Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 A granite countertop is one of the most durable surfaces; only a diamond can scratch it. However, acidic substances such as lemon, vinegar, or wine can damage it. The good news about cleaning granite is that it can be done easily and naturally.  A soft cloth and warm water are good for daily cleaning. To prevent staining or absorption, the granite should be immediately wiped with a dry towel. For more stubborn stains or a deeper cleaning, use a pH neutral or eco-friendly dishwashing soap. Be sure to rinse and dry immediately. A dull or streaky look on dry granite indicates that soapsuds are still present.  When stains are present, a mixture of a cup of flour, one or two tablespoons of dishwashing soap, and warm water can be made into a thick paste that sits on the stain overnight. Covering the mixture with plastic wrap will increase the effectiveness of the mixture. The next morning, scrape away the paste with a wooden utensil, rinse, and dry.

To keep your granite looking like new, wipe up spills immediately, keep it properly sealed using a non-toxic sealer and avoid harsh chemical cleaners. Following these simple steps will preserve the life and elegance of your granite.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Honed Granite Countertops

Honed Granite Countertops
A honed granite countertop is “softer” in appearance than that of a polished granite surface.  Polished granite countertops have high gloss finish which reveal the depth and color of the stone. The finish itself seals the stone's surface pores, which helps to repel moisture, making it highly resistant to damage and or staining. Honing on the other hand, is a method of finishing a stone surface that stops the polishing process just before the granite surface achieves a high gloss finish. The result is a granite surface with a matte finish with minimal reflection, giving the stone a smooth and soft look.  Traditionally, honed granite has been used for stairs and floors as it is naturally less slippery than polished granite, but it has become an increasingly popular look for kitchen countertops. It is important for the consumer to know that because a honed slab is more porous, it absorbs liquid more easily than a polished slab and reveals more prominently stains and usage patterns.  Oils from foods or even your hands may be more visible than on a polished granite surface and darker honed materials may be more apt to show scratches or “traffic” patterns.  With a honed slab, re-sealing the slab frequently is necessary in order to prevent and reduce staining.