Its wide range of colors, scratch and heat resistance, and the ease of polishing it to an aesthetically pleasing high gloss make granite a top choice for kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Although some granite may have a naturally blotchy grain pattern, other imperfections you notice on your granite may be man made. Sealing your granite every three years protects it and helps maintain its luster.
The Higher the Grade, the Better
Granite quality is broken down into three grades: first choice, commercial quality and second quality, according to Alabama Countertops. Although granite in any category is equally durable and can be polished to a nice sheen, imperfections and blotchiness are detected more easily in lower quality granite. First choice is the most expensive granite and contains no visible imperfections. Although commercial quality is less expensive -- it contains hairline cracks, blotches, and cloudiness -- the imperfections can be masked with a high polish. The multitude of natural defects and blotches in second quality granite, on the other hand, often make it a poor choice for counter tops.
Because granite is a natural rock, it's innately filled with imperfections such as hairline cracks and variations in color. Dark or solid colored granite shows natural imperfections, dings and spills more easily than lighter granite. Additionally, since most granite is a mixture of colors and patterns, any seam in a granite counter top may be clearly evident, sometimes making the overall appearance seem mismatched once the counter is installed.
While granite is regarded for its durability, it isn't invincible. When not regularly wiped dry, water left on granite may eventually leave behind a white crusty residue -- a hard water stain -- from the minerals it contains. This can be remedied by scraping away the crustiness with a plastic scraper, but it takes some elbow grease and patience. Spills from oils, dark sauces, red wine, and organic material such as acidic fruits can create dark splotches on granite even when wiped away quickly. Applying a homemade poultice, or cleaning paste mixture, specific to the type of spill can safely pull out the substance that has seeped into the granite.
If you've noticed an unusual imperfection, like a gouge or dent, in your granite, it's best to contact a professional to remedy the situation. Professionals who have experience working with granite can remove scratches or other defects without causing further damage. A professional may repolish the granite to mask the imperfection and apply a granite sealer on the entire surface to protect it from stains, preventing further damage.