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Granite: Best Practices for Your New Countertops

Kitchen countertop with food ingredients and herbs

Granite countertops are a beautiful and sturdy option for the countertops in your kitchen, and here at Precision Granite in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, we carry a large variety of colors and finishes for you to choose from. If you decide on granite for your countertops for the installation in your new home or remodel project, you will pleasantly be surprised with their long lifetime and consistent strength against the elements. However, the care of granite countertops can be quite different from other materials and might require a shift in your mindset when it comes to cleaning and caring for your kitchen surfaces.

A Quick Lesson in Sealants and Chopping Practices  

Granite tends to have a fairly rough and grainy texture naturally, and is considered to be quite porous. It is a rock after all! But by the time they get to our customers our granite countertops are smooth and ready for action in your kitchen. Many experts suggest using a granite sealer every 6 months or so in order to continue in the aid of preventing stains and germs seeping into the surface itself.

Chef chopping vegetables

Although granite is known for its sturdy composure, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is completely immune to scratches and scuffs during everyday use. And one of the biggest mistakes that consumers make is using their granite countertops as their cutting board. This will quickly dull your knives and over a long period of time it will also begin to wear down the integrity of the countertops. So do yourself (and your knives) a huge favor and always use a cutting board when chopping fruits, vegetables, and meats.

The Delicate World of Do’s and Don’ts while Cleaning Granite

Adjusting your cleaning habits for your granite countertops might be the most difficult part of this transition, because it most likely very different from the way you’ve been cleaning your countertops for years. But if done correctly and followed consistently, these cleaning tips will help guarantee the long term success of your kitchen surfaces.

The first rule of thumb for cleaning your granite, is to never use the following household cleaners:

  • Bleach
  • Vinegar
  • Anything that contains ammonia
  • Lemon or other citrus cleaners

We know, this probably goes against everything you’ve been doing for years, but these substances can do more harm that good for your surfaces. Using these liquids while cleaning your granite will eventually break down the sealant on your granite, which will open up the porous surface even more to germs and stains.

glass of wine 1

The best way to clean your granite is actually with good old fashioned warm water and a little bit of soap. Wiping them down daily with a damp cloth and small amount of dishwasher soap is basically all of the cleaning that you need to do. Simple right? Experts also suggest cleaning up spills as soon as they happen to prevent the liquids from penetrating the surface. Be especially diligent with the cleanup of substances that stain easily such as wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauces, cooking oils and sodas.

A Few More Takeaways…

Since granite is an igneous rock, it is commonly thought that it can handle any hot object that you throw its way. And although it can sustain high levels of high heat from your pots and pans, it is not recommended to get into the habit of setting these directly onto the countertops all the time. Your granite can handle an occasional hot pan here and there, but for regular usage, put these hot objects on trivets or coasters whenever possible.

It is also a good idea to avoid leaving containers on the surfaces that are wet or might be producing condensation. If left sitting on the granite for long periods of time, these moisture heavy objects will eventually transfer some of their moisture into your countertops. Lastly, avoid working with raw meat directly on your granite countertops in order to prevent any form of cross contamination. Although your granite surface is sealed, it is still possible for germs to enter into the small cracks and holes so it is better to place it safe and avoid this habit all together.

 

In the end, whatever material you choose for your kitchen upgrade or installation is a personal choice, but now if you choose granite you will be properly informed on the care of this material. Granite countertops are definitely a strong choice for many homeowners and with proper maintenance and upkeep, they will continue to be a very enjoyable part of your home!

 

Sources:

https://countertopinvestigator.com/granite-care/

http://www.countertopspecialty.com/granite-counter-top-care.html

 

Preventative Maintenance: Your New Tile Shower

If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve struggled with maintaining the pristine condition of the tile in your bathroom shower or tub. It can seem like no matter how hard you scrub, mold and mildew still continue to build up. And you might be fighting an uphill battle with grout beginning to deteriorate between the tile itself. At Precision Granite in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, we can help ensure that your tile projects will be flawlessly installed, but then it is up to you to maintain the life and condition of your newly laid tile shower or tub. Incorporate these helpful tips into your normal routine and you will help increase the life of your tile as well as its overall visual appeal.

A Towel for You, and a Towel for Your Shower

If you have a few scrap towels laying around that you haven’t found a use for yet, now may be their time to shine. One of the best ways to guarantee your shower will continue to look like new is to make sure it is as dry as possible after every single use. This may seem like an annoying extra step after you’ve toweled yourself off, but this regular wipe down routine will help the integrity of your shower tiles stay intact according to this article. Some people prefer to use a large window squeegee to pull the water off of the walls and then they soak it up with a towel or sponge at the bottom. But this method might work up more of a sweat than you’d like, so we recommend keeping some old towels in the bathroom that are designated for shower drying duty alone.

Smiling woman in white top hold towel.

Seal it up!

At Precision Granite in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, our tile installations are very thorough and will be able to withstand a lot of use over the years. However, it is still recommended by professionals that you apply a sealant to your tiles and grout shortly after the installation, and again every couple of years. You can purchase either a mineral based sealer or one that is latex and acrylic based. If you want to avoid stinking up your house during the application process, it is recommended to not choose a mineral based sealer, since it tends to have a distinct odor. Before applying the sealer, make sure the area is completely dry, which may mean not using it for several days. The sealer can be easily applied with a sponge or a rag, and just make sure to follow the directions on the bottle carefully so that you don’t run into any major issues.

Blue Tiles in Swimming Pool

Keep it Squeaky Clean

When it comes to cleaning the tile areas in your house, some professionals have conflicting ideas. Some believe that a vinegar solution is beneficial and less harsh than some other chemical cleaners, but others say that a vinegar solution might be too acidic and might be doing more harm than good. A safe solution that is also environmentally friendly, would be to make a scrub yourself, using water and baking soda. There are also plenty of cleaners to choose from at your local market and all of them will work well for your basic cleaning needs. If you need something a little more heavy duty, you can read more here about specific brands and their strengths.

Hand in protective glove cleaning tiles with rag in the kitchen. Early spring cleaning or regular clean up. Maid cleans house.

Overall, if you can incorporate a little more into your routine, your brand new tile shower or tub will expectedly last much longer. Increasing the condition and life of your shower or tub area will make it much more enjoyable for the whole family, and will save you money on costly repairs in the future. If you live in the Pagosa Springs area, and are ready for the tile masters to get to work on your new tile construction projects, give Precision Granite a call today!

Sources:
http://www.johnbridge.com/articles/showers/tile-showers/

https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/bathroom-products/best-showers