Please contact Gary Meidlinger @ 507-357-4800 ext. 6 for more information and pricing
for cultured marble countertops
Cultured marble resembles marble but is not actually marble. It is a manufactured item
resembling marble. It is a molded composite made from stone dust and a binding polymer.
The surface of the molded piece is given a very smooth finish by sanding and then
coating with a gel coat which makes the surface waterproof and durable. The advantage
of cultured marble over real marble and stone is that it can be molded into any shape.
It is used for various types of countertops, and bathroom vanity tops with the bowl
integrated into it, which gives it a very sophisticated look. Usually it is less
expensive but it can have more tensile strength than natural marble.
Being manufactured by the molding process, cultured marble offers more design
possibilities than the natural ones. Another advantage is that when it is integrated
with other items there are no ugly grout lines around those items and this gives
item made from cultured marble a more sophisticated look. Although the surface
is quite durable it can be scratched by abrasive materials and some chemicals. Thus care
is needed while using it. Here are some care and cleaning tips which will ensure that
the cultured marble products used in your home retain their beauty and surface finish
for a very long time.
The gel coat on the cultured marble items not only adds beauty and authenticity to
the surface it also seals the surface making it waterproof. It prevents staining as
well as growth of bacteria and mold. However this gel coat can get damaged by
deep scratches, excessive scouring and cleaning with abrasive products, as the surface
is only a superficial coating and does not go deep into the material. Damage and
discoloration can also be caused by harsh chemicals, sprays and medicines used in
the bathroom,. In many cases it even gets cigarette burn marks caused by careless
smokers. Nail polish remover (acetone) is one of the most notorious products that can
cause harm to the surface. Thus care must be taken not to expose them to harsh
chemicals and burning cigarettes that can harm the polyester resin used in the marble.
For better protection, before you start using it, on the marble, surface apply a coat
or two of a product, available in hardware stores, called Gel-Gloss. You can also
apply paste automotive polish or wax applied with a clean buffing cloth. When it loses
its luster, the surface can be rewaxed or polished to restore it. The gel coat can get
discolored or stained by soap dispensers, decorative objects, cups, etc., kept in one
place for long, so they must be moved around. The surface should not be exposed to
strong chemicals such as acids, oven cleaners, acetone based nail polish removers,
paint thinners, chlorine bleach, hair color, etc, but if they are spilled on the surface
accidentally it should be flushed immediately with clean water. Do not use the surface
to cut anything, as the cutting tool might cause deep scratches. Also don't place hot
irons, cigarettes, curling irons and other hot items on the surface.
Cultured marble should be cleaned regularly with a nonabrasive household cleaner like a
mild detergent solution or window cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and scouring
powders. For removing stubborn stains you can use a nylon scrubber but a metal scrubber
should never be used as it will scratch the surface. Ammonia based cleaners should
also be avoided. Deep scratches need professional handling but light scratches can be
removed by using a 600 grit sandpaper or hand buffing with a polishing compound. A
final coat of Gel-Gloss or automotive polish will get it sparkling again. For very
light scratches only a Gel-Gloss will be enough.
Mineral and hard water deposits can be cleaned by using cleaners meant for removing
calcium, iron and other mineral deposits but they should not be left in contact with
the surface for long. Be sure to read the instructions on the label. Due to extremes
of temperature caused by filling with hot and cold water crazing and cracking around
the drain of the vanity top. These start as small hairline cracks which grow larger over
the years. This happens as the gel coat gets removed by exposure to extreme
temperatures and use of abrasive cleaners. However this phenomenon appears after long
years of use in newer basins. It can be avoided altogether by mixing both the hot and
cold water by turning them on at the same time. Also avoid tapping the bottom of
the basin with a razor or other object to prevent crazing. With these care and
cleaning tips your cultured marble products will remain attractive and give you
many years of problem free service.