Homeowners looking to revitalise their kitchen often choose granite as a material for its strength and beauty, as well as the significant boost granite makes to the value of their property. A granite countertop will give your kitchen a sophisticated look, and the range of colours available means that it’s suitable for any home.
What Makes Granite Ideal for Kitchens
Granite can seem like an expensive investment, but because of its properties a granite countertop can easily last a lifetime if properly looked after.
Granite is one of the hardest materials available, second only to diamond. Granite is a cooled molten rock. Because of this it is capable of enduring extremely high temperatures without suffering, so it is an excellent choice of material for use in kitchens as it will not be damaged by hot pans or other utensils being place on the surface.
No piece of granite is identical to another. Even if two granite slabs are the same color and come from the exact same quarry, each slab will have a unique mineral composition that sets it apart from every piece of granite in the world. Although a granite countertop has very little in the way of maintenance requirements, in order to prolong the life span and maintain its attractiveness, your supplier should include detailed after care instructions for each slab to account for the differences between them.
Guide to Proper Granite Care
A simple polished finish to your granite kitchen countertops can make them much easier to clean and keep them looking brand new for years to come. Diamond polishing tools are used by the stone masons to create the finish. Instead of applying a coat to the surface, but the slab itself is made smoother. This is a better alternative than a ‘honed’, or flat finish, for a kitchen, as it will make proper granite care much simpler. A honed finish may look more appealing, it is much more likely to result in extensive damage if used as a countertop in a kitchen and will necessitate either professional repairs or replacement. Do yourself and your wallet a favour, and go for the polished finish if you expect it to be exposed to heat.
It is very unlikely that you will damage the granite itself, however, to keep the polished finish looking good, you can take a few simple steps. Instead of using the granite surface for cutting or slicing, use a chopping board to prevent scratches. Avoid placing acidic foods, such as lemon juice, vinegar , or fizzy drinks, directly on the surface as they can also damage the polish through corrosion. You should also try not to drag pots and pans across the surface, because something as tiny as a single grain of salt underneath can result in a scratch. The granite may be extremely tough, but the minerals that compose the slab can be surprisingly delicate, resulting in chips along the grain.
If you do accidentally damage your countertops, there are some easy solutions that you can do yourself at home without needing to pay for somebody else to fix your granite countertops. Once a year you should apply a penetrative sealant to the granite. Your supplier will be able to recommend the best product for each of your granite slabs. However, you should avoid harsh solvents or stone sealers as they WILL damage the countertop and detract from their beautiful appearance. You can also polish the surface as needed to maintain the same shine it had when you first purchased it.
In the event of an accident, such as a vinegar spill, you can add a PH balanced washing up liquid to a small amount of warm water. This will help to prevent further corrosion damage that can be caused by using standard cleaning products. Hot pots or pans can leave ugly dark grey or black marks, but these can easily be removed by rubbing a fine steel wool across the impacted area. Any glue-like textures can be gently scraped off with the edge of a credit card or a razor blade.
For more severe problems, it would be advisable to find a professional with good knowledge of proper granite care.