After choosing granite counters that complement the look and feel of your home, you might be focused on keeping your counters gorgeous for a lifetime. But where do you start? Here are five things you should keep off your granite counters to avoid permanent damage.
1. Sharp Knives
A natural stone surface might seem like the perfect place do to a little chopping, but unfortunately, even the strongest slab of granite isn't immune from cuts, chips, and scratches that can dull the surface of your countertop. Additionally, cutting on stone counters can dull your knives, slowing your dinnertime prep and increasing your risk of lacerations.
To protect your counters and your knives, avoid chopping vegetables and butchering meat directly on the surface of your granite. Instead, protect the surface with a large cutting board. Always keep knives inside of a protective knife block, and tell family members to keep other cutlery put away.
2. Highly Pigmented Liquids
When you have children, it is only a matter of time before that glass of grape juice is lying sideways on your new counters. Unfortunately, granite is naturally porous, and although the surface is sealed after installation, stains can happen if you aren't careful.
To prevent discoloration, keep highly pigmented liquids far away from your counters. If you know that you won't be able to keep colas, wines, fruit juices, and sports drinks out of your home, opt for darker colors of granite that will disguise any accidental stains.
Also, keep in mind that timing matters. If you or your kids spill on your granite counters, clean up the mess quickly to prevent additional seepage. Investing in professional granite sealing annually can also keep stains from becoming a problem.
3. Acidic or Abrasive Cleaners
Sometimes when people want a surface to be clean, they err on the side of cleaning too aggressively. However, because granite is a naturally occurring stone, using acidic or abrasive cleaners could cause problems in the long run.
In addition to causing discoloration, the wrong cleaners could also dissolve protective sealants or scratch the surface of your counter. As a general rule of thumb, avoid all cleaners containing abrasives, bleach, acetic acid, and ammonia. Instead, look for a cleaning product specifically formulated for granite. In addition to protecting the stone, many granite cleaners are designed to restore shine and resist spills.
4. Raw Meats
Natural granite counters won't just absorb cleaning products and pigments found in common beverages. If you aren't careful, your countertops might also absorb dangerous bacteria, which can make the surface unsanitary or smelly. Because raw meat is a common source of bacteria and other microscopic pathogens, do what you can to prevent any contact between meats, fish, and poultry and your granite countertops.
Never thaw raw meat directly on your countertops, and use watertight cutting boards during meal preparation. When you are finished, always sanitize the counter with a granite-safe cleaning product.
All natural stone has fault lines, and your granite countertops are no different. If you aren't careful, doing something as simple as climbing onto your counter to reach something higher could cause the stone to crack — especially if you are in an area where supports aren't fixed underneath the slab. For example, damage is more common in areas that overhang things like kitchen islands.
Make a point to stay off of your counters, and talk with your children about avoiding the practice of sitting or standing on your granite. If you find yourself reaching for dishes and ingredients on a regular basis, invest in step stools for your kitchen area so you aren't tempted to climb.Whether you are remodeling your home or trying to make choices for a brand new build, the team at Emco Williams, Inc. can help. With a team of designers, fabricators, and expert installers, our professionals help people to create gorgeous homes that stand out from the crowd.