Altering your kitchen counters is an expensive investment, so it is wise to select the appropriate granite. Below are a few helpful hints to assist in choosing a suitable solution.
Avoid big box home improvement stores as these typically sell inferior quality and limited varieties of granite. Instead, visit an independent fabricator who adheres to higher standards.
Hard as a Rock
Granite is one of the hardest surfaces available, formed deep underground from compressed molten rock and providing durability against heat, water, scratches and bacteria.
Granite is also an ideal material for hardworking countertops as its smooth surface offers the ideal working and baking surface. Granite also looks stunning as light reflects off of its tiny crystals within the stone itself.
With so many colors and patterns to choose from, it is easy to find a granite countertop that complements any kitchen design. While most granite counters boast subtle tones, some offer brighter and bolder hues for dramatic impact.
Visit a nearby stone surfacing supplier to view granite slabs before choosing your countertop. It’s essential that you see the slab that will be cut specifically for you, since natural stones have many varying hues and patterns that may be hard to capture in small samples. Also keep edge details in mind as these will have an effect on its overall aesthetics.
Granite countertops are moisture-resistant, yet it is necessary to seal them annually in order to prevent dirt from getting in and damaging its finish or discoloring its color. A seal protects granite from becoming stained by dirt accumulation that causes discoloration or other types of disfigurement.
Dark liquids like tomato and grape juice can discolor granite countertops if left on them for too long, so be sure to wipe up as soon as they appear. Oil and grease residue is another potential threat when left on granite counters for too long; such stains could result from cooking oil splattering on them or from leaving pots or pans greasy for too long. When cutting acidic fruits and vegetables it would also be wise to use a cutting board since this could potentially harm the granite.
Flamed granite countertops are an increasingly popular choice, thanks to its rustic charm. This textured material boasts large speckles that can be polished, honed or leathered depending on your kitchen style – plus it is heat resistant making it suitable for cooktops!
Granite is one of the toughest natural igneous rock materials around. Its high melting point and ability to withstand thermal shock help it be protected from damage, though regular sealing will still need to be performed to prevent staining from accidental spills and spills. Granite may stain less frequently than many other countertop materials but remains relatively durable overall.
Granite’s durability and beauty is often an attractive feature to homeowners, particularly if they have children; granite can withstand wear-and-tear better than many other surfaces in an active family kitchen.
Granite is also a good environmentally-friendly choice, since quarrying and fabricating it requires significant energy; once in its finished state it requires minimal upkeep. Look for locally quarried and fabricated granite to further lower your carbon footprint; try finding stones with unique patterns, colors and textures such as St Cecilia brown granite that features black flecks that add visual interest.
Easy to Clean
As long as your granite is properly sealed, it should resist staining quite well. Even without such sealing measures in place, however, spills should be cleaned up immediately when they occur and any organic stains like milk or juice treated with 12% hydrogen peroxide scrubbed away by regularly using a scrub brush and 12% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Search for a mild kitchen cleaner that won’t harm the protective sealant on granite surfaces; mild, pH neutral cleaners like Method products may be suitable.
If you spot a stain or etch mark, rather than trying to buff it away with steel wool or other abrasive tools that could damage the surface of natural stone, try spraying a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol into a spray bottle and using it on the spot before rinsing it off after each application. Repeated applications may be needed until stubborn marks have been completely erased; another approach would be baking soda paste that’s left for up to an hour on stubborn stains; another approach would be using baking soda paste which you’ll apply directly onto stubborn marks before rinsing away or even using paste made out of baking soda and water instead.