A wide expanse of gleaming granite seems indestructible and permanent. However, even in the tidiest of kitchens, the vulnerable edges of granite can get nicked, scratched and even cracked.
A small granite chip repair cost can be expensive if a professional comes in with tools and products. Keeping the granite edges in pristine condition requires preventive measures. To thwart a chipped countertop edge, there are a few techniques to put in place and cleaners to avoid.
A good granite countertop protector will clean and shine the surface.
Granite Countertop Protector
Aside from placing rubber or plastic mats around the granite countertop to take the brunt of heavy pans, hot pots and sliding wooden cutting boards in a busy kitchen, the best granite countertop protector is a good combination cleaner and sealer. A quality granite cleaner will clean and shine the granite while also offering a protective layer. It will safely remove streaks of grease, smears of sauce and gooey fingerprints. Use a cleaner and sealer combination recommended by the granite manufacturer or the installer.
Only use granite cleaners and sealers made from safe products that are recommended for your specific color and brand. The continual use of the cleaner will seal the granite throughout the year. However, to further protect the granite, it may need a more serious cleaning and sealing on an annual basis.
Sealing Granite Countertops
A broken edge on a granite countertop can ruin the look of the high-end material. Natural stone countertops that are lighter in color should be sealed once a year to keep the granite in good condition and protected from chipping, according to Realtor.com.
To seal granite, Arch City Granite recommends that a quality granite sealer should be applied in layers. Do this a few times a year to keep that high shine and continual protection.
When to Seal Granite
If you aren't sure if you need to seal the countertop, The Granite Guy recommends that you pour 1/4 cup of water onto the surface to test the current seal. Make a note of the time that you placed the water on the counter and how long it took for the granite to darken. If it takes 30 minutes or longer, there is no need for sealant. If it is absorbed immediately, apply a few layers of sealer and follow up annually.
Maintaining Granite Throughout the Year
It's easy to rely on a weekly cleaning or annual sealer. However, daily maintenance will protect the granite from oil stains, acidic corrosion from products such as lemons and vinegar, and the errant abrasive that finds its way onto the smooth countertop surface.
The best way to protect the precious natural stone is to protect the carefully applied sealant. Wipe up spills, from water to wine, as soon as they happen to keep the sealant on the granite in good shape.
It's always a good idea to have a handful of bendable trivets ready to toss under heavy or hot pans and dishes at the last minute. Even ice cold and sauced dishes with a vinegar base should be placed on a heating pad to protect the granite from temperature changes that can affect the sealant. Temperature changes and heavy pans dropped on the surface of the granite can break down the sealant.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.