Are you currently looking for granite slab to replace the dirty, old ceramic or porcelain tiles on your kitchen countertop?

Installing a granite slab is certainly one of the many remarkable ways to reinvent your kitchen. Not only does it provide the functionality required in many kitchen preparations, such as cooking and baking, but it also brings a sense of elegance and warmth to any home.

As such, it has been used in building structures for centuries now. Today, however, granite is well known as one of the best materials for countertop applications.

[Read: 5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Granite Countertop in Your Kitchen]

Here in the Philippines, if you go to Balintawak in Quezon City, you'll find various stone suppliers on both sides of EDSA. A walk through some of these stores and you'll discover the many colors available for natural and engineered stones, mostly from China and India.

Hence, we've compiled a rundown of the popular materials in the market today to help you in deciding the best choice for your kitchen. Here's a list of some of the most widely-used granite colors you'll see in many local stone suppliers in the Philippines today:

1. Jet Black or Mongolian Black (China)

Mongolian Black, Mongo Black, China Black Granite
Jet Black or Mongolian Black Granite

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 perspective, 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, such as onyx or travertine, Jet Black is more durable and a lot denser. It can withstand the constant use and abuse of ordinary kitchen preparations. Also, 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. Pair it with all-white floor tiles, cabinets, and wall paint and you'll have a beautiful black and white kitchen right inside your home.

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." It costs around Php2,000 per sqm. to Php3,0000 per sqm., depending on your current location. Thus, many contractors and homeowners find it reasonably priced considering the advantages it offers.

Dyed Granites

A word of caution: a number of suppliers here in the country offer dyed black granite and sell it as "Jet Black." We, at Stone Depot, discourage our clients from buying this material. Sure, it costs less, but its dye will surely fade over time. If you suspect that the slab you bought is dyed, wipe off the stone with clean, white cloth and acetone. If see any residue come off, it's quite likely that the stone slab you have may have been oiled or dyed to hide its imperfections.

2. Salt and Pepper or G603 (China)

Cheap Granite for Sale in the Philippines
Salt and Pepper (G603)

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.

Gray bakeshop counter in Cebu, Philippines
Salt and Pepper granite counter at a bakeshop in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan, Cebu

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, which draws attention to the stone. A polished surface reveals the richest color of any stone. On the other hand, you may also choose a honed finish if you prefer having a matte 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.

Gray kitchen countertop in Cebu, Philippines
Salt and Pepper granite kitchen countertop for a residential project in Mandaue City, Cebu

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.

How to Take Care of Salt and Pepper Granite

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 in 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.

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