Each time a new interior decoration trend takes hold, you can invariably count on cheaper and faux alternatives emerging. When reclaimed hardwood flooring became trendy a few years ago, manufacturers of laminate materials began to offer planks that imitate the look of distressed wood. Granite is another material that has resulted in a proliferation of imitations, and they’re not limited to ceramic tiles for the floor. There’s an entire industry dedicated to producing faux granite options, particularly for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Here are some recommendations on how to determine when granite may have been imitated.
Not Mentioned in the Home Appraisal
Since granite floors and counters boost the value of a property, appraisers will certainly mention them as finishing details when they complete a full appraisal. These details are included in Fannie Mae Form 1004, also known as the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. Seasoned appraisers won’t fall for refinishing acrylic paint kits, often sold with metallic flakes that can turn solid surface or laminate materials into something resembling granite and other types of natural stone.
Take a look at this video explaining how to maintain the polish on granite and other types of natural stone:
Engineered Quartz Sold as Granite
In recent years, the home improvement market in North America has seen a flood of imported materials, and these include quartz and granite. Quite a few factories manufacture kitchen and bathroom counters with pre-cut quartz slabs that look like granite, and some unethical store operators may attempt to pass them off as natural-stone countertops. With granite and other natural stones, you can softly tap on the surface with a metal object and listen for a ringing sound similar to a bell. This isn’t the case with engineered stone such as quartz.
Unnatural Patterns and Veining
With granite tiles and slabs, your home gets a visual effect that feels natural thanks to unique patterns and a lack of uniformity. With engineered stone, uniform patterns are visible if you look closely at the surface. Quartz slabs and tiles simply look perfect because they’re manufactured to look a certain way, whereas each slab of granite or other natural stone is unique because they’re quarried from the earth. With installed countertops, there’s also the matter of seams, which are visible in the case of granite but not so with quartz because the latter is often fabricated into a full slab that doesn’t require cutting or joining.
Check the Granite Seal with the Water Test
Unlike granite, laminates, ceramics, and engineered stone don’t feature porous surfaces. Sealing is an essential part of granite care, as it protects against stains and etches. You can find out if granite has been sealed by performing a simple water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal.
In addition to sealing and cleaning granite regularly, you should also make it a point to include the use of a specially formulated granite polish in your stone care regimen. Like all of the other products we provide, Granite Gold Polish® is safe to use on granite, marble, travertine, and all other types of natural stone. If you have any additional questions about caring for granite, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE.
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.