Cleaning Your Granite Counter Tops

countertop edgingOne of the best and easiest ways to stay on top of keeping your granite counter tops clean is to use a warm cloth and wipe up spills immediately before they’ve had time to dry and set or stain. You can use warm soapy water (liquid dish soap works well) to wipe all any residue or spills.

For a more thorough cleaning, you can buy ready-made cleaning products designed for granite, or you can make your own. Mix thoroughly: 3 parts mild liquid dish detergent with one part rubbing alcohol in a bucket or sink of very warm (not hot) water. Never use an acidic type of cleaner, like one with lemon juice, vinegar or ammonia.

If you encounter a tough stain that won’t wash off, make a baking soda mix.
For water-based stains use 1 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap. Add just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.

If your stain is oil-based, use water instead of hydrogen peroxide to make the paste.

Put this paste on the stain and cover with plastic wrap. Let it stand for several hours and then wipe it off.

A great cloth for cleaning is, believe it or not, a cloth diaper! They’re soft, washable and don’t leave loose fibers behind on your nice clean counters.

Want to make sure your counters are clean and not streaked by the cleaner you just used? Buff it lightly with a microfiber cloth. This will remove any streaking and enhance the shine of your granite counters.

Countertop Options – Natural Stone is a Natural Choice

butcherblock and granite countertopMost people, when they think of natural stone for counter tops, think of granite. Once only seen in very expensive homes, granite has become far more affordable and the variety of colors and patterns found in granite are astounding! But granite isn’t the only natural stone that’s commonly used for kitchen and bathroom counters.

Slate is another popular natural stone for counters. It’s extremely dense and comes in shades of black, grey, green, even red and purple. Austin Stone Works can also offer you veined pattern slate, which is less common and has some stunning character.

Marble is another wonderful natural stone option. Its elegance is unmatched and it’s always cool, resisting heat well. An excellent choice for smaller areas like baking stations.

Limestone and Soapstone come is less color options, but can also be crafted into sinks to match your countertops- a great way to add wonderful decor to your home!

Picking The Right Colors For Your Countertops

When you’re getting ready to remodel your kitchen, or are building new, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right colors for your kitchen and lifestyle. Your counter top is going to be around for 20 years or more, so choose wisely! One of the best ways to do this is to take some nice photos with your phone or digital camera, then come visit Austin Stone Works to see the many color choices and pattern options available. Our professionals can assist you with their expertise.

Many people don’t think about things like adding a section of wood to use as a cutting board or including a marble slab for the baker to roll on. Adding a splash of complimentary color for your island countertop is a great way to add interest in your kitchen, as is including some decorative blocks in your backsplash. Note the accenting backsplash on this kitchen below:

Emerald Pearl and Volga-Blue

While you’re at our offices, we can show you samples of edges, pictures of finished countertops and talk about options you may not have even considered! Give us a call today and let us help you make the perfect choice for your home, whether it’s your kitchen, bath, patio or entry.

Granite Countertop Edge Options

One of the great things about granite and other natural stone countertops is the wide variety of colors and patterns you can choose from. Everything from creams to blues to blacks, greens and reds! But in addition to the color selections, you can also choose from a wide variety of edges, depending on your preferences and the use for your counter top.

One of the most basic edges is the “Eased Edge” with is a square, flat surface with a slightly rounded top edge.

A commonly seen edge is the “half bullnose” or roundover edge. This is usually the least expensive edge and gives you a nice rounding while showing off a larger cross section of your countertop than the eased edge.

The “full bullnose” is one of the more durable edges, with a top and bottom that look like a half circle, which has no edges to chip.

The “bevel edge” is similar to the edges of a beveled mirror. The bevels are cut at a 45 degree angle into the edge of the stone.

There are many more edges you can choose from, including the Ogee Edge, Dupont Edge, Waterfall Edge, Chiseled Edge and more. For details on these to get more ideas on the best stone countertop and edge choice for your home, contact us!