Granite: Cleaning, Polishing, Protection
Granite, an igneous rock formed from magnum, is very dense, hard and brittle. Granite stands up well against heavy foot traffic, making it preferable for commercial lobbies and walkways. True granite is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available and is used in high stress situations. Resistant to most chemicals, except for oils, which can permeate the stone, granite is also ideal for counters and bar tops. Composed of quartz and feldspar (Silica and Alumina).
Granite should be sealed with an oil-repellant penetrating sealer such as StoneTech™ Professional BulletProof™ or Impregnator Pro to prevent staining and reduce soiling. Flamed granite surfaces are very absorbent due to the stress fractures in the stone caused by the flaming process and should be sealed to maintain the original color and appearance of the stone over time. Do not try to polish or hone. With granite being a natural product, each kitchen will have a unique look with possible pattern or color variation throughout the slab.
Granite ranges from 6 to 8 on the MOH scale (a scale for determining the relative hardness of a mineral according to its resistance to scratching). The hardest mineral, at 10, is diamond. The softest mineral, at 1, is talc.
Granite can be used for most any inside horizontal application including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, furniture tops, bar tops, thresholds, windowsills, etc. Granite has been extensively used as a dimension stone and as flooring tiles in public and commercial buildings and monuments. With increasing amounts of acid rain in parts of the world, granite has begun to supplant marble and limestone as a monument material, since it is much more durable and acid-resistant. Polished granite is also a popular choice for kitchen countertops due to its high durability and aesthetic qualities.
The beauty, hardness and utility of granite makes it a highly desirable material for countertops in home design. In addition to its natural strength, granite is a beautiful stone that adds color and warmth to a room. Though the cost to add granite countertops to any new kitchen or remodel can be quite high, they remain the premiere choice in many new and remodeled homes. The price of granite countertops ranges from $60 to $120 a square foot, which may or may not include the cost of installation.
While granite countertops are a favorite choice due to their beauty and durability, they are not impervious to damage. Regular care includes proper cleaning and the use of sealers to prevent staining. Although granite is quite hard, it can be easily be chipped. A skilled professional can perform repairs that are nearly invisible.
WARNING: Some stone marked and sold as “granite” are marble instead - always do an acid resistance test to confirm. Some granite is dyed! Not etched by most acids, but can be etched by hydrofluoric acid! Because granite is quite hard, it can be cleaned at pressures up to 1,450 PSI if the grout is in good condition.
WARNING: We have found several instances where Indian Absolute Black Granite products are sensitive to food products, chemicals, ultra-violet rays and cleaning agents. The granite is taking on a lighter hue in the affected areas. The polish is unaffected, however, the stone turns light gray and it takes on cloudy appearance. Not all Indian Absolute Black Granite materials have been found to have this problem; it is only in isolated situations. We have been experiencing at least one problem per month throughout the United States and Canada. It has been reported that some overseas factories are chemically treating the stone to get a deeper, dark black coloration. The deeper and darker the granite surface, the more desirable they become. While there are many very reliable sources for Absolute Black Granite, precautions should be taken to prevent installation of inferior/defective material. After all the damage is done it usually results in the project being torn out.
Features and Benefits of Granite Stone:
Care & Maintenance of Granite Countertops and Floors:
Natural stone is very porous. The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.
We recommend that you use care and maintenance products from StoneTech™ Professional, a DuPont company, that are specially formulated to protect and enhance the beauty of your granite. Once the stone is sealed, clean up is usually easy. We recommend that you use StoneTech™ Professional Revitalizer™ Cleaner & Protector. Revitalizer™ cleans with a gentle, pH-neutral formula that removes soils while reinforcing the original protective seal to help prevent future staining. Learn more about our care products.
Although we usually think of stone as "hard," it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.
Removal of oily stains is easily accomplished with StoneTech™ Professional Oil and Stain Remover.
Fluorochemical technology, incorporated into StoneTech™ Professional BulletProof™ and StoneTech™ Professional Impregnator Pro, is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-base stains. The micro-molecular formula actually bonds with the stone surface to deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and durability. And because the sealer reacts with the stone, you no longer have to worry about its porosity. It works on all types of stone, from ultra-porous Juparana Columbo to super-dense Absolute Black.
DO's and DON'Ts of Granite
NOTE: Some stone marked and sold as “granite” are marble instead - always do an acid resistance test to confirm. Some granite is dyed! Not etched by most acids, but can be etched by hydrofluoric acid! Because granite is quite hard, it can be cleaned at pressures up to 1,450 PSI if the grout is in good condition.
Products for Cleaning and Protecting Granite:
Related Stone Information: