Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Well, I'll be.

I love this counter top even more now! 
Have you ever had something that you really liked a lot and then found out it was even better than you'd first realized? That's what has happened with our counter top.

When it was first installed, way back in February, I was so thrilled with the colours and the brightness that I shrugged off my disappointment in how coarse it seemed. No matter how many times I scrubbed it and wiped it, the dishcloth would still snag ever so slightly as I swept it across the counter.

It was just so perfect otherwise that I decided I didn't care.

When the installer left, they had applied a sealant and told me to wash it off in about 15 minutes. He explained that this was a coarse rock and needed to be sealed. I wished I had asked about the quality of this granite before I'd had it installed, but decided that I would have chosen it anyway.

After the requisite 15 minutes, I wiped it down. And wiped and wiped. But it never got to be as smooth as the black granite we'd had before. It seemed shiny enough, so I figured it was just the nature of the rock.

See: shiny
Eventually -- many weeks a couple of months later! -- we got around to installing the backsplash. Tiling is a messy, messy job, and I'd read advice that we should use a 'dehazer' after we finish applying the grout. Even after you've wiped those tiles a kajillion times, there will still be some residue. I was also concerned that any grout that remained on the counter would damage the stone with fine abrasions.

So even though they looked just fine (and the pictures I used in my "Big Reveal" post were taken before I removed any haze), I went ahead.

TILELab Grout Haze Remover
The instructions on the package were minimal, so I went to the online product instructions (which I found rather intimidating) and learned that I should test the product before applying it. I applied it liberally to a couple of spare tiles and let them sit for half an hour (which is far longer than the solvent should rest). The tiles were absolutely flawless.

I dragged my heels about doing the job, however, because life got busy. Also, the products recommend waiting at least ten days. Ten days just happened to turn into 60.

I finally got around to it yesterday. It was so quick and easy that I'm amazed I didn't do it sooner. The biggest part of the job was clearing all the counters. It's a simple four steps:

  1. Soak all of the tiles with plain water; let that sit for an hour.
  2. Apply the dehazer generously.
  3. Scrub the tiles and stone (they recommend using a plastic brush; I used a scrubby sponge).
  4. Flush with lots of water immediately.
I followed up with a sealant. I was worried that my off-white grout would end up looking like dirty socks if I didn't protect it. (I figured the sealant the installers had applied was probably removed when I used the haze remover.)

SurfaceGuard Sealer, also from TILELab
This product was a little fussier only because it was supposed to be completely wiped off within 5 minutes, which made me nervous. When it was done, I went around with a dry rag and wiped up any leftover water. Everything shone beautifully.

And that's where the surprise comes in: the towel didn't snag on the countertop at all. I thought perhaps it was the towel, so I grabbed a kleenex and dragged it across the stone. Nothing. 

All this time, I've just assumed that our counters were naturally a little gritty and it's just been haze? Or perhaps the installer should have said five minutes when he said 15? If it was only five minutes, surely he would have done it himself. 

Anyway, I'm just happy that I went through with this final step -- I almost didn't! The result is not noticeable to the naked eye, but it is remarkable when you touch the counters. And I love them more than ever.


  1. yeah for happy results!!!
    and it is a gorgeous counter too, so I am so happy it all worked out so well.

    1. I think I may have to marry my counter, I love it so much. :)


What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...