; A Look at the Most Common Myths About Granite
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A Look at the Most Common Myths About Granite


Granite countertops won't chip, crack or stain." High-quality types of granite are very resistant to such damage, but any stone will chip if a hard, heavy object hits a square outside corner. Cracking may result from natural flaws in the stone or errors in fabrication or installation. Some stones sold as "granite" will absorb cooking oils, which darkens those areas significantly. These stains can be very difficult to remove as the only way to do so is by using a poultice.

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									           Fabricating Techniques

         A Look at the Most Common Myths About Granite
        We’d like to shed some light on            or installation. Some stones sold as     increasing indoor radon levels.        TEST CASE
        common myths and misconceptions            “granite” will absorb cooking oils,      While radiation levels are not         It would be wonderful if everyone
                         about granite             which darkens those areas sig-           typically high, measurement of         who sold granite was ethical,
                         countertops. Some         nificantly. These stains can be very      specific samples may reveal higher     truthful and fully informed
                         of these myths are        difficult to remove as the only way       than expected levels on a case-by-     about every type of stone they
                         spread by people          to do so is by using a poultice. Other   case basis.”                           sell. Unfortunately, thousands of
                         trying to sell granite,   stones containing calcium can be             There are many other potential     different types of stones are on
                         or people trying          etched and whitened by acidic liq-       sources of radon gas within the        the market today, and obtaining
                         to sell competing         uids such as citrus juices or vinegar,   home. By far the most significant      reliable information about each is
                         products by               and these stones are sometimes           source of radon is the soil beneath    difficult.
                         criticizing granite.      marketed as “granite,” although          the home itself. Foundations               There is a simple test
                             Myths also            true granites are not subject to acid    and basements can be properly          procedure that can give an
 Jim Heaphy              originate when            etching. Some sealers themselves         ventilated to disperse excessive       accurate picture of a stone’s
                         people try to simplify    can also be damaged by exposure to       levels of radon gas, and this would    performance as a countertop.
                         complex matters,          acidic liquids.                          be preferable in most cases to         Take a sample of the stone before
        coming up with generalizations that            ■ “Granite is second only to         removing granite countertops.          applying any sealer. Put a teaspoon
        are true much of the time but not          diamonds in hardness, so nothing         No one should be concerned             of water on the stone and observe
        all of the time.                           but a diamond can scratch granite.”      unless radon testing identifies        for darkening and absorption.
                                                   Granite is very scratch resistant,       a problem in a specific home.          If the stone starts to darken
         MYTH BUSTING                              but it’s not scratch proof. There are    Despite the relatively low risk from   immediately, it’s very porous, and
         Following are some of the most            many substances harder than gran-        granite, it’s our opinion that the     not a good candidate for a kitchen
         common myths about granite:               ite. Mineral hardness is rated by the                                           countertop. If it takes several
              ■ “Granite is heat resistant, so     Mohs scale, with soft minerals like                                             minutes to darken, the stone
         it is perfectly okay to place hot pots    talc rated as 1 and diamond rated at       There is no single                   will be an adequate performer if
         on a granite countertop.” While it’s      10. Due to their high quartz content,                                           properly sealed. If the stone does
         true that granite is quite resistant to   most commercial granites are rated         recommendation that                  not darken after 30 minutes, it’s an
         the sorts of temperatures encoun-         about 7 on the Mohs scale. Abrasive                                             excellent performer and may not
         tered in kitchens, excessive heat         substances sometimes found in              can be made about use                need sealing at all.
         can damage or discolor some types         cleaning products can cause dull                                                    Next, take half a lemon,
         of granite sealers. Rapid heating can     spots or tiny scratches on granite         of sealers on granite.               squeeze out some juice and
         also generate internal stresses that      if misused. Some stones sold as                                                 leave the cut lemon and juice on
         could cause a crack at a weak spot,       granite are significantly softer than     granite industry should screen         the stone for 30 minutes. Drip
         such as a natural flaw
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