Five Things You Should Know Before Buying Granite Countertops
Granite and Natural Stone Countertops Offer Unlimited Design Choices
From rustic country kitchens to modern, minimalist lofts, there’s a granite or natural stone countertop that’s perfect for just about any style of home. Natural stone surfaces come in a seemingly endless array of colors and patterns, not to mention offering buyers a wealth of options when it comes to design elements. Want a shiny finish or a more matte look? Granite and other natural stone countertops can do either, and everything in between. That’s not even getting into design choices like edge options, from square to bullnose to rough edges for a more natural look. And because granite is a naturally occurring stone, real granite countertops are all one-of-a-kind, with a unique color, pattern, and character that can’t be replicated.
When choosing a granite or other natural stone countertop, it’s important to find the option that’s right for your home’s overall design, but remember that it isn’t uncommon to have different colors, styles, and even types of natural stone throughout the house to conform with the design of each room. Just because you use dark granite countertops for your kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do the same with your bathroom!
You Should Ask Your Fabricator About Seams
Of course, natural stone can’t be poured or formed to fit your kitchen. It has to be cut. In order to make your countertop look its best, a professional granite installer will work very hard at every step of the process to ensure that your countertops look as seamless as possible. That includes measuring the space beforehand, cutting the granite to fit, and actually performing the installation with care and attention to detail. Still, since it’s your kitchen at the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to talk to your fabricator in advance about seams—where they’re going to be located, how visible they will be, and if there are any special considerations you should keep in mind. Since some seams are unavoidable, the very best granite fabricators often install countertops using a suction-automated machine that helps to hold the granite in place and ensure that any seams that do exist are as unobtrusive as possible.
Your Granite Countertop Isn’t an All-Purpose Work Surface
Granite is remarkably durable and holds up incredibly well to all sorts of use. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s a favorite countertop choice for chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers—not to mention homeowners all over the world. But just because granite holds up to lots of use doesn’t mean that you should subject it to all sorts of abuse.
Your granite countertops may be great for rolling out dough, but you should still use a cutting board for chopping vegetables. This isn’t just to protect your countertops, either. Granite is actually so durable that it will dull your knives! It’s also not a good idea to put hot pans onto your granite countertops straight from the stove or oven. Extreme changes in temperature can damage the finish on your countertop or even lead to cracks and other imperfections. That’s why it’s always a good idea to use a trivet or potholder. And of course, while granite is an extremely solid natural stone, like any stone it can be broken, so don’t leave hammers and other tools on it when you’re doing other home improvement projects! Fixing that cabinet? Find an old towel or something else to lay over your granite countertops before piling them with heavy tools. Click here for more interesting facts about granite!
Granite Isn’t Unbreakable
Granite is mighty tough, but at the end of the day no surface is entirely indestructible. Even the strongest stone in the world can be chipped, cracked, or broken in the right circumstances. While granite countertops hold up incredibly well over time, accidents can happen if you’re working in the kitchen, and it’s possible that your countertop may become scuffed, dinged, or chipped. One of the best ways to protect your countertops from damage is by sealing, polishing, and cleaning granite countertops regularly. Like anything else, a granite countertop will give back to you based on how well you take care of it, and regularly cleaning, not to mention sealing and polishing, can help protect your countertops against stains, spills, scuffs, chips, and other damage.
Maintaining and Cleaning Your Granite Countertops is Essential
Whatever countertop you choose for your kitchen—or bathroom or any other room in the house—it’s vital that you take proper care of it. Talk to your fabricator or installer about the appropriate care for your granite or other natural stone countertops. Different surfaces have different care requirements, so do your homework before you buy and make sure that you have the right tools—and the right know-how—to take good care of your countertops from day one!
When it comes to caring for granite and other natural stone countertops, you don’t have to spend a lot of extra time to keep them looking and performing great. You just need the right tools for the job. In this case, that means products that are specially formulated for polishing, sealing, and cleaning granite countertops. You can use them to clean up spills as they occur, polish your countertops to keep them looking great and help protect them from harm, and seal them as needed to keep them looking like new for years to come.
If you’re in search of the right tools for polishing, sealing, and cleaning your new granite countertops, look no further than Rock Doctor’s complete line of granite cleaning and granite care products, all of which are specially formulated for use on granite and other natural stone surfaces, and all of which are available at your neighborhood Lowe’s Home Improvement store or participating Ace Hardware, Do it Best, Home Depot, and True Value locations.