Granite tile countertops never fail to flaunt the kitchen with their natural luster and beautiful color. These counters are durable as well as highly practical to use. Granite is a stone that is made through immense heat and pressure applied deep under the earth on “magma”. The process takes years and results in a very high-density stone which is ideal for use in buildings. Their variety of natural characteristics and features maximize the suitability of granite tiles for countertops, flooring as well as backsplashes in the kitchen.
The Granite tiles countertops are not available in one piece rather these are found in smaller-sized tiles which are then properly fitted side by side to cover an entire countertop area. These tiles are quite affordable and available at around $50 to $60 per Sq.Ft. The cost is directly proportional to the size and number of tiles used of course.
You must also add the labor cost as well as the cost of sealers and other essential products used for the final installation. Not all Granite tiles require sealing. You must pour a few drops of water on the surface and if they seep in quickly then you should seal the tiles using the quality products available. The sealers make the counters water and oil-resistant, easy to clean, and elongate the life of the countertops.
The Granite tile kitchen countertops are a great investment because they offer all features of good quality countertops for the price of one. Once you have these properly installed and fixed you will no longer have to worry about their maintenance. Periodic cleaning regimes will keep their surface shining well as new for a long time. These tiles are also not easily scratched and you can chop all kinds of fruits and vegetables without fearing any kind of damage to the counters.
Granite tile countertops are traditionally more popular and give a very conventional yet sophisticated look. If you want to try something different and have a relatively smaller space you can also go for stainless steel counters. These are only two of the many counter tile options available. For a change, you can try ceramic, marble, chalk, or any other stone tiles as your kitchen countertops.
Since all of these are natural materials each of these has a distinct feature and color, so before you make your purchase you might want to make sure that the stone you choose synchronizes with your kitchen’s prevalent theme and offers you all advantages you are looking for.
Granite Kitchen Countertops Maintenance
Granite Kitchen Countertops have become all the rage. Considering it is a naturally occurring stone its sudden popularity in home makeover TV shows has ensured its overall return in popularity. However, it has been accepted that granite apart from being aesthetically pleasing is also cost-effective and low-maintenance.
Granite is found all over the world and due to its strength and beauty, it has been historically used in many different regions for making monuments, temples, and other buildings. Granite countertops, however, always come across as elegant and stylish. Add to that their strength and durability and people come to think of it as a long-term investment in their homes.
Granite is an expensive stone. However, the cost is not only the stone. It includes cutting, polishing, transporting from one place to another, and installation that hikes up the price further. This is why it is always a good idea to avoid DIY projects that might involve granite and leave the job to professionals.
Granite has a very hard surface and is relatively low-maintenance. That said, you would be ill-advised to take granite installation lightly. For kitchen granite countertops the best idea is to have a polished finish for the surface. This makes it easier for you to clean and maintain its beauty. Sealants that keep the granite from staining are easily available and can be used as part of regular cleaning.
Even though granite is a strong material if you’re using a polished finish you will have to look after it. This can be managed daily by being attentive to what you’re placing on the surface. Polished surfaces should not be used for cutting or slicing purposes. Acidic foods like lemon juice and vinegar should not be placed on granite countertops since they will corrode the polished surface over time.
The only damage they will do, however, will be to the polish since it is not as strong as actual granite. For daily cleaning, use a small amount of pH-balanced dish wash liquid and avoid rough, abrasive cleaning products.
Stonemasons use diamond polishing tools to create a glossy texture instead of coating the surface with polish so for some granite countertops, a penetrating sealant should be applied once a year. Your supplier will recommend the type of sealant to be used.
All damages to kitchen granite countertops don’t need a professional to repair. There are some damages you can easily fix at home. If a hot pan is left on the granite countertop for too long it will sometimes cause a dark grey or black mark. To correct it all you have to do is use very fine steel wool to scrub the mark off. If it’s a glue-like texture you can simply take a credit card or a single-sided blade and easily scrape it off. If the problem is more severe it’s always best to call in a professional since you don’t want to risk ruining a granite countertop.
Repairing Granite Countertops
Granite may be strong and resistant but it’s not indestructible. It’s a big investment and with little care, it can last a lifetime. Damage is inevitable though and being able to make repairs at home could save you a lot of money so here are a number of things you can do in case your granite countertop is damaged.
Granite kitchen counters are the most susceptible to damage therefore it pays to be alert. Even a grain of sand can leave marks so, rather than sliding things across, try to pick them up. Make sure your family members do the same. Many marks will disappear if you simply scrub with a washcloth applying some extra pressure. Tougher, darker marks left by hot pans can be removed with super fine steel wool.
Your granite countertop manufacturer can provide you with a brand of stone cleaner which you can use for really tough marks. Make sure you apply a sealant at least once a year to keep the polish. Again, your manufacturer will tell you what brand to use. Sometimes sharp tools can cause nasty scratches that will not go away with scrubbing. In such cases, you need to polish or refinish the surface. This involves scouring the surface with an abrasive that is made of a material harder than granite-usually diamond.
Usually, you would have to start off with a coarse abrasive, very gently scouring the sides of the scratch and then over it. Gradually move on to finer and finer abrasives till you’ve got the same polish again. You will have to be very careful and patient since the stakes are high-you don’t want to make your granite countertop worse.
The damage you would want to avoid most would be cracking or chipping of your granite kitchen counter. If you drop a heavy iron utensil on your granite countertop it can crack or chip if dropped on an edge. In case that happens you need to attend to it immediately as there is every possibility that the crack or chip will get worse. This can be fixed by filling in the crack with adhesive.
The trick is to make the adhesive blend in with the veins of the granite and color it to match the base of the stone. While coloring the stone is not difficult, making it blend in requires patience. Blending is best done when the adhesive is just setting. After it has been set you will have to finish up with polishing.
Etching or discoloring will often occur on granite kitchen counters. Etching is caused when an acid or other highly corrosive material comes in contact with the granite. The good news is that granite is highly resistant to etching which is more common in marble due to its high calcium content. If your granite countertop does etch, all you will have to do is polish it using the method mentioned above.