Granite countertops have been the countertops of choice from the past several decades. In fact granite is ranked the top choice for countertop material in almost every survey of consumers for the past 30 years. Despite its longstanding popularity, granite has received a bad reputation in the past several years mainly due to the marketing of competing countertop manufacturers (i.e. solid surface, quartz). Granite is a wonderful countertop material, especially for kitchens, that provides a multitude of design options.
Granite Countertop with Ogee edge and Cutting BoardGranite is a natural stone material that is mined from monolithic blocks. The granite is cut into slabs that range in size and color. Granite comes from all over the world and sometimes cannot be mined year round due to weather patterns. Granite should be fabricated by a qualified company to ensure uniform thickness, finish, and cuts. Additionally, these companies put an initial sealer on the granite often in ways that a homeowner cannot. There are many positives to choosing a granite countertop in your kitchen or bathroom. First, depending on the color/style of granite it is an extremely affordable option being anywhere from 15%-45% less than solid surface and quartz countertops. Next, there are a wide variety of color, pattern, and edge options available with granite that are not available in any man-made material. The natural beauty of stone and the inherent natural variation is an amazing compliment to the natural beauty of wood. Third, granite is an amazingly durable material that will last a lifetime and is able to withstand heat and small scratches. Granite is extremely easy to care for, needing basic cleaning with mild soap and water. Other than cleaning there is almost no maintenance to granite for its entire lifetime. Finally, granite is seen as a luxury item in many houses and will provide 100% or more in return upon the sale of the house.
Granite comes in a variety of colors and patternsWhile there are many positives, there are also some negatives to granite. First, granite is a semi-porous material. This is why granite is sealed by the fabricator. It is recommended that homeowners “reseal” their granite every 3 years. Sealing products are inexpensive, easy to use, and available at home improvement stores and big box retailers. Sealing takes about 15 minutes in a large kitchen, less time if your kitchen is smaller. Next, granite is extremely heavy. Therefore, if you do not have strong, well built cabinetry and floors granite will not be an option for you as a countertop. Granite can scratch with use and it is always recommended that you use a cutting board for food preparation rather than the countertop itself. Fourth, granite is a natural product that has color and pattern variation. While this is seen as a positive by many, some homeowners do not appreciate the variation of most granite. Cleaning granite can be a negative as many harsh cleaners can damage the finish of the granite. Finally, granite is not truly repairable. Epoxies can be used to help a crack but it is not a true repair. While damage to a granite countertop is extremely rare, the fact that it cannot be repaired must be considered a negative.
Granite can enhance the natural beauty of wooden cabinetsGranite countertops are a vast subject area with many details and intricacies. This has been a basic overview of the style of countertop and will hopefully help you in deciding whether or not you should consider granite countertops for your home. As with any project make sure to consult a professional for specific advice about your situation before undertaking any significant renovation.