The very fact that some kitchen benchtops are made of stone or granite suggests strength and durability. And this is true⸺these types of benchtops can be incredibly strong, but this doesn't mean that they're immune to being damaged. It's almost as though their weaknesses are selective, and there are a couple of primary ways that you could damage a stone or granite kitchen benchtop. So what do you need to look out for? And what can you do if your stone benchtop was to become damaged?
When the bench was installed, chances are that you were given a specific list of products that should not be used to clean it under any circumstances. It might have been a lapse in memory, or perhaps someone who was unaware of the restrictions was trying to clean the bench. Many types of cleaning products can discolour a stone kitchen benchtop, either through bleaching it or the caustic/alkaline properties of the cleaner making its way into the porous surface of the benchtop, causing what is essentially a chemical burn.
Extreme heat can also cause discolouration on the surface of your stone benchtop, and this is due to a process known as thermal shock. The immediate introduction of an item of a sufficiently high temperature (such as placing a hot saucepan directly onto the stone benchtop) can cause expansion in the stone. This can destabilise the stone, resulting in a discoloured patch.
In a best case scenario, whether the damage has been inflicted by chemicals or heat, it will only be the surface sealant that would have been affected. You won't know until the benchtop has been professionally inspected, but it might be possible to remove the damaged sealant before reapplying a new coat. It's more problematic when the actual stone has been affected. The sealant would need to be removed, before the entirety of the benchtop is buffed to ensure that it remains at the same level across its surface while the discoloration is also buffed away. A new sealant would then be applied.
Certainly the best way to prevent heat or chemical damage to your stone or granite kitchen benchtop is to take the necessary precautions by not allowing the offending types of cleaning products or hot materials to come into direct contact with the bench. And while repair can be an annoyance, a discolouration in your stone benchtop isn't necessarily going to be permanent. Reach out to a place that offers kitchen benchtops for more information and direction.