Tag Archive | Granite slabs

Love Your Countertop? Check These Maintenance Tips

Stone countertops like granite are designed to take the punishing action common in kitchens. This means withstanding heavy cookware, hot pots, liquid spills, and sticky ingredients. A good countertop is, therefore, one that lets you do what you want to make in the kitchen–quiches, casseroles, sweets, pastries—without having to worry about damages and broken tiles.

However, not all countertops share the same strength and resilience. Marble, for instance, is more prone to cracking and staining than granite; but marble is a good countertop for baking. If you want your countertop to last a long time, here are several tips to prevent major damages.

For Marble

As mentioned before, marble is perfect for baking but cracks and stains easily. Regular sealing is a good way to keep the surface workable for kneading dough and other baking processes. In addition, keep kitchen appliances on the countertop to a minimum, and avoid placing heavy-duty kitchen appliances, such as the mixer, on them.

For Quartz

Experts laud quartz for its many strengths and few weaknesses. However, a quartz countertop is no place for a scalding pot as quartz isn’t as resistant to heat as other stone countertops like granite. When putting a hot pot on a quartz countertop, use a pot base to prevent the heat from damaging the quartz. 

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Granite Stones: From Quarries to Countertops

Among the many materials used in home and building construction, granite is one of the most durable and aesthetically pleasing. Its sturdiness, strength, and resistance to heat, water, and dirt make it perfect for kitchen and bathroom uses. Made of a variety of minerals, like quartz and feldspar, bonded together by extreme heat and pressure, granite is one of the most beneficial materials to have come out for construction use.

Granite stones are mined from quarries. Raw granite is cut into slabs at sizes suitable for construction use. Because of the stones’ toughness, power tools are needed to cut and shape them.

Handling granite needs to be done with precision. Careful measurements have to be made before they are cut. Special blades are also needed in cutting granite to avoid rough edges and chipping. The latter can happen from too much vibration of saw blades, particularly when the cutting is done by an amateur.

Granite slabs can also be shaped to go with various application needs. For example, they can be curved or rounded to go on countertop corners or edges. Careful methods must be practiced in shaping a piece, using special contour blades.

Once granite is installed, it is advisable to seal it to keep liquids from seeping into its pores. By nature, granite is moisture and dirt resistant, but sealing enhances these qualities even more, and makes the surface easier to clean.

Considerations in Buying Granite Countertops

First things first: granite is a rock that is harvested from different quarries. This means that one piece of granite may be very different from another piece, even though the two pieces may have more or less the same strength, durability, and texture. This also means that those looking to buy granite countertops in St. Louis should look for consistency in their choices, ideally purchasing granite slabs that were mined from the same quarry.

Another point to consider is fabrication. Granite slabs are fabricated either by machine or by hand. Machine cutting is faster and more convenient, but it tends to leave a few edges of the slab uneven. Hand-cutting, on the other hand, espouses precision, thereby making it preferable for homeowners who want consistency on their countertops.

Polishing is something that many people tend to ignore when buying granite countertops. The quality of polishing is actually very important in bringing out the character of a granite slab. Good polishing is a mark of excellent workmanship: if a slab isn’t shiny enough then there’s a good chance that wax was applied on its surface. This is an attempt to hide imperfections like scratches and chips, which are likely to have happened during the fabrication process.