Caring for Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are stunning, and it’s no surprise they’re sought after by many homeowners. In addition to the beautiful aesthetic appeal they bring into any home, there are also practical reasons that make these counters even more desirable. They are durable and low maintenance – two things any homeowner will be excited about, so you can be sure you’ll love them for years and years to come. Although they don’t require much in the way of care, there are a few things you need to know when it comes to caring for granite countertops so they’ll always look as beautiful as the day you got them.
Sealing the surface
While granite countertops don’t absolutely need to be sealed, it’s a really great step to consider when it comes to protecting your investment. A good sealant will give your countertops an additional barrier to protect against spills and increase their moisture resistance. If you do decide to seal your counters, first make sure they are not already sealed – if you recently had them installed, there is a good chance the builder already sealed them. If you’re not sure, go ahead and give them a call to ask. Most importantly, use a quality sealant. A good sealant will penetrate into the stone as opposed to just sitting on the surface, and will last 10 to 15 years.
Not sure if your counters are sealed? Try the water test. Pour about a quarter cup of water onto your counters and set a timer to see how long it takes to absorb. Immediate absorption means it’s time for sealer, anything between a few minutes to 10 minutes means you could do a couple more layers, but you may have a few years until they need a full treatment, and 30 minutes or more means your counters are sealed and in excellent condition.
On a more regular basis, use a lint-free cloth and product specifically formulated for granite countertops to clean the surfaces, then dry them off with a fresh towel. If spills ever occur, specifically oil or anything with color, be sure to clean it immediately before it can penetrate the surface of the granite. Don’t wipe the spill, which can spread it, but instead blot the affected area before following up with a cleaning product.
Stains can be a killer of beautiful countertops, which is why sealants are so important, but there are other ways to damage your counters as well. One unexpected culprit is extreme temperature fluctuations, which can occur if someone unthinkingly sets a hot pot or pan directly onto the counter. This may cause cracks, which any granite owner would want to avoid. Instead, always use a trivet or something to act as a barrier when cooking. Additionally, always use a cutting board – it can be tempting to chop straight on granite because it’s so durable, but it isn’t impervious to scratches and frequent chopping will eventually damage it.
Fortunately granite does not require any difficult or frequent action, and for the most part you are free to simply enjoy the beauty they add to your kitchen. With just a few simple preventative steps, you can be sure your counters will stay in pristine condition for years and years to come!