Ask the Pro: Is it Safe to Cut on Granite Countertops? May 06 2016, 0 Comments
We are fortunate enough to live in an age of convenience, where tasks that were once time consuming, can be completed in minutes or even seconds. Microwave ovens thaw, heat or cook food in the blink of an eye, while dishwashers drastically shorten the amount of time spent at the kitchen sink. However, just because you can do something faster, doesn't mean you should.
Whether you're preparing dinner or sneaking a quick snack, you might be tempted to slice a tomato, cut a sandwich in half, or chop up an apple directly on your granite counter tops - after all, they're hard as a rock! The question is: Is it safe to cut on granite?
The Truth About Granite Counter Tops
The hardness of any natural stone can be measured according to Mohs scale of hardness, developed in the early 1800's. Various minerals are rated between 1 and 10, where a higher number indicates a harder stone, and granite, whose composition is mainly quartz and feldspar, ranks between a 6 and 7: diamonds are a 10, and marble, composed chiefly of calcium, ranks between 3 and 5.
While granite is one of the harder natural stones, it's far from indestructible, and while cutting directly on your granite counter tops may or may not produce scratches, at the very least, you'll dull your knife.
Other Ways to Damage Your Granite
Don't bother cleaning up between meals. Stains love a good opportunity to sink in.
- Coasters? Forget about it. There's nothing like a nice red wine "ring" to remember that last dinner party you threw.
- Use the wrong cleaning products. Those that contain acidic materials, including vinegar, bleach, harsh chemicals or abrasives can ruin the look and feel of your granite counter tops.
- Leave food containers lying about. Dyes, oils and acids from bottles or jars are all enemies of granite.
Turn Back Time
What if the damage is already done? Minor damage can be repaired by the keen DIYer, but more serious issues call for professional restoration:
Holes - A hole repair kit, complete with a transparent filler, can fix small holes quickly and easily.
Slightly dull or lightly scratched - Granite counter tops can look like new again after the application of a wax-free fine surface polish.
Heavily worn, scratched or dull - Call a professional for this type of damage, which requires specialized training and equipment to repair.
An Ounce of Prevention
Keep your granite counter tops looking like new with 3 simple steps, using products developed by industry experts, specifically for use on natural stone surfaces:
- Clean - Use a multi-surface cleaner on your counters to remove grease and grime after each meal. For heavy soiling, use an intensive cleaner, diluting according to label directions.
- Seal - Your granite counter tops should be sealed every 6 to 12 months depending on the condition of the stone. Sealant adds another layer of protection and keeps your granite looking like the day it was installed.
- Protect - Clean, polish and condition your counters at the end of the day with a streak-free, complete countertop care spray. In addition to waking up to gleaming counters, you'll also enhance the natural colors of the stone, bringing out the absolute best in your granite.
To learn best practices for the care and maintenance of the granite surfaces in your home, download our free complete guide to granite care below!