Tile and Grout Cleaning

Kitchen Countertop Ideas

(from a maintenence perspective)

Here are some kitchen countertop ideas, from someone who cleans and restores kitchen countertops for a living.

Here at Integrity Stone and Tile Cleaning, we see all types of kitchen countertops everyday.

We have first hand experience with all types of countertops and we know which ones are the easiest to maintain, and which ones can be a nightmare to maintain.

We know installing countertops can be an expensive endeavor and you probably don't want to do it too many times in your life, as it is expensive and inconvenient.

We hope we can give a little insight to the different materials used for kitchen countertops and what are some of the things to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Along with kitchen countertop ideas, we also provide you with information on how to maintain different countertop surfaces.

If it's products you're looking for, click the stone care products link on the right to find what you need.

We also sell granite countertop sealer, marble countertop sealer and have services for any natural stone cleaning, sealing and refinishing.

Just click the Services link to find out more information.

Types of Kitchen Countertops

Kitchen Countertop Ideas Owning natural stone in your home should be a pleasure and not a hassle. Some kitchen countertop ideas can backfire on you. We see what happens when marble of limestone is installed in the kitchen.

It becomes etched, scratched and if had a polished finish, it becomes dull. Most homeowners who have it in their kitchen tell us they would never install it again.

However, we don't see this problem when granite or quartz is installed in the kitchen. Problems we see with granite, tend to be from neglect.

Sometimes we see very porous granite countertops installed, which in my humble opinion should be avoided.

One example of very porous granite is the ever popular Kashmir White. Bad choice for the kitchen as I've seen this with oil stains over and over again.

My favorite material for a kitchen countertop is soapstone. Soapstone is beautiful and is non-porous, so it never needs to be sealed. A mineral oil is usually applied, which darkens the stone.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas Soapstone is soft and can scratch easily, but it's easy to refinish and can be done by the homeowner with sandpaper, an orbital sander and some mineral oil.

Also, soapstone is resistant to heat, so you don't have to worry about putting hot pans on it.

Below is an outline of popular kitchen countertop ideas, with our recommendation at the end of paragraph.

Granite Countertops - are made from granitic rock and sliced into slabs that can be bought from fabricators and stone stores or warehouses. Usually very hard and easily maintained. Will resist etch marks from everyday foods and liquids like lemonade and vinegar. The porosity or ability to absorb liquids varies with type of granite. Darker granites tend to be more dense or less porous. We recommend granite countertops if the are not too porous. If they are too porous, we don't recommend them for a kitchen setting.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas
Marble Countertops - are calcium based stone made from CaCO3. Marble, travertine, limestone and onyx are all calcium based stones and are all reactive with any acid. So any household or food and liquid that is acidic, will react with the calcium in the stone and etch or eat away some of the stone. Higher maintenance stone due to sensitivity to acids. Not a good kitchen countertop idea. Can be refinished or restored.

Limestone Countertops - are calcium based stone made from CaCO3. Limestone marble, travertine and onyx are all calcium based stones and are all reactive with any acid. So any household or food and liquid that is acidic, will react with the calcium in the stone and etch or eat away some of the stone. Higher maintenance stone due to sensitivity to acids. Not recommended. Can be refinished or restored.

Soapstone Countertops - are made from a metamorphic rock that is primarily made of talc which is very high in magnesium. Because it's mostly made from talc it's very soft and can feel soapy to the touch. Very easy to maintain and is not sensitive to acids and alkaline liquids. Can be resurfaced and to enhance it's color, use mineral oil. Highly recommended.



The following kitchen countertop ideas are considered engineered stone countertops. These are countertops that have some elements of natural countertops, like quartz, mixed with resins or plastics.

Quartz Countertops - are a man-made material with more than 70% made up of quartz and the rest made up from resins. Very dense, uniform in appearance with usually a consistant pattern that can be identified. Non-porous, which means does not need to be sealed, but can be susceptiple to strong acids and strong alkalis and high heat. Generally easy to mainatin except for any strong heat and strong chemical contact. Recommended for a kitchen setting due easy maintenance.

Corian Countertops - are a brand name for solid surface material made by Dupont. It is made up of an acrylic polymer and alumina tryhydrate (ATH). Non-porous material which means they don't need to be sealed and area stain resistant. Can be damaged by strong chemicals (acids and alkalis) and do not withstand high heat. Over all easy to maintain, except for the strong chemicals susceptability and high heat. We recommend them for kitchen countertops.

Zodiaq Countertops - are quartz countertops made by Dupont. Same charactertistics as quartz countertops. Overall easy to maintain, except for the strong chemical susceptability and high heat. Easy maintenance, so yes we recommend them.

Caesarstone Countertops - are quartz countertops made by Caesarstone. Same charactertistics as quartz countertops. Overall easy to maintain, except for the strong chemical susceptability and high heat. Again, they are basically the same as Zodiac and Quartz, we recommend them for a kitchen counter.

Silestone Countertops - are quartz countertops made by Cosentino. Same charactertistics as quartz countertops. Overall easy to maintain, except for the strong chemical susceptability and high heat. Yes we recommend them.

Cambria Countertops - are quartz countertops made by Cambria. Same charactertistics as quartz countertops. Overall easy to maintain, except for the strong chemical susceptability and high heat. Same as quartz yes.

Concrete Countertops - are exactly that, concrete. Can cost more than granite or marble and any of the other man made countertops or less if you do them yourself. They need to be sealed properly at installation and every year after they're installed. High maintenance and stain and be etched from both acidic and alkaline chemicals. If they have no sealer or wax, then they will be resitant to heat, but most likely will have a sealer or wax to protect from staining. Not recommended due to so many issues that will occur if you have them intsalled.

Recycled Glass Countertops - are made from glass that are both post-consumer and pre-consumber sources and either cement or resins. Although the glass is not porours the matrix they are in is porous and can stain and are susceptiple to chemical etching. It is recommended by the manufactures to seal every six months. Not recommended, but ulitmately if you want them it's your choice.

Tile Countertops - can be both natural (marble, granite, etc.) or ceramic or porcelain and even different types of clays (Terra Cotta, Saltillo). Ceramic or porcelain tiles are stain resistant because they are non-porous, but the grout lines are porous and can be stained. Natural stone and the clay tiles are porous and can be stained. Ceramic and porcelain are heat resistant as well as some natural stones. Recommended if they are ceramic or porcelain. We don't recommend any calcium based stone (marble, limestone or travertine). We don't recommend any clay based stone. Granite tile is fine if it's not too porous.

All kitchen countetop ideas and recommendations are based on ease of maintenance. We know you may feel differently about what you want in your kitchen, but from our experience, a natural stone or material that can be damaged or stained easily shouldn't be in the kitchen.

When it comes to kitchen countertop ideas, the choices are unlimited. The type you choose will depend on your sense of style and most of all, your budget.

If you live in the San Francisco bay area and are looking for expert countertop installation check out the link below for Bracho Marble and Granite. Bracho Marble and Granite has been installing natural stone countertops for over 15 years in the San Francisco bay area.

Call Henry the owner at 510-505-9470 for more information, and don't forget to tell him you found him on Integrity Stone's Webpage.

Kitchen Countertop Installation

When it comes to kitchen countertop ideas or just maintaining natural stone and tile and grout, we strive to help educate our customers on the best protection they can have, helping them save time and money in costly restoration costs down the road.





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Now Offering Stone Care Products

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Always working on your home on one project to another. Check the link below to buy stone care products.

We know you can do it yourself and offer you the same products we use to clean stone and tile.



We Recommend MB-5 Marble, Granite and More Spray

For daily cleaning of marble, granite and all engineered stones. Great for metal and glass too!




Client Testimonial

Hi Guys! Just want to let you know that I am very happy with the outcome of your hard work. My bathroom looks like it was just remodeled. It looks great! I am very glad that I chose Integrity Stone and Tile Cleaning to do the job. I will definitely recommend Integrity Stone and Tile to my friends and neighbors. I saved a lot of money by restoring rather then replacing. Thanks again for the fine work!

Charlie R.
From Sunnyvale, CA


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