What Is the Best Countertop MaterialDecember 2, 2021
How to Seal GraniteFebruary 15, 2022
Granite has been a popular material for countertops and bathrooms for many decades and remains one of the best-chosen materials for many reasons. If you are one of the intelligent homeowners, you might probably consider taking your kitchen to the next level by covering your countertops with granite.
It is not a surprise that granite is expensive for kitchen countertops, but experts will often say it is a long-term investment. Well, that is entirely justified because of the advantages of installing granite on your kitchen countertops. And because you sacrificed a fancy dinner for it, there is no wonder why you should care for granite countertops properly.
So, if you are worrying because you don’t know how to take care of granite countertops, you’re on the right page! Here we will list down the best ways to take care of granite countertops. Also, the best products you can use in maintaining them; hang on there because knowledge is the key.
Choosing Granite for Your Countertops
The journey to successful care for granite countertops knows basic information about the material itself. By keeping yourself well informed, there will be no way around flipping the table when you know precisely the things that may potentially harm your precious countertops.
Let us start by knowing what granite is. Granite results from the cooling of lava composed of minerals formed in the Earth’s crust. That’s why people call it a natural stone and not artificial.
These interlocking mineral crystals can be feldspar (a group of naturally occurring aluminosilicate minerals containing varying amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, and lithium) and quartz (a crystalline mineral composed of silica). Due to this stone composition, no two granite has precisely the same pattern or design. The colors and patterns you see on this stone vary depending on the mixture of the minerals, which adds uniqueness to your Granite countertops.
While houses nowadays used to install granite on the countertops and in the bathrooms, getting the slabs fitted to these areas undergo manufacturing and fabrication. Although the stone requires restructuring, the process will not harm the material. It will still feature its advantages and can still be natural. So, worry not because you wouldn’t want fresh from the quarry pieces transferring to your countertops and forming like a jigsaw puzzle, right?
Kidding aside, there are lots of sure reasons why homeowners like you can’t stop falling in love with granite. The beauty adds to your kitchen countertops is genuinely remarkable. Aside from that, the price you paid for it is all worth it due to its durability that can stand until the day you decide to sell your house (well, for a cause, you know). But one thing is for sure they will remain stylish as the years go by.
According to experts, granite holds up a lot of advantages, so why does it deserve to be on your countertops? Take a sneak peek here at our list.
It is Durable
Granite tiles are perfect for your kitchen as they can take a lot of wear and tear over the years. Because the kitchen tends to be one of the busiest areas of the house, granite can stand against heat and sweat.
It is Strong
Versus the other materials usually used for countertops, granite won’t fail you because it is firm. The material’s hardness can stand scratches, saving you from spending a lot on replacements over the years.
It is Less Porous
Have you considered whether the material you are installing on your countertops is porous or not? Countertops are prone to anything your housemates would like to put on top of it. Therefore, it is essential to know that Granite is less porous, aside from its durability to heat. So, you wouldn’t have to worry if your children often leave a sweaty glass of water on it.
It is Easy to Clean
Who says the patterns on the material are just for styling purposes? Those patterns can also hide small dirt! Simple soap and water can work in cleaning your stylish countertops.
How to Care for Granite Countertops
While soap and water can already be your household partner in cleaning your granite countertops, it is essential to know how to maintain these great qualities mentioned above. With a combination of knowledge and suitable materials, your Granite countertops will last until you pass your house to the next generation.
Here on our page, we recognize a lot of cleaning materials created explicitly for cleaning granite countertops as we offer you the best way you can clean the granite countertops without spending a fortune. So, how to care for your granite countertops?
Remember the Following
Avoid harsh chemicals like ammonia, acidic cleaners, or abrasive scrubbing tools. A simple combination of preferably warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft microfiber cloth in wiping will already take out the dirt on the surface. Just wipe the surface properly and make sure there will be no soap residue. Avoid vinegar or other acids because they might dull the granite and weaken the sealant.
Wipe up spills as soon as possible. No matter how less porous the granite may be, it isn’t 100% porous, so it’s less susceptible to soaking up oils and stains. As a simple preventative measure, wipe spills immediately with a soft cloth.
Always keep the countertop dry. In wiping the granite countertops, it is recommended to use a clean microfiber cloth after any water activity. Otherwise, you may end up with water spots.
Try using a unique granite countertop cleaner. Although warm water and soap work just fine, it is wise to consider using cleaners made for granite. It’s unnecessary to use special cleaners, but this is an option if you wish to utilize them.
You can make your granite countertop cleaner. If a special granite countertop cleaner is quite expensive for you, a DIY cleaner may help. In doing this, you can mix 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water and add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. This spray works great if you want a quick way to disinfect or clean the granite.
Remove stains with a baking soda paste. To clean an oil-based paint, make a baking soda paste with water. Mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide, If you’re dealing with a water-based stain.
Scrub the counter gently with a soft cloth, rinse thoroughly, and repeat as needed. If the color is still there by any chance, try to Leave homemade stain remover overnight or even for a few days and cover it with plastic. After a while, try to scrub it with a cloth.
Maintenance of Granite Countertops and Potential Problems
Taking care of your precious countertops will not only mean cleaning them often or buying the most expensive cleaner. Caring for your granite countertops involves a commitment to both cleaning and maintenance because even though granite is known for its advantages, it is not invincible.
Your precious granite countertops may seem to be solid and durable all the time, but neglecting the necessary things to do upon installation and cleaning plus, the lack of attention to its state might result in problems you are not expecting. So, take your time to read the following ways to extend your care to your countertops to keep them at their best and the potential problems you may encounter if maintenance is set aside.
Sealing is an integral part of granite maintenance that should not be overlooked. You may do a simple test to see if your countertops need to be sealed once more. Splash a tiny amount of water on the countertop’s surface and see whether the water forms tiny bead-like formations or flows freely. When the water splashed on the surface no longer beads up, reseal the countertop. Make sure to do this test in places that are often used.
Well, you don’t need resealing every month but at least once a year. Through careful inspection, you can determine if resealing is required. Ensure no shifting at the seams or cracking by inspecting them and looking for stains and scratches. If there are any stains or damage, have it repaired by a stone-care professional.
Delaying repair or treatment might result in greater or more costly problems. Some issues you may encounter are the following:
Granite is generally stain-resistant, but even something as innocuous as water can produce temporary discoloration if it penetrates. And even granite is a less porous stone by nature, and if left untreated, liquids can seep beneath the surface and discolor it. Cooking oils, red wines, fruit juice, and berries are the worst offenders.
Acidic substances cause etching or even foods reacting with the surface of granite or other natural stone. They may appear to be watermarks or a stain on the surface, but they are physical damage. If the damage is terrible, it may necessitate the (expensive) assistance of a professional stone repair specialist; Of course, you wouldn’t want this to happen; therefore, prevention is essential!
You should know that prevalent home cleaners (mainly ammonia or acidic), vinegar, wine, coffee, and soda are the most common etching causes. To be safe, be careful to wipe away any standing fluids. A simple patting of a soft cloth will help clean but avoid brushing sidewards because it may spread the liquid instead.
While for your chopping activities, even though your granite countertops may appear perfectly fine after chopping veggies on them, this is not true all the time. Sometimes it leaves tiny scratches that may trap liquids in the future. Therefore, using a cutting board is particularly vital since it not only makes it easier on your blades but it also keeps any potentially staining or etching liquids away as you prepare your meal.
We already mentioned above that simple soap and water will do the work for you. Plus, avoiding the use of harsh chemicals will save the stylish look of your granite countertops. And when we are serious when we mention this. Sometimes, stains and dirt sitting on the countertops tempt you to use your regular cleaner that involves ammonia, bleach, vinegar, and the like tough on dirt chemicals.
You have to trust that your granite countertop will never need any of these, especially if it is stain-related. Nonetheless, if wiping here is not done correctly, you might encounter a hazing effect. Hazing causes your granite to appear clouded or hazy, but it usually does no real or permanent damage. The wrong cleaning products frequently cause cloudiness since hand and dish cleansers can leave a thin coating on the surface.
One of the keys to granite countertops maintenance is your attention. Granite has promising features that most homeowners choose to install in the kitchen. But don’t forget that they are not invincible.
Granite is a stylish countertop, and we know it is resistant to heat. However, being resistant to heat doesn’t mean being heatproof. No matter how durable the material is, it’s necessary to use a trivet or hot pad to avoid burning the sealant and leaving your countertop with discoloration.
Moreover, paying attention to the weight of anything you put on top of granite countertops is also a must. Under regular use, cracked granite is very rare yet, standing on the countertops is not recommended, as standing in the wrong place with the bracing underneath can lead to a crack.
Lastly, we can avoid damage and scratches if we don’t let materials more vital than the granite hit or scratch. Only a more rigid material can scratch a softer one. According to Moh’s hardness scale, granite is usually rated a 6-7 on the Mohs scale (for reference, a diamond is a 10). It means that a kitchen knife won’t harm the surface, but expensive stones would be cautious while wearing jewelry.
There you go. I don’t think a sticky note is needed for these reminders on how to take care of your granite countertops and do your maintenance. I know you love your beautiful and expensive-looking countertops. That’s why remembering all of these will be a lot easier. For more information on Granite countertops, always check on Granite Dude, your granite experts, because we can offer you the best Granite you need for a stylish and lavish-looking home.