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My wife and I move into our very first home together and have been struggling to figure out what type of material our kitchen countertops are made of. We'd like to know

for a few reasons:

• There are some old stains on them that we want to try and remove but don't want to use the wrong type of cleaning method/solution.

• So we know if it's heat resistant or not

• So we know if we need to do any kind of maintenance on it like sealing it, etc...

Additional info: Like I mentioned above, it does have some stains on it along with a few small chips off the edges. It also has a somewhat shiny/glossy finish to it.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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  • 1
    It almost looks like cultured stone because of the mold marks but I really can not tell from the pictures on my phone. Any more info on the density? – Ed Beal Nov 30 '17 at 22:48
  • It looks and feels pretty dense. It also seems like it took quite a hit for those edges to chip off. – neviln Nov 30 '17 at 23:23
  • Neviln, could you get a close up of the edge I just looked on my computer and when I blow up the photo I loose two much resolution. – Ed Beal Nov 30 '17 at 23:42
  • I just added 7 close-up images of the edge to the same Imgur album. If the album won't let you zoom to see the full resolution, just right-click the image and click "open image in new tab" or "open link in new tab". Thank you for trying to help with this – neviln Dec 1 '17 at 0:05
  • That might be a concrete countertop. They're cast using a special concrete with colorant and look like that when polished. – fixer1234 Dec 1 '17 at 3:21
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I could be wrong, but from the photos, you seem to have a quartz countertop.

Some brand names of quarts countertops are Silestone, or Caesarstone.

As good as your photos are, you may wish to compare visually with a countertop distributor to see if you agree with the guess.

---- now that people tend to think it is quartz ----

Quartz is strong (about as strong as granite) but that also makes it brittle. The problem with brittle counter tops is they chip with a hard enough impact.

There are products to clean and fill the chip. A quartz counter top installer probably has access to them, and will hopefully have enough experience with them to match color and embedments close enough to not notice. Another option is to have the edge ground down with a bullnose.

There is no special cleaning for quartz, other than the standard "don't use highly abrasive materials" which will scratch off the polish layer. Your ring looks like a rust ring, and it may have embedded into the resin binding. If you call a pro out to fix the edge, you can might ask them if they can buff the surface and re-polish to match.

I would still use trivets and hot pads for hot items. Sure the counter can take the heat without them, but you want to minimize (like granite) the possibility of thermal expansion of the counter top. They also provide a padding for setting things down (which can minimize chipping if you slightly drop things on the counter) While heat expansion won't be very much, the hardness of the material will be such that small amounts of heat expansion could promote cracking.

  • agreed, clearly some engineered material. Natural stone would not chip in that manner. I bet every distributor you show that to will deny their material will ever chip like that too... – agentp Dec 1 '17 at 1:21
  • It is quartz, it can be cleaned up by using the same machining that made the shape of the top, but done with hand tools. – Jack Dec 1 '17 at 1:32
  • I'd try a granite cleaner that doesn't indicate it is not to be used with quartz, or a quartz specific cleaner. Perhaps a bit of elbow grease can do the job on the stain, but I'd pay close attention if it looked like I was ruining a finish. (Moved the previous comments into the question for clarity). As always, with a new product, try it out in a non-visible or non-obvious area before using it in visible areas. – Edwin Buck Dec 1 '17 at 3:31
  • Thank you guys very much! After you guys suggested that it might be Quartz, I did some reading up on it along with watching some youtube videos showing different samples of Quartz and I believe you guys are correct. In case anyone was wondering about the stain, I ended up removing it by putting a thick paste of baking soda and water on top of the stain for about 45 minutes and then used a toothbrush to gently scrub it away. Not only was everyone so helpful, but I can't believe I got all these replies in only a few hours. Thanks again for everyone's input/help :) – neviln Dec 1 '17 at 4:26
  • @neviln Awesome. I'm glad to hear the stain was just on top of the quartz. Most are, and I was concerned that somehow the stain had penetrated the counter top. Glad to hear it worked out so well for you. – Edwin Buck Dec 1 '17 at 13:21

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