Preserving the quality of your countertop
When investing in quality countertop materials like stone, granite and marble, more than likely you expect their durability to match closely with their aesthetic appeal. Although your countertop may withstand general wear from daily use, it can just as easily be damaged by the wrong kind of force. To avoid damaging the integrity of your countertop, there are a few important preventive steps you can take to enjoy an attractive and high quality countertop for an extended period of time.
Seal to increase durability
Manufacturers of high-end natural countertops advocate sealing them to promote resilience and prevent chipping, cracking and other damages. Many materials used to make countertops are porous and have tiny cracks as a result of natural stresses on the stone. This means that food items that might come in contact with your countertop are easily absorbed and can become nearly impossible to fully clean out. A sealer would essentially shield these stains from affecting the countertop.
"Over the years, hard water deposits had build-up near the sink," O'Connor explains. "Brian [Gately of Absolute] cleaned the stained/damaged granite and then sealed it with a 15 year warranty. The countertop looks brand new again!"
In addition to sealing the countertop, one of the best ways you can prevent damage is by taking extra measures to avoid harsh contact with the countertop. There are several ways you can do this.
Cleaning up spills: Use specially formulated products and stone cleaners, soon after spills occur. As a preventive measure, use coasters under drinks, cutting boards when preparing food and pot holders when placing hot pots and pans on the counter. Try to avoid cleaners with ammonia, vinegar or citrus ingredients. Never sit or stand on top of the counters, as the extra weight and pressure could be damaging.
Repairing damages: Sometimes accidents just happen. Fortunately, you may be able to repair your countertop on your own if the damage is minor. If your countertop has just been slightly chipped, purchase a repair kit and replacement granite chips that match the color of your countertop. You can find these items at a local home improvement store.
Once you have all of your materials, clean the damaged area thoroughly to eliminate any leftover debris and wait for the countertop to dry. Apply pieces of masking tape around the perimeter of your replacement granite chip, leaving one small area exposed. Mix together the epoxy ingredients provided in the repair kit until it resembles the color of your countertop. Be sure to wear protective gear like gloves and a surgical mask while you work so you avoid coming into contact with the epoxy mix.
Use the provided applicator to spread the mix evenly onto the chip and press it into place. Wait a few minutes to make sure the epoxy settles properly, and add more epoxy if needed to even out the countertop. Wait up to 10 minutes for the epoxy mix to dry and remove the masking tape. Use a razor blade to trim any excess epoxy to ensure an even look. Avoid using that area of the countertop for at least 24 hours.
If home repairs are beyond your capabilities, consider calling in a professional to restore your countertop back to its original quality. Angie’s List helped connect Jeffrey Margolies with the Dallas countertop pros at New Concepts Inc. when in need of a granite specialist.
“I was impressed with Craig [Harper, of New Concepts],” Margolies says. “He's a very professional, articulate and easy-going person who relates well to customers.”