From solid quartz to marble, composite semi-precious stone and concrete, there are multiple ways of stylizing your kitchen through the use of stone countertops. None, however, seem to touch the prestige and quality of a solid granite counter. There is a misconception that cleaning them is a laborious process, and as we well know, money is time - including the hours spent keeping it clean.
That being said, the idea that granite is somehow harder to care for than any other comparable surface is wrong. These four steps explain, in detail, how you can keep your gorgeous granite worktop looking as good as the day you bought it whilst remaining totally clean – and without the use of chemicals harmful to your children.
Every parent is quite rightly concerned about the health of their child and ensuring that the range of sickness causing bugs and bacteria in the kitchen don’t transfer. That being said, anything more than soap and water is unnecessary to keep a granite countertop clean and anything else will, in fact, damage it in the long run. Don’t be tempted to use unnecessary antibacterial wipes or harsher chemicals; research has shown that in the long run this could be detrimental to you and your child’s health, reducing the effectiveness of your immune system and antibiotic treatments.
You might feel like deep cleaning from time to time, and whilst properly sealed granite isn’t likely to harbor many bacteria, you might have the concern. Don’t be tempted to use bleach or acids like lemon and vinegar; these could break down the rock. Instead, mix isopropyl alcohol with water and use it as a spray.
All rocks are porous to some extent and will accordingly need resealing. Despite being one of the less porous rocks, granite will breakdown after extended use and you’ll need to reseal, especially to protect the weathering-prone minerals such as the feldspar (for this reason, don’t let carbonic acid have time to fester on the counter – like Coca Cola!)
Granite is a sturdy and resistant material but everything has its limits. You can help to keep it looking good by using boards for any hot pans – or particularly cold objects – which could cause microfractures to occur and amplify in the rock through thermal shock. Also remember that granite is harder than steel, meaning the surface could scratch and your knife could blunt.
If you haven’t got a granite countertop already, there’s a wealth of reasons as to why you should purchase one. First and foremost is that classic, prestigious look. While a lot of retailers will dye the granite to make it an ‘ideal’ color, the classic tones are pinks and whites pockmarked with the black dots of biotite.
That being said, granite isn’t the most expensive solid-rock countertop out there, and the fact you can dye it so easily means you can emulate more expensive options.
Another major factor is the inherent strength of the rock. Geologically speaking, they have a holocrystalline texture. What this means on a day-to-day basis is that the rock is extremely durable.
Despite the relatively low cost, granite can still sometimes be prohibitively expensive. And, besides, you might not like the texture, even if the dyed color is to your liking. So what are the alternatives?
Aside from other rock types which will vary on quality and design – quartz countertops (the constituent mineral in which, quartz, forms much of the hardness of granite) come in a range of hues that can provide colour to your kitchen; they’re becoming ever more popular due to their hardiness and versatility.
Alternatively, you can opt for the ever-popular synthetic countertops, such as Corian, which is made-to-order and easily maintained. Straron is a similar, all-synthetic top, and whilst more of a wholesale product offers similar benefits. You can even get your hands on synthetic rock worktops now that effectively emulate the look of actual countertops without yielding the same cost.
Granite remains one of the best-looking, most versatile and prestigious options for countertops out there and doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck to keep looking good. Bear these tips in mind and you’ll have years of joy to come in the kitchen.