Granite countertops are a popular option for many homeowners, but some people are hesitant to put them into their kitchens for fear that stone is high maintenance. Fortunately, may of these concerns are unfounded. The following can help put your mind at ease when it comes to the beauty of granite:
Q: Does granite stain?
A: Granite is resistant to most stains, but it isn't immune. This is because stone is naturally porous. Fortunately, by wiping down the counter after every use, using cutting boards, and having it sealed, you can avoid most stains. You should also keep a stone cleaner on hand to make a poultice, which will absorb and remove most stains if one does occur.
Q: How often is it resealed?
A: A quality countertop comes sealed or is sealed in place by the installer. The best seals are permeating sealers. These soak into the stone and prevent nearly all staining. Over time, the surface of this sealer can wear off. Generally, a counter needs to be resealed when water no longer beads on the surface. A heavily used kitchen may need a new coat of sealant every year or two.
Q: What does cleaning entail?
A: Cleaning rarely requires more than wiping down with a damp cloth. For deeper cleaning or sterilizing, using a cleaner made specifically for use on stone. Avoid any type of acidic cleaners, like vinegar or lemon juice, since these can etch the stone or wear down the sealant layer.
Q: Is it repairable?
A: One concern many homeowners have is about damage. Granite is durable, but like any surface, a chip can occur under great stress. Fortunately, granite can also be repaired relatively easily, and most repairs are invisible. A common method is to mix matching granite dust with an epoxy, which is then placed in the damaged area and buffed until it blends in.
Q: Are their design options?
A: One great thing about granite is that it is versatile. If you are very concerned with staining, you can opt for a darker color stone that won't show stains as easily. Or, opt for a multi-hued granite to disguise any imperfections. A polished surface shows loose surface dirt but can be more resistant to staining. A rough texture, on the other hand, is more rustic and its attractiveness is because of its imperfections.
For more help, contact a granite stone countertops dealer in your area.