Caulk can become moldy or discolored over time. A great way to improve the look of your granite countertops is to redo the caulk. You can purchase caulk in a variety of colors to match your granite.
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High Quality Caulk Products
The best caulk to use on granite is 100% silicone caulk. Your home may have latex caulk, which is not as durable and is prone to becoming discolored with use.
Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants suggests ASTM C920 silicone sealant as the best silicone caulk for granite countertops. They recommend Latasil by Laticrete, which comes in many colors so you can match it to your countertop and backsplash. They also like 795 and 790 by Dow Corning, which also comes in several shades. It is recommended for most stone countertops, but you want to make sure it is fine for your particular surface. Sealants can potentially cause staining on the stone, so check with the manufacturer first if you have any doubts.
Remove the Old Caulk
You will most likely want to remove the old caulk first. Start with a utility knife and angle it into the caulk joint so that you are able to cut it out.
Next, use a razor blade to carefully scrape out any remaining caulk, according to The North American Tile Cleaning Association.
Filling Seams in Granite Countertops
You always want to apply blue painter's tape or masking tape to the surface when redoing caulk. It is difficult to fill in the joint perfectly and steadily by hand, so the tape will help you make nice straight lines. Once you have applied the caulk, the North American Tile Cleaning Association suggests you smooth it out with your finger to make sure it is filling seams in granite countertops. Make sure it goes all the way into the cracks and forms a strong barrier.
Once you are done smoothing the caulk, slowly and gently peel off the painter's tape. The North American Tile Cleaning Association recommends removing the top piece of tape first, because gravity may cause the caulk to sink. You want any excess caulk to wind up on the tape, not your granite. Next, remove the bottom tape slowly and carefully so that you do not accidentally pull the caulk out or cause it to spread too much.
Finishing Your Project
Smooth the caulk one more time with your finger after the tape has been removed. Experts suggests the checking to make sure a slight ridge has not formed. If you see one, smooth it out now. If a ridge forms, it won't look as sleek, but functionally, it can cause problems, as well. It can allow dirt and other materials in.
Caulk sets about 20 minutes or so after you apply it, so smooth out any bumps or ridges as quickly as possible. If you notice a bump or lump after the caulking is starting to harden, dip your finger in isopropyl alcohol. Then, run your finger over it, smoothing the caulk, according to advice from the North American Tile Cleaning Association. Wash any caulk off your fingers with soap and water before it dries.
Home Depot recommends that the best caulk for laminate countertops is also silicone caulk. Redoing the caulk can give your countertops an attractive and much needed update on a small budget.
Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.