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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.
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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