Tag Archives: Granite maintenance

Why You Should Consider Granite Kitchen Countertops

Are you looking for countertops to install in your kitchen? You should highly consider giving granite countertops a try. Why is this so? Well, because the countertops come with several attractive features that include:

They add value to the kitchen

There is no denying that well-installed granite counters are elegant to look at. As you can guess, this means that when you install them, they significantly increase the value of your house as people want to have them.

If you consider selling your house later, granite countertops make a lot of sense as they significantly increase the house’s value, so you sell at a high price.

You should note that when you are remodeling your house solely for sale, you should avoid the premium granite trim counters as chances are high you won’t recoup your investment. To make money from the remodel, go with medium-priced countertops.

Granite countertops are beautiful.

Since they are natural, granite countertops are naturally beautiful. The natural nature of the countertops also means that the pieces are unique. This means that no two slabs are the same.

Even if you have several almost identical slabs in your kitchen, they aren’t exactly similar. This gives you a sense of uniqueness, as you are sure that no one in the world has a countertop identical to yours.

The unique and beautiful nature of the countertops also means that you have a comfortable house to live in.

The countertops are durable.

Granite is naturally strong, meaning that it’s bound to last for a long time when you take good care of it. When well maintained, granite slabs can last up to 50 years, which is more than most other (even artificial) countertop options, such as quartz.

Of course, for the countertops to last this long, you must take good care of them. While tough, don’t sit on them, especially on the edges, as you will crack them. Instead, have a stool in your kitchen to sit on as you prepare the food.

You also should avoid cutting directly on the countertops, as you will scratch them, giving them an ugly look. Even if the countertops can stand the abuse, you should always have a chopping board in place to maintain a clean look. Use this board to chop tomatoes, onions, meat, and anything else you might be preparing.

How you clean the countertops also plays a massive role in their life, so always be cautious about how you go about it. As a rule, don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your surfaces. This calls for you to avoid vinegar-containing products at all costs.

The countertops are versatile.

Whether you want to give your kitchen a minimalistic or traditional look, there are granite counters you can use for this.

To pull off the look, you need to install the countertops properly. This calls for you to work with experienced contractors that know what they are doing. The last thing you should do is work with cheap contractors that ruin your project.

Before installing the countertops, sit down with your contractor and explain to them the look you are after. For peace of mind that they will properly install the countertops, ask them to show other kitchens they have done with the same design. Of course, avoid the contractors that don’t have samples.

They are perfect for the kitchen.

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, and it’s often a highly demanding place that requires robust materials.

Thankfully, granite can withstand water, stains, oils, hot pans, and other risks.

As mentioned above, while granite is tough, you must protect it from these elements. Besides removing water and oils before they form stains, you should regularly seal your granite kitchen countertops Durham.

A good way to go about it is to seal the surfaces at the time of installation and then at least once a year after that.

4 Things That Will Destroy Your Granite Countertops

Did you know that your granite countertops can be destroyed even by the most mundane things? Here are some of the things that can wreak havoc:

Raw meat

As much as it appears harmless, raw meat can be highly harmful to your countertops. The harm comes when the fluids from the meat seep into the granite layers.

Here bacteria and other microbes grow and not only give your countertops an ugly look, but also easily give you food poisoning.

The situation is even worse when you decide to chop the meat on your countertops. As much as granite appears tough, it’s not immune to knife damage. This means that when you decide to chop the meat directly on the surfaces, you are bound to damage your precious countertops.

Don’t make it a habit to place your raw meat directly on the countertops to protect your surfaces. When you accidentally do it, move with haste to clean and disinfect the surfaces.

As you use disinfectants, be cautious, as you can easily cause more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, don’t use vinegar or bleach solutions as they have been shown to discolor the countertops. In other cases, they have been shown to cause extensive wear and tear.

To protect your surfaces, don’t cut directly on them. Instead, always have a chopping board on hand.

Hot pans

The other thing that will destroy your countertops is a hot pan. As much as granite appears tough, it’s not fireproof.

You might get away with placing hot pans on your countertops a couple of times, but when you repeatedly do it, you stand, causing significant damage to the surfaces.

It’s normal to have accidental slips and place the hot pans on your surfaces, but to stay on the safe side, don’t place hot pans or any other hot item on your surfaces. The right way to go about it is always to have trivets or hot pads on your surfaces.

If you don’t have these, always let the pans and hot pots cool completely before you place them on the countertops.


Yes, you read that right. Food can be harmful to your countertops. A classic example is a red wine. As much as it makes you feel relaxed and happy, red wine is acidic and can be extremely harmful to the countertops when you let them sit for a long time.

The acids in the wine etch the countertop surfaces, degrading the seal and exposing the vulnerable stone underneath. This not only gives your countertops an ugly look but also makes your countertops develop stains that are hard to remove.

To protect your countertops and keep them in perfect shape, ensure that you wipe all the spills as soon as they happen. As mentioned above, don’t use harsh liquids such as vinegar and others as they might cause more problems than were originally there.


You must have visited a friend and found them bathing their child in the kitchen sink. While this looks fun, don’t try it in your kitchen.

This is because doing it puts too much pressure on the countertop sink, putting it at risk of getting damaged.

As much as the sink in your kitchen appears tough, it’s not designed to handle too much weight. This means that placing the baby in the sink increases the chances of it getting damaged.

Regardless of how happy you want to make the baby, don’t bathe them in the sink—use your regular bathing area for this.

The same way you shouldn’t use the kitchen sink for bathing your child is the same way you shouldn’t sit or stand on your countertops.

Most homeowners are guilty of this. They will sit on their countertops while waiting for the food to cook. Others will stand on the surfaces as they reach the top shelf or replace the bulbs.

To protect your granite kitchen countertops Durham, don’t sit or stand on them. Have a chair to sit on while in the kitchen. It’s also wise to have a ladder to step on when looking to replace the bulb or reach the top shelf.

Can You Use Clorox Wipes On Granite?

Like other homeowners, you have Clorox wipes in your home, and when you are looking to disinfect your surfaces, they must be the first things you reach out to. But not so fast. Can you use Clorox wipes on granite?

Clorox wipes contain citric acid that can wear down the sealant on your granite countertops, exposing them to stains, spills, and other forms of damage. Due to this, you shouldn’t use Clorox wipes on granite.

How should you disinfect granite countertops?

Most people will tell you to use disinfectants specifically designed for granite counters, but the truth is that finding a product that is a perfect fit for your stone is a bit tricky.

So how should you disinfect the surfaces?

The best way to go about it is to use 70% isopropyl alcohol. Spray the alcohol on the surfaces and let it sit there for 3-5 minutes to ensure the surfaces are thoroughly disinfected.

You should then wipe the surfaces dry using a microfiber cloth to eliminate as many germs from the countertops as possible. For best results, work in sections.

It can be tempting to dilute the alcohol so that you have less concentration, but don’t do this as the alcohol’s effectiveness at killing the germs significantly drops when you dilute the alcohol below 50%.

If you have scoured the stores and can’t find 70% isopropyl alcohol, use soap with antibacterial properties. Head to your local store and buy a bacterial hand washing soap.

You should then mix the soap with warm water and wipe the granite surfaces using a microfiber cloth.

How often should you disinfect your countertops?

Countertop experts recommend you disinfect your countertops once a week, but you can do it more frequently if many people are coming into contact with your surfaces. The beauty is you don’t need to hire a professional to help with the disinfecting—you can easily do it on your own.

Tips to keep granite surfaces in top shape

Other than disinfecting granite, you need to take good care of it to keep it in top shape. Some of the things you should do include:

Clean the countertops

It goes without saying that cleaning granite countertops is a must if you want to keep them looking great for decades. The cool thing is you don’t need to be fancy when cleaning the countertops.

Begin with filling your clean sink with warm water and a mild soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dishcloth before proceeding to wipe the surfaces of any spills and cramps present.

Once you are done, dry and buff the granite surfaces thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry towel to avoid streaking.

When cleaning, don’t use acidic cleaners such as lemon, lime, vinegar, or anything with ammonia or bleach as it will dull or even weaken the granite seal. Remember, the harsher, the cleaner you are using, the quicker it is to break the sealant, so avoid using harsh chemicals at all costs.

Seal the countertops

Granite is porous, meaning that it quickly absorbs spills and collects stains easily. To protect the countertops from staining easily, seal them regularly. Like cleaning, you don’t need to hire a professional to help you with it.

Begin with spraying the cleaner onto a clean countertop surface, then wipe the spray up with a clean microfiber cloth.  Wait for at least 20 minutes, then apply a second layer.

For peace of mind you have thoroughly sealed your countertops, apply the sealing product at least 3 times.

While all granite surfaces require sealing, how you do it varies depending on the type of stone you have. Some surfaces are treated with resins, so you don’t need to keep sealing them. Others require sealing every 6 months to a year. It’s up to you to research and find out the type of countertop you have and how to seal it properly.

Remove stains

You need to get rid of the stains on your surfaces to keep your countertops looking great. You can remove the stains at home by yourself using baking soda or water, but if the stains are tough, you may have to hire granite contractors Raleigh that use commercial stain removal products.

How to Tell If Countertop Is Granite or Quartz

best quartz countertop

When homeowners are looking to remodel their homes, the popular debate is whether they should install granite or quartz countertops. The experienced homeowners know the difference between the two, but the new ones are always asking how to tell if the countertop is granite or quartz.

Before we tell you how to tell the difference, let’s start with knowing about each countertop material.

What is quartz?

Quartz is a manmade material made up of 90-95% quartz and 5-10% resin. Often referred to as engineered stone, the material is made from leftover quartz that is ground and mixed with resin.

Quartz occurs in a variety of colors ranging from whites to purples and blues. You can leave the countertop material naturally colored or enhance it to achieve a particular color or pattern. Since quartz is manufactured, it comes in a variety of slab sizes and shapes.

What is granite?

Granite is a 100% natural occurring rock formed over some time by the cooling of molten lava. As lava cools and compresses over centuries, it forms flecks and striations that give the countertops its character.

The granite stone is made up of several minerals that give each slab different colours and characteristics.

Granite is harvested in a quarry where it’s later cut into manageable slab sizes. From there it’s sent to the supplier where it’s polished to achieve its characteristic shine. The supplier then cuts it again to fit your bathroom countertop or kitchen island size.

How can you tell if a countertop material is granite or quartz?

For you to tell the countertop material you are dealing with; you need to look at several factors that include:


Since granite is natural, it has an earthier texture that results from mineral crystals which often bear microscopic fissures.

Quartz is bound with resin which means the countertop doesn’t have the crystalline structure or natural fissures similar to those you find in granite. Due to this, quartz has a smoother texture. You should note that the more finely ground the quartz is, the glossier and more polished the overall appearance is.


Just like any other countertop material, the cost of granite and quartz varies depending on the slab thickness, color, edge profile, and whether the countertop will house a sink.

Regardless of all this, quartz is generally cheaper than granite. The extra cost of granite is due to the months, or even years it can take to locate and quarry granite. It’s also expensive to transport granite from India, Russia, and Brazil, where most of the world’s supply is found.

Quartz is abundant and often mined in the United States (primarily Arkansas) hence the lower costs which are passed on to you.


A standard granite slab measures 105 by 54 inches which is narrower and shorter than standard-sized quartz slab that measures 120 by 55 inches or the jumbo-sized quartz slab at 129 by 65 inches.

While the smaller size makes it easier to install granite slabs as the granite installers have an easier time handling the slabs, the slabs cover a smaller area; hence you have to purchase many of them. It also means you have many unsightly seams to deal with.

Wider and taller quartz slabs allow you to cover small and large countertop areas with fewer slabs. This means more savings and fewer seams.

Maintenance and durability

Although, both materials are durable, granite is relatively porous hence requires sealing after installation, then periodic sealing on an ongoing basis. Granite slabs also tend to have natural flaws that make them prone to cracking.

Quartz doesn’t require any sealing and its uniform throughout, which means it rarely cracks.

The resins in quartz slabs makes them highly resistant to staining compared to granite. The resins also make quartz less susceptible to harboring bacteria.

Which one is better?

Your choice between the two is solely dependent on your preferences. You might be attracted to the natural veining and beauty of granite slabs or be drawn to the consistency of quartz.

Regardless of the material you choose, you should note that none is DIY friendly so you will have to hire granite contractors Durham to help you with the installation.

6 Ways To Ensure Your Kitchen Countertops Last Long

When you install kitchen countertops, you want them to last for as long as possible. This calls for you to take good care of them. The cool thing is that there are plenty of ways of going about it:

Ensure proper installation

Everything begins here. There is no way your countertops will last for a long time if they aren’t properly installed.

Many people try to cut costs, by going for the cheapest contractor they can afford. Don’t do this.

While you will save a few coins here and there, you will end up spending too much money on repairs as cheap contractors often don’t have the right skills to install the countertops properly.

In some cases, they improperly install the countertops such that you have to remove all the countertops and install new ones. This is extremely expensive!

To avoid this, don’t be cheap. Hire an experienced contractor. While the professional will be a little bit expensive, the extra cost will be worth it as he/she will install countertops that will last for decades.

To protect yourself in the event of an accident during countertop installation, work with an insured contractor. Take a closer look at the insurance certificate and confirm that it even covers countertop damage.

Stone countertops

The most popular stone countertops are granite and quartz. Regardless of the type of countertop you have, you should take good care of it for it to last for long.

The first thing you should do is to seal the countertops. During installation, ensure the contractor seals the surfaces with a high-quality sealing agent. The frequency of sealing depends on the quality, color, and use of the countertops.

When it comes to lighter colors, seal them every 1-3 years. Seal darker colors 3-5 years.

In addition to sealing the countertops, you also should avoid sitting or standing on them. This is to prevent the countertops from cracking after placing too much weight on them.

Slate countertops

Slate countertops are known for their brittleness. They also stain from cooking oil spills and are easily damaged by abrasive cleaners. To prevent them from cracking, avoid placing too much weight on them. You also should always protect the surfaces when cooking to prevent stains.

When cleaning the surfaces, use a pH-neutral stone cleaner when necessary.

Laminate countertops

These are susceptible to water damage. To keep them in top shape, be cautious that you don’t let water seep into the seam. This is because they tend to swell up and buckle.

When it comes to cleaning, use mild dish detergent and microfiber cloths. Only use baking soda for tough stains.

Solid surface

Stay away from abrasive cleaners, especially if you have a shiny finish instead of matte. For the tough spots, use mild soap, baking soda, and microfiber cloths. After removing the stains, rinse the surfaces with a clean cloth.

All countertop materials

Regardless of the countertop material you have in your kitchen, there are some basic practices you should do to keep the material in top shape. Some of the things you should do include:

Protect the surfaces from scratching or etching by cleaning the countertops using damp microfiber cleaning cloths and mild dish detergent. To lift tough stains, use baking soda paste.

Since countertops are susceptible to damage from acidic juices, oil spills, and harsh abrasive cleansers, clean the spills as soon as they happen to prevent the damage and stains.

Protect the surfaces from heat damage by ensuring that you don’t place hot pans directly on the countertop surfaces. The hot surfaces tend to disfigure the countertops and even crack others.

To allow air-flow underneath the countertops, set pans and even low cookers on trivets.

You also should protect the surfaces from knife damage. This calls for you to avoid slicing or chopping the food directly on the countertops. When cutting, always use cutting boards.

Use common sense when handling your countertops. Don’t do anything that would damage the surfaces. For example, don’t use abrasive cleaning materials on granite countertops as they will lose their shine.

If you aren’t sure about how to keep the surfaces in top shape, ask granite companies Durham or any other professionals to help you out.

Why granite is still the best choice for countertops

best kitchen countertop

Granite has always been valued for its durability and beauty. This material was used by ancient Egyptians to build pyramids and still this material is gracefully complimenting the kitchen decor. Granite is an inimitable stone both in terms of structure and appearance that meet the different demands of homeowners. Granite is the first choice of homeowners when it comes to kitchen and bathroom countertops. This material is suitable for kitchens as well bathrooms.

Choosing granite countertop

Even after availability of a plenty of countertop materials, granite is still the first choice of homeowners and interior decorators. It is because granite possesses all the qualities required to be the best countertop. Here are a few reasons why granite is the best countertop material:

Granite is tough

Granite is one of the most durable materials. It is the igneous rock formed with interlocked crystal. That makes it impervious to cracks and chips. This material can bear load, stress and heat.

Granite is beautiful

Granite is beautiful natural stone. It is available in plenty of colors and textures. The scintillating surface of granite is quite hard to resist. This material looks good in kitchen as well as in bathroom.

Granite is versatile

Despite of your kitchen décor style, you will find a granite countertop to match it. The colors and textures of granite countertops can complement any kitchen decor. Along with being versatile for decorating, granite is also amazing surface for cooking.

Granite feels great

The feel of finished granite is unbeatable. The rich and soft smoothness of granite feels so good when you touch it.

Granite increases the value of your home

Granite is one of those materials that can give you a handsome return of your investment. If you are thinking about selling or renting your home, you can opt for granite.

Granite is resistant to heat and scratches

Granite surface is not affected by heat. You can put hot pan and pot on the granite. Similarly, granite is scratch resistant as well. This surface does not get worn out by knives and spoons.

Granite maintenance is easy

Granite countertops Morrisville nc are easy to clean and maintenance. You just need soap water and cloth to clean the granite surface.