Are you thinking about buying granite countertops? Then you’re making a great choice. Granite is definitely the most used material for countertops, and that’s for a very good reason: they have one of the best cost-benefits around.
You can find them in a wide range of colors and prices, but they all have a common feature: they’re very resistant and can last a really long time. So, if you get yourself a high quality granite slab, you’re guaranteed to have it at your side for the next decades.
Still, there are many things involved in getting and using granite countertops, so in this article we’ll talk about everything you need to know before you go out and get one.
Features Of Natural Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are very sought after for a simple reason: they’re very hard, very durable, and their price is completely reasonable.
Sure, marble countertops look much nicer and are the perfect display of wealth. But they’re very soft and porous, making them a very high maintenance option.
Granite countertops on the other hand are very functional: their porosity is lower and the hardness is greater, making them a great option for any application, especially for kitchens.
And they don’t look bad either. You can find them in many different colors, and there are some exotic options around if you’re looking for something more impressive.
While natural granite isn’t as porous as marble, it’s still quite porous, meaning it’s prone to getting stained, especially from acidic foods. That means it needs to be sealed, that is, it needs to have a protective layer that helps to prevent it from getting stained.
Granite is one of the hardest and most durable materials for countertops around, but it isn’t the best one in that regard. If you need something tougher, you might want to look into quartzite countertops, but they’ll be quite a bit more expensive.
Price Of Granite Countertops
If you’re just looking for a standard, good quality natural granite countertop, you’ll be able to find them in the range of $50 to $100 per square foot. It might look expensive, but they’re so durable that they’re well worth the price.
It’s a much better idea to invest in a higher priced, quality countertop than look for a cheap alternative, like epoxy granite countertops, and end up with a headache later.
Still, if you want to get fancier, you’ll find granite countertops in a wide range of prices.
The price per square feet can vary a lot depending on color and finishing. The standard black granite with a polished finish will usually be the cheapest, but if you decide to go for blue granite with a leathered finish, it can easily get upwards of $200.
Of course, the final price will also depend on size and labor. Greater sizes will increase the price due to material, but may also increase labor costs, because it will also be harder to install.
Engineered granite countertops will, of course, be a bit cheaper than their natural counterparts.
Granite Countertop Colors
Granite countertops are available in a wide range of colors.
The most common and less expensive ones are the neutral colors. The classic one is of course the grainy black-and-white granite, the one you probably see the most out there. You can find them in a variety of shades, some being lighter and others being darker.
Granite that’s mostly white-colored is also a popular and more classy option, pretty much inverting the usual texture. Its colors can also vary from pearl white to a marble-like white.
Brown granite also looks great, being a great fit for a mostly wooden kitchen, thanks to its range of brown to orange coloration, along with the usual dark spots.
Still, you can also find them in a variety of colors and patterns. You can find black granite with barely any lighter grains, white granite that could pass for marble, and rarer granite can come with even fancier colors, like blue, gold, green, and even pink.
Granite Countertops Finishing
The finishing is all about playing with the countertop’s surface texture.
A polished finish is the usual one. It makes the countertop completely smooth and shiny, making it great to work with and also making it the center of attention. Everyone likes a good polished countertop.
However, if you’re looking to get something a bit different, granite has you covered. Granite is the most versatile material when the matter is surface finish, so you’ll have a lot of options.
Looking to tone down a bit on the shine? Matte finish has you covered. It’ll leave a smooth surface, but not make it nearly as reflective as the polished one.
Do you want to make it look more rustic, so it fits better in the room? Try a leathered or caressed finish to get a rougher texture.
What about making it even more rustic and give it a unique look in the process? Granite is the only material that can be flamed, giving it a unique texture and color.
Do want more information on those finishes? We have you covered.
Caring For Granite Countertops
You can make your granite countertop look as good as new for years, it’s just a matter of knowing how to handle it.
The main advice is: clean spills as soon as they happen. If you have a natural granite countertop, there is always the risk that the sealer has worn out, meaning that those spills are going to seep into the stone’s pores and leave a nasty stain.
If you do end up with a stain on your granite countertop, there may still be hope. In many cases you’re able to remove it, but it may take some effort. Follow our guide on removing stains from granite countertops if you want to know more.
The main problem, though, are etches. Strong and acidic products can react with the stone, leaving a bleached look. You can’t remove this with any amount of cleaning, so you have to be especially careful with them.
If you end up etching your countertop or got a stain that’s too hard to remove, then it’s time to give it a polish. Polishing removes a thin layer from the surface of the slab. It won’t change its looks too much, but it’ll definitely remove the stains and etches, making it look much better.
To avoid staining it, be sure to reseal it at least once a year!
That is, unless you have engineered granite countertop. In this case, spills aren’t as worrying, as it’s harder to stain, and you don’t really need to seal it. However, etches are still problem, and you’ll still need to polish it in that case.
Engineered granite is also more prone to heat damage, so be careful with your hot pans and don’t put it outside!
Strength And Durability
Never think that your countertop is unbreakable! Granite countertops are very resistant, but they have their limits. When getting a countertop, be sure to ask about how much weight it can carry and which kinds of impact it can take.
Natural granite, like other natural stones, is somewhat brittle, meaning that impacts and large weights can make it crack or get chipped, which won’t make it look nearly as good, and can make it more prone to breaking.
Engineered granite is not as prone to cracking and chipping as natural granite, because it’s not nearly as porous. Unfortunately, they usually don’t last as long, because they depend too much on the resin for their integrity, and the resin is not nearly as durable as the stone itself.
However, if your granite countertop gets damaged, there is still hope! Chances are, it can still be repaired.
Get Only The Best Granite Countertops
Looking into getting high quality granite countertops? We’ve got you covered there too.
If you live in or near Sarasota, FL, get in contact, and we’ll supply you with the best countertops around.
Need help picking and planning your new countertop? We can help!
Get in touch and we’ll send you a specialist for a free estimate.
Not convinced? Visit our showroom and see what we have to offer.
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