How to Get the Most Out of Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are the most popular choice for homeowners today. In fact, many home buyers specifically request granite surfaces when screening homes to view through a real estate agent. Adding granite to your home can increase your resale value while also adding comfort, beauty and durability to your countertops, at the same time.
The big question for people with new granite surfaces is how to care for their countertops. We explore how to get the most out of your granite by taking great care of it using the suggestions below.
Protect Your Countertops
Granite countertops are not indestructible. They can certainly take more wear and tear than most types of interior surfaces. But you still must take some precautions to protect them.
Avoid Direct Heat
Placing a hot pan directly onto the granite will not typically leave any marks. But you should avoid doing this whenever possible as the heat can scratch or etch the countertop’s surface. Avoid making a habit of using the counter like a trivet or hot pad.
Avoid Direct Weight or Pressure
It can be tempting, particularly for young people, to sit on the edge of your new countertops. Although granite is widely acclaimed for its strength, edges are particularly vulnerable to weight and pressure. Avoid climbing on the counter to reach high cabinets or change lightbulbs. One crack can be a costly mistake and will necessitate putting your kitchen renovations expert back to work.
Do Not Cut or Chop on Your Granite Surfaces
The durability of granite also makes many people want to use the surfaces as a cutting board. While the material stands up to cuts better than other types of countertops, you should not cut directly on it. Bacteria from raw meat can migrate into the crevices in the granite and transfer to other foods and skin. Acidic foods like citrus fruits can damage or stain the surface. The stone surface can also damage your knives, making them dull prematurely. Keep your cutting boards and use them.
Clean Your Granite Properly
Besides protecting your granite as part of daily use, you also need to properly clean it each day. This is important to keep bacteria, spills and stains from getting through the seal into the stone’s natural pores. Not properly cleaning your countertops can cause the surface to fog or develop grimy stains.
The best cleaning agent for your stone is mild dish soap in warm water. Mix these in a spray bottle and use the solution with a soft rag or paper towels. Rinse with clean water and then dry with a soft cloth.
Maintain Your Granite
Your granite is an important investment in your home. If you want it to keep looking new, you should deep clean the counter surfaces regularly. Invest in specialty cleaning products available in your local home goods or general stores. These granite counter cleaners are not meant for everyday use. But by using them every once in awhile, you freshen the appearance of your counters. You should also use them for stain removal, such as if you spill red wine or other discoloring substances.
Besides regular deep cleaning, you should also have your granite resealed from time-to-time. The protective layer applied on the surface is critical for keeping your stone looking its best. Talk to your kitchen renovations contractor or installer about how often you should have your counters resealed. This is typically necessary once every 10 to 12 years, when using a top quality sealant. Using cheaper sealants make this maintenance important every six months or so. Sealant is more important than you might think as it keeps liquids from penetrating the surface of your counter and seeping into crevices, staining and causing other damage.