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Caring for Your Granite Countertop

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Homeowners often install granite countertops in their kitchen and elsewhere to append value to their homes. Granite is among the most durable stones, next only to diamonds. It is created from molten rock and can withstand heat that many of its peers cannot. The hardness of the granite is superb for handling confectionary and dough. Properly installed granite countertops last a lifetime. It’s thus usually priced higher than other alternatives.

All countertops require personalised attention for maintenance because granite is manufactured from several minerals. Even if two identical stones come from the same mine, the resultant granite is unlikely to be the same.

Proper care can ensure that your granite countertop retains its beauty and longevity. While the polished finished is the standard for most granite countertops, a honed or a flat finish is all the more attractive. It’s, however, not recommended to be used in kitchens. Over time, daily use lends a natural polish to some of the areas. A polished granite surface is the easiest to maintain. Regular cleaning and using sealers can prevent staining.

Granite countertops are strong and can withstand falls of soups and similar materials. Polished surfaces, however, are more delicate. Never use the countertop as a cutting surface. Use a board instead. Avoid spills of acetic foods like vinegar, soft drinks or lemon juice. Clean the surface thoroughly with water whenever it happens. Abrasive cleansers, both powder and liquid, removes the polished shine of the countertop. Use water again for cleaning, preferably with a dishwashing liquid and don’t leave any streaks on the surface. Ensure that the liquid is properly pH balanced.

While granite is recognised for its toughness, some of its components could be soft. Existence of these minerals makes granite prone to scratch, or breaking along the grain. Avoid dragging pans, pots and appliances across the surface. Even a grain of sugar could scratch the polished surface. Scratches could mar an otherwise beautiful surface.

It’s advisable to apply a penetrating sealant every year. Regular polishing would keep the finish gleaming. Use a sealant which has been recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t use stone sealers that won’t penetrate the stone. These could create a hazy surface which has to be removed by stripping the entire countertop. The glossy finish of a granite countertop is caused by expert diamond polishing tools.

Gun putting silicone sealant to installing a kitchen sink with modern decorative granite countertops
Minor damages on the countertop could be rectified easily. When pots or pans leave marks on the surface, polish the countertop by fine steel wool. For sticky substances, use an expired credit card or a razor blade. Minor marks during the removal could be polished off with fine steel wool. But call a professional for repairs if the granite gets cracked or chipped.
Besides its characteristic strength, granite is a beautiful stone which adds warmth and colour to your kitchen. Granite countertops can last a lifetime with minimal care for protecting their utility and beauty. But first of all, buy good quality granite from renowned manufacturers. This would enable longevity of the product and value for your money.

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