Granite Counter Tops Maintenance & Care Info

Granite's great -- but it does need to be resealed

Joanne Hatherly

CanWest News Service

Sunday, July 31, 2005

If you've got granite counters in your home, you've got it good. Granite won't burn, warp or scratch and takes a minimum of care.

Granite can't be beat for convenience. Cookie sheets right out of the oven and pots straight from the stove top can be placed on granite counters without any ill effect.

Esthetically, each granite slab is unique, stylish and attractive, coming in an endless array of colours and patterns.

But like anything precious, granite countertops can use a little TLC. Tim Kyle of Matrix Marble Corp., a Vancouver Island marble processor -- offers these pointers on keeping the glow in your granite.

Granite is machine- and stone-polished at production, a process that never needs repeating. It's also sealed with a silica compound that, once cured, renders it impenetrable. But the seal does wear, so Kyle recommends resealing the surface after five years, earlier if your counter gets a lot of use or is very porous.

Test the granite's seal by leaving a puddle of water on the surface for a few minutes. Wipe the spot dry and check for a water mark -- an edging that appears where the water has seeped into the pores of the stone.

If the test shows the seal has worn away, simply pour a silica sealer designed for natural stone onto the counter and wipe evenly with a clean cotton cloth. Repeat several times and leave the counter overnight. Silica sealers can be purchased from granite suppliers.

Will granite ever go out of style?

Kyle thinks not. "It's a no-fuss, no-muss stone. It's unmatched for esthetics," he says.

"We hear from customers who had their granite installed 10 years ago and they say they would never go back to anything else."

© The Vancouver Province 2005