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    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Debra in Texas calling in to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    DEBRA: We bought a countertop – a granite countertop – a year-and-a-half ago. And we sealed it with a sealer we bought from the company and we had a warming plate – not a warming plate, a hot pad – by the cooktop. Moved the cooktop and it has changed colors. Under the cooktop, it’s the natural color – under the warming plate/hot plate, it’s the natural color. Beside that has turned darker.

    And then on the bar area where we sit, it has turned darker. And I don’t know if it’s the oils from the cooking, the oils from us sitting here at the bar.

    TOM: Have you done any cleaning of the granite surface since this has happened? Have you tried any additional products on it?

    DEBRA: No. Just that one.

    TOM: Well, we do know that granite needs a lot of care, right, Leslie?

    LESLIE: I mean it really does. And also, depending on the color of the granite – if it’s a lighter granite, it needs more maintenance than a darker-toned granite as far being sealed and resealed.

    Now, I usually don’t recommend sealing the granite yourself, because the materials that are available for a do-it-yourself sealing job are not as durable and effective as something that a pro might put on. So you may have put something on that has discolored due to, perhaps, the heat of the warming plate. It’s hard to say. Is that truly the natural color under the warming plate and everything else has darkened or has it lightened under the warming plate because of the heat?

    DEBRA: That was the natural color.

    LESLIE: It could just be that the sealant that you’ve put on is reacting to the moisture in your kitchen.

    TOM: Yeah. I’m thinking that whatever finish was applied here is what’s discoloring.

    Now, since you haven’t tried anything to clean this yet, I’m going to recommend a website that specializes in granite care. And they have a lot of products that are designed to help restore granite and it’s called StoneCare.com. What I would suggest you do is take a look that website, search by the type of surface, which is granite, and take a look at the products that are available there. And then contact them directly and ask them which one they would recommend for this specific situation.

    My first thought is that we need to make sure that what you have is clean. And these products can help draw out anything that’s contributing to the color change. And if not, then you may have to refinish the surface again and remove what’s there.

    DEBRA: And how do I do that?

    TOM: Well, I have to tell you, as Leslie said, I don’t think it’s a good do-it-yourself job because – I’ll give you the example of finishing a floor, alright? When you think of a hardwood floor, one of the greatest examples is the gym floor, right? And you think of the basketball games and the gym floor and they’re always shiny and hard and they take all this abuse. But the floors that we have in our house don’t ever look that way. Do you know why? Because most of the time, we finish them ourselves and we don’t get access to the same kinds of products they use professionally.

    Professionally, when they finish a gym floor, they use a two-part, sometimes epoxy-based product that hardens in place – chemically hardens. We use air-dry products and the air-dry products just don’t – aren’t as tough as some of the ones that are based on chemical reactions.

    So the same thing applies to some of the sealers that are out there. The ones that we may use as consumers aren’t the same as what a countertop shop might use. So, if that’s the case, you may want to have it professionally refinished and this way, you’ll get a proper surface on there and you can start again from scratch.

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