Granite countertops remain the top choice for homeowners nationwide. While the housing industry has begun to recover in some regions, there are other communities where it’s a buyer’s market. Cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston continue to be attractive places to purchase a home with granite countertops. In these markets, granite countertops are still a strong investment. When remodeled to include granite, the value can even increase. Acosta Contracting can install the granite countertops of your choice with no worries.
Most people immediately think of granite countertops when they consider new home improvement projects. However, this is far from the only stone used in countertop materials. Granite is among the most durable natural granite countertop materials available. It is also among one of the most beautiful, giving any kitchen an upscale look. Because granite countertops are not glued down, they tend to last much longer than their adhesive-adhesive counterparts.
Many homeowners wonder if it’s okay to use acidic cleaning liquids on their countertop. Most commercial cleaners that contain acids will damage stone materials over time. While using an acid-based cleaner may get the countertop cleaner instantly clean, it can cause streaks in the stone, weakening its seal. Instead of using an acidic liquid to cleanse your granite countertops, opt for water-based cleaners instead.
Acidic liquids are not the only substance that can weaken granite countertops. Many cleaning products have acidic ingredients. Lemon juice is one popular additive that will do permanent damage to natural granite slabs. If lemon juice is used on granite countertops, a protective film will form over time. This film will prevent future stains and will make your countertop surfaces more comfortable to use.
When shopping for a granite countertop sealer, shop for a product that doesn’t contain abrasive ingredients. Scouring pads, stiff cloths, and other harsh tools are not great for sealing granite countertops. They can actually chip away from the surface. Opt for a gentle cleaning agent that won’t scratch the surface, but won’t harm it in the process. Look for a sealer with mild ingredients, like vinegar.
A backslash can be an area where you might mess up if you’re not careful. However, if you have granite countertops or other natural stone materials on your bathroom or kitchen sink, you could end up ruining them. Some homeowners use acidic solutions on their sink countertops and forget about them. These acids can eat away at the granite and cause it to become weaker over time. If you don’t want to end up with a cracked countertop, avoid using acidic cleaners on your sinks.
When washing your granite countertops, make sure you don’t use too hot a solution. A hot pan will cause streaks and leave stains. Spills should be cleaned up immediately and shouldn’t be allowed to set. Use a soft sponge or a brush dipped in warm water to blot out any spills. You can also use a sponge and a mild detergent to clean any scratches on your countertop surface.
If you’re planning to use acid-based sealers, try to stay away from hard water. Hard water can cause your sealer to peel off. Also, keep in mind that your granite countertops will need to sit for long periods of time, so make sure you have adequate drying time. Dry spills should be promptly cleaned up and any residue should be allowed to dry before setting your sink.
Acidic cleaners can damage your granite countertops. To reduce the impact of these cleaners, pour some water over the countertop surface and then wipe it with a soft cloth or a sponge dipped in acid. Be sure to rinse the cloth or sponge after applying acid. After rinsing, apply a finishing coat of sealant to protect your investment and prevent it from peeling. You can also use a wood putty knife to scrape off any excess sealant or sealer residue.
Some countertops have large, flat matte-colored granite strips surrounding sharp-edged flat facets. These matte-colored granite threads are called seam lines. You can paint or varnish your countertop surfaces to match the rest of your kitchen. Just be aware that if there are crevices in your countertops, you’ll probably want to cover those areas with matching materials, such as wood putty.
If you have solid granite slabs, you may want to preserve them as is or apply some sealant or protective coating. If your slabs are cut into pieces, you can glue each piece to a wooden frame with a wood glue gun. This way, you can create a wine glass effect or display your granite countertops with glasses, napkins, or plates. Also, sealing your slabs will prolong their life and prevent stains from appearing on your slabs.