People looking to update their kitchens without breaking the bank have a few options. You can either choose to go for a fresh coat of paint on the walls, maybe reface your cabinets, or replace the countertop.
While this last choice may be the most expensive of the bunch, it is still nowhere near the cost of a full kitchen remodeling – and it can make a big difference. This is especially true if you opt for something like a granite countertop – a commanding piece of stone that is sure to draw the eyes of your houseguests.
However, granite does require some maintenance, and we know just who can help us with that – Kitchen Magic, experts for all things kitchen design and remodeling.
First of all, you might not know much about granite, or why you would go for that type of countertop over any other kind. Well, granite is natural stone, which makes it pretty durable and long-lasting.
More importantly, though, it looks amazing. The patterns and colors in this stone can range from almost white, to an array of grays, yellows and even pinks and blues. This gives you a lot of choice when it comes to combining granite and fitting it into existing design.
However, granite is not a perfect material – there are some rules that you need to follow if you want your countertop to last for a long time. First thing you need to know about granite (and pretty much any other natural material) is that it is porous – it will let things seep into it unless you treat it with an impregnating sealer.
This coating will not change anything about how your countertop looks or feels, but it will add a layer of protection against spills. Speaking of spills, you should probably know how to treat your granite countertop day to day.
Cleaning tips for a granite countertop are fairly simple, but you really do need to stick to them, or you might damage your granite countertop. For instance, when it comes to liquid spills, you really want to clean them as soon as possible. While the sealant should provide some protection, stains may still find a way around it – especially oils.
Fortunately, cleaning granite is really easy and simple, all you need is some warm water and dish soap. Make sure you don’t use a coarse sponge or other abrasive cleaning materials – so as not to damage the coating.
As mentioned before, your granite countertop will be easy to clean with just simple mild dish soap and some hot water – and there is a reason for that. More abrasive house cleaners can really damage the countertop. Well, not the countertop itself, but the coating that protects the porous stone beneath.
This includes acids like vinegar, all bleach-based products and alcohol-based products such as Windex.
Another thing that you might have already guessed from common sense is that you don’t want to cut on the granite itself. While it is a sturdy surface that could withstand cutting for a while, don’t forget the clear topcoat – you will be stripping it off and causing the stone to be exposed to the elements.
Similarly, excessive heat might not be a good idea. Granite can absorb a lot of heat without much problem, but if you expose it to constant cycles of rapid heating and cooling, it will take its toll over time, causing miniature cracks in the stone – just like in nature.
Granite is a fascinating material, and the shift to using more natural materials in our kitchens is great, but knowing how to handle natural materials is vital for their longevity.