How to Care for Schist Countertops

schist countertops

Schist countertops make for a unique, beautiful addition to just about any kitchen. This natural stone comes in deep, rich colors that range from neutral greys to golden hues. In today’s post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces discuss schist countertops and how to care for them. 

What is Schist?

First things first—let’s discuss where schist comes from. Schist is a natural stone made of up plate-shaped mineral grains. These grains are large enough to see with the naked eye. Their size allows them to reflect light, giving schist a natural luster. Schist is a metamorphic rock, which means it starts out as mud/shale or another type of igneous rock, then undergoes a transformation under extreme temperature and pressure changes. 

The stone is largely characterized by its foliation (repetitive layering), which is similar to that seen in slate, though coarser and more distinct. Slate has the same origin as schist and can be seen a step along the way to schist formation. When, after forming, slate is exposed to even greater temperatures and pressure, it eventually turns into schist. 

The Properties of Schist Countertops

Schist countertops can add gorgeous color contrasts and visual interest to a home, but that’s not all. Let’s look at the properties of schist:

Schist Hardness

Schist is a durable rock with the same hardness as marble, which comes in at a 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness. One thing to note about schist is that the larger the grains in a slab of schist are, the more carefully it will need to be installed. As the minerals lay parallel to each other, schist can have areas of weakness where the stone can split if it’s not supported underneath. This isn’t too much of a concern with flooring, but for kitchen countertops with overhangs, it’s important to avoid an overhang that runs parallel to the grain of your stone. An experienced stone supplier like Cosmos Surfaces can help you select the perfect stone for your needs. 

Schist Coloring and Patterns

The coloring and patterns found in schist countertops can vary greatly from one slab to another. Colors typically range from black to grey, with white and ochre or golden hues giving the stone a rich, earth-inspired appearance. Schist is an excellent option for those looking to incorporate dark countertops into their kitchen. The rhythmic patterns created by the stone’s foliation can be likened to tree bark, or ripples on a body of water. This allows the stone to pair well with other natural features in the home, like wood and plants.

Schist Heat Resistance

Schist is highly heat resistant, which is always a plus in the kitchen. Furthermore, this quality makes the stone appropriate for use in other areas as well, such as around a fireplace.

Schist Countertops: Care and Maintenance    

Schist is a porous stone, which means you’ll need to seal it on a regular basis. Sealing schist prevents staining and moisture-related damage like bacteria or mold growth in your countertops. For more information on this important aspect of natural stone care, see our blog all about sealing natural stone

Schist can be vulnerable to taking on scratches or damage from acids. The following care guidelines will help protect your investment for years to come:

  • Always use cutting boards and avoid using knives directly on the stone. 
  • Take care when handling heavy pots, pans or pizza stones, as they can scratch or chip your schist surfaces. 
  • Avoid placing weight on countertop edges or overhangs. 
  • Take extra care when handling acidic substances like wine, vinegar or fruit juices, and blot up spills right away.
  • Use coasters, trivets and cooling racks.
  • Blot up moisture, especially around sinks and faucets.

Schist Countertops: Daily Cleaning & Stubborn Stains

For daily cleaning, you can use mild dish detergent and a microfiber cloth or soft sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and harsh/acidic chemicals on schist. 

If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, be sure to clean the area with water and mild dish soap, then blot excess moisture up. Next, make a paste by mixing 1 cup of flour, 1–2 tablespoons of a mild, neutral dishwashing liquid and enough water to give the mixture a consistency similar to peanut butter. Apply the paste to the stained area and cover it with plastic wrap, taping the edges down with painters tape (avoid regular masking tape). Let the paste sit for 24 hours, or until completely dry, then remove it with a wooden or plastic spatula. Clean the area and inspect the stain, repeating the process if necessary.  

Work with Cosmos!

If you have questions about schist countertops and how to care for them, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We bring decades of industry know-how to the table and our team of experts is always happy to help!

Color of the Month: Saffron

Saffron is a radiant gold with bright and deep undertones. It is perfect for adding sunny color to the walls in any living space. Pair with deep toned antiques or clean black and white.

The contrast of brilliant, shimmering gold with pure white porcelain is the thrilling essence of Sicily Gold. It is the meeting of luxury and refinement, a gilded chance encounter resulting in complete balance. Designed for use inside or outdoors, it is the perfect choice for floors, counters and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops

how to disinfect quartz countertops

When discussing countertop materials, we often point out that kitchen countertops are some of the most high-traffic areas in the home. Aside from food prep, countertops often become a repository for items like handbags, car keys and mail. Along with greater amounts of wear and tear, high-traffic surfaces are more prone to harbor germs and bacteria. In today’s post, our experts discuss how to disinfect quartz countertops and provide tips to help keep your kitchen clean and safe. 

What is Quartz?

Before we get into the particulars of disinfecting quartz countertops, it’s important to understand how they are made. Quartz, sometimes referred to as engineered quartz, is a manmade material. Though quartz countertops typically contain varying amounts of quartz, roughly 10% of the materials in a quartz countertop are made of components like crushed marble or granite, as well as industrial waste, like recycled glass or ceramic. These materials are usually held together with binders, like resin. While some cleaning and disinfecting products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they could damage the binder filling in between. 

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting

Cleaning a surface removes dirt, grime, grease, spills and some bacteria, while disinfecting specifically kills bacteria and viruses. It’s always important to clean and wipe down surfaces regularly, but disinfecting is imperative to prevent diseases like Coronavirus, E. Coli and Salmonella from spreading.

Disinfecting Quartz Countertops

The following products are safe to use when disinfecting quartz countertops:

  • Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be mixed with water to make an effective disinfectant. Mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water—we recommend using a spray bottle—and apply as needed. Be sure to remove any food from counters before cleaning and keep the area well ventilated.  
  • Antibacterial dish soap and warm water will often do the trick and are safe to use on quartz countertops. Adding rubbing alcohol to the mixture can also increase its efficiency. 

What NOT to Use on Quartz Countertops

Avoid using the following common disinfectants:

  • Do NOT use Lysol, Clorox or any products containing bleach or vinegar on quartz countertops, as they can cause permanent damage.
  • Do NOT use harsh, acidic or alkaline cleaners.
  • Do NOT use nail polish remover.

As mentioned above, while some of these products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they can etch or disintegrate the binders in between quartz pieces.

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Germ Free

Cleaning AND disinfecting all surfaces frequently are the only ways to prevent germs and bacteria from growing and spreading. That said, there are a few things you can do to help minimize their presence:

  • Clean Spills Right Away—The longer a spill sits on your countertop, the more time it allows bacteria to establish itself. Once this happens, simply cleaning the area won’t get rid of all the bacteria, unless the spot is disinfected as well. You can get ahead of this issue by simply cleaning spills as soon as they occur. 
  • Disinfect Sponges and Dish Cloths—These handy products can often become breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. By using them to clean or wipe down countertops, you might inadvertently spread bacteria around. Be sure to clean these products after each use and allow them to dry fully in between uses. Dish rags can be cleaned by running them through a washer, while sponges can be cleaned using a disinfecting solution. 
  • Keep Countertops Dry—Bacteria thrive in moist environments. Be sure to dry countertops thoroughly after cleaning, and dry off areas that are prone to moisture, including areas around sinks or anywhere steam and condensation tends to accumulate.
  • Take Extra Precautions When Someone is Sick—If someone in your household is sick, it’s extra important to follow disinfection procedures. Clean your countertops and the rest of the kitchen more often to prevent the spread of the sickness.

We hope you’ve found this post on how to disinfect quartz countertops helpful. If you’d like to learn more about quartz, feel free to check out the following blog posts:

Work with Cosmos Surfaces!

If you have questions about quartz or other surfacing materials, we’d love to hear from you! Cosmos Surfaces brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today!

Color of the Month: Vanilla

Vanilla is a neutral, soft-toned white with honey undertones, perfect for a main wall or any room of your choice. Pair with white accents or softer sand-toned colors, or pops of floral inspired reds, teals, and corals.

Dark grey and green veins and waves cascade across a white background, making Destin White a dynamic choice for any space. This high variance marble from Vermont, USA ensures that each application is a wholly unique experience.

How to Clean Backsplash Tile

how to clean backsplash til

Kitchens tend to be one of the most high-traffic areas in the home. Subsequently, they can require the most attention when it comes to daily cleaning. Backsplash—so named for its function—prevents grease, food and water splashes from damaging the walls behind areas like stoves and kitchen sinks. In this post, Cosmos Surfaces provides a simple guide on how to clean backsplash tile.

Function & Style

In the past, backsplash was primarily functional—it was often made from the same materials that lined kitchen countertops, such as plastic and linoleum. Over time, however, backsplash became a powerful design element, and the materials used now range from glass and ceramic tiles to natural stones like marble and granite. Backsplash offers a great way to add color, texture and a sense of detail to a kitchen space. While these attributes draw the eye, backsplash also takes on the inevitable grease, sauce, juice and water splashes that go along with daily kitchen activities.

Daily Cleaning

How often a kitchen is used for cooking will likely determine whether you need to worry about cleaning backsplash daily, or whether you can get away with a quick wipe-down after occasional use. Either way, the two primary areas that require attention tend to be the wall areas behind stoves and kitchen sinks.

The area directly behind a stove tends to be a prime target for grease and food splatters. It’s best to clean these as soon as they happen—the longer grease and food stains sit, the more tedious they will be to remove once you do get around to it.

Focusing on grease stains first, blot these areas with a dry cloth to soak up as much grease as possible. Next, use warm, soapy water (a mild detergent will often do the trick) and soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the area. Thoroughly rinse and dry backsplash after cleaning to prevent streaks, mildew and the attraction of dirt/dust.

Deep Cleaning

Even if you do manage to keep up with cleaning backsplash each time after cooking, you’ll still want to perform a deep clean every once in a while. This is the time to focus on removing any stubborn grease or food stains, as well as cleaning the grout between tiles.

While dedicated degreasing cleaners are a great option, there are simple DIY solutions that can also do the trick. If you do opt for a chemical cleaner, it’s always wise to ensure it is safe to use on your specific type of backsplash, safe for the environment and safe to use around your family. It’s also important to note that if your cleaner is a concentrate, it will need to be diluted according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Degreasing cleaners often work well when they are left to sit on the surface for 15-20 minutes, though this might vary by brand. A good approach is to spray the backsplash behind a stovetop first, allowing the solution to work on this grease-prone area while you tackle cleaning the rest of your backsplash. You may want to use the same cleaner for the area behind your kitchen sink, but you likely won’t need to wait before wiping, rinsing and drying this area.

To clean the grout between tiles, you can use a safe cleaner or a mixture of mild detergent and warm water with a toothbrush, gently scrubbing along grout lines.

Stubborn Stains

Grease and food stains can be tough to remove, especially if they are large or have been sitting for a while. In these cases, heavy-duty degreasing cleaners are available, but spot treating stains with DIY solutions can also be effective:

  • Combine equal parts warm water with baking soda to form a paste, then apply it to the stained areas. Allow the paste to dry before removing it with a clean, wet cloth (microfiber towels are a great option here) and repeat the process if necessary. The same paste mixture can be used to clean grout with a toothbrush.
  • Alternatively, combine distilled white vinegar with warm water and spray this on the affected areas, allowing it to sit for several minutes before using a clean towel or sponge to wipe, rinse and dry the area. It’s important to note that some DIY solutions also recommend using lemon juice—always double check that substances are safe to use on your backsplash materials. Marble, for example, can be damaged by acidic cleaners.

Conclusion

We hope you’ve found our guide on how to clean backsplash tiles useful. If you have any questions about backsplash materials and maintenance, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We offer a wide selection of products and our team of experts is always happy to help.

Color of the Month: Chive

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-0323, Chive! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A savory herbal green, Chive imparts a healthy and restorative harmony.”

Fire and ice play together to create a transfixing scene on Mascarello, a Brazilian granite with a high level of pattern variation. Consistently warm and bright, the coloring of Mascarello oscillates between rusty orange, pearlescent white, blush-toned cream, muted black and sparkling gray. It is a daring and dazzling choice for countertops, vanities, floors and more.

How Do You Clean a Marble Shower?

how to clean a shower

Marble speaks of timeless luxury. It’s a material that can elevate just about any space, but it does require a specific care regimen. In this post, we answer the question of “how do you clean a marble shower?” and provide easy tips for ongoing care and maintenance.

What is Marble?

Let’s start with a quick overview of marble and its properties. This metamorphic rock forms when limestone is subjected to high amounts of heat and pressure. The stone is mainly composed of calcite, but it usually contains other minerals like micas, quartz and iron oxides as well.

Although marble is a natural stone, it is softer than some of its stone companions, like granite. Marble is also a porous, absorbent stone, which can make it vulnerable to spills and acidic substances if not sealed properly and regularly. As you go about caring for your marble surfaces, it’s important to keep the following points in mind:

  • Avoid acidic cleaners and DIY cleaners that make use of acidic substances like lemon and vinegar.
  • Use PH-neutral cleaners, or those specifically made for marble surfaces.
  • Avoid using course sponges, scrubbers, brushes or scrapers, as these can all damage marble surfaces. Microfiber towels are a great, safe alternative.
  • Marble needs to be sealed regularly, especially marble shower tiles as they are frequently subjected to water and humidity. This is one of the absolute most important steps in caring for marble surfaces.

Daily Cleaning

Marble can be etched by hard water deposits, so it’s important to keep up with daily cleaning to protect your investment. It’s also important to understand which cleaners are safe to use on marble, and which kinds to avoid.

Shower tiles of all kinds can benefit from being wiped down after each use, but this is especially true for marble shower tiles. It’s a good idea to keep microfiber towels on hand to wipe away any residual soap scum, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, grime and water after taking a shower.

Deep Cleaning

In addition to drying/wiping down shower tiles after each use, it’s a good idea to fully wash shower tiles on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on how often the shower is used, but if at least one person uses it per day, you’ll want to perform a deep clean at least once every week or two.

Again, cleaners that are specifically made for marble surfaces are a great option here, but you can use a homemade solution of mild dishwashing liquid and water. As always, check in with manufacturer specifications to ensure you are using products that are safe for your surfaces.

Adding warm water and 1 tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid to a spray bottle makes it easy to spray down shower walls, focusing on areas where soap scum tends to collect. Next, wipe gently using vertical or horizontal strokes, then rinse tiles thoroughly with clean water. Be sure to dry shower walls completely with microfiber towels after each cleaning.

Sealing Marble Shower Tiles

When it comes to long-term care and maintenance, the most important thing you can do to protect marble shower tiles is to ensure they are sealed properly and regularly. Keeping tiles sealed prevents moisture and bacteria from getting absorbed into the stone, where it can cause damage like cracking or mold growth.

Our blog post all about sealing natural stone covers the ins and outs of this process and explains the different kinds of stone sealers you’ll find on the market. How often marble shower tiles need to be sealed will vary depending on the stone finish and products used, but a good rule of thumb is to seal at least once a year.

If you’d like to know more about marble surfaces in general, take a look at our blog posts on how to care for marble and the pros and cons of marble countertops.

Work with Cosmos!

If you still have questions about marble surfaces or the care and maintenance they require, let us know! Cosmos Surfaces is a 2nd generation, family-owned business dedicated to providing you with knowledge, meaningful customer service and high-quality surface materials. We offer a wide range of products and resources to assist our customers in all their surface material needs.  Contact us today to get started!

Color of the Month: Chive

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-0323, Chive! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A savory herbal green, Chive imparts a healthy and restorative harmony.”

Galapagos - Black Quartzite 2

Mountains of colors come to life in the quartzite named Galapagos. Galapagos brings to mind an aerial view of a cloudy mountain range, with peaks of green, rivers of blue and shadows of black. Unique layers and bands of color create a bold tone that looks great among blacks and silvers. Galapagos makes for interesting and artistic countertops and tables. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

How to Get Stains Out of Natural Stone

stains - natural stone

Beyond being adored for its sublime beauty, natural stone is celebrated for its resilience. When proper maintenance and care guidelines are followed – including cleaning & sealing natural stone regularly – these surfaces offer magnificent durability. Even so, stains can happen as a natural consequence of frequent use. When it comes to how to get stains out of natural stone, a strategic approach is essential. In this article, we’ll go into detail about how to effectively address different sorts of stains which may appear on natural stone surfaces, both inside & outside the home.

How to Get Stains Out of Natural Stone | Step 1: Identify the Staining Agent

Have you noticed a stained area on your natural stone countertop, vanity top, wall or floor? To successfully remove the blemish, your first step is to identify the type of stain you are dealing with. Ascertaining the culprit is key, as this will determine the most appropriate method to restore your stone surface. Staining agents commonly present in the kitchen, bathroom and other areas where natural stone is used include:

  • Organic materials, such as wine, fruit juice, food scraps, tea/coffee and leaves
  • Oils, such as cooking oil, cosmetics, grease and oil-based paint
  • Ink, such as pen or marker
  • Metals, such as copper and iron
  • Biological agents, such as mildew and algae
  • Hard water

Not sure what stained your natural stone surface? By considering where the stain is located & the activities which are done in that area, you should be able to make an educated guess. Ask yourself: Is the surface indoors or out? Is it in a spot where food preparation or dining occurs? How about an area where cosmetics are applied? Finally, what color/shape is the stain? Asking these questions will help you determine what most likely caused the stain, allowing you to select the most fitting solution for how to get stains out of natural stone.

Step 2: Remove the Stain Using an Appropriate Cleaning Agent or Poultice

Once you’ve assessed the type of stain present on your natural stone surface, it’s time to acquire the right cleaning agent or chemical to remove it. To draw out certain types of stains, you may need to prepare a poultice, or a paste made by combining a liquid cleaner/chemical with a white absorbent material such as talc or diatomaceous earth. Here are the recommended cleaning solutions for various types of stains on natural stone:

  • For organic stains, combine 12% hydrogen peroxide OR acetone with a powdered poultice material
  • Oil-based stains can typically be removed using a poultice of baking soda and water
  • To remove ink stains from light colored stone, use hydrogen peroxide OR bleach; for dark stones, use acetone OR lacquer thinner
  • Rust stains can sometimes be removed using a poultice of diatomaceous earth and a commercial rust remover, although professional assistance may be needed for these notoriously stubborn stains
  • Copper stains may be lifted by a poultice of ammonia and a powdered absorbent material; but like rust, they might require professional help
  • Biological stains are effectively removed with a poultice of diluted ammonia OR hydrogen peroxide OR bleach (Remember: Do NOT mix ammonia and bleach – a toxic gas results from this combination!)
  • Water rings & spots will typically disappear after spraying with a neutral stone cleaner, then buffing with a soft cloth or non-abrasive scouring pad

Pro Tips for Using a Poultice

If the applicable method for removing the stain in question calls for preparation of a poultice, here are a few important things to know:

  • First, here’s a more comprehensive list of absorbent materials which can be used to prepare a poultice: powdered chalk, fuller’s earth, kaolin, diatomaceous earth, talc & white molding plaster. White gauze pads, cotton balls or paper towels may also be used.
  • Whiting clays such as fuller’s earth should not be used with acidic chemicals, as mixing the two will create a reaction that renders the poultice ineffective on stone.
  • When forming a poultice paste, aim for a consistency similar to peanut butter.
  • To apply a poultice, use a plastic or wooden spatula. Spread the poultice over the stained area, to a thickness of about 1/4” to 1/2” above the surface. Then, cover with plastic and leave the poultice on for 24 to 48 hours. The liquid cleaning agent or chemical will work to draw out the stain, absorbing it into the powdered material.
  • For deeply set stains, the poultice application process may need to be repeated several times in order to achieve full resolution. If you are having difficulty removing a stain, consult a professional for assistance.
  • Do NOT leave bleach on for too long on dark stone surfaces as it might discolor the surface itself.

Discover the Best & Broadest Natural Stone Selection at Cosmos Surfaces

Hopefully, you’ve found our explanation of how to get stains out of natural stone to be helpful. If you are currently contemplating whether a natural stone surface is right for your project, the Cosmos Surfaces team is here to offer our expert advice. As long-time specialists on all varieties of natural & engineered stone, we can help you select the most ideal surfacing material for your particular application, design style and budget. To get started, explore our dazzling selection & connect with us today!

Color of the Month: Ash

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-3802, Ash! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Solid and strong, eternally timeless Ash conveys a message of longevity.”

Cianitus - Black Schist 3

Cianitus is a highly layered type of schist. Mainly a dark grey and black, the prominent layers of silver and gold create a more complex and dynamic appearance. A striking, artistic schist, Cianitus is ideal for bathroom and kitchen floors, countertops, and fireplaces, and pairs well with both silver and wood.

How to Clean Natural Stone Like a Pro

clean natural stone

From countertops to floors to tub surrounds, there are so many surfaces for which natural stone can be a marvelous choice! Whether you seek to enliven your interior or to ground a space within your home, different stone varieties such as marble, granite and quartzite can help you achieve your design dreams. Regardless of how you leverage the beauty and durability of natural stone in your home, you’ll naturally want to maximize its longevity through proper care. From installation day forward, knowing how to clean natural stone is a must to maintain its pristine appearance and optimize its performance.

How to Clean Natural Stone: What Every Homeowner Should Know

To help you protect your investment, Cosmos Surfaces is here to share a few important natural stone maintenance steps:

  • DO Be careful to choose an appropriate cleaner – Using a cleaner which isn’t approved for your particular natural stone surface can be detrimental in several ways. First off, it can damage the stone in the form of burning or etching. Additionally, it can break down the sealant (if one was applied) and dull the finish. Thus, you should take care to always read labels and confirm that products are compatible with your natural stone before applying them.
  • DO Be sure your stone remains well protected – If you select a porous natural stone such as granite, regular sealing will likely be recommended to preserve the stone’s beauty & integrity. How often sealer will need to be reapplied will depend on several factors, including the porosity of the stone, the chosen finish and whether the surface is located in a high-traffic area. If you wish to skip sealing, consider a non-porous stone such as soap stone.
  • DO Get in the habit of dry mopping/wiping regularly – Dust and debris can cling to polished stone surfaces. Luckily, it’s easy to lift them away with a dry dust mop or a microfiber towel. Doing so on a daily basis – and before using a moist cleaner on your stone surfaces – will prevent signs of wear such as scratches.

Common Natural Stone Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we’ve highlighted a few major do’s for how to clean natural stone like an expert, let’s look at what you generally should NOT do:

  • DON’T Use acidic cleaners on natural stone – Vinegar and lemon juice are useful for cleaning and disinfecting many surfaces throughout the home – but not so much for natural stone. A word to the wise: Acidic cleaning agents will etch the surface of many natural stones, including marble and granite, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
  • DON’T Clean your natural stone with harsh chemicals – Of course, you want to make sure your natural stone surfaces remain clean and sanitary for your family. However, using heavy-duty disinfectants such as bleach or ammonia can discolor & damage most types of natural stone. As a safer alternative, we recommend choosing a stone-specific cleaner with bacteria-fighting properties. Aside from skipping the intense chemicals, avoiding the use of abrasive scrubbing pads in your natural stone maintenance routine is also advisable to prevent scratches.
  • DON’T Try to repair major damage yourself – Natural stone wins praise for its hardwearing properties. Still, by virtue of daily use, it can be subject to chips, stains and other damage. Wiping up spills right away and taking care to avoid placing hot cookware directly on your natural stone will go a long way to sustain it. Further, a simple baking soda and water paste can often be effective at buffing out small marks or scratches. But if significant gouging, chipping or etching occurs, it’s best to call a professional for stone restoration. Attempting to DIY your stone repair will likely be ineffective, and could actually make the issue much worse.

Look to Cosmos Surfaces for the Broadest & Best Selection of Natural Stone

Perhaps you have already made the decision to incorporate a stunning natural stone surface into your home design, or maybe you are still exploring whether this material is the best choice for your project. Either way, we hope you’ve found our tips on how to clean natural stone to be valuable!

As long-time surfacing industry experts, Cosmos Surfaces is proud to be an authority on natural stone. If you are seeking a gorgeous surface that will mesh with your lifestyle and design goals, our team is here to help you find the perfect product in our extensive natural stone collection. We are also happy to offer our professional advice on caring for natural stone so it continues to look fresh and perform beautifully for decades. To be connected with a member of our team, get in touch today!

Color of the Month: Fired Brick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-1337, Fired Brick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Strong and sturdy, Fired Brick adds gravitas.”

Vitrium - Cream Granite 3

The granite dubbed Vitrium is both bold and complex. Hailing from Brazil, a creamy Feldspar and white quartz background is accentuated by diverse patterns that range from strikes of gold to swirls of black. No two areas of Vitrium are the same; every inch is uniquely diverse and beautifully translucent in some areas, which makes Vitrium a versatile option for any room or application.

How to Clean Quartz Surfaces: Do’s and Don’ts

clean quartz

Quartz is a gorgeous, versatile surface celebrated for its ease of maintenance. In this post, the experts at Cosmos Surfaces discuss the do’s and don’ts of how to clean quartz surfaces in your home.

Quartz vs. Quartzite

A quick note, for starters: quartz and quartzite are often mistaken as being the same, but they are different. Quartzite forms due to natural processes when quartz-rich sandstone is exposed to high pressure and heat over time. Quartz is actually engineered – that is to say, it’s man-made by combining quartz minerals with binding agents, resins and sometimes pigments. For a more in-depth look at the difference between the two surfaces, take a look at our blog post on quartz vs. quartzite.

The Advantages of Quartz

Quartz achieves the elegant aesthetic of natural stone, but with one big advantage – resin binders make the surface non-porous. This means that while most natural stones, like quartzite, need to be sealed with some regularity, quartz does not. This surface is inherently protected against the mold, mildew, bacteria, staining and odors that can occur in porous stones. That said, regular cleaning and maintenance remains necessary to protect your investment and keep your surfaces looking clean and new.

How to Clean Quartz: The Do’s

Let’s take a look at some routine maintenance and cleaning tips:

  • DO wipe up spills as soon as possible. Although quartz is stain-resistant, it’s still wise to wipe up spills before they have a chance to dry. Mild dishwashing detergent and a soft cloth or sponge will do the trick in most cases.
  • DO use warm water, mild soap, and a non-abrasive kitchen sponge. Use these items in the event of any spills or stains.
  • DO use a mild degreasing product for cooking grease residue. As always, be sure to follow the product manufacturer’s instructions.
  • DO use small amounts of Barkeeper’s Friend, rubbing alcohol, and a soft cloth or Magic Eraser for stains like permanent marker or ink. Always ensure a product is safe to use on your surface material and reach out to a manufacturer if you are uncertain! Barkeeper’s friend is a little grainy, do not apply too much pressure while using this product as it may cause small scratches on the quartz surface.
  • DO be sure to rinse quartz surfaces thoroughly with water. You should always remove any residue or film left behind by cleaners.
  • DO use coasters, cutting boards, trivets and cooling racks. This will protect your countertops from everyday wear and tear.
  • Aside from daily wiping, DO perform a deep clean at regular intervals. You can spray a non-abrasive surface cleaner and allow it to sit for roughly ten minutes, then wipe the counter with a non-abrasive sponge and rinse with warm water.

The Don’ts

It’s important to note that the quartz mineral in your surface may be able to withstand cleaners and elements like heat far better than the resin used in manufactured quartz countertops. This means that while something might be safe to use or do on the quartz itself, it can still damage your surface or weaken the bonds between the quartz and resin fillers surrounding it.

Let’s take a look at what NOT to do:

  • Don’t use abrasive, acidic, or alkaline cleaners, or bleach.
  • Don’t use scouring pads, as these can damage and dull the surface.
  • Don’t expose the surface to extreme heat, such as by placing hot pans directly on a counter. Instead, use cooling racks and trivets.
  • Don’t expose quartz surfaces to outdoor elements. Quartz is recommended for indoor use. Prolonged exposure to elements like direct sunlight outdoors can lead to warping or cracking.

How to Remove Stubborn Stains

Owing to its non-porosity, manufactured quartz is highly stain-resistant, but certain substances can still leave a mark. The most common stain offenders include hot sauce, vibrant spices like turmeric, curry powder and paprika, permanent marker, food coloring, colored make-up and nail polish. If you find yourself struggling with a stubborn stain, take a look at our detailed post on how to remove stains from quartz.

Conclusion

Quartz is an excellent option for those seeking the timeless, elegant aesthetic of natural stone combined with easy maintenance. Regular cleaning and care will future-proof your investment and keep your quartz surfaces looking fresh and new for many years to come.

Cosmos Surfaces offers a range of quartz products in gorgeous patterns and colors to suit any design style. If you have questions about the care and maintenance of quartz, reach out to Cosmos Surfaces today! We bring decades of expertise to the table, and our team is always happy to help.

Color of the Month: Lark

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 16-1324, Lark! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Authentic and low-key, Lark is an understated and versatile khaki.”

Palomino is comprised of a rich golden color that will astound and amaze in any space. With a crystalline structure creating diamonds and shapes across the surface, browns and whites swirl with gold to create texture and depth. Palomino is bold and striking – the perfect fit for a room with pizazz, style, and personality. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

All About Sealing Natural Stone: Where, When, and Why

sealing stone

Sealing your floors, countertops, and other surfaces is the best way to future-proof your investment in natural stone. However, there are a number of things to know before you go ahead and start sealing! In this post, Cosmos Surfaces will tell you all the ins and outs of sealing natural stone.

Factors to Consider Before Sealing Natural Stone

Some natural stone surfaces don’t need to be sealed. Here are some factors that can help determine whether a stone needs to be sealed at all:

  • The porosity of the stone and how fast it will absorb liquids
  • The durability, density and hardness of the stone
  • Type of finish applied to the surface – a polished surface, for example, is more resistant to staining than a honed or leathered surface and might provide adequate protection
  • How frequently the stone will be exposed to staining agents
  • Whether resin has been applied to the surface (some sealers can react negatively with resin)
  • The location of the stone – interior vs. exterior, countertop, wall, floor, etc.

In the next section, we’ll break down the types of stone surfaces and whether or not they generally need to be sealed. Best practices can still differ even between different styles of the same type of stone, so it’s always best to check with your supplier for specific instructions.

Sealing by Type of Natural Stone

  • Granite: Granite is durable and naturally resists water, but it is also porous. Sealing granite makes it easier to clean and protects against stains and spills. Impregnating sealers work best on granite.
  • Marble: Due to porosity and susceptibility to staining and etching, marble requires more attention than some other stones when it comes to maintenance. Like with granite, an impregnating sealer works best to protect many types of marble and will need to be reapplied as directed by the brand of sealer or your installer.
  • Quartzite: The hardness of quartzite helps it resist scratching and etching, but it is still susceptible to staining. Impregnating sealers can last longer than topical sealers, which can wear away quickly.
  • Schist: Schist has a lower abrasion rating than some of its harder counterparts, like granite. This makes it more susceptible to scratching, while certain substances can also stain schist. Schist countertops should be well sealed for protection.
  • Onyx: Onyx requires special care to protect and maintain, and sealing is paramount. Onyx surfaces are typically sealed upon installation and re-sealed at regular intervals. Consult a professional about sealing onyx and setting up a proper maintenance plan.
  • Soap Stone: Soap stone is non-porous and doesn’t require a sealer. Applying a thin layer of mineral oil regularly will help retain its shine and cover any scratches.

Types of Sealers

Now that you know which surfaces need to be sealed, it’s time to learn about different types of sealers. Sealers come in two varieties: topical/coatings, and impregnators.

Topical Sealers/Coatings

Topical sealers/coatings are designed to form a film on the surface of the stone. These sealers can be classified into two types: strippable and permanent. Strippable sealers can be stripped or removed from the stone, while permanent sealers are very difficult to remove and are typically not recommended for natural stone. Since topical sealers form a film on the surface that is less durable than the stone underneath, your maintenance approach might need to shift to caring for the sealant. As an example, you might have a stone surface which is resistant to scratching, but once a topical sealer is applied, you will need to be mindful of scratching the sealer itself. In this instance, applying a topical sealer can negate some of the benefits of your chosen stone surface – this all depends on your needs, of course.

The advantages of topical sealers/coatings:

    • The initial cost is relatively low
    • They are fairly easy to apply
    • It provides a protective layer to take on wear and tear
    • Topical sealers can add luster to your stone
    • Certain products provide slip resistance

The disadvantages of topical sealers/coatings:

    • They can alter the texture and finish of the stone
    • It creates a layer less durable than stone, which can scratch, scuff and show signs of wear and tear – frequent buffing, burnishing or reapplication can help with this issue
    • Some coatings need frequent stripping and reapplication. It’s important to note that some of the chemicals and abrasives used during this process can damage the stone underneath, or react with the polyester resin binders that agglomerate stones often contain
    • Coatings can build up over time, creating a wavy, plastic-like appearance
    • Lower quality coatings can turn yellow, especially if the surface is exposed to UV light
    • Some coatings can restrict the “breathing” capability of a stone, trapping moisture below the surface and causing spalling (flaking)
    • Some sealers can react with cleaning chemicals or components within the stone
    • You will need to ensure a topical sealer applied to a countertop is safe for food use
    • Topical sealers are generally not recommended for use on exterior stone, as they can trap moisture, which can be detrimental for the stone during freeze/thaw cycles

Impregnating Sealers

This type of sealant penetrates below the surface of the stone and acts as a repellent. Some impregnating sealers are hydrophobic, which means they repel water, water-based chemicals and water-based liquids like fruit juices, soda, coffee and so forth. Oleophobic impregnators repel BOTH water and oil-based liquids like grease, cooking oil and body oils. It’s important to note that some products are labeled “oil-resistant” rather than “oil-repellent” – there is a difference, as “oil-resistant” impregnators only slow the absorption of oil into the stone, while “oil-repellent” products prevent oils from entering the stone at all.

The advantages of impregnating sealers:

    • “Breathable,” which means they keep contaminants out while allowing for vapor transmission and for interior moisture to escape
    • Typically don’t change the appearance of the stone
    • Don’t usually require frequent reapplications
    • Typically hydrophobic, while some are oleophobic as well
    • Usually unaffected by UV light

The disadvantages of impregnating sealers:

    • Solvent-based impregnators produce potentially noxious and flammable vapors during application, and some varieties are harmful to the environment (for this reason, the use of these varieties is restricted in certain states). Some water-based impregnators can also contain harmful/toxic chemicals – it’s always important to research a product or contact the manufacturer before deciding to use it
    • Application is more difficult and often warrants professional consultation
    • The initial cost is higher than for topical sealers
    • Impregnators typically cannot be used below grade (below ground level), since pressure in these spaces can force water through the stone
    • In some cases, applying an impregnating sealer to a resined stone can lead to clouding, fading and discoloration

Consult a Professional

As you can see, sealing natural stone can be a complex topic. You’ll want to do thorough research or consult a professional before applying a sealer to your natural stone. Factors like chemical composition and brand can lead to unexpected reactions with your surface, so it’s always wise to read product labels and instructions carefully and consult manufacturers whenever possible. Your fabricator will make it easy to understand how to care for your specific surfaces.

Cosmos Surfaces offers a wide selection of natural stone surfaces, and our team is dedicated to serving your needs with knowledge, passion and respect. Contact us today to get started!

Color of the Month: Ultramarine Green

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-5338, Ultramarine Green! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Ultramarine Green, a deep cooling blue-green, exudes self-assurance and poise.”

Amazonite brings to mind splotches of sunlight filtering through thick leaves of a rainforest or the turquoise blue of the Atlantic Ocean. This Brazilian granite is great for bathrooms and sunrooms. It matches perfectly with both aquatic and botanic environments, and looks beautiful as a vanity, counter, top, or wall.

How to Clean Quartzite: Sealing, Stubborn Stains, and More

clean quartzite

Today, Cosmos Surfaces is here to share our guide on how to clean quartzite. This beautiful natural stone is easy to clean, but there are a few easy things to remember if you want to maintain it safely and properly.

First of All, What is Quartzite?

Quartzite (not to be confused with quartz – check out our article on quartz vs. quartzite), comes from the fusion of sandstone with quartz crystals at incredibly high levels of heat and pressure. The resulting stone has the durability and hardness of granite, combined with the exotic beauty of marble.

Quartzite is twice as hard as glass and harder than the blade of a knife – it’s just about indestructible! These properties make it an excellent choice for surfaces that are subject to everyday wear and tear, such as kitchen countertops. In fact, quartzite is so strong that you shouldn’t use it as a cutting board – not to protect the quartzite itself, but to protect your knives from dulling.

Before You Clean It…

Because quartzites are formed naturally, some are more porous than others (stay in the loop to learn more about quartzites and absorption). When it comes to maintaining natural stone surfaces, the porosity of a stone plays a significant part in its level of stain-resistance, as well as the amount of maintenance required to care for it. A porous stone is more prone to soaking up liquids and staining. The porosity of quartzite depends on the amount of metamorphosis the stone undergoes as it is formed. The higher the levels of heat, pressure and metamorphosis during formation, the less porous the resulting quartzite will be.

To solve the problem of porosity, natural stone surfaces are sealed, which makes cleaning them quite easy and straightforward.

Seal It!

Most fabricators will apply a sealant before installation and explain any additional sealing that needs to happen over the life of the quartzite. In general, depending on the sealer, quartzite needs to be sealed at least once every 10 years. A tell-tale sign that it’s time to seal or re-seal a quartzite countertop is when the surface gets darker around wet areas, like sinks. If you are uncertain, you can test its porosity yourself by leaving a small amount of hot water on the surface for roughly 20 minutes, then wiping it away. If a darkened spot remains, your surface is soaking up liquid and could likely benefit from a sealant. Sealing a quartzite surface is the key to easy maintenance and a simple cleaning approach. Be sure to follow the instructions for your specific sealer. In general:

  • Clean and thoroughly dry the surface
  • Ensure the area is well ventilated
  • Wait for the cure time before using the surface again

That’s it! Now you’re ready to keep your sealed quartzite clean.

How to Clean Quartzite

Once quartzite is properly sealed, there isn’t much else involved in cleaning it! You can use a cloth, microfiber cloth or the soft side of a sponge. Use clean water and a mild, neutral cleaner that is suited for stone surfaces. The following habits will go a long way in caring for quartzite:

  • Clean spills right away, especially acidic spills (lemon juice, vinegar, wine, etc.) and food coloring agents (turmeric, food dyes, etc.)
  • Use cutting boards, trivets and cooling racks
  • Keep the surface area dry (around sinks, under dishes, etc.)

Do NOT use heavy-duty scouring pads, abrasive cleaners, or bleach on quartzite or any other natural stone.

Stubborn Stain Pro-tip: Make a Poultice

Quartzite is stain-resistant if you wipe substances up promptly. However, all natural stones can stain if something is left to “soak in” for too long. If you’re struggling with a stain that just won’t come out, you can try making a poultice by combining baking soda and water to form a paste. Spread this paste over the stain and cover it with plastic wrap for up to two days, then wipe the area clean. Repeat the process if necessary!

A Note on True Quartzite

Due to similarities in appearance and some properties, it’s possible for stone to be mislabeled as quartzite, or “soft quartzite,” when it’s actually an intermediate quartzite, sandstone, marble, or dolomitic marble. True quartzite is incredibly strong, does not etch and cannot easily be scratched by a knife blade. It’s wise to double check with your supplier to ensure you are getting true quartzite.

Quartzite is a truly gorgeous surface material. While most quartzites are white or light in color due to their quartz mineral content, additional minerals in the stone can produce vividly colored varieties.

If you have questions about quartzite or if you are looking for quartzite suppliers, we’d love to hear from you! Cosmos Surfaces brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. As a 2nd generation family-owned business, we are passionate about sourcing high-quality surfaces for homes and businesses. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today – our team of experts is happy to help!

Color of the Month: Ultramarine Green

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-5338, Ultramarine Green! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Ultramarine Green, a deep cooling blue-green, exudes self-assurance and poise.”

Alexandrita Quartzite is a type of light green quartzite; a beautiful, tranquil stone that is perfect for countertops, floors, wall applications, backsplashes, and more. The soft hues of green, ivory, and peach create a calming effect, reminiscent of sand and sea foam. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched. Call your nearest location and see this beautiful green quartzite for yourself!

How Do You Maintain Granite Countertops? (Hint: Prevention is Key)

maintain granite countertops

Durable, beautiful, and easy to clean, granite is one of the most popular household surfaces out there. But how do you maintain granite countertops and keep them looking beautiful in the long term? This post from Cosmos Surfaces provides easy steps you can follow to keep your granite looking clean and new.

How Do You Maintain Granite Countertops?

All surface materials require some amount of regular maintenance. While granite is one of the easiest natural stone surfaces to care for, it can become dull or stained over time around sinks and high traffic work areas. Prevention is key! Making a habit out of the following measures will go a long way in protecting your granite countertops for many years to come:

  • Wipe counters daily with a neutral cleaner
  • Use cutting boards, cooling racks and trivets
  • Clean spills and moisture as soon as possible
  • Keep bottles of cleaning fluids like dish detergent off of countertops (on a dish, for example)
  • Use coasters for mugs and glasses
  • Dry underneath dishes regularly
  • Wipe water around faucets off daily to prevent it from calcifying and turning white (using a neutral cleaner once a week can clear away buildup)

Sealing Granite Surfaces

All granites will benefit from being sealed properly, which the installer/fabricator can take care of for you. All light colored granites must be sealed properly to prevent water and other liquids from being absorbed. With the right daily maintenance, a good sealer can last for up to ten years! Penetrating sealers form a chemical bond with the stone’s surface and provide additional protection against water, oil, grease, stains and the general wear and tear of daily use. Applying a sealer often entails simply spraying the product on and wiping off excess. It’s always wise to check manufacturer recommendations on how to properly apply a sealer. In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about sealing natural stone in more detail.

Oxidation from sunlight and air can break down sealers over time. However, an even bigger culprit is the use of improper cleaners, which brings us to…

A Note on Cleaning Products

It’s important to check cleaning labels to ensure a product is safe for use on stone before applying. A daily stone surface cleaner should not leave behind residue. As such, it is not advisable to use dish detergent on countertops, as they often contain fatty acids which can leave a greasy film and dull the surface or leave unsightly streaks.

If you’d like to know more about the science behind granite, check out this post on how granite is formed, or reach out to Cosmos with your questions! We offer a wide selection of natural stone surfaces and our team is dedicated to serving ALL of our customers with knowledge, passion and respect.

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-1345, Cinnamon Stick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Earthy and warm, Cinnamon Stick is sweet yet spicy.”

Named after two historic and high-class French cities, Monte Carlo Bordeaux is a sophisticated granite sourced from Brazil. Its regal white base is complemented by beige veins and dots of soft burgundy that lend a soothing appearance to the stone. For kitchen and bathroom projects alike, Monte Carlo Bordeaux is a lovely and long-lasting option that performs well on countertops, vanity tops and more.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Countertops

how to remove stains from quartz

Quartz is a very stain-resistant material, but it is not stain-proof. While daily maintenance is easy with warm water and mild soap, it’s important to know how to remove stains from quartz without damaging your countertops, backsplashes, and other surfaces. In today’s blog, Cosmos Surfaces takes a look at what substances can stain your quartz and how to safely remove them.

How to Remove Stains from Quartz Without Damaging It

Mild cleaners may be insufficient for some tenacious stains. Yet harsher cleaning agents, as well as sponges and scrubbing pads, have the potential to damage quartz surfaces. Manufactured quartz consists of quartz particles surrounded by polyester resin filler. While the quartz particles are hard and resistant to scrubbing action, the filler around it can be damaged more easily. Manufactured quartz will handle stains and cleaning attempts differently based on its color, finish, pattern and composition. Darker colors and busier patterns tend to make stains appear less visible. A honed quartz surface will also show stains more readily than a polished quartz surface. These are some things to consider when choosing quartz for kitchens and bathrooms.

What NOT to Use on Quartz:

  • Highly acidic or alkaline cleaners
  • Nail polish removers
  • Oven cleaning solutions
  • Turpentine
  • Drain cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Any product containing bleach, methylene chloride, or other harsh chemicals

Common Stain Offenders and How to Clean Them:

  • Hot sauce
  • Brightly colored spices like turmeric, curry powder and paprika
  • Permanent marker
  • Food coloring
  • Colored makeup

Permanent marker and food coloring can produce the most persistent stains on quartz. For removing permanent marker, Bar Keeper’s friend and a sponge work well to remove stains without damaging the finish. Food coloring stains can be tougher. Small amounts of Bar Keeper’s friend or rubbing alcohol and the scrubby side of a non-scratch kitchen sponge can lighten food dye stains.

Best Sponges and Cleaners

For other substances, like food stains, the most successful cleaning method is a non-scratch kitchen sponge along with a non-abrasive cleaner (like warm water and mild soap). You can also use a Magic Eraser (works well on honed surfaces) or surface cleaning wipes (with no bleach). Heavy-duty scouring pads and more abrasive cleaners can damage the resin filling, or scratch and haze the surface. Keep in mind that different brands and types of quartz surfaces will react differently to cleaning products and chemicals. It’s always a good idea to check with your manufacturer to see which method works best for your particular product.

If you have more questions about how to remove stains from quartz, or about our quartz products, please contact us today! Cosmos Surfaces brings years of industry experience to the table, and we are always happy to help.

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-1345, Cinnamon Stick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Earthy and warm, Cinnamon Stick is sweet yet spicy.”

Striking red and black, Cardinal Red brings to mind the feathered plumage of its namesake bird. In swirling waves of texture, this Brazilian quartzite has layers of crystalline white and gray, giving it a uniquely high degree of variance. The deep reds and blacks of Cardinal Red complement both black and silver and look wonderful in kitchens and as feature walls. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, while its beauty is unmatched.

How to Care for Marble

how to care for marble

Marble is durable and easy to clean if maintained regularly, but you’ll definitely want to know how to care for marble properly to keep it looking its best for a lifetime. Like any other surface, marble needs proper maintenance to prolong its beauty. In this post, Cosmos Surfaces will take a look at the best ways to keep your marble countertops, vanities, floors, and other surfaces clean on a daily basis, without damaging this luxurious material.

How to Care for Marble: Daily Cleaning

Marble is absorbent, so it can be vulnerable to spills and acidic substances if not sealed properly and regularly. When used outdoors, it can also be damaged by acid rain and pollutants. The best way to avoid damage is with some simple care techniques. Here are some easy steps you can take on a daily basis that will make it easy to keep your marble clean and safe in the long run:

  • Wipe up spills and dirt right away with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Do not use hot water to clean up milk and blood, as it can make the stain worse.
  • Avoid using chemical cleaners, acids like vinegar and lemon juice, grout cleaners, and tub or tile cleaners. They can etch and dull the stone.
  • Soapless, neutral cleaners specifically made for stone are ideal. You can also use mild, phosphate-free, eco-friendly dishwashing liquids or powders, neutral detergents, or vegetable oil based soaps. Make sure to rinse all cleaners off completely with fresh water.
  • For exterior steps and pathways, sweep and rinse marble often with water.
  • Use coasters and trivets when placing wet or hot items on marble or another countertop material.

Periodic Cleaning for Marble Floors

No need to wash your marble floors every day, as long as you keep on top of spills and dirt. Mopping and rinsing your floors about twice a month will keep them clean and prevent graying and weathering. Putting mats and rugs at entrances can help prevent damage and debris from shoes.

  • Use clean, soft mops and brooms on marble floors, and avoid using old vacuum cleaners (they may scratch your marble). Newer vacuum cleaners are safe to use.
  • Change mop water frequently, and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Remove excess water immediately (hard water can be damaging) and allow marble to dry before use.

Ask the Experts!

At Cosmos Surfaces, we’re passionate about the best ways to care for marble and other natural stone surfaces! If you have questions about our marble products and how to take care of them, please reach out to us today.

Color of the Month: Cinnamon Stick

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-1345, Cinnamon Stick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Earthy and warm, Cinnamon Stick is sweet yet spicy.”

Oxford Blue - Multi Quartzite 3

Oxford Blue is nature’s version of the amalgamation of the Northern Lights, your favorite pair of faded blue jeans and a sunset on the ocean. Layers of blue, white, green, orange, and pink meet in this Brazilian quartzite, creating an atmosphere of liveliness and nostalgia. Oxford Blue looks great in white or monotone kitchens, bathrooms, bars or aquatic environments, such as a poolside bar counters or a waterfall. The Oxford Blue Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, while its beauty remains unmatched.

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Sinks: A Comprehensive Guide

best way to clean stainless steel sink

Stainless steel has become one of the most popular materials for kitchen sinks, appliances and more! This is no wonder, considering stainless steel is built to withstand heavy use in a residential or commercial kitchen. Still, just like any type of sink, stainless steel requires some maintenance to preserve its pristine appearance. If you’re looking for the best way to clean stainless steel sinks, Cosmos Surfaces is here to provide a handy tutorial!

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Sink: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Everyday Cleaning – Cleaning your stainless steel sink often is the best way to keep it in superb condition. For routine cleaning, gently scrub your sink using a damp microfiber cloth or gentle sponge and a small amount of dish soap. Thoroughly rinse the sink with hot water, and wipe dry with a clean towel for a streak-free shine.
  • Grime & Stain Removal – Over time, grime and debris may build up on the sides and bottom of your stainless steel sink. With regular everyday cleaning, this shouldn’t be a problem very often. The best way to clean stainless steel sinks with stuck-on grime and stubborn stains? Create a gentle yet effective cleaning solution by sprinkling a bit of baking soda all over your damp sink. Then, scrub away using a damp sponge or cloth, focusing on any spots that are grimy or discolored. You may also want to add a few squeezes of lemon juice to get your sink extra fresh and shiny. Once again, be sure to rinse and dry completely to avoid water marks.
  • Scratch Buffing – Although stainless steel sinks are very resilient, scratches can happen. Luckily, it’s simple to buff them out using mineral oil. Add a few drops to a clean cloth and rub along the sink’s grain (the direction the lines are going). Once you’re satisfied with the appearance, wipe dry with a clean cloth to remove any excess oil and reveal a revitalized sink.

As you can see, it’s simple to care for a stainless steel sink using just a few basic household supplies.

Explore Stainless Steel Sinks for Your Project at Cosmos Surfaces

Now that you know the best way to clean stainless steel sinks, perhaps you’re thinking of replacing your current sink with one of these beautiful, highly durable sinks. The Deco model from Cosmos Surfaces is a stylish and heavy-duty option for modern kitchens.

Deco - Stainless Steel Sink

Cosmos Surfaces is proud to supply homeowners and industry professionals with several different types of stainless steel sinks, including zero- and small-radius sinks. If you are ready to find the ideal sink for your project, browse our inventory or reach out to us for expert assistance.

Color of the Month: Mosaic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 18-4528, Mosaic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “The teal Mosaic Blue displays an air of mystique, grace and depth of feeling.”

Audax is a type of schist that is dynamically layered and one-of-a-kind. The layers create fluid bands of brown, black, silver, and white that is stunningly complex and pleasing to the eye. A work of art, Audax looks beautiful in kitchens and bathrooms. The long bands of layers can be installed as floors and countertops.

How to Clean Porcelain Kitchen Sinks: Tips from the Experts at Cosmos

how to clean porcelain kitchen sink

When it comes to kitchen sinks and tiles, porcelain is one of the best options. It’s highly durable and resistant to scratching, chipping, heat, and water pressure. Cosmos Surfaces has recently launched a new large format porcelain tile collection – OPULITH. Creating your dream kitchen has never been so easy with so many beautiful porcelain options. Best of all, it’s very easy to clean! Here are some tips on how to clean porcelain kitchen sink and tile.

How to Clean Porcelain Kitchen Sink and Tile

Cleaning porcelain in your kitchen can be a bit different than cleaning porcelain in the rest of your home. Your kitchen is probably very high-traffic, and the materials that come into contact with your porcelain kitchen sink are different than in your bathroom. Here are some tips on how to clean porcelain kitchen sink and tile.

  • Wipe down messes immediately. Your kitchen likely experiences a lot of spills, crumbs, and liquid messes. Although porcelain is durable and stain-resistant, letting crumbs and liquid sit on your porcelain for too long can make it a little tougher to clean. Play it safe by always wiping up a mess as soon as it happens.
  • Don’t keep dishware in your sink for too long. Dishes and metal silverware can leave stains and residue, and this is true in any kind of kitchen sink. Keep your porcelain looking its finest by cleaning and putting your dishes back where they belong.
  • If you do accumulate orange rust stains, naval jelly is an effective product. Avoid mixing any acids and rinse quickly and thoroughly after use.
  • For everyday cleaning, use gentle dish soap and a soft towel or sponge. A magic eraser is a great tool, but any other non-abrasive sponge will work.
  • Bleach can work for tougher stains, but is safest on white porcelain. Make sure to rinse with plenty of water after using bleach. For a grey porcelain, like Ocean Grey, diluted white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will usually be sufficient. Remember to clean the surface thoroughly with water afterwards.

Tip: Using a grid in the sink helps avoid scratches from cutlery and dishes to a large extent.

Install Premium Porcelain in Your Kitchen Today

Due to its durability, high resistance to stains, and low-maintenance cleaning, Cosmos Surfaces recommends porcelain for kitchen sinks and tile. Our new porcelain collection from OPULITH offers diverse options that look fantastic in kitchens, like Apilar White. For more information on how to clean a porcelain kitchen sink and tile, contact our experts! Check out our blog for more great info and fill out our online form to speak with our team.

Color of the Month: Sunlight

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 13-0822, Sunlight! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Soft Sunlight invites happiness, pleasant cheer and a smiling presence.”

Bring a touch of warmth to any kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity top with Tornado Yellow. A flurry of mustards, chocolate browns and quartz white veins, this granite countertop is the perfect balance of cheer and chic.

How to Clean Porcelain Tile

how to clean porcelain tile

If you’re looking to redo your living room, bathroom or kitchen, you’ll need to consider what type of material to use for your countertop,  showers, and other surfaces. Porcelain tile is becoming increasingly popular as a high-quality material for showers and countertops, and for good reason. Here is a handy guide from Cosmos Surfaces on everything you need to know about porcelain tile, including what sets it apart from other materials, why it’s so low maintenance, and how to clean porcelain tile so that it stays beautiful throughout the years.

Advantages of Using Porcelain Tile in Bathrooms and Kitchens

You can’t go wrong with porcelain tile for floors, showers, countertops, and exterior surfaces. Here are a few reasons why porcelain tile steals the show:

  • Porcelain tile is a beautiful low-maintenance alternative to granite or marble. Advanced manufacturing technology allows for porcelain tile to mimic the appearance of natural marble, like our Sicily White porcelain. The color options for porcelain are growing all the time.

sicily white

  • Porcelain fits with a variety of aesthetics, from modern to classical to minimalistic.
  • Porcelain tile is heat, scratch, and chip-resistant.
  • The nonporous nature of porcelain means the material doesn’t require sealing, which can cut costs and makes it easy to care for over time.
  • Porcelain is highly resistant to wear and tear in the long term. That’s why it is great for bathrooms and kitchens, which are used often by every member of the family.
  • Porcelain tiles are also very dense, making them resistant to stains and a perfect material to withstand constant contact with water, food, beauty and makeup materials, toothpaste, heat, and more.
  • The large size of these porcelain slabs also reduces the number of grout lines we see, thus making the surface more aesthetically appealing.
  • Lastly, porcelain is extremely low maintenance and easy to clean. Porcelain tiles resist stains, keeping the daily upkeep to a minimum. It is highly durable and not easily damaged. It’s also easy to find resources for how to clean porcelain tile, including our step-by-step guide below and more tips in the FAQs and Resources Sections.

How to Clean Porcelain Tile Like the Pros

One of the greatest benefits of installing porcelain tile in a bathroom or kitchen is that it’s so easy to keep clean. The more often you clean it, the longer it will last and the nicer it will look. Only a couple of minutes per day are required to keep your porcelain shining. Here’s our guide for how to clean porcelain tile:

  • Daily Cleaning: Daily upkeep for porcelain isn’t complicated or time-consuming. To keep your porcelain in tip-top shape and make it easier when you deep clean it once in a while, simply rinse your porcelain off after using it or wipe it down with a gentle sponge. It’s best not to let soap residue, toothpaste, food spills, or anything else sit for too long.

Giving your sink a quick rinse after brushing your teeth or using a mild daily shower spray will eliminate frequent deep cleaning and keep your porcelain always looking its best. Avoid keeping items on porcelain that will rust or leave residue, like metal rings and jewelry.

  • Weekly Cleaning: Just once a week, wipe down your porcelain more thoroughly with a sponge or washcloth. Using a simple cleaning spray will sufficiently clean any bacteria, germs, and buildup that amassed over the course of a week. This will help maximize the beauty and life of your porcelain, especially if you skip daily upkeep sometimes.
  • Monthly Cleaning: Once a month or so, it’s best to do a more thorough deep clean. This is where you get into every nook and cranny. With regular upkeep, the deep clean should be very quick and easy. A magic eraser and diluted white vinegar are great tools to use when deep cleaning porcelain. If you do encounter a stain on white porcelain, you can use diluted bleach with CIF cream or Mr. Muscle. Just make sure you rinse your porcelain with lots of water afterwards.

Install Beautiful Porcelain Tile Today

Cosmos Surfaces highly recommends porcelain tile in bathrooms and kitchens. That’s why we launched our new large format porcelain collection, OPULITH. Including styles that are great for countertops and bathroom walls, such as the striking Roman Grey, OPULITH from Cosmos Surfaces gives you plenty of options when it comes to designing your dream space.

roman grey

At Cosmos, our goal is to provide our customers with superior quality products at competitive prices and unparalleled service. Quality and Service are given the highest regard in every decision we make. Our founding principles combined with our highly trained and capable team members have helped us become one of the leading distributors in the industry. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.

Color of the Month: Sunlight

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 13-0822, Sunlight! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Soft Sunlight invites happiness, pleasant cheer and a smiling presence.”

ora caravelas

Ora Caravelas is a complex yellow and blue granite with a stunningly textured pattern. This exotic Brazilian granite is polished to a high shine and makes an eye-catching choice for any indoor or outdoor application.

How to Clean a Composite Sink: Tips from Cosmos Surfaces

Made from granite stone dust mixed with acrylic resins, granite composite sinks are highly durable, stylish and affordable. But just like any type of sink, composite granite requires regular TLC to keep it clean and gorgeous. In this week’s blog, Cosmos Surfaces offers a few helpful pointers for how to clean a composite sink.

How to Clean a Composite Sink Like a Pro

  • Everyday Cleaning – To sanitize and prevent stains, we recommend gently scrubbing your composite sink with a soft nylon brush and soapy water on a daily basis. Once you’ve done so, be sure to rinse the sink thoroughly with regular water and then towel dry to avoid spots on the finish.
  • Deep Cleaning If you start to notice stains or a cloudy finish, it’s time to mix up a gentle solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, or create a paste using baking soda and a few drops of water. Apply the homemade cleaning agent of your choice to your composite sink, focusing on any areas that are stained or dull looking. Then, simply rinse and wipe dry for a revitalized sink!
  • Lifting Stubborn Stains If stains linger after using the above method, try using a stronger solution of equal parts bleach and water. Once again, rinse and dry the sink thoroughly after cleaning. This should take care of even the toughest stains.

While composite sinks are quite resistant to stains and scratches, it’s important to note that they can be damaged by harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbing devices. Stick to these guidelines for how to clean a composite sink, and you will easily preserve the beauty of your sink while extending its lifespan.

Find the Sink of Your Dreams at Cosmos Surfaces

Composite sinks are an attractive and easy-to-maintain option for any kitchen or bathroom. The Vortex 50/50 Double Bowl Composite Sink might be the one for you if you’re a fan of spacious, stain-resistant sinks with a sleek black finish. Vortex sinks are quite possibly the toughest sinks on the market, with 3/8th” thick walls and increased center support.

Vortex 50:50 Double Bowl Sink - Composite Sink

Or, you might prefer one of the several types of stainless steel sinks we offer. For example, the stunning Windsor L is a classic,  brushed stainless steel sink that will work in any style of kitchen.

Windsor L Sink - Stainless Steel Sink

No matter what type of sink you’re shopping for, you can find a wide variety of high-quality, beautiful products at Cosmos Surfaces.

To browse our full selection of sinks and locate the ideal product for your project, click over to the product section of our website. We are committed to delivering the very best customer service and expert advice, whether you’re buying for a residential or commercial project. Please feel free to reach out to us if you’d like personalized assistance from a member of our team!

Color of the Month: Sunlight

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 13-0822, Sunlight! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Soft Sunlight invites happiness, pleasant cheer and a smiling presence.”

With a trademark pattern reminiscent of a jaguar’s magnificent spotted coat, Jaguar is a fierce granite from Brazil. Moderately varied, its coloring darts from copper to beige to brown, with black dots in between. Sleek and mesmerizing as the big cat after which it is named, Jaguar is an enthralling choice for countertops, vanity tops, table tops, bar tops and more.

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