By selecting natural stone for your worktops you have chosen a product with exceptional qualities. In order to ensure that your granite worktop’s natural qualities and aesthetics are maintained we have prepared the following guidelines.
Can I expect variations in the composition, colour or veining of my granite?
Yes – unlike man-made products, you have selected a material which is from a natural source and has a beauty which is unique and is impossible to create under factory conditions. Variations in both colour and veining will occur between pieces from the same block and even on the same slab. Most natural materials are inherently unsound and faults range from dull patches and hairline cracks to extensive ‘brecciation’, open crevices or pit marks.
During the quarrying and manufacturing process it may be necessary to reinforce, repair, fill or polish in one form or another. Fortunately, with modern techniques and skills, these fillings and repairs can be well-concealed and the treated parts become the stronger sections of the material. Such repairs should not, therefore, be regarded in any way as defects. The face of the slab is polished or honed at the quarry and not touched by us; we simply cut the stone and polish the edges.
What should I use for everyday cleaning?
Most granite surfaces finished with either a polished or honed face will retain their polish/honing and intensity of colour for many years and the only maintenance required is that of regular washing with clean hot soapy water to remove surface dirt, and the application of a proprietary granite cleaner (available at most supermarkets) to enhance the surface. The use of bleaches, scouring cream, scouring powder or a scouring pad and other stronger detergents is strongly discouraged as they may affect the finish of the surface.
Will food or drink stain granite?
Your worktops have been treated with a high quality impregnating sealer to protect against normal everyday stains, but this does not improve the stone’s sensitivity to acids. Spillages such as wines and highly acidic/alkaline substances (eg. champagne, fruit juices – especially lemon juice, vinegar, carbonated drinks, mustard and ketchup) should be wiped clean as soon as possible. Using coasters will effectively prevent problems. Hot oil or grease can penetrate the natural stone surface easily and even sealed surfaces should be cleaned as quickly as possible. It is recommended that substances be removed from the surfaces at the earliest possible opportunity – this is to ensure that no stains are drawn into the surfaces as, although the tops are sealed, natural stone is a porous material and may retain a degree of the stain. Strongly pigmented foodstuffs (eg. beetroot, cherry juice, blackberry juice, red wine etc) should be immediately wiped off light coloured surfaces.
Simple techniques for cleaning the most common stains
Spots of grease: Quickly dilute with water and rub a small quantity of pH neutral detergent on the spot with a cloth. Rinse with water and leave to dry.
Limescale: Use a very weak diluted acid (eg. diluted vinegar) on the surface of the worktop and leave to act for one minute. Rinse well with water.
Silicone stains: Use a Stanley blade and a little solvent (acetone or ethanol).
Can hot pans or oven dishes be placed on the granite?
Granite has a high level of heat resistance but we do not recommend you place hot items directly on to the surface; instead, use a trivet, pan rods or a pan stand.
Can I use granite as a cutting surface?
Granite is scratch resistant but not scratch proof and the use of a chopping board is recommended. As with any high quality work surface, care should be taken and any food residue cleared from the worktop as soon as possible, as the items you are cutting may stain the material.
Many types of granite are harder than others and may never need to be re-sealed. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring re-sealing of the stone. If you notice water absorption into the worktop or darker areas around the sink, it is time to re-seal. This may at first appear as a stain and, although will dry and disappear over time, you will still need to re-seal.
Granite will not crack unless it is put under pressure. Never stand or sit on the worktops – invest in a good stepladder for changing light bulbs or putting things in high cupboards.