So you’ve agonized over the decision to go with natural stone or solid surface and finally decided on granite for its variations and natural beauty. You’ve pondered whether to use a light or dark color, subtle variations, or more noticeable ones. The granite countertops are finally cut and installed and they are everything you hope they would be. They enhance your kitchen, making it the preparation, dining, and entertaining room of your dreams. So how do you care for your new countertop?
A granite countertop is a significant investment in your home, so it is only right that you should protect and care for it in the proper manner. Granite is a beautiful stone that will last for a very long time, perhaps even a lifetime, if taken care of effectively.
After the granite countertops are installed in your kitchen, it is very important to do several things. The first thing is to clean the granite thoroughly with a neutral ph cleaner made for stone. Your cabinet installer or contractor should be able to recommend a good brand of stone cleanser; if not, go to your local Home Depot or another home center, and they can recommend one to purchase for your granite countertops.
When you have cleaned the installation dust and debris from your new countertops, the next step is the most important to do before using your new countertops. You must seal the granite. A sealer can be recommended by your contractor or picked up at the same place you get your cleanser. Sealing provides a protective barrier against surface staining and etching. Another advantage of the sealant is that it enhances your color and adds to the shine and beauty of your new countertops.
Sealing should be done at least every six months, although your contractor may suggest doing it more or less often. It is a good idea to make sure that you seal the areas in which you use a lot of water, such as by the sink, and areas where there is a lot of greases, such as by the stove, more often. The sealant is very durable, but you don’t want to take chances with natural granite counter tops that probably cost you a significant amount of money.
Another tip about granite counter top care is to clean up spills right away. You do not want to let spills sit on the granite and perhaps leave a stain. It is fairly unlikely that a stain will occur if you are using your sealer often enough, but it is still a good idea to wipe up any food or grease stains immediately.
All in all, granite countertops are one of the easiest countertop surfaces to take care of. They only need cleaning and the occasional sealing to make them beautiful and to make them last. So take care of your countertops and they will be an investment you are proud to have in your home, and a major selling point if you ever decide to move.