Maintaining your Granite Countertops

Ask a few homeowners or contractors for guidance on caring for your granite countertops and you will get different tips from each one of them. No wonder there seems to be a lot of confusion around this topic. Here is some tried and true advice on how to maintain the beauty of your granite countertops for years to come.

Granite is a natural product, and is unique from rock to rock, quarry to quarry.  Therefore, the need for a sealer will depend upon the type of granite you choose. Some varieties are quite dense, so they are not very porous. These stones may not absorb a sealant, and placing one on them could leave a cloudy surface. More porous varieties are prone to staining, which means they also more readily accept sealants. A polished finish rather than a honed finish decreases the absorbency as well. What this all means is that it is important  to ask your granite supplier about the characteristics and needs of your particular stone choice.

If your granite does require a sealer, have your fabricator determine the correct type and apply it for you. Sealants should last 10-15 years and be resistant to water and oil-based stains. You will know it is time to reseal when water no longer beads up on the counter top. Prepare the surface with a thorough cleaning, and then reapply the same granite sealer your fabricator used with a soft cloth. One to two coats should suffice – just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is important to note that sealing your granite countertops does not completely prevent them from damage – it just slows down the rate of absorbency. Therefore, spills should be cleaned up quickly. Also acidic substances, such as citrus juice and tomatoes, as well as vinegar-based or abrasive cleaners, can lead to an etched surface. It is best  to wipe up oil splatters as well to prevent staining. Normally, hot water and a soft cloth will do the trick, but for a deeper clean and shine, there are many granite cleaners on the market. Gently scrape off stuck-on items with a razor blade, and then clean with a sponge and hot water. Buff with a soft cloth and you are set.

There is no need to baby your granite countertops. Knowing the particular needs of your stone choice, and handling it with a bit of care and maintenance, will allow your granite to be a beautiful addition to your kitchen or bath remodel. Questions? Send us an email or give us a call at 317-846-2600.

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After 20 years remodeling homes throughout Central Indiana, we’ve decided it’s time for a remodel of our own!  Case locations in Carmel, Meridian Kessler, and Zionsville will become Worthington Design & Remodeling.

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