Views:5 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2016-05-20 Origin:Site
Granite countertops are gorgeous. To paraphrase legendary car guy Lee Iacocca, if you can find a prettier countertop, buy it! Their classic elegance exudes distinction in the kitchen and bathroom, and matched with outstanding durability, the granite countertops you select might be the last countertops your home will ever need.
Countertops made from granite require some TLC, and they’re not cheap. But, if you’re committed to their care and maintenance, granite counter tops will deliver the look and performance you want for decades to come.
In this granite countertops guide, you’ll find the information you need to decide whether or not your next countertops will be produced from this handsome, durable material. The information can be used to compare this material to marble and other materials you might be considering.
What You Should Know About Granite Countertops
Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large igneous stone deposits found around the world. It begins as molten magma that flows into other rock structures and cools slowly. The stone is naturally quite rough and textured, but when it is ground and polished during the countertop manufacturing process, it takes on a smooth surface with rich luster.
Granite is comprised of a many different minerals that give each countertop slab a unique and attractive appearance. For example, granite high in feldspar will have rich red or pink highlights. Mica produces brown or black veining while quartz gives pink, white or black hues to the stone.
The variations throughout the stone are considered desirable since they give the slab character and differentiate it from others. For this reason, it is important to select slabs quarried from the same stone to ensure that the color and amount of veining are similar.
When you go shopping for granite countertops, you’ll find a range of colors and “looks” to choose from, and matching the right shade and stone appearance to your design scheme is part of the fun.
Granite Countertops Pros and Cons
There are many alluring reasons to choose granite countertops, but a few cautions should be considered before you select them for your home. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of granite countertops.
Granite Countertop Advantages:
Granite Countertop Disadvantages:
To summarize the strengths and weaknesses of granite countertops, the primary advantages this material provides are distinctive beauty and outstanding durability when properly maintained. The biggest potential drawback is staining that occurs when the homeowner either buys cheap granite countertops that haven’t been properly sealed or fails to reseal them when needed.
The good news is that most granite slabs are now sealed at the factory with a finish that will last at least five years and often longer. Plus, resealing granite countertops is quite easy and the sealer is affordable.
Granite countertop costs are higher than some types, but in line with other top materials such as quartz, recycled glass and stainless steel. There is a range of prices based on these factors:
The granite countertop estimates you receive will be based on a blend of the variables listed above, and you can see that there are many potential combinations. Here is the range of granite countertop costs you can expect to find:
This means that your total granite countertop costs will range from approximately:
$35/square foot to $140/square foot
Granite Countertops Cleaning, Care and Repair
Well-maintained granite countertops will look fantastic indefinitely. The keys are regular cleaning with products formulated for granite and a schedule of resealing the stone that keeps it resistant to staining.
There are many excellent granite care products available for daily and regular cleaning. They are formulated to get countertops clean without harming the sealer and are available in spray and wipe options.
Here are a few basic tips for granite countertop cleaning and care:
Talk with your dealer or installer about the factory seal on the material and how often to seal your granite kitchen or bathroom countertops. This is the most crucial part of the care and maintenance they require. If you enjoy home maintenance projects, there are easy-to-use, affordable products for polishing and sealing granite countertops with just a few hours of work.
Granite countertop chip repair is fairly easy too with DIY stone repair kits that include high-grade liquid chip filler that cures strong and nearly invisible. Coloring tint allows you to match the repair material to the granite.
Granite Countertops DIY Installation
Even most DIY enthusiasts leave granite countertop installation to the pros. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the majority of the cost is in the material, and if it gets damaged during DIY installation, the homeowner must cover the cost of repair or replacement.
In most jobs, the labor cost is relatively small – 10 to 20 percent of the total, depending on the quality of the granite and the complexity of the countertop installation. In other words, it’s not a huge expense to pay for professional granite countertop installation.
Secondly, improper installation may cause stresses on the countertop which will lead to seam separation or cracking.
If you’ve got good experience with countertop installation and a helper with reliable hands and a strong back, DIY installation is possible. Take the time to watch a few granite countertop installation videos before you decide which way to go in order to see what is involved and to learn tips from professional installers.
If it looks like a job you’d rather leave to the pros, we can put you in touch with the top granite countertop contractors in your area.
Are Granite Countertops Right for Your Home?
Here is a list of questions to that will help you think through whether or not granite is the right material for your home.