Sealing IceStone Countertops

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Recycled Glass Countertop Surface


We are considering putting IceStone, the recycled glass/concrete countertop product in our new kitchen but aren't sure about sealing or how durable it is.

Can you review the porosity and stain resistance of IceStone vs. quartz or a granite countertop?

Does the concrete made of glass and cement contain calcite?

Any other care/maintenance differences between these countertop materials for a kitchen that we should know about? Thanks.


IceStone recycled glass countertops will require sealing and a bit more maintenance and care than granite, quartz countertops, and even marble.

Many granites need sealing, but some do not. Those varieties that don't need sealing are so dense, they are practically stain-proof.

You can choose one of these excellent granite surfaces simply by water testing samples.

Many types of granite counter top slabs will need sealing, though generally not as often as commonly recommended.

Granite will not etch with acids, and can take high heat, will not scratch or dent.

Quartz is almost as durable as granite. It is stain-, acid-, and scratch-resistant. It is also heat-resistant up to a point but not at the same level as granite. And quartz resins are sometimes dulled by abrasives or discolored by chemicals.

But still, both quartz and granite are more durable than IceStone.

How is IceStone made?

IceStone is made by mixing recycled or crushed glass into a cement-based binder and formed into countertop slabs.

It is similar to
Vetrazzo and other brands of man-made crushed or recycled glass countertops.

Since IceStone is cement-based recycled glass countertop it must be maintained like a concrete surface, which is more maintenance-intensive than granite or quartz.

For instance, concrete counters require sealing (once a year is recommended by the manufacturer).

It's also recommended to wax concrete countertops every 1-3 months.

Treating IceStone similarly can help reduce stains and etching.

IceStone will etch upon contact with acids and strong alkaline cleaning products.

It can also stain, but like marble or granite, you can most often remove the stain.

I can appreciate you wanting to go green, but personally, I would not recommend IceStone for the kitchen mainly because of the etching issue.

This is the same reason I don't recommend marble in the kitchen.

The best, most durable and easiest surface to maintain is a granite countertop (that assumes you install a good granite -- some are so porous they shouldn't be used).

Quartz countertops (Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone) are a close second, but they have potential problems not found with granite.

Engineered quartz surfaces can be permanently damaged, stained, or discolored by certain cleaners and chemicals whereas granite can always be repaired.

Granite is not "green" of course, but it is a better surface all-around than IceStone.

Again, some granites will be more porous than IceStone, but you can easily find several granite countertop varieties that are far more stain-resistant than IceStone.

Have fun with your project.

Comments for Sealing IceStone Countertops

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Never Icestone Countertop
by: Anonymous

Our IceStone countertop was installed in a model home that was seldom used.

It stained and "etched". Etched means the surface becomes rough.

We bought the model house after it existed for five years and we were the first people to live in the house.

We sealed the surface twice as recommended but it did not solve the problem.

We waxed the surface with no improvement.

The company could not locate anyone who would try to sand or resurface the countertop.

The surface continued to have more rough (etched) spots and stains.

The company agreed that the product had these problems. They said they had changed the product to avoid the problems.

They refused to replace the countertops.

Personally, I do not believe them about fixing the problem.

My advice is to avoid this company even if using recycled glass seems appealing from an environmental point of view.

We ended up paying a lot of money to replace all the kitchen countertops.

Never IceStone !!

Icestone is great if you maintain it properly
by: Anonymous

I have over 100 sq.ft. of Icestone in my kitchen. My spouse and I both cook a lot, and neither of us is tidy.

Our icestone has exactly one stain, where a lemon hid and rotted until it was dry (a pretty extreme case of negligence on my part).

Everything else has wiped off very easily.

If the surface is properly sealed and waxed, a puddle left on the surface will actually discolor the wax, not the countertop (and it will dry and fade with a little time, which is fast in the dry climate we live in).

They are otherwise fantastic and beautiful (we got colors that can not be done on any other surface), but you have to seal and wax them annually (or slightly less).

Bad Decision for the Earth
by: Anonymous

I too wanted to be "green" and chose Icestone because everyone was touting it at the time. It was even installed in the Brooklyn Green Sample House. Well, what a huge mistake. I only used this family summer home occasionally. I can't imagine if I used it all the time. Immediately I found that even water left on the Icestone overnight would stain. It etches almost instantly. And it is not cheap. This product is a great idea but the surface does not work where any moisture will be on it of any kind.
Going green with Icestone ends up being the worst decision for the planet.

Poor product with poor customer service
by: Anonymous

Stained immediately after installation-can't use it for what you should be able to do in a kitchen. Olive brine, coffee, wine-it all stains and within minutes. Won't come out either.
No help from Icestone despite a promise. Took no responsibility for their product which I finally ripped out of my kitchen so how green can it be when you need to rip it out and dispose of it? Piece of junk with extremely unhelpful customer service.

Environmental impact granite vs quartz vs icestone
by: Ryan

While no one will argue that a granite countertop is at all green (mining and quarries have a direct and negative environmental impact), neither are quartz or Icestone.

If you didn't know, "quartz" which comprises 93% of all quartz countertops is a natural mineral resource that must be mined, transported and processed to get and use. So, just as bad for the environment and certainly not renewable or at all "eco-friendly".

Now Icestone is made with "100% recycled glass". That only means that the glass used is 100% recycled and not that 100% of the countertop is recycled glass, which is not true.

In fact, Icestone is recycled glass mixed in with cement.

And the production of cement (if you didn't know) requires an enormous consumption of energy, relies heavily on the use of coal, along with emission of very toxic pollutants that are not only damaging to the environment but are a direct threat to human health.

Which is why cement is considered one of the worst polluting products in the world.

So, the net effect of Icestone may be better than granite, but it may not when all factors are considered.

I'm not suggesting it is or isn't and I'm not trying to defend granite in any way on this issue. Of course, there's no study that I'm aware of comparing the environmental impact of these products, so no one can make a truthful argument for one or the other.

I do commend companies like Icestone for looking for ways to use recycled products and reduce their environmental impact, but if you want to argue this point you need to examine all the facts as they exist in reality and not just the marketing message.

Rethink Granite
by: Anonymous

QUARTZ IS MORE ENVIRONMENTAL/SUSTAINABLE THAN GRANITE..Huge impact in the earth w/EVERYONE removing granite from our is NOT a renewable resource..So, if I HAVE to select between the two, I PICK friendly Cambria quarts or Ice Stone..if my budget will allow..I feel we need to get off the granite movement!

Marblestone stain
by: Ryan

I'm not sure I completely understand your question.

Marblestone is a brand name man-made product. Made with stone and may react to certain chemicals like stone.

I don't know if etching or chemical stains can be removed.

You may try SCP: Marble Polishing Paste which is made to remove etching from marble.

Quartz stains like water stains on wood from some bathroom products.
by: JPK

the new marblestone in the master bath has like water stains and does not come out and the manufacture's rep is in denile

Proper Sealing and Maintanence
by: Joe The Fabricator

Manufactured in Brooklyn, NY IceStone slabs are comprised of 100% recycled glass and concrete and has has a compressive strength of 13,000psi.

It is important to understand that IceStone is NOT an engineered stone/quartz product nor is it a quarried stone, it is concrete and glass.

IceStone requires 3 applications of a penetrating sealer and a topical wax application to achieve maximum protection.

Appreciate Your Opinion: Granite vs. Quartz
by: Ryan


Thanks for commenting...respect your opinion, however I am not "way off base."

Quartz CAN stain and unless you know a secret and engineers at Silestone are wrong... once stained, quartz cannot be repaired unlike granite.

Honestly, if you know what must be done to repair stained or otherwise damaged quartz (I've never had the opportunity to try), please let me and all other visitors know because there are some seriously bummed quartz owners out there.

Chances are small, but it can happen and I think this gets lost in the marketing message that its "not porous and therefore stain-proof."

And "any granite can be easily stained".... simply wrong.

True, some granites are a sponge, others you'd have to try hard to stain. It's not a matter of darker granites "hide" stains. For all practical purposes they do not stain and don't need sealing. Many other granites once sealed are nearly stain-proof.

To me the whole staining issue is WAY over-blown by the quartz industry. It's marketing.

Also, quartz cannot be used outdoors or even indoors if exposed to heavy sunlight-- the resin will turn yellow.

Granite is hard enough that you are never going to scratch it and if quartz is harder, it simply doesn't make any practical difference.

Same with bacteria. Both granite and quartz surfaces score very well (nearly identical) as one of the cleanest surfaces you can buy. Mute point.

Microban makes a nice selling feature, but it does not make a practical difference.

The extra flexibility of quartz is an advantage in a house with foundation movement (and I've recommended this) but you shouldn't stand or place excessive weight on any countertop, so again this is a minor advantage.

Now cracking a unique granite slab during install is more of a risk.

True, quartz comes in colors not found in granite. But for choices, granite has thousands of colors, where all the colors of all quartz companies combined probably doesn't exceed 300 colors... and they are all static patterns.

It's a matter of preference. Many people like the consistent patterns of quartz. Others want the absolute uniqueness and movement of granite.

And consumer reports has never impressed me with their knowledge of stone, so I certainly don't bow to their opinion. The most current one shows granite and quartz rated almost exactly the same. Quartz wins by one point.

This issue always kicks up dust. Mostly from people who sell quartz. If ever I seem to point out a flaw in their product, they are very quick to try and slam granite. The benchmark is granite.

I install and happily recommend both.

Both surfaces are similar in performance. Each with pros and cons, but no major differences.

I generally tell people to find the color they like best quartz or granite and go with it because there really isn't a noticeable difference in performance 99% of the time.

Quartz and Granite Facts
by: Tomco

I have been involved in the kitchen and bath industry for 30 years, have sold all countetop materials and for the last 10 years have represented on a national and international basis 2 different Quartz brands.

Your comment that "Quartz countertops are a close second, but they have potential problems not found with granite and can be permanently damaged/stained where granite can always be repaired". Is way off base.

On the contrary consumer reports has ran countertop comparison test for the last 6 years. Quartz counters have been rated #1 every time, Granite comes in a close 2nd. It is almost impossible to stain 99.9% solid quartz and very easy to stain "ANY" granite. That said most dark granites don't show stains and pretty much all granites can have the stains removed.

In regards to repair, anything you can do with granite you can do with Quartz and then some. Both are repairable but it is not an inexpensive venture.

Quartz is harder
Quartz is denser
Quartz comes in colors not made in Nature
Quartz is 4 to 8 times the flexural strength of natural stone

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