Nature Stone

What you need to know:

Basics

Granite is an extremely versatile material that is prized for its beauty, durability, and easy maintenance. It does, however, require a modest amount of care. Normal good housekeeping practices apply, such as immediately removing spills of any type of discretionary use of coasters and place mats.

Sealing of Countertops

The natural characteristics which make granite beautiful also make it somewhat vulnerable to certain substances and treatment.

Granite countertops must be sealed with a quality stone sealer. While no sealer is perfect, adequate protection from the effects of certain penetrating liquids can be achieved when following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The best way to avoid a stain is to quickly wipe off the compound in question. While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking oil.

  • Do not use bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite. When cooking with oil, wipe clean any of the countertops that came into contact with the oil when you are finished.
  • Do not store metal pots and pans on your countertops either, as rust can stain the granite. The sealer is not a waterproofing agent.
  • If your granite darkens when it is wet, do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. However, the absorption of water into your granite usually means that it is time for resealing.
  • Your granite countertops are sealed with an impregnating sealer.
  • It is recommended that the countertops be resealed every year with a penetrating sealer. It is a simple process that on can apply himself or herself.

Cleaning of Countertops

The safest way to clean your granite countertops is to use products designed specifically for stone.

  • Cleaners and disinfectants of this type are neutral on the acid scale so they pose no risk of hurting the polish.
  • Dish soap and water, a 50-50 mix of alcohol and water, or spray-on cleaners such as Windex will work well.
  • Avoid anything that contains Bleach or any cleaners that have grit or abrasives in them. If you want to avoid water streaking while cleaning, wipe with clean, soft cotton-flannel cloths until totally dry.
  • If lime buildup occurs around your faucet, do not use lime removal products. Gently scraping the lime off using a straight razor is the best solution.

Stain Removal

There is nothing inherent in your stone that will cause stains. Stains are always from exterior causes and usually are organic, oil, or rust related.

  • Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product.

Look for color, shape, and environmental factors that could be causing the staining. For stains which can not be removed by normal cleaning processes, call a professional.

Avoiding Scratches

Chips in granite countertops caused by normal use are not a common occurrence.

  • When they happen, they are most often caused by banging something hard or heavy into the edge.
  • Heavy pots and pans and the bottoms of large bottles do the most damage.

Take care when you handle them around you granite. If a chip does occur and you find the piece that chipped out, save it. Most of the time, it can be reattached using epoxy or polyester resin.

Hot Pans

We recommend that you always use a trivet or hot pad between you countertops and a hot pan.  Granite itself will not burn.  However, it is a very poor heat conductor, so all of the heat from a hot pan is intensified directly under the pan.  This combination of a hot spot next to cooler spot can cause you to get a thermal crack.  This issue is rare, but it can occur.