Remodeling your kitchen comes with many different decisions. Choosing a countertop material is on the top of the list of many people. Granite is a tried and true material that never disappoints. However, before making your decision you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this mainstay material.
Granite is a renewable resource. Granite countertops can last the lifetime of any kitchen, they contain no chemical agents added during the production that emit harmful residue, so they have a place in green building initiatives.
Granite countertops are heat resistant when exposed to heat and will not melt or blister making them one of the most heat-resistant countertop materials available. Although you can set a hot pot directly on the countertop, it is not recommended to expose granite to extreme heat for long periods of time. Heating centralized areas of your granite countertops can cause them to crack.
The Mohl’s scale of hardness rate granite a seven out of ten. This rating means that granite is difficult to scratch but not scratch proof. You can cut directly on your granite countertops, but it is not recommended since it will dull your knife.
In our kitchens remodeling projects, we attempt to limit the number of seams in your granite countertops. Depending on the kitchen design, there may be a need for seams in your countertop since the slab size will vary. Most islands are designed to not have a seam. If you have an L or U shaped kitchen, you can expect seams where the countertop changes the angle. Many times we can match the epoxy color to maximize the camouflage.
One of the most common sink styles that provid
es easy access of counter clean up. With granite, you can use all of the popular sink styles. We cut and polish the sink area to match shape of the sink. Undermount sinks provide a modern and sleek installation.
Coved backsplashes, a back splash with a rounded transition from countertop to backsplash are not available with granite countertops. Most installations include a 4 inch riser from the countertop at the wall and then the traditional backsplash will begin from there.
In the event that your granite countertop cracks or chips, you will need to have it professionally repaired. Most of the time, color matched epoxy can be used as a filler to repair damage and it will not be able to be noticed. A common place for chips is at the sink cutout. Be careful to not put heavy pots on the edge since it can be an easy way to chip the edge.
Since granite is porous, it is best to seal your granite countertops. Liquids that are left on your granite for extended periods of time will eventually be absorbed. Most liquids will evaporate with out using any chemicals or cleaning products. Countertops that are non-porous there are substances that will stain the counter permanently. There are things that can stain them though, such as permanent marker which can be removed from granite.
Granite countertops are low maintenance, they are durable and repair free for the most part. Technology has advanced with sealers available for granite countertops and many only need to be sealed every 10 years. Most sealers can be applied by the home owner and are easy to apply.
The national average for a kitchen granite countertop installation is between $3,000 and $4,000. There are many variables that affect the cost such as: edge profile, square footage, backsplash style, and the number of cutouts. It is a myth that granite is always expensive. Lower priced granite slabs can cost less than higher priced laminates. There are different quality’s of granite, so be careful when price shopping. Make sure that you are comparing similar quality levels of granite slabs. Make sure that your final quote includes the material, fabrication costs, and countertop installation.
There are exotic granite options if you are looking for the truly unique kitchen counter design. The average cost of granite is between $35 – $55 per square foot and can range up to $400 per square foot. What makes granite “exotic?” Some quarries are only quarried a few month of the year and produce some of the most unique color and styles that you will see.
The color options available for granite countertops are limited only by mother nature. Color patterns within the granite make selecting the slab important to fit within the style of your kitchen remodel. When selecting your granite, make sure that you view the EXACT slab that will be used within fabrication. Viewing a small sample of the slab will not give you an accurate representation of the exact color flow and pattern.
The general rule of thumb is the darker the granite the more dense. The lighter the granite the more porous. Lighter colored granite may require more coats of sealer than darker colors. Regardless of the color, when properly sealed, granite is very stain resistant.
If you are buying organic food, recycling, and use the most fuel efficient automobile options, granite is a great choice to “Go Green.” Genuine natural stone are the “natural countertop choice” since they are quarried from the ground.
Granite countertops offer a high resistance to chemicals. Acidic or alkaline cleaners do not easily harm the material. However, repeated used can remove the sealer over the course of time. If using a strong acidic/alkaline cleaning solution, you may want to seal your granite countertop more often.
ABF Remodeling has worked with hundreds of home owners and contractors in the Houston Metro area in installing granite countertops. You should be able to pick the right stone for your project from our inventory of numerous colors of Granite slabs. Call us today at 281-855-3400 or fill out the information below and one of our kitchen remodeling experts will contact you as soon as possible.