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Granite Countertops : Granite Worktops : General Information

Cleaning Granite Countertops

Homeowners are updating and transforming their kitchens with stunning granite that is both durable and beautiful whilst putting an increase of value to their homes. Of all the stones in the world Granite is the second most durable, first being diamonds. Granite can withstand the heat from hot pans or any other hot utensil in the kitchen as it is created from molten rock. Granite has a very hard surface, resistant to most forms of damage and is low maintenance to look after.

Two pieces of granite, from the same part of the world, in the same colours are never identical. Each slab has different mineral properties and require differnt kinds of attention. The supplier that you received your granite from should give you personalised after care instructions for each of the different slabs. A correctly installed granite kitchen countertop should last a life time, this is why granite comes across as expensive material to have, but comes with a life time guarantee.

For granite kitchen countertops it is preferred that you have a polished finished to the surface. This is to make it easier for the purchaser to clean and maintain its beauty. There are sealants to prevent staining that can be used regularly as part of cleaning. Properly cared for polished granite ensures continuation and refinement of the material being used. There is also a finish called a 'honed' or flat finish, this can be very engaging to the eye however it is not recommended for kitchen use. Over periods of time there will be ares that need giving attention to and can divert from the beauty of the natural stone.

Even though granite is a hard-wearing material, the poished finished does need to be looked after properly. This can be done with giving attention daily to what is being placed on the surface. You should never use granite as a surface for cutting or slicing, make sure you use a cutting/chopping board to prevent scratching. Also avoid placing acidic foods, for example lemon juice, carbonated beverages and vinegar directly to the surface for a period of time as they can corrode the surface. It will only damage the polish as it is more delicate than the actual granite. Use a small amount of warm water with PH balanced wasing up liquid to clean the surface instead of using abrasive cleaning products.

To avoid any other damages to the polished surface it is advisable not to drag pots, pans and any other kitchen utensils or appliances across the surface becuase, even if there is a grain of salt underneath them, it may result in a scratch. Even though the granite is very hard, the minerals that is is made up of can be very soft and delicate, this is how the granite becomes easily scratched, chipped or broken along the grain.

Diamond polishing tools are used by the stonemasons to create the glossy, shiny finish that you get with a polished finished. It is not a coating on the surface that is applied to create this effect, therefore for some granites once a year a penetrating sealant should be applied recommended by your supplier. Never use a harsh or abrasive solvent or a stone sealer as this will just damage the surface and strip the countertop. You can however polish the surface to keep it gleaming.

Not all damages to the polished granite have to be corrected by a professional, it can easily be done by the home owner themselves. If a hot pan leaves a dark grey-black mark all you have to do is use a fine steel wool or if its a glue like texture that is the problem on the surface, then getting a credit card or a single side razor blade will soon scrape it off. However if the problem is more severe get a professional to carry out the repairs.

Granite is classy, attractive and appealing. It has strength and beauty and if correctly looked after it will last a life time which is why it is the preferred stone for kitchens, giving warmth and character in the different colours available.

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