An Overview of Granite Countertops: What to Know

When you set out to refresh, renovate or create an all-new kitchen, there are a lot of choices to make. You’ll need to decide whether you want a closed or open floor plan, whether you want an island in the middle, what color scheme you want and the kinds of cabinets you’re looking to include. Naturally, you’ll also need to choose your countertops. This will be one of the most important decisions you make.

While there are a lot of great options available to suit just about any budget, granite countertops stand out as one of the best choices. Granite is a high-quality, low-maintenance, long-lasting and strong material that looks fantastic. Let’s check out a complete guide to granite countertops so you can decide whether it’s the right choice for your kitchen redesign project.

A Costly Prospect?

There’s no doubt that granite countertops are a costly prospect. There are, however, good reasons why these counters are more expensive, and in the end, their sheer timeless appeal, toughness and longevity will make up for the upfront cost. While you might save a few dollars on chipboard countertops that have a granite-looking finish, they simply won’t stand up to normal kitchen use the way natural stone will.

Availability of Granite

Because granite is a natural stone, it needs to be mined, cut and shaped. It’s sourced from all over the world, and while it’s possible to seek out locally mined granite, this may be one case where local sourcing isn’t important. This is especially true when events happen that affect the supply of granite from a location.

Where your granite comes from and the current status of mining operations across the world will have a major effect on cost. This being so, it’s always a good idea to research the original source of your granite and the state of the industry before buying.

Density and Composition

The density and composition of your countertops will also affect their quality and price. Granite is rarely pure — it forms around other substances like quartz, limestone and iron. The purer the granite in your countertop, the denser it will be and the more it will likely cost.

The composition also affects the color of the granite, with granite that looks like natural stone being more affordable than material that has unique and intriguing colors, though unique colors may indicate lesser purity and density. Again, this is a case where you should be researching your granite before making a purchase and decide what qualities matter to you the most.

Why Choose Granite Counters?

Using real granite offers a number of benefits that cannot be matched by most other kinds of countertops. These include:

  • Durability
  • A wide variety of patterns and color
  • Low maintenance
  • Timeless appeal

Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail.

Granite Is Durable and Long-Lasting

If you’re looking for countertops that will last forever, granite comes about as close as you can get. This is a strong material, among the toughest natural stones around, and can resist impacts, high temperatures and acids. If you put your kitchen counters through a lot of punishment, granite is an ideal choice to hold up under heavy use.

Granite Is Available in Many Colors and Patterns

Just about everyone has a unique vision for what their finished kitchen should look like, including color schemes, patterns and styles. The good news is that granite is available in a broad range of patterns and finishes so you can choose the perfect style to match your kitchen.

Be careful, however, to choose granite with a natural color pattern rather than a dyed one. Dyed slabs are numerous and ubiquitous, but they often look better in the showroom than in your kitchen. They’re also costly while at the same time introducing more impurities into the countertop. It’s rarely a good combination.

Granite Is Easy to Maintain

Granite is among the most low-maintenance materials you can use for your kitchen design. Even if you put it through heavy use every day, a sponge or soft cloth and some warm water will take care of most spills or stains, as long as it’s properly sealed. You might want to consider resealing your countertops once a year, but that’s really all you need to do!

Granite Has Timeless Appeal

If you want to add value to your kitchen, granite is a material that never goes out of style. Even as design fads come and go, your granite countertops will always add exceptional value to your kitchen redesign.

Be Careful: It’s Not Indestructible

Granite is among the most durable materials available, but it’s not indestructible. No surface is. A granite surface can be scratched if you chop your vegetables on the countertop, and this can also dull your knives in the process. Therefore, always use a cutting board for food prep. While granite can withstand high temperatures, it’s still a good idea to use a duvet to prevent damage to the finish. While granite is impact-resistant, it’s not impact-proof, so don’t drop heavy objects on it.

In addition, make sure your granite is sealed. While it can resist materials, unsealed granite can absorb pigments and become stained. One of the key factors to maintaining granite is to make sure it’s sealed and stays sealed to protect from discoloration and stains.

In general, granite is a sturdy and solid material that can take a lot of punishment, but just like any material, you should avoid abusing it when you can. Treat it like you’d treat any countertop, and it will outlast almost any other material.

Buying Quality Granite

If you think a granite countertop would be a great choice for your kitchen remodeling project, Kitchen Solvers is here to help. Check out our countertops page for a wide range of options, finishes and materials, and get in touch with us with any questions you have or to place your order today!

And be sure to check out our blogs, Everything You Need to Know About Granite Countertops and  Choosing the Best Kitchen Countertop: Quartz, Corian or Granite for more information on choosing the best countertop for your kitchen.