Granite countertops are just gorgeous. Their classic refinement exudes distinction in a kitchenette matched with exceptional durability. However, granite countertops require the best maintenance and are not cheap. But if you are committed to their upkeep, then a granite countertop will surely deliver that look and performance that you have always admired for many years. This piece will, therefore, outline the effects of cutting on granite countertops and the right care.
Can you cut on granite?
Yes, you totally can. The average knife is usually made of steel which means that it is unable to scratch your granite. Being a mineral, granite can only be marked up by another mineral. This means that you should not worry about cutting on your granite countertop. However, what you should worry about is your knife becoming blunt upon frequent cutting.
Does Cutting on Granite Scratch it?
The great thing with granite apart from its uniqueness and beauty is that it is incredibly strong and also a durable material. Actually it’s harder than the
knife’s edge. Therefore while you can safely cut directly on a granite surface, unless you wish to continuously replace your knife, it is advisable to make use of a cutting board.
A quick chop here and there, will not necessarily wear out your granite countertops. However, in extreme cutting, as much as the granite has the ability to withstand scratches and other factors, it will certainly start to wear off something that also applies to your expensive knives. The granite being your investment, you have to make sure proper care is outlined to make it last for a lifetime.
4 Ways Granite Can Be Damaged
Granite is long-lasting it is also not impervious to damages. Some granite worktop damage forms are extra common than others. However all damages can be as a result of cutting or mishaps. Here are four common granite countertops damages together with tips on how to prevent them.
Granite has a very high resistibility when it comes to stains but even water can still result in temporary discoloration if allowed to soak. Any liquid that penetrates the granite has the ability of leaving stains particularly oils, wine, and fruit juice. The good thing however, is that oil stains can be removed with homemade pastes including acetone and baking soda.
To prevent granite staining, always ensure you frequently seal your granite with high-quality granite sealers. This will act as a barrier against all liquids. Also remember to wipe off any spills as soon as possible.
Only a natural stone that is harder than the granite can scratch it. This includes precious jewels such as topaz and sapphire. While scratching is not a major concern in granite countertops, avoid sliding your precious stones rings along the countertop.
It’s extremely unlikely for granite to crack under normal use. Most of the granite cracks are usually a result of poor installation or fabrication. Nonetheless, it is likely to cause stress fractures and cracks by stepping on your granite worktop or in rare cases placing extremely hot pans or objects on the granite surface.
To prevent the possibility of cracks in your granite worktop, make sure you hire a professional with the best granite installation experience.
A hazy or cloudy appearance on your granite counters is typically not the result of actual damage. The cloudiness usually arises due to the application of the wrong cleaning agents may it be acidic or abrasive. Cleaning the granite surface with soap can also leave a soap layer film making the worktop appear dull.
To prevent such an issue, always use high-quality granite cleaning materials.
Granite Cutting Boards
Granite cutting boards are exclusive and very unique. Despite the fact that these boards have a higher price they have the ability of making your kitchen stand out among the rest. They are also heavy and mostly damage the knife’s blades. The granite board surface is however remarkably reliable and durable and does not absorb any odors.
Granite cutting boards come with a lot of advantages apart from their unique appeal and durability. They can also be used in serving food.
Will Cutting Lemon and Other Acidic Foods Damage the Granite?
Many homeowners prize granite countertops due to its top-of-the-line look and also durability. Despite its durability, granite is some-how porous and needs special care in order to maintain its charm over a long period.
Since granite contains different minerals which include calcite particularly if the countertops are made of limestone or marble. Calcite on the hand reacts very negatively with acidic foods such as oranges and lemons causing dark sports or dulling.
To ensure that the granite is not affected when cutting a lemon or orange, apply a commercial sealer on the granite countertop. You can also resort to cutting boards when preparing acidic foods while placing coasters under the glasses. Also avoid cleaning products containing lemon juice.
Will Cutting Vegetables on Granite Affect It?
Many people believe that granite worktops are just indestructible. However despite the fact that they are durable, certain activities will in the end lead to scratches on the granite.
Cutting your vegetables 5 to 10 times along the same place will surely not be a problem. However, long term constant vegetable cutting along a single area will leave scratches on the granite countertop.
The best option is to use a chopping board. The chopping board will not only protect your granite but also your expensive knives.
The chopping board also goes a long way in ensuring that the granite’s sealer is not ruined while cutting therefore leaving your countertops shiny and looking new for the longest time possible.
Granite countertops have for a long time dominated the building industry when it comes to quality and durable kitchen countertops. However, their durability feature does not necessarily mean that they should be subjected to all kinds of improper use. This can easily lead to the deterioration of your granite countertop. With this ensure you uphold the right care and use of your granite countertop by not subjecting it to different cutting on granite.
I have been receiving a ton of emails asking me what causes granite to crack. It seems that a lot of my readers are experiencing this problem so I plan to address it. First of all, do you really have granite? You are welcome to send me a picture via email by using the contact form on this website. I will let you know which type of countertop you have and help you with your cracking problem.
What Causes Granite to Crack
Granite is a rock that has been cut down into flat sheets also known as slabs which allow it to be cut and fabricated to what we all know as granite countertops. Most of the time a crack in your granite is not really something to worry about but can pose a problem.
Granite countertops can crack and will crack under pressure or if hit by something heavy. Most of the time your crack is actually a small granite fissure which you should not worry about unless it is located on any area of overhang such as an island or bar area where if it cracks all the way through could fall and hurt someone. In this case, it is best to prevent the area from being used and call your local granite shop come to check out the affected area. Most likely you will need to replace this entire section of granite or have someone cut down the overhang to remove the crack.
Granite can crack from the following reasons
Natural Granite Fissures – Granite is known to have natural fissure cracks which can eventually turn into actual cracks in your granite that you don't really have to worry about unless it is in an affected area as mentioned above. Natural fissures give granite character and normally you do not have to worry with these natural cracks. Your fabricator should have already noticed them and made sure they are not in any sensitive areas such as sink cut out, cooktop cut out or seams.
Hard Hit – If you drop something hard and heavy on your granite countertops you may end up with a chip or a crack. This is caused by the blow of the heavy object. Granite is a rock so it is not indestructible.
Carried Flat – Granite should never be carried flat for any reason. This can cause injury to anyone carrying or damage to floors or furniture. This can also cause a hairline granite crack that can later pose a problem.
Excess Weight – We love to have a 12-inch overhang on our bars and islands to sit and eat or entertain but this area needs to be protected with ibraces or L shaped brackets called corbels. This will allow extra weight if installed properly but should not make you think the extra weight on any overhang is ok because it is not. People tend to sit or lean on these areas. This is a very bad idea because the extra weight in a vulnerable area could cause a crack or worse the entire slab to break and fall on someone. I have actually heard of someone sitting on the bar overhang and causing the entire granite piece to flip over onto that person. It is best to avoid this.
Not Shimmed Properly – I see it often, installers are supposed to shim areas that are not touching your cabinets. Unfortunately, walls, floors, and homes, in general, are not perfectly level. This can cause a number of issues during the install. Areas like a sink cut out, seam or joints, and cooktop cutouts should be shimmed to ensure that they are not going to be cracked due to any weight in that area. Be sure to look eye-level with your countertops so that you can see underneath and notice any areas that are not touching the cabinet. This area should have a shim ever 1 foot and silicone to hold the shims. I will try to take a picture the next time I go install a countertop job to show you exactly how this should look when done the correct way.
It is always best to consult with your local granite fabricator to discuss any problems you have with your countertops including any worrying cracks you have. You may also contact us with any concerns you have about your countertops. We are here to help people so feel free to ask us anything about countertops. That is what we are here for.
Now that you know what causes granite to crack you should know also It is best to never stand or sit on your countertops where there is any significant overhang of over 4 inches. It is also advised that you check any slab you are having fabricated for your kitchen or bathroom countertops. Rub your hands and fingers across your slab to ensure you feel nothing like a crack that could pose a problem in the future.
If you are planning to sell your home you may wonder how granite countertops impact your resale value. I am here to answer this question in detail and give you all of the answers you need to make the best impact on the resale value of your home. Let's begin.
Do Granite Countertops Add Resale Value to Your Home
Yes, granite countertops add to the overall value of your home. It is important to understand that a kitchen is the heart of any home so that is where most of your focus should be when trying to sell your home. Using granite countertops to add value is a great idea but there is more to it than just adding granite countertops to your home.
Other Ways to Add Value to Your Home
Below I will add several remodeling considerations that will affect the value of your home but also attract new buyers. You don't have to do all of these but maybe do a few at a time and try to sell. Check the value of your home along the way and see if any of the updates help you sell your home.
If you have old kitchen cabinets that are not very solid and look awful then I suggest replacing them. There are plenty of companies offering flat pack cabinets and you can even find cabinets on Amazon. I suggest calling almost every cabinet company in your area and asking for a quote for a home you are selling. Let them know your goals and also mention that you are trying to spend as little as possible but want a quality job. Always opt for a solid wood face frame, doors, and drawers. This is important for a quality job. If you can afford it you should also choose a solid wood cabinet carcass. This is usually made of plywood 1/4″ thick up to 3/4″ thick. The thicker the more expensive it will be. The important thing to note is that you want a solid cabinet for your granite and thin cabinet carcasses will not be ideal as well as press wood cabinet carcasses.
Flooring in Your Kitchen
Tile flooring is ideal for any kitchen. You can hire someone to install your tile flooring pretty inexpensively but be sure to choose someone who has a solid reputation. Luxury vinyl plank is also a great option and usually much cheaper. This is the style I recommend as this is what everyone is looking for.
Appliances are important to any kitchen and they do add to the value of your home just being new and being in place. Don't purchase anything too extravagant but do spend money here and stainless steel matching appliances will help with the value of your home and attracting buyers. People like features so definitely purchase a refrigerator with several options such as water and ice.
Your bathroom cabinets or vanity cabinets should be clean and nice. This is a turn off for new home buyers who are looking at buying a home. If you want to keep the vanity it is advised to add a layer of wood inside the cabinet to make it look new and clean. No buyer wants to see water spots on the vanity bottom.
Don't forget to add bathroom countertops. This is also a huge value add. If you want to go even further you should remodel the entire bathroom adding a tile shower or tile surround for your bathtub. If your bathroom is nice then you can just update the countertops and cabinets if needed and increase your home value.
If you need new floors then update them. This is huge for new home buyers. If you are looking to attract a single-family buyer then you should focus on turnkey remodeling allowing them to move in immediately after closing. This is what they want and it is your job to provide it for them.
Best Granite Countertop Colors to Resell Your Home
I like to tell people to choose a granite countertop that they could enjoy and live with. Choose something that is in style and other people like. Maybe take a friend who you know will shoot you straight while shopping for granite countertops. Also, ask your local granite countertop shop what stone is the most popular while being budget-friendly.
Here are some granite colors that I personally recommend for someone selling a home.
Valle Nevado is a very popular white granite color. It is very durable just as any granite is and offers a white, black and gray fleck style. Keep in mind that you are only going to see about 25 inches so the busy look is not all that busy. This is a great choice for anyone remodeling a home for reselling. The price is comparable to laminate countertops so always go for granite over laminate. Valle Nevado granite is especially great with light color white cabinets.
Valle Nevado granite vanity with white cabinet and wood floor.
Luna Pearl is also a very popular granite color choice. It is very similar to Valle Nevado but it has a more earth tone. It is also very durable and very popular and cheap. Luna Pearl will match white cabinets, wood cabinets and just about any color cabinet you want to use.
Luna Pearl granite kitchen with white cabinets and a cooktop on the island.
New Caledonia Granite
New Caledonia is a great cheap granite color that will help you sell your home. It is great with gray or white cabinets and looks sharp with light blue/gray color paint on the walls. See the picture below for an example.
Kitchen with New Caledonia Granite countertops with an island.
Granite countertops will help you increase your home's resell value and attract buyers to your home much faster. Making other improvements are also suggested to increase your chances of selling your home while also adding value to your home. I hope this article gives you some value and helps you with your research.
If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to post them in the comments or contact us through our contact page here.
How Knowing the Difference Between Marble and Granite Can Help You Pick the Right Countertop
When people build new homes or remodel their current home they tend to use natural stones in areas such as the kitchen or bathrooms. Common reasons for this decision include aesthetics and longevity. Two of the most common natural stones used for kitchen and bathroom countertops are granite and marble. Granite vs marble there are so many differences and maintenance requirements. In this article, you will learn the difference between granite vs marble and why one of them is the better choice for a kitchen countertop while the other is great for a bathroom countertop.
Granite and marble are excellent and popular choices for your kitchen countertops. Homeowners also want to know what option is better for bathroom vanity tops, outdoor kitchens, and so forth. However, most people are unable to differentiate the two. That’s the reason for this article – to help you tell the difference between marble and granite, without mistake.
These stones are unlike engineered quartz therefore, they are susceptible to staining and chipping.
Granite is the more durable of the two stones, thus, less prone to staining and scratching. This makes granite preferable in kitchens, while marble is the choice stone for other areas like the bathroom.
The decision to install marble or granite counters in your home often boils down to the location of the counters and how you intend to use and maintain them.
Are Granite and Marble the Same
It's essential to establish that marble is not granite. Both are both natural stones existing in the earth's crust. But each one is distinct.
Geologists say that marble is a metamorphosed limestone. When limestone deposits in the earth are subjected to high temperature and pressure, the result is a marble.
Temperature and pressure can create changes in the overall texture of the rock. This explains the appearance of marble with enhanced beauty.
Bearing that in mind, we can now learn a little about granite. Granite is a granular igneous rock. Besides, the texture is phaneritic. The crystallization of magma beneath the earth’s surface occurs over time to yield granite.
Comparing granite vs marble – Highlighting the Difference Between Marble and Granite
Both granite and marble naturally exist on earth. They come from quarries and share certain similarities, despite a few crucial differences.
Basics of the Granite Stone
Granite is much stronger and harder than marble. Therefore, the appearance is shiny and glossy, whereas marble is dull and smooth.
On the Mohs scale, granite has a hardness of 6 to 7. It easily resists scratches and damage from heat. This property makes it ideal for kitchen counters both inside the home and outside. Granite counters will not scuff or discolor from everyday household use.
Granite is highly durable, though it’s porous (like marble).
Large granite blocks come from mines and are then cut into less unwieldy rectangular slabs. Marble slabs tend to cut smaller than granite slabs since granite is more sturdy.
Scientists report that granite may contain trace amounts of naturally-occurring, radioactive uranium, thorium, and radium. These elements eventually decay and emit radon, an inert gas, which can cause lung cancer at high levels. However, the EPA reports that granite countertops are usually safe.
What are the major issues with granite? Well, there are really no issues with granite. But, you have to get used to the fact that you won't be the only one using it. If you want your countertops to look new every day, there's no way to beat them – join the crowd, use granite.
Marble's hardness weighs in at 3 to 5 on the Mohs scale. It lacks the same durability as granite and will suffer damage from simple kitchen tasks such as cutting. Contact with hot pans and dishes can also inflict damage on marble. The marble surface is more suitable for low-traffic spots such as bathroom vanities, decorative accents, and fireplace surrounds.
It has become a new trend to use marble for kitchen countertops in the US. Dandy Marble from Vermont is particularly common. It has a superior absorption rate and better hardness, compared with traditional marble materials such as Calcutta or Carrara.
Homeowners should be diligent to know about maintenance and strictly follow the sealing application routine.
Dulling, scratching, and staining are easier to understand if you appreciate the underlying geology behind marbles. Marble comes from limestone (basically calcium carbonate) and ocean floor silt. The buckling and shifting of the earth's crust result in heat and pressure that softens the limestone and causes it to recrystallize as a harder, denser material.
Marble stains arise from watery or oily liquids seeping into the tiny microscopic spaces between the crystals. The crystals are impervious themselves. A penetrating sealer can help keep the voids narrow enough to prevent liquids from flowing in by capillary action.
Individual water molecules can still pass through, but any moisture within the stone can evaporate, which is a good thing.
Now, liquids can sink in, though not too quickly. This fact means that the stone can still stain. The sealer allows you 24 hours, as against 30 minutes, to wipe up spills before they lodge too deep that you can’t wipe them away.
Today’s sealers are so effective that stains are your least worries with marble. Note that it’s the most discussed issue, regardless. Chuck Muehlbauer, the Marble Institute of America's technical expert, tells us that marble staining isn't as big an issue as it's often made out to be. The industry group's representative says he gets calls from all around the US each week, and only one of those calls is about staining.
When marble stains, you can remove the marks (at least partially) by applying a poultice. A poultice is an absorbent material mixed with a chemical that will dissolve the stain and make it flow into the porous absorbent material.
The market has ready-made products that you can spread on like margarine and cover with plastic for a couple of days. But, anyone can make their own using blotter paper, a napkin, or whiting as the absorbent material. Use that with a liquid-like acetone or hydrogen peroxide that works well on the specific spill.
Dulling is not as easy to deal with. Marble is a carbonate. Thus spills of vinegar, lemon juice, or other acids result in a fizzy reaction similar to when you swallow calcium carbonate tabs.
On the countertop, the chemical reaction eats into the marble on the surface and leaves a dull mark. This is irreversible, and sealers are of no use because their only job is to fill spaces between crystals. They don’t coat the surface crystals themselves. A surface coating would coat surface crystals, but your work surface would now become plastic.
It’s technically possible to sand down a dull area, and repolish the marble, but if you prefer marble countertops, be willing to accept dull spots. Just like scratches on a new car, the first few dull marks will likely bother you more than the subsequent many that will eventually accumulate.
To make etching less noticeable, you could buy marble with a honed surface instead of one that is highly polished. The evenly dull surface – prevalent with Italian cooks – also dramatically dials down the formal look of polished marble.
Note that honed surfaces are more likely to present stains than polished surfaces. The stone itself does not stain more efficiently, according to Muehlbauer. Still, without a reflective surface, color differences are more noticeable.
It’s best to leave scratches to a company that understands stone. Geologists define marble quite narrowly, but the market sells several stone varieties under this name.
“Marble” may refer to almost any stone capable of taking a polish. Many are not suitable as kitchen countertops, but others work very well.
There's a rating system – A to D – from the Marble Institute of America that identifies stones from the “hardest” to the “least porous.” But, most countertop marbles are unrated.
Muehlbauer’s recommendation is that you ask the vendor which of the available marbles is best for kitchen countertops. To confirm the advice you get, collect samples of various types you like and run a scratch test using a pocket knife. Better still, you could use a countertop resource website to ascertain your findings.
It’s more difficult to scratch near-white marble than it’s to scratch highly colored or streaked marble. The colors come from impurities like clay and silt present in the original limestone. Pure white marble is the most vulnerable to staining.
These are the prominent issues with marble.
Physical Properties Appearance Granite Vs Marble
Granite and marble share a slight semblance. A closer look will expose differences in their appearance. The critical difference is in the natural color variations that appear in both granite and marble.
Variations in granite color look like flecking throughout the stone. In contrast, variations in marble color are akin to colorful veins swirling through the stone.
Strength and Durability
The natural geological processes that result in the formation of granite and marble have a direct correlation to the overall strength and durability of both materials.
Both materials are tough enough to last long and remain beautiful for many years. It's essential to choose the right material for the location to make sure that no damage occurs.
Resistance to Stain and Scratch
The natural granite stone is really hard and not porous. These two properties make it highly resistant to scratching and staining. It’s the most ideal material for virtually any kind of kitchen counter.
It’s possible to cut on granite using a knife blade, and not scratch the rock. However, you risk dulling and ruining your knives quickly if you continue this practice.
The low porosity of granite means that even when you spill liquids on the countertop, you can simply wipe them off without leaving any stain.
Marble, on the other hand, is naturally softer than granite. It's also more porous than granite. Thus it's easier to scratch than granite. Kitchen knives are notorious for defacing marble quite easily. Stains from watery and oily liquids also have a longer-term impact on marble.
The porous nature of marble is due to the stone's metamorphic attributes. This porosity results in the absorption of some materials once there's contact.
If you apply a sealer to a marble countertop, you can provide it with a protective barrier to liquids. It makes them more hardy to stain until you wipe away the spill.
Granite, on the other hand, is incredibly dense. This enables it to resist virtually every stain from food or liquids. All you need to do is maintain an effective sealant barrier on the granite.
Heat or Chemical Damage
A granite countertop will show no signs that any such event occurred if you place a hot pan directly on the stone surface. There'll be neither melting nor burn marks.
Marble has some heat-resisting property. But, to prevent any possible discoloration of the surface, it's best to place a trivet beneath a hot pan.
Alcohol, ketchup, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, and other acidic or citric liquids tend to etch marks in marble-topped counters. The etching appears as a dull, lackluster spot on the countertop. It's not easy to erase, either by anyone or with any chemical agent. A protective sealant is quite ineffective under such circumstances.
Granite is naturally resistant to chemicals and other acidic substances.
Cracking or Chipping
Any solid surface, including natural granite with its crystalline chemistry, is capable of cracking or chipping when in direct contact with high-impact blows from any hard, sharp object.
Chipping and cracking are highly unlikely under routine kitchen use for a granite counter. Daily use will not overstress the counter because the stone is hard and durable.
Because natural marble is much softer than granite, it’s more prone to chips and cracks under frequent, everyday applications like a kitchen countertop.
Aesthetics and Ease of Maintenance
When your goal is a high-end, luxurious kitchen area, marble is your go-to stone. Granite also lends the kitchen some sophistication but not to the upscale extent that marble does.
You can seal a granite countertop by adding a layer of protection for the naturally tough stone. Manufacturers of marble kitchen counters strongly recommend that you seal this highly porous material. A quality sealant has a life expectancy of around ten to fifteen years.
Use a clean damp cloth to wipe both marble and granite countertops. Add some soapy water to your wet cloth to remove stubborn food residue, but avoid ammonia, bleach, or other stubborn cleaning agents.
Ensure that the cleaner is not abrasive to prevent dulling the finish. Use cleaning agents with a neutral pH. Also, take more exceptional care when cleaning marble, to avoid causing damage to the porous stone.
With a marble countertop, it’s imperative to thoroughly dry the wet surface while you clean.
You need to apply a fresh sealant coating every year or once in 3 years, depending on the type of sealer you use.
You have to schedule marble sealing a bit differently to protect the porous surface. Reseal marble no less than twice a year. You need to do it more often once you notice water absorbing into the marble, instead of pooling on its surface.
To test marble or granite to determine if you need to apply a fresh sealant, place a small pool of water on the surface. The existing sealant is still effective if the water remains beaded. If the water absorbs into the stone, you should reapply sealant.
Which is Better Marble or Granite
To understand which is the better of the two, we have to consider longevity and hardness. Granite is a stronger and harder natural stone than marble, probably because of the process of its formation.
Granite has a reputation for being one of the world’s strongest natural stones.
Granite is resistant to heat. It can withstand the heat you'll produce while preparing food. This is why a granite top is a much better option for your kitchen.
However, marble is vulnerable concerning the fading of color. This means a marble countertop will lose its shine after a short while. It's almost impossible to get back the original shine of a dull marble countertop. You can say it's irreversible. Therefore, you'll have plenty to contend with in the long run.
Which Looks Better Granite Vs Marble
Whether you’re choosing a marble or granite countertop, you can pay more attention to its appearance also. Granite and marble have different appearances. The flecking in the granite that we mentioned earlier is due to meddled stones.
However, marble comes with cream- or grey-colored veins. These veins are due to impurities in the marble, such as iron oxide.
Which Costs Less in the Long Run Granite Vs Marble
Installation of both granite and marble tops are the top of professional service providers. Their charges are more or less the same. However, a grade of marble is more expensive than its equivalent grade of granite.
The actual spend depends on the complexity of the job, quality of the stone, and the style of laying out the tiles.
Which is Easier to Maintain Granite Vs Marble
We've looked at the role of sealants in keeping both granite and marble intact and in top shape for years to come. Because of its nature, marble requires more applications of sealants – at least two times yearly. With granite, though, you only have to worry about maintenance only about once in two years. The difference in periods is because granite is the hardier of the two stones.
Is Granite Really Indestructible?
Just like any other solid surface, high impact blows can be lethal to granite. Its crystalline nature makes it vulnerable to chipping under the force of sharp objects.
Granite without sealing can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately result in discoloration or dark spots. The heat from burning liquids, pans, or pots will not affect granite under normal conditions.
Should You Set Hot Objects on a Granite Countertop?
We can't repeat this enough. The reason many have high regard for granite counters is that they can withstand heat, whether from a cooktop or a frying pan. After all, granite comes from years of extreme heat and pressure within the earth's crust. The use of trivets for your countertop is recommended.
Lighting a flame under granite will not melt it. Besides, it won’t leave any burned or scarred marks.
Can Granite Crack?
Regular use in a home will not crack granite. Most cracks in granite occur in the course of shipping and installation. Regular use will not put undue stress on this durable material.
How Thick Should a Granite Countertop Be?
A typical kitchen countertop is one and one-quarter inches inch thick for structural purposes. Bathroom vanity tops can use thinner granite.
What’s the Best Way to Clean a Granite Countertop?
Granite can hold almost any hot or cold element. It’s stain-resistant up to 95 to 98 percent. Yet, all-natural stone products need sealing to provide beauty and longevity.
Polished granite should be treated equally as polished marble. It's preferable to use unique granite cleaner formulations. You can also use a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap that contains no aromatics.
After you clean the granite surface, rinse the countertop thoroughly by rinsing and drying with chamois or cotton flannel. When using a granite cleaner, allow it to sit for around 30 seconds before wiping it off with a soft cloth for best results.
Is Marble a Good Choice for a Kitchen Countertop?
Marble is not a good choice for a kitchen countertop. While it can be sealed, it’s not as dense as granite.
Because of its lower density, it’s more porous and susceptible to stain in a high-traffic area like your kitchen. It’s also much softer than granite and will easily chip and crack with frequent use.
Is It Possible To Seal Marble?
You can seal granite just like you can seal marble after fabrication. Sealing your marble countertops every 6 months to a year is almost a requirement. If you want your countertops to last longer and stay new looking then be sure to seal as often as you can using the Dry-Treat Stain Proof Plus product.
What Are The Best Uses For Marble?
We can apply marble to various projects within the bathroom area. This includes floor areas, Jacuzzi surrounds shower paneling and vanities.
You can also use marble for other applications, such as fireplace surrounds, saddles, shelves, and tabletops. In all, you can safely use marble in low traffic areas.
Marble and granite countertops have many similar applications. However, only a small number of consumers really understand the best use cases for each one. This guide has covered some of these, highlighting the significant differences between granite and marble. Now, you know more than enough to tell the difference between marble vs granite and to choose the best material for your kitchen countertop.
Granite is one of the most commonly found rocks on the surface of the earth. It has a lot of excellent properties that make it an excellent tool for construction aggregation as well as learning purposes. The question is, Granite Intrusive or extrusive is, therefore, a common among many people. The coarse-grained rock is made up of different elements, including quartz and feldspar, and its formation makes it an Intrusive rock. The terms magma and lava have been used interchangeably for a long time and rightfully so. The only difference between these terms is their exposure. When still below the ground, it is known as magma, but when it bursts through, it becomes lava. These terms are important because they determine the formation of rocks. The types of rocks formed by magma underground are different from the types of rocks formed by lava. This leads to the terms of Intrusive and extrusive rocks.
Intrusive and Extrusive rocks
Being underground means that the magma cools at a very slow pace. This reduced cooling process leads to the formation of minerals that join together to create large crystals that are visible to the naked eye. This leads to the formation of different types of rocks, Granite being one of them. This formation process is the reason why Intrusive rocks have different colors. They are a result of different minerals joining together to create one big rock. Unlike Intrusive rocks, Extrusive rocks are formed by lava. When magma finds its way onto the earth's surface, it cools and hardens faster, leading to the formation of invisible crystals. The fast cooling process doesn't allow the crystals to harden and become big enough to be seen without a magnifying glass. As a result, you won't be able to see them as individual crystals but will see a whole rock. This is why Extrusive rocks don't have multiple colors.
In some cases, they even form glass instead of grains. The glasses are classified into three categories depending on how they are formed. For instance, if an extrusive rock comes out as glass with large bubbles, it's called scoria. However, if the bubbles are tiny, it's called pumice. If the bubbles are minimal, the rock is called obsidian.
Is Granite an Intrusive or Extrusive Rock
Granite has a lot of different colors ranging from white to pink. This doesn't just make them visually pleasing but also makes them one of the best choices when it comes to different construction types. These colors are a result of the rock being intrusive instead of extrusive. Something that has also contributed to the durable and strong nature of the rock. Apart from the colors, another reason why Granite isn't extrusive is the significant visible minerals. As stated above, extrusive rocks don't have minerals large enough to be obvious. It doesn't mean that the minerals do exist; they are just not large enough to be seen. Granite is formed naturally, but sometimes it can be manufactured. It's therefore advisable to be keen when shopping for one because the manufactured ones are always as strong and long-lasting as the natural ones.
Granite rocks are usually found near the surface that further down and are usually a product of continental crust. These rocks aren't very dense and, as such, will often try to move towards the surface as they cool. This also makes it easier for the Granite to expand when the material covering it on the surface is swept off by natural occurrences like erosion. This is possible because of the hydrolysis process that forms the rock and is another reason why granite rocks are not extrusive.
When molten rock cools underground, the cooling process of each mineral differs. This difference allows the minerals to form different colors. As they continue to cool at different rates, they join together to form Granite. This means that the size of each crystal will depend on how long it cooled off. It also determines the different colors of Granite and subsequently, the type. The major types of minerals found in Granite include feldspar, which is off white, quartz, which is milky white, biotite, which is dark brown or black and muscovite, which is yellow or metallic brown. There is also the amphibole, which is dark green but sometimes black as well as potassium feldspar, which is salmon pink. Based on each of these mineral content, you'll end up with different types of Granite, namely:
This type of granite mostly consists of quartz and feldspar minerals. Even so, it is usually not just white but is laced with some black particles. This interesting blend arises from the availability of amphibole mineral but is very small quantities. Most of the time, this results from a lack of enough amphibole in the molten rock. Also, the inability of amphiboles to cool as fast as the quartz and feldspar. Natural White Granite will always form this composition. Those that are purely white are most likely man-made and not naturally formed.
To understand the different types of granites, you have to follow the percentage of mineral composition. Natural Granite must always have at least 20 percent quartz. The other minerals may vary with feldspar being at least 10 percent and biotite and muscovite being at least 5 percent. This means that black Granite doesn't exist even though you'll always find some people using that name to drive sales. Most of the time, what is sold as black Granite is gabbro, another intrusive rock that doesn't have the same composition or qualities of Granite. Even though they are both intrusive, gabbro is made up of a very little amount of amphibole and more olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase.
As mentioned above, potassium feldspar mineral is what has the salmon pink color. As such, it is responsible for the pink color in Granite. This means that pink Granite has more of potassium feldspar but there will always be white feldspar and quartz. You'll also notice a little bit of black amphibole. This mixture results in an exciting color combination that makes the Granite perfect for different uses. You should stay away from any Granite that is purely pink because chances are, it isn't authentic
Black and White Granite
While there's no such thing as black Granite, black and white Granite does exist. A great example of black and white granite is Valle Nevado Granite. This is made up of white quartz and black amphibole. You'll also find a small composition of white feldspar leading to a pretty mixture of black and white/opaque and sometimes dark green because of the amphibole. This type of Granite is very common and is mostly used in the real estate sector to make countertops.
Although it isn't widespread, the red Granite looks just as pretty as the others. It is mostly made up of potassium feldspar with different variations. When the molten rock mainly consists of this type of mineral, the colling process may still not be uniform. This leads to a difference of colors even though it's the same mineral. As a result, you get darker shades of pink which is red as well as some pink. This process is believed to be the same one that turns metal to a ruby red color when it rusts. The Granite may have some hematite grains within the feldspar leading to a more reddish outcome.
Like the black Granite, blue Granite doesn't exist. You may hear the name in the market but what you'll get is most likely larvikite. Based on the minerals and compounds that make up Granite, there isn't one that can turn to a blue color. It is therefore impossible to find a natural granite that's blue. Other types of rocks like larvikite and anorthosite are the ones with the blue mineral composition and are often passed around as Granite.
This is one of the hardest types of granites to distinguish. On the one hand, it's a way to pass on marble as Granite, but on the other hand, green Granite can be formed from a different variety of feldspar. Known as amazonite, this type of feldspar is capable of cooling off to get a green color that can be part of granite formation. However, it is usually rare unlike the infusion of serpentine to marble to form the green color. It's advisable to be keen when purchasing Granite.
Additional Granite Fact
Granite is used in different industries ranging from antiquities to engineering. This is even though there have been some rumors about the rock being radioactive. It indeed has the ability to attract radioactive elements, but its composition doesn't make it radioactive. It has also been proven that it is one of the safest rocks suitable for use in every home.
The way Granite is formed, and the elements it is composed of is what makes it an intrusive rock and not an extrusive one. The formation of different types of Granite is one of the most interesting natural occurrences taking place underneath the surface. It's easy to confuse Granite with other types of intrusive rocks like gabbro, but it is very easy to differentiate it from extrusive rocks like basalt. Granite doesn't result from volcanic eruptions and is rarely found on the surface like extrusive rocks. If found on the surface, it will be in smaller particles.
A frequent question that homeowners ask is whether granite countertop stain or not.
Does granite stain? Yes, the answer depends on the quality of granite, and how well the granite is sealed after installation. Any time a liquid is allowed to sit on the countertop surface, you run the risk of the granite staining. Yes, your granite does stain but there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Know what substances to avoid around your countertops and if you accidentally spill any of these substances act quickly to clean them up even if your granite countertops are sealed properly.
Understanding the Porosity of Natural Stone
All natural stone countertops are porous; however, the porosity levels vary from stone to stone. Granite is one of the less porous types of stones. Lower porosity levels mean the stone will not absorb liquids as quickly as other stones.
Natural stones have pores that allow liquids to seep into the stone. When a liquid is allowed to remain on the surface of a stone countertop, it can enter into the stone and cause a stain. An impregnating stone sealer helps close these pores up to reduce the risk of staining.
How to Reduce the Risk of Staining on Granite Countertops
The first step in reducing the risk of staining is to seal your granite countertops with an impregnating sealer. Begin by cleaning your countertops with a granite cleaner and allow the countertops to air dry before applying the stone sealer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on applying the sealer.
Apply the penetrating sealer using a soft, clean cloth, ensuring the entire countertop is wet. Allow the first layer of sealer to dry for five minutes and then apply additional layers every five minutes until you have reached the desired number of coats.
Apply a final coat and allow the sealer to soak in for thirty minutes. Then, wipe excess sealer off the countertop and allow the sealer to air dry for 24 hours. After the drying time, your countertop is protected against stains.
To ensure that your countertops are sufficiently protected, perform a water test after the sealer has cured and bonded to the natural stone. To ensure your countertops remain protected, a sealer should be applied every six to twelve months, especially in high use areas.
How to Remove Oil Based Stains on Granite Countertops
Oil based stains caused by oils, grease, cosmetics, and milk will darken the granite countertop. In order to remove the stain, the oil must be chemically dissolved. Apply household detergent, mineral spirits, acetone, ammonia, or bleach to the stain and clean gently. Then, flood the area with water and buff dry using a soft, clean cloth.
How to Remove Organic Stains on Granite Countertops
Organic stains, including coffee, tea, wine, and fruit cause pinkish brown stains to appear. You can remove these organic stains with a mixture of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. Wipe the stain using a cloth and allow the hydrogen peroxide mixture to sit for ten minutes before rinsing the countertop with clear water and buffing dry with an absorbent cloth.
How to Remove Biological Stains on Granite Countertops
Biological stains, including fungi, mildew, algae, and mold, should be cleaned using diluted (a half-cup in a gallon of clean water) ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or bleach. Apply to the stain and wipe clean using a clean damp cloth.
How to Remove Ink and Paint Stains on Granite Countertops
Paint should be scraped off using a razor blade. Exercise care to avoid scratching the surface of the stone. Ink can be removed using hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Rinse the area and wipe dry
How to Remove Water Rings on Granite Countertops
Water doesn’t actually stain; however, it can cause an artificial stain to appear. The water causes rings of granite sealer to appear. These water rings can be removed by applying denatured alcohol to the countertop and wiping in a circular motion. You will need to apply the alcohol several times because it evaporates so quickly.
How to Remove Soap Scum on Granite Countertops
If you clean your granite countertops with dish soap, a film will eventually build up. This can be removed using a soap film remover. If your countertops appear dull, it is probably due to soap buildup. Cleaning the countertop with soap film remover will restore the shine.
How to Make a Poultice to Remove Stains on Granite Countertops
If these methods do not remove the stain, you will need to use a poultice. The poultice is made by mixing an absorbent material like diatomaceous earth, talc, powdered chalk or baking soda with water or a liquid cleaner. The treatment is then applied to the stain and covered with plastic wrap. The poultice is left on the countertop for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The liquid will pull the stain into the absorbent material.
• Oil based stains can be removed using a combination of baking soda and water or talc and mineral spirits.
• Organic stains are removed by mixing hydrogen peroxide with diatomaceous earth or powdered chalk.
• Biological stains can be removed by mixing hydrogen peroxide or ammonia with powdered chalk or talc.
Stain removal also removes the sealer from the countertop. To protect your granite countertops from further staining, follow the instruction above, and apply multiple coats of penetrating sealer to the entire countertop.
Daily Maintenance for Beautiful Granite Countertops
Your granite countertops will provide you with years of beauty when they are properly cared for. Proper daily maintenance includes wiping your granite countertops down daily using a damp cloth. If you spill anything on your granite countertops, wipe it up immediately and clean the countertop using a pH neutral granite cleaner.
Granite countertops are extremely durable and resist stains quite well; however, staining can still occur. Wipe spills up immediately and routinely seal your granite countertops to reduce the risk of staining. If a stain occurs, follow the steps listed above. If a stain remains after using a poultice, contact your stone specialist for assistance.