Here's a list of some of the most widely-used granite colors you'll see in the local stone market today:
1. Jet Black or Mongolian Black (China)
China's Jet Black is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials here in the Philippines. It is the preferred choice for many residential and commercial projects in the country because of its appearance, durability, and cost.
Most, if not all, local suppliers promote it as "granite." But, from a geological standpoint, it is a type of Basalt rock. Nevertheless, as a dimension stone, the local stone industry considers Jet Black as a commercial granite.
Compared to other natural stones, like Onyx or Travertine, Jet Black is more durable and a lot denser. It can withstand the constant use and abuse of ordinary kitchen preparations. It resists heat and scratches, which makes it an ideal kitchen countertop material.
Jet Black has a timeless beauty which fits exquisitely in any space. Its rich, mysterious color goes well with many other elements– be it a maple cabinet, a white wall, or even a stainless steel fixture. Also, it provides the perfect contrast to any light-themed space.
As a mid-range priced stone, Jet Black costs more than your ordinary "Salt and Pepper" granite, but a lot less than an expensive marble, like "Volakas White." Thus, many contractors and homeowners find it reasonably priced considering the advantages it offers.
2. Salt and Pepper or G603 (China)
The granite Salt and Pepper, or G603, is a fine-grained, gray stone from China used in many large-scale construction projects around the world.
It is widely utilized in the construction industry primarily because it is one of the most economical granite colors in the market today. Moreover, it is readily available from most natural stone suppliers all year round.
It beats all other granite colors in the market in terms of cost and abundance. Hence, it is the obvious choice of many contractors for various projects worldwide, especially here in the Philippines.
True to its name, the granite, “Salt and Pepper,” is a combination of black, white, and silver specks widely distributed throughout its entire surface. Slight variations occur, however, with some slabs having smaller or larger grains than others. Also, some have a lighter or darker background than the rest. These variations occur naturally and are part of the granite’s inherent beauty.
Other Common Applications of Salt and Pepper Granite
Salt and Pepper, like most other granites, is a highly-durable natural stone. Under regular use, it resists heat, scratches, and sudden impact– unless, of course, done intentionally. It holds up well against daily kitchen preparations. Furthermore, it is an ideal flooring material for high-traffic areas, such as hallways or lobbies.
Salt and Pepper is a typical finishing material for various mass construction works because of its incredible value for money.
It works both as an interior and exterior application material for many residential and commercial projects. Buildings, townhouses, shopping malls, and even airports use Salt and Pepper granite for kitchen countertops, islands, bathroom vanity tops, floor tiles, stair treads, and even wall cladding.
This particular granite can accept most types of surface treatments to accommodate various types of applications. Indoors, it can be polished to bring out a smooth and shiny surface. Outdoors, it can be flamed, or bush hammered to obtain a highly-textured, non-slip surface finish which is ideal for poolsides and pavements.
For a typical 0.60-meter (width) x 2.40-meter (length) granite with an 18-mm thickness polished surface finish, a single Salt and Pepper slab averages around Php1,500 to Php2,000 per square meter in the Philippines.
Although uncommon, you may sometimes find Salt and Pepper in depths of 0.80-meter, 0.90-meter, or even above 1.00-meter sold at your local stone supplier. These sizes are more expensive than your standard 0.60-meter deep granite slab.
The Cost of Salt and Pepper Granite
The cost of Salt and Pepper per square meter, like most other granite colors from China, is relative to its width. The wider it gets, the more it will cost you. Therefore, a 0.80-meter deep slab will be more expensive than a standard 0.60-meter piece in terms of its unit cost per square meter. But it will cost cheaper compared to a single slab that is 0.90-meter deep. And so on.
With this, expect to shell out a few extra bucks if you prefer having your L-shaped kitchen countertop in one piece rather than putting two smaller slabs together.
For interior applications, such as kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops, regular sealing is required for Salt and Pepper once or twice yearly. On the other hand, exterior applications, especially on high-traffic areas, such as floors and pavements, need more frequent resealing.
We highly recommend sealing Salt and Pepper regularly. Wet spots on the stone’s surface easily darken once the sealer wears off. You may need to wait a while for the water to dry.
On sealed granite, you only need to do is wipe off liquids and food crumbs after every kitchen preparation. It’s that simple.