Q: What is granite?
A. Granite is a common type of igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Colors can range from white, pink or gray, depending on their mineralogy. Granite is an igneous rock with at least 20% quartz and up to 65% alkali feldspar by volume. This natural stone is nearly always massive, hard and tough, and therefore it has gained widespread use throughout human history, and more recently as a construction stone.
Q: What should I know before purchasing granite?
A. Since granite is made by nature, each piece is unique. Customers sometimes expect the granite they order to be identical to samples they have previously seen. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the material, the granite may differ slightly in color. Even a single granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other.
Q: What are the benefits of a granite countertop?
A. Granite is one of the toughest stones we can find in nature. Due to its durability and extreme strength, it’s an ideal stone to use in areas in homes and businesses that see lots of activity or high traffic. Your countertops will last longer—and also bring a level of sophistication and beauty!
Q: Why choose granite over other synthetic materials?
A. Granite has become today’s countertop of choice. A granite countertop is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. The qualities of granite—its color, patterns and shades—compliment any décor.
Q: How do you clean a granite countertop?
A. Granite may be cleaned with a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish soap, soap flakes or powder. Granite should always be cleaned and sealed with cleaning products specifically designed for natural stone.
Q: Does granite show seams?
A. Yes and no. The visibility of seams depends on the granularity, color and pattern of the granite pieces. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will show more seams than a uniform pattern. Seams can be joined with an epoxy that is mixed with a color to match the stone, leaving only a very thin visible line.
Q: Can granite be damaged? What to avoid?
A. Granite is a very durable stone that will withstand almost any element it comes up against, including cold and heat. High impact blows can harm granite just like any other solid surface. Because of its crystalline structure, granite can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Granite that is not sealed properly may absorb stains such as oils, which may cause dark spots or discoloration. Having your granite properly sealed with allow it to go a long way.
Q: Can you cut on granite countertops?
A. Of course! Cutting on your countertops will not harm your granite. Actually, granite is harder than your knife and will quickly dull blades.
Q: Does granite require sealing/re-sealing?
A. Yes! Your countertops will be sealed with a 15 year sealer after installation. However, the natural porosity of these stones and their use in your home requires them to have more than an initial sealing. Some stones will only need sealing every few years depending on the stone’s porosity and your daily use of the countertops. To determine if your countertop needs resealing, perform a “water test”. Place some water onto your stone. If within 15-20 minutes the water begins to absorb into the stone, it is time to reseal. Wait for the water spot to evaporate before resealing.
Q: How do you seal granite?
A. It’s not as difficult as some would have you believe. In fact, it’s easier than waxing your car!
General Sealing Instructions:
(always follow the directions provided with your product.)
1. Be certain your countertops are clean and free of spills. Stains should be removed prior to sealing. You will need 3 clean, dry, soft cloths and stone sealer.
2. Pour a small amount of sealer, about the size of the bottom of a pop can, onto the countertop and distribute evenly with a dry cloth. Pour more sealer onto the stone as you move onto other areas of the surface.
3. Take another dry cloth and wipe the excess sealer off while it is still wet. If the sealer is already dry, apply a bit more sealer and wipe it off. This will remove any residue.
4. Once all excess sealer is removed, use a clean dry cloth for a final wipe down.
Q: Will granite stain?
A. Granite is the most durable countertop material that exists. However, it is a product of nature, not manufacturing. It’s natural porosity means that it can stain. The same goes for Quartz.
Sealing works as a stain inhibitor and prevents most stains and soil from being absorbed into the surface, but it is NOT a guarantee against staining. To seal your granite countertops, we recommend the Tenax HYDREX Polished Stone Sealer available here. Other stone sealers are available through any stone/tile retail location.
The biggest danger to granite is oil stain, which gives the appearance of darkening the stone.
The good news is stain(s) can be removed with the use of a poultice! Sometimes it takes a number of applications of the poultice to remove all of the stain. In over 4000 jobs, we have encountered exactly two stain issues and were successful in removing both stains.
Q: Is there anything else I should know about granite?
A. Heat: Granite can take heat to approximately 2500 degrees. Hot pots and pans can be set directly onto granite but heat may discolor the sealer/resin coating, so hot pads or trivets are still advised. This is not true for quartz products. They will scorch and discolor above about 400 degrees.
Stability: Once your granite is in place, it is very stable. However, you should avoid sitting or standing on your countertops. While this will not usually cause a problem for the countertop, it is not advisable, especially around cooktop holes, sink holes and overhangs.
Cutting on granite: Another practice that is not advised, not because it will damage the stone, but because it will dull your knife.