The effect of soft water on natural stone

When we think about water causing possible damage to our worktops, we usually think of hard water and hard water spots. However, soft water can also damage some types of stone and, if you want to keep those worktops looking great, it’s important to understand their vulnerabilities.

About water damage

Hard water can cause a build up on the surface of the stone. These are mineral deposits in the water that, once the surface dries, they are left behind and harden on the stone worktop. If you have soft water, it can have the opposite effect. In other words, soft water can actually pull the minerals from the stone and it can cause the stone to slowly and steadily degrade over time.

What types of stone are affected?

Different stone surfaces have different strengths and weaknesses. This is why it’s so important to make an informed decision. The most vulnerable stone when it comes to soft water damage is a calcium-based stone or softer stone like marble.

Where the stone is installed

The location where your stone is installed will make a massive difference when it comes to care and maintenance. For example, if you have a stone mantel over your fireplace, it will not come into contact with water as much as your bathroom and kitchen worktops. So, where water is a major factor, these are the surfaces that will require your attention.

Solving the problem

To solve the problem, you have a few options. One is to use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride to soften your water. If you have not yet installed new worktops, you might even want to consider a tougher stone like silicate-based stones. Examples include slate, quartz and granite. Another option is to install a reverse osmosis water filter system for your drinking water so that any damaging properties from your water softener will be eliminated.

Now that you have all the details you need regarding the effects of soft water on natural stone, you can take the necessary measures to protect your investment.


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