Granite Tile Countertops: Tips for Upkeep

Protecting your Investment
Granite is a hard natural stone with intrinsic beauty and is often used as countertops or accent pieces in home renovations. The reason why many people are looking to granite over other natural stones is because it's heat resistant, very hard and is a versatile stone, perfect for the routine wear and tear that occurs when cooking, cutting and entertaining in the kitchen. Granite tile countertops are becoming a popular option for renovations and can be found in new homes. Granite has gone down substantially in price in recent years, but one of the reasons why this natural stone is more expensive is because of the extraction process. Various pieces can range in price dependent on where they are located in the world, and how difficult they are to access. More energy is also necessary to cut the stone as it is a very hard material. The upkeep of this material for countertops isn't arduous but it is a good idea to maintain your granite for maximum durability.
Routine Cleaning
Granite is slightly porous and is usually given a gloss treatment to minimize this effect. Cleaning off the surface with a cotton cloth and water is the best method of getting rid of dirt while protecting the granite. Chemical cleaners should be avoided at all costs, as they may ruin the gloss finish. If you would like to use a cleaner, try to look for a biodegradable product that is light in color (not neon!) and one that is without fragrance. Make sure to check that it has a neutral pH, as anything slightly acidic can damage the granite surface. Once a week you should use a stone cleaner that you were recommended by the place you bought your granite tiles from. If there are any persistent large oil stains, you may want to use a cleaner that can be purchased from the store you bought the tiles from, or a natural remedy. Poultice may be applied to a stain and is either made out of baking soda and water or liquid soap and unbleached water. Mix either of these into a thick past-like consistency and apply it to the stained area. Then cover it with plastic and seal the area around with tape. As it slowly dries out, it will remove the stain from your porous granite and leave the surface clean, looking brand new!
Seasonal Cleaning
Every couple of months you will have to reseal the granite. When you do this, check for cracking or scratches and consult the person who sold you the tiles. To check if the gloss and seal of the granite has diminished, simple flick some water onto the granite surface. If the water does not bead up, it means the porous nature of the stone is showing through, and you will need to reseal.
Granite tiles give a kitchen a unique sense of style while being very functional, however there is a misconception that because it is a stone, it will not stain. By continuously cleaning and maintaining your granite tile, you will strengthen the look and longevity of the material.