Granite gives a kitchen or bathroom visual appeal that will last for many years. The only thing about granite flooring is that you should have an updated kitchen to match. Thus, you might have to upgrade your entire kitchen if it’s outdated. However, it’ll be well worth it. The best way to upgrade your kitchen is with a granite countertop!
Granite’s appearance is versatile
Granite has become quite popular over the past few years; but even so, it maintains its uniqueness.
Each granite slab has its own look; no two slabs are the same. A slab of granite has random grains and veins that give it great character. You won’t find a slab with the same color tones and the same grains.
Granite’s appeal is simultaneously soothing and luxurious. You’ll find it in a wide variety of shades. Most commonly, white, black, gray and beige granite are what make up kitchen countertops. Those colors usually fit well with most kitchen designs, as they’re neutral colors. That being said, granite can be found in more unique colors, such as blue, green and red. These can look great in a kitchen, but you’ll need the right furniture and appliances to go with it.
You’ll find that there are many different colors and patterns to select from, so be sure to narrow your search!
Granite will last a long time
The combination of elegant appearance and extreme durability make granite the best countertop option. Granite is an igneous rock and is formed as a natural part of the earth. Its composition makes it strong and hard, more than capable of withstanding the everyday wear and tear of a family kitchen.
Granite is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant and bacteria-resistant. It can withstand extremely high temperatures, to the extent that placing a hot pan from the stove top onto granite will not do any damage. Of course, that’s not something to make a habit. Consistent exposure to heat can cause the color of the natural stone material to fade. Use heat-resistant pads when possible.
Scratching isn’t much of an issue either. Granite’s hardness makes it quite difficult to scratch. Even if you run a sharp knife over it, the granite will overcome the threat. In fact, granite can actually damage knives by dulling them.
With regards to bacteria, granite’s pores are so small that they hardly leave any room to trap bacteria. The surface is smooth and quite simple to clean; therefore, bacteria shouldn’t be an issue as long as you clean as needed.
Easy to maintain
All you’ll need to clean your granite countertops are mild dish soap and water. Using a damp sponge to wipe over your countertops once every few days or after a major cooking session will help keep it in pristine condition. Don’t pour water directly onto the surface to wet it, since granite is a porous material. Wetting a sponge is fine, but you should still dry the surface right after it’s cleaned.
Be careful when selecting cleaning equipment and solutions. Thistles on cleaning brushes are normally soft, but they can eventually begin to scratch the surface if always used to clean it. Additionally, certain chemical cleaners can discolor, or stain, the surface. Check with the manufacturer of your granite countertops to find out which cleaning solutions are safe to use.
Honestly, there’s not much of a need to use anything other than mild dish soap and water.
Installation requires expertise
When it comes to installation, granite isn’t something that you should install on your own; you’ll need to have it installed professionally.
First of all, granite is heavy. If you try to move it on your own, you’ll probably experience some muscle strain . With professional installation, on the other hand, you won’t have to lift a finger!
Second of all, granite installation is extremely tedious. It has to be cut to perfection and placed to where it’s secured. Cutting the initial slab is hard enough, but cutting holes in granite to fit around a sink, faucets, outlets and whatever else that might be in the way…that’s something that will need the help of a professional.
Additionally, forming specific granite edges is extremely difficult and it should be left to the pros. We’llget into the different types of edges in a bit, but just know that a lot of effort goes into creating their stunning appearances.
The tools used to cut and install granite may be ones that you’ve never used and maybe never even seen, and you shouldn’t try to learn while installing your countertops.
Types of granite edges
Granite slabs are typically either ¾ inch thick or 1 ¼ inches thick. The edges offer another opportunity for creativity, as they can be styled in a number of different ways. You’ll have plenty of types of edges to choose from…
Straight Edge is a classic granite edge look. The countertops breaks into right angles at the corners to create a square edge. It sounds plain, but the look is a bold and clean one. However, you should be careful if you have small children running around the house.
Bullnose edge granite is a popular granite edge option. It’s essentially a rounded edge. You can also select the half-bullnose edge, which is sort of a semi-circle met with a straight edge at the halfway point. Half-bullnose edge will be pointed towards the bottom. Deciding between straight edge and bullnose edge granite is really just a matter of personal preference. Neither look is really meant to draw attention away from the slab itself. That being said, both types of edges have the ability to grab your guests’ attention.
Beveled granite edges have a more refined design. You’ll see your granite countertops slant off around the edge, perhaps 1/5 of an inch (for a 1 ¼ inch thick slab) and then angle straight down from that point. Beveled granite adds character to a granite countertop in a sleek manner. It’s a great option if you have the budget for it!
Speaking of adding character, ogee-edged granite adds tons of it! With this type, the edges are layered at an angle. Therefore, the edge will gradually expand as each layer is set. Some homeowners feel that this type of edge is a bit much for their kitchen. It lengthens the granite slab a couple of inches and you might feel like it’s something you need for your kitchen. The design is endeniably a nice one, but again, it’s a matter of personal preference. The ogee-edged granite might fit better in a modern bathroom.
A waterfall edge for granite is a unique and interesting design. You probably haven’t seen any kitchens that have such an edge, if any at all. For a waterfall edge, the top surface makes a right angle at the edge and continues down to the floor. Two sides are covered by the granite edge and two sides are left open. The open sides usually contain cabinets. This type of edge is best for kitchen islands, specifically more narrow ones, which means that your kitchen would have to be rather spacious. If your kitchen design and budget allow for it, you should definitely consider a waterfall edge for your granite!
The key to protecting granite
Granite doesn’t have many weaknesses. It’s heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, bacteria-resistant, easy to clean, visually appealing…what’s not to like?
Actually granite does have one weakness:
As we briefly mentioned earlier, granite is a porous material. Porous means that water or other liquids can penetrate the material’s surface. Once the liquid passes through the surface, it’ll settle at the core and cause the material to stain. Most of the time, water seeping to the core won’t do significant damage, but it will damage the granite’s impressive look. That’s why we encourage having your countertop wiped dry as often and as soon as possible.
Additionally, you should have your granite countertops sealed. A sealant will guard the surface from moisture damage. It’ll last for a couple of years, so you’ll have to have it resealed whenever the seal fades away.
You might not know when you’ll need to have your granite resealed, but there’s an easy test you can use to find out. Just sprinkle a few drops of water onto the countertops surface. If the drops bead together, your sealant is still in place. If the drops wander away, you probably need a new sealant.
Sealing your granite is extremely important. If you want to maximize its lifespan, you’ll need to have it sealed. Sealing granite isn’t a long process!
How much does granite cost?
While we wish we could give you an exact numer, it all depends on your preferences. How much granite do you need? What thickness did you decide on? What type of edge?
Your answers to the above questions help determine the price of your granite. Typically speaking, granite is slightly less expensive than quartz and considerably less expensive than marble. It’s uncommon for any homeowner to choose a countertop that isn’t natural stone. Thus, granite is a pretty reasonable option. Consider its durability and elegance – you really can’t go wrong!
For answers to your countertops questions, give Toscana Remodeling a call! We have a wide variety of granite countertops available and our staff would love to help you choose one for your home. We want what’s best for your home just as you want what’s best for your home!
Toscana Remodeling also offers various backsplashes to compliment your brand-new granite countertops. We have everything you need to upgrade your kitchen.