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Caring for Granite Countertops

caring-for-granite-countertops

Granite countertops can be a beautiful and functional addition to a kitchen, but only if maintained correctly.
 
Granite countertops are quite a trend in kitchen remodeling. Unlike home décor fashions that come and go, however, most experts predict that granite will be stylish for the foreseeable future. The natural look is timeless and goes with a variety of decorating styles. These countertops are extremely durable, bringing beauty to your kitchen for decades. In addition, granite is natural which means that each piece has a unique pattern. It’s easy to clean and as hard as a rock–so what could go wrong?

Granite Reputation

Despite its benefits, granite is getting a bit of a bad reputation because many people have unintentionally ruined their countertops through a lack of routine maintenance and care. Many assume that because it is a slab of hard polished rock that it is indestructible. These people are then surprised when their granite begins to show wear and tear, with staining, chipping, and heat spots.
 
Granite absolutely can look like new for decades, but only if you learn how to care for it carefully. Here are a few ways of doing that.
 

1. Invest in sealer.

Many installers will seal granite as part of installation, but some don’t. You should ask if the granite has been sealed and get to work as soon as the installers walk out the door if it hasn’t.
 
There are many commercial sealers. All are usually applied by simply wiping them across the granite countertop and allowing it to dry. It is best if you apply one coat, allow to dry overnight, and then apply a second coat. If repeated every year, this will keep your granite from becoming stained and also lower the chances of chips and excess wear and tear.
 

2. Keep it clean.

Granite may be rock, but it is a porous rock. It can be easily stained, and acidic foods can easily eat away at its integrity. It is best to wipe up all spills as soon as they occur and to clean the countertops with a soft rag every night.
 
To prevent harming your countertops and the sealants that protect them, it’s important to choose cleaning agents carefully. Avoid scrubbing with abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads. In addition, stay away from cleaning supplies that contain acids such as citrus or vinegar. Avoid ammonia altogether, as this will remove sealant and possibly damage the countertops.
 

3. Remove stains immediately.

Even a careful person will occasionally spill some red wine, coffee, or similarly staining materials on the counter. After all, kitchens are made to be used. These may stain if they are not removed and treated promptly.
 
If this happens–no, when it happens–clean up the spill immediately. If the stain is water-based, mix some baking soda and vinegar, then apply to the stain. Cover it and allow it to sit for several hours. When you remove the paste, the stain should be gone. If the stain is oily instead of water-based, mix water with the baking soda instead of hydrogen peroxide and go through the same steps.
 

4. Protect from heat and scratches.

This is probably common sense to anyone reading this, but it is actually a common source of damage to granite. Use hot pads for anything hot, trivets for things that make scratch the countertop, and coasters for liquids. Just as with any counter, protect your granite countertops from obvious sources of heat and scratches.
 

5. Prevent mechanical stress.

If your granite countertops have an overhang, such as a breakfast bar, people may be tempted to sit on this or lean against it. Over time, this can actually break your granite. However, installing brackets underneath the overhang will ensure that your granite is properly supported and able to support this common source of breakage.
 

6. Repair chips immediately.

No matter how careful you are, there will probably be a chip eventually. This does not have to be a permanent blight, however. Simply apply a tiny amount of super glue to the bottom of the chip and push it firmly into place. After this is dry, scrape that area with a razor blade to remove the excess glue. There are also many companies that will perform this for you.
 
It is crucial that you deal with chips immediately. Rock with jagged edges can erode from daily wear and tear, making the tiny chip into a sizeable divot in your countertop. Remember, the Grand Canyon is also made of rock.
 

7. Repair cracks and dents with epoxy or polyester resin.

If you drop something heavy on your granite and crack it, there are ways of repairing the countertop. There are several epoxies and resins in colors that match various kinds of granite. This can be used to fill any damage that is larger than a chip. You may want to have a professional sand and polish the granite after this repair, although there are sanding and polishing kits on the market that will work for smaller repairs.
 
Is granite worth the fuss? An overwhelming majority of homeowners think so! Granite may take a little extra care, but it is fast work and an investment that pays off. With the right upkeep and care, you will be enjoying your countertops for decades to come. If you are interested in adding some of this unique and beautiful natural rock to your kitchen, talk to the experts at http://www.rebathtexoma.com/kitchens/.