Installing a sink or repainting your cabinets, lustrous natural stone looks amazing with many different designs. When remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, your countertops often remain unchanged, which means keeping it safe during each stage of your projects.
Granite, marble, and other stone countertops are highly durable but should still be treated with care.
Even granite countertops can be damaged during a renovation. Your countertops can be scratched, stained, painted, cracked, or even acid-etched. Kitchen renovations can get pretty involved, so if you're worried about how to protect your beautiful countertops during a kitchen or bath remodel, here are some of our best tips.
Use Towels and Pads Over the Surface
One of the first things you can do to protect your countertops is to lay pads over the top. You should be able to use your countertops as handy kitchen surfaces. But you don't want to lay down metal tools and paint cans directly on natural stone benchtops. Metal tools can scratch either your sealant or the stone itself if the countertop isn't sealed. Pots of paint are both heavy metal and full of staining and highly chemical pigment.
Fortunately, the solution is easy. Lay towels over your countertop before you start setting down tools. By protecting the top of the counters, you can enjoy them as convenient nearby surfaces without putting your gleaming stone finish at risk.
Climbing Can Crack the Countertops
When working on upper areas of the kitchen, it can be very tempting to climb on the countertops. With solid-backed support, you could step on your stone slab all day. However, the cabinetry underneath countertops is typically hollow, meaning that the slab has limited support from below. This makes even counter-thickness granite slabs possible of cracking under the weight of a climber.
The worst places to set your weight are in the center of a slab, over an open space in the cabinets. If you do need to support yourself with a foot or knee while working up-high on a ladder, trust places with vertical cabinet support the most. We advise you keep a ladder or tall step-stool to help avoid countertop climbing during your DIY kitchen renovation.
Protect Your Sink and Fixtures
If you have just installed a new sink or are protecting your existing fixtures, don't forget to cover your valuable metalwork as well. The stone slab is elegant, but you also don't want to accidentally scratch, etch, or drip paint onto your lovely features. If you improved the countertop design with a recent sink installation, this is twice the reason to protect the entire area while you finish your kitchen or bath renovations.
You can wrap your faucet and handles in bubble or foam wrap to protect them if you are renovating near the sink, and in many projects, you can simply tape a piece of cardboard over the top to protect the metal finish from any scuffs or paint drips that might occur during your renovation project.
Avoid Acids and Solvents on the Counter
Renovations often involve a lot of interesting chemicals, from cleaners to paint mixtures. Be careful around your countertop. If your stone countertop is sealed (it should be), then avoid acids which can act as a solvent. This includes mild acids like lemon juice and vinegar as well as stronger acids you may use in your renovation.
Strong bases like ammonia and cleaning solvents like alcohol or acetone can also damage your countertop seal. If the stone is not sealed, be much more careful. Acids and bases can cause etching and many items can stain unsealed, porous stone like granite or soapstone counters. That said, if you are DIY renovating your kitchen and have an unsealed stone countertop, sealing (or resealing) your stone should be early on your list of things to do.