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How to Care for Your Granite Countertops

Granite countertops require special care so that they continue looking beautiful for many years. Although granite is quite resistant to scratches, to properly maintain this type of countertop material, it’s advisable to follow a few simple procedures.

  1. Spills have a tendency to soak into the surface, so to avoid deep staining wipe up spills immediately.
  2. For stone surfaces a neutral cleaner, such as stone soap or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water, is safe to use.
  3. When cleaning with a soap solution, use a soft, clean cloth and then rinse the surface thoroughly. Finish off by drying with a soft, clean cloth.
  4. If you do happen to stain the surface, removal depends on the type of stain. First, try removing it with this paste: mix together a cup of flour, 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, and water. Place the paste over the stain, cover in plastic wrap, and leave overnight. In the morning, use a wooden utensil to scrape away the paste and give it a rinse. This should work except for stains made from grease, oil, or milk. In these cases, instead of dishwashing liquid use hydrogen peroxide in the paste, or ammonia.
  5. For organic stains resulting from coffee, tea, or fruit, a mixture of 12% hydrogen peroxide combined with a few drops of ammonia should work wonders.

What is Granite? The Earth’s Oldest Building Material


Granite
—The Earth’s Oldest Building Material

Granite is—quite literally—as old as the earth. It is formed from liquid magma, the molten rock still found at the core of the planet, cooled slowly to form a substance approaching the hardness and durability of diamond. Granite is an igneous rock, the name reflecting its fiery beginnings. The chemical composition of granite is similar to that of lava. However, granite owes its hardness and density to the fact that it has been solidified deep within the earth, under extreme pressure. Over the eons, seismic activity has changed the crust of the planet, forcing veins of granite to the surface. Glaciers scraped off layers of dirt, sand and rock to expose granite formations. Typically revealed by outcrops, the deposits have been discovered on all the continents.

Composition

“Granites are formed of an aggregate of crystals which are molded together without any interspace between them or which enclose one another. The magnificent crystallinity of granite is a striking characteristic.” Geology of Granite, E. Raguin, London, 1965 p.3

It is accurate to speak of “granites,” because many varieties of the stone exist. While they differ in color, texture and crystalline structure, the granites have three essential minerals in common:

  • Feldspar (50% or greater)
  • Quartz (25-40%)
  • Mica (3-10%)

These minerals occur in different proportions, giving each granite its own color, texture and structural characteristics. In addition, hornblende, magnetite, hematite, pyrite, zircon, garnet, corundum and other minerals may be present in smaller amounts, adding to the unique coloration and texture of each granite deposit. In supplying granite for all large building or complex of buildings, it is essential that the stone be consistent in color and texture. To assure this, each granite color must be quarried from the same deposit. With natural material like granite, a certain amount of “movement” or grain in the stone must be expected. Many people find this flow and blending of colors to be the most compelling reason for using granite.

Thinking of using granite countertops in your kitchen?

Kitchen granite countertops in tiles or slabs provide a unique and long-term home remodeling solution. This remains one of the toughest, most sophisticated natural stone choices on the market. Best of all, no two slabs are alike – you will therefore be creating a unique-looking, luxurious kitchen. You can also be sure that with good care, the splendid looks of your granite kitchen countertops will not fade over time.

What are the main benefits of this product and why is it so popular?

1. Value Set In Stone

It is a given that kitchen granite countertops will add to the value of your property. This makes it a sound investment. It adds such elegance to a kitchen, that it will more than pay for itself by the time you erect that For Sale sign outside. If you have funds from a home improvement loan available, this may be a sensible way to spend it.

2. Affordable Aesthetic Appeal

Granite is a natural material that is freely available. It has been around for centuries, yet the trend towards home use has only taken hold in the last forty years or so. While it may seem expensive compared to other options, it can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make. If you take the durability into account, this truly becomes one of the more affordable home improvement options. It is a practical and attractive solution for kitchen cabinets.
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