Granite Worktops – The Complete Guide
Granite worktops are extremely hard wearing and given reasonable care will last a lifetime. They come in a wide range of colours and patterns and make a definitive statement. Granite, of course, is a natural stone created by millions of years of heat and pressure in the surface of the earth.
Granite Worktops Are Unique
Unlike quartz, which is mined and then manufactured by man, every single piece of granite is unique. No two kitchens will ever have the same pattern. The colour range is extensive and can be mottled or streaked or a combination of both. Granite also has a very deep shine, probably more so than any other material used for a kitchen worktop. Any spills can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth and the surface is as good as new again. It is a good idea to clean the surface with a proprietary cleaner every week or so.
While it is always advisable to use a trivet, granite does not seem to suffer when hot pans are placed directly on it. This means that, when cooking, pans can be moved off and back on to the hob as required without the necessity to walk to the other side of the kitchen and put them on another surface such as a stainless steel draining board. In addition, you can keep all the pans together when ready to serve the food, rather than have them scattered around the kitchen.
Granite Worktop Prices
As you might expect, granite worktops are not as cheap as other materials like acrylic or stainless steel, but then again neither is a Ferrari. What you get with granite is the Ferrari of kitchen worktops; certainly it needs a little tlc and looking after, but given that, it will last as long as the kitchen in which it is installed.
It depends on how big your kitchen is and what area of worktop you need, but you are probably looking at upwards of £1,000 and it could be as much as £4,000 for a very large area. However you have a thing of beauty and it will be the envy of your family and friends.
You are probably wondering if there are any drawbacks to granite worktops and there is one, but it is only a slight disadvantage. Granite can suffer from staining – in particular from lemon juice, vinegar, oils, red wine and beetroot. However, these will only stain if left on the surface for a long period. If you are like most cooks who wipe up any spills as they occur it will never be a problem.
Another big advantage of granite is that you can chop foods on it without any problem. You are more likely to damage the blade of your knife than you are the worktop and for that reason it is a good idea to use a wooden chopping board. Granite is also a cold material which means that it is excellent for rolling out pastry.
A granite worktop is one of the best choices you could possibly make for your kitchen. You have beauty, it is very practical and it is also extremely hygienic. To get an idea of cost simply complete our online form and we’ll get a no obligation quote back to you by return.
Granite is one of the most wonderful materials you could wish to have as a kitchen worktop. It is beautiful to look at, hard wearing and extremely hygienic. However, it does require a certain amount of care in order to give of its best. In common with many other natural stones all granites are porous, some more so than others, and for this reason will need resealing from time to time. There are only one or two forms of granite that do not need this treatment, so if in any doubt follow these instructions.
Any cook will tell you that it is almost impossible to cook without spills and splashes occurring now and again.The trick with granite is to wipe them up as soon as possible. Left too long, some foods can actually cause staining on granite worktops. Particular care should be taken with butter, oils, lemon juice, beetroot, red wine and vinegar. In addition it is advisable not to let some soft fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and cherries to come into contact. That said, if you wipe up any spills as they occur there should never be a problem.
Other things that should not come into contact with highly polished granite surfaces are salt and detergents. In addition paint thinners and brush cleaners, nail varnish remover and other chemicals such as oven cleaner should not be allowed into contact either.
While it is true that granite is an extremely hard material and you would probably do more damage to your knife blade than the worktop, it is nonetheless advisable to use a wooden chopping board to chop vegetables and so on. In particular, chopping on the worktop near the edge may cause it to chip.
While granite does not seem to suffer from hot pans being placed upon it straight from the hob it is always best to use a trivet or a hot pad. Take care not to drop heavy pans, such as those made from cast iron, on the surface as these too may cause damage.
Cleaning And Maintaning Granite
When cleaning granite worktops never use metal scourers, wire wool, abrasive creams. chlorine based cleaners or alkaline cleaners, or bleach. Simply wash with warm water, adding a little washing up liquid if necessary, then dry with a paper towel, tea cloth or chamois leather.
Resealing A Granite Worktop
When does your granite worktop need resealing? The answer is: it depends. Some granites are far more porous than others and may need resealing as often as every four months. Others can go for up to three years. In order to check whether your surface is in need of resealing take a paper kitchen towel and wet it then lay it on the worktop surface and leave it for five minutes. When you remove the paper towel if the surface looks darker than the surrounding area then it has soaked up some of the water and needs resealing.
Do not attempt to reseal the surface immediately because you will seal the water in. Allow it to dry out for 24 hours or so and then spray the whole of the surface with a spray cleaner. Wipe down and allow the surface to dry.
Now you can apply the sealer, preferably with a spray, but a brush or clean cloth will do as well. Allow to dry for half an hour. Then apply a second coat of sealer and rub in with a dry cloth. Wait for a minimum of two hours according to the sealer you are using (the directions will tell you) and then repeat the whole process.
Given a little commonsense and some TLC your granite worktop will last as long as your kitchen.