Granite countertops are gorgeous. To paraphrase legendary car guy Lee Iacocca, if you can find a prettier countertop, buy it! Their classic elegance exudes distinction in the kitchen and bathroom, and matched with outstanding durability, the granite countertops you select might be the last countertops your home will ever need.
Countertops made from granite require some TLC, and they’re not cheap. But, if you’re committed to their care and maintenance, granite counter tops will deliver the look and performance you want for decades to come. In this granite countertops guide, you’ll find the information you need to decide whether or not your next countertops will be produced from this handsome, durable material. The information can be used to compare this material to marble and other materials you might be considering.
What You Should Know About Granite Countertops Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large igneous stone deposits found around the world. It begins as molten magma that flows into other rock structures and cools slowly. The stone is naturally quite rough and textured, but when it is ground and polished during the countertop manufacturing process, it takes on a smooth surface with rich luster. Granite is comprised of a many different minerals that give each countertop slab a unique and attractive appearance. For example, granite high in feldspar will have rich red or pink highlights. Mica produces brown or black veining while quartz gives pink, white or black hues to the stone. The variations throughout the stone are considered desirable since they give the slab character and differentiate it from others. For this reason, it is important to select slabs quarried from the same stone to ensure that the color and amount of veining are similar.
When you go shopping for granite countertops, you’ll find a range of colors and “looks” to choose from, and matching the right shade and stone appearance to your design scheme is part of the fun.
Granite Countertops Pros and Cons There are many alluring reasons to choose granite countertops, but a few cautions should be considered before you select them for your home. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of granite countertops.
Granite Countertop Advantages:
Among the most beautiful countertop materials
Accentuate the good looks of quality kitchen cabinets
Natural stone for those who want an ecofriendly counter top
Excellent strength and durability with proper care
Resistant to scratches and damage from heat such as pans or hot hair tools
Good stain resistance and easy to clean when sealed correctly
Granite Countertop Disadvantages:
Improper sealing or failure to reseal granite when needed can lead to staining of this porous stone
Poorly sealed granite may also harbor bacteria
There are about 20 different colors varieties of granite while other materials are available in 100+ colors and patterns
Corners may chip or break if a heavy object falls on them
There are several types of countertops such as laminate or wood that are more affordable (if not as pretty or durable)
To summarize the strengths and weaknesses of granite countertops, the primary advantages this material provides are distinctive beauty and outstanding durability when properly maintained. The biggest potential drawback is staining that occurs when the homeowner either buys cheap granite countertops that haven’t been properly sealed or fails to reseal them when needed. The good news is that most granite slabs are now sealed at the factory with a finish that will last at least five years and often longer. Plus, resealing granite countertops is quite easy and the sealer is affordable.