Choosing a counter top can be a daunting task for anyone remodeling a kitchen. One of the most popular counter top material choices is granite.
Granite is a stone material that is mined from quarries all over the world. Quarry sites remove the stone from the ground by blasting, cutting or drilling out the material. The origin of the granite will determine its composition, this is what results in the many texture, pattern and color variations that you see in so many granite slabs.
You may have heard the term “pits and fissures” when researching information about granite counter tops. Pits and fissures are a natural part of the granite stone’s makeup. The pits are actually minuscule spaces between the small particles that make up the slab. Fissures are hairline cracks that are typically caused by the heating and cooling process during the formation of the stone. But no need to worry! A fissure is very common and is different from a structural crack that goes all the way through the granite slab, which is something you want to avoid.
Okay, enough of the science! Deciding if granite is the right counter top for your kitchen means you are going to need to take cost and maintenance into consideration.
The cost of a granite counter top can vary greatly based on the type of stone, the edging detail of the counter top, the back-splash size and radius of the slab required. Shipping and availability may also play into the variety you have to chose from and the cost. There are certain coloration and stone patterns that are rarer than others (it is a natural material after all!) so expect to pay more if you are looking for a unique slab.
Many potential kitchen re-modelers do not realize that there is a certain amount of maintenance that goes into caring for a granite counter top. A granite counter top should absolutely be sealed before use. Also re-sealing your counter top of an annual basis will keep the sealant working properly to protect your counters and make cleaning easier.
How do you know when exactly your granite counter top needs to be resealed? When splashed with water if the droplets no longer bead up, it’s time to re-seal! Other day-to-day maintenance should include wiping up spills as they happen and cleaning the surface with a microfiber cloth and water and use a neutral cleaner for more stubborn stains. Be careful to avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals or abrasives, they can easily mark or damage your counter top!
Just remember, granite is not your only counter top choice when remodeling your kitchen, there are many other beautiful choices such as quartz, Formica, butcher block, tile and many more.