Granite countertops are a classic for a reason. Not only are they sophisticated and elegant, but they also come in a huge range of colors that you're sure to love. They also are more durable than many alternatives.
Still, you may likely have some questions about their durability and longevity. Read on for the answers to some of the most frequently asked everyday questions about granite countertops.
Granite kitchen countertops are among the most durable out there, but heat can still cause damage to their surface.
Placing hot pans directly on granite countertops generally isn't a good idea since they can cause scorch marks and discoloration. To avoid damage, place a rubber or fabric potholder on the surface. This will ensure that your surface remains in the best possible shape and lasts for many years to come.
Premium surfaces can last for decades when maintained properly, so it's important to keep up with cleaning and daily care.
This doesn't mean that you should use chemical cleaners—these tend to be too harsh on granite and cause discoloration due to acidity. There are mild cleansers that are made specifically for granite. However, warm water and dish soap on a soft cloth will do the job nicely.
You also will need to seal your countertop at least once a year. This ensures that they remain non-porous and do not become damaged as a result of spills.
The disinfection of granite countertops is also essential to keep them clean. This is especially important because you prepare food for consumption on these countertops and do not want to ingest bacteria that can make you ill.
Though neither the CDC nor the Institute for Occupational Safety Control has found evidence of granite countertops harboring bacteria, it is important to stay safe.
Get antibacterial dish soap, mix 4 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol in with it, and insert it into a 1-liter spray bottle. Shake it gently, let the liquid sit on the surface for about 1 minute, and wipe it with a dry cloth - don't forget the countertop edges. You'll want to do this in increments of 2 square feet of counter space and repeat the process until you've disinfected the entire surface.
Though frequent sealing helps to lessen the impact of spills, acids can still etch granite countertops. This is especially the case for black granite or dark gray varieties since they're more prone to white staining and discoloration.
Etches are essentially permanent stains in the shape of the spill, so you want to avoid these at all costs. To prevent this from happening to your slab, make sure that spills are wiped up immediately after they take place. Waiting for even a few minutes heightens the risk of a permanent mark being left on your surface.
Hard water stains are one of the biggest threats to natural stone granite countertops. Unlike simple water stains, which are the result of condensation, hard water stains take place when liquid gets into the pores of the stone.
Hard water is high in mineral content, which leaves behind stone-damaging mineral deposits. This can be ugly, but it is also an easily fixable problem.
All you need to do is:
1. Make a poultice- a simple mixture of baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide
2. Mix these items in a bowl until it becomes a thick, uniform paste
3. Apply it to the stain
4. Cover the area with plastic wrap that has small holes poked into it
5. Wait for 24 hours.
At this point, rub a soft damp cloth over the area. The water stain should be gone.
Cutting directly on your granite countertop is not recommended. Although granite is a hard and durable surface, repeated cutting will still damage it. After all, knives are specifically made to cut surfaces and therefore have hard blades.
Not only will cutting directly on granite damage the surface, but it will also destroy your knives. The hardness of the granite will press up against the knife just as much as the knife will cleave at the granite. Both items will be damaged.
Luckily, this is easily avoidable. Just get a cutting board and place that on your counter before cutting. The cutting board will absorb the blows from the knife and prevent damage to your elegant countertop slab.
Believe it or not, many people unconsciously like to be able to sit on their countertop surface while they wait for food to microwave or while chatting with loved ones in the kitchen. The question then becomes whether granite will support your weight.
Technically, it will, but we don't recommend it. While granite is strong, it may have weak spots due to natural fractures. If you sit or stand on it, you may break the slab.
Just get a tall chair or stool to sit in and put it by the countertop. It will cost much less than needing to replace your entire surface because it became damaged.
Now that you know the answers to some everyday questions about granite as a countertop material, it's time to learn more.
Contact us with any remaining concerns that you have about the maintenance and durability of granite countertops. Our experts are available for questions and also happy to help you choose the perfect countertop style to fit in with any interior decor scheme.
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