Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Top 5 Things You Should Know Before Installing Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are incredibly popular in new and redesigned kitchens across the United States. Many people choose granite for its durability and beauty without knowing much about the material. The more you know about granite, the more likely you are to love granite, but there are a few things that even those who own granite don’t even know.

Design Options are Unlimited

Natural stone, including granite, can come in a variety of colors and patterns. This plethora of options is one reason why granite countertops are used in all styles of kitchens ranging from industrial to rustic to minimalist. With so many design options, there is literally a granite for every style. Keep in mind that granite can also come in different finishes, so if you want a shiny look or matte look, they are both possible. Additionally, homeowners can choose an edge finish design as well. No two cuts of granite will have the exact same color and pattern, and the uniqueness of a granite countertop can’t be replicated.

Since there are so many options, it is important that you select the options that are right for you and your home. Keep in mind that countertops don’t have to match from room to room, and many homeowners enjoy using completely different granite in their bathrooms than what they have in the kitchen to add more variety to the home.

Seams Are Necessary

Since all stone has to be cut to fit into your space, you will want to make sure it looks the best it possibly can. That means that you will want to talk to the fabricator in advance about the seams. As the installer is measuring your countertops, you can make sure that the granite that will be going in won’t have obvious seams in places that you don’t want them. Some seams may be avoidable, but you can ask your fabricator about using a suction-automated machine that will hold the granite in place to help reduce the appearance of any seams that are necessary.

Granite Isn’t an All-Purpose Surface

Granite is durable, but that doesn’t mean you should do all your work on it. The durability of granite is one of many reasons why so many people love having granite countertops, but even though it can hold up to a lot of use, that doesn’t mean that you should abuse it by doing all kinds of terrible things to it.

Rolling out doughs is a great use for granite countertops, but chopping vegetables isn’t. While you may think you are getting away with one less dish to clean later, you can dull your knives very quickly by using them to cut things on a granite countertop.
Additionally, skip putting hot pots and pans onto your countertops from the oven or stove. The extreme change in temperature can cause damage to the finish of the countertop and could even cause cracks. Instead, use a trivet or potholder under hot cookware.
One big myth about granite is that it is unbreakable, but that isn’t true. Many people have found themselves looking at a broken countertop after accidentally putting something heavy down on top of the stone too hard. If you are using tools or anything similar, don’t put them directly on the stone to prevent cracks, chips, and other damage.

Granite Can Break

Indestructible isn’t a word that can be used to describe granite. While granite is very durable, it can be damaged. Granite holds up really well, but don’t expect it to withstand everything you think it should. Granite countertops aren’t immune to scuffs, dings, or chips, and one of the best ways to prevent damage is to clean, polish, and seal your countertops properly. Proper care can prevent a lot of the common damage that occurs on granite countertops.

Maintenance is Key

No matter how you use your countertop, keeping it cleaned, polished, and sealed will help it last for decades. Granite should be cleaned daily with a cleaner that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that could cause abrasions in the stone. A granite cleaner is the best option.

Cleaning can prevent damage such as discoloration, scratches, and stains, but cleaner alone won’t do the trick. Granite needs to be frequently polished; polishing granite will help prevent some of the same problems as cleaning at a larger scale. Additionally, granite polish will keep the finish of your stone looking shiny and new. Polishing can keep minor problems at bay, but for real protection, your going to have to go a step further.
Lastly, once every 12 to 18 months, granite countertops will need to be resealed. Sealing granite countertops prevents liquids from seeping into the stone and staining or discoloring the stone. It can also help prevent small dings and chips in the stone. A granite sealer applied when needed will keep your stone looking as good as new for years.

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