We’re about to cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about granite countertops but were afraid or didn’t know what to ask. Homeowners have been getting granite installed in their homes for years, because it’s a resilient and durable material that can withstand the type of abuse that a kitchen countertop is expected to endure.
But while there are many misconceptions and old wives’ tales related to the use of granite in the home, the truth is that it’s a safe material to use and only needs some light routine maintenance to keep it looking as good as new.
With that said, here are six things you need to know about chantilly granite countertops.
1. Granite is a Natural Stone
You get granite from molten rock that is pushed between into a thin crevice of rock below the earth’s crust. The resulting natural stone is comprised of crystallized silica, better known as quartz. When the molten rock cools, large quartz crystals emerge and the slower the cooling, the bigger the crystals.
Once it is harvested, you are left with one of the hardest substances ever created. This makes it a perfect material for kitchen countertops. But since it is still a natural stone, it can also be a porous material similar to marble. Yet even with these tiny pores in the surface, very few things are able to cut or even scrape granite.
2. Granite must be Sealed
Due to its strong nature, granite can hold up to all of the abuse a kitchen countertop will receive over time. But since it is porous, granite must be sealed before it is installed in your kitchen. A porous surface is able to absorb liquid which many homeowners worry can make their kitchens hazardous to their health due to bacteria getting stuck in the countertop through some of the liquids that come with raw food.
But when your countertop is sealed, that protective coating closes off those pores from absorption leaving you with a perfectly safe and uniform kitchen countertop that is designed to last.
3. Granite Can Outlive You
This is a stone that has already been ion existence for hundreds to thousands of years before being pulled from the earth for use in your home. Once it is processed and sealed for consumer use in kitchens, the granite has actually been reinforced to last even longer than it might if it were to remain in the earth.
That’s why your granite countertop is going to last much longer than a tile or laminate countertop. It is already resistant to extreme heat and the various cutting tools you are likely to use in the preparation of your daily meals. When properly cared for, your granite can continue to remain strong and beautiful for another one hundred years or more.
4. Granite Needs Routine Maintenance
Just because it’s extremely resilient doesn’t mean it should be ignored when it comes to proper cleaning and maintenance. There are still some things you need to be cognizant of and keep in mind as you keep your granite in your kitchen for as long as you own your home.
For starters, the protective sealant that has been layered over the surface to keep it from absorbing bacteria and contaminated liquids can begin to wear away over time. But you need to really abuse the countertop for that to occur. It’s more likely to happen when you place hot pans and pots directly on the surface of the counter.
Don’t prep your foods directly on the countertop either. Always place a cutting board or chopping block, even a plate will suffice, underneath your food so that you are able to preserve the sealant.
5. How to Clean Granite
Another way to dissolve the sealant on your granite is to use abrasive cleansers and harsh cleaning tools to maintain the countertop. Avoid using bleach or ammonia and never use steel wool or other abrasive pads or sponges. You simply need some warm water and mild dish soap, mix them together and rinse the surface.
That’s all you should be doing. It couldn’t be simpler and you’ll preserve the countertop much longer.
6. Granite Options
You have a multitude of choices when it comes to choosing granite for your home. You’ll find it in a whole range of color choices, from black to tan to white. Some colors are tougher to find than others, which might affect the cost of installing them in your kitchen.
You will also find granite in many grades and thicknesses. Be careful that you are getting the thickest and best quality granite installed before you make your purchase.