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Maintenance is probably the biggest fear people have of natural stones. However, natural stone requires about the same level of care and maintenance as any countertop or floor.
How can I protect my granite countertops? This is a common question for homeowners that plunk down thousands of dollars for expensive marble and granite. The first step is to apply a stone sealant - many times this is done initially when the counter is installed by the stone professional. Unsealed granite is semi-porous, and wine, grease, water and other liquids can be absorbed causing stains, especially on lighter colored stones. However, even the polished finish of black granite can show the marks of liquid absorption stains. Most professionals recommend sealing your granite and marble every year.
The best care you can give your natural stone is preventative care. Preventing stains or scratching before they happen is far easier than getting rid of them after the fact.
And above all, don't let the fear of maintenance of natural stone scare you into avoiding it. There is no substitute for natural stone when it comes to beauty, practicality, and value. Keeping your natural stone beautiful is something you will enjoy, and no one ever regretted having chosen natural stone over its alternatives.