So you are in the middle of planning your kitchen’s makeover. It probably didn’t take long for you to start getting overwhelmed by all the options.
Just the countertops alone create quite a challenging array of selections. Each material has its pros and cons, its unique character and function.
Perhaps you are considering granite for your countertops. It’s a classic choice with a strong and elegant look. But to really be sure if it’s the right material for you and your kitchen, be sure you know the pros and cons.
There really are a lot of great reasons to choose granite countertops. The following are just a few of the pros:
- All natural: granite is a naturally occurring stone. This means it simply has to be quarried and cut – there are no potentially harmful chemicals or products contained within granite countertops, or dyes or stains for its color or finish, making it a safer material for consumers.
While granite does take thousands of years to form and is thus not the most “renewable” of resources, it is still quite green as there is no process to manufacturer it that makes it harmful to the ecosystem or to the owner.
- Many colors/styles to choose from: there are truly dozens to hundreds of colors and color-combinations. There are about 12 different color categories, but because of the nature of granite (to be discussed further in a moment), among these categories are nearly an infinite number of shades and options.
There is a color and style for every type of kitchen.
- More character: due to the process that forms it, granite is a conglomeration of minerals and rocks. This means that it is not just a solid color all the way through. A slab of granite is filled with grains, flecks and veins of other colors mixed in.
This gives granite a lot of character in a relatively small space. It is far from plain.
- Unique – no two countertops alike: as a result of the above, having a granite countertop also means no one else will have one like yours. Someone else may have granite, sure, and they may even have the same color.
But because every piece of granite is formed by nature over time in different locations, no two pieces look exactly alike.
- Heat resistant: granite is very practical, too. It is actually heat resistant, which means if you pull a hot pan out of the oven or off the burner, it is safe to set it down directly on the counter without damaging it.
- Scratch resistant: granite is incredibly hard and therefore cannot be scratched easily. This will help it keep its beauty for a very long time.
- Chemical resistant: granite is resistant to chemicals and not easily harmed by acids or chemicals that may be spilled on it. Obviously, you would still want to clean it up quickly, but it is unlikely to damage the countertop.
- Stain resistant: granite, especially dark granites, are dense and thus do not stain very easily. However, most of them are also treated with a sealer that can be applied every so often to help keep it stain resistant.
- Increase overall value of your home: no doubt, due to its beauty as well as its practicality and durability, adding granite countertops to your home is absolutely sure to increase the value of your home.
While granite is a fantastic with all the above pros, there are still a few weaknesses to be aware of:
- Granite is porous: as may be imagined, granite is a fairly porous stone. While this isn’t a terrible thing, it can make it susceptible to staining if not sealed well. It can also mean that bacteria can hide in the porous stone and takes a bit more deliberation in cleaning to keep the counters perfectly sterile.
However, if you clean spills up immediately and are good about cleaning on a regular basis, this really isn’t a problem.
- Will require some maintenance: because it is porous and needs a seal to ensure that staining is not an issue, your granite counter-tops will need some maintenance.
Most come already treated with a seal that should last quite a few years – some up to ten years. But you will want to ask your provider to find out and learn when you will need to get a new seal coat applied. You can either call a professional, or you can do it yourself, which is actually just as easy as washing your counters down.
So, while it needs some maintenance, overall, it is a pretty low maintenance material.
- Potential for cracking or chipping: though extremely rare, it is possible to chip or crack granite if a very heavy object is dropped on it or hits it.
If you have heavy cast-iron pans, you may just want to be careful particularly around the edge of the sink, which is the most common area for chips.
Again, however, this is very rare, and most chips/cracks can be repaired by a professional.
- Can Be Expensive: granite can be pricey depending on the color and the source of the granite. It often ranges easily from $100-$250 per square foot.
However, low-end granite can be less expensive than high-end laminate, and granite can/should last a life-time. In the long-run, it is usually quite cost-effective.
Need Help Making Your Choice?
If you need help as you consider granite countertops, Phoenix-based Grand Canyon Home Supply can help you out! Contact us today to see our large selection of granite and other countertop materials, and find out how we can help you find the best countertop for your kitchen!