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Granite

Granite

The beauty and elegance of granite makes it a most prestigious yet practical countertop. No two slabs of granite are exactly the same which means yours will be unique. Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth, so it is not highly vulnerable to scratching. Unlike marble and other calcite based stones, it is not sensitive to acids, so it won't etch.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for granite is simple. Some granites are porous, so they should be sealed with a good quality impregnating sealer. Sealing your granite will give you time to clean up spills before they are absorbed into the stone and create a stain. However, if you do get a stain, most stains can be resolved using a poultice to draw them out. Other than that, keep your granite surfaces clean with a good cleaner designated safe for natural stone. On occasion you may want to spruce up the shine and add a little extra protection from fingerprints on your granite countertops by using a stone polish.

A Little History

Granite has been formed in all the periods of geological time. It is the most common igneous rock in the earth's crust and one of the hardest. It was formed ages ago when magma (molten rock) cooled. This cooling took place below the earth's surface and slowly enough to permit formation of crystals. If a piece of granite is crushed to powder, one could easily pick out tiny fragments of the separate substances or minerals, that compose it, which are: quartz, feldspar and mica. The color of granite depends on the proportion and varieties of the minerals in it.

Problems You May Encounter

The first and most important consideration in granite care and maintenance is to be very selective with your fabricator / installer. A poor installation could result in myriad problems – breaks, cracks, bad seams, lippage on floors... Inferior stone or stone sold as one thing when in actuality is something else can result in extreme frustration. Some stones are being sold today as one thing but are in fact something entirely different. For example, grey granite is being dyed at some quarries to look like black granite, but when the poor unsuspecting end-user spills something that removes the dye and reveals the grey granite appearing as 'whitish splotches' they try everything they can to remove what they think is a stain to no avail.

Many, probably most granites these days, are resined at the factory to give them additional strength. However, the resins in the stone may be vulnerable to UV rays, so may not do well in outdoor kitchens. For these reasons, it is important to work with a reputable, knowledgeable fabricator / installer.