Granite has a reputation as a beautiful, durable stone that can add significant value to your home. There’s little question that granite countertops have earned their reputation. However, before you make the decision to install granite in your kitchen, it’s important to consider whether it’s the correct choice for your circumstance. Are you familiar with the pros and cons of granite countertops?
Like any countertop material, granite has its advantages and disadvantages. As such, this material may work perfectly for some situations and less perfectly in others. Consider these common pros and cons of granite countertops before you make your final decision.
It’s no secret that granite is a gorgeous stone. This volcanic rock contains a wide variety of pigments, crystals, flakes of other stone, and more to create a truly breathtaking appearance. However, while granite’s natural beauty stands out, the sheer variety of possibilities means that you can’t really predict what your final granite countertop will look like. Maybe there will be a bubble of black in an otherwise salmon pink countertop. Alternatively, your countertop could contain a gradient or wide range of colors with no real pattern in the natural formation. While it ultimately depends on your preference, it’s good to remember that you can’t really request a specific pattern from a natural stone like granite.
Pro Tip: Any natural stone will have a rather unpredictable pattern and style. See if your contractor will let you choose the exact slab of stone you want to use to best fit your already-existing aesthetic.
Granite is a volcanic stone, so naturally, it can easily withstand heat. Homeowners can generally place a hot pot or pan directly onto their granite countertops without worrying about the countertops blistering, the way a cultured stone might. However, exposing the countertop to constant heat over a period of hours (like using a crockpot) requires the usage of either a hot pad or little feet under the heat source to keep it from touching the countertop directly. Prolonged exposure to heat could cause the stone to crack or the finish to turn fuzzy.
Granite can also withstand being used as a cutting board, so you can theoretically cut directly on your countertop with a sharp knife. However, this isn’t recommended, ironically because your knife is likely to take more damage than the countertop itself. Not only will the blade dull quickly, but it can also leave behind metal filings embedded in the granite’s finish. It’s best to just cut on a board rather than straight on the countertop.
Finally, granite is an interesting case when it comes to stain resistance. A very dense slab of granite might not even need sealing to be largely impervious to stains. However, a less dense granite might only be stain-resistant after multiple layers of sealant have been applied. Either way, as long as you take the proper precautions, your granite kitchen countertops shouldn’t stain. Consult your contractor for details on what your particular type of granite requires for stain resistance.
Granite countertops require relatively little maintenance compared to other kinds. A well-done seal won’t need to be reapplied for years unless severe damage occurs. Your biggest concern will just be washing it with mild soap and water after preparing food on your countertop.
However, there will be times when something goes very wrong. Whether your countertop chips, cracks, or needs new sealant, these severe problems are best handled by an expert. Call your original contractor back to inspect and repair your countertops as needed.
Environmentally Conscious Choices
Granite is a natural stone, and thus a rather environmentally-friendly choice. It can also last for a lifetime and completely remove the need to spend more money and resources on replacing the stone. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t exactly recycle broken or unwanted granite countertops. This consideration is a huge part of why it’s important to make sure your countertops get all the care and maintenance they need to ultimately last longer for you and save you time and money.
Finding Your Countertop Material
The pros and cons of granite countertops should provide you with what you need to make an informed decision for your kitchen counters. Granite is overall an excellent choice, with high durability and only a little periodic maintenance required. Design your new ideal kitchen with this beautiful natural stone!
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