Stone countertops are very durable and resilient. Granite is so durable, it's easy to think you can use anything on it. However, this is not true if you really want to keep your counters in great condition. Avoid products with ingredients that include lemon, vinegar or other acids. Rocktops will seal your countertops at installation for you.
The easiest way to keep your stone looking great is to avoid bad habits that may damage it. Here are a few tips:
Sealing - Frequency will depend on kitchen traffic (kids, etc.) but typically once a year is recommended. Sealing products can be found at Lowe's or Home Depot. New sealers cover you for 3 - 5 years.
Cleaning - Use soap and warm water. Do not use anything containing chemicals or ammonia, degreasers or tile/window cleaner.
~ Scratching - cutting directly on granite will dull your knife and eventually dull your granite shine.
~ Chipping - Not common, but it does occur. If possible, save piece that has chipped, sometimes it can be epoxied back into place.
~ Burning - Hot pots and pans can be set directly on granite, but not on the seams. Remember, the granite will be hot after heat application.
~ Staining - Wipe up spills immediately and prevent any staining at all (it typically takes 24 hours for stains to set). Wine and coffee stain quicker than most products used in kitchens. Glasses will leave a water-ring but this will evaporate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rocktops has put together a list of topics to help answer your questions:
Do we have to have seams?
Not necessarily, granite slabs run on average 110" x 66". Larger slabs are available however, the bigger the slab the smaller the selection of colors. Keep these sizes in mind when designing your cabinets and check on slab sizes to accommodate any large island or exceptionally long areas of countertops.
Is marble or granite more expensive?
Origin, availability, and yield of the given quarry are the determining factors in price. With both marble and granite, these things vary. Therefore, there is no set rule on which is more expensive.
How far can granite extend beyond the cabinet without extra support?
According to the Marble Institute of America, structured support is needed when overhangs exceed 10" for 3cm material and 6" for 2cm material.
How much does granite weigh?
Approximately 18 lbs per square foot.
Will bacteria grow on granite?
Bacteria is a living organism, just like anything else living it needs food to live. Bacteria do not eat granite. Unkempt and unclean countertops can harbor bacteria no matter what the material is.
Does a professional have to come in and seal my countertops?
No, sealing is a simple process that a homeowner can easily perform on his or her own. Sealer is a liquid that is smoothed over the surface with a clean, dry cloth, and then buffed off like you would wax a car. Rocktops offers a starter stone care kit!
I'm building a new home, when do I select my granite?
3-4 weeks prior to installation of your cabinets.