Homeowners spend thousands of dollars, and then some, installing granite countertops and other natural stone surfaces from kitchen counters to bathroom vanities, tub surrounds and shower walls, to floors and fireplace facings. Some will even install ornate natural stone staircases or lay stone on outdoor walkways, decks, pool and spa surrounds, and patios. The opportunities are nearly limitless when it comes to where natural stone can be used inside and outside of the home.
Not surprisingly, with that kind of investment comes concerns over how to maintain granite countertops and other natural stone’s luster and durability. Fear, panic, woe, you name it, comes bubbling to the surface. We’re fielding questions daily from customers throughout the country asking for help and advice. We answer every one of them, within 24 hours, including weekends. No hired service to field the calls; no automated responses or answers – just real customer service.
Here’s a random sampling we hope helps you with your stone care:
Q: We just applied the sealer to our granite countertop. We followed the instructions. The surface is now cloudy looking and unsightly. Can you help?
A: Deep clean counter tops by liberally applying Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®. Agitate surface with Granite Gold Scrub Sponge®. Dry with a paper towel. For daily cleaning, just spray and wipe with paper towel.
Working in three-foot sections, spray Granite Gold Sealer® onto countertop. Apply with a soft terry cloth towel; buff with a clean, dry, terry cloth towel. For light- to medium-colored granites, apply a second coat. If the granite becomes streaky, simply spray more sealer to re-activate and wipe dry immediately. Once the granite is sealed, it is ready for use in two hours. Frequent sealing maintains maximum surface protection, penetrating stone surfaces to provide superior, long-lasting resistance to staining, etching and soil build-up. Regularly check the integrity of the seal with an at-home water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the water penetrates the stone – look for a dark mark or ring – it is time to reseal.
For additional luster and protection, apply Granite Gold Polish one day after sealing counter tops. Spray polish directly on counter top and apply with a paper towel or a terry cloth towel; buff dry. Regular use after cleaning will bring out stone’s natural beauty and provide ongoing protection against water spots and fingerprints.
Q: Our housekeeper used Granite Gold Polish® on our wood floors. What should we do?
A: It’s best to check with the wood manufacture on what they suggest. Meanwhile, we recommend filling a bucket with hot water and alcohol, soaking a towel and ringing it out, then damp mop the wood.
Q: My gas fireplace has a black marble slab in front and marble trim around it. The problem is the slab on the floor is cloudy. I have tried everything and cannot get it to shine. I fear I may have used products in the past that have made it become cloudy. It also has a scratch from a planter being pushed across it. Can Granite Gold® correct either of these problems?
A: It sounds like the stone is damaged and will need to be professionally restored on-site by a stone-care professional. The great thing about natural stone is you do not have to replace it, but instead have it restored – and that is a lot less expensive. The shine you get on marble is a natural polish that comes from going through a process of high-grit level sanding.
Q: My husband and I have a slate tile shower. It was supposedly sealed (with some type of toxic-like stuff) 12 years ago when it was installed. Over the years, we have begun to notice a white haze buildup in the grout and along the “crags” of the stone itself, which I have been unable to get rid of. What do you suggest?
A: Over time in a wet environment, slate will oxidize and create the white haze. Our advice is to use Granite Gold Grout Cleaner® with the nylon brush to get rid of the white haze. The grout brush will work well in the corners, but we also recommend using a blue-colored scouring pad for the flat surface areas. The slate also needs to be sealed, and we recommend using a color-enhancing sealer for slate. This will protect the stone and bring out the color of the stone.
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