Sandstone Countertops

by Matt Goering

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Sandstone countertops are some of the most beautiful countertops available to homeowners. They are a stunning addition to any kitchen or bathroom because of their rich texture, grain and colors. And while they do require a little more maintenance and diligence than other stone countertops, their aesthetic value is tough to beat.

Rock of Ages
The main reason these countertops are so popular is their looks. Because sandstone is the product of sand and sediment pressed together over the course of millions of years, their natural beauty is unrivaled. Think of the rich colors and textures of the canyons and plateaus of the American Southwest and you've got a good idea of why sandstone counters stand above on looks alone. Add to that the fact that they come in a variety of shades of colors, even in slabs with fossils embedded in the surface, and its easy to understand why many homeowners choose sandstone countertops over more common choices like granite and marble.

Sandstone Maintenance
While the nature of their creation is their main selling point, it's also their main drawback. Sandstone is more porous than other stone and as a result is much more susceptible to staining and other damage. There are ways to combat this, however. The first, and easiest, answer to this problem is to be diligent about wiping up spills. Stains take time to set in, so the quicker you clean up, the less chance they have of making their mark. Also, be careful about which cleaning products you use on your counters. Ask your installer for an extra piece of your sandstone to keep in the garage as a test sample. Try out cleaners on your sample before using them on your countertops to be sure they won't cause irreparable damage.

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Sandstone Counters

Sealing Your Countertops
The only failsafe way to protect your sandstone is to apply a sealant to them upon installation. Once sealed, you can use and clean your new countertops just as you would any other material. It costs a little more up front, but it's well worth the extra money in order to ensure you'll enjoy the good looks of your sandstone counters for years to come.

Talk to an Expert
As with any stone countertop, sandstone is heavy and cumbersome to install and can only be cut to fit your kitchen or bathroom properly by experienced stone masons or stone companies. That being the case, it's best to talk to the experts about choosing and installing the perfect sandstone countertop for you. If you're looking for a unique and stunning countertop for your kitchen or bath, you can't go wrong with the unrivaled beauty of sandstone.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.