How much maintenence does granite require really

tricia257January 25, 2013

Since Jan 1 I have been planning a total kitchen remodel. Yeah!!! I initially thought quartz, but I can't find a color I like (tells you how fussy I am).

Some things I read about granite makes it seem unusable--wipe tomato sauce immediately, etc. I don't mind sealing it every year but I don't want to be afraid to let the kids near the counters.

Forgot to mention, I'm looking at light granites


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Most require zero or close to no maintenance. The lighter stones that are so popular now can possibly have staining issues, especially if they weren't sealed properly or enough times. The best advice would be to get samples from the slab yards of the stones in which you are most interested and run your own tests at home. Spill acidic things on it. Bang it around lighty to see if it easily chips or scratches. Many stones labeled and sold as granite are far from that geological classification. Stone yards are held to no universal standards of naming or classifying.

There are so many gorgeous stones on the market that you do not need to own one that you won't let your kids near. That would be ridiculous! I am linking a thread below that is currently on the first page here about granite maintenance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on granite

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:44AM
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Keep in mind that most samples are not sealed. It was still helpful to try stain tests. I have white diamond. My unsealed sample was tested with grape juice which at first did stain. Soap and water got much of it. The very slight trace of it that stayed came off with a small amount of bleach. I am NOT recommending using bleach on your counters.

So I thought worse case on unsealed granite it would be ok. Of course the counters were sealed and seem to be "bullet proof". I find stuff stuck on it all the time and it wipes clean easily.

I was told to seal about every 6 years.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:22AM
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Debbi Branka

My granite experience is with blue pearl (dark). NO MAINTENANCE AT ALL! Blue pearl doesn't even need to be sealed. I do cakes and color and roll fondant on my granite. If anything will stain, that red food color will. It doesn't touch my granite. I also clean my granite with Clorox Cleanup (bleach). No harm at all. With a light granite, I would recommend sealing according to the directions (usually 2-3 times) and then enjoying. Don't baby it! My kids cut things directly on the counter. I holler at them and I use a cutting board, but it hasn't left a mark on my granite. I use hot pads when I take something out of the oven, as a habit, but I have set pots on the granite before when I didn't have a hot pad out. So yes, my experience is no maintenance whatsoever on my granite. For comparison, I have white marble on my island. It is sealed and has no stains at all - it's almost a year old. Red fondant or food color is allowed no where near my marble! But spaghetti sauce isn't staining it. I do have etches, but even more scratches on the marble. The granite is polished and still looks new after almost 3 years.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:58AM
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I would say pretty much maintenance free. Our fabricator said we only need to seal maybe every five years and that's only if we notice water not beading up on it anymore. We have typhoon Bordeaux and a 4 year old daughter and don't baby it at all. The only thing I am careful with is making sure I don't run into the edge of it with a heavy pan or something.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:51AM
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At first I was paranoid about it but now I take it for granted and don't worry about it. There are many products that are called granite cleaner with sealer for daily use that I use like I would 409. I also have a light ivory granite. If it got a stain, you would not be able to tell it would just look like part of the granite for the most part since it is patterned. I was uptight about even a water spot for several months after we first got it but now I know that water spots dry out, that nothing really is going to hurt it even if it does stain, it will just blend in for the most part but it never has. My Corian would stain once in awhile with carrot juice or other type of things like when my coffee maker was leaking.

I haven't had any problems with my granite staining at all. It's just not an issue. It cleans up as well as any other counter top I have had. The worst countertop I had that stained was when we were living in an apartment while building our house and it had a white laminate counter top. I was always scrubbing to get out marks on it. Maybe because after so many years the coating was worn off but it was such a pain!!! Go for granite and do not worry. It will be fine. I don't use hot pads anymore either.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:57AM
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"Keep in mind that most samples are not sealed."

Real granite does not require 'sealing' and it will not absorb much of anything.

Take a sample of the stone you want to use and test it yourself.

A huge problem occurs since many stones identified as 'granite' are anything but.

In many cases the attractive 'patterns' are caused by inclusions of various stone types that may not be as stain/damage resistant as the majority of the stone.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I am a fabricator.

Any reputable shop will seal the stone before or at install. We recommend our customers reseal once a year but the majority of granites need it less frequently or never. (A lot of granites today are treated with a resin prior to polishing which essentially makes them impervious to most stains. you can tell a resined slab at the slab yard because you'll see drips of resin along the edges.)

Most post installation damage to granite is chipping which can usually be repaired or the occasional oil stain that can be removed with a poultice.

The only normal household item that can damage a typical granite countertop is rust remover product like iron out. the acid in these products can damage granite if left in contact with the stone for a while.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I have a light granite called Bianco Montanha. The unsealed sample stained very badly; with two coats of sealer noticeably less.

Since the granite has been installed in July, I have been sealing it regularly, probably every month. It is a water based sealer, so probably not as good as a solvent based one, I don't know. It seems as if the granite is saturated now, so I'll probably ease up on sealing for a while.

Last week a small puddle of bright red berry herb tea sat unnoticed overnight and cleaned up completely the next morning, just being wiped with a cloth and warm water. A confession - I put a few drops of oil on a far corner and left it for a few hours. It didn't stain either.

I clean with the water/alcohol/lavender oil mixture.

I love the light granite, the kitchen is dark and a dark colored granite would have been too much. Sealing is very quick and easy, really wipe on, wipe off, so for me the extra effort for a few months has been totally worth it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Thanks all--that's the reasurance I needed

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:09PM
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gardenpixie - Do you have a picture of your countertops? I saw Bianco Montanha at Arizona Tile and I couldn't find many pictures of it online.

oldryer - I'm going granite shopping today. Should I make sure I find a granite that is resined? If it's not, does that mean it would stain easily?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Circus Peanut

The only caveat I'd add, as a non-granite-loving person (YMMV), is that I had a cheaper granite in a condo rental a few years back, and it drove me INSANE because it wasn't smooth. It had little occlusions everywhere that made it ever so slightly rough to the feel, and it never ever looked perfectly clean. Always looked like I needed to take a razor to it to get the rough patches off. Hated it. Dunno if this is typical for all granite types, likely not, but it's perhaps worth mentioning if you are looking at something like New Venetian Gold, which I think this was.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:20AM
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I am a fabricator:

msrose & circuspeanut: turns out your comments are very related....

the resining process was developed because many stones are left with very small "pits" in the surface after polishing. these pits are objectionable because a surface irregularity in a polished surface as little as one thousandth of an inch is naked eye visible in proper lighting. while it doesn't hurt the performance or overall beauty of the stone some end users will find such "pits" highly objectionable. (don't ask me how I know)

the resining process infuses the top 60 thousands or so of the stone with resin BEFORE polishing. after polishing the tiny "pits" (which usually are too small even to feel with a fingertip) are filled by the resin. this makes the stone more commercially valuable and, incidentally, also makes it practically stainproof since all the pores of the stone are filled.

I would not recommed rejecting a stone simply because it's not resined. many stones are still nearly impervious to staining once a good sealer is applied. pick the look that you want ... you'll be looking at it possibly for the rest of your life.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:42AM
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