I'm thinking of putting in Kashmir White granite countertops.
But I have heard that it is more difficult to care for than other granites.
Is it more likely to stain, lose its shine, or need to be sealed more often?
I'm glad you asked. Many believe granite is granite and all colors perform exactly the same.... Not true. Granite is a "natural" product and no two slabs are alike.
It's important to learn the maintenance needs of a granite countertop prior to purchase. An easy stain test (see below) will reveal porosity and acid sensitivity for any slab but some varieties have a reputation for excellent or poor qualities.
Kashmir White Granite Countertop Maintenance Review
Broad-brush generalizations based on granite color regarding porosity and stain-resistance are just a starting point. As noted, fairly wide variations can exist even within the same granite color family. So, you must test the specific slab to get an accurate answer about porosity or how fast it stains.
Dark granite colors like blue, green, brown and black tend to be very dense with a slow rate of absorption and, therefore, highly stain-resistant. In some cases, virtually stain-proof.
White granites and other lighter colors, on the other hand, tend to be more porous and will stain more quickly or easily. Whites and light grays are very pretty and popular but generally have more staining issues than darker colors.
Regardless of porosity, most granite colors (including white & light colors) become adequately stain-resistant and low-maintenance with the proper application of a quality sealer.
Many white granites are perfectly fine and don't pose significant care or cleaning problems. Kashmir White is a notable exception.
Kashmir White Granite is a Virtual Sponge and Stains Easy
This is just an extremely porous white granite that is difficult to deal with. Applying a granite sealer can help, but you will have to apply several coats to achieve a modest degree of stain protection.
In truth, some slabs can't be sealed. Even with several coats of sealer, stains can occur in just a couple minutes or less. Not every Kashmir White slab will be so porous but many are.
It won't lose its shine, though. On this point, all granite colors are similar. Granite is so hard that it takes something harder than diamonds or extreme chemical exposure to scratch or damage the finish. This rarely occurs on kitchen countertops in home installations.
Frequent sealer re-application is required with Kashmir White granite countertops. Far, far more frequent re-application is needed compared to the average granite just to maintain the meager gains in stain protection possible with this stone.
You may have read that granite needs resealing every 6 months to a year. Well, this is complete nonsense and totally false for 99% of granite varieties... except Kashmir White.
Natural stone sealers work by increasing the time it takes a liquid to absorb. They do not form a film across the surface. That's bad for the stone. So, the natural porosity of a particular stone will affect the degree of protection possible with sealing.
For example... if a stain occurs in 30 seconds on granite A, then applying a sealer may increase the time it takes a liquid to absorb and stain to say 2 or 3 minutes. Or if granite B takes 10 minutes to stain, then a sealer may improve that time to 20 or 30 minutes or more. This is the slab you want... granite B.
Kashmir White granite often stains so quick that applying a sealer hardly improves the situation. And sealer effectiveness tends to diminish faster on more porous stones leading to more frequent resealing.
How To Test Kashmir White & Other Granites
Stain testing granite countertops is critical to eliminate any surprises and get the type of countertop performance you expect and desire.
No worries... it's simple. Perform the water test for sealing granite countertops on a sample taken from the exact slab you want to buy to see how porous or easy it is to stain and then decide if you are willing to tolerate that level of care.
You cannot count on the "general" categorizations of stain-resistance based on granite color applying to your specific slab of granite.
Testing prior to slab purchase will save you heartache and headaches later. Do this for any and every natural stone you plan to install.
Even better... use lemon juice instead of water and that will catch any stone that is sensitive to acids. Good to know especially for kitchen countertops where acidic foods abound and acid etching is impossible to avoid or prevent.
Many granites don't need sealing and/or a single coat of a good sealer like these recommended impregnating sealers will help protect the granite counter top surface from stains for years.
Or better yet... use SenGuard Granite Sealer, which is a more advanced sealer that forms permanent bonds with the stone.
Frankly, Kashmir White should not even be sold. Again, testing provides the definitive answer and not every slab of Kashmir White will be a total nightmare. But with so many other beautiful white granites to choose from, there's no need to install such a troublesome stone. Or at least it should come with a warning label!
Forget Kashmir White and choose another. Or if you are dead-set on this color, then at least test the porosity of various slabs and choose those with the lowest or slowest absorbency rate.
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