Protect Your Granite: Four Hazards to Avoid

Savvy Granite ColorsGranite counter tops are increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Not only do they offer beautiful one-of-a-kind design, but they are also extremely durable and comparatively easy-to-care for. Despite the many benefits of granite, it’s important to keep in mind that it is not totally indestructible.

In order to get the best life and value out of your granite, you should definitely take the time to learn how to care for it. This includes being aware of certain hazards and precautions you should take when enjoying your granite. By following recommended guidelines, you can be sure that your countertops will remain beautiful for many years to come.

What Is Granite?

Granite is classified as a Siliceous Igneous rock. This type of stone is formed with varying percentages of quartz, feldspar, and other minerals. This makes granite extremely hard, stain-resistant and heat-resistant when compared to other stones.  It also makes granite less reactive to acids, like those found in lemons and limes, making it an ideal surface for food preparation.

Risks to Avoid with Granite Countertops

While granite has many resistant qualities, this doesn’t mean that it’s impenetrable. Here are four possible things that can damage your granite countertops:

  1. Extreme Heat:  Although granite is generally able to withstand high heat without problems, it is not recommended that you place hot pans or other items directly onto your granite countertop.  This stone is a natural product, and it may contain fissures or other imperfections. This means that exposure to extreme heat could cause cracking to the stone.  When placing hot pans on your counters, consider using trivets or heat resistant mats.
  2. Staining:  A strong stone like granite is very resistant to staining, but it is still possible for some staining to occur.  Certain kitchen oils, for example butter or vegetable oil, can sometimes cause staining on granite. Similarly, wine or coffee can also leave their mark. Remember that most “stains” in granite aren’t actually stains; they’re simply tiny pores in the granite that have become filled with whatever was spilled.  As a result, this discoloration can usually be removed.  Removal can be as simple as soaking or blotting the area. While most stains that occur can be removed, it is best to always clean up spills immediately and to use coasters.
  3. Moisture:  The surface of granite counter tops is resin impregnated in the factory, with a sealer applied during the at-home installation. This makes the stone shiny, and makes it less porous than unsealed stone.  However, it is still slightly porous.  As a result, it may darken when wet.  For instance, a ring may appear around the base of a glass due to condensation. This is temporary, and can be easily avoided with the use of a coaster.
  4. Abrasive Cleansers:  Most spills or messes can be easily cleaned off of granite.  For everyday cleaning, a mild soap and water solution, and a soft cloth will do the trick.  There are also many products on the market that are sold specifically as granite cleaners.

Granite should be treated as a work of art, while also serving a great function to your kitchen and bathroom countertops. Try to avoid extreme heat, abrasive cleaners, staining and moisture damage. And always take care of your granite by using coasters, potholders and other preventative measures.

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