About Granite and Marble
Granite is an igneous rock. The uniqueness of granite comes from it’s crystals, quartz, mica, feldspar and other types of minerals trapped with the rock. There are about 1,000 different varieties of granite textures and colors.
When selecting the granite for a countertop, there are two types:Consistent, which has the same pattern throughout the piece; andVariegated, which has veins that vary in each piece.
Marble, on the other hand, is a metamorphic limestone, is comprised of calcite, aragonite and dolomite crystals, and changes composition over time from one rock to another. A serpentine class marble has a much harder surface and thus is a good choice for a countertop, withstanding the wear and tear in the kitchen.
Cleaning A Granite Countertop
To clean your granite countertop, use a microfiber cloth to first dust off the surface of the countertop. Using just water, wipe down the granite daily, or as needed. Using a stone cleaner with a neutral pH, once per week wipe down with a damp cloth.
Never use the harsh type chemicals or abrasive cleaners, such as cleanser. They can put permanent scratches in on the surface of the stone, or pit and etch it.
In removing oily stains, use a poultice comprised of one cup of flour or baking soda along with five tablespoons of dish soap. Then add water to bring the consistency to that of sour cream. Then put the solution directly on the stain and cover it with a plastic wrap over night. Then wash it away with water.
Granite should be sealed before it is used to avoid colored fruit juices and cooking oils from seeping into small fissures and cracks. You should only use a high-quality granite sealer, available at most home improvement stores, or at European Marble and Granite. They have a life span of upto ten years.
One of the most important phases of the whold sealing process, is the thorough and complete cleaning and removal of any residue from the stone surface.
After a thorough cleaning, let it dry for 24 hours before applying the sealer. Then apply the sealer and let it dry. Once the sealer is dry, buff it off with an old terry-cloth bath towel.
Do’s and Don’ts With Granite
- Do clean a spill immediately,
- Don’t rub it, rather just blot it.
- Do use a cleaning agent designed for granite and marble.
- Don’t use generic harsh cleaning products.
- Do clean your granite and marble surfaces regularly.
- Don’t use any harsh disinfectant, such as Lysol.
- Do clean your stone shower regularly with proper cleaning agent.
- Don’t use any cleansers, either powder or creamy form.
- Don’t leave water spots after showering.
- Do use a squeegee blade to remove water after showering.
How to Determine The Quality Of Granite
Not all granite is of equal quality. Purchasing granite for your home is a life time investment, and you shouldn’t settle for second rate. Here are some tips for determining the quality of the granite slab you pick out:
- Look for cracks in the slab. Cracks can be a sign of a poor quality slab of granite.
- Look for pits and holes in the granite. Low-quality granite will have more holes, as well as larger ones.
- Look for unevenness in the granite. A good granite slab will have an even thickness.
- With a white cloth, rub acetone onto a piece of granite. If color appears on the white cloth it indicates a dyed, lower quality granite.
- With a coin, scrape the granite surface. If it scratches, then the granite has not received a quality polishing job.