Granite Countertop Selection & Care
Granite is a very durable surface. In fact, it is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available. It beautifully complements any kitchen or bathroom and is available in an array of colors.
How To Select a Granite Countertop
Von Payne, East Valley Floors, a Rosie-Certified Partner, suggests asking to see multiple slabs of the same color so you get the exact slabs you want. Usually the supplier will have you “sign off” on the exact slabs before it is fabricated. If you want input on the layout, do that before they fabricate!
Granite can range from neutral colors such as white, black, and brown to bold colors such as reds, greens, and blues. When selecting a color, consider how it will look in different light at different times of the day and night. You also need to consider what it will be paired with such as flooring, appliances, and cabinetry. For example:
- Gold or neutral granite countertops pairs well with dark hardwood cabinets such as mahogany.
- Dark granite pairs well with light wood such as oak.
- Earth tones, white, and green contrast beautifully with red and rich brown cabinetry.
- Single-color granite contrasts a colorful, busy kitchen. On the contrary, in a monochromatic kitchen, choose granite with a colorful pattern. For example, if you have Shaker-style or flat-panel cabinets,
a marble pattern provides a good accent.
Because granite is porous, it is susceptible to stains. Granite must be sealed so that it can repel liquids and retain its beauty for many years. Once sealed, granite is relatively stain-resistant!
Oil stains tend to be one of the toughest stains to remove from granite. If the granite is sealed, oil can usually be cleaned up easily. If the oil is left standing long enough to penetrate through the seal, it will most likely have to be removed with a chemical poultice.
Sealing: Regular yearly sealing (more often for heavily used kitchens) will protect your countertops should spills occur. We also recommend the use of cutting boards and trivets for added protection.
- Clean the surface thoroughly and remove any stains.
- Apply sealer with a soaked sponge, flooding the surface.
- Do not allow sealer to pool.
- If the sealer is absorbed by the granite in less than five minutes, apply more. After ten minutes, blot the remaining sealer and buff the stone dry with a terry cloth and allow to dry for 12 hours.
Try not to get the sealer on any other surface. Mask and protect the area carefully (especially grout and wood). Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the sealer.
To keep your sealed granite looking new, remember these simple tips:
- Put down kitchen towels on the surrounding granite to protect it from splattered oil when frying foods on your stove. Oil can significantly damage granite.
- Clean and reseal annually to avoid costly restoration.
- Wipe down the countertops after use. Dust and grit act as sandpaper and can wear down the finish.
- Use a concentrated natural stone cleaner, such as JAWS Granite Cleaner & Polish to keep your granite surfaces shiny and clean.
- Pound on the surface. This will cause cracking and chipping. Allow stains to stand for any length of time. The more time a stain is left unattended, the harder it will be to remove.
- Use strong chemicals or abrasives. This can result in etching or dulling the granite surface.
- Do not use chemicals that are not specifically formulated for granite or natural stone surfaces as this can bring about unpredictable changes to the mineral’s surface. It is important to use a product that is specifically formulated for granite to clean your countertops.
- Place hot pans, pots, kettles, and other hot items directly on the granite.
The only way to remove stains from granite is to literally pull the stain out of the stone with a material and cleaner that will absorb the stain.
- Blot the substance/stain with a paper towel or clean rag. Do not wipe, as this will spread the stain over a larger surface.
- Use cold water and a neutral cleaner.
Note: Deep stains may require professional attention
Home Maintenance To-Do | #GraniteCountertops
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