Granite countertops are one of those materials that look simply gorgeous. They exude luxury, elegance, and style. But these granite countertops aren’t just pretty, they also bring a whole array of benefits, features and custom options to your kitchen and bathroom too. In this guide, for granite countertops, you will find all the necessary information to make an informed decision on if this is the counter material for you and your home, or not. We’ll be going over the manufacturing process, benefits of granite countertops, how prices are factored in, cleaning and care aspects and more! Hopefully, by the end, you will be able to ascertain if this is the material you want in your home or if you want something else entirely.
What Is Granite and How Is It Formed?
Granite actually is compiled from a very complex process. It is created from a natural stone of course, but it is quarried from pyrogenic stone deposits which are found below the ground – these are found all over the world, not just North America. Originally the granite began as molten magma which flowed into other materials such as rock. It then cools at a very slow and low point. More natural granite tends to have a rougher appearance and feel to it, but it can also be ground and polished to create a more smooth and soft look and feel.
Granite Countertops Benefits
These are just a few of the best and most noted benefits of granite countertops.
– Incredible Beauty: When you see a granite counter all the other materials that you checked out beforehand will be pushed to the side. Really! Granite just has this fantastic look and feel to it that no other materials possess. Once you add in granite countertops to your kitchen or even bathroom, your space transforms into a more elegant and luxurious room.
– Durability: Granite countertops are not as durable and hard as quartz, however, they are more durable and hard than marble. In addition to being really durable and able to take a beating, granite countertops are also scratch resistant. This is going to be important to people that use their kitchens or bathrooms a lot, or they noticed in the past, with other materials that scratches were present after using the counters for awhile. Laminates for instance; they scratch and dent really easily. So if you have had counters in the past made from things like Formica or Laminates and you were unimpressed with how well they kept up with your daily life, your mind will forever be changed with granite.
– Lots Of Variety: Quartz counters have around 40 different colors. On the other hand, granite countertops literally have thousands of color options, finishes, patterns, styles and options available to you. This is a good benefit because it really allows you to not only match it up with a color you can love 15 years from now but also because it gives you the ability to complement the other colors of your kitchen or bathroom. Each company is going to have their own variations on the custom options for stones though, so that is definitely something to consider.
– Eco-Friendly: This is a natural stone, therefore, its Eco-friendly. If its important to you to have an Eco-friendly. or green friendly counter in your bathroom or kitchen, then this benefit should definitely pique your interest in learning more. Green friendly counters not only deal with the materials but how they are manufactured, what binders are included (if any) in the process of making the material and of course if its local or not.
– Scratch and Heat Resistant: Not only is scratch resistant and heat resistance important in the kitchen but the bathroom too. If you tend to use curling irons and you place these on the counters, the last thing you want is a material that won’t stand up to heat or scratches. Granite countertops and quartz are both very similar in that they are scratch and heat resistant. Marble is not. In fact, marble tends to be very fussy. Its not as heat resistant as the other two and it is not scratch resistant in the least.
Granite countertops are very durable, but you also need a minimal amount of care and maintenance in order to keep them looking good. This means cleaning up stains as soon as you see them, this also means that you will need to seal this material every few years. Try to keep acidic liquids from staying on the granite for long periods of time as well. Acidic liquids include things like; citrus, ammonia, and vinegar. Its definitely not as fussy as marble, but its not as easy going as quartz either – its sort of right in the middle in terms of care, looks, cost, and functionality. Lastly, when it comes to maintenance, make sure that you use cleaners that are specifically designed for granite countertops.
Granite Countertops Cost Factors
Lets be honest, a material can be attractive, durable and functional but another factor also comes into play, and that’s cost. Essentially granite will cost about the same as any other natural stone out there on the market right now. However, there are three major factors to consider when it comes to cost, they are:
1- The Grade Of The Material: As one would expect, the better the grade of the material, the more expensive it gets. There are 3 grades to granite; low grade, mid-grade and high-grade. These grades are placed on a material in terms of really, how its made and what its made from as well as variations in patterns, colors, and styles.
2- The Installation: If you hire a professional, vendor or a contractor to install your granite countertops for you, it will most likely cost a little more, but for good reason. This is not a Do It Yourself project. You should be hiring someone for this installation because a) it needs to be done properly and it’s incredibly heavy! If you want it done right the first time, hire an installer, plain and simple.
3- The Complexity Of The Job: This is sort of obvious but if you have a slab of granite for your granite countertops and the job of producing, fabricating and installing is super simple; you will pay less. On the other hand, if you want specialized edges, custom colors and your kitchen or bathroom design is more complex; the job will cost more.
Granite countertops will look and feel fantastic indefinitely. Its all going to depend on the installer, the material, and of course how well you take care of the material over the years that you have it in your home. Make sure that you schedule a re-sealing of the granite countertops every year and that you use precautions with the material in order to keep it looking in tip-top shape.