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    How to Recognize the Best Grout Sealer May 12 2016, 0 Comments

    Nothing ruins the beauty of natural stone tile faster than dirty grout, and while keeping it clean may seem like a full time job, all it really takes is a bit of elbow grease, and the right materials, including the best grout sealer on the market today.

    How Did My Grout Get So Dirty?
    Whether your grout is sanded, or unsanded, left unsealed it's a magnet for dirt, oil and stains. In the shower, stains can be caused by water, soaps, shampoos and body oils, and if you don't use a product that can repel these, your grout can discolor very quickly. On floors, everyday dirt and spills, particularly in high traffic areas, can leave your grout looking dirty and dingy, and in the kitchen, food, cooking oil, wine and other items may be absorbed by untreated grout and become a permanent fixture on your tile counters or backsplash.

    Finding the Best Grout Sealer
    Now that you know you need one, it's important that you know what to look for; choose a grout sealer that:

    • Repels water and is resistant to staining
    • Is safe to use indoors and out
    • Penetrates grout
    • Seals grout
    • Won't change the look of your grout
    • Makes cleaning easier
    • Is water based for better absorption

    9 Steps to Applying the Best Grout Sealer

    1. Plan to work in manageable sections, depending on the amount of grout that you have to seal. Choose an afternoon or weekend when you have no other commitments and there will be little traffic through your home.
    2. Prepare the area to be sealed, by thoroughly cleaning with a neutral floor cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, or intensive cleaner for heavily soiled areas, making sure to remove any stains, and allowing the area to dry completely.
    3. Test a small, inconspicuous area to get a feel for the product and preview results.
    4. Protect any adjacent areas not to be treated.
    5. Using a low-pressure sprayer, apply the best grout sealer onto the grout joints until wet, or use a paint pad, roller or brush.
    6. Allow the product 2 or 3 minutes to absorb in to the grout, and then wipe the surface with a clean terry towel to remove any excess.
    7. Repeat the application process using your tool of choice, and wipe again with a clean terry towel or mop, until the area is completely dry.
    8. Allow 3 to 5 hours before allowing foot traffic.
    9. For best results, keep the treated area free of liquids, dirt or staining for 48 hours; the product will cure completely within 72 hours.

    Re-apply the grout sealer as needed; the time between application can vary greatly, depending on the level of traffic and the types and quantity of dirt and stains that come in contact with the material.

    The Benefits of Sealing Your Grout

    • Less time spent cleaning. By repelling the substances that can stain your grout, the sealer keeps them on the surface where they can be easily wiped away.
    • Longer lifespan. Grout doesn't last forever, but you can extend it's lifespan by keeping out water and other materials that can cause it to deteriorate at a fast rate.
    • Cost savings. Once moisture gets in to your grout, it can break down, and make it's way behind your tile, and cause lifting, cracking or mold and mildew, leading to expensive repairs.

    If you have further questions about the grout sealing process, or about the care and maintenance of any of the other natural or man-made surfaces in your home, feel free to call 561-994-4668 to speak to myself or someone on our team. You can also email me directly at kevin@marblekareproducts.com.

    Lastly, I'd encourage you to download our free Stone Cleaning Checklist below. It's chock full of helpful tips on keeping the surfaces in your home looking their best.


    Sealing Pavers: What You Need To Know May 11 2016, 0 Comments

    Natural stone pavers lead the way up driveways, towards front doors and wind their way around pool decks and patios adding beauty and warmth, while the incredible variety of shapes, patterns and colors allow for a customized look to suit anyone's taste.

    As with other stone surfaces in your home, regular maintenance is required to protect and preserve their natural beauty, including cleaning and sealing pavers around your home: read on to learn more.

    To Seal or Not to Seal
    Because they are exposed to the elements year round, your stone pavers can take quite a beating. Salt air, rain and UV rays can all contribute to erosion and fading, leaving pavers looking dull and worn. If you need more reasons for sealing pavers here they are:
    Stains
    Automotive fluids such as motor oil and gasoline can easily leach into unprotected stone, making them difficult to remove and awful to look at, while leaves, patio furniture, food, drinks and foot traffic can create similar stains on your patio with the same consequences.
    Vegetation
    Left unprotected, you may begin to see weeds or other vegetation sprouting up in between your paving stones.
    Vested Interest
    Your stone work is a major investment, adding to the beauty and value of your property; protect your investment and prevent costly repairs by applying the proper sealer.
    Know Your Rights
    The right products and the right method of application are crucial to the end result. Your choice of sealant is dependent on the type of stone and it's finish; for polished stone surfaces, opt for a solvent-based sealer, choosing a water-based sealant for low luster, matte or honed finishes.
    Keep It Real
    Sealing pavers is about protection, not shine. A good quality product will protect the natural look of your stone, help to repel stains, and protect the surface from the elements. Products that provide a high gloss shine are formulated to sit atop the surface of your stone, rather than penetrating, and can prevent your stone pavers from breathing.

    Sealing Pavers: A How-To Guide

    1. Thoroughly clean and dry the pavers prior to applying the sealer, using a product specially formulated for natural stone surfaces. Use a more intensive cleaner for heavily soiled or stained areas.
    2. Provide protection for the surrounding area outside of the application zone.
    3. Apply the sealer with a designated applicator, roller, low pressure sprayer, paint pad or brush, in an even layer, until the entire area is covered.
    4. Exceptionally porous stones may require a second coat; be sure to allow 45 minutes or so in between applications.

    An Ounce of Prevention...
    Now that you've applied your sealer, your stone pavers will be easier to clean and maintain. Keep that great look through regularly cleaning with a neutral floor cleaner, making sure to take care of spills as they happen, and cleaning up leaves or other debris in a timely fashion.
    Pay special attention to areas around your barbeque or metal furniture, where food or rust stains may occur, using a more intensive cleaner when necessary.
    Marble Kare Products has more than 25 years of experience in the natural stone industry and we love helping people save time and money when it comes to caring for their indoor and outdoor natural stone surfaces. If you have any questions about cleaning, sealing, restoring, or installing natural stone just email me at kevin@marblekareproducts.com or call our office at 561-994-4668.
    (Photo www.landscapinggallery.info)


    Expert Advice: How to Remove Stains from Marble May 10 2016, 0 Comments

    Your home is a reflection of your personal taste, style and habits, and is most likely your biggest investment. When it comes to preserving and protecting your investment, start with your natural stone, since the right cleaning and maintenance routine is vital to its beauty and longevity.

    Certain types of stone, such as marble or limestone are more susceptible to damage or staining, due to their soft, porous nature, but don't let that intimidate you: knowing how to remove stains from marble, and other natural stone surfaces can save you time, money and aggravation, and keep your marble counters, floors and walls looking like new.

    What Causes Staining?
    Nothing can ruin the surface of your polished marble quicker than acid. Acidic substances may either etch the surface - mistakenly referred to by many as a water stain - or stain and etch, both of which are unsightly. Some of the more common liquids to avoid include:

    • Lemon juice
    • Vinegar
    • Red wine
    • Orange juice
    • Coffee
    • Tea

    Etching occurs when an acidic substance eats away at the surface of the marble, leaving a dull spot in its place. Knowing how to remove stains from marble is your ticket to bringing it back to its original glory, and using the right methods and tools will help to guarantee your success. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to harmful materials can penetrate the surface of unsealed marble more easily and deeply - in these cases, a more extensive process, or professional restoration may be required.

    How to Remove Stains From Marble
    Materials:
    You will want to use a spot removal kit that includes the following items:

    • Hand buffing pads
    • Sponge
    • Terry towel
    • Paper towels
    • Lambswool applicator
    • Rubber gloves
    • Small container of water
    • Polish and spot remover
    • Neutral floor cleaner
    • Stone sealer

    Directions:

    1. Begin by putting on the rubber gloves to protect your hands.
    2. Wet the affected area with a little water.
    3. Sprinkle the recommended amount of spot remover over the moistened area. 
    4. Take a hand buffing pad, and with a light touch, begin buffing the area in a circular motion. 
    5. Continue buffing for several minutes, allowing time for the friction created between the buffing pad and the water/spot remover mixture, to work together to erase the spot. 
    6. Using your paper towels, terry towel or sponge, remove the slurry from the surface of the marble. 
    7. If the spot remains, repeat the process again, until the desired look is achieved. 
    8. Once the spot is no longer visible, clean the area thoroughly using a neutral floor cleaner, according to the directions on the label, making sure no trace of spot remover is left behind. 
    9. Dry the area completely, using paper towels or a clean dry terry towel and allow to further air dry for about 15 minutes before proceeding. 
    10. Once dry, pour a small amount of stone sealer on to the lambswool applicator, and apply it to the newly treated area.
    11. Allow the sealer to stand for 3 to 5 minutes, before buffing dry with a clean terry towel. 

    (Watch a step-by-step video of this process).

    Care and Prevention
    Most spots and stains can be avoided by taking some simple precautions:

    • Use coasters, trivets and cutting boards on counters and tabletops.
    • Wipe up spills immediately.
    • Avoid using products with harsh chemicals, abrasives or acidic ingredients, opting to clean and maintain your marble surfaces using products formulated by industry experts.

    For further information on how to best care for your marble surfaces, download the FREE guide below!


    How Do I Know if My Slate Countertop is Sealed? May 09 2016, 0 Comments

    While granite remains the number one choice for countertops in new builds and renovations, there is no shortage of alternative options, including slate.

    If you're one of the growing number of homeowners that has chosen this ruggedly handsome material for their kitchen or bath, it's important to note that slate countertops need to be sealed, in order to protect them from stains and make cleaning easier. Knowing whether or not your counters are in need of sealing is half the battle: the other half is choosing the right product for the job.

    What's So Great About Slate?
    Slate is a metamorphic stone, formed from shale or mudstone. Depending on the degree of metamorphosis, and the level of heat and pressure it is under, slate will either consist mainly of clay or micas; it's color is determined by the amount of organic material and iron present.
    Slate countertops provide a unique finish that is unlike granite or marble in many regards:

    • Slate is typically gray in color (though it does naturally occur in various shades of other colors), with a more subtle shift in coloration than other stones. This provides a more uniform appearance throughout the room. 
    • Harder than many other natural stones, slate is more resistant to chips and scratches, and stands up well to high heat. 

    Do Your Counters Get the Seal of Approval?
    If you're unsure whether your countertops have been sealed, or are in need of re-sealing, simply wet the surface. If it turns dark upon contact, it's not sealed.

    The Benefits of Sealing Your Slate Countertops
    In a kitchen or other high traffic area, sealing your slate countertops is a must. Because slate is such a porous material, sealing prevents liquids, stains and bacteria from taking hold, by providing a impenetrable barrier between your countertop and the stone itself. Using a sealer with a built in color enhancer will also serve to highlight the unique and subtle characteristics and colors, of your slate countertops.

    How to Clean, Seal and Maintain Your Slate Countertops the Right Way

    Clean

    • Before you seal your countertops, be sure to thoroughly clean the surface so that you don't seal any dirt or stains in to the stone. 
    • Use an intensive cleaner, which will penetrate deep in to the stone to lift out any remaining dirt and grime.
    • Dilute the cleaner according to label directions, and apply liberally to the countertops. 
    • Allow the cleaning solution to sit for several minutes.
    • Gently agitate with a soft brush or sponge. 
    • Remove the soiled solution, and rinse the area with clean water. 
    • Allow your slate countertops to dry completely before proceeding. 

    Seal

    • After protecting nearby surfaces, liberally apply the sealer to the clean, dry countertops, using a sealer applicator, or paint brush, pad or roller. 
    • Wait 5 minutes for the sealer to penetrate the stone, and buff dry with a clean cloth or terry towel. 

    Maintain

    • Clean sealed countertops daily with a multi-surface cleaner, specially formulated by industry professionals for use on natural stone surfaces. 

    For further information on how to properly care for and maintain the natural stone surfaces in your home, download our free Stone Cleaning Checklist below. It's full of helpful tips and tricks that will keep your surfaces looking their best.


    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:

    1. 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. 
    2. 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. 
    3. 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!


    Is Honed Granite Hard to Clean? May 05 2016, 0 Comments

    Everyone needs to take a moment for reflection every now and then, but it doesn't have to be in your granite. There are plenty of shiny surfaces throughout your home to catch the light, and installing honed granite on your floors or countertops can add the perfect amount of contrast. The question is, is this type of finish hard to clean?

    Polished vs. Honed
    Granite has a stellar reputation among designers and homeowners, as being one of the best all-around natural stone surfaces, due to its durability, resistance to staining, and infinite range of color and pattern selection. While polished granite is by far the number one choice, those looking for a somewhat different look have the option to choose honed granite, which has a low-gloss or matte finish.

    Which surface finish you choose will affect not only the look and feel of the room it's in, but also the maintenance. Both types of granite start off the same way, with a rough slab of quarried stone. As the finishing process begins, the granite slab is placed up on a conveyor belt, and continues on through a series of polishing wheels, outfitted with both coarse and fine pads. As the slab is carried forward, the stone is ground and buffed, the final look determined by how soon this finishing process ends.

    Polished granite...
    ...has a shiny, smooth, reflective surface, revealing the full color and depth of the stone. Due to the degree of polishing this type of finish endures, its pores are smaller, helping it to repel stains and moisture. Sealing is still highly recommended as an added layer of protection, and will only add to the durability of the stone.

    Honed granite...
    ...is also smooth, though the shine or reflection is absent. The look is achieved by forgoing the buffing stage of the finishing process. Where a polished stone is simply shiny, a honed finish comes in varying degrees of sheen, though all will be smooth. Without the reflective quality, honed granite loses some of the color depth, but a color enhancer can help reveal it more, without adding shine.

    The Pros and Cons of Honed Granite
    As with any type of natural stone, honed granite has a good side and a bad side:

    Pros

    • Each slab is unique, giving you a one of a kind look. 
    • Incredibly durable, when properly cleaned and maintained. 
    • Gives a warm aged or casual feel to counters or floors. 

    Cons

    • Larger pores make it more susceptible to dirt and stains.
    • The flat finish enhances fingerprints and water marks. 
    • Requires frequent sealing. 


    How to Care for Your Honed Granite
    Seal
    This is your first line of defense against dirt and stains, protecting the surface of the stone and helping make it easier to keep clean.

    • Clean the stone prior to sealing, using an intensive cleaner formulated specifically for natural stone surfaces, according to label directions.
    • Allow to dry completely.
    • Protect nearby areas not to be sealed.
    • Apply a water-based sealer, or sealer + color enhancer, working in manageable sections of approximately 60 square feet at a time. 
    • Use a low pressure sprayer, paint pad, roller or brush to apply an even coat, and avoiding pooling. 
    • Give the sealer 5 minutes to penetrate the stone, and buff dry with a clean terry towel. 

    Clean
    Using the right product is the key to prolonging the finish and integrity of the stone, and keeping the look you love.

    Protect
    Prevent damage and enhance the appearance of your honed granite with the following:

    • Use felt glides on furniture to protect honed granite floors from scratching. 
    • Clean spills immediately to prevent staining. 
    • Avoid cutting directly on countertops, using a cutting board to prevent scratches. 
    • Only use products specifically formulated by industry experts. 

    For comprehensive information on caring for the granite surfaces in your home, be sure to download our free granite care guide below!

    (Photo: http://www.alliedstoneinc.com)

     


    Does Italian Marble Require Special Cleaning Techniques? May 04 2016, 0 Comments

    Nothing makes a bigger statement of refinement or elegance in your home, than marble. The centuries-old process of quarrying or extracting marble, is evidenced as far back as the Roman Empire, when Italian marble was used to create many of the famous monuments you see around the world today.

    Many homeowners may feel overwhelmed at the thought of caring for such a gorgeous, porous stone, but the truth is, it's not so much the technique you use to clean your Italian marble, as which products you choose.

    What's So Special About Italian Marble?
    Aside from the fact that it comes from Italy, Italian marble has other unique characteristics that set it apart from other types:

    • Cararra (perhaps the most "famous" of all the Italian marbles), Calacatta, Botticino, and Statuario marbles are well known and admired for their white or blue-gray color. 
    • Italian marble has stood the test of time, in famous structures and statues found in and around Rome and Greece. 
    • Quarries in Italy have earned a stellar reputation for exceptionally high standards with regards to quality, and precision in selection, cutting, shipping and packaging their product. 

    Applications and Benefits
    Italian marble can be used throughout your home for a variety of applications including:

    • Ornamental accents
    • Flooring
    • Countertops
    • Sinks
    • Walls
    • Table tops
    • Mantels
    • Tiles
    • Bathtubs
    • Showers

    The benefits of a marble installation far outweigh the negatives. With the right cleaning and maintenance products, this stone is no harder to take care of than any other. Additional benefits include:

    • A significant return on your investment. 
    • A one of a kind look, as each slab is truly unique. 
    • A sanitary surface that is hypoallergenic and easy to disinfect. 

    Honed vs. Polished
    The application may determine which type of finish is more suitable; for example, you may opt for a honed finish in high-traffic areas, or for bathroom flooring, where a less slippery finish is desirable, or one that won't show excessive wear and tear. A highly polished marble is more suited for areas that don't have risk of becoming slippery and have less potential for wear and tear.

    To Seal or Not To Seal?
    Apply water to the surface of your marble: if it absorbs, it needs to be sealed, but if it beads up, the seal is sufficient. Be sure to use a natural stone sealer, formulated by industry experts, and follow directions on the label.

    How to Clean Your Italian Marble

    Countertops

    Showers
    Immediately after showering, use a spray on shower cleaner, wiping the surface down with a rubber squeegee.

    Floors
    Sweep or vacuum regularly, using a soft bristled brush or dust mop.
    Use a no-rinse, streak free, neutral floor cleaner for routine cleaning.
    Heavily soiled areas may require a more intensive cleaner.

    Whatever the surface, clean your Italian marble with products formulated and manufactured by industry experts for best results.
    For a comprehensive information on how to best care for your marble surfaces, download the free marble care guide below.


    How to Keep Your White Granite Countertops Looking Like New May 03 2016, 0 Comments

    All sorts of interesting activity goes on beneath the surface of the earth. In addition to supplying the soil and nutrients to grow much of the world's food supply, the earth's crust also provides the means and opportunity to create granite, easily the most identifiable igneous rock of our time. Granite is formed when molten rock (magma) slowly cools and hardens. The crystals found within are a by-product of the minerals in the stone, most commonly biotite, feldspar, mica and quartz. The color of the granite is determined by the mineral composition, ranging from white to black, and every color in between. When it comes to cleaning the granite in your home, white granite countertops deserve special consideration, to keep them looking as stunning as the day they were put in.

    Do's and Don'ts for Your White Granite Countertop



    Do: 

    • Stop stains before they have a chance to set, wiping up spills as you go.
    • Use trivets, coasters and cutting boards to avoid direct contact of caustic, dyed, hot or sharp materials.
    • Draw on the experience of industry experts, using products developed and guaranteed to be safe for your natural stone surfaces.

    Don't:

    • Leave bottles or containers out on your white granite countertops; over time these can leave permanent stains, and in the case of acidic substances, etching can occur.
    • Use acidic or abrasive cleaners on your white granite, such as those containing vinegar or bleach.

    Everyday Cleaning Tips
    In addition to wiping down your white granite countertops after each use, it's important to inspect them every now and then, taking note of excessive wear, damage or staining. Each of the following conditions has its own resolution to bring your granite back to life:

    Optimal: Surface wipes clean easily, without streaks, film or etching.

    Solution: Clean after each use with a multi-surface cleaner designed for use on natural stone. At the end of each day, use a product that will clean, condition and polish your granite, while enhancing the subtle variations in your white granite countertops.

    Dirty/Grimy: The surface of your stone may seem "tired", with the beginning of buildup and a light film or streaking.

    Solution: Spray on your multi-surface cleaner, allowing it to stand for a few moments before wiping clean. You can also try applying complete countertop care, buffing the affected area with a scrub sponge before wiping dry. *Reseal your granite every 6 to 12 months for an added layer of protection against stains, and to make cleanup easier.

    Chipped/Cracked: Small cracks or holes are present.

    Solution: A hole repair kit, complete with transparent filler, contains everything you need to repair these issues quickly and easily.

    Dull: The countertop is dingy, dirty and dull, with areas that won't come clean with routine maintenance.

    Solution: Use an intensive cleaner, formulated to clean deep in to the stone. Use the product according to label directions. Then apply a stone surface polish to brighten the overall appearance.

    Damaged: Large chips or holes, or finish that has been stripped away by corrosive cleaning products or stains.

    Solution: A professional evaluation and restoration may be required.

    Avoid costly repairs by cleaning and conditioning your white granite countertops each day, using products developed by industry experts, and designed for use on natural stone surfaces.

    Learn more expert tips on how to clean and maintain your granite surfaces by downloading our FREE granite care guide below!

    (Photo: www.graniteimpressions.net)

     


    What to Know About Granite Crack Repair May 02 2016, 0 Comments

    Some things are meant to be cracked, like an egg, a joke or a smile. But granite? Not so much. Considering its rich history, unique composition, and reputation for durability, it would seem to be a Herculean task to fracture this stone, perhaps a scenario involving a sledgehammer or an elephant, The truth is, there are much simpler ways in which you can damage your granite surfaces, some requiring granite crack repair as a solution.

    As a competent DIY'er, you may want to add granite repair to your repertoire - just be sure you know what you're getting yourself in to before you begin, and you're armed with the right materials, products and advice.

    How to Crack Your Granite
    While most vulnerable to cracking during transportation or installation, it's entirely possible to damage your granite once it's in your home; here's how:

    • Stand on it. Use a chair or ladder vs. standing on your granite countertops.
    • Hire the wrong company to install it. Human error is the number one reason for granite crack repair. Hire a knowledgeable, experienced stone specialist for your granite installation; should the unthinkable happen due to an error during installation, a reputable contractor will stand behind their work and shoulder any necessary repairs. 
    • Chalk it up to bad luck. Natural fissures within the granite can weaken your stone, and crack with the right amount of pressure, or extreme heat; the natural acts of expanding, contracting and settling can also contribute to cracks.

    Decide and Conquer
    Once the damage is done, you have two choices:

    1. An out of the way, or insignificant hairline crack may be left alone, unlikely to get any worse. 
    2. Perform granite crack repair, either yourself, or by calling in a professional. 

    Materials needed for a DIY repair:
    A hole repair kit is all you need for the first phase of the repair. Your kit should contain:

    • Filler - only transparent filler is recommended for granite.
    • Hardener
    • Coloring tint
    • Stirring sticks, long and short
    • Flat toothpicks
    • Mixing cups
    • Straight-edge razors
    • Steel wool
    • Rubber gloves

    7 Steps to Granite Crack Repair

    1. Gather your materials and clean the area with a multi-surface cleaner, formulated for use on granite.
    2. Open your can of filler carefully, making sure to not damage the edge of the container.
    3. Use a large stirring stick to transfer a small amount of filler in to a mixing cup, before replacing the lid on the can. 
    4. If you need to create a particular color, dip a flat toothpick in to the tint, adding tiny amounts until the desired color is achieved. 
    5. Open the hardener, stir and blend thoroughly. Place a small amount on the tip of your stir stick, and add to the filler. Mix the solution well for 1 minute to activate the hardener. 
    6. Take a long stir stick, and place some of the mixture in to the crack, Use a straight-edge razor to smooth and remove the excess from the hole. Allow to harden for 30 minutes before proceeding. 
    7. Use a small piece of steel wool to lightly remove residue from around the repair, but avoid rubbing directly on the filled patch.

    Finally...
    After your granite crack repair is complete, the stone may need to be ground, polished and resealed, requiring the specialized equipment, knowledge and experience of a professional.

    For valuable information on the care and maintenance of all of the granite surfaces in your home, be sure to download our FREE granite guide below!
    (Photo: primedecoration.co.uk)

     


    Popular Granite Colors and How to Enhance Them April 29 2016, 0 Comments

    Variety is the spice of life, and it doesn't get any spicier than granite. Not only is every slab unique, but you can easily find a color or finish to match any decor or lifestyle. While this may sound like a decorator's dream, when it comes time to choose, the same vast selection that makes granite so appealing, can become overwhelming. Narrow down your choices through knowledge of the more popular granite colors, and learn how to enhance your natural stone once you get it home to keep it looking its best.

    Be Considerate
    If you've ever chosen a wall color based on a little color chip, only to discover you hate it once you've painted the room, you can appreciate the gravity of choosing your granite color wisely. Before you simply go with one of the more popular granite colors, take some time to consider the following:
    Existing colors and finishes. Gather your supplies before you visit the showroom, including samples of your cabinetry, flooring, current or future wall color and appliance finishes. If these are unavailable to you, bring an accurate photo for comparison.
    Lighting. The amount of natural light that streams in to your kitchen or bathroom, will have a direct impact on how your granite looks. The true depth and detail of popular granite colors such as black or dark blue, may be lost, though the strategic placement of pendant or track lighting, and the use of a good quality color enhancer can certainly help. Granite that contains a great deal of white, gold or crystal flecks may be better suited for darker spaces, adding their own degree of brightness and light.
    Lifestyle. Keep in mind that each color and finish of granite has unique maintenance issues: dark colors show fingerprints more readily, while light colors are more susceptible to staining. Both polished and honed granite require periodic sealing, though the seal on polished granite will last longer.

    Popular Granite Colors
    Granite that has been in the ground for hundreds or even thousands of years is in itself timeless, while trends are fleeting; what's in today, can be out tomorrow. Choosing one of the popular granite colors is a great idea if you're putting your home on the market, but if you're decorating for yourself, choose something you love, and that works with the existing elements of the space.

    Enhance Your Stone
    Almost every color and finish of granite have color compositions in them that will benefit from a good quality color enhancer.

    Polished Granite
    A complete countertop care product will clean, polish and condition your stone, and is safe enough to use every day. In addition to leaving a streak free finish, it will also enhance the color of your natural stone.
    Applying a fine surface polish to your granite, brings forth the natural luster, beauty and shine, while adding an invisible layer of protection to help repel liquids and stains.

    Honed or Flamed Granite
    A premium color enhancer or enhancer plus sealer, will bring out the unique characteristics of your honed granite surfaces, deepening the colors within, and protecting against stains.

    When it comes to choosing, cleaning, maintaining or restoring your granite or other natural stone surfaces, rely on expert advice, and only use products specifically formulated for use on natural stone surfaces.