5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Granite Countertop in Your Kitchen
Before being made into granite countertops, these highly-durable natural stones rest within the far depths of the earth. Quarries extract granites as big chunks of rock. From blocks, we turn them into slabs. A large gang saw carves through these massive stones like a giant bread slicer. Once cut, a particular machine polishes its surface, bringing out the stones’ full color.
Depending on the color of the stone, your granite countertop may come from the other side of the globe. The majority, however, of most granite slabs in the market are from China, India, and Brazil.
1. Granite Countertops are Naturally Beautiful
Like marble, granite slabs are available in a wide range of color and pattern combinations. They often come in shades of red, brown, black, white, and gray. Of course, there are other exquisite colors, too, like green and blue. Most slabs appear with scattered black and gray specks on its surface. In some stones, swirls and veins make up its appearance. And, there are a few types that have minute crystals that shimmer under the light. All these variations are natural and inconsistent. The various minerals that form these rocks give them their unique colors. Unlike engineered quartz, no two granite slabs are identical. As a result, this natural process yields a virtually unlimited number of granite selections on the market.
But there is more to granite than meets the eye. After all, it is a natural material that has endured over time. Many of our history’s majestic structures are a testament to its strength. In particular, it forms some of the great pyramids of Egypt. It makes up, too, the famous sculpture at Mount Rushmore. These, along with a few more, prove that granite is in for the long haul.
2. Granite Countertops are Highly-Durable
So what makes granite an excellent countertop material?
For one, granite is hard enough to resist abrasion. It holds out against scratches from daily kitchen preparations. It is harder than most kitchen utensils. And, believe it or not, it is more robust than your kitchen knives.
Second, it is sturdy enough to bear significant weight. It remains steadfast even if you place many kitchen items over it. It will neither bend nor break under regular kitchen use. Lastly, it is inert enough to resist weathering. Just like a diamond, granite is a product of the constant pressure underground. Hence, it withstands heat from hot pots and pans without absorbing damage. As such, it is safer to use than its synthetic counterparts with resin and polyester, such as engineered quartz and nano crystallized glass. Granite does not melt, warp, or even change color when subjected to high temperatures. Furthermore, it holds its color and luster, even when exposed to various elements.
For all its inherent strength, granite, however, is not indestructible. Use it beyond its normal function, and it may break or chip like any piece of rock. A granite countertop is meant to provide a work surface for the kitchen. So do not sit nor stand on top of it. Use a stool when replacing a light bulb or reaching for the upper cabinets. Also, do not drop heavy objects on the slab. Any sudden impact may damage its surface. Keep in mind that with proper care and maintenance, your granite countertop can outlive your entire house itself.
3. Granite Works Both Indoors and Outdoors
Apart from being a countertop material, it has a lot of uses too. Granite is an excellent surface for both interior and exterior applications. Polished, it makes beautiful floors, walls, monuments, stair treads, islands, and tabletops. Its deep, natural color adds elegance and warmth to any space. It works well with other materials, such as metal, glass, and wood. Hence, it complements any architectural style, be it rustic or modern.
Textured, it is a reliable paver and pool coping that provides a non-slip finish. It is also useful for shower floors and other high-moisture areas. Various surface finishing, such as flaming, bush hammering, and sandblasting, allows us to produce stone products ideal for the outdoors. These help us make use of granites that best fits our design and needed function.
4. A Granite Countertop is a Lifetime Investment
Here in the Philippines, a typical eighteen-millimeter (18 mm) thick granite countertop slab costs around Php2,000 to Php8,000 per piece. The unit cost of granite per square meter varies based on the color. A lot of factors affect these prices. These include the stone’s origin, grade, thickness, and dimension. And, like any other product, supply and demand dictate the prices too. These factors only count the cost of the materials alone.
Keep in mind that the fabrication and installation cost additionally. Your local supplier will charge you based on your project’s degree of difficulty. Thus, expect to pay a little more if your countertop has a fancy edge or a lot of cutouts (for the sink or electrical outlets). We know it is quite tempting to install it all by yourself, but a professional granite installer must only do it. Granite installation requires skill, strength, experience, and some specialized tools. With do-it-yourself, the only way you can save money is if you do it correctly. Otherwise, you will need to buy a slab replacement, which will, of course, cost you more.
Granite’s longevity makes it a lifetime investment. It is a one-time purchase that will serve its purpose for a long time. Hence, it is a lot more reasonable to have it in your kitchen than replacing decorative laminates (HPL) in a couple of years.
5. Granite Countertops are Easy to Clean
Compared to using ceramic or porcelain tiles, a granite countertop has lesser seams. Lesser joints mean lesser grouts to clean. This means you don’t have to clean again and again those ugly gunk on your tile grouts.
Also, some, but not all, granites require regular application of stone sealer. Depending on the color of your granite countertop, you may (or may not) need to seal once or twice a year to protect it from staining. For example, “Black Galaxy,” “Absolute Black,” and “Ubatuba,” for example, are highly dense granite colors that do not require the application of a stone sealer. Lighter granites, on the other hand, such as “Himalayan White” and “Pink Porrino” need to be sealed regularly.
Additionally, even if your granite countertop does not require any sealing, it is always best to use coasters and trays under glasses and bottles. Should any spill or drip happen, wipe them off immediately. Also, always use a cutting board when cooking. Never cut directly on your countertop’s surface as it will only dull your kitchen knife.
To clean, use a specially formulated stone care product and a soft, tidy cloth. Do not use vinegar, ammonia, or bleach. Also, avoid acidic cleaners as they may wear off the applied sealer.
Should You Buy Granite for Your Kitchen Countertop?
Whether you are using granite for your countertop or stairs, there is always a color that matches your interior. Not only does it complement your living space, but it also increases the resale value of your home. A granite countertop is a selling point should you decide to put your house on the market. Furthermore, it provides a working surface that lasts a lifetime.