Friday, June 4, 2010

Troubles with Granite Countertops

Granite countertops may be the strongest and most tough countertop material available in the market today; however, they do have some drawbacks.

Expensive: Granite is the most luxurious countertop material available today. Its installation requires new cabinetry to be placed as a part of the entire kitchen makeover. This considerably increases the cost of installation. Moreover, granite slabs have to be selected, matched, cut, polished, sealed and installed with little room for error. These granite countertops have to be sealed on a yearly basis to maintain their shine and luster. Neglecting sealing on a regular basis can result the granite countertop to become cloudy and stained.

Surface affected by acidic liquids: When acidic solutions are brought in contact with the granite countertop, the surface can become dull or even etched. Various acidic liquids are used as ingredients in daily cooking, such as vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, wine, coffee, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and several other liquids. When the use is on a daily basis, it is possible for these liquids to be spilled on the countertop.

Emits radon: Radon gas is a radioactive element and is a leading cause for lung cancer. This claim has been mostly made by competing countertop material distributors. Research reveals that some granite countertops reveal radon gas, and has left homeowners worried.

Hot dishes can spoil the surface: Though granite countertops can withstand tons of abuse, its surface can get chipped if steaming hot pots and pans are placed straight onto the granite. This is because the hard granite stone comprises some soft, thin strips of granite, which cannot absorb all the heat applied to its surface.

Harsh chemicals stain the surface: Harsh cleaning agents such as bleach, kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners can strip the granite surface off the sealer, and can enduringly blemish the surface. This is because these common household cleaning agents contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals, which can harm the granite. One must be careful to only use mild soap and water to clean it. Even frequent use of soap can create the granite surface dull.

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