an arm’s length in diameter, using a circular motion. Allow the product to absorb into the countertop for the time recommended by the manufacturer.
After the absorption period has passed, use a clean, soft, dry rag to remove any excess sealant, rubbing in a circular motion. Some products require a second coat, so follow the directions carefully. Allow the product to cure, which can take between two and 48 hours depending on the product. Nonetheless, sandstone professionals advise waiting a full 48 hours before wiping a newly sealed sandstone countertop with anything wet. Also, don’t put any kitchenware back on the counter until the curing period is over.
Put your kitchen back together once the countertop has fully cured. Keep the spray bottle of cleaner you made on hand for use every month or two. A dab of dish detergent and a wet rag will do the job perfectly for daily cleaning. To keep your sandstone looking great, wipe up spills immediately and then dry the countertop.
How to Clean Sandstone Countertops?
When you’re finished sealing the sandstone, all that’s left is to keep the seal in place. The best way to keep sandstone countertops clean is to be mindful of what you do in their vicinity. Spills should be cleaned immediately with a clean cloth, as they can penetrate and be absorbed by the sandstone. This is something you do not want to happen.
To avoid damaging your countertop, use mild cleaners that are uncolored, unscented, and pH balanced. Avoid getting acidic materials on your countertop because they can easily damage and remove the polished surface.
These are the steps on how to clean sandstone countertops:
- Cleaning should be done on a regular basis with a soft cloth and a mild soap or detergent. Check to see if the soap is non-bleach and non-abrasive.
- Sandstone countertops are stain resistant but not stain proof. Wipe up any spilled liquids as soon as possible. sandstone will resist stains for a short time, but all colored liquids should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
- For stubborn or dried-on stains, use a glass or surface cleaner. Make use of a non-abrasive sponge. Spray a generous amount for deep cleaning; leave on for ten minutes, then wipe away.
- Using a plastic putty knife or razor blade, scrape away grease, gum, and paint. To remove grease, use a degreasing cleanser designed for sandstone countertops. Remove immediately by rinsing.
- Use an oil-based cleaner, to carefully remove ink or permanent markers. After removing the stain, immediately rinse with warm water.