Switching from one countertop material to another can mean that you encounter a learning curve when performing routine cleaning and maintenance. Going from natural stone countertop to another natural stone is one thing, but when you go from a manmade material like laminate or solid surface to natural stone, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the change. After all, you’ll probably lay down a chunk of change, so it’s natural to want to keep your countertops looking their best as long as possible.

So what are some things you should know before purchasing granite countertops? We’ve compiled a list of common things people who own granite countertops wish they’d known before installing granite.

1. Price doesn’t necessarily reflect quality.

Granite pricing accounts for many things, including rarity, shipping costs, quarry location, and demand. One thing that doesn’t necessarily impact the price is the quality of the granite. Unlike toilet paper and major electronics, there isn’t a significant quality difference between high-priced granite and low-priced granite. That means that if you keep your eye out for deals or buy your granite wholesale, you can get stunning, unique slabs for a fraction of their everyday price.

2. Granite is heat-resistant but not impervious to heat.

Granite is igneous rock, which means that it formed under a ton of heat and pressure under the Earth’s surface. You’d think coming from those origins that granite could handle any kind of and as much heat as you could dish out. It’s true that occasionally forgetting a hot pad won’t hurt your granite, but repeatedly placing hot items down on the same area can do some damage.

Putting hot pots and pans down in the same location over a long period of time can weaken the granite and cause it to crack eventually. Additionally, depending on the color of granite you have and the type of sealer you use, hot items could discolor your countertops, making those areas appear unsightly. Lastly, if you place hot items on a seam, you run the risk of melting or damaging the seam adhesive, leading to expensive repairs.

The long and short is this: your granite can take a lot of heat, but that doesn’t mean it should have to. Just do your best to use a trivet or hot pad anytime you have something hot, and you’ll avoid a lot of heat-related heartaches.

3. You can’t use just anything to clean granite.

Granite countertops look and feel so luxurious, and you might not know what kind of cleaner to use to keep them that way. Many everyday cleaners contain chemicals that can harm your stone, so if you’re going to clean with chemicals, be sure they specifically say that they are good for granite.

Many people who have kids or pets want to use natural cleaning options like citrus and vinegar on their granite countertops, but those are not good either. Acidic solutions can damage the sealant and cause unsightly etching.

Except for the occasional commercial chemical, sealant, or polish, all you need to keep your granite in Denver, Colorado looking beautiful is some warm, soapy water. Just be sure to wipe it down each night and buff it dry with a clean towel, and your granite will stay gorgeous for years to come.

4. You need to clean up spills right away.

We’re talking all spills, but especially things that are oily or acidic. Oily spills can seep into the stone and permanently stain your granite, which can be unpleasant to look at. Acidic spills like citrus, tomatoes, wine, or vinegar can cause etching in the finish and can even stain the stone underneath. Even water can cause temporary damage if you haven’t sealed your stone well enough.

The best thing you can do for your granite countertops is wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. Obviously, countertops are meant to be used, so it’s impossible to clean up every spill immediately, but just do your best to stay on top of it.

5. Seam placement is important.

Trustworthy granite fabricators will know where to place the seams so that your whole countertop will last better. Unless you have a tiny kitchen, there’s a good chance that you will have a seam somewhere, so you need to make sure to discuss the options with your installers before installation day.

6. Granite is tough but not unbreakable.

Granite is a fantastic natural stone that can take a beating, but that doesn’t mean it can withstand everything you throw at it. Dropping heavy items on the counter can chip the edges or cause cracks to form, especially when close to a seam. You should always take care to lay down a towel when using any construction tools and do your best to avoid dropping heavy items onto the countertop surface. Additionally, don’t stand on your countertops to reach that top shelf because that can cause cracks to form, especially if you have a seam nearby.

7. There is a little bit of maintenance.

By a little bit, we mean that you should wash your countertops every day with warm, soapy water and buff dry. You should also plan on resealing your countertops once or twice a year on your own and then having them professionally sealed and polished every few years.

Granite is an outstanding addition to any home, whether it be in the bathroom, kitchen, or surrounding a fireplace. It is durable, beautiful, and timeless, and knowing what to expect before you purchase and install will help keep your granite looking pristine for years to come.