Granite is a natural stone and can bring the vibrancy and energy of nature into the kitchen when carefully carved into the countertops. Granite is found in various shades of natural colors ranging from white to reds, browns, blues, greens and blacks. These colors make the granite countertops blend effortlessly with the rest of the cabinets and the wooden kitchen decor.
Each granite slab consists of a unique natural design pattern that cannot be found on other granite countertops. This helps to make the kitchen countertop elegant and different from any other countertop.
Granite is next to diamonds in hardness and is therefore very durable. Granite countertops can withstand rough handling, but can be kept clean and beautiful with minimal care. They can serve you for a lifetime.
Granite adds radiance to your new kitchen. Your old kitchen can be remodeled using beautiful granite countertops with your choice of design, color and finish. The granite will increase world class value to your kitchen and give your home great resale value. Home buyers are particularly impressed with granite countertops rather than ceramic, plastic or laminates, and don’t mind paying more for granite.
Granite countertops withstand high temperatures and humidity, and do not get stained, making them ideal for rugged kitchen tasks. They also resist scratches and cracks so are long lasting if sealed properly.
The polished granite surface is ideal for the pastry dough to be spread on.
Granite countertops pricing
Granite is a very expensive material when it comes to countertops, and each square foot of granite can cost you anything from $50 and up, inclusive or not inclusive of installation fees. However, many people prefer granite countertops to any other material, whether it is for their new home or for their remodeled home.
Pricing depends on various criteria including color, patterns or veins, country of origin and latest trends. Some dimensions and properties that also affect the pricing are the thickness, the size of the slab and the soft mineral content of the stone. Granite countertops with a unique pattern of non-repeating colors, which is known as “movement”, are usually on the more expensive side.
If you are looking for a cost-effective deal, you can go for a countertop made of granite tiles. Tiles do not differ in properties, and are cheaper than slabs. The only difference is that the borders are visible and a little difficult to clean despite filling them with grout. Also, care should be taken that all the tiles are of a uniform pattern and color.
Buying advice for granite countertops
1. While choosing a granite countertop, remember to consider the cabinetry in the kitchen, as you want to make sure that your countertop complements the rest of the decor.
2. Choose contrasting colors. A dark colored countertop looks great on a light colored cabinet, and vice versa.
3. Check some magazines or get help from a professional interior designer to choose a color that blends with the color scheme or theme of your kitchen.
Installation of granite countertops
Installing a granite countertop is not a do-it-yourself job and is best left to a professional. A professional takes the exact measurements of your countertop and creates models, taking into account the position of your power outlets, sink and faucets. The granite is then cut with a diamond edged saw to fit the models.
The installation must be well leveled and practically smooth. In order to achieve this, the worker will create a strong base with plywood and metal rods. This keeps the granite from developing cracks or breaking during daily use. The granite slabs will be fitted, the seams will be sealed and the edges will be smoothed. A sealant is then applied to the surface and the slab is polished to give it a glossy finish.
Maintaining granite countertops
Always ask the supplier what type of sealant to use and how often the stone needs to be sealed and polished. Also find out which cleaning liquid can be used on the surface.
Acidic liquids such as vinegar and lemon juice can burn the granite surface, so they should be used with care.
The surface should never be used as a substitute for a cutting board.
Do not drag heavy equipment or utensils on the surface.
Hot soapy water is best for cleaning granite countertops. Avoid harsh cleaning liquids as they can erode the surface and make it rough.