When you decide to give your kitchen a facelift, one of the most obvious things to do is to upgrade the worktops, but you can immediately hit a problem. This is because there are so many possible choices, and when you start to read up on them you will find different people telling you different things about them.
Obviously, at Marble & Granite we are great believers in natural stone worktops, and one of the best is undoubtedly granite. It is an extremely tough material having been formed in the earth’s crust under enormous heat and pressure so it can take a lot of punishment. That said, it is not indestructible. When granite is formed it contains other minerals in differing quantities and this is what gives granite its’ enormous range of colours and swirls. No two pieces of granite are ever exactly the same. This means that if you want a uniform look you should choose something else. However, most people choose granite precisely because it doesn’t have a uniform look.
Granite worktops in St Albans or any other city are considerably tougher than marble or limestone, but nonetheless it is possible to stain them. Some granite varieties have very tiny cracks and fissures in them caused by natural stresses on the rock when it was formed, and things like lemon juice, vinegar, red wine, cooking oils, grease, and fats can seep into these and cause discolouration. This is why all granite worktops should be sealed with a sealer. This will act as a shield to prevent stains from entering the stone.
In order to ensure there is minimum airborne dust in the kitchen, the granite worktops should be sealed the day after installation and final cleaning has taken place. However, there are small areas that should be sealed the same day, and these are where taps, cooktops and sinks are going to be installed on or under the granite. Taps and so on will hide small areas of the granite and it is possible for these to be attacked by liquids that might seep under a seal. The sealer should be applied to the edges and rough-cut holes where taps and so on are to be installed.
High quality granite sealers have a long life, and some can last as long as ten years. The life expectancy should be marked on the product when you buy it.
One other thing to note is that if you purchase a home where there is already a granite worktop you should assume that it has not been sealed and apply a sealer straight away.