Granite countertops are a unique and beautiful focal point regardless of the type of kitchen they appear in. With all eyes on these scintillating surfaces, you'll want to avoid a stained or chipped granite countertop at all costs.
Though it's beautiful and sturdy, granite is susceptible to scratches, stains, and chipping. Care has to be taken both in everyday use and in preventative maintenance (such as a sealer).
In this article, we'll help you avoid common mistakes and protect your countertops from damage and harm for years to come. Keep reading to learn best practices and preventative measures as an owner of granite counters.
Why Granite is a Perfect Choice for Your Kitchen
Granite counters can help you boost your home's value in addition to revamping it in elegant and simple ways. Granite is a tough material composed of tightly interlocking grains. This means that the surface is durable and doesn't have pores.
Porous materials are bad news for a kitchen because they allow germs and bacteria a comfortable home that chemicals may not be able to reach. Besides being more sanitary, granite will also serve a sturdy choice of counter space for the busy chef.
As far as maintaining counters go, granite isn't a difficult challenge. We'll discuss the exact materials in a bit, but one of the biggest takeaways is that granite is resistant to the buildup of moisture.
You can use cleaning materials without worrying about leaving moisture buildup while you clean. You get all the good (beauty, strength) without weaker materials (porous, likely to scuff).
However, granite is capable of cracking if something heavy and sharp is dropped onto the surface. To avoid any discoloration and to prevent damage, consider some of the professional tips below:
How to Avoid a Damaged, Chipped Granite Countertop
Proper care (and not that much of it) is all you need to take your gorgeous granite countertops into the future with you. Apart from avoiding catching things on granite countertop edges, here are a few insightful tips you should consider:
Seal Your Countertops
If you haven't already, sealing your countertops should be a top priority moving forward. Sealing the surface can make all the difference in keeping countertops clean and more secure from harm.
This is something that you can have done when the countertops are installed (preferred) or you can have it applied afterward. The sooner the sealant is on, however, the sooner you can protect the kitchen counters from regular wear.
Though granite isn't a porous material, it does have fine grooves or cracks that liquid can get into. Sealing the surface gives an extra smooth shield that repels liquids and makes cleanup that much easier.
Avoid Using Counters As Cutting Boards
As we mentioned before, these countertops are durable but still not completely scratch-resistant. For most of your kitchen requirements, granite counters serve a sturdy base that is resistant to moderate impact and jagged edges.
A good way to test its ability to the fullest (and likely scar your counters for good) is to use them in place of a cutting board. Sawing through chicken, chopping up veggies, fileting fish--these all require strong, steady knife strokes.
Resultingly, the knife (serrated or not) can cut through the food and drag across the granite the same way glass is scratched. Make sure to always use a cutting board and avoid contact between the counter and any knife blades.
Don't Apply Heavy Pressure
With counters this attractive and reliable, you'll want to spend a lot more time in your kitchen.
With counters enhancing your sink, you'll want to stack plates and silverware on them, set boxes and grocery bags on them, and perhaps even use them to stand on.
If you're thinking about using your granite countertops like a stepping stool--think again. Applying a bunch of pressure can mean cracks and fractures on your counters, especially around unsupported edges.
Avoid sitting, standing, or placing any rough or heavy objects on your counters. Sealants will help to prevent against scuffing and cracking to an extent, but once you make the mistake of breaking your counter, you're stuck with it.
Clean With the Right Materials
Here's where things might sound tricky, but as long as you're willing to learn why, you can learn to avoid what you should avoid cleaning with.
For instance, typical at-home solutions that might seem perfect can actually do substantial harm. Simple soap and water solutions tend to leave behind a layer of film that dulls the color and sheen of your granite.
Strong acidic solutions can actually damage your counters, too. That means you should avoid using lemon and vinegar to sanitize kitchen surfaces.
Your best bet is to stick a pH neutral solution. You can find pre-made concoctions at the store or can find at-home recipes online using many ingredients likely already in your kitchen.
Fix Cracks and Chips ASAP
This might be a tough pill to swallow: scratches, scuffs, dings, chips--these things are all very likely to happen with normal wear and tear. There are ways to prevent damage and good habits that all owners should create, but you can't bulletproof it.
Granite dust and epoxy mixtures are great solutions to little chips or cracks. Your supplier is likely to suggest or provide the best mixtures for your counter.
If an entire piece breaks off, look for adhesive materials capable of securing the piece back to the edge securely. You'll want to fix chips, breaks, and other rough edges quickly to avoid further damage by snagging or through usual wear.
Keep Your Counters Immaculate Over Time
A chipped granite countertop is preventable with the right upkeep over time. And now you have the know-how to keep counters immaculate for years.
Custom countertops are sure to set off the ooh's and aah's with guests and will make spending any time in the kitchen feel that much more luxurious. Don't let the worry over upkeep deter you from investing in this eye-catching material.
Looking for more practical and insightful information from the professionals? Check out other blogs and articles on the BBK Direct blog today!