As granite is a naturally porous material, it is prone to wear-and-tear and damage in high-traffic areas such as kitchens, dining tables, and bathrooms. Caring for your granite or marble countertops is not all that difficult, provided you adopt basic maintenance and upkeep measures right from the start.
Here are ten tips that can increase the life of your granite surfaces by several years.
- First of all, there is no need to clean your granite tops with a chemical cleaner or disinfectant every day. A simple solution of warm water and dishwashing soap is more than enough. Add a mild disinfectant to the cleaning solution weekly to avoid bacterial buildup.
- Ensure that your granite surfaces are sealed with a quality sealant. Because of its porous nature, granite is prone to absorbing spills and oils and developing lasting stains. Ineffective or improper sealing will weaken the stone, make it dull, and increase the risk of mold and mildew.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning products on your granite countertops and tabletops. Basically, avoid using acidic cleaners as they can weaken the stone and also damage the sealant.
- Use a soft cloth or cleaning wipe to clean the surface after every use.
- To make every-day cleaning easier, you can also use a pH-neutral cleaning product made specifically for granite surfaces.
- If you often place hot pans directly on your granite countertop, check the surface for hairline cracks, which is an indication that it needs a reapplication of sealant.
- Adopt the good habit of using trivets for placing hot items, as this will protect the stone from unnecessary heat exposure and help avoid cracks.
- Don’t use vinegar, bleach, ammonia and the like to clean any type of stone or marble surface.
- Wipe spills, particularly oils and staining liquids such as wines, immediately. This will prevent penetration of the liquid and formation of unsightly stains.
- Avoid chopping vegetables and cutting meats directly on granite. Firstly because your food will come in direct contact with the sealant, and secondly because the stone can damage your knives. It’s always best to use a chopping board.
A low-maintenance, beautiful and cost-effective alternative to traditional granite surfaces
If you don’t want to deal with the upkeep that granite demands, opt for engineered quartz countertops, which come in a wide array of stunning designs and colors and look as great as granite.
The greatest advantage of quartz countertops is that they are non-porous, which means you don’t have to worry about mold, bacteria, and spills penetrating the stone, as in the case of granite.
Kent Reynolds from AA Granite Fabricator Direct says that quartz is a popular choice for countertops because it’s durable and beautiful, but is more affordable than other materials commonly used for countertops.
In addition, these human-made countertops are highly resistant to high heat, chipping and cracking and don’t require sealing, which makes them ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms.