Absolute black granite-no problem keeping clean?!

cmm6797May 28, 2011

We originally wanted absolute black countertops ( honed) for our new kitchen, until I started reading some not-so-great comments about keeping it clean. A lot of people said that fingerprints show up everywhere. I also read on this website or somewhere else on the internet, that water rings were hard to get out.

We just picked up a sample today from a stoneyard because my husband really liked the look of it. We left olive oil and water on it for the day, plus wiped our fingers all over it. It all cleaned up very easily with a wet paper towel and the sample looks good as new again. So my question for any of you that have this countertop is whether or not you have the same experience (ease of cleaning)? I really can't figure out why most of my searches for absolute black counters on the internet have turned up mainly negative reviews. Is it that you WILL notice things such as fingerprints and water on the counter, until it's cleaned? Are these things not noticeable at all on a busier granite?

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Yep, hard to clean. I have to wipe over and over, there are always streaks.

But if you don't have direct light, you don't see the streaks... my granite is next to a bright window.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:41PM
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I have AB Premium (a deep black AB). I have no problems keeping it clean and dust is not a problem...but....all our counters are wiped down daily (usually at night when doing dishes). If you do not wipe down all your counters daily, you may have an issue seeing dust. Keep in mind that no matter what the color of your counters, the dust will be there, but with black you're more likely to see it.

On GW, it's not so much an issue with cleaning it as it is with complaints about seeing crumbs, dust, water spots, and fingerprints.

  • In my experience, crumbs only really show up if there are a lot of them or if they're big crumbs.

Dust...I already talked about that above. As to water spots, yes, they show...until they dry. Then they fade into the counter. They're a little duller than the surrounding counters, but you don't really see them unless you look for them. Fingerprints are sometimes noticeable, sometimes not. Cleaning...I actually find my counters pretty easy to keep clean. I use a regular dishcloth with a small amount of dish detergent. Sometimes I dry them, sometimes I let them air dry. I've found that wiping in circles seems to make a difference, especially drying.

I did notice when my mother was here last week that we had streaking...but that's b/c she's used to using more detergent on her dishcloth when wiping down counters (she has a beige, 1960 Formica counter...yes, her counters are over 50 years old!)

If I want my counters to really shine, I clean them with Method Daily Granite Cleaner and Polish using a microfiber cloth. Again, wiping in circular motions is the key to no streaks and a great shine!

FYI...we have a brightly lit kitchen. By day, we have a 7' counter-height bay window behind our cleanup sink. By night, we have recessed lights, pendants, and undercabinet lighting. When I'm cooking at night, I usually have my kitchen well-lit, especially the under cabinet task lighting...it's great lighting for working. With all this light, we still don't have an issue with dust, streaks, etc. (Circular motions!!!)

Would we use the same stone if we had it to do over? Yes! We love the look!

[Bonus: Most AB doesn't need to be sealed!]

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:27AM
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We have polished absolute black granite on our kitchen island. It's true that fingerprints and bits of spilled food are visible. However, I find it extremely easy to clean. A quick spray of Windex wiped off with a paper towel gets it sparkling clean. We've had this island top for about 20 years. It was sealed when installed but I haven't done a thing to it since.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:39AM
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Uroboros5- is your counter polished or honed? You said that you always see streaks...is this after you wipe them down with a wet cloth? Will the streaks eventually dry?

Buehl- so it sounds like everything CAN be cleaned up? On the sample we have here it was easily cleaned with a wet paper towel, then I dried it with a paper towel. Do you find that your counters can be cleaned simply or do you usually need to use just the right amount of dish soap?

We also will have a lot of direct sun on the counters. I guess I'm hoping that the counters won't be as difficult to clean as a window is, for example. Sometimes with windows you have a hard time getting them streak- free, so you have to go over them a few times. We'd just like to be able to wipe the counters down daily, or typically several times a day, and have them look good! Do you all find that this is possible?

Thank you so much for your input. For some reason I'm not trusting our sample piece here...it seems to contradict everything else that I've read before.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:05AM
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Very easy to clean, nothing shows. I never saw a stain from red wine, oil, or etching from lemon or tomatoes. I wiped my counters daily even 4 or 5 times daily and still got streaks if I did not dry it completely.

I found using insta-hot water on a fiber free cloth that is wrung out cleans the granite beautifully with no residue at all. I had to dry it though.

I also had a lot of lights and windows. The glare from the windows showed more than the overhead lights. Dust and fingerprints showed up easily, no matter how clean our hands were. If you have a busy house, you are going to get dust - especially is you have a pet, and as noted by Buehl, you have to wipe daily. You just need to make sure you have a maintenance routine.

We had hard water and would get mineral spots where drops would form/splash around the sink area. I kept a straight edge razer under the sink and they come right up without a scratch. And I learned to dry the area after washing to prevent it.

The granite was polished and extremely dark black. It was beautiful. My friend has honed and fingerprints do show up, but not as glaring.

I wouldn't use windex as my granite guy said you shouldn't use anything with ammonia. Glass Plus was recommended. But I found the hot water worked just as well if not better.

I think AB polished is a little like marble regarding maintenance but without the anxiety of marble. You don't have to worry about spilling on it, but if you want it to look pristine, which I did, you just have to wipe it and dry it thoroughly.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:34AM
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I have two side tables in my living room with honed Absolute Black granite tops. They show dust quickly, unless you dust them daily, and if you have any pet with light-colored hair, it'll show (even one lone hair somehow will look kinda gross). When I wipe the tops down, I have to do the circular motions that Buehl described or else they are streaky. Do not use detergent or anything soapy. Conversely, my kitchen counters are a granite with a lot of movement of many shades of grays, slate-blue and charcoal. It shows absolutely nothing, even though it's polished (not honed). I sometimes have to run my hands over my counters just to see if there's anything, cause they appear to be so spotless due to the swirls and the varying colors. My kitchen counters are care-free, and look so pretty too.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:48AM
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My Absolute Black polished granite kitchen is the bane of my existence. I really wanted marble but knew we would stain it so went in the opposite direction. I have regretted it for 8 years! I would rather have stains then five hundred times a day be cleaning the counters. I only have two kids but it looks like 20 people live here. Every time anyone makes anything in the kitchen, leaves a glass, or touches the counter it looks awful. The kitchen is very sunny and it shows everything. Also has cracked in two places. I hate it!!!! Only looks great right after one of my many cleanings. I have had to buy the huge box of micro fiber yellow towels meant for car cleaning from costco because I go through about five a day!!! Do not get Ab Black honed or polished!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Another possibility is absolute black with an antiqued/leathered/flamed surface. These are similar to honed slabs (they are NOT shiny) that are given a slight (or moderate) texture to the surface which should won't show fingerprints or streaks. Don't know for sure whether that texture also helps minimize the dust factor, but I would assume so. (Not that they won't get dusty, but that the dust shouldn't be as noticeable.)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:17PM
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Littlesmokie- we considered one of those textured finishes. I like the look but thought they might be harder to actually clean since there are slight ridges/ bumps/ whatever they might be called.

I basically decided I'm tired of obsessing over every single kitchen decision. I like the look of absolute black, and since every material seems to have it's pros and cons, I'm just hoping the pros outweigh the cons for us!

But now that we've lived with our honed absolute black sample for a few weeks, I do see what the other posters meant about keeping it clean.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:46PM
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AB Honed looks great when you use Method Daily Granite Polish from Target...

People are using it with GREAT RESULTS !!!

Method has totally changed my opinion about Fabricating AB Honed -

Not trying to sound "self promoting" here, BUT - I USED TO avoid doing AB Honed like the FREAKIN PLAGUE - My first encounter with AB Honed was in 2001 when I did five homes at one time for one client, and ALL FIVE kitchens had fingerprint and oil spotting issues - client wound up paying me for all five homes, then he paid me to rip out all five kitchens and re-installing all five kitchens with different stones (non-AB HONED).... that was then.....

BUT NOW.... because Method is available - as far as I am concerned - it has solved the oil staining and finger print dilemma - Method Daily Granite Polish is something that I can tell my clients to use, and they can buy it and apply it themselves - and It's made MY life a lot more stress free......

And I'm doing a lot more AB Honed, & AB Leathered projects than ever before!!!



    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Thanks for the info. That's very helpful to know!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:49AM
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do you find the leathered absolute black easy to maintain- no stains ( oils)
are you clients happy with their counters. any complaints?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:26PM
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as long as they do the Method applications - it takes a week or two for the Method coats to "build up" and create a "patina" on the stone - the active ingredient that does this is all natural coconut oil that soaks into the stone and prevents finger prints from and other oil stains from showing.....

you STILL have to wipe up spills and stuff when it happens, but at least the Method creates and maintains a temporary barrier. Just remember to do a periodic "wipe down" as required - just a small "spritz" of Method and a wipe down to keep the patina going.

and no - no complaints as long as they follow "the Method Plan"

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 9:11AM
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I love soapstone, but its out of my price range. Does the honed absolute black have a similiar look to soapstone? I was quoted over $100 a foot for soapstone, delivery and install inclusive. WOuld AB honed be about half that price?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 10:21AM
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SPAM by Vinayak Exports - the sole purpose of the above post is for self-promotion.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 5:08AM
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I have an AB counter in my laundry room. I wanted marble but it was long ago and the local stone yard only had granite. It shows spots, rings and finger prints. Liquid soap and fabric softener leave spots.

It is nowhere near as much maintenance as marble and doesn't need sealing. Fabricators gave me a GranQuartz 3 in 1 Spray Cleaner which improves the look (though it still needs frequent dusting). Good to know about the Method cleaner because the GranQuartz (a spray can lasted 10 years -- I just bought a new one) works really well but is "harmful or fatal if swallowed." If we had kids in the house I wouldn't use it.

A great many people have black counters but I think they suck the light out of the room unless everything else is white. And they require maintenance. If you're up for it, AB is not like soapstone which needs to be oiled and chips more easily.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 5:25AM
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Buehl, Okay so let's assume that is spam. On GW that would not be allowed, but is allowed on GW/Houzz? I am really confused about that.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 6:45AM
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Vinayak Exports

ok jerzeegirl and buekl , if you think this is spam i am deleting it. FYI this was allowed on GW.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 6:56AM
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Vinayak: I don't care at all - it doesn't bother me. I am just trying to find out what the parameters are. In fact, maybe you can help. When you sign up for Houzz as a professional are there any restrictions to what you can post (aside from the usual ones)?

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 9:16AM
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Since GW was taken over by Houzz, we have seen many pros resurrecting old threads - just like this one - so they can advertise themselves by seeming to be adding to a current conversation - but they are NOT. This is resulting in the threads of those people who need help TODAY being bumped off the front page and, therefore, reducing their chances of getting help.

This thread is from 2011 - almost 4 years ago. I strongly doubt the OP needs help today!


JerzeeGirl - GW did not allow pros to troll for business (no advertising, promoting their business, etc.) - which in the eyes of many of us here is exactly what the pros at Houzz are now doing. They're looking for excuses to post to any thread they can find to get their names "in lights". Since Houzz seems to be for pros to showcase their work, it appears the GW Forums will now be suffering b/c of it.

It would be far more helpful if those pros would HELP people with current questions/issues - with no mention of their companies (or websites) so we know they're not doing it for the business. We have had several pros over the years who have devoted hours of their time helping here without trying to get us to buy their services. In fact, in the past when a KD, for example, told people to email or call them for personal help, their posts were often removed b/c of it (it was a case-by-case basis - depending on the post itself.)

1 Like    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 9:27AM
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Vinayak Exports

well as a professional you can post links. I had account with GW, where posting links was allowed. It is also allowed here.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 9:27AM
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Actually, you were NOT supposed to in GW. If someone reported such, those posts were usually deleted. The Terms of Service specifically stated no advertising for businesses, etc. I am sure that's changed w/the Houzz takeover b/c they appear to be more pro-focused than help-focused.


Let's end this discussion so threads from people who need help are not bumped off the top or first page.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 9:32AM
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Thanks, buehl, for the response. The focus is definitely more business oriented than GW ever was. Kind of disappointing.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 10:42AM
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Links to businesses in posts is spam and should be reported. They can link to their business on their profiles.

I'm sick of these pros bumping old threads. They're killing GW.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 12:56PM
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Annoying. Didnt notice the bump and wasted time replying. Maybe thats why the forum seems so diffuse.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 4:11PM
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Unfortunately, even though Vinayak Exports deleted his/her post, the "damage" is already done. Oh well.

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 6:07PM
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