Sealing IceStone Countertops
(San Diego, CA)
We are considering putting IceStone, the recycled glass/concrete countertop product in our new kitchen.
Can you compare the porosity and stain resistance of IceStone with a granite countertop?
Does the concrete made of glass and cement contain calcite?
Any other care/maintenance differences between the two countertop materials for a kitchen that we should know about? Thanks.
ANSWER: IceStone will require
a bit more maintenance and care than granite 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
Many types of granite counter top slabs will need sealing, though generally not as often as commonly recommended.
Granite will not etch with acids, can take high heat, will not scratch or dent. IceStone
is made with concrete and therefore must be maintained like a concrete surface, which is more maintenance intensive than granite.
It requires sealing (once a year is recommended by the manufacturer). Concrete countertops are also often waxed 2-3 times per year. 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) 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.
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.