Professionally recaulking your granite countertop will restore the beautiful appearance of your granite countertop.
Granite countertops can loose their beautiful look and appearance if the caulk has started to crack or become discolored. Often times granite countertops are installed with cheap latex caulks that will crack, grow mold and discolor over time. Recaulking your granite countertop with 100% silicone caulk is the best way to make your granite countertop look like new again.
Countertops are at eye level so it is important to get good straight caulk joints when installing the new caulk. You do not want a large obtuse bead of caulk that is uneven and crooked in you countertop seam. Every slight imperfection in the caulk joint will be magnified when applying the caulk to a beautiful granite countertop.
Recaulking a granite countertop is made a lot easier by the fact that granite is extremely hard and durable and will not scratch when removing the old caulk with razor blade tools. When recaulking other types of softer stone countertops such as marble, travertine or limestone you have to be extremely careful not to scratch the soft stones surface when removing the old caulk. Recaulking soft stone countertops such as marble, travertine and limestone is basically the same process as recaulking a granite countertop. The only difference is that when recaulking softer stone countertops you have to be extremely carful with the razor blade tools and only scrape the areas where new caulk will cover up any scratches that you might make on the countertops surface.
A good ergonomically correct utility knife will help you to cut through the old caulk to allow you to remove it. Angle the utility knife into the caulk joint and cut through the old caulk so that it can easily be removed with a razor blade scrapping tool.
After you have cut through the old caulking with a utility knife then you can scrape out the old caulking with a razor blade scrapping tool. You will have to scrape the old caulk away from the main countertops surface as well as the backsplash. Most granite countertops are extremely hard so they will not be scratched when using a razor blade scrapping tool to remove the old caulk.
An ordinary grout brush works great for cleaning up and removing the loose caulk near the surface of the countertops seam. It is not important to remove the old caulk that is deep within the granite countertops seam but pieces of caulk near the edge will show up when the new caulk is installed.
After you have removed all of the old caulk then you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean up the edges where the new caulk will go. It is important to not have any loose caulk or debris on the areas about to be caulked. You can use ordinary white paper towels to help you to clean up the edges with the isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol will not damage granite countertops or other types of countertop materials such as marble, travertine or limestone. It is still a good idea to test an area of your countertop with the isopropyl alcohol to ensure that it will not damage the finish of your countertop.
When recaulking a granite countertop it can be impossible to just caulk the seam and have the caulk look acceptable without first taping off the seams of your granite countertop. Taping the countertops seams is the best way to ensure that the new caulking will form a good looking small bead of evenly looking caulk. Every slight imperfection in the caulk will be seen since the granite countertop is at eye level. Also beautiful granite countertops can turn ugly looking if the new caulk does not look perfectly applied.
When taping off the seams of a granite countertop prior to caulking you should only leave a slight gap where the new caulk will go. You definitely do not want large globs of caulking to be present in the granite countertop seams. When caulking a granite countertop you only want people to notice the beautiful granite of a granite countertop and they should not even notice the caulk that is in the granite countertops seams.
After you have taped off the seams of the granite countertop then you should apply only 100% silicone caulk. Do not use any type of home improvement store type of caulk as these will not be 100% silicone and the caulking will crack or grow black and moldy in a short period of time. Also home improvement store caulks only come in a few colors and the colors they have will probably not match the look of your granite countertop
When choosing a caulk color you should choose a color that will blend in with the granite and not even be noticed. Laticrete Latasil is a premium grade 100% silicone caulk that comes in many different colors. Recaulking most standard granite countertops will only require one tub of the Laticrete Latasil caulk. In the example in the pictures on this page Laticrete Latasil Marble Beige colored caulk was used. You should choose a Latacrete Latasil caulk color that most matches the look and color of your particular granite countertop.
You do not have to be careful when applying the caulk after you have taped the seems but you should ensure that you get full coverage of the countertops seams with the new caulk. After you have caulked all the seams then smooth over the caulk with your finger to ensure a nice even bead of caulk will form in the taped off caulk joints.
After you have smoothed out the caulk then you should pull away the top piece of tape from the granite countertop seam. It is important to peel the top piece of tape first before you pull away the bottom piece of tape. Gravity can cause uneven caulk joints if you first pull away the bottom piece of tape before the top piece of tape.
After you pull away the top layer of tape then you should re smooth the caulk joint to ensure an nice even bead of caulk has formed on the backsplash area of the granite countertop.
After you have smoothed the caulking bead with the top layer of tape removed then you should remove the bottom layer of tape. Pull the bottom layer of tape in a smooth motion from the granite countertops surface and do not pull the tape away too quickly. You do not want the bead of caulk to pull away from the granite countertop backsplash too quickly and cause the caulk to spread out in the caulking seam.
After you have removed the bottom piece of tape then you should go over the bead of caulking one more time with your finger. It is important to smooth the caulking out after removing the tape because if you don't then a slight ridge will form where the tape was removed. This ridge of caulking can look unprofessional and also allow dirt and contaminates to get trapped in this ridge of caulk.
After you are done recaulking your granite countertop then you should inspect the caulk joint to ensure there are no ridges or bumps in the caulking. It may be necessary to smooth over a section of the caulking a second time to ensure a perfect caulk joint is formed. You only have about 20 minutes from the time you apply the caulk till the time the caulking sets so you need to do this quickly. If the caulking starts to set and you still need to smooth out the caulk line then you can stick your finger in the isopropyl alcohol prior to smoothing out the caulk so that the caulk can still be smoothed out. Once the caulking starts to permanently set then you must leave the caulk joint alone or you will just make it look worse when you continually smooth out the caulk line.
It is also important to inspect the entire granite countertops surface after you have finished caulking to ensure that no caulk has dropped or smeared on any area of the countertops surface while you were caulking it. Look at the countertop from many angles and you can clean up the caulk on the granite countertop with isopropyl alcohol and paper towels. Do not let the caulking dry on the granite countertops surface or it will become more difficult to clean up and remove. If you do notices that some of the caulk has dried on the granite countertops surface the you can scrape it away with a razor blade and scrub it away with the isopropyl alcohol and paper towels.
Recaulking a granite countertop or any countertop can be a difficult task. Even with the proper techniques it can still take some practice and skill to get the job done right. You may want to consider hiring a professional tile, grout and stone restoration contractor to recaulk your countertop for you.
You can read some valuable information and tips on how to hire a tile, grout and stone cleaning and restoration contractor at our contractor information page here. Recaulking Contractor.
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