Granite countertops look awesome in kitchens and bathrooms no matter their style, and most people agree that they are the bee’s knees when it comes to natural countertops. It is not surprising that granite has been the building material of choice for durable structures for centuries.
However, it is important to understand that granite is not without its issues. When deciding on the right material for your kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops, you want to make sure you cover all your bases. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of granite countertops.
One of the best advantages of granite is its looks. Granite has a distinctive appearance that tends to dominate a room. It has a robust look and universal appeal that is not present in most other natural stones. Most stones have just two or three colors from which to choose, while granite has more than 20, and variations in patterns extend your choices to hundreds of distinct slabs. If you are having a hard time finding a stone that will match your walls, floors, and cabinets, you are most like to find one in granite.
Granite is also a very durable material with a scratch-resistance comparable to the hardest minerals in the world. It rates a 6 or 7 in the Mohs hardness scale, which is quite impressive for a composite material. You can cut meat and vegetables directly on granite countertops without damaging it, although it might dull your knife.
The durability of granite is due in part to the presence of quartz in its composition, which is a white or colorless mineral rating a 7 or 8 in the Mohs scale. True granite contains between 20% and 60% quartz, so that helps.
The other reason for its durability is the presence of feldspar, which is a very hard rock-forming mineral consisting of silicates. Feldspar not only lend durability to granite, but also color. Feldspar is a group of minerals present in magma that comes in a wide variety of colors that forms veins or crystals in igneous rocks such as granite.
Most granite countertops can stain without proper sealing or the seal wears away over time. Some people warn that stains in granite are impossible to remove. While it is certainly not easy, it is possible to remove most stains from granite using the right method. That said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so avoid stains by checking if the seal is intact using the water bead test. You can also avoid staining by wiping up spills immediately.
Granite is heat resistant to a high degree, but thermal shock can cause it to crack or even break. Thermal shock can result from rapidly cooling a hot object. Granite can retain heat for a very long time, so it might be a good idea to use a heat pad or trivet to keep it from direct heat to avoid causing injury to you or the stone.
Granite is durable, but you can damage it if you try hard enough. Drop a heavy object or sit on an overhang or the edges, and you can break or chip the stone. Avoid placing any considerable weight on the edges to avoid these disasters.
Finally, granite is cost-effective because it is very durable, but the initial outlay can be considerable. You can spend anything from $3,500 for an area of 100 square feet, depending on the type of granite and other factors.
Granite countertops are a great choice for the kitchen or bathroom for many reasons, but you also need to exercise reasonable care to keep them in good heart. If you want durable and beautiful countertops, your best bet is granite.
KNC Granite has a large array of granite and marble slabs from which to choose. You can check actual slabs at our showroom in Lanham, Maryland. We service Washington DC, many areas in Maryland (Baltimore, Annapolis, Bethesda, Rockville) and Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington).
If you prefer quartz countertops, we can also help. Also we carry some of the top brands of engineered stone, including Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
We do not only supply top quality natural and engineered stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote for your granite countertops!