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Properly maintaining granite counter tops



PHUKET: If you buy new or upgrade, most likely you will choose granite counter tops. First remember that not all granite is equal. Granite is a lot harder than marble and easier to maintain, but experience shows, liquids can soak in to polished granite. If you notice a spill, clean it up right away and you may not be left with a stain – especially if it’s grease. The moisture from the grease that has embedded in the surface pores of the counter causes light to reflect differently and this is why you see a dark spot or streaks.

The wise thing to do is seal your granite as soon as it’s installed (don’t rely on your contractor or developer to do this). Out of hundreds of surveys I have performed, most have stains on the counter tops left over from construction personnel.

Don’t seal over a stain as it will be permanently locked in. If you have a stain there is a shop in Phuket called the Stone Doctor. They sell a fantastic product imported from Germany that should draw out the stain. They carry well over 40 products. And, of course, they sell the sealer to apply after all the stains are gone. Reseal your granite every year.

Train your cleaning staff not to put bottles of harsh chemicals on the counter tops as well.

Note these tips below.

Preventive Measures
The basic things to remember when caring for granite counters are:
– Wipe off all stains immediately, so staining is minimized.
– Avoid placing hot pans on granite.
– Avoid impact with heavy or sharp items.

The Dos
– Minimize stains by using only penetrating sealers recommended by professionals.
– Clean up spills immediately. Hot oils will penetrate the granite even if it has been sealed.
– Use a chopping board to chop or cut food.
– Use coasters under cups and place pots and pans on hot pads.
– Always have a good stain remover on hand. Call or use a professional, such as the Stone Doctor, to remove tough stains or restore the finish on the granite.

The Don’ts
– Even though granite may be harder than steel, don’t use very sharp knives directly on the counter. Remember most homes in Thailand have the black granite work tops, which is the softest of all granites.
– Don’t step, stand or lean on the counters, especially near cutouts. It may break. Remember to instruct staff as well. No standing on the granite.
– Don’t place hot pans directly on the granite. It may break due to uneven expansion.
– If you have an under-mount sink, avoid leaving it filled with water and dishes for a long time, it may become dislodged from the granite above.
– Avoid hot oil spills from frying pans – if you have hot oil stains, remove them quickly with your cleaning solution.
– Avoid dragging boxes and other containers along the counters, as any sand or dirt on the bottom of the box may scratch the surface, – especially when moving house.

Mark Dietrich is a professional inspector and property builder with a Master’s degree in building engineering. He came to Phuket after working for 25 years in the custom home and inspecting industry in the USA, and has been working in Thailand for more than 11 years. Visit or email him at or call 085-809 8755.

— Mark Dietrich


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